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Napster Being Sued by RIAA

Hemos posted more than 14 years ago | from the enter-the-legal-guns dept.

Music 384

Jason R was the first to write with legal battle news that the RIAA [?] has filed a lawsuit against the company that makes the Napster. They are seeking damages of up to $100,000 per pirated song - Napster says that their software exchanges no files, and that they are not legally responsible for any pirating done.

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384 comments

Whats next? (2)

gooboy (78368) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476790)

When will the RIAA start suing all the companies that have ever made stereos capable of duplicating cassette tapes? More importantly when will they explain the difference?

Oh, the insanity (1)

Count Spatula (103735) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476791)

This is *almost* as frivolous as the HUD suing gun makers.

"Oh, they were/are a part of something that we don't like? Well, we'll just sue them."

It's crap like this that makes America a less likable place. Emigration to Holland, anyone?

I hope Napster wins... (2)

Mr. Flibble (12943) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476792)

If they dont, it would be benificial to us all if they opened the source however (one way or the other). If they open the source the RIAA can only really go after the servers themselves. Going after the logged on clients would not be easy I think.

(I thought the RIAA was already after them? Was this not mentioned before?)

Still, with the advent of things like Gnap, I think that this program is here to stay.

I hope more clients get banged out for Linux and other platforms A.S.A.P. Then the RIAA will not be able to do much....

Pirated MP3's (2)

BorgDrone (64343) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476793)

Why sue?
The napster people aren't sharing the mp3's they are just providing the tools!
napster is for distributing legal mp3's :-)
what's next, are they going to sue the people who make FTP and HTTP software?? it's possible to share pirated mp3's with that too!
---

stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1476794)

why don't they sue ftp server makers by the way or irc clients makers ?

Semi-related (3)

DarkClown (7673) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476795)

A friend of mine was just sent a nasty letter from ascap for distributing his own music on his website - music he'd published under ascap, and on a web page that clearly indicated this. He called their Nashville office and got a pretty prompt apology for the letter after he started musing that perhaps his catalog would be better off on bmi, or no publishing association at all since they aren't really generating much revenue to warrant putting up with nasty letters.
I thought that was kind of a trip - the 'artists' associations are causing more flack than the record labels.
Kind of a trip.

IRC? (1)

SETY (46845) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476796)

Well are they going to sue IRC too? Or ICQ? Or how about USENET, or FTP, or e-mail.
Oh wait, we can't sue those things, so we'll sue napster instead.
The only thing that napster does is allow any idiot to pirate music, compared to the "difficulties" of irc.
The Napster client forcing people to share songs is what has made it so popular.
If napster gets sued then someone else will just write an OS server and then that will be be it.
IRC hasn't been shut down, neither will an OS napster.

Re:Whats next? (2)

Sesse (5616) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476797)

I think you pay a special fee for every audio cassette you buy (at least you used to do -- I haven't checked this information myself), designed to cover the profit loss.

However, audio cassettes and MP3s are two entirely different things. Tape is much worse than MP3 in almost all aspects: No random access, can only hold 1-2 hours (depending on the tape) per tape, and worse of all: After just two or three copies, the sound quality gets so bad, it's close to useless.

MP3 does not suffer from any of these problems, and as an extra `bonus' (if you're using it to copy music illegaly), you can use it across the globe. You don't have to walk over to a friend to copy it.

In short, this is why cassette copying has never been a real problem, whereas MP3 is. Having a fee on MP3s (the same way as on cassettes) would be close to impossible as well, since MP3s are largely independent of the media (HD, Zip, RAM or an MP3 player).

/* Steinar */

Like trying to hold back the ocean (3)

lammi (52951) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476798)

Is it just me, or are we seeing with the last couple of articles posted today, that the world is coming to real crossroads as far as broadcast entertainment goes? The TV networks are suing iCrave, the RIAA is suing the Napster peoeple, by the end of day I'll probably have a lawsuit against me for something.

I have no doubt that the lawsuits will come to some conclusion, someone will cease and desist, and some lawyer will get paid. But what's real interesting is that you can't sue everybody, and I'm sure someone will fill the void once iCrave and Napster are gone. What's the broadcast status quo going to do then?

