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RIAA Going After a 10-Year-Old Girl

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the winning-friends dept.

Music 510

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The latest target of the RIAA's ire is a 10-year-old girl in Oregon, who was 7 when the alleged infringement occurred, and whose disabled mother lives on Social Security. In Atlantic v. Andersen, an Oregon case that was widely reported in 2005 when the defendant counterclaimed against the RIAA under Oregon's RICO statute and other laws, the defendant's mother sought to limit the RIAA's deposition of the child to telephone or video-conference. The RIAA has refused, insisting on being able to grill the little girl in person. Here are court documents (PDF)."

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Disturbing anyone? (5, Insightful)

micpp (818596) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477147)

Hmm... they want to be able to meet with a ten-year-old girl in person. Now I may have been around the seedier sides of the internet a bit too much, but does that sound a little disturbing to you?

Re:Disturbing anyone? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18477191)

What music do you like little girl? "well mista..umm britney spears"

Re:Disturbing anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18477363)

Sounds like this would make for a great episode of "Dateline: To Catch a Judicial Predator".

Re:Disturbing anyone? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18477389)

Of course it is disturbing and the judge should make sure that everything possible is done to protect this child and make sure that the RIAA gets the bill for it after they lose the case. Let us see what measures might be necessary:

Guardian Ad Litem perhaps?

Child Protective Services?

Psychologists?

Each of the above could probably add others to the list, but really, why don't the judge just do as many others have done and have a semi-private chat with the girl after reading submissions from both sides and then making a decision on whether arguements should be heard on her testifying or if the RIAA should just take a flying leap. If either side brings in professional testimony as to the child's ability to testify it could take forever and add up to incredible sums of money.

If anyone reading here is associated with or knows someone associated with an Oregon law school, please make sure they know about this case as some free legal research and Friends of the Court filings might be beneficial to the young lady. Wouldn't hurt to let the highest possible elected officials and press to know they should follow the case as well.

Just in case it isn't obvious enough from my post, IANAL.

It's their new target market (4, Informative)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477455)

Everyone over 10 has realized that the RIAA is a decaying corpse and (I sincerely believe) would boycott them completely if it were made easy [riaaradar.com] .

Re:Disturbing anyone? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18477507)

Who runs the RIAA? It's the JEWS, stupid!

We can't have the poor Jews actually doing manual labour now, can we! They are 'God's chosen people' so we'd better just give them all of our money, while we work ourselves to the bone...

Those poor, powerless Jews... Funny how they own almost all the media in the western world, and decide almost all of our governments' policies... Against the wishes of the MAJORITY...

Re:Disturbing anyone? (2, Interesting)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477529)

I don't get it though, there has to be another side to this. This is crooked-old-guy-with-an-eye-patch-stroking-a-cat-a nd-laughing-insanely-behind-his-desk-as-lightening -cracks-in-the-background Hollywood style evil.

Is there anything we're not being told?

Re:Disturbing anyone? (3, Insightful)

packeteer (566398) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477625)

The other side is... most people listen to top 40 hits on the radiop and dont care. They are happy wage slaves only becuase they dont know any better. Its very nice and all to talk about the choices from our ivory tower but slashdot is fueled by sucessful career type people. Everyone else has no money or knowledge to do any different.

The RIAA always suprise me.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18477181)

I always think that this failed and corrupt representative of the recording industry criminal cartel can't sink any lower, but they always amaze me when they do. Today I have decided to write my local regulatory authorities about price fixing in the record industry. I urge others to do the same.

This is outrageous! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18477193)

This is terrible and can only happen in a fascist state! I hope the other part of the world were better!

Sorry, no it wasn't (3, Interesting)

nietsch (112711) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477429)

I do agree with you on the fascistiod charges, but the rest of the worls were no better in past times. For instance, what about those guys that gave fascism its name: Italia in the 1920-1930, but sadly that ideology has spread to other parts of the world, or people have independently invented their own form. It is hard to tell wether the US has derived their fascim from the Italian/German version (influences in the 1930 that have not been eradicated) or that this is a more recent invention that just emulates it. Given the time between them, it hardly matters.

Re:Sorry, no it wasn't (1)

gerrysteele (927030) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477579)

what about those guys that gave fascism its name

We don't talk about that kind of thing around here. That's 500 million people in denial.

pwned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18477197)

8 year olds dude.

Prosecuting children (5, Insightful)

asninn (1071320) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477205)

I'm always amazed that it's even possible to prosecute children in the USA at all. In Germany, for example, the age at which you start to have a limited legal liability for your actions is 14; if you're 13 or younger, you can't be prosecuted for anything you do, period. (Of course, your *parents* might, and you might end up in foster care or so, too, but you can't get put on trial or sent to prison or so yourself.) I'm not sure about other nations, but I imagine that it's similar elsewhere, too.

(And it makes sense, too: when someone isn't old enough to vote, drive a car, drink a beer, smoke a cigarette or have sex with their girl-/boyfriend, why should they be old enough to be put on trial?)

Re:Prosecuting children (1)

bucket_brigade (1079247) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477213)

It's the same here in Lithuania. And the court would probably just laugh at a case like this.

