×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

University of Wisconsin-Madison Bucks RIAA

kdawson posted about 7 years ago | from the not-your-agents dept.

Music 203

stephencrane informs us of an interesting development at UW Madison. The school, along with many others, has been sent "settlement letters" by the RIAA with instructions to forward them to particular students (or other university community members) that the RIAA believes guilty of illegal filesharing. The letters order the assumed filesharers to identify themselves and to pay for the content they are supposed to have "pirated." The university has sent a blanket letter to all students, reiterating the school's acceptable use policies, but has refused to forward individual letters without a valid subpoena. This lawyer's blog reproduces the letter. The campus newspaper has some coverage on the university's stance.

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

203 comments

in other news... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18411047)

University of wisconsin's enrolments skyrocket.

Re:in other news... (3, Informative)

freehunter (937092) | about 7 years ago | (#18412183)

Actually, my school (Ferris State in Michigan) did this as well. I got a letter on my desk at work saying the school had been sent settlement letters and that Ferris does not monitor the network, so they would not release the names of students. Of course, we are most likely going to get sued for it, bu our lawyers are ready, I imagine.

Re:in other news... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18412675)

On the one hand: Kudos to U-W for refusing to be the process-serving stooge of its students' lazy enemy.

On the other hand: There is a famous story about a Roman regional governor who was presented with a man accused of a crime. The governor did not believe that the man's behavior was actually criminal. He is said to have publicly washed his hands to show that he would not be involved in prosecuting the man.

It's what U-W does next that will matter.

That's nothing! (5, Funny)

erroneus (253617) | about 7 years ago | (#18411053)

I was singing in the shower the other morning and I was greeted by a lawyer with a letter before my nipples had a chance to harden in the cold post-shower air. (In my defense I contend that I was not in violation because I don't actually know all the words and I was just singing the chorus parts that I was reasonable sure of...)

Re:That's nothing! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18411209)

the big question now of course is are you male or female....

and those students should have gotten one of these: http://mxchg.com/ [mxchg.com] :)

Re:That's nothing! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18411277)

the big question now of course is are you male or female....

You must be new here...

Re:That's nothing! (5, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | about 7 years ago | (#18412113)

I was singing in the shower the other morning and I was greeted by a lawyer with a letter...

You can only be prosecuted for a public peformance, which raises some interesting questions about your bathroom...

Re:That's nothing! (5, Funny)

beadfulthings (975812) | about 7 years ago | (#18412635)

I think you'll find that the RIAA has that covered:

1) If you live in an apartment building or townhouse, or if your house is sitting on less than a half-acre of land; or if you share your domicile with roomates who are not part of your immediate family;

OR

2) If you are showering in a locker room, dormitory, or other public washroom facility;

THEN your bathroom is deemed to be public and you are subject to prosecution. If your house is situated on more than a half-acre and is shared by members of your immediate family (defined as your spouse, parents, siblings, or children under the age of 21), your bathroom is deemed to be private. HOWEVER, you are advised to make provisions by not singing in the event you are entertaining houseguests.

I understand they're working on sensing devices for shower heads. You should check with your local Home Depot to arrange to purchase your retrofit kit. New shower heads will be sold with the device already installed.

Re:That's nothing! (4, Funny)

brian0918 (638904) | about 7 years ago | (#18412799)

"You can only be prosecuted for a public peformance"

The RIAA will simply argue in favor of Cartesian dualism - that in fact the mind is a separate entity/observer, viewing the performance of the body, and is therefore an audience member, thus making it a public performance.

Re:That's nothing! (3, Funny)

clickclickdrone (964164) | about 7 years ago | (#18412855)

which raises some interesting questions about your bathroom...
Are you saying it's not supposed to be in the front yard?

Response to a subpoena (4, Interesting)

Technician (215283) | about 7 years ago | (#18411063)

I think instead of the blanket statement that they will submit to a subpoena, they should have narrowed it to a subpoena for an alledged violator. Anything less may open the university to full access to student and campus network server logs in a driftnet subpoena. That should be fought tooth and nail.

Re:Response to a subpoena (2, Interesting)

nacturation (646836) | about 7 years ago | (#18411361)

I think instead of the blanket statement that they will submit to a subpoena, they should have narrowed it to a subpoena for an alledged violator.
So you're saying that in certain cases the university should choose to be in contempt of court?
 

Re:Response to a subpoena (2, Interesting)

purpleraison (1042004) | about 7 years ago | (#18412475)

I think instead of the blanket statement that they will submit to a subpoena, they should have narrowed it to a subpoena for an alledged violator. Anything less may open the university to full access to student and campus network server logs in a driftnet subpoena. That should be fought tooth and nail.