Re:Pirated MP3's (4)

ChrisGB (114774) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476799)

Agreed - the problem as far as he music companies are concerned is the lack of ability to stop this kind of activity. As gooboy pointed out - stereos can duplicate cassettes. BorgDrone suggests that FTP and HTTP programmers shold also be sued for providing tools for duplicting illegal material, and what about CDRs? It's so easy to duplicate material of any type now - cassette, CD, MP3 etc etc - the music companies are just over frustrated that there's nothing they can do to prevent it, so are venting their frustrations on those people that visibly going against their wishes.

Didn't a similar case come up with Lycos' MP3 search engine? (Lycos [lycos.com] ) that never went anywhere? Same argument - they aren't breaking the law, but simply supplying tools that could be used to break the law. You can't sue for that - you'd have to sue makers of hammers, guns, and anything else used by criminals.

This one will have to be looked at closely (3)

Olivier Galibert (774) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476800)

It's an interesting problem, also encountered in the field of emulation (console and arcade games). There are programs which have both legal and illegal uses. For instance MAME [mame.net] allows you to play old arcade games if you have the corresponding copyrighted roms. It is perfectly legal to use it as a hardware behaviour documentation database (which is its main aim) or to play games you own legally. It is of course illegal to download the thousands of roms you find on the internet. Everybody knows that it is the main use of MAME, even if it isn't the main target of the developers.

So, is MAME legal, or is MAME a contributory copyright infrigement?

This case seems to me very similar. Napster can as easily be used for legal and illegal purposes. Most people use it for illegal purposes, but that does not mean it is the primary target of the developers. So the results of this suit is going to have a farther reaching impact than only mp3.

OG.

Re:Whats next? (1)

plankton14 (65885) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476801)

Someone please correct me if I'm mistaken, but wouldn't the RIAA's job of proving Napster in the wrong be even more difficult than M$ trying to gun down BO2K? They're both routinely used for "less than honorable" purposes, but even though there were many bitches and moans from the boys in Redmond about BO, no lawsuit followed (at least none that I'm aware of).

Fuck the RIAA (1)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476802)

Perhaps this will be moderated down as flamebait. In any case, as someone hinted at earlier, is the RIAA going to file suit against sony for making walkmans and minidisc players, with which people listen to pirated music all the time? Or are they going to stick to suing the small startups who don't have the revenue to fight back?

It's because of this and other RIAA arrogance and stupidity that I'm going to start using napster. I'm also going to start burning CDs full of MP3s (650M could hold about 10 full albums) and sharing them with others just to spite these petty scumbags. Suck on that, RIAA.

-Legion

the RIAA said it themselves.. (5)

radja (58949) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476803)

RIAA refers to Napster as "burglar's tools". But what is a burglar's tools? a crowbar? these are not illegal to make. Glasscutters? Perfectly legal. What's next... outlawing penises for being a rapist's tool?

//rdj

only a matter of time (1)

jaxn (112189) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476804)

It was only a matter of time before something like this happened. I am surprised that scour.net has gotten away with it as long as they have. I enjoy both applications, however it it blatantly obvious that illegal songs are being traded. I think fighting mp3's is a lost cause. The RIA should focus on something more important...like a new service or procust that encourages us to buy more music. Offer something that cannot be duplicated. I don't think that encryption is the only measure...obviously that doesn't last long... enhanced cd's were neato... i enjoy them when I happen to come across one. I think going after Napster and he kids that trade these songs is the wrong approach. Unfortunately I don't know what the right approach is either. --- jaxn

Re:Whats next? (1)

Hermie The Drill (122991) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476805)

But what is the physical action?

They are the same, right? The quality of the copy should not be of any weight. If I copy it magnetically, on an old Betamax with just the audio, on a cassette or on MP3, isn't his the same action? Is it because of the "Mass" distribution capabilities?

We need to get to the root of the problem.. (2)

Kujo_42 (97474) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476806)

Suing napster isn't going to do anything. What they should do is sue the operating system manufacturer, that provided an environment for napster to be created in the first place. Or even better, how about the computer manufacturers that allow mp3's to be created and distributed!

Out of the pot and into the fire ... (2)

(void*) (113680) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476807)

This is how Napster can get themselves in more hot soup - change the source to link not just MP3's, but also JPG's. Nah - just kidding. :) I wonder if the p0rn hucksters care that Napster can and will infringe on their copyright. Just some ramblings.

stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1476808)

Welcome to America, where you can be sued for someone not liking the way you walk down the street. There is absolutely no way napster can be held liable. It is just like an ISP, it cannot be held responsible for the content downloaded by its users. Globalscape, the makers of CuteFTP, also have a similar program out, except you aren't limited to just mp3's. I wonder how long it will take them to go after them. Especially since they are going to CHARGE for their client.