Re:Prosecuting children (4, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477253)

Same in the UK too. I guess it's one of those freedoms you hear the US having - the freedom to drag children into court for non-crimes which only exist to protect the profits of big business. I guess all that lobbying paid off. Who needs all that expensive, risky payola when you avoid getting your hands dirty with cash, cocaine and simply prosecute the children of poor people? God bless America!

Re:Prosecuting children (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18477511)

Same in the UK too.

Untrue. In England and Wales*, you can be prosecuted if you are 10 years old, or older, provided it can be shown that you knew what you were doing was seriously wrong. Obviously that wouldn't apply here - nobody would put copyright infringement in the "serously wrong" category - but as has already been pointed out, this isn't a prosecution in any event. From the age of 14 there is no need to show that the defendant knew what they'd done to be seriously wrong.

* I believe a LOWER age limit applies in Scotland, but could be wrong about that.

Re:Prosecuting children (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477619)

OK. Which idiot moderator thought that was funny?

Re:Prosecuting children (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18477237)

Nobody's prosecuting her and she hasn't been accused of any crimes (copyright infringement CAN be a criminal matter in some circumstances, but such has not been alleged here). She's just being sued, that's all. I can't see how it would make any sense to sue her parents instead. If the facts of the case all revolve around her actions then she would still need to be questioned to exactly the same degree, just with a different name on the court dockets.

Re:Prosecuting children (1)

JackMeyhoff (1070484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477247)

Its stil the same issue, you cant be sue children but you can sue their parent or guardian.

Think of the children (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18477243)

IANA (I Am Not an American), I don't know, but given what I read everyday about the USA, I won't be surprised if 14 is the minimal legal age to be sent to the electric chair.

Re:Think of the children (1, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477615)

given what I read everyday about the USA, I won't be surprised if 14 is the minimal legal age to be sent to the electric chair.

Not yet, but the "Christian" Right are working on it. We're already executing people with mental retardation. Texas, the state that gave us President George W. Bush, is especially fond of executing the young and mentally handicapped. They are also fond of displays of the 10 Commandments in their courtrooms. You seeing a pattern here?

Just as long as you don't kill them before they're born, anything goes.

Re:Prosecuting children (5, Interesting)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477267)

It's in the international human rights convention (I think, or an extension dealing with childrens rights).

Of course USA is the only western country that hasn't signed the human rights convention.

Re:Prosecuting children (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477417)

You know, there's more than one international human right convention, right?

Re:Prosecuting children (5, Informative)

jrumney (197329) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477459)

Of course USA is the only western country that hasn't signed the human rights convention.

The way you put that makes it sound like the US keeps good company with non-Western nations. Even that is not true. The only other country that hasn't ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is Somalia (the US did sign under Clinton, but Bush has failed to ratify almost every international treaty that Clinton signed up to). In Somalia's case, they don't have a government to sign it.

Re:Prosecuting children (1, Offtopic)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477531)

Why did Clinton Need bush to ratify the treaty he signed?

And since when is the president supposed to ratify a treaty?

BTW, what was the reason for it not being raitified again?

Re:Prosecuting children (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18477639)

Why did Clinton Need bush to ratify the treaty he signed?

Perhaps because he was no longer president, and no longer had authority to sign and ratify treaty's on behalf of the USA.

Re:Prosecuting children (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18477657)

Bush has failed to ratify almost every international treaty that Clinton signed up to
Hooray, more partisan asshattery. Are you not aware that treaties must be ratified by the Senate, not the President? Obviously you dislike Bush but your complaint is nonsensical, like blaming a man for not giving birth to more children.

Re:Prosecuting children (4, Insightful)

jrumney (197329) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477689)

The president has to put the treaty before the senate before they can ratify it. Bush has publically expressed his disagreement with this treaty, specifically he does not consider children born into poverty to have a right to state supported education, health services etc.

International treaties (4, Interesting)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477481)

Of course USA is the only western country that hasn't signed the human rights convention.

At the risk of drifting off-topic, there is a reason for the United States' lack of participation in international agreements of this sort, and the reason is not (usually) a casual indifference to human rights. It has to do with the autonomous legal systems of the individual states, which are protected under the U.S. Constitution. So even if the U.S. were to sign a (perfectly reasonable) treaty restricting how its courts could operate, one could argue that the federal government lacks the authority to tell the state courts how to operate.

The counter-argument is that the Constitution does grant Congress the power to sign treaties and that should trump the state courts' sovereignty in certain situations. However neither argument is rock-solid; both sides have a point. So the way things usually pan out is that Congress doesn't ratify the treaties because the Congresspersons (who nominally represent the interests of their states, remember) don't want to sign anything that imposes a burden of treaty compliance on the state courts.

As far as I know this issue has never been put to test in the U.S. Supreme Court, so the status quo is that no one really knows how far the federal government can go in telling state courts how to operate.

Re:International treaties (4, Insightful)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477545)

it has to do with the autonomous legal systems of the individual states, which are protected under the U.S. Constitution.

The US is hardly unique in having a federal system. That's no real excuse.

Re:International treaties (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18477555)

The US did fight a civil war over this very issue.
The southern states pretty much told the Feds where to go when the Feds sought to impose restrictions on what the states could do.
Go ask a US History teacher. ...So while it may be true that it hasn't been tested in court, it has in fact been tested on the field of battle. ...and I think we all know how that turned out.