Unfortunately, they don't get to choose which type of subpoena they submit to. If a court ordered subpoena is issued, regardless of what they would like to share they are required to share whatever they subpoena demands (unless the university's lawyer can somehow contest the issued subpoena).

Madison is UW, Milwaukee is UW-M (4, Informative)

Gus (2568) | about 7 years ago | (#18411085)

In Wisconson, "UW" refers to Madison. "UW-M" usually refers to Milwaukee.

Re:Madison is UW, Milwaukee is UW-M (1)

Phroggy (441) | about 7 years ago | (#18411279)

In the Pacific Northwest, UW refers to the University of Washington; you may have noticed them credited in pine and pico.

One of these days I keep meaning to drive up to Seattle, find whoever decided all the configuration for imapd should be in a .h file instead of a run-time config file and kick them in the face. At least it's all in a single .h file now, which is a significant improvement from a decade ago...

Anyway, sorry, yeah, this is the other UW...

Re:Madison is UW, Milwaukee is UW-M (1)

coffee_bouzu (1037062) | about 7 years ago | (#18411377)

In the Pacific Northwest, UW refers to the University of Washington...

You did actually read the comment, right?

In Wisconson, "UW" refers to Madison. "UW-M" usually refers to Milwaukee.

He didn't say anything about UW == University of Wisconsin. He was just clarifying the local usage of the abbreviations UW and UW-M. It might surprise you a little, but us midwestern hicks might actually know that there are things outside of our state.

Also, I might be wrong about this but isn't the University of Waterloo also abbreviated as UW? You gonna go lecture them about using Washington's abbreviation, too?

Re:Madison is UW, Milwaukee is UW-M (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18411437)

UW in Washington is the Seattle campus.
UW in Wisconsin is the Madison campus.

other campuses are referred to with the location appended ie: UW Bothell or UW Whitewater

Too much "collage porn" perhaps? (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 7 years ago | (#18411533)

I'm an Aussie and they all mean "some US university", so much so that I did a double-take when I read "UW Bothell" as "UW Brothel".

Re:Too much "collage porn" perhaps? (1)

Plutonite (999141) | about 7 years ago | (#18411795)

I deciphered it as bot-hell and wanted to ask what sort of sadistic, fiery-pit network they set up over there to torture the bots.

Re:Madison is UW, Milwaukee is UW-M (4, Interesting)

Gus (2568) | about 7 years ago | (#18411471)

Actually, as someone from Wisconsin who now lives in Seattle, I can tell you the difference is in the pronounciation.

In Wisconsin, it is "you-double-you"
In Seattle it is "you-dub"

I have no opinion on why Washingtonians are too lazy to pronounce abbreviations fully.

Additionally, as a proud alum, the University of Washington was still a mud pit when the University of Wisconsin was shaping the minds of influential thinkers.

Re:Madison is UW, Milwaukee is UW-M (5, Funny)

stupid_is (716292) | about 7 years ago | (#18411645)

I have no opinion on why Washingtonians are too lazy to pronounce abbreviations fully. Additionally, as a proud alum
Is it as lazy as a Winconsonian not writing a complete word? Shouldn't that be "alumnus" or "alumna" [wikipedia.org]?

Re:Madison is UW, Milwaukee is UW-M (2, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | about 7 years ago | (#18412133)

Shouldn't that be "alumnus" or "alumna"?

No, he means his chemical formula is M+2SO4M3+2(SO4)324H2O

Re:Madison is UW, Milwaukee is UW-M (1)

jc42 (318812) | about 7 years ago | (#18412821)

Heh. My wife likes to give out her <name>@alum.bu.edu email address, but she sometimes looks annoyed when I pronounce it with the stress on the "al" in "alum". But I figure, if they're going to name a machine after a mineral, they should expect people to pronounce the mineral's name correctly.

It also seems to me that it wouldn't actually be too difficult for a school to define both an alumnus.schoolname.edu and an alumna.schoolname.edu domain name, perhaps for the same machine, and let students use whichever they prefer. Wouldn't you expect a university to get such things right?

Re:Madison is UW, Milwaukee is UW-M (1)

unity100 (970058) | about 7 years ago | (#18412343)

I have no opinion on why Washingtonians are too lazy to pronounce abbreviations fully.