Open Source. Closed Minds. We are Slashdot.

Follow the money. ( Re:Whats next? ) (1)

Forge (2456) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476809)

In the beginning was the Cinema and the Cinema owners fought TV tooth and nail. They lost and the little box INCREASE the earnings at the box office. Later someone came out with VCRs and they fought that for years. Most people don't know this but the movie people tried to push BETA not because of better video quality but because there was some copy protection in it at the time. They were beaten upside the head and forced to take our money.

The RIAA has the same problem. They absolutely hated cassette decks. They tried to have CDR drives banned. At each step up the technology ladder someone has to bruise them and force them to accept more money. One of these days we are just going to give up and let someone who is happy to have it get our money.

These goys love to sue and the hardly ever win. This is the reason there is such a glut of new lawyers and a drought of technicians and programers. Who wouldn't want a job where your boss just tosses money at you to go harass someone a little with no hope of doing any real damage, except to your deep pocketed boss ?

Never mind the high retainers.

Re:Like trying to hold back the ocean (1)

OnlyNou (90455) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476810)

they can't sue everyone, but i'm sure they'll try.

first you sue, then you run out of money. next we OPEN the standard.

trying to stop piracy is pretty silly. there's only a number of people who are fighting MP3 piracy versus a whole world of hackers and music enthuists who'd keep it free.

guess who's going to have more time on there hands? plus, guess which one of them enjoys listening to MP3s more?

screw the RIAA, they don't cherish the artists as much as we do.

Inevitable - Sounds Familiar (1)

Diamond Slicer (39462) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476811)

The lawsuit was bound to happen. Ever since I discovered Napster I quit buying CD's. RIAA - backed by large music companies, probably will win some kind of injunction against Napster or force them to change thier programming so that they have some sort of copy protection program. This lawsuit sounds familiar to the one that sony has filed against the Rio... I wonder is the results will be the same.

The RIAA Doesnt need to win the case... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1476812)

Its already won. They know very well the case is bogus, but a long grueling court battle is what Napster cannot afford, but the RIAA can, since its backed by the "big five". Its sad, but hey, thats america!

Re:the RIAA said it themselves.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1476813)

propagandi rules, nices quotes

Re:Whats next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1476814)

When will the RIAA start suing all the companies that have ever made stereos capable of duplicating cassette tapes?

I'd say even sue people who have ears, since they are capable of hearing illegal music. Or better yet, sue the RIAA, since they make people criminals. Without the RIAA and the like, we could have world peace.

Re:stupid (1)

raskolnik (101795) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476815)

Common sense dictates it can't be held responsible. The American "Justice" system, however.....
"You should never have your best trousers on when you turn

Re:IRC? (1)

platypus (18156) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476816)

They could sue lycos, for mp3search.lycos.com, or every other specialized mp3-engine, they could sue every effnet or ircnet or dalnet or whatever, they could sue every ftp-admistrator who "forgets" to mark the /incoming directory readonly, they could sue altavista or other to get ie. them to display no pirate mp3-sitez (doesn't matter if it's technically feasible), they could sue geocities or lycos for the illegal websites they always host.

I know this is dumb, but applying the same logic they could do that.

Re:the RIAA said it themselves.. (1)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476817)

Outlawing penises for being a rapist's tool? No kidding, that's exactly what some lesbian-feminists have in mind.

Re:Sueing toolmakers (1)

sbryant (93075) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476818)

You can't sue for that - you'd have to sue makers of hammers, guns, and anything else used by criminals.

Ummm... didn't I hear on the news this morning something about the Whitehouse putting together a class action suit against gun manufacturers ?

-- Steve

Re:IRC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1476819)

Even if Napster is sued, Napster has made their message.

Too late, you RIAA fuckheads. Word's out.

There's already Napster clones out there. Besides the ones which hold the "nap" or "napster" label (in Linux), there's Windows clones, such as CuteMX. And it suuuure as fuck won't be the last. Even if Napster isn't sued (they can't do shit!), these clones will continue to be created.

Furthermore, once there's a lot of different types of Napster clients out there, it'd make as much sense to sue the creators of mIRC, XiRCON, pIRCH, etc just to name some of the Windows IRC clients, as it would to sue these Napster clients.

Nothing to worry about, I think. Unless you are in on Napster. And then there's still probably nothing to worry about.