Re:International treaties (5, Informative)

gravesb (967413) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477607)

Actually, the Supreme Court addressed it in Missouri v. Holland, 252 US 416 (1920). Its pretty clear law that Congress can ratify a treaty, and it has the rule of law as long as it does not explicitly violate the Constitution, for instance by infringing on free speech. Infringing on States' rights are perfectly acceptable.

Aritcle 29, Clause 3 (3, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477569)

3. These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

I would not sign on to that either. In other words it says, "And if people decide that they don't like where the UN is going, tough shit, your rights and freedoms mean nothing in that case."

Re:Aritcle 29, Clause 3 (1)

toQDuj (806112) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477673)

Is there anything in the purposes and principles of the United Nations that is bad then? Did you check them? Do, and then decide whether it would really not be a good thing if people were to follow it.

B.

Re:Prosecuting children (5, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477279)

I have to disagree, some children know exactly what they are doing at a young age (talking about malicious acts here). That there are little consequences for them does not improve matters.

I agree that children under 14 should and can be prosecuted for certain crimes - albeit with a lighter sentence with a nod to maturity, maliciousness and other factors. Now, I am talking about murder, arson, etcetera with direct harm to other people.

Copyright Infringement is an abstract matter with a real but indefinite (but limited) financial harm involve. It should be accepted downloading music may have deprived the copyright holder of about $.99 for a single track or $15-20 for a CD. Let the punishment fit the crime - it should involve a slap on the wrist. It should not involve bankrupting parents or dragging them through endless court proceedings.

It should be accepted that by having the court involved that this sort of thing is costing society more than it is worth - that these cases should simply not be accepted. Go to small claims court to get back small claims. Do not claim 100K in fantasy damages to make one person the example to hold up to others. That is not justice.

That, imo, is a greater violence to the children. Just imagine some father or mother, having lost everything, taking it out on the children - physically or emotionally, after such an event. It doesn't even have to be intentional, just in the background. Or the knowledge that you caused your parents financial ruin growing up as a kid. The way this crap the RIAA pulls can destroy lives is criminal.

Re:Prosecuting children (1)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477547)

Mod parent up...one of the few intelligent comments I've read on the issue of RIAA lawsuits.

Re:Prosecuting children (2, Insightful)

HUADPE (903765) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477293)

This is not a prosecution. This is a civil suit. The most the court can order is a monetary payment and a cessation of action or an action to make up for what was done. The kid cannot be sent to jail. Anyone can sue anyone else, but only a prosecutor can bring someone to trial where prison is a possibility.

Re:Prosecuting children (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18477597)

so, a year in jail or complete financial ruin for the next 60 years of your life? take your pick.

Bankruptcy doesn't clear court rulings (i.e. imaginary debts) and I suspect that they would also be inherited when you die (i.e. if the RIAA gets a $10M settlement against you, your descendents for the next 200 years will be paying it off).
So, again, a year in jail or 'just' a financial ruling from a civil court?

Re:Prosecuting children (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477305)

I seem to recall something about children even getting executed in the USA - is that actually true or did the state wait until they reached 18 or 21?

Re:Prosecuting children (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477335)

I seem to recall something about children even getting executed in the USA - is that actually true

I think the USA will execute an adult for an offence they comitted as a child.

Re:Prosecuting children (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477497)

what is it with all these death penalty cases the rest of the world thinks. over 3/4 of the states while having the death penalty have used it less than 8 times in 30 years. . NY hasn't executed anyone since 1976. heck the US government has only executed 3 people for crimes.

Texas doesn't represent the entire country.

Take a look for your selves http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/state/ [deathpenaltyinfo.org]

The fact is it takes decades to use the death penalty. You sit on death row for 10-20 years before the judicial process is complete. it's just not worth it in most cases.

Re:Prosecuting children (2, Insightful)

gordo3000 (785698) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477405)

not quite. an offense committed while a minor (18 yrs) can still lead to you being prosecuted as an adult. as such , if the crime was bad enough, you could be sentenced to death. But to my knowledge, most of these cases involved multiple murders being commited by someone in their late teens. while it may strike your sensibilities as to someone at 17 being as culpable as someone at 18, I think it makes sense for serious crimes of someone on that for the defendant to first be judged mentally mature enough to understand what he was doing as we expect an "adult" to be.

its why a mentally handicapped adult can't be sentenced to death(though a recent ruling may have change this, I'm a bit behind now that I'm abroad).

btw, I'm using minor to distinguish it from child since most people do not call a 17 year old a child any more and using the word child blurs what the law actually says.

Major major major major (1)

matt me (850665) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477329)

In America they call you a minor until age 18. The word minor reflects your rights.

Re:Prosecuting children (5, Funny)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477349)

And it makes sense, too: when someone isn't old enough to vote, drive a car, drink a beer, smoke a cigarette or have sex with their girl-/boyfriend, why should they be old enough to be put on trial?

For the simple reason that there's money to be made. You're not looking for any moral basis, are you?

