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NC State Stands Up to RIAA

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the don't-mess-with-the-wolfpack dept.

The Courts 180

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The Technician Online at North Carolina State University reports that its Director of Student Legal Services, Pam Gerace, has advised students to remain anonymous, and has indicated her office's willingness to challenge the RIAA's subpoenas. What's more, the newspaper urges students to take Ms. Gerace up on her offer. The fighting spirit of Jimmy Valvano lives on."

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first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18748795)

zomg first post!

NCState webserver doesn't stand up to slashdotting (-1, Offtopic)

maharg (182366) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748801)

so I won't get modded insightful for my frost piss (?) 'cos I couldn't rtfa

Re:NCState webserver doesn't stand up to slashdott (4, Funny)

envelope (317893) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748829)

The site works for me... maybe it's because I'm an NCSU grad.

Re:NCState webserver doesn't stand up to slashdott (1)

maharg (182366) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748901)

That'll be the reason. I wish I could get the hang of this intarweb thing. ;o)

it's just very slow for me. slashdot loads very quickly though !

It is also possible that the subpoenas are invalid
the FA is not clear on why they might be invalid - any insights ?

Re:NCState webserver doesn't stand up to slashdott (1)

gregoryb (306233) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749143)

GP must be a Carolina grad... ;)

Re:NCState webserver doesn't stand up to slashdott (2, Informative)

z-kungfu (255628) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749989)

TechnicianOnline.com is not hosted on campus. It's hosted by CollegePublisher.com so that they can host advertising.

I actually work for NCSU and would be the admin for the Technician server if we hosted it. I'm pretty thankful right now that we don't.

Re:NCState webserver doesn't stand up to slashdott (1)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18750283)

We slashdotted RedHat a few weeks ago. Their headquarters is on Centennial Campus, and can't have a better connection than the .edu sites. Of course, it was the Technician that got hit this time, and they suck anyways.

Anyways, I think it is crazy that they are issuing John Doe lawsuits against a University. In the end, several of the claims will boil down to suits against the workstations in a computer lab. They won't be able to connect all of these suits to students.

I think (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18748825)

I think the tag you're looking for is: 'haha' :)

then again.... (4, Funny)

maharg (182366) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748845)

ok, I take it back, not slashdotted, just v.slow.

"They said it could be $750 per song. The letter said, though, that they could just pay $3,000, which would not be based on the number of songs."
$3,000 == unlimited downloads.. hmm, not a bad deal... might be cheaper than 79 cents a track...

Re:then again.... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18748937)

$3,000 == unlimited downloads.. hmm, not a bad deal... might be cheaper than 79 cents a track...

Maybe, until you realize that they could sue you for $3000 over and over again. Then it doesn't seem too good.

Re:then again.... (1)

mlarios (212290) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749869)

They're not even suing you, they're THREATENING to sue you. By paying them $3,000 you settle out of court for this incident.

Also (3, Interesting)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749937)

You had better also read the agreement carefully. When DirectTV was pulling this stunt, they were including a blurb where you admitted to having committed copyright violation. Given that there are now criminal penalties on the books for copyright violation, you could very well be paying $3000 for a nice vacation to 'pound you in the ass prison'.

Re:then again.... (1)

edward2020 (985450) | more than 7 years ago | (#18750467)

Two words, res judicata.

ATTN: SWITCHEURS! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18748961)

If you wish Xcode would reformat your code for consistency, GTFO.
If you're overwhelmed by IB's multi-paletted interface, GTFO.
If you've ever typed a backslash outside of ASCII art, GTFO.
If you can't intuit your way from HyperTalk to AppleScript, GTFO.

Bandwagon jumpers are not welcome among real [imageshack.us] Mac [imageshack.us] geeks [imageshack.us] . Keep your filthy PC fingers to yourself.

Way to GO NC STATE! (2, Insightful)

macpulse (823760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748853)

STICK IT TO THE RIAA!!

We need more groups officially banding together like this - the RIAA's bully tactic days are numbered!

Re:Way to GO NC STATE! (4, Insightful)

daeg (828071) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749043)

Unfortunately, those days are probably numbered higher than you or I would like.

Re:Way to GO NC STATE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18749093)

STICK IT TO THE RIAA!!

Already did over ten years ago.

I haven't bought a CD or downloaded a song: listen to the radio, though. Other than that, I see live performances of local groups or traveling artists, real artists (i.e. the musicians who aren't commercial are of no interest by the members of the RIAA) who perform for the enjoyment of their art with no, real, expectations of ever being rich and shameless like the performers who work for RIAA associated companies.

And I am sure there are plenty of those folks around NC State. Go to Asheville sometime and hand out at their many music festivals - fun!

An even better stick (1, Redundant)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749377)

Just don't buy RIAA music. It's not that hard. I'd put my usual links to a dozen sites where you can find great independent/free music, but you guys can probably find them yourselves.

'Course I can never resist linking RIAA radar:
http://www.riaaradar.com/ [riaaradar.com]

People are finally starting to get it (5, Insightful)

280Z28 (896335) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748859)

It looks like people are finally starting to get it. Big fish can't be allowed to attack the little fish without facing risk.

Now, if only the general public realized they bring this on themselves by continuing to fund the **AAs with their purchases, maybe it'd actually make a difference...

Re:People are finally starting to get it (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18748935)

Maybe the little fish should stop stealing music.

Re:People are finally starting to get it (2, Insightful)

JFitzsimmons (764599) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749103)

Maybe the big fish can provide it in a way where I get to listen to it the way I want.

Re:People are finally starting to get it (5, Funny)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749439)

Maybe the little fish should enlist the help of the giant crabs to force the big fish to enable the little fish to get what they want or cut the big fish out of the picture all together and let the shrimps regain control of their output.