And, fuck you all. Blah blah. Fucking cockheads. -- Added so the moderators have an excuse to moderate me down. This way, I don't have to reply asking why I was moderated down.

-cow

Black Market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1476820)

The article said that they were being sued because it creates a black market for mp3's. I can see how this could be a valid lawsuit. What are the current laws regarding this type of thing? Also, the earlier comment that you can't sue things like FTP and IRC is a good observation. Why doensn't someone change napster from a service into a protocol like that that can't be sued? The only problem here is having server's to coordinate the communication. That could be managed just like the IRC servers. It seems to me that this would greatly decrease, if not eliminate the vulnerability.

Sue'em all? (1)

simpleguy (5686) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476821)

I fail to see how the RIAA may win this one.

Lets see, one can make mp3 file (legal and illegal) available via FTP servers, HTTP servers, IRC fserves, etc.

Will the RIAA sue the makers of the diverse servers?
Instead of colliding with a big corporation, apparently the RIAA prefers to sue smaller entities who, even though may win their case, may
plead guilty because of the lack of money to defend their case.

Last time I checked, there were loads of illegal material on free services such as Yahoo Geocities,
Angelfire, Xoom etc. and among them, were mp3s

RIAA better have lots and lots of bucks to sue each and every one of them.

Remember, tools are not malevolent. They are used in malevolent ways.

Re:Fuck the RIAA (1)

GaspodeTheWonderDog (40464) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476822)

You say it as if you didn't do this already.

This is just silly... (2)

tweek (18111) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476823)

There's a freakin disclaimer on the napster website and when the client logs in. If disclaimers aren't any good anymore then what's the point?

Re:Follow the money. ( Re:Whats next? ) (1)

raskolnik (101795) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476824)

Indeed. I'm exposed to more new and different bands through mp3s than through word of mouth or the radio. For example, I'm not gonna go out and buy some random artist's cd for 10$. And i'm not gonna listen to a radio station that routinly plays music I don't like, but sometimes plays an interestingly new song. But I WILL download a random mp3, to see if i like the band. I think ultimatly it will help the record companies more than hurting them. Or at least the indie artist.
"You should never have your best trousers on when you turn

Same as current protocols we have now. (1)

mistalinux (78981) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476825)

Why doesnt the RIAA sue the creators of FTP, HTTP, USENET, SMB, NFS, hard disks, RAM, removeable media, PAPER - since you can write down lyrics, and even voice boxes! These are all ways to "illegally" copy music! The insanity goes on!

Guns and MP3s (1)

Webmonger (24302) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476826)

Yeah, but MP3s don't kill. . .

Missing the point... (5)

lar3ry (10905) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476827)

The point isn't whether or not Napster is pirating songs. The RIAA knows this, Napster knows this, and from the comments posted, most of the people on Slashdot seem to know this.

There are more than one reason to initiate a lawsuit. If Napster doesn't have the resources to fight a challenge by the RIAA, then the RIAA wins -- by default!

The RIAA has nothing to lose with this lawsuit. If Napster has good legal representation, then the RIAA will notice this and will probably back down, or come up with some sort of "settlement" that neither party will be able to divulge to anybody else.

This is just a classic case of the big corporation stepping on a little guy: look at all the money and legal resources the RIAA has... it's only reason to be is to initiate these heavy handed lawsuits to protect their member companies.

This is exactly like the etoys.com action against etoy.com; there's no hope for etoys.com to win in an evenly matched legal fight. But if the other party doesn't have the $$$ to fight it, then "I'm sorry. The suit was invalid, but you still lose."

Whatever happens, I hope that Napster doesn't try to make a deal with the RIAA. Look at how the RIAA managed to get the Lyrics Archive to "get back up" -- but at the cost that it now has virtually no lyrics whatever. Any deals with the RIAA means that RIAA wins, and everybody else loses.