Re:Prosecuting children (3, Informative)

gordo3000 (785698) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477375)

um.... read at least a single document from the case. the defendent is the mother of the child. They have the right to request deposition of the child. A deposition is just taking someone's testimony (I believe under oath).

of course, with respect to the lunacy of your last line, its very simple why they should be old enough to be put on trial: The moral obligations of a person in most societies is taught and understood at a much younger age than anything you mentioned. The mental maturity to consume alcohol in a manner that does not molest or harm others is generally lacking even in people older than 21 in the US, but more pervasively lacking in children. Cigarette smoke has been shown to be detrimental to development of the human body and laws regulating its use are generally in place to attempt to remove smoking completely as it creates a large financial burden on society. Sex with a girl/boyfriend is not illegal if the age difference is small enough. too large, it becomes statutory rape.

on the other hand, do not steal or hurt someone else are ideas that are taught at very young ages and are internalized at a very young age and even at the age of 12, the willful breaking of these laws is seen as disregard for known laws, not ignorance of a more subtle connection with society.

keep in mind I did not refer to copyright infringement. For a 7 year old, its hard to explain why its illegal to borrow a friend's video game and put it on their computer(or download music in this case) and as such, should be relegated to seeing a 9 year old driving a car: an unfortunate incident of a parent not being able to control every minor thing their child does, followed by a punishment in line with the damages(in the case of the car, a bit of a scolding from the officer that sees it, in the case of copy right infringement, maybe 2$ per track downloaded(assuming a 10 track, 20 dollar cd which is way over priced). the parent can then easily discipline the child by making them work this money off.

Now, the way these cases are being handled is actually , I think, an artifact of it being a civil matter and not a criminal one.

I feel in some ways our criminal system is becoming flawed with 14 year olds treated as complete adults, but then again, the crimes are generally not of a complex nature. Killing someone is wrong and if you are trying to argue that someone shouldn't' be tried for murder just because they haven't quite made it to 18, you'd have to defend to me why such a blanket exoneration should be given (as compared to the current method in the US where it is taken case by case and the mental state of the child is first determined before a judge orders the type of trial to be held).

Re:Prosecuting children (2, Interesting)

killjoe (766577) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477421)

The US has the best legal system money can buy. If you have money you can buy any result you like.

In this case the RIAA has a lot of money so no judge in the country is going to smack them down for suing children. In fact the judges are going to rule against the child in a summary decision because the kid can't afford a lawyer and will not show up in court because nobody gave them a ride.

Remember SCO v IBM? Yea, just like that.

Re:Prosecuting children (4, Informative)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477431)

This case (Atlantic vs. Andersen) is a civil case, not a criminal one. So strictly speaking, the child isn't being prosecuted; she's being called to testify. IANAL but I do know that children under a certain age (which I believe varies from state to state) can't be sued in the U.S.. However their parents can be held liable for their actions, which is what appears to be the case here. The U.S. does have a system whereby children can be prosecuted for crimes but it's done in special juvenile courts.

Re:Prosecuting children (1)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477523)

This case (Atlantic vs. Andersen) is a civil case, not a criminal one.
Only in America could taking a 10-year-old to court for something she did when she was 7 be considered civil. It looks decidedly uncivil to me.

Frankly, as far as I can see this should be criminal. If any individual did this to a little girl, they would be universally reviled, and probably face jail time. Why is child abuse suddenly legal when it's being perpetrated by an entire industry in the name of profit?

Re:Prosecuting children (1)

nocomment (239368) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477541)

wrong. I don't even know why you'd say that. We don't consider it 'civil' either. That's what all the fuss is about.

Re:Prosecuting children (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477643)

I think he doesn't understand the term civil in civil court means not dealing with criminal laws.

However, As i understand it, the mother (Tanya) is who the defendant is and the child is a witness of some sorts. Also of note, the mother is a former justice department paralegal on disability for anxiety and depression.

Re:Prosecuting children (4, Interesting)

CristalShandaLear (762536) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477613)

Not only do we tolerate our children being prosecuted but we allow them to be handcuffed at five [bbc.co.uk] and tasered at six. [usatoday.com] This 10-year-old doesn't stand a chance.

Re:Prosecuting children (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18477649)

Here we have a little girl facing the electric chair, and all you can do is talk about how wonderful things are where you live.
    You should be ashamed of yourself.

Obscure reference (1)

jamesl (106902) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477211)

Addie Loggins lives!

Support indie music ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18477221)

"Support indie music or be force-fed crap!"
- JaGoFF

And what if I don't like Indian music? (0, Flamebait)

nietsch (112711) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477289)

(Indian referrin to both the country and the politically incorrect former name of native americans.)

Those indies might start their full moniker instead of indie, as independent puts much more emphasis on their main uniting asset: they are not part of the RIAA. Or change the moniker to ANTI-RIAA.

And to any Indians (in both meanings) I insulted: sorry, it's just a matter of taste and culture ok?

These stories... (4, Insightful)

junglee_iitk (651040) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477227)

Does anyone NOT wonder when such outrageous stories come up? I for one do not!

This is exactly what RIAA wants, to instil a belief that they are evil and they will sue anyone, and they will win, because they are right. That they didn't care when it was granny or a child. PR does the later part of the job.

There is only one way to fight this: in court we win.

Or "democracy" but somehow I have lost faith in it.

Re:These stories... (2, Insightful)

Soko (17987) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477249)

Or "democracy" but some how I have lost faith in it.