Re:People are finally starting to get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18749759)

Plus side with giant crabs is once the little fish don't need them anymore we just flip em over and hit their weak spot for MASSIVE DAMAGE.

Re:People are finally starting to get it (5, Funny)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749855)

I don't know, the whole thing is beginning to smell a little fishy to me.

Re:People are finally starting to get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18750311)

Are shallow jokes the sole porpoise of this thread?

Re:People are finally starting to get it (1)

BakaHoushi (786009) | more than 7 years ago | (#18750385)

Okay, this fish analogy is getting confusing. Who's who? And does anyone have tartar sauce?

Re:People are finally starting to get it (1)

msouth (10321) | more than 7 years ago | (#18750593)

thanks man, now I'm starving!

Re:People are finally starting to get it (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749225)

Maybe they should, but the reason shouldn't be that the big fish are throwing their weight around.

Re:People are finally starting to get it (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18749241)

Copyright infringement is NOT stealing.

Re:People are finally starting to get it (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18750041)

Is it stealing when you take from a thief?

Re:People are finally starting to get it (5, Insightful)

frdmfghtr (603968) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749357)

Now, if only the general public realized they bring this on themselves by continuing to fund the **AAs with their purchases, maybe it'd actually make a difference...

Now, if only the general public realized they bring this on themselves by continuing to violate copyright (remember all you GPL fans, these are the same copyright laws that give the GPL substance*), maybe it'd actually make a difference...

You want to make a difference? Simply voting with your wallet by not purchasing tracks isn't enough. That's only part one.

Part two is STOP VIOLATING COPYRIGHT by downloading the tracks. The RIAA and record labels are after your money. First they try to get your money via sales of tracks (physical CDs or downloads from online resellers). If you don't buy the tracks but download from p2p networks, they will try to get your money via lawsuit. Either way, they get your money.

Once sales drop AND p2p downloads ALSO drop, the labels will get the idea that the product they push is crap and need to change in order to make it worthwhile. They would have to, since both revenue streams (via sales and litigation) would dry up.

* I'm not implying that GPL fans are also p2p downloaders; I'm pointing out that laws that protect your rights are the same laws that protect others' rights, and cannot be applied selectively.

Re:People are finally starting to get it (4, Insightful)

castoridae (453809) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749859)

Once sales drop AND p2p downloads ALSO drop, the labels will get the idea that the product they push is crap and need to change in order to make it worthwhile.

Problem is, most people disagree with your assertion that it's crap. Whether through critical thinking about the music/video or just because they've been indundated with commercial pop culture & ads, this stuff is top shelf by virtue of being what everyone wants.

Your solution means people have to dig up their own (indie) music; they can't just buy the catchy song they heard on the radio, and they can't grab a copy of that movie that had such an exciting preview. And truth be told, most people aren't really equipped to select the good music from the bad, except with the simple gut reaction that they already have to hearing a song on the radio and deciding to buy this mainstream album instead of that one.

I guess my point is that mainstream music is mainstream for a reason, and saying "just don't buy it" is not realistic. It's like asking millions of Bud Light drinkers to start selecting small-batch German microbrews instead. Good luck.

Re:People are finally starting to get it (1)

frdmfghtr (603968) | more than 7 years ago | (#18750155)

Yeah, I strayed from the main point of the downloads violating copyright; I didn't mean to get into the "boycott the RIAA crap pushed out" because you're right, it IS in fact mainstream because people buy it/download it/demand it; it's a very subjective assertion that it's "crap."

Re:People are finally starting to get it (4, Insightful)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#18750485)

You bring up another part of the problem... the fact that the RIAA controls so much of the industry that it becomes next to impossible for indy bands and labels to find their way into the ears of the average music consumer. With the RIAA paying radio stations across the country to play their music and only their music, paying the MPAA studios to feature RIAA artists in their movies, MTV only playing music backed with millions of dollars worth of video behind it, etc.

I'm not saying that RIAA music is crap and indy is good, but without access to indy music most people don't even have the opportunity to make the comparison.

Rather then trying to beat down the RIAA through boycots and banners. Why not work to help promote indy music. Why doesn't iTunes have an RIAA free section where people can demo songs and download them DRM free? Why isn't there a fund setup to help get indy bands on the radio along side the RIAA stuff?

I think we'd do better to help get people off the RIAA koolade more by promoting the alternative rather then trying to tarnish what they're used to today.

Re:People are finally starting to get it (1)

prelelat (201821) | more than 7 years ago | (#18750045)

I can see what your getting I think, and if your saying what I'm thinking I agree. The more we stop buying tracks and keep downloading them the more it looks like sales are dropping because of piracy. I always wondered if this boycott was worth its weight against the RIAA as their main argument is that they are loosing sales. Well they are but for other reasons as well as piracy(yeah I said it they do loose some sales to piracy just not the big number they believe). The biggest reason is that music on a CD(which I prefer) or record(which most people buy used so don't really factor in anymore) costs alot even after price adjustment. So while the music industry believes sales of CDs are down, the P2P networks are just as strong as ever, but is there a corrolation? maybe, the music industry thinks so. Thats why I don't use P2P networks if I can get around it. Sometimes its the only place you can find a copy of a 30 year old song no ones heard of.

Re:People are finally starting to get it (1)

kingpin2k (523489) | more than 7 years ago | (#18750095)

"Part two is STOP VIOLATING COPYRIGHT by downloading the tracks."

That's ok as long as part four includes eliminating copyright law. The notion that 1's and 0's arranged in a certain way on certain media have intrinsic value is silly. Copyright causes the problems, not the violations of copyright. If we take away the expectation that a weekend in the studio means a life of private jets and bling out the ears, maybe "crap" will disappear.