I wonder if there will be a legal defense fund set up...
--

Why not SUE these TOO: (1)

reality-bytes (119275) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476828)

Sony Hitachi JVC etc RealMedia WinAmp X11Amp Quicktime *Microsoft* --might as well, everybody else does :) All these have made equipment or software capable of duplicating copyright audio

Re:the RIAA said it themselves.. (1)

raskolnik (101795) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476829)

Of course, outlawing the tools isn't so unheard of....Guns, for example....
"You should never have your best trousers on when you turn

100K/song? (2)

volsung (378) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476830)

Where in the world did they come up with that figure? Let's do a little math here. First some assumptions:
  1. The average CD costs $18. [Your store may vary.]
  2. The average CD contains 10 songs. [Notice that I am erring on the side of the RIAA]
  3. The worth of a song is computed by prorating the worth of the CD. Thus, each song is worth 1/10 of the cost of a CD.
  4. Lawsuit damages have some connection to value. [Stop snickering!]
That means that one song pirated on Napster has a value of $1.80. So, in order to have caused $100,000 dollars of damage to the RIAA, the song would have had to be pirated approximately 56,000 times! Have 56,000 people even downloaded Napster? If so, does anyone actually believe that nearly all of them pirated the same song?

Of course, the answer is that assumption 4 is wrong. We all know that the legal system is like the lottery. Once you can prove someone has "screwed you over," it is your moral duty to extract as much money from them as possible. The amount need not have any relation to reality.

Actually, this is a little different. The RIAA isn't doing this to get money; they're doing it to put Napster so far into debt that they'll have to sell their relative's organs to get out. At the same time, they will manage to scare the pants off of anyone else who might cross their path.

It's not case, it's the Law (5)

CPol (112725) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476831)

I don't think that the RIAA suit tells that much about music as it tells about the status of US law. Apparently, to us stupid Europeans, if you've got a good enough lawyer you can get anything done, legal or not. The US system of suing everyone and everything is causing this storm. It's a hysteric reacton to an insane system and all these lawsuits happend because the legel system in the US favours suing.

What do you think would have happend if the RIAA would simply have called the Napster people and asked them; 'hey, could you implement some kind of copy protection scheme for those who want to use it?'. I bet that they'd have gotten their way, and much faster than by suing. Besides, as has been pointed out, there are a lot of other ways to get MP3's that are just as easy. So maybe the RIAA is only trying to set a precedent by attacking a small part of what they percieve as a problem? If they'd succeed in taking on a weak opponent they could move on to stronger ones with another weapon in their legal arsenal.

But what can you do if you have a system that let's a kid sue her parents for refusing to give her candy? (I still refuse to believe in that one, the thought of a country alowing things like that to happend and armed with nukes is way to scary.) Not to say that our law is perfect, one just has to look at the case where two thieves beat an 70 year old man to death with a frying pan and got out free by blaming eachother to see that, but at least people over here don't sue eachother all the time.

Re:Whats next? (1)

ldanna (39676) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476832)

They did that allready. Remember DAT?

Because they can. . . (1)

Webmonger (24302) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476833)

It's pretty sorry how self-serving the RIAA can be. Did they sue Sony for making duel-cassette boom boxes? Did they sue Panasonic for making boom-boxes that can tape a CD when you push just three buttons?

They can't do that. Those companies are part of their industry.

So why sue Napster, or, more stupidly, Diamond?

Because they can.

Re:I hope Napster wins... (0)

Bad Mojo (12210) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476834)

And this is the crux that the debate hangs on. Technically, Napster is providing servers that do nothing other than show who else using the client is connected. The clients talk to each other for all other information (or so I'm led to believe). If that is the case, Napster really can't control what files are sent/received by people using the clients talking to each other. I could rename pirated software to have an mp3 extension and use Napster to tranfer pirated wares.

So basically, Napster is a huge file sharing system not unlike ftp or http systems in use today. But with a dash of ICQ added in. If you are RIAA and you keep going after the people running a Napster server only to find out the guy has NO mp3's on his machine, doesn't listen to MP3's or copy music illegally, what do you do? What charge can you possibly bust this guy on? Facilitating the transfer of pirates audio? Might as well get the people who run FTP sites and so on who are ACTUALLY trying really hard to get illegal MP3's into the hands of other people.


Bad Mojo

Re:I hope Napster wins... (1)

ldanna (39676) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476835)

maybe someone will just hack up an open source
server.

Good one (0)

guran (98325) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476836)

Seldom have I seen a .sig more appropriate to the comment...

RIAA will win, I think. (2)

arcade (16638) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476837)

RIAA refers to Napster as "burglar's tools". But what is a burglar's tools?

I don't know the laws, IANAL.

And, that RIAA representative wasn't the brightest. But, napsters servers can be compared to a "thieving guild" or however it is spelled. It provides the tools, the server, the information on how, and the oportunity to - trade copyrighted mp3's illegally.