Then you have lost faith in yourself. I think that's what they're after.

Always remeber faith and religion are not the same thing.

Soko

Re:PR Campaign (2, Interesting)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477465)

This is exactly what RIAA wants, to instil a belief that they are evil and they will sue anyone, and they will win, because they are right. That they didn't care when it was granny or a child. PR does the later part of the job.

Is being right worth the cost of the PR problems of being an unreasonable bully? Have they measured the growing movement to boycott anything major label? Have they done anything to respond to claims of being a cartel with fixed high prices?

I hope they have their PR campaign funded as much as their lawyers. Without a good PR campaign to distract the public from the ugly side of business and get the public back to the Ooooh Aaahhh Shiny mood, they will continue to see sales fall.

Some of us are never going back! Any PR campaign is too little too late. We have read hakespeare's plays and are familiar with The Merchant of Venice.
We know reasonable and we know what type of people demand a pound of flesh. This attack on a 7 year old girl (now 10) is what is showing their true nature.

The RIAA is no friend of mine. I don't need them. More importantly, I don't want them.

Re:These stories... (0, Troll)

ImTheDarkcyde (759406) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477585)

I can totally dig that, but I also think they do things like this to show that just because you're 10 doesn't mean you're above the law, just because your disabled you're not above the law, just because you're an elderly person you're not above the law, etc, etc. I can understand when they accidentally get the people who don't even own computers, but under no other cirumstance do I think a big deal should be made about the RIAA cases.

In any case I'll probably get -1'd just for saying "don't do the crime if you can't do the time." Don't illegally download music without understanding the risks of doing something illegally.

Re:These stories... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18477605)

Has the RIAA won even a single case that has gone the distance in court? Perhaps I should rephrase that as "does anyone know of the RIAA winning one of these lawsuits by being declared the winner by a jury or have all their wins been pre-trial settlements?"

It would be great if it could be definitively stated that every case brought on file trading by the RIAA was lost by the RIAA when it was taken to trial. Promotion of that information in the news would send many more to trial instead of settlements and might lead to the mass media going after them.

Re:These stories... (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477611)

This is exactly what RIAA wants, to instill a belief that they are evil and they will sue anyone, and they will win, because they are right. That they didn't care when it was granny or a child. PR does the later part of the job.

You're misled, my friend. These stories come up in this particular fashion on Slashdot, since they are controversial and spark a flamed discussion in series of comments, and people replying to the comments (i.e. like me now), and so on and so on.

Almost all of the articles on Slashdot are so chosen as to spark a big angry discussion about something, or if not, tons of "funny" comments. It's just business as usual.

RIAA doesn't benefit from just appearing evil. That's contrary to their reason to exist. They want the "pirates" to understand how dangerous is to share copyrighted content, but their means are lame and ill conceived. After all, they aren't Internet experts, or psychologists, or even great businessmen. They're just a bunch of lawyers being paid to do *whatever* to reduce piracy (or seem to).

Suing the wrong people, or suing 10 year old girls isn't instilling fear in pirates, it's instilling hatred in everyone. The thing is, they don't know if they sue the wrong people or 10 year old girls in advance. They ask for the information from the ISP, and then are *forced* to pursue their case, even if it's not in their best interest.

RIAA will keep on going (5, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477231)

Okay, first off, let us stop pretending the RIAA cares about it's image - it doesn't. For their current strategy - it's actually beneficial to be despised, hopefully feared. It's the front man for several big music companies and as long as their names (Sony, BMG, etc) are out of the headlines, it is doing its job.

I just wonder if it will ever backfire - in that the Politicians stand up to them. But under what circumstances? Enough bad publicity? Who haven't they paid off? I'm cynical enough to believe it isn't happening. No matter what regime - political parties themselves are machines of corruption. Always have been, always will be.

CD sales are down, but that could be due to people buying the single digital tracks they want instead of entire albums. Other than that, the demograhic with the time and money to waste on music - teens and 20 somethings - just don't care. Now, I'm talking about your typical person there - not all of them. The reason is the majority of people like to believe they will never get caught. Like speeding tickets.

Artists - this will probably be the only weak point but that means they jump from one master to another, like iTunes. Still, some have rocked the boat, I hope others join in.

I believe nothing will change for a long time though I hope otherwise. I won't shed tears when the racket dies, but don't forsee the internet killing them off for a good long while.

Re:RIAA will keep on going (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18477333)

Perhaps we should start refering to them not by name but by the names of the companies they represent, then it wont just be the RIAA ruining its own name it will be ruining its supporters names as well

Re:RIAA will keep on going (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477451)

Sadly, in America, those companies might sue you back for slander (if you do that as a newspaper).

Hiding behind a trade group is the oldest trick in the book....

Re:RIAA will keep on going (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18477391)

"Are you now, or have you ever been a member of a file sharing service?"

Sound familiar?

"Tailgunner Joe" lives on in the RIAA and it's WAY past time to shoot his reincarnated ass down.

Amy vs McCarthy, anyone?

Just WHAT does the RIAA intend to attach from a ten year-old KID, anyway? Her Barbie doll collection?!

Or ALL of her future earnings, for LIFE?

Indentured servitude is Unconstitutional... but the RIAA (and most of the credit card companies) seem to have forgotten that little fact...!