Millions of abbreviations have been coming out from Washington since the times of FDR in 30es. They must have fed up.

well (5, Insightful)

User 956 (568564) | about 7 years ago | (#18411137)

They're not so much "Standing up to the RIAA", they're merely asking for due process in the form of a proper subpoena. The RIAA has enjoyed a remarkable level of convenience up until this point with regards to their university settlements, it will be interesting to see if they actually bother to take the time to get the required paperwork together. All of their other cases that have shown up in the media have seemed pretty slapdash, at best.

Re:well (2, Interesting)

Seumas (6865) | about 7 years ago | (#18411187)

My first thought when I heard about this was rather similar. That is "why did they send the notices to the university, if they knew the exact students?". A subpoena is usually served in person, to the person it is intended for and I believe it is usually signed for by the recipient (if the delivery person can sucker them into doing it before they figure out what it is).

Re:well (5, Funny)

McFadden (809368) | about 7 years ago | (#18411267)

why did they send the notices to the university, if they knew the exact students?
From the tone of the question I'm sure you already know the answer, but presumably because they think:

1. universities will cave-in rather than risk any involvement in a law suit
2. students will be forced to pay if the university is involved, because the few thousand dollars settlement is nothing compared to the tens of thousands at risk if the student gets kicked off their course.
3. because they're a bunch of fucking thugs with morals that make Hitler look like a guy you'd want to marry your daughter.

Oh fuck... I think I've just Godwinned myself.

Re:well (4, Funny)

richie2000 (159732) | about 7 years ago | (#18411573)

Oh fuck... I think I've just Godwinned myself.
If there isn't special dispensation given when discussing the fascist scum-sucking parasite nazi's that are the *IAA, there damned well should be.

Re:well (2, Insightful)

prichardson (603676) | about 7 years ago | (#18411735)

because using strong-arm tactics to corner a market, financially ruin families, and hamstring technological advances is just like committing genocide...

The RIAA is bad, but they're nothing compared to the Nazis.

Re:well (1, Offtopic)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 7 years ago | (#18411895)

Thank you. Mod me off topic, but I'm so fucking sick of seeing Hitler/Nazi comparisons bandied about like that.

Re:well (1, Offtopic)

shudde (915065) | about 7 years ago | (#18412651)

because using strong-arm tactics to corner a market, financially ruin families, and hamstring technological advances is just like committing genocide...

The RIAA is bad, but they're nothing compared to the Nazis.

The parent is right, it's an unfair comparison.

The Nazi party spent around ten years building up to genocide, I say we give the RIAA a little more time.

Re:well (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | about 7 years ago | (#18412997)

Just give then a little more power and we'll see how just is the comparation.

My bet is that they'll become quiet with some 10% of the economy as tribute, so it is unfair.

Re:well (2, Interesting)

mpe (36238) | about 7 years ago | (#18411927)

My first thought when I heard about this was rather similar. That is "why did they send the notices to the university, if they knew the exact students?".

If they knew the exact students they could have addressed the notices to the students. Most likely the university dosn't want to play detective for free.

Re:well (1)

BCW2 (168187) | about 7 years ago | (#18413015)

"Most likely the university dosn't want to play detective for free."

There is no reason they should, by law or any other logic. The **AA's need to be forced to spend the money to do all the research needed to file these suits. Then a good defense lawyer can apply the "true cost" of $.99 to each song since that is the most they sell for at "legitimate online outlets". When the **AA's start collecting only a freaction of their expenses on each suite, they will stop, or bleed to death. Making them pay the defenses legal costs on EVERY failed suite is very helpful in the cost vs. return battle. Their tactics are wrong and should be illegal but the only answer is to hit them in the wallet, it's the only thing any large Corporation or industry understands.

Re:well (1)

1u3hr (530656) | about 7 years ago | (#18412301)

hat is "why did they send the notices to the university, if they knew the exact students?

Probably because they only knew their IP numbers.

Re:well (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | about 7 years ago | (#18411319)

Might there not be a certain public image aspect to this?

The university doesn't want to be seen as being willing to hand over its students for prosecution, because this might impact their admission rates. Being tainted by the RIAAs public image can't be good.

Just speculation, but if they back out of the whole process then they can say it's none of their concern. After all, are universities asked to pass on parking fines?

Re:well (1)

danbert8 (1024253) | about 7 years ago | (#18412335)

No, at least at my university, they are the ones handing out parking fines... And they hand those out without any due process with them. You even have to pay the ticket BEFORE you can contest it.
 
*FYI* my university pays for Ruckus (a now free service). And you thought your university was stupid.

The Badger Herald? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18411145)

The Badger Herald (the second link) appears to be slashdotted.

Perhaps because it runs os x? Should they have chosen linux instead?