If they made the napster, and bound it to IRC channels and DCC chats, or something, then they could've claimed it was just a tool, and that they couldn't be helt responsible. But, because of them providing the servers and so forth, this just seems to much like a "Guild of thieves" in my eyes. Although, it is a guild I would like to be a member of.. in this case. :)

Even though I enjoy beeing able to find the latest hits and download them from the net -- that doesn't make it more "right" or "legal". otoh, if we could cut out "the music industry", and the artist made their songs and melodies on their own website, prohibiting redistribution... THEN we would be in a "good" society. The artists could then make a LOT of money on advertisement. Probably a lot more than they make today. Today most of the money goes straight into the music industry's pockets, and not the artists. THAT is why they are interested in quenching mp3's. They really don't care about the artists, even though that are what they say they do.

So, of course I hope that napster will win. I also hope that the music industry will continue fighting this battle, not realising that its a hopeless struggle (for them). That way, they will be ruined. And when they are ruined, then people will start distrbuting their own mp3's, from their own website, and earn money for themselves, not needing the stupid bloodsucking musicindustry. :)

Re:Guns and MP3s (1)

ChrisGB (114774) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476838)

Sorry - wouldn't have heard about the White House statement being based in UK! Thanks for the pointer. ;-)

With whom does the copyright infringement lie? (1)

kammat (114899) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476839)

These days, it hard to tell who is responsible for copyright infringement. Hey, we've got people sending copyright software back and forth on our network, oh no, they're gonna shut down our whole network and sue the University!

In a similar vein, what if someone is using our network do distribute MP3's which they should not? Is it the network provider's fault that that person has the ability do distribute these files, or is the person distributing them the sole person to take responsibility?

With new methods for transmitting and distributing information being developed almost daily, I think the copyright groups are looking for ways to retain control, and for this I must agree with them. Copyright is important to help foster the growth of new ideas, and the ability to profit from them. Without this, people would have little motivation to develop new ideas, as it would likely be used by someone else, and they could claim all the work.

What needs to be done is for everyone to realize that for every tool made, there's going to be legal and illegal uses for it. What we need to do is go after those who do use the tool illegally, and make sure that what is illegal is clearly defined.

Re:100K/song? (1)

bpw (55960) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476840)

The last time I saw napster spidered (the entire array of servers.. it has 12, you randomly connect to one and only access the mp3s on that server), it had 1.1 million mp3s on it, and ~6000 users (this was about 3 hours ago). Now, there's no doubt most of those 1.1 million are dupes. What I really want to know is.. 100k/song, or 100k/instance of song? 100k*1.1 million.. well, heh, ow.

Re:Pirated MP3's (4)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1476841)

They should sue Al Gore. If he hadn't invented the internet, this would not be a problem...

Typical idiot jumping on the bandwagon (1)

Merli (91684) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476842)

"It is the single most insidious Web site I've ever seen--it's like a burglar's tool," Ron Stone, a representative from artists' agency Gold Mountain Management, said in a statement. Damn huh... You've got to be feeling might stupid after saying something like this and getting it quoted all over CNet and Slashdot :) -- Merli

RIAA (1)

psyberlenk (123820) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476843)

Come on guys... I really wish the RIAA would grow up... They go against mp3s, but they never go against Cassettes or MiniDiscs, or DAT...... Ohh wait, they would get laughed at for suing Sony or Panasonic, they gotta go after the little guys like Napster... They are not suing Real Networks for their Music Jukebox software that allows you to ripp cd's and encode mp3s, their not going after microsoft for providing a player that will play mp3 audio with their Windows 98 SE OS.... why go after Napster...... Get a life guys!.

Re:Guns and MP3s (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1476844)

yes they can.. Hanson and N'sync are living proof.

Moral Discussion on Napster. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1476845)