Re:RIAA will keep on going (1)

Brendan86 (1079909) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477449)

"CD sales are down, but that could be due to people buying the single digital tracks they want instead of entire albums. Other than that, the demograhic with the time and money to waste on music - teens and 20 somethings - just don't care." Good point. But there is something else that I think is overlooked all too often, and has more of an impact than this. Have you seen the amount of utter crap in the charts these days? It's horrible. I hate walking anywhere near music stores today, simply because of the crap that is played there is either extremely vulgar or offensive, or just downright bad music. Just look at the top 20. http://www.mtv.com/music/charts/#/music/charts/bil lboard/singles.jhtml [mtv.com] Most of it can be described as "Yo, girl, I'm so hot, I'm going to make love to you, yeah, hoes and bitches and gangsters is my life" And what the hell is with them labelling it Rhythm and Blues? Its not Rhythm. It's not Blues. If anything, it's about 15 year old girls whining that their 25 year old boyfriends won't pay their $800 phone bills. ARGH! BZ

Re:RIAA will keep on going (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477687)

Have you seen the utter crap in the charts in whatever year you decide to choose as a reference? I have not looked it up and just at random I will ask you how many numbers of last wee of february 1963 are legendary and how many are crap.

What was the top 20 then? Yes, I like that musci better then what is made now, but that does not make the current music worse that what was made then. It just makes me old.

Re:RIAA will keep on going (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18477473)

How about everytime we mention RIAA, we follow it with a set of brackets and some of the big name companies it represents. Now that's a good idea!

Re:RIAA will keep on going (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477499)

I just wonder if it will ever backfire

It already has. They just are not counting it as backlash, but instead as other factors such as iTunes.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6486467.s tm [bbc.co.uk]

"Eighty-nine million CDs were sold in the first three months of 2007, compared with 112 million during the same period in 2006."

Re:Another backlash link... (2, Interesting)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477525)

Enough bad publicity?

Nope... Here is more..

http://www.mp3newswire.net/stories/5002/cd_sales_2 005.html [mp3newswire.net]
"For the first time since Thomas Alva Eddison began selling wax cylinders, the music industry is having to deal with an informed customer (NOT consumer) base whose constituents can, and do, communicate with each other via blogs, emails, IM, chats, text messaging, and so on.

And what they're saying is: We have a choice, and we're exercising it.

If the record labels think their persecution of online customers who include schoolchildren and and disabled mothers is going unnoticed offline, they're wrong.

The WSJ doesn't mention the failure of Organized Music (Sony BMG, Vivendi Universal, EMI ands Warner Music) to accept the reality that it's now in the digital 21st century and not the physical 1970s and 80s and that its business models need to be updated accordingly.

OM's members are in addition being found guilty - and very publicly - of one seamy practice after another and if they believe it'll all just go away, they'd better think again."

Re:RIAA will keep on going (2, Informative)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477603)

s the front man for several big music companies and as long as their names (Sony, BMG, etc) are out of the headlines, it is doing its job.

Which is why we need to start putting these names in print! We need to start makeing the RIAA's image one and the same with its member organizations. If you want to restrict how they can behave that is the way. Obviously you should try and list the member owning the media the the suit is over but these articals should always mention the RIAA something like this.

The RIAA, an organization supported by members including EMI, Sony, Universal, Warner and others, is sueing ... for...

This is factually correct so I doubt the RIAA or the labels have any wiggle room to go after libel. Although IANAL. If we start assoicating the RIAAs actions with the names of the member companies in the publics eye the member companies will start to make the RIAA less off putting.

Re:RIAA will keep on going (2, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477633)

The reason is the majority of people like to believe they will never get caught. Like speeding tickets.
Uhh.. no. The reason is that they feel they have the right to copy whatever the hell they feel like with their own copying equipment and to hell with people who say they can't. Most everyone I know has burnt something onto a CD or DVD that copyright law says they cannot and none of them feel they have done anything wrong. Young, old, 20 something, 50 something.. Copyright law is fundamentally distant from the social intuition of fairness.

If they want to play dirty? fine.. (1)

JackMeyhoff (1070484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477241)

Somebody find some dirt on their execs. Nothing like a damaged credability to make you fail in court :)

About time (0, Redundant)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477257)

The kids of today are completely out of control.

Today they're downloading music they haven't paid for, tomorrow they'll be smoking...

Got this image in my head. (1)

eddy (18759) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477269)

Sony: Don't try this at home...
EMI Records: ... We've got years of experience suing people, that keeps us safe.

Who are the KidBusters?

Sony "Once I rooted this music fan and deleted all her WMA certificates. That was awesome!"
and EMI Records "I reject your reality and substitute my own!"

Between them, more than 20 years of slimey lawyering, payola and oligopolic behaviour.

joing them

Epic "Woaahh... holy copy prevention measure!"
MCA "Justice... is nowhere to be found."
MTV Networks "We used to play music, but it didn't pay enough."

They don't just sue the kids...

... they're out to detroy their lives FOREVER

This is why... (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477285)

..the RIAA has been voted the most hated "company" in the US. Not because it fights against music pirating, as someone said in another thread.

No.