When art becomes a business, the art suffers.

Re:People are finally starting to get it (1)

Kopretinka (97408) | more than 7 years ago | (#18750105)

Once sales drop AND p2p downloads ALSO drop, the labels will get the idea that the product they push is crap and need to change in order to make it worthwhile. They would have to, since both revenue streams (via sales and litigation) would dry up.

That's of course if you consider their product crap. I know I enjoy Metallica (as an example here). I'm certainly glad they (labels) do promotion because I don't value music that much as to try and find my favourites. I'm sure there are bands that I'd enjoy more than Metallica in the same genre, but Metallica is good enough.

But I don't value music at $12/CD, or $1/song. I'd be inclined to pay RIAA some low monthly fee for being allowed to listen to their music. I might even consider paying a low yearly fee to some specific bands.

For me, my music collection serves almost like a good selection of radio stations, and in fact radio is what I'm listening to most, when that's possible. I don't mind the occasional advertisement, in fact recently there was an ad that was useful to me.

It's the price in face of globalization that I object to by pirating the music, not that RIAA holds copyright. Because as soon as enough bands find out it's easy to sell their music online, RIAA will not hold such a proportion of music copyright any more.

Re:People are finally starting to get it (2)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18750195)

Part two is STOP VIOLATING COPYRIGHT...

I have to say I agree. If everybody obeyed the law, the revenue stream from fines would dry up and many government offices and lawyers would suffer greatly, not to mention the prison industry and law enforcement would have to find new ways to make their money. Imagine, if you will, what would happen to many governments and the world's economies as a whole if everyone quit buying coke and grew their own weed. It would be pandemonium. The Bush Family and the CIA would go bankrupt. What would happen? They would find other behavior to criminalize. Ayn Rand got it right. We gotta keep the prisons full, and we have to build more and fill them up.

Re:People are finally starting to get it (1)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 7 years ago | (#18750589)

For universities, it could be easy to implement. Since paying is legally admitting having having commited the crime, even the football players could understand a sentence like "If you pay the RIAA, we will treat you like criminals and you can kiss your degree goodbye. If you receive a letter from them, please contact Mr. xxx"

Get some sense? (4, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748887)

I wonder if the RIAA will ever stop and realize that if they'd just fought this war fairly, most people would have been understanding with them. That if they'd did all the legal work they should have, and caught people with fair tactics, that jurors and the general public would be on their side. Because it IS against the law to download Intellectual Property you don't have rights to.

But instead, they decide the law doesn't apply to them anymore and use as many underhanded and illegal tactics as they can. Now it doesn't matter if the RIAA is right, nobody in their right mind could possibly side with them.

This is completely disregarding the entire concept of following the advances in technology instead of trying to fight them. If they'd simply tried to embrace technology and make it easy and quick to buy music, instead of doing everything they can to make it painful and slow... Maybe they'd actually be making more money than ever.

Instead, they've now got entire countries talking about legislature to make the copying of intellectual property legal.

Re:Get some sense? (0, Redundant)

jovetoo (629494) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748983)

It has long since stopped being about protecting copyright. It has become about making money. I can understand how one can be tempted to try and earn $3000 dollar for a standard letter.

Re:Get some sense? (4, Insightful)

durin (72931) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749027)

Because it IS against the law to download Intellectual Property you don't have rights to.

Really? I thought that it was only against the law to distribute IP you don't hold the rights to. I don't have much knowledge about laws in the USA (which I assume is what you mean) OTOH, so I may be wrong.

Re:Get some sense? (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749171)

I thought that it was only against the law to distribute IP you don't hold the rights to


No. And most laws in European and other countries that have signed onto WIPO are basically uniform. A copyright holder has exclusive rights. These include:

(1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords;

(2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;

(3) to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;

(4) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works, to perform the copyrighted work publicly;

(5) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly; and

(6) in the case of sound recordings, to perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.


In other words, if we look at (1), then it becomes obvious: to download is to make a 'reproduce the copyrighted work in copies'. Literally, it seems, copyright is the 'right to copy'. Downloading a copyrighted work is against the law.

Now, there is a difference between willful infringement and non-willful infringement. Willful infringement means that you know you're making a copy of a copyrighted work, and non-willful means that you don't know what you're copying is copyrighted or not. It could be argued that because downloads don't carry a notice, that the downloader has no idea whether or not what he's downloading is copyrighted and not licensed for download or if it is licensed for free download, or public domain or what.

It's somewhat of a specious argument -- you'd almost have to be half stupid to think that a song labeled, say, 'Smashing Pumpkins - 1979' (what I happen to be listening to ;) is not copyrighted or is licensed for free download, since Smashing Pumpkins CDs are sold in stores and carry a copyright notice and the RIAA has been reminding us all for sometime that downloading their studios' music is illegal.

But -- I've seen stranger things being believed by courts and juries.

IANALBIPOOGL

(I am not a lawyer, but I play one on GrokLaw)

In downloading the copy is made by the server (1, Interesting)

anandsr (148302) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749311)

When you do the downloading, the server copies the bits and sends it over to the internet. When it has arrived on your system then you are simply saving it into a file. If you went into the ridiculous definition of ram copies, then you could not even play your Media on a computer. Those are just incidental copies.

So rule (1) does not apply on the downloader. Yes, RIAA could still make it stick, if they found a judge who doesn't know computers (the vast majority out there and so a near certainty).