Re:The Badger Herald? (0, Flamebait)

toadlife (301863) | about 7 years ago | (#18411259)

"Perhaps because it runs os x?"

Probably run by that idiot Mac zealot who did the pointless "hack my mac" [slashdot.org] (and DoS my employer's network in the process) contest a while ago.

Re:The Badger Herald? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18411285)

haahahahahaha - that hack my mac contest was hilarious!

Did you notice he didn't post on slashdot for ages after his bitch ass got slapped by the university administration for running that contest?

Probably part of his punishment was not being able to sit surfing websites, constantly defending Apple for their many sins.

Re:The Badger Herald? (1)

coffee_bouzu (1037062) | about 7 years ago | (#18411289)

The Badger Herald is an independent (not supported by the school) student newspaper on the UW-Madison campus. Since they don't get University hosting, I sincerely doubt that they spend enough money on servers/bandwidth etc. to survive a slashdotting. Don't worry. You're probably not missing much more than a rehash of the email.

What a load of shit.. (0, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | about 7 years ago | (#18411203)

The University is in no way responsible for what students do on their network.. any more than a phone company is responsible for what people do with their telephones. As such, they should butt-the-fuck-out of the private matter between the student and the copyright holder.

Re:What a load of shit.. (2, Interesting)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | about 7 years ago | (#18411293)

The University is in no way responsible for what students do on their networkNo, but it's up to them as to what policy they enforce on the students regarding network usage. If they say "no piracy", that's their perogative. This isn't the RIAA trying to bully the University into enforcing the law, this is the RIAA bullying the University into providing evidence against the students (they weren't interfering more than a witness interferes with any other case). The Uni was unfazed and asked for a subpoena. End of story.

Re:What a load of shit.. (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | about 7 years ago | (#18411301)

That first bit was a quote BTW.

Last time I press "Submit" without previewing.

Re:What a load of shit.. (5, Funny)

JensenDied (1009293) | about 7 years ago | (#18411357)

This is /. If you can't pick up where the breaks are in the thought from someone who forgot to change to plaintext, forgot to preview, or forgot to tag their quotes and paragraphs you haven't been around long enough.

I don't see how... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18411207)

...the RIAA can take the public for such fools.

I'm just glad they're finding it difficult fooling an institution
that encourages thought.

University of Wisconsin (1)

AdamBLang (674002) | about 7 years ago | (#18411275)

The University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee is UWM. The University of Wisconsin - Madison is UW-Madison.

Dair-y say it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18411311)

These comments are pretty cheesy.

Guilty until proven innocent? (0, Troll)

Minuous (1076653) | about 7 years ago | (#18411363)

>If students do receive a subpoena notice of being sued after being warned by the cease-and-desist letter, Rust said they will have their Internet access suspended and their names forwarded to the dean of students for an official review. So what happened to "innocent until proven guilty"? Glad I don't attend a fascist university like this one.

Original Email Text (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18411365)

I didn't RTFA, but I did get a chance to RTF email!

Subject: UW-Madison copyright compliance notice
Date: 03/16/2007

The recording industry is threatening lawsuits against those who may have engaged in illegal file sharing. They are currently targeting students who live in university residence halls. Recently, UW-Madison and other universities have been notified that they will receive settlement letters that are to be passed on to the individuals whom the senders believe to be guilty of copyright infringement. Consistent with current network management procedures and our understanding of federal law, UW-Madison does not plan to forward these letters directly to campus network users. We will, of course, comply with a valid subpoena.

However, if the UW-Madison is given cause to believe that a student, faculty or staff network user may have infringed on copyrights, it will take action. University network policies empower the CIO to terminate that person's network access until the matter is resolved. The Dean of Students office (for students) or supervisors (for employees) will be notified and other disciplinary action may be taken, as appropriate.

Unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing of copyrighted works is illegal in many circumstances, and a violation of the university's Appropriate Use Policy. Please be advised of your rights and responsibilities under these rules. For more information, see: http://www.doit.wisc.edu/security/policies/appropr iate_use.asp [wisc.edu]

Fun stuff--Pretty glad I'm out of the dorms. Maybe I'll get one of these from Charter...

Re:Original Email Text (1)

IceFalcon (962153) | about 7 years ago | (#18412829)

The Univ. of Michigan just received these notices as well. A notice went out from the CSO to all campus informing them of this and reminding them of the acceptable use policy. No word yet on if the UofM plans on standing up to the **AA or forward the notices to the *suspected* students.

