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IFPI Threatens UK Academic For Linking To Article

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the we're-gonna-tell-on-you dept.

Music 182

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Apparently the RIAA is getting sensitive about counterclaims. When a British blog author linked to a recent article about a defendant's counterclaims for extortion and conspiracy by the RIAA in a Florida case, UMG v. Del Cid, a record company executive who sits on the board of the RIAA's UK counterpart, the IFPI, threatened the author if he did not take his link down."

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Their strategy (5, Insightful)

saibot834 (1061528) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548309)

Their strategy is not to win those cases in front of court. They just want to scare you by suing innocent people. They want you to think "if that innocent guy got sued, maybe I am next". It's a bit like terrorism.

It's called a "Chilling Effect" (5, Informative)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548313)

see here [wikipedia.org]

Re:It's called a "Chilling Effect" (1, Funny)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548461)

so, If I get the RIAA to do this to my refrigerator, it will keep it chilled enough to mean I can turn off the power and save the environment? Sounds good.

Re:It's called a "Chilling Effect" (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548671)

Content industry fighting global warming, film at 11.

Re:It's called a "Chilling Effect" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19549505)

No, it's called terrorism.

We can abuse that word to deny ourselves Constitutional freedoms; the least we can do is abuse that word to try to defend some sort of freedom.

Re:Their strategy (1)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548329)

"Maybe" /. is next. We had after all linked to the (not-so) recent article. (and linked to the blog, and to the notice and to an older /. article)

Let's see if they would make a threat...

Re:Their strategy (5, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548443)

"Maybe" /. is next.
They won't care about /. for one very important reason ... few people on /. RTFA. ;-)

Re:Their strategy (4, Interesting)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548387)

They just want to scare you by suing innocent people. They want you to think "if that innocent guy got sued, maybe I am next". It's a bit like terrorism.

I'd buy that if they sued grown & guilty people (even if the guilt is about mere sharing).

But they're frequently found suing kids, or people who never sat on a computer and don't know what an mp3 is.

If you look at the chain up in RIAA and the organisations like it, you'll see the people carrying out those actions don't always directly have some well thought and sound long term strategy in mind.

They just want to report that they're doing what "is necessary" to their superiors, and save their jobs for another day. It's like a drowning man who just wants another gulp of air *right now*, never mind looking for ships passing by or reaching the shore or whatever.. That's not as emergent as saving the next minute or so.

As a counterclaim of the popular "they want to scare you by making examples" theory, I want to ask you: do you know people die every single day in car accidents? Do you drive a car? "It'll never happen to me", right?

Re:Their strategy (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19548995)

I'd buy that if they sued grown & guilty people (even if the guilt is about mere sharing).

But they're frequently found suing kids, or people who never sat on a computer and don't know what an mp3 is.

That's the whole point it's the "you don't want to mess with that guy; he's insane" effect. If someone doesn't seem to care if they get hurt or if they hurt random bystanders or whether any offence is real or imagined, then most people will avoid doing anything that might possibly upset them. It doesn't always work but it's a reasonable strategy until the "insane guy" meets another "insane guy" and it turns into a game of Chicken. If you've never encountered this before then you really need to get out more :)

Re:Their strategy (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19549073)

That's the whole point it's the "you don't want to mess with that guy; he's insane" effect. If someone doesn't seem to care if they get hurt or if they hurt random bystanders or whether any offence is real or imagined, then most people will avoid doing anything that might possibly upset them.

So how does a citizen constitute this "messing with the insane guy" activity? By living in USA? The "don't drink at the same bar where RIAA is standing" kinda doesn't work, they'll subpoena the ISP, get the name written behind the IP and sue you. Just like that.

If you've never encountered this before then you really need to get out more :)

You don't wanna mess with me, I'm insane.

Re:Their strategy (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19549149)

So how does a citizen constitute this "messing with the insane guy" activity?

If they threaten you, you pay up. Think about it, they WILL continue with the case even if they have no evidence, even if you reason with them, even if it's obvious you didn't do it. They'll keep going after anyone. Children and grannies or even dead children and grannies. Maybe you'd win in court but they will force you to have to fight, you'll have to at minimum give up massive amounts of your time, probably have to spend a fortune too. Maybe they'll spend 1,000 times more but they'll do it even if they're going to lose, because they're insane. You think you stand a chance to reason with them? It's cheaper to just pay up.

(That is how they want you to think. That is the point)

kids have buying power too (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 7 years ago | (#19549053)

They just want to scare you by suing innocent people. They want you to think "if that innocent guy got sued, maybe I am next". It's a bit like terrorism.


I'd buy that if they sued grown & guilty people (even if the guilt is about mere sharing).

But they're frequently found suing kids,


Well, kids also have media buying power these days. Just because the law draws a distinction between adult and child, doesn't mean that the business world does the same. In fact, there are lots of other examples proving that they don't.

or people who never sat on a computer and don't know what an mp3 is.


Oh, they'll just put those down to Casualties of War. I'm pretty sure they're not trying to develop the perfect algorithm here.