Re:In downloading the copy is made by the server (3, Insightful)

radish (98371) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749485)

The argument I've seen used (successfully) in the past against this kind of point is that whilst the remote server is physically making the copy, the downloader is the one who caused the copy to be made (by starting the download process). That makes the downloader the only human responsible, seeing as you can't sue or prosecute a server. An analogy would be that if I shot you, I could argue that I didn't kill you - the gun did. In reality though, I caused the gun to fire, so it's my responsibility.

Re:In downloading the copy is made by the server (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749681)

That argument has always sucked -- the data comes over the wire somehow (doesn't matter really) and when it gets to your computer, you do what with it? You write a copy to disk. Oops, Copyright violation.

Having the data sent to you over the wire may or may not be a legal problem, but as soon as you commit that data to disk, you've created a copy of the materials in question. Of course, this also means that every web browser on the planet breaks Copyright law by caching web pages, but that's another issue for another day ;-).

IANAL

So by that logic... (3, Interesting)

Junta (36770) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749907)

DVRs/VCRs are illegal because you are copying data from somewhere onto media?

At first I thought downloading would cut and dry be against copyright law, but now I'm not so sure. I don't think the obligation to determine if the source is a legitimate distribution system should fall upon the user. By 'common sense', currently most P2P networks today with obviously copyrighted materials is a legally questionably thing to do (since you are definitely becoming the source), but what happens when a source with an air of legitimacy starts up a P2P based service that turns out to be illegal? Should users be penalized just because they were frauded and allowed their upstream bandwidth to be use by the company to commit copyright violation without their knowledge?

From a legal perspective, I'm actually finding myself thinking the only sane entity to chase would be the one who initially injects the content into the P2P network (i.e., the person who posts a torrent to a tracker). The second logical place would be the tracker itself if they have a demonstrated history of ignoring copyright notices, but the users, it's hard to say. Forget the technicality of whether the protocol borrows some of their upload, their action isn't really as different from using a DVR as one might think.

Re:So by that logic... (1)

MrR0p3r (460183) | more than 7 years ago | (#18750553)

Nope, that's broadcast information, you can copy that and be fine. You still cannot legally copy a dvd to a dvr, nor can you legally copy a VHS tape to another VHS tape (unless the content you're copying has been broadcast).

As for music, you can record the radio all day if you want and play that back, that's never been in question. What has been in question is the stuff that's not ever on the radio suddenly appearing on everyone's computer and being distributed via a p2p network.

Re:In downloading the copy is made by the server (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749569)

When you do the downloading, the server copies the bits and sends it over to the internet. When it has arrived on your system then you are simply saving it into a file.
But, but, officer, I wasn't speeding, my car was! You're splitting hairs. If I cause the copy to be made, by downloading, then I'm responsible for making the copy, no matter which piece of equipment actually did the copying. No, it doesn't matter that I don't own it, either - "but, officer, not only wasn't I speeding, it's not even my car!" - I'm sure that'd go off real well...

Re:In downloading the copy is made by the server (1)

VE3MTM (635378) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749833)

Bad analogy. Even if you car was speeding, you were going the same speed as the car and were therefore speeding also.

Re:Get some sense? (1)

radish (98371) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749539)

It could be argued that because downloads don't carry a notice, that the downloader has no idea whether or not what he's downloading is copyrighted

Assuming you're operating within a country with standard copyright laws, in general everything is automatically copyrighted. So any reasonable person should assume that everything they download is copyrighted by someone.

and not licensed for download or if it is licensed for free download, or public domain or what.

This is the same as when developers want to use source code they find online - if it doesn't say it's GPL/BSD/whatever then you have to assume there is no special license and that it's covered under standard default licensing. Which generally prohibits you from using it, or in the case of music, downloading it.

This is why Creative Commons was created - to allow people to easily mark content which is available with a less restrictive license than the default.

No intent requirement (1)

pacalis (970205) | more than 7 years ago | (#18750297)

I'm pretty sure that you can successfully prosecute a copyright violation without demonstrating intent. Maybe someone else can comment. My understanding that the only time intent is important is in determination of authorship.

Re:Get some sense? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18750333)

to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending
so is not forbidden to download, only to upload :)

by downloading you acquire, not distribute, ha, i knew-it :) and getting , even copyrighted material, from a public server, does not break the law, is like picking up someone's else paper he left in a metro :)

well that's good to know :)

Re:Get some sense? (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749523)

Really? I thought that it was only against the law to distribute IP you don't hold the rights to.

In the US, that is where fair use comes into play. Of course, that's why they created the DCMA which effectively makes using your right of fair use illegal. That's why they want every song or movie to be encrypted in some form. In order to decrypt it, you would have to violate the DCMA unless you are using an officially supported player.

Re:Get some sense? (2, Interesting)

CowTipperGore (1081903) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749057)

I wonder if the RIAA will ever stop and realize that if they'd just fought this war fairly, most people would have been understanding with them. That if they'd did all the legal work they should have, and caught people with fair tactics, that jurors and the general public would be on their side. Because it IS against the law to download Intellectual Property you don't have rights to.
I'm not sure that they could have attacked it straightforward. They have no real means of doing good police work against people sharing files, unless you know of some other means to legally and accurately collect:
  • A list of copyrighted files being shared
  • The IP address of each file sharer
  • The real name and address of each file sharer
  • Evidence that conclusively proves each point
Sure, they could have been much more deliberate in their searching and verified each file downloaded, but they knew this would never even ripple the public waters. And, they would still rely on the IP data in the packets, the ISP to provide subscriber data, and finding the same files on a computer at the subscriber's home (all of which have been attacked as problems with their approach).

This is a propaganda scare campaign and nothing more. This was a calculated assault by the RIAA - they decided (probably correctly) that this would be the most cost-effective means of combating wide-spread illegal file sharing.