Re:Original Email Text (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18412965)

Nice. That should satisfy the law requirements for attempting to eliminate copyright infringement on your network, in which case the University should be fine on legal grounds. Meanwhile I wouldn't be surprised if a number of professors started up some extra credit projects- things that just happen to qualify as 'fair use' for some music files.

"What? This? School project. I'm comparing the tonal patterns of pop divas of the last 20 years."

A good step (4, Insightful)

btempleton (149110) | about 7 years ago | (#18411393)

But there is a vastly simpler way to stand up to the RIAA on matters like this.

Erase your logs after a short period of time. Don't keep a record of what IP address was allocated to what account at any given time.

Then if the RIAA shows up, not simply with letters, but with lawsuits and court orders, you still can simply say "don't have the info."

This is what librarians do at many libraries. After you return the book, they destroy the circulation record. There is no record of what books you have read.

Yes, this means giving up using the logs for your own enforcement activities done after the fact. You can have a live database, or even keep the records for a few hours if you want to respond to problems same day. After that, no luck. But why is that so terrible? It's not like people who want to be anonymous for something truly nasty can't find an open wireless node these days. Main problem is that IT admins can't bear the thought of giving up control.

However, this would save the universities a ton of money (no need for legal department to handle requests) and it would also save the students a ton of money ($4000 per student served, $3000 with the "discount") which they could be spending on education.

Re:A good step (2, Interesting)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | about 7 years ago | (#18411609)

This is what librarians do at many libraries. After you return the book, they destroy the circulation record. There is no record of what books you have read.
ISPs should be held to the same standard. It would be difficult if not impossible to differentiate between someone innocently browsing and someone mischievously pirating, so the onus is not on them to maintain IP address logs but rather on the RIAA to prove copyright infringement. In the same way, it's not the library's responsibility if you OCR or xerox one of their books, it's up to the litigant to prove you infringed on their copyright.

Given our panache for a Big Brother surveillance society, I fear the notion of having no record of books we have read is already a relic of the history books. We must fight those who wish to record our every movement and action lest we succumb to totalitarianism.

Re:A good step (1)

mpe (36238) | about 7 years ago | (#18412109)

In the same way, it's not the library's responsibility if you OCR or xerox one of their books,

Or copied a CD, DVD or video tape you borrowed. Which tends to be easier since machines which can turn pages arn't too common.

it's up to the litigant to prove you infringed on their copyright.

If they need some third party to help them that third party is perfectly justified in charging them. (Even if no relevent evidence is found.)

Re:A good step (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 7 years ago | (#18412131)

I fear the notion of having no record of books we have read is already a relic of the history books. We must fight those who wish to record our every movement and action lest we succumb to totalitarianism.

Use an alias wherever you can. Library, credit cards, it's even possible on the airlines if you get a good set of papers. Be a good citizen, don't steal, but subvert the information-gathering monster as much as possible.

Re:A good step (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | about 7 years ago | (#18411789)

wouldn't work. Erased logs would just mean more costs as the RIAA dragged you through a process of trying to identify the people concerned.

Since the main aim here is to force universities to police their students of behalf of the RIAA, this would suit the RIAA just fine. They make your life difficult until to close down campus file sharers.

Re:A good step (1)

mpe (36238) | about 7 years ago | (#18412065)

This is what librarians do at many libraries. After you return the book, they destroy the circulation record. There is no record of what books you have read.

That's because the main reason for keeping a record is to ensure that the library can get the books they loan back. The only situation in which they'd want to keep longer records (say the last few loans of a book) would be to guard against possibility of a borrower defacing books. This dosn't do much for books which are defaced whilst still within the library. Typically libraries only find out about damage to their books when someone has either borrowed them or attempted to read them in the library...

Yes, this means giving up using the logs for your own enforcement activities done after the fact. You can have a live database, or even keep the records for a few hours if you want to respond to problems same day. After that, no luck. But why is that so terrible?

There is also a resource cost in keeping stuff long term as well as a cost in searching archived logs.

Re:A good step (1)

adavies42 (746183) | about 7 years ago | (#18412361)

Whatever happened to the bond-backed anonymous library cards I read about a couple years ago? The idea was that instead of securing their trust with contact information, you would secure it with cash, and then be able to borrow up to the value of your deposit, completely anonymously.

Re:A good step (2, Interesting)

VShael (62735) | about 7 years ago | (#18412497)

But there is a vastly simpler way to stand up to the RIAA on matters like this.

Erase your logs after a short period of time. Don't keep a record of what IP address was allocated to what account at any given time.

Oblig : I am not a lawyer...