Re:Their strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19549189)

I think you hit the nail.
Such a pattern was perfectly depicted in "Cube". The "cube" is built as a sum of peoples' desires, greediness, fears, indifference - peoples', who do not want/like to see a wider picture. The "cube" is never intended by anyone, but it always grows - kind of basic rule for human beings, like an increase of entropy in the Universe along the our direction of the time dimention.

History repeats itself constantly (but not necessarily literally). Few centuries ago we had land feudalism, now we have "intelectual property" feudalism: you want to plough a field, which belongs to someone - pay a tribute - sounds reasonable, doesn't it, but what if all the land with forests and all animals belong to a king, because he said so?

Re:Their strategy (3, Funny)

clickety6 (141178) | more than 7 years ago | (#19549889)

do you know people die every single day in car accidents? Do you drive a car?

I do - but now I always wear a seat belt. Same way that when downloading, I make sure I use proxies and encryption ;-)

Re:Their strategy (5, Insightful)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548389)

It's a bit like terrorism.
No, it is not anything near terrorism. Extortion, racketeering, blackmailing, maybe. But terrorism is a completely different thing. It is because this kind of mislabeling, claiming anything that aims to scare people to be "terrorism", that is so easy for governments all over the world to take away everyone's rights with the excuse of combating it. RIAA blackmailing people is not like terrorism. People discussing ways to blow things up is not terrorism. Disguised people shooting at soldiers in the battlefield is not terrorism.

I'm as much against RIAA tactics as everyone else. Also, I'm against terrorism and every kind of organized violence. But let's call a spade a spade, all right? Everytime someone misuse the word "terrorism", god kills a kitten and the terrorists win.

Re:Their strategy (5, Funny)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548427)

Everytime someone misuse the word "terrorism", god kills a kitten and the terrorists win.

Damn, god's a terrorist.

Re:Their strategy (3, Funny)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548467)

That explains the missing WMD.

Re:Their strategy (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548691)

Damn, god's a terrorist.

Hmm... let's see... giving out vague threats that bad things happen to you if you don't comply with his requests, conducts a worldwide network of followers who would religiously do whatever he requests or allegedly requests, kills people (or makes his followers thinks he wants them to kill people) who he deems enemies, promises eternal bliss to those that die in his name and for his cause...

Yup, I'd say you're right.

Re:Their strategy (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19549103)

For all we know, god couldn't give a damn about worship. I wouldn't be surprised at all upon arriving in heaven to learn that god never wanted or intended that we worship him, or anything else for that matter -- that he simply wanted us to respect each other like the human beings we are.

Requiring worship is the ultimate form of arrogance, and arrogance is clearly a human quality -- certainly god would be above that, right?

Re:Their strategy (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 7 years ago | (#19549163)

Well, he did "make us in his image" apparently. Surely that means that he's as human as us?

Re:Their strategy (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 7 years ago | (#19549201)

Maybe God is a very powerful but non enlightened entity? I never get the assumption that very powerful entities are necessarily good. For example, God could be so powerful that he's as unconcerned about our wellbeing as we are of the wellbeing of bacteria.

Re:Their strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19549551)

For all we know, god couldn't give a damn about worship. I wouldn't be surprised at all upon arriving in heaven to learn that god never wanted or intended that we worship him, or anything else for that matter -- that he simply wanted us to respect each other like the human beings we are.
Requiring worship is the ultimate form of arrogance, and arrogance is clearly a human quality -- certainly god would be above that, right?


Don't you think that perhaps he would have told us something about what he wanted then?

Perhaps he already has?

Re:Their strategy (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19550021)

giving out vague threats that bad things happen to you if you don't comply with his requests

I built and program my computer. To my computer I am God. I expect my computer to behave as I expect it to behave or I'll take the damned thing apart and fix it. What kind of hubris must you have to think you're God's equal? You are no more to God than Van Gogh's self portrait is to Van Gogh.

Telling your child he'll get spanked if he runs out in the street is not terrorism. Spanking him after he runs out in the street is not terrorism.

conducts a worldwide network of followers who would religiously do whatever he requests or allegedly requests

As the GP said, that also is not terrorism. Neither is networking the computers you yourself built.

kills people (or makes his followers thinks he wants them to kill people) who he deems enemies

He has stated on more than one occasion to the Jews, Chriatians, Muslims, and others that "thou shalt not kill." People killing in God's name, or exhort others to kill, are NOT following God's wishes. The Muslim strapping on a bomb is NOT following Allah's wishes, neither is the Christian bombing an abortion clinic, neither is the Jew shooting rockets at Palistineans. Neither is the oil man American President starting needless bloody wars to raise the price of gasoline. These people worship money and power and don't give two shits about God.

This IS terrorism, but don't blame God. God didn't tell people to do this, people falsely did in His name.

promises eternal bliss to those that die in his name and for his cause

That's not terrorism either. And I must point out that you WILL die, the only question is how and when.

I am insignifigant. I do not matter.