It's because the RIAA behaves like an utter prick, going after the weakest people, the ones with least means to defend themself, and doing so in the most vicious way.

And it doesn't matter whether those victimized have done anything, or not.

They're pretty dumb (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18477297)

In their minds, I think they're trying to scare the parents of kids, but the net effect is to make the record companies look ever dumber and greedier, which is quite a trick.

They don't get that in virtually anyone's eyes, a 7 year old is an innocent. They really can't do stuff wrong.

And most decent human beings will come to the aid of a 7 year old when they're being attacked by a big bully.

The record companies should have just dropped this with a "warning letter" and moved on. They're really idiots.

Re:They're pretty dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18477641)

They don't get that in virtually anyone's eyes, a 7 year old is an innocent. They really can't do stuff wrong.

Sure they can. Children can be evil little bastards, just like grownups, and do "stuff wrong."

The difference is that they're normally not treated as adults under the law due to their immaturity and supposed inability to understand the full consequences of their actions.

The outrage in this case isn't that the RIAA is going after someone- reprehensible as their tactics might be- but in their trying to treat a 7 year old child as an adult.

I say if they want to sue the child that badly, let them- and if they win the case, they can then try to collect their fines and fees from the child, and not the family or any other party. They'd find themselves coming up empty handed, as I would imagine that there's laws in that venue against holding minors legally responsible for their debts.

It will backfire (1)

Kaitnieks (823909) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477303)

I think RIAA is playing with fire. Surely evil fearful face might be helpful in short term, but if anyone ever gets a chance to take RIAA down or damage it somehow, it would make them seem like heroes and I'm assuming politicians won't hesitate to do that for publicity if they ever get a chance.

Strange ... (3, Insightful)

jopet (538074) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477307)

What I find strange about the whole music marked situation is that despite the evilness of the RIAA, despite the high CD prices, despite the fact that there is still no user friendly way to buy music cheap and effective without getting locked in to some vendor and/or deprived of even the most minimal rights -- despite all this, people are NOT turning to alternatives. There is practically no significant market that would show how to make it better. There is no significant number of users who would simply ignore the RIAA and go for artists who directly sell their music or other channels. Except piracy.

In my opinion that says more about the customers than about the RIAA. If people are too dumb to exploit the weakness of the traditional music market -- both as customers or as startup companies -- they deserve exactly this RIAA.

That is not much different from people in a democracy deserving their Bush or Berlusconi. I never quite understand why all the people then go and blame Bush or Berlusconi instead of the idiots who voted for them.

So -- why blame the RIAA instead of all the people who keep them in power by STILL buying their stuff and abide by their rules?

Re:Strange ... (1, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477361)

despite all this, people are NOT turning to alternatives.
But they are. The most popular alternative is bittorrent.

The system itself is broken - there is no free market where you could choose another vendor - so what we're seing is a big civil disobedience movement. Mostly unconcious, but that's what it is.

Re:Strange ... (2, Insightful)

jopet (538074) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477407)

What I meant are alternatives that are not piracy or illegal.
I do not see why or how the system would prevent artists from selling their music through other channels, or prevent investors from creating an alternative infrastructure for marketing and selling music. Or prevent customers from using those alternatives.

My suspicion is that people just take the stolen music and run and any alternative that would require people to buy instead of steal music would not be that much more attractive than the traditional system.

Re:Strange ... (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477521)

It's been tough. It has to scale well, deal with small payments, be reasonably secure, and have enough profitability to get the equipment set up and the salaries paid.

Hmm. If anyone could trust them with money, PirateBay would be in an amusingly MPEG patent-free environment to do this.

Your post was too nice, may I rephrase it? (1)

Nymz (905908) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477681)

Lawyers aren't sueing file sharers pro bono, and new DRM isn't being developed by the open source community.

Guess who is really supporting the RIAA & MPAA?
Who buys their music CDs with rootkits?
Who buys their movie DVDs with DMCA protected Macrovision?
Who buys every new Blueray, new HD-DVD, and new Defective-By-Design device?

If you aren't willing to put your money where your mouth is, then stop whining about every 10 year old getting sued.

How?
Buy your downloaded music without DRM.
Buy your CDs with the 'Audio Disc' label on them, no auto running rootkits.
Buy audio players that don't have support for DRM. (yes, this even includes that cult of fruit, stop swallowing Steve's Kool-Aid [wikipedia.org] )

But what about movies on disc?
Well, if we had all followed the above steps regarding music, but for movies, then we wouldn't be in this current mess. We made our bed, now we have to lay in it, and the sooner we start, then the sooner it will get fixed.

give it a rest (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18477327)

what has the mothers disability or income got to do witht he rights and wrongs of the story? Either they are guilty or not. disabled people can be guilty too. This is the worst example of tragic slashdot riaa bashing ive seen in a while.
grow up.

Re:give it a rest (3, Informative)

John Betonschaar (178617) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477645)

what has the mothers disability or income got to do witht he rights and wrongs of the story? Either they are guilty or not. disabled people can be guilty too. This is the worst example of tragic slashdot riaa bashing ive seen in a while.
grow up.


Yeah, because 10 year olds and their disabled parents on social security really deserve to be traumatized and possibly have their lives destroyed *for downloading a few friggin' tunes*. And yet you talk about ethics.