The RIAA simply stole a page from the corporate dinosaur playbook. Those of us into satellite "testing" saw the exact same ploy used by Dave a few years ago. They raided the offices of several large resellers of hacking equipment then used the seized shipping records to send letters threatening lawsuits to anyone who purchased smartcard programmers. Nevermind that these are completely legal to own and have plenty of legitimate uses outside of satellite television hacking. However, just like with the RIAA, plenty of scared people paid their blackmail and disposed of the "contraband".

Re:Get some sense? (1)

WCMI92 (592436) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749205)

"But instead, they decide the law doesn't apply to them anymore and use as many underhanded and illegal tactics as they can. Now it doesn't matter if the RIAA is right, nobody in their right mind could possibly side with them.

This is completely disregarding the entire concept of following the advances in technology instead of trying to fight them. If they'd simply tried to embrace technology and make it easy and quick to buy music, instead of doing everything they can to make it painful and slow... Maybe they'd actually be making more money than ever."

It also might help if the RIAA labels started producing quality music again, instead of flooding the market with "gangbanger rap", Britney Spears clones, and LOOOOOOOONNNNG played out "whiner rock".

I don't buy music simply because I don't like any of what they are producing, not because I am "stealing" it off the internet.

Re:Get some sense? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749257)

I'm not saying your choice of music sucks, it's just that there are TONS of people out there that do like it, and this is all directed at them.

I applaud your choice not to download illegal music, even if only because there's none you like.

Unless you're saying that you DO download music, it just isn't the reason you don't pay for it. In that case, you are deluding yourself because you obviously like the music enough to listen to it, so you are breaking the law and lying to yourself.

I don't really care what laws other people break, as long as they are honest with themselves about why.

Re:Get some sense? (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749247)

But instead, they decide the law doesn't apply to them anymore and use as many underhanded and illegal tactics as they can. Now it doesn't matter if the RIAA is right, nobody in their right mind could possibly side with them.

Sounds an awful lot like a divorce. And in this case, I'm sure the majority of Americans would appreciate being divorced from the RIAA.

Re:Get some sense? (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749961)

>If they'd simply tried to embrace technology and make it easy and quick to buy music

iTunes Music Store is both quick and easy. I really am tired of hearing justifications for violating copyright. Its like everyone thinks they have a right to corporate media. I can't decide whose worse the RIAA or the RIAA junkies.

Re:Get some sense? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18750233)

I don't OWN an iPod. Tell me again how it's easy for me?

There are no 'justifications' for breaking the law. There are only reasons. Reasons are enough for most people.

RIAA has never been Fair (1)

redelm (54142) | more than 7 years ago | (#18750389)

The RIAA has never been about making sense or playing "fair". NEVER in 100+ years. Long before personal copying became possible, the RIAA members have been writing the most egregious contracts with artists. Robber baron-esque. Industrial feudalism wherein workers get wages counted up from minimum, and employers get most of the value-added. Milking their distribution oligopoly. Not even really capitalism. Listen to some performers talk about their labels. Not all are simply sour grapes.

Then in the 1970s the RIAA fought home recording onto tape. The RIAA have always been middlemen who use heavy-handed legalistic tactics to achieve their goals. "know your enemy" [Sun Tzu]

Re:RIAA has never been Fair (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18750497)

I never said they were about 'fair'. In fact, I'm pretty sure the majority of slashdot knows their entire history.

I said I wondered if they'd ever realize their mistake.

Class action lawsuit? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18748911)

According to the RIAA spokesperson, of the 400 students who the RIAA sent settlement letters to nationally, 198 of them agreed to it.
198 too many! This proves that the MAFIAA extortion is working all too well.

Re:Class action lawsuit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18749277)

Exactly, just because the score is 198-202 doesn't mean they are losing. This is a game where one of their wins is worth many of "ours", which aren't really wins anymore than getting a car over a speedbump. Considering how much they extort from the admitted losers, and how much they impede the development of the use of modern technology for information distribution, since music is info and modern info sharing technology can't easily explicity exclude one class of info, they are simply slowing down a natural process. Speed of info distribution throughout the human race = progress! They are impeding progress!

I work for NC State (5, Interesting)

RaigetheFury (1000827) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748921)

I love NC State's policy toward the RIAA's stalin like tactics. While they do punish students on their own accord the entire legal department is against the RIAA's method of approaching students. I am very proud to work for a university that values copyrights while at the same time education it's students about their rights and current law.

On top of that then steps up and practices what it preaches.

Re:I work for NC State (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18749221)

"I am very proud to work for a university that values copyrights"

Yeah, except when it comes to their professors trying to sell their own intellectual material...

Not State, but State University. (0)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748939)

Article title is wrong. Someone fix that please.

Re:Not State, but State University. (5, Informative)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748995)

No, it's not wrong, merely confusing to those who haven't heard the term before. For example: Florida State University is usually just called 'Florida State' when talked about. When talking about the actual state, it's said 'The State of Florida'. Always.

NC State is the same way. Any time the government is talking, they'll call it the State of NC. NC State will always be the university.

Re:Not State, but State University. (2, Interesting)

tiltowait (306189) | more than 7 years ago | (#18750119)

Hmm, does that mean that the RIAA is willing to take on the 11th Amendment and go through state government to sue students? Something tells me the campus lawyer has this ace up her sleeve when advising students to refuse settlement offers.

No Student Responses? (5, Insightful)

rlp (11898) | more than 7 years ago | (#18748951)

I'm surprised students are not rallying to deal with the RIAA. Traditionally, college students have been one of the largest markets for recorded music. And the RIAA is directly attacking their traditional best customer with law suits. I would have expected campus rallys to fight the RIAA. Students obtaining pledges to boycott RIAA labels and distribution of lists of labels to boycott. Just surprised that theres no organized effort on the part of students to counter this.