-mcgrew

Re:Their strategy (0)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548509)

It's a bit like terrorism.
No, it is not anything near terrorism. Extortion, racketeering, blackmailing, maybe. But terrorism is a completely different thing. It is because this kind of mislabeling, claiming anything that aims to scare people to be "terrorism", that is so easy for governments all over the world to take away everyone's rights with the excuse of combating it. RIAA blackmailing people is not like terrorism. People discussing ways to blow things up is not terrorism. Disguised people shooting at soldiers in the battlefield is not terrorism.
Wrong. Terrorism, by it's very definition, is hurting non-combatants to make them overcome by fear, in order to make them follow a course of action the terrorist wants to attain. It doesn't matter if you use a shaheed's belt or a lawsuit. The idea is the same.

Re:Their strategy (1)

astrolux (1116939) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550965)

I don't think the concept of terrorism can be applied when there's no shocking violence involved. That's what the very core of terrorist means is all about. Otherwise we would have to invent another word. I mean, how else would you distinguish something like a terrorist attack from something like what RIAA is doing? So unless you feel like there's no point in distinguishing real terrorist events from something else, I'd suggest to drop that concept regarding this article.

Re:Their strategy (3, Insightful)

sepluv (641107) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548517)

They didn't say it was "terrorism" just that it is like it. It is you who seems unclear about the definition as you say "People discussing ways to blow things up is not terrorism" but then refer to terrorism as meaning "organised violence".

Clue: At least in its original sense, terrorism doesn't refer to violent behaviour or killing people (that's murder) but threatening to use violence or suggesting that others will cause violence against someone unless that someone does what you want (e.g.: relinquishes their liberty). So, the Bin Laden video tapes are terrorism (incidentally, whether or not they were really by Bin Laden or Al-Qaeda) and the "war on terror" statements of George W. Bush are mostly terrorism, but someone who kills people without issuing a statement before hand is not a terrorist. In fact, for terrorism to be effective, actual killing is best kept to a minimum (although an occasional bit probably helps).

It can also refer to other things as well as violence (so I'd say that the post you criticize wasn't far off the mark). Basically terrorism roughly means an argumentum ad baculum [wikipedia.org] argumentum in terrorem [wikipedia.org] (more commonly known on /. as FUD).

Re:Their strategy (3, Interesting)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548685)

They didn't say it was "terrorism" just that it is like it. It is you who seems unclear about the definition as you say "People discussing ways to blow things up is not terrorism" but then refer to terrorism as meaning "organised violence".
I'm not unclear about the definition, and I didn't referred to terrorism as "organized violence". I said "I'm against terrorism and every kind of organized violence" as a disclaimer to dispel any interpretation that I could be endorsing or condoning violence when I mention that "disguised people shooting at soldiers in the battlefield is not terrorism". Notice that anywhere in my post I attempted to define terrorism or attribute a meaning to it. I only mentioned what terrorism is not.

That being, most of your post is nothing but a weakly constructed straw man [wikipedia.org] .

I stand by what I said. There is not "original meaning" for terrorism that includes use of minor threats (like lawsuits, ground up misbehaving kids, whatever) to intimidate a person (our group of people) in order to achieve an objective. Check the etymology [etymonline.com] of the world, to understand that terrorism must both be systematic and, as the root of the word implies, terrifying.

Re:Their strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19548747)

it's not "Terrorism" that needs to be looked up, its "a bit like" that needs to be looked up.

(Hint - it doesn't mean "exactly the same as")

Re:Their strategy (5, Insightful)

jabuzz (182671) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548911)

Since when was being sued by a multi million pound corporation for a huge sum of money that would potentially bankrupt yourself as a private individual for something you did not do *not* terrifying?

Given that the RIAA are doing this systematically and a large number of people would classify it as terrifying then by your definition it is terrorism.

The problem is that you are equating being terrified with physical violence.

Re:Their strategy (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 7 years ago | (#19549131)

Sorry, but you don't seem very consistent in your claim to understand the word terrorism yourself, though. You first said:

It is because this kind of mislabeling, claiming anything that aims to scare people to be "terrorism", that is so easy for governments all over the world to take away everyone's rights with the excuse of combating it.
With those words, you're claiming that there is more to terrorism than merely aiming to scare people for some goal. However, now you also say

Check the etymology of the world, to understand that terrorism must both be systematic and, as the root of the word implies, terrifying.
This indicates that you believe that an essential characteristic of terrorism is systematically scaring people, ie without the scaring part it wouldn't be terrorism. Luckily for slashdot, your ideas about terrorism aren't the only ones out there.

Here's webster's definition [m-w.com] :

the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion.
By webster's definition, what the RIAA are doing certainly does qualify as terrorism on its victims.

Of course, if you prefer to use the White House's definition [wikipedia.org] , you'll get

?activities that involve violent? or life-threatening acts? that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State and? appear to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and? (C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States? [or]? (C) occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the United States?"
That kind of definition is particularly convenient in forum arguments, because the United States can never be a terrorist itself, since it can just fix its own laws whenever it wants to, but anyone else can be one if the US just fixes its own laws to suit the enemy du jour.

Of course, the United Kingdom's definition is also quite useful in arguments, since subsection (1)(b) states [wikipedia.org]

the use or threat is designed to influence the government or to intimidate the public or a section of the public, and
which implies that nothing is terrorism unless it is specifically directed at the UK government or some segment of the UK public. By that interpretation, I think the palestinian suicide bombers are safe, as long as they make sure they don't hit a British subject by accident.