I'm pretty sure Europe recently passed a series of data retention laws, forcing any net provider to keep their logs for some period of time. (Might have been something insane and impractical like 7 years... memory not the best right now)

Considering that Europe usually follows America, in its insane IP laws, I'm very surprised America doesn't have some sort of similar data retention law already.

how it should be (5, Insightful)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | about 7 years ago | (#18411445)

This is how it should be. No company (or school) should give out anything just because they got a letter. A court order should be the only time they give anything up. Sadly this does not seem to be the case. It must be cheaper for them to just cave to demands than fight them. Customers just dont care.

Re:how it should be (1)

symes (835608) | about 7 years ago | (#18411493)

I agree. And the thing that the RIAA should realise is that whatever they do students will/do find ways around attempts to sanction thier sharing. Even if they physically swap pen drives with one another. It might slow things down but the effect will be the same.

"bucks RIAA"? hardly (3, Insightful)

subsonic (173806) | about 7 years ago | (#18411579)

As most people on this site are aware of, the RIAA has been sending letters like this to colleges all over the country for years now. I'm sure the language changes, basically trying to pry open cases that they can then use to prove that University networks are somehow responsible for the continued "piracy".

Wisconsin's response is totally in keeping with the practices of any of the major universities that have recieved such letters. And the fact that they said, "show us a court order, and we'll do it" is not "bucking" anything, unless following the law is now rebellious ("bizarro!").

Re:"bucks RIAA"? hardly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18412937)

Well, not only over the country, but in other countries too. My ISP at univ warned me to stop, or they will have to give mafiaa my personal data. But they didn't do it yet, so I think it's not that bad.

low moral (0, Flamebait)

SuperDre (982372) | about 7 years ago | (#18411599)

Well, reading a lot of the responses I can say that moral has hit an all new low.. Why do people always bitch about RIAA even though they know that downloading/sharing music/movies without paying is just plain criminal.. How would you like it if you made a movie or music and everybody is just copying it without you getting anything for in return.. It would be like going to work, but not getting payed.. If you think the record/movie-industrie is putting out trash, then don't buy it, if you think they are asking outrageous sums of money for it, then don't buy it. but don't go listening/watching it illegally.. Movies and Music is still a luxuryproduct.. Don't go around trying to think up excuses for your illegal/immoral behaviour.. You don't go out stealing a car because you think it's too expensive to buy. And because it's easy to get a movie/music illegal doesn't make it right.. Also in my experience (as having been a student myself) students have enough money to go buy music/movies, but they rather spend it on drugs,alcohol and parties.. So don't go bitching about RIAA/MPAA/whatever who only try to protect what is legally theirs (or at least their clients).. And since the 'customer' doesn't give a rat's ass about how they get their stuff, the RIAA/MPAA have to resort to these kind of methods.. Remember it's the customer him/herself who is responsible for the whole problem, not the companies, they only try to get their investments back (and hee, it's business not a charity)..

Re:low moral (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18411869)

Is it really a problem? Are they making record profits? More importantly, do you really think it can be stopped?

Why does the "Spies like Us" DVD cost $16 when the VHS costs $6? Is the movie itself worth 6 or 16? Which is it?

What happened to lower prices for CD's as touted by the RIAA in the late 80s/early 90's? What occured that a medium that costs lest to produce actually increased in price?

It's too bad that the RIAA has become as greedy as they are. They have no one to blame but themselves for piracy, and nothing you can do will stop it. You can shut down P2P, and people will have LAN parties. Let me ask you this: The parties you love so much, are you paying the RIAA to play the music for a crowd? You or the host of the party should be, but just try to bring that up and see how many people want you drinking their beer. If you attend any party that isn't paying royalty for the music, you are a hypocrite. You are part of the problem, Mr. Holier than thou.

Once people pirate once, they don't think about it much the 2nd time. Make things reasonably priced, luxury or not, and I doubt people will be so willing to break the law.

I used to pirate, but now it's pointless. Most music is crap and I can just use iTunes for the 1 good song on any record. One thing you and the music industry must learn is that a song stolen does not equal a lost sale.

facts... (1)

way2trivial (601132) | about 7 years ago | (#18412461)

http://amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_/104-4934940-1178315 ?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=spies+like+ us [amazon.com]
dvd 9.49, used and new from $3.00
combo, two movies, one case SLU & nothing but trouble $8.47 used from 5.72
AUDIO CD available used only, who? 2 available starting at 69.95
repro 11X17 poster, 9.99
vhs, not available new, available starting at 40 cents...

Sorry to drag messy facts into light....