I sincerely hope you get busted and send to jail for jaywalking, copying your CD's to listen them in your car or accidentally downloading copyrighted material some day.

GNAA Going After a 10 Year Old Girl? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18477403)

Why am I not surprised? These people really are scum

Corporate punishment (1)

synoniem (512936) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477413)

This organisation make you think about corporate punishment. At the end organisations do not feel anything but people do. Everybody working for or represented by this organisation should be personally in for a punishment every time this organisation misbehave.

Holy shit !@!! (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477437)

Isnt there any civil rights organization or something to help people against that SHIT what you call RIAA ?

Holy f@ck ! - Even in TURKEY there is not that much oppression !

You americans need to choose between standing up to this motherf@cking crooks as public, or using the bill of rights as toilet paper.

Re:Holy shit !@!! (1)

Facegarden (967477) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477513)

Yeah, sadly, that's the result of too may people making decisions... i hate these crooks, and i generally care about the bill of rights, but some people feel the other way. between people like me, and people like them, we get situations like this. :( Sadly, i feel like there's a bit more people looking to wipe their asses than not though... :( -Taylor

Indie Music (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18477461)

Oh, you don't wanna mess with the R-I-double-A They'll sue you if you burn that CD-R It doesn't matter if you're a grandma or a seven year old girl They'll treat you like the evil hard-bitten criminal scum you are *sings* -.-

RIAA Crackers (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18477469)

Frankly, just the fact that the RIAA hired some company to crack into her computer should be enough to get this case thrown out and charges filed for illegal wiretapping on the RIAA and their paid crackers. Once the crackers had access there is no way to prove they did not do the downloading themselves. Her ISP should file for theft of services too, after all the cracker used the defendant's connection to download their software.

The above of course is just from a relatively ignorant AC, any network security professionals here care to add some facts or ideas? Just in case the defendant's technical advisor(s) happens to read here, heck Ray might even find it fun reading even if he sees nothing new to him in it.

Solution (1)

Marcus K (1047844) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477471)

Can't we just build a house with one door. Put RIAA inside. Write the word prison on the inside of the door.

Problem solved.

This is why the European approach is better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18477557)

In the US they are pretty busy fighting the Internet abuse, we've read quite a few stories this month about the RIAA. First that they're suckering in certain rap artists and now this one. However, what exactly are they fighting here?

Basicly they only seem to target people who download stuff from the Net which means that they're very busy fighting the symptoms and not the actual cause of the eledged "problem". Ofcourse going after the real problem - the people providing us with all these goodies - will be extremely more difficult and cost a lot more than they're willing to spend. And so, as it always seems to be in the US, the population which basicly made and finances the goverment is made to suffer from it.

Note; I'm not claiming that the U.S.E. (United States of Europe ;-)) is is in all aspects better than the U.S.A. but solely looking at a single aspect its my believe that their methods to fight cybercrime are a lot more to the point. When it comes to downloading stuff from the Internet its perfectly legal. I can download whatever I want and no one can touch me. Naturally; when it comes to actively spreading that stuff it's a big no no when this is copyrighted or licensed material. Then I'm violating certain laws and can they come after me.

Not enough? Well, when I'm using illegal software I grabbed from the Net there's no way I can defend myself by saying "But I downloaded it from the Net so I didn't commit any crimes". Sure; I can download it, but using that stuff is once again a totally different ballgame.

The difference here, as I see it, is that in Europe I really am innocent until proven guilty. After all; the software in question could have been downloaded by some virus or such. In the US however I'm guilty until thought otherwise. We've seen the examples numerous times now. And what even scares the bejeesus out of me is that this banana republic (when it comes to civil rights anyway) can even tremple on my civilian rights, even though I live in a more civilized part of the world. How's that for democracy? So, in that aspect; can anyone even explain what democracy actually is these days? I'm tempted to say that the more money someone has the more "democracy" they posses.

Isn't this slander/libel? (2, Interesting)

Kaeles (971982) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477571)

What I never understood is why these people who haven't downloaded any music don't countersue for libel/slander and stressful damages etc etc, like those people who sue mickyD's for nothing :P

I mean if you can win a suit for microwaving your cat, I'm sure that you can win a suit against the RIAA for slandering and causing you stress and etc.

Help a student. Take a survey. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18477573)

Let's count the Artists (1)

popo (107611) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477595)

...who stand up and tell the RIAA to lay off the little girl.

1, 2...do we have a 3?

Warner Music Group (5, Interesting)

IMustBeNewHere (899319) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477635)

Everyone is rallying against RIAA as a whole, but there is only a single RIAA member behind this lawsuit: Warner Music Group, which owns Atlantic Records.

Warner is the very same company that gave the children of late Mr Scantlebury 60 days to grieve before they would be sued. (Warner v. Scantlebury) They only dropped the suit after it got media attention.

Warner also owns Elektra Records that is suing a woman with multiple sclerosis. (Elektra v. Schwartz) MS is a disorder that can worsen rapidly if the sufferer is put under stress.

And, apparently it did: In a March 2 letter [ilrweb.com] to the judge, her lawyer basically writes that she is now so sick that she can no longer defend herself. Guilty or not, Warner Music has shortened her life just the same. I guess "compassion" is a foreign concept to them.

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