Of course, one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter, as the saying goes. I don't have Iran's definition of terrorism to hand, but I think it's safe to assume that it would be very handy in certain types of debates too :)

Re:Their strategy (3, Insightful)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 7 years ago | (#19549159)

Of course, the United Kingdom's definition is also quite useful in arguments, since subsection (1)(b) states

We've had a lot more terrorism to deal with than the US. We've had decades more experience...

Do as they do... (4, Interesting)

PontifexPrimus (576159) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548817)

...and use emotionally charged words. "Piracy" does sound so much better than "copyright infringement" even though it has nothing to do with rape, pillage and plunder on the high seas; so why not call their tactics "terrorism"? All right, it would mean lowering ourselves to their level - but as long as they are allowed to do this with impunity, why shouldn't we?

Re:Do as they do... (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 7 years ago | (#19549245)

What if they retaliate by calling you a NAZI?

Re:Do as they do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19549477)

Then we win. Godwin rule. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Do as they do... (2, Funny)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 7 years ago | (#19549635)

What if they retaliate by calling you a NAZI?

You can easily turn around and call them a copyright DENIER.

Re:Do as they do... (1)

top_down (137496) | more than 7 years ago | (#19549387)

The copyright industry can finance media campaigns etc to impress their lingo upon you and make it mainstream. You cannot. So when you use the term "terrorism" for their tactics you might be qualifying their actions, but mostly you are disqualifying yourself as a serious person. You will be merely a radical that can be ignored. Hell, members of the copyright industry might even quote you just as to show how insane the "opponents of copyrights" have become.

 

Re:Do as they do... (2, Insightful)

PackRat Q. Winnebago (1116945) | more than 7 years ago | (#19549597)

All right, it would mean lowering ourselves to their level - but as long as they are allowed to do this with impunity, why shouldn't we?
Because then we forfeit any right we have to be disgusted by their tactics.

I can live with that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19549943)

can't you?

Re:Their strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19548823)

"Extortion, racketeering, blackmailing" are forms of terrorism. The RIAA are using the threat of litigation (even if both parties know that the RIAA would lose) to coerce society.

Re:Their strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19550241)

Well, in fact extortion, racketeering and blackmailing are some of the methods terrorists use.
So, it is "a bit like terrorism" indeed. If we don't say it *is* terrorism it is because there's no political goal. The difference between a terrorist and a gangster is basically the ultimate purpose, not the methods.

Re:Their strategy (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548525)

Court? Case? suing? Who's suing who here?

Re:Their strategy (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548937)

Their strategy is not to win those cases in front of court.

People who actually have a good case have no reason to make a lot of fuss. Those who make a lot of noise probably have weak cases, which they probably weaken by the fuss they make about them. e.g. even if they made it to court the judge might dismiss the case on the basis of the plaintiff's behaviour.

They just want to scare you by suing innocent people. They want you to think "if that innocent guy got sued, maybe I am next". It's a bit like terrorism.

Or even it actually is "terrorism".

Re:Their strategy (1)

Divebus (860563) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550589)

Their strategy is censorship.

Re:Their strategy (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550679)

Perhaps some of the more talented among us will develop special effects or gifts for the RIAA. That way they will know how it feels to be picked on and singled out.

Obligatory ... (4, Interesting)

siddesu (698447) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548355)

.... and half seriously ...

IFPI, the more legal squeeze you put on the people with your ridiculous propaganda and bribed-for legislation, the more will slip through your loopholes ...

until the day when everyone realises that "intellectual property" thing is itself an excuse that allows you to profit where you should not.

Pardon? (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550585)

IFPI, the more legal squeeze you put on the people with your ridiculous propaganda and bribed-for legislation, the more will slip through your loopholes ...

until the day when everyone realises that "intellectual property" thing is itself an excuse that allows you to profit where you should not.
That makes sense. A group of companies blatantly exploit holes in the legal system, use the lobbying system to buy politicians completely contrary to the intended purpose of both systems. And what's worse, it isn't a new or even localised problem. It spans through multiple industries and individuals, with no common element apart from the fact they are rich and can afford such abuse. So what do we do? We turn around and blame intellectual property. Really smart.

protection money (3, Informative)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548373)

protection rackets operated in the exact same way. heavy guy comes in and gives you notice that unless you payup he'll make you suffer. and don't go to the cops ( or in this case, fight back in court ) he'll make it worse for you and everyone else.

Re:protection money (1)

sepluv (641107) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548583)

Threatening a law suit isn't a protection racket (although I see the analogy). The reason the RIAA and IFPI qualify as protection rackets is their threats against artists and recording labels (as well as their customers) that don't employ them (or don't follow the party line).

Re:protection money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19548959)

So who will sue the RIAA under RICO legislation?

So... (3, Interesting)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548383)

When do the RICO investigations begin?

Re:So... (2, Funny)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548481)

When do the RICO investigations begin?
Rico can't help, he's busy leading the Roughnecks, don't you know anything?