Ok first and foremost, I don't think napster can be held liable. (This point has been made a lot in here)... but lets be serious about this. Do you guys really believe that napsters intentions were to create a "legal mp3 community"? Its ludicrous to even think so. How many of you have downloaded mp3s from actual sites like mp3.com that are not copyright protected? I think I downloaded one, once. Maybe two. Mostly out of curiousity. How many of you have mp3s which are clearly pirated ? One clear way of knowing is to check the filename itself, if it ends in APC or RNS, I guarantee you its pirated. Thats sort of beside the point though since if you don't own the cd and have the mp3 thats still pirating. (Though APC and RNS are groups on irc who actually take the time to make all these mp3s. They don't get money for it, just "respect"). My point is this : Does napster have an ethical obligation to the music industry to at least try to stop illegal mp3s being transfered using their servers? At the very least they could deny ones ending in RNS or APC. Its hardly a security measure (move bla-rns to bla) but it would go a long way it CREDIBLY showing that they don't condone it. But do you really think they built this software saying "hey no, there must be millions of people who have all these mp3s they made of their own music who will download our software?" They knew better. Now, I'm not saying they should be held responsible, but it is possible that they could be fined because of "unethical" buisness practices. It is rare to occur since its often appealed to hell and back when it does happen. An interesting method of attacking napster might be: you could argue that by using napster one might inadvertently download an mp3 and infringe copyrights. Its a long shot argument, but given that napster never seems to have a disclaimer saying "Hey, watch what you download" its not a long shot for them to find some people who have downloaded some mp3s from napster and then say "Did you know that was illegal?", most of them will have, a few of them won't. So you bring those people to court and you have them say "Napster provided me with illegal content of which I was never warned". Its scary to see it move this way, but it could happen. Of course its no different that saying "Internet Explorer allowed me to access napster.com and therefore access pirated mp3 distribution software". Am I the only one seeing this happening? Moreover I have a question for you all : Recently ISPs were not found liable for content passing through their servers, this begs the question -- if you run an isp, and you want mp3s, would it not be possible to say to someone "Hey, mr mp3 guy with lots of mp3s, I'll give you a home directory on our machines with no disk space cap and you just let me peruse your directory, sound good?" Stick the guy on a box with 200GB with maybe 20 other accounts, claim its a web development environment, if you get busted for mp3 distribution say "I'm an ISP im not liable for my content." And where does this line end ? Say I sign up with an ISP. Then I set up my own box. People use that box. They infringe on a few copyrights. Can I be held liable or can I use the argument that I'm not responsible for my users actions or data passing through my server?? BLA! btw yes I have downloaded "dubious" mp3s from napster.

What about LEGAL mp3s (2)

dirk (87083) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476846)

The real battle the RIAA has ahead is proving that Napster was set up specifically to transport ILLEGAL MP3s. If they can do this, I think they have a very good case on their hands. What Napster has to do is focus on the fact that MP3s aren't illegal. There are many places you can get legal MP3s (see MP3.com), they have to show it's not the format, or their software, but they people using it. If the RIAA can convince a judge that Napster was written with the intent of transporting pirated MP3s, they can win this battle hands down.

Re:Common Carrier laws apply? (2)

Cygnus v1 (32061) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476847)

The fact that no Napster server is involved with the actual file transmission says a lot. RIAA might have a leg to stand on if Napster, even briefly, hosted the MP3 files in question or streamed the content from their server.

Napster creates a software tool that in and of itself does not infringe upon copyrights. The argument for its legality would be similar to those made for document copiers. The RIAA is creating more negative publicity for themselves.

On a related note, does anyone here read the recording industry trades (BillBoard, etc.)? If so, could you comment on the type of coverage these RIAA news stories get, and if it's positive or negative?

Idea!! (1)

pyr0 (120990) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476848)

Here is an idea. Instead of restricting napster to only mp3's, make it sort of an ftp client where any files can be downloaded, and start marketing the program as an ftp client or whatever. Say something like "it does the same thing as icq file transfer or irc only better!" I think the whole problem here is that napster targeted themselves by making an mp3 only client and saying hey! Here we are! Download mp3's! Of course RIAA is going to be mad if they see something like that. My 2 cents.

Re:i have to admit.. (1)

gosquad (122364) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476849)

The funny thing is is that most of the porn picutres you get off the net are infridgements of copyright law as well (scanned from magazines, stills from (or full) movies. Not that I would know anything about porn on the Internet. :)

Re: [not so] Good one (1)

Anonymous Freak (16973) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476850)

Actually, I found the .sig to be very IN-appropriate. Or, more correctly, that it was ironic. He was advocating that the weaker participant fight with all his might, and NOT give in. His .sig seems to advocate the opposite. (Yes, I was going to post this seperately, but you seem to have beat me to the punch, and in the process, made a good arguing point.)

Guns have no purpose except death (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1476851)

But there is only one purpose to use a gun - To hurt or kill. There is NO other purpose. Target practice, perhaps, but that is only in preparation to kill. So it is just as valid. If you can prove to me a purpose of using a gun that doesn't lead to violence, show it to me - And it's gotta be reasonable - Turning off the TV or lights like Homer did with a gun on The Simpsons does not count.