Re:No Student Responses? (5, Funny)

lilomar (1072448) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749029)

See, that's the problem. What incites teenagers and young adults to be rebellious and makes them want to "Stick it to the Man"? Rock and Roll. or if you want to trace it back further, music in general. Jazz, Big Band, everything right back to the first cave-teen who banged two rocks together has been celebrating his/her independence from all things authority. Now, what is popular today? That's right, pop/psudo-rap/hiphop crap, produced and approved by...dun, dun, dun... THE RIAA. The Man wins. Until the teenagers and would-be activists start listening to anything other than the bullcrap produced, approved of, and shoved down their throats by the very corporation they should be fighting, Rock Is Dead.

Re:No Student Responses? (5, Insightful)

CowTipperGore (1081903) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749217)

I'm surprised students are not rallying to deal with the RIAA. Traditionally, college students have been one of the largest markets for recorded music. And the RIAA is directly attacking their traditional best customer with law suits. I would have expected campus rallys to fight the RIAA. Students obtaining pledges to boycott RIAA labels and distribution of lists of labels to boycott. Just surprised that theres no organized effort on the part of students to counter this.
You're a generation late. Today's students are too caught up with Paris Hilton, American Idol, and beating Gears of War to protest anything of significance. They will riot (and burn couches in Morgantown, WV) over a football game but you can't get more than 20 or 30 to show up for a rally against an illegal war, grotesque violations of privacy, or any other more fundamental causes. Sadly, boycotting the major labels would require more sacrifice than these kids are willing to make.

Re:No Student Responses? (2, Interesting)

c_forq (924234) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749703)

If they protest correctly it is a lot easier to get people to join in. There was recently an "anti-war" demonstration across the street from my apartment (I live on a university campus). I say "anti-war" for while the majority of people there were against the war there were also significant amounts of gay-rights and other causes protesting. Why the organizers allowed this I can not figure out, as it alienates some people who would otherwise join in. The other thing that made it have a very low turn out is they just yelled, drummed, and waved signs at passing traffic while standing in the median of the road. The state capitol is a 30 minute walk from their location, and the school administrative offices is a 3 minute walk away, but rather than try to appeal to those with some power over policy they just played in drum circles in the middle of the street. If drumming with a bunch of stoners somehow constitutes a rally, than I don't think I want my generation to rally.

Re:No Student Responses? (1)

CowTipperGore (1081903) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749761)

If they protest correctly it is a lot easier to get people to join in.
And you demonstrate that fact by describing a poorly-organized protest? Although, I suppose you are correct. A "correct" protest that might get some participation would involve free beer and perhaps a live show by Green Day.

Re:No Student Responses? (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749721)

"Sadly, boycotting the major labels would require more sacrifice than these kids are willing to make."

People unwilling to fight for freedom do not deserve it.

Re:No Student Responses? (3, Insightful)

CowTipperGore (1081903) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749803)

People unwilling to fight for freedom do not deserve it.
And, we are losing it at an alarming rate. Unfortunately, that large segment of lazy/ignorant/apathetic Americans are contributing to the loss of freedom for those that do care.

Re:No Student Responses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18750085)

You know why I don't join a demonstration? Simple - people don't know how to organize one around here, and every time I try, there's at least ten to fifteen percent of the people that show up that just want to get drunk and throw rocks at car windows. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that if this is all the people who WANT to be at a rally or a demonstration want to do, it makes your cause look less legitimate.

Get rid of the asshole demonstrators, and then maybe I'll join up.

Hypocritical to the extreme (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18749005)

NCSU has a chancellor that writes open letters to the students telling them to "respect the DMCA" and NCSU's stance on student's intellectual property is to take it away from them and claim it belongs to the university. This one instance does not make NCSU grand or great and I will not applaud them until they do the right thing elsewhere within the University as well. Before anyone responds with "That's how it is in real life" or some other bullshit answer I encourage you to go look around at both employers and other universities practices in regards to employee/student developed IP. Most universities have started giving that IP to the students and do not keep it for themselves as NCSU does.

Re:Hypocritical to the extreme (4, Interesting)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749209)

NCSU has a chancellor that writes open letters to the students telling them to "respect the DMCA" and NCSU's stance on student's intellectual property is to take it away from them and claim it belongs to the university. This one instance does not make NCSU grand or great and I will not applaud them until they do the right thing elsewhere within the University as well. Before anyone responds with "That's how it is in real life" or some other bullshit answer I encourage you to go look around at both employers and other universities practices in regards to employee/student developed IP. Most universities have started giving that IP to the students and do not keep it for themselves as NCSU does.

I'm pretty sure you're absolutely full of shit. Most Universities (and all that I've been a part of), and pretty much every company on the planet require grad students/employees to sign over rights to what you create. If you're talking undergrad - where you pay the university - that might be different, but unlikely even then if you developed that IP with university property. For grad work, where the university pays you, the university keeps the rights. Sometimes there's a royalty sharing agreement, but you don't get to negotiate it.

As for companies, if you find one that lets you keep IP that you create as an employee, stay there. I've never seen such a company.

Re:Hypocritical to the extreme (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18749645)

I'm pretty sure you didn't read like I fucking told you to do:

Now here is a cup of STFU:
http://intranet.northcarolina.edu/docs/aa/research /copyright/PatentAndCopyrightPolicies.pdf [northcarolina.edu]
http://www.provost.duke.edu/pdfs/IntelProp.pdf [duke.edu]

And those two are just in the fucking near by area. I'm not going to disclose who I work for but I promise you that the organization does indeed provide it's employees with ample opportunity to invent and patent their inventions.