Extortion? (3, Insightful)

Aoreias (721149) | about 7 years ago | (#18411611)

It seems to me that the threat of a lawsuit unless one pays up is exactly what constitutes extortion. Anyone know of any cases where people are standing up and taking legal action against the RIAA/corporations the RIAA is representing?

Re:Extortion? (1)

a +2 Bathtub Larva (1050158) | about 7 years ago | (#18411889)

Extortion? Probably not in many States. Racketeering? Possibly.

Re:Extortion? (2, Interesting)

DaMattster (977781) | about 7 years ago | (#18412507)

Unfortunately, a federal judge threw out the argument that RIAA's actions were in violation of the RICO (racketeering) statutes. Funny how RIAA's actions violate both letter and spirit of RICO. Even funnier how the difference between a criminal enterprise and a legitimate business seems merely based on the efficacy of its lobbyists.

This is *BAD* for the 'little guy'. (0)

Caspian (99221) | about 7 years ago | (#18411873)

The University ... has refused to forward individual letters without a valid subpoena.

Well-intentioned, but ultimately VERY BAD for the "little guy'.

Think about it. Instead of giving the students who tick off the RIAA a warning, they won't tell the students anything is going on until they're subpoenaed (read: summoned to court).

God, what a stupid move. This is just going to end up depriving the RIAA's victims of any sort of advance warning. GOOD ONE, UW-M!

Re:This is *BAD* for the 'little guy'. (1)

bkr1_2k (237627) | about 7 years ago | (#18412601)

Maybe it's just me, but the school's policy is "no illegal file sharing", and they sent an email to Every student telling them what's "going on". So where exactly is it that this is bad for the little guy? And by little guy you mean the kid that has ignored the stated network policy and written warning received from network administrators? They've received plenty of "advance warning".

I don't like the RIAA's policies any more than anyone else, but let's not pretend that people who've received plenty of notice about "illegal" filesharing are victims. They aren't. They're just the people who got caught. Sure there are plenty of people doing it who don't get caught, but I'd venture to say that fully 98% of people file sharing movie/music industry products these days are completely aware that they aren't supposed to be. Especially on a campus network where you have all kinds of paperwork involved (usually) with getting access to said network.

If they choose to continue downloading questionably legal copies of Justin Timberlake, they deserve the "punishment" they receive. Of course I think the punishment should be forcing them to listen to Justin Timberlake and pay me for subjecting me to actually knowing who he is, but obviously they have a different idea of what punishment is.

Re:This is *BAD* for the 'little guy'. (1)

Caspian (99221) | about 7 years ago | (#18412695)

Given that 'pirating' music primarily hurts not the artists, not the "little guy", but the RIAA and its army of lawyers... I'd say that anyone whose 'crime' is pirating music is pretty much a saint.

With all the genuine evil, cruelty and nastiness that goes on on this planet, why does anyone give half a rat's ass about copying files, legally or otherwise?

Our priorities are so incredibly fucked up. This sort of shit shouldn't even register on the radar. This isn't theft. This is poor college kids bootlegging music.

Response to the RIAA Letter (2, Funny)

Scarletdown (886459) | about 7 years ago | (#18411875)

To whom it may concern among the lawyers for the RIAA.

We the staff here at the UW-Madison take allegations of piracy on our network most seriously. Rest assured that we have the situation under control, and there is no need for further action on your part. We have identified the students that you have claimed as being engaged in illegal file sharing, and disciplinary action has been taken.

Specifically, the students in question were all freshmen ladies who did not fully realize the gravity of their actions. In three days, we will hold an assembly of all the entire student body and faculty in the stadium. At this time, all of these young, nubile miscreants will be properly paddled as punishment for their illegal actions.

Again, no further action is required upon your part. Thank-you for bringing this situation to our attention. The disciplinary ceremony will be posted to Youtube as soon as possible.

Coridally,

The Dean of the University of Wisconsin-Madison


Re:Response to the RIAA Letter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18412295)

I'm hoping the dean of the university would be able to spell "cordially" though.

Re:Response to the RIAA Letter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18412341)

LINK PLZ

Just How Cost-Effective Are the **AA Tactics? (1)

Stanislav_J (947290) | about 7 years ago | (#18411951)

This is kinda OT (off the specific topic of this case, but not the general topic of **AA extortion), and maybe naive on my part, but I wonder how cost-effective these efforts really are. I mean, even while trying to do an end run around due process (remember when we used to have that in our legal system?), they still have to patrol the P2P nets to find infringing files, determine who is downloading them, trace IP addresses and try to match them up with individuals, determine which files on their computers correspond to specific copyrighted works, then strong-arm those individuals, etc. Has anyone done a study to determine how many man-hours (and at what cost) the RIAA expends per alleged infringer vs. how large of a "settlement" they offer? Is all of this really a major cash cow for them, or are they more interested in the deterrence factor -- i.e., knowing they will never catch all of the file sharers, or even a majority, but believing that for every nastygram they send out and every settlement they extort, they think that through publicity (press and personal word of mouth) they will "scare" X number of additional infringers into abandoning their activities?