Re:So... (1)

imikem (767509) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550831)

With this administration, I'd say the 12th of Never. Put the Dems back in charge of the executive branch, and it'll get done maybe a day earlier.

Really? (4, Insightful)

Evets (629327) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548441)

I'm all for hating the RIAA, but this article is terrible. Looks like slashdot is getting gamed.

In only a few months the Net has gone from being a place of freedom were anybody, anywhere regardless of race or creed, colour, sexual persuasion, physical ability or disability, or anything else, had a home.


  1. Gone from to ?
  2. were? or where?
  3. Sexual persuasion? WTF does that have to do with this topic?

are subject to hate mail as a consequence of hubcap

hubcaps are causing hate mail?

How does an article this incomprehensible make the front page?

Re:Really? (3, Informative)

Angostura (703910) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548455)

Indeed. That final link is appalling. The first link is the one you want, it has the full set of e-mails and makes for an interesting read. http://newmusicstrategies.com/2007/06/14/an-ifpi-b pi-board-member-writes/ [newmusicstrategies.com]

Re:Really? (1)

antic (29198) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548801)

URL failing. Account has been suspended by its host. Let's hope that's just as a result of high traffic and not some form of takedown threat.

Re:Really? (1)

Angostura (703910) | more than 7 years ago | (#19549377)

Still working just fine here at the time of posting. Curious.

Here's google's cache [66.102.9.104] just in case.

Re:Really? (2, Funny)

rts008 (812749) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548531)

No, I think he meant that you get hate mail in your hubcaps.

Hmmm?

Does the size of the hubcaps determine how much hate mail you can get?

*goes outside and removes hubcaps...uses one to supplement tinfoil hat*

Re:Really? (1)

hoojus (935220) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548581)

So that is the real reason for people hating SUV drivers. The hubcups are taunting us to try and fill them.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19549043)

I'm glad you remembered to point out that "I'm all for hating the RIAA".

Otherwise you'd have been modded out of existance.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19550129)

I'm all for hating the RIAA

ORLY? [slashdot.org]

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19551055)

Hay, stop holding people to account for their actions. You'll be suing people for using your work without paying next!

The only reason I'd want a Stone Roses reunion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19548471)

would be so that they could pay Paul Birch another visit.

Footage from documentary series "blood on the tracks", paints Paul Birch in his true colours.

Shocked! (1)

andr0meda (167375) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548503)

UMG! ..as in: Uh, Mi goat?

I never understood how IFPI came about. It exists in almost every Western country, but seems to be a fragmented operation run by some sketchy self-proclaimed industry vets out of a London UK office. It apparently represents anyone who created a releasable piece of music, and lists 1400+ record companies as their clients.

In short, the IFPI is used as some sort of corporate-collared bat swinging bulldog extortion venture. If these type of gangs are forbidden in civil life, how come everyone takes them for granted in corporate life? Where are the laws?

Hardly a threat. (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548513)

"Take your link down or I'll make an ineffectual complaint to your employer"

Have we run out of RIAA slimeball tricks? This is scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Re:Hardly a threat. (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548529)

Not quite, wait untill the RIAA starts outsourcing.

Re:Hardly a threat. (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548571)

actually threats like this are very effective because most managment get frightened by this kind of thing through a lack of understanding and are likely to just cut you loose rather then think it through.

the next phase in the war on copyright will be cold callers from india "Hello mr smith, this is PETER from RIAA just calling to let you know you have been selected to not be sued, this special offer comes at just $2000"

Re:Hardly a threat. (2, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548605)

actually threats like this are very effective because most managment get frightened by this kind of thing through a lack of understanding and are likely to just cut you loose rather then think it through.

But you can't just sack someone for expressing an opinion in Britain. But even in the US, a universtiy is certainly going to protect its employees right to freedom of expression.

Re:Hardly a threat. (1)

sepluv (641107) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548941)

But even in the US, a universtiy is certainly going to protect its employees right to freedom of expression.
Possibly, but I can see why the RIAA/IFPI/et al think that threatening his uni might work and that anyone working for a uni doesn't have a right to speake against corporations (particularly protection rackets).

I seem to recall that universities in the US have run away scared and offered money when threatened by the RIAA and not protected their students and staff (or even helped the RIAA sue them) even the innocent ones. Also, academic research is increasingly run for the benefit of corporations in the style of a protection racket with academia rolling over to any corporate demands. Didn't universities co-operate on stopping mathematicians discussing illegal primes too?

Re:Hardly a threat. (3, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 7 years ago | (#19549023)

I can see why the RIAA/IFPI/et al think that threatening his uni might work and that anyone working for a uni doesn't have a right to speake against corporations (particularly protection rackets). I seem to recall that universities in the US have run away scared and offered money when threatened by the RIAA and not protected their students and staff (or even helped the RIAA sue them) even the innocent ones. Also, academic research is increasingly run for the benefit of corporations in the style of a protection racket with academia rolling over to any corporate demands. Didn't universities co-operate on stopping mathematicians discussing illegal primes too?
Even closer to home are the RIAA's unlawful, ex parte, "John Doe" proceedings which have been brought to get the names of the universities' students. I have yet to see a university even attempt to fight one in court. Instead, to date, they have been quiescently (a) waiving their students' due process rights, and (b) turning over their students' confidential information.