Re:Hypocritical to the extreme (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 7 years ago | (#18750153)

Now here is a cup of STFU:
http://intranet.northcarolina.edu/docs/aa/research [northcarolina.edu] /copyright/PatentAndCopyrightPolicies.pdf
http://www.provost.duke.edu/pdfs/IntelProp.pdf [duke.edu]

And those two are just in the fucking near by area. I'm not going to disclose who I work for but I promise you that the organization does indeed provide it's employees with ample opportunity to invent and patent their inventions.

Here's a cup of reading comprehension genius - read page 2 of that UNC policy and tell me who the patents are OWNED BY.

...every invention or discovery or part thereof that results from research or other activities carried out at a constituent institution...shall be property of the constituent institution

Know what that means? All the patents gotten by UNC students and profs are owned by UNC. Sheesh, and they say that the degrees from those ACC schools are watered down. Don't Duke and UNC teach reading anymore? OF COURSE they let you do work that leads to patents, and apply for patents, but YOU DON'T OWN THE RIGHTS. Which was my point, if you choose to read it. Yes, lots of grad students have patents from their work. Some derive (usually) small royalties from them. However, I still maintain I've never seen a University that, as standard policy, allows students (or even profs, for that matter) to patent work derived from their position in the university and keep full rights. This has been the case since the 50's when there were some famous cases related to that, a few involving some very lucrative catalyst patents. Since then, universities have wised up, and they make their inventors sign away the rights as a precondition of working or studying there.

Re:Hypocritical to the extreme (1)

idiot900 (166952) | more than 7 years ago | (#18750193)

When I was an undergrad, I wrote an app using school-owned computers for the internal use of the campus radio station. I then wanted to GPL it, so I called the university's legal office. The lawyer I spoke to seemed to be confused about why I was even calling her, because of course I'm allowed to do what I want with it. Probably things are different there for grad students though.

Re:Hypocritical to the extreme (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 7 years ago | (#18750247)

When I was an undergrad, I wrote an app using school-owned computers for the internal use of the campus radio station. I then wanted to GPL it, so I called the university's legal office. The lawyer I spoke to seemed to be confused about why I was even calling her, because of course I'm allowed to do what I want with it. Probably things are different there for grad students though.

I don't think they much care about using their copy of Visual Studio (or gcc) if you're looking to publicize something you did in the process of your coursework. Most institutions are also lax regarding non-commercial use of software because it's an important part of the collaborative process. But patents and any commercialization of software are generally a different story.

Re:Hypocritical to the extreme (1)

idiot900 (166952) | more than 7 years ago | (#18750309)

It's a system designed to run a radio station when nobody is there, and it wasn't coursework.

I think you may have missed the point of my post. The idea that the lawyer said I could apply the GPL to it implies that I was legally the author, which means that I could also have commercialized it, and the school would have little recourse (IANAL though).

Re:Hypocritical to the extreme (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 7 years ago | (#18750425)

I think you may have missed the point of my post. The idea that the lawyer said I could apply the GPL to it implies that I was legally the author, which means that I could also have commercialized it, and the school would have little recourse (IANAL though).

I don't think they would agree with those implications. Circumstances would depend though - did you write the software as part of your role as an employee? Were you paid to do it? If not - if you did it in your free time - then it's absolutely yours, and you effectively just gave them a free license. But that's a different story than the original thread, which was the notion that student employees can routinely keep the rights to things that they do in their capacity as institutional employees, which they generally can't.

The question hinges on this: 1) did they pay you to do the work? and 2) did you use their resources to do it (computers they probably don't care). If the answer to either is 'yes', you probably don't own it. I'm a scientist, and I definitely couldn't patent my work I accomplished as a grad student on my own and keep the rights. Where I was, I'm pretty sure that applied to software too.

Note in the GPL discussion, you are definitely the author, but to GPL it you have to also have the rights to it. This could be because they have no claim (you did it outside your role with the school), or because they give up their claim.

Very nice, but lasting? (4, Interesting)

redelm (54142) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749059)

This looks like a very nice stand by a mid-level adminstrator. People in universities usually get a lot of freedom, a carryover from acedemic freedom (allowed to teachers, not students!).

Unfortunately, if the university's adminsitration isn't behind her (and they might well be, viz acedemic freedom), she could get reversed and reprimanded. Worse since the Regents ulimately report to the NC Legislature. Still, acedemics _can_ be cantankerous. And are expected to be or tenure would not be granted.

NC State Graduate, class of 2001 (5, Insightful)

BeeBeard (999187) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749195)

I used to live both on and off the campus, connected to the university's blindingly fast network. The wholesale violations of copyright law that I committed, that my dorm mates and fraternity brothers committed, that everyone within my entire social sphere committed were about on par with what you would suspect from a major state university. I could snag most full-length films in 20 minutes or less, and most full mp3 albums in a few minutes tops. Stealing went on then, and it probably goes on even now.

It might be useful to prattle on about how draconian and unjust copyright laws may be--to decry business models as antiquated and unrealistic and so on. But it would be a jury argument, not a legal one. The fact remains that these students probably *DID* do what they were accused of doing. And they probably *DID* know they weren't supposed to, and did it anyway. To couch wanton lawbreaking as political speech, as many of the more articulate "fuck the RIAA" folks tend to do, is just intellectually dishonest.

Re:NC State Graduate, class of 2001 (2, Interesting)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749403)

True. I can't believe that people here are actually condoning breaking the law. Many people at colleges are downloading songs illegally. The number is up for debate.

What should be done is change the law and boycott the RIAA/MPAA. Why aren't we seeing more demonstrations on college campuses?

Re:NC State Graduate, class of 2001 (4, Insightful)

wes33 (698200) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749845)

I can't believe that people here are actually condoning breaking the law
You mean, you *don't* condone breaking a bad law?