Terror tactics. (4, Insightful)

SharpFang (651121) | about 7 years ago | (#18412043)

How cost-effective are suicide bombings?

You kill 2-5 people, you destroy maybe $3000 worth of property. One would think this is hardly worth the effort and sacrifice.
But 5 or so such bombings costed Egypt a few billion dollars in lost tourism profits.

RIAA doesn't do this to profit from the lawsuits, but to stop people from using P2P. Create enough fuss around it, make people afraid of using it, show that no matter who you are, 8yo girl, mother of 8 kids, old granny, a guy after stroke, you're not safe. They don't care that you hate them, just like you hate the terrorists. They just want to scare you.

Go Madtown (1)

snotrokit (1077903) | about 7 years ago | (#18411969)

Having been to UW several times, Madison and UW is, and always will be one of my favorite places. It just went up a few notches. Go MADTOWN!!!!!

Long history of rebellion (4, Interesting)

HangingChad (677530) | about 7 years ago | (#18412125)

UW has a long history of being a center of political activism, as far back as I can remember. Some of my oldest memories are the riots in Madison protesting the Viet Nam war.

Another incident I remember is a student body president who raided the student association funds to create a life size copy of the head of the Statue of Liberty and the torch and park it out on the frozen lake one winter. Instead of getting kicked out for wasting funds, they were re-elected by a landslide and followed that trick by covering the commons with pink plastic flamingos. The details are hazy but that's mostly accurate.

This is the school that for years had the Budweiser song as the unofficial school song. They'd play that song before football games and the entire stadium would shutter from tens of thousands of people stomping their feet in time to the music and at the end yelling, "When you say Wissss-con-sin. You've said it all!"

It's the town where a man got arrested for walking naked down State Street at 2 am. In those days he would not have attracted the attention of the police even then had he not been dragging a dead muskrat at the time. The cops said they stopped to ask where he got the muskrat.

The point is if there was going to be any place that would tell the clueless mofo's at RIAA to go stuff it's little surprise it would be UW.

So do people still go to the Stone Hearth (aka The Stone Hole)? Used to listen to this really loud little band there...you may remember then as Cheap Trick.

Re:Long history of rebellion (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about 7 years ago | (#18412319)

This is the school that for years had the Budweiser song as the unofficial school song. They'd play that song before football games and the entire stadium would shutter from tens of thousands of people stomping their feet in time to the music and at the end yelling, "When you say Wissss-con-sin. You've said it all!"
They still do at hockey games. Actually, University of Maine did a very nice job of stealing the idea, and the pep band still plays it immediately after the school song before and after hockey games.

What was the topic supposed to be again? Oh yeah, RIAA bad!

Re:Long history of rebellion (1)

jc42 (318812) | about 7 years ago | (#18413065)

It's the town where a man got arrested for walking naked down State Street at 2 am. In those days he would not have attracted the attention of the police even then had he not been dragging a dead muskrat at the time. The cops said they stopped to ask where he got the muskrat.

That's probably no real mystery. I remember sitting at tables on the grass behind the Union, between the patio and the lake, late on summer evenings, and watching muskrats come ashore looking for dropped food. There are lots of muskrat dens along the shore to the west, under the path to the dorms. I thought it was interesting that most people would be disgusted when rats showed up, but muskrats would often get grins and "How cute!" comments. Probably because they're so plump. The little critters got lots of handouts, too. I also remember a few cases of dead muskrats "posing" in unlikely spots around the campus. Unfortunately for them, they become so tame that it's easy for someone with evil intent to catch them.

[Class of '68.]

Go Badgers! (1)

nixkuroi (569546) | about 7 years ago | (#18412229)

The UW has always been keen on social issues. It's good to know they're still sticking to their guns these days. Maybe some of the other U's will step up and take notice.

Missing letter (1)

jrest (539296) | about 7 years ago | (#18412259)

This lawyer's blog reproduces the letter.
So, where is the link to the letter sent by the RIAA? I couldn't find it.

Slashdotted Tag (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18412403)

Needs a slashdotted tag, bandwidth exceeded :)
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...