Why are RIAA lawyers not ostracized/disowned? (1)

Morgaine (4316) | more than 7 years ago | (#19549379)

I've never been too surprised at the evil antics and methods of the RIAA, because their total miscomprehension of the link between music and society is a breeding ground for misguided money-grabbing. From an evil, totally inward-looking worldview stems an equally evil, vampiric legal MO.

What has susprised me however is that the RIAA lawyers have not been utterly disowned by the rest of the legal profession. It is precisely their kind of behaviour that has caused the status of lawyers to plummet from respected professionals to something really appalling that I don't even want to name here. I'm sure that you've felt that taint/stigma yourself too, despite all your great work in recent years --- you cannot be happy that professional "colleagues" at the RIAA are doing what they are doing.

So why is there no movement in legal circles to lance that particularly nasty infection in the body legal? It's not the only example of lawyers losing their sense of proportion, but it has to be one of the most putrid and hateful, and certainly the one with the highest profile.

Aren't the RIAA lawyers subject to any ethical, moral or social standards at all? Doesn't the profession have any standards of conduct of its own, beyond mere adherence to the letter of the law? Does nothing else matter? Am I the only person to find the lack of professional censure of RIAA lawyers nothing short of incredible? Lots of questions. I wish I knew the answer.

threaten slashdot (1)

Bizzeh (851225) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548541)

now, i wonder if they are going to do the same to slashdot for linking to the same thing?

The E-mail Exchange (2, Informative)

jellie (949898) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548543)

It looks like his servers are taking a hit, so here's a copy of the e-mail exchange [p2pnet.net] between Andrew Dubber (the academic) and Paul Birch (the music executive). (Stupid lameness filter... I would have posted the text instead.)

Interestingly, Birch posted a comment in response to another person's question about creating backups:

Andrew

Thank you for clarifying these are my personal views not those of the IFPI, RIAA, BPI or others.

In response to Mark I actually think there is nothing wrong with making a copy for your own use, in a sense side-loading to an iPod or similar is an extension of that use. Under current copyright legislation there is a need for customers to be allowed that facility but without it giving rise to them then making multiple copies for sale. The very specific instrument that allows the one and not the other is the difficulty in drafting any amendment.

Paul

Revolver Records
So he supports fair-use and time-shifting, but not linking to sites on the web. Yay for stupid opinions!

An important part of the message: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19548859)

"there is a need for customers to be allowed that facility but without it giving rise to them then making multiple copies for sale"

Yup, so non-commercial copyright infringement needs no legislation.

And, that seems to be how this legislation is "sold" to the MP's but is missed out on the actual legislation. So the law can then be used for reasons that do not follow what the law was sold as being for.

Re:An important part of the message: (1)

jabuzz (182671) | more than 7 years ago | (#19549567)

No, the problem is that under current UK copyright law, copying a CD to your iPod is as illegal as downloading it from some P2P network. He is reasonably recognizing that this needs to change as firstly nobody takes any notice of it anyway, and secondly in for a penny in for a pound; if copy the CD to the iPod is illegal then I might as well download it anyway.

Paul Birch is a hypocrite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19548977)

Paul Birch is somebody who once violated a bands moral rights, [wikipedia.org] it's interesting to hear what his former artists think of him.

We told him we weren't happy about the video. He thinks he's got some sort of immunity because he's 'in the biz', (he thinks) we're not real people, we're just f---ing puppets, performing monkeys that he can earn a buck off. "He told us to make an appointment and that's when it kicked off. He's earning a lot of money off us and he tells us to make an appointment. So then we painted him. And his office and his motor. Full tins.

Full article [pdmcauley.co.uk] For a record label owner, he doesn't have a clue about copyright either; "download our copyrights" indeed!

I may be wrong ... (4, Informative)

DaveCar (189300) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548557)

the RIAA's UK counterpart, the IFPI

But isn't the IFPI the International Federation of Phonographic Industries?

I think the UK equivalent of the RIAA is the The MCPS-PRS Alliance [mcps-prs-alliance.co.uk] ?

Re:I may be wrong ... (1)

Thwomp (773873) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548653)

You're right, IFPI is world wide and just happens to have main offices based in London.

Re:I may be wrong ... (2, Informative)

ayana (1115493) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548659)

I'm pretty sure that we in britain have the BPI [wikipedia.org] as our version of the RIAA, actually...may be wrong though

Re:I may be wrong ... (1)

sepluv (641107) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548683)

You're right, but the guy who threatened to talk to his employer is a director of both IFPI and the BPI, which is I think were /. messed up.

Re:I may be wrong ... (4, Funny)

ayana (1115493) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548873)

for some reason, i *always* misread "British Phonographic Industry" as "British Pornographic Industry"...