Your nation (assuming you are American) has many beautiful stories about this: Davy Crockett saying "make sure you're right, then go ahead", or Thoreau, imprisoned for breaking a bad law (as he saw it) who was visited by his friend Emerson who said: "Thoreau, what are you doing in jail??!". Thoreau replied: "Emerson, what are you doing out of jail?".

So do you really find it hard to condone breaking a law? Or are you a status quo copyright law defender? (out with it man! :) )

My own view (FWIW) is that it's ok to break a bad law, but you are going to have to face the consequences if caught. But I *don't* think you have to try and get caught unless you want to make a special civil disobedience point. And others do not have to help the defenders of a bad law catch those who break it either. So, it's ok to break copyright law if it's a bad law, and I happen to think current copyright law is bad.

Re:NC State Graduate, class of 2001 (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 7 years ago | (#18750287)

I'm okay with breaking a bad law or two (or even a good law, given my recent speeding ticket...). I'm just stating that since we are talking about colleges here: these are the places where people used to demonstrate to stand up for what they believe in, not just break laws in private. Where are the demonstrations against the RIAA/MPAA?

Re:NC State Graduate, class of 2001 (1)

bemoosed (1053854) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749505)

The fact remains that these students probably *DID* do what they were accused of doing. And they probably *DID* know they weren't supposed to, and did it anyway. To couch wanton lawbreaking as political speech, as many of the more articulate "fuck the RIAA" folks tend to do, is just intellectually dishonest.
Civil disobedience is not necessarily intellectual dishonesty. And one doesn't have to have the moral eloquence of Ghandi to participate in civil disobedience, nor for it to have its intended effect when large numbers engage in it. Witness the prohibition of alcohol consumption and distribution in the US in the '20s.

Civil disobedience isn't just breaking the law... (4, Insightful)

PracticalM (1089001) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749793)

Civil disobedience is not necessarily intellectual dishonesty. And one doesn't have to have the moral eloquence of Ghandi to participate in civil disobedience, nor for it to have its intended effect when large numbers engage in it. Witness the prohibition of alcohol consumption and distribution in the US in the '20s.
In most forms of civil disobedience, the people who violate the law in order to show how the law is wrong also accept the legal penalties for breaking the law until the law is changed.

Breaking the law and then not taking responsibiliy for your actions isn't civil disobedience as Thoreau envisioned it.

Considering the number of people who fled speakeasies when they were raided in the '20s, I'm not sure how you can call that civil disobedience either.

Re:NC State Graduate, class of 2001 (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18749999)

The fact remains that these students probably *DID* do what they were accused of doing.

Hmm, yes, likely.

But I also know that my company has received letters from the BSA (Business Software Alliance, or whatever), that informed I may not have enough Microsoft licenses for my company. I'm fairly certain it came about because I filled in a bunch of surveys and put my organization size at 50-100, when it's a actually a three (sometimes four) person Linux shop (the only Windows licenses are pre-installed on our laptops). They take that, cross-reference it somehow, and automatically send out threat letters. It's another "spray and pray" tactic a la spammers and door-to-door flyers and broadcasts..

Not to rain on the submitters parade but.... (4, Insightful)

Chineseyes (691744) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749211)

Not to rain on the submitters parade but Jimmy Valvano was fighting for his life from cancer these guys are only fighting suspected copyright infringement.

First ad on /. page (3, Funny)

rfunches (800928) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749331)

And the first ad right below the summary is...

Report Software Piracy
Earn up to $200,000 for Reporting Pirated Software - All Confidential
bsa.org/reportpiracy

You go girl ! (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#18749379)

(she was a girl am i right ?)

well. in any case i wonder what we can do as /. to support this stand.

our support and even interest in the matter might encourage college administration to back her decision, given that many youngsters who interested in technology and going to get enrolled in colleges will be following /., even through their friends, if not directly. heck, many non-techie people follow /. from what i understand even.

this can be a major chance for that university for going into spotlight in a most positive manner, and attracting quality technology students, which is something universities are working their arses over to achieve.

This will be great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18749629)

Because if the university hides info that RIAA subpeonas, NC state can get mixed up in it.

If the students are downloading music they don't have a license to have, WHAT THEY ARE DOING IS ILLEGAL. Why can't the retards get that point.

I keep waiting for them to file suit against (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18749817)

I keep waiting to see in the news "RIAA files lawsuit against deaf, disabled veteran for stealing music."

About Time (1)

wolff000 (447340) | more than 7 years ago | (#18750351)

If more organizations would stand up to these thugs they would eventually stop. We need more people willing to tell these guys to screw themselves. Please excuse the course language but the MAFIAAs just tick me off. To charge these kids 750 a song or 3000 is ridiculous. When I was in college I was lucky if I could scrape together enough cash for dinner much less to pay some over inflated lawsuit that shouldn't exist in the first place. Hopefully someday they will learn to simply change their business model instead of holding fast to a failing one.

Loved that movie (1)

ediron2 (246908) | more than 7 years ago | (#18750583)

I'm tellin' you, I just loved that movie. A whole raft of city vs. country stereotypes, hot grits, and who could forget Alyssa Milano (note how I mentioned Milano and hot grits in the same sentence!)... ...oh, that was My Cousin Vinny? ... er... uh...

Well, then who the fsck is Jimmy Valvano? I mean, hooray for stickin' it to the RIAA, but was this Jimmy dude even a nerd? I've got this nagging dread that he's a jock. That's pretty much a given when someone is elevated to mythic status for getting sick. And what moron expects that 'fighting spirit of...' to be part of the canon of nerd knowledge?!
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