Re:I may be wrong ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19548997)

apologies, but this popped into my head:

You should see the 'British Pornographic Industry' raids... Porn stars in riot jackets extolling the virtues of copyright via positive and negative reinforcement:

You've been a good boy/girl - here's your treat - me! *intercourse ensues*
or:
You've been a very very naughty boy/girl for pirating 'girls gone wild: Luton'/'young and hung: gravesend' *brandishes whip and ball-gag*

posting AC to avoid indecent materials laws or something else that our lovely overlords come up with to bring about an Orwellian regime

Re:I may be wrong ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19548677)

AFAIK BPI is the equivalent to RIAA

Whereas MCPS-PRS Alliance the equivalent to ASCAP.

Re:I may be wrong ... (1)

DaveCar (189300) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548721)


Thank you siblings for the BPI pointer. I forgot about them.

Meh, I was half right ;)

Re:I may be wrong ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19549011)

I hope IFPI doesn't stand for
International Federation of Pornographic Industries

That would mean that I have to boycott porn.

I don't get it... (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548713)

1. Complain about a blog that makes you look bad and make it known to more readers than it would ever have had.
2. ???
3. Profit.

Now, I don't really claim I understand every move of the mafiaa. More often than not, I do not. But I somehow don't get just how this is in any way beneficial for them. If anything, this information will get spread now. Did you know about that blog before it hit /.? I didn't.

Now it's on /., probably on digg and probably on even more pages. Listed, and most likely soon copied and spread too. If anything, the takedown notice served as free publicity for the blogger, and even if he should take it down, that story will circulate for months to come.

It's just like every time. Trying to hush something up is the surefire way to spread it on the 'net. Because nothing is interesting before it's supposedly "forbidden" to know it. Because then, you have to learn it NOW before it vanishes.

Re:I don't get it... (1)

Petrushka (815171) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548927)

Now, I don't really claim I understand every move of the mafiaa. More often than not, I do not. But I somehow don't get just how this is in any way beneficial for them.

A climate of unreasoning fear is beneficial for them. Fear encourages people to settle rather than countersue.

Re:I don't get it... (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19549221)

In other words, if your reputation is already down the loo, why bother trying to pretend you're the good guy.

Please... (1)

jgoemat (565882) | more than 7 years ago | (#19549871)

Can we PLEASE stop using this inappropriately?

1. Complain about a blog that makes you look bad and make it known to more readers than it would ever have had.
2. ???
3. Profit.

This is only appropriate when talking about ridiculous business models. For instance, an appropriate use would be:

1. Sue customers for downloading music
2. ???
3. Profit

This story seems to be about public relations and not a particular business strategy.

Where's Alanis? (1)

rajafarian (49150) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550577)

It's just like every time. Trying to hush something up is the surefire way to spread it on the 'net. Because nothing is interesting before it's supposedly "forbidden" to know it.

Hey, Alanis, THIS is ironic.

The more of their antics that I read about .. (1)

Lunarsight (1053230) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548725)

.. the more I feel they need to be eradicated as a corporate entity. An entity that behaves in this manner should not be allowed to continue to exist. Period.

The concept of "goverment funding" (4, Insightful)

gilgongo (57446) | more than 7 years ago | (#19548979)

Is anyone else flabbergasted by the BPI chief's statement [newmusicstrategies.com] that "allowing indiscriminate criticism of the RIAA is inappropriate for a Government funded institution"?

Surely in terms of editorial integrity at least, it should be case that it would be wholly appropriate - if not actually desirable - to criticise a private company if you are being funded by the government?

Paul Birch of Revolver Records is probably not alone in seeing the government as being simply a tool of corporate influence. This just shows how bad things have got - that people like him now need to make no secret of the fact that they expect governments to work exclusively for commercial interests. I mean, we know that the military industrial complex is now one and the same as democratically elected government in the West, but to flaunt is like this is just staggering I think.

Re:The concept of "goverment funding" (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 7 years ago | (#19549007)

Is anyone else flabbergasted by the BPI chief's statement that "allowing indiscriminate criticism of the RIAA is inappropriate for a Government funded institution"? Surely in terms of editorial integrity at least, it should be case that it would be wholly appropriate - if not actually desirable - to criticise a private company if you are being funded by the government? Paul Birch of Revolver Records is probably not alone in seeing the government as being simply a tool of corporate influence. This just shows how bad things have got - that people like him now need to make no secret of the fact that they expect governments to work exclusively for commercial interests. I mean, we know that the military industrial complex is now one and the same as democratically elected government in the West, but to flaunt is like this is just staggering I think.
Yes I was totally shocked by it. And offended. And outraged. These are some evil people.

Re:The concept of "goverment funding" (2, Insightful)

dhasenan (758719) | more than 7 years ago | (#19549259)

I'm not sure what 'indiscriminate criticism' is. It sounds like libel or slander -- if there's a valid reason to criticize an entity, then such criticism is not indiscriminate. Or perhaps it's simply criticizing an entity without doing any fact checking.

In that case, it's wholly appropriate for a government funded institution to be forbidden from indiscriminate criticism of any entity.

The issue is that I don't see how the professor in question exercised indiscriminate criticism, or actually any criticism -- he simply linked to a site featuring criticism.

Implicit acceptance of YouTube? (1)

pcardno (450934) | more than 7 years ago | (#19549051)

Am I the only one who noticed that he seems to suggest that he has no issue with YouTube containing copyrighted material, even outside of agreements? Seeing as he seems to be talking as a representative of the IFPI (and almost the RIAA by extension), surely his statement regarding YouTube would seem to be agreement that it is valid and legal:

"Consumers that enjoy music have a lot of options and enjoying it free on the radio is at least one of them, with last FM and You Tube there is near on demand service free at the point of use."

So is he stating on behalf of the IFPI that he has no issues with copyrighted content appearing on YouTube without the agreement of the copyright holder? If so, that's a pretty big statement to make. In fact, it breaks their whole model, as he seems to be suggesting that some channels are fine to break copyright law, whereas others aren't, and my understanding is that you can't have that kind of position..

Thoughts would be welcome!

Deep Breath (1)

bflynn (992777) | more than 7 years ago | (#19549399)

Take deep breath and read between the lines. P2pnet is not known as an unbiased "news" source. I place news in quotes because it is questionable as to whether this kind of story even qualifies as journalism.

The blogger himself said there was nothing sinister going on, that this was a technical and traffic issue, probably caused by the blogger himself. The blog was not taken down by the RIAA. And no, I don't like their tactics either, but I'm not about to compromise my own integrity to "get them". TEHNC people (The emperor has no clothes.)

This is a non-story, other than the RIAA has asked a blogger to step out of the discussion. Big surprise there, eh?

Brian

When will they learn? (2, Insightful)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 7 years ago | (#19549519)

When will these organizations learn that by trying to suppress this stuff that they only generate more publicity for it?

WTF? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19549753)

I don't read much on the RIAA and p2p as it doesn't really concern me. I never used p2p and I never bought music online.
But I read this thread, because it's about taking a link down and I was always wondering what that is all about... if certain people don't like certain sites, why don't they just go after those sites? Why do they go after someone else just linking to it? How is taking a link down in any means something sane and legal to do? Unfortunately this thread couldn't answer it as well.

But what I read here let's my jaw drop nonetheless:
Politics? MAFIA? T-E-R-R-O-R-I-S-M?
The last time I checked the RIAA was some kind of umbrella organisation for like four damn record companys or something. This is about fucking stupid music, and as far as I can tell from those record labels it's about stuff that is playing on radio and TV 24 fucking 7. I suggest everbody should take their heads out of their asses and calm down. You should be more concerned about the freedom of linking here, rather than on some stupid music... Turn that stupid radio on, there is plenty of music right there, you can even record it if you feel like it. Don't like that RIAA DRM shit? Don't buy it. Sorry for the rude language, but stuff like this really pisses me off.

It's amazing..... (2, Insightful)

Stanislav_J (947290) | more than 7 years ago | (#19549805)

Every time I think these dinosaurs have reached an unsurpassable level of outrageousness and chutzpah [slashdot.org] , they keep topping themselves. Do they not realize that every time they open their yaps, they lose more and more credibility and probably make downloaders and file sharers even more determined to persevere?

You know, you can argue about copyright law and the industry's legal tactics until you're blue in the face, but the fact is that the world has changed and these suits are going to have to eventually adapt or die. There's a whole generation of young people out there for whom file sharing, if it carries any "moral" weight at all, is looked upon as, at worst, a "sin" on a par with speeding or jaywalking. Rightly or wrongly, millions are growing up freely sharing their music as they see fit, and they scoff at being compared with hardened criminals for doing so. You're not getting this genie back in the bottle -- a "law" that is routinely and easily ignored by a significant proportion of the populace has no teeth.

Re:It's amazing..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19550375)

I beg to differ...

a "law" that is routinely and easily ignored by a significant proportion of the populace has no teeth.

That's what we said about the marijuana laws back in the '70s. Hell, you couldn't go to a rock concert without smelling pot. Nobody cared if you were a potsmoker, and the laws against reefer were going to be repealed Any Day Now.

Fast forward to the sci-fi 21st century (now). You can't get a fucking job washing dishes without being drug tested.

If the past (which this geezer lived through) is any indication, you are dead wrong. You make changing these stupid laws sound like a walk in the park; it's not. If we want to defeat the mafiaa and the government it and the other corporations own, we have a hell of a fight ahead of us.

BTW, you might be interested in an article I wrote [kuro5hin.org] a few years ago (history, politics, music), or another article [kuro5hin.org] in the same place around the same time if you're interested in getting free RIAA music (I'm not; at least, not the new stuff. IMO, Buckcherry is the only decent band signed to an RIAA label this century.)

The dinasaurs need to die, and the asteroid may have hit in the guise of the internet, but it's no sure bet they will die but it IS a sure bet that the thrashing and flailing of their death throes will badly hurt many of us little mammals.

-mcgrew

Favorite part of TFA (1)

GeffDE (712146) | more than 7 years ago | (#19549915)

From this article [newmusicstrategies.com] ,

As an example you probably saw the case earlier in the week of a Chinese Laundry in the United States being sued for $54M for loosing a pair of trousers, belonging to a lawyer.
Obviously, it is not only slashdotters who are loosing their minds...
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