Mp3, on the other hand, has a variety of non-violent uses, such as:

- Radio Station Broadcasting
- Selling Paid For Music
- Giving away free music (Ala GPL, not Pirated)
- Saving disk space by saving your voice recordings in Mp3.
- etc...

Re:Fuck the RIAA (1)

plankton14 (65885) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476852)

Another reason the RIAA doesn't go after Sony is that not only is Sony a huge Japanese conglomerate, making damn near every type of electronic product known to man, but it is also the world's largest recording label. RIAA doesn't touch Sony because, frankly, Sony could make their life hell.
RIAA may be arrogant and stupid, but they aren't suicidal.

Re:Moral Discussion on Napster. (1)

pyr0 (120990) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476853)

but given that napster never seems to have a disclaimer saying "Hey, watch what you download"

Actually, that above statement is not correct. When you log on to Napster it displays just such a disclaimer saying that Napster can not be held responsible for any illegal mp3's downloaded.

Re:Whats next? (2)

Anonymous Freak (16973) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476854)

I think you pay a special fee for every audio cassette you buy (at least you used to do -- I haven't checked this information myself), designed to cover the profit loss.

Yes, you do. You also pay a fee on every DAT tape, MiniDisc, and "Audio" CD-R. (And DCC, if you can find them.) You pay a fee on any recordable media that is specifically designed for use with audio. This is the RIAA's doing. That is also why "Audio" CD recorders require that you use "Audio" CD-R discs, and why Audio CD-R discs cost 2-3 times as much as normal ones. Which is also why newer CD Players will only play CD-R discs if they are the "Audio" variety.

As for your drawbacks? MiniDisc takes away most of them (it has random access, can hold 74 minutes, is better quality than MP3, and the sound quality doesn't degrade. Although, because of the RIAA, you can only make two direct digital copies. Every third copy has to be analog.)

It works the other way too... (3)

Bartmoss (16109) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476855)

...I tried napster on a friend's Windoze computer, found something interesting, and ORDERED THE CD. That's fifteen or so bucks the record label would have never earned had it not been for napster.

Why sue? .. and what if RIAA wins? (2)

Stavr0 (35032) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476856)

Why sue?
Because RIAA can / To force NAPSTER to shutdown their servers.

And if they succeed?
Out of severe withdrawal symptoms, someone will develop an open-source version, thousands of servers will be out there, most out of (legal) reach of RIAA.

At some posh Y2K party, very rich lawyers will be toasting those suckers at RIAA for giving them endless wild goose-chase lawsuits to keep them busy well into the new millenium.
---

Re:Guns have no purpose except death (1)

Ccaves (104671) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476857)

without guns we would still be using bows and arrows or spears to kill our food, without the invention of the gun we as a speicies would not have evolved so quickly. Believe it or not, the gun is responsible for the advancement of man. I say this because of the simple fact that I mentioned above. It was an all day venture to go out and hunt your food down in the old'en days, it took even longer with bows, arrows and spears cause of the distance you had to be to kill the beast, with the invent of the gun you get a reasonable distance, shoot, clean and eat, after all this you were left with more time to practice in other indevers, music, art, science... Hell, with out bow, arrows and spears we would still be killing our food with our bare hands, what kind of sociaty would we live in if we were forced to hunt our food cause some guy didnt think about domesticated meat animals in his spare time after eating? :) PS. Vegitarinism(SP?) doesnt count, veges are nasty horrible little things to be avoided at all cost.

They are clue-imparied (2)

Pfhreakaz0id (82141) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476858)

"It is the single most insidious Web site I've ever seen--it's like a burglar's tool,"

DORK! it's not a web site. Geez. It's a different protocol. If you're gonna get quoted, know what the fsck you're talking about!

Re:I hope Napster wins... (2)

QuMa (19440) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476859)

Actually, I'm quite sure that searches are done via the server too...

Re:We need to get to the root of the problem.. (1)

QuMa (19440) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476860)

Isn't that the beatles crossed with lbt? :-)

Re:Out of the pot and into the fire ... (1)

Bartmoss (16109) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476861)

Better yet start to distribute GIFs and get sued by UNISYS.

what irritates me. (5)

mcc (14761) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476862)

Sony sells its minidisc almost completely on the basis of its ability to make copies. Every single commercial i've seen for the minidisc consists of nothing but the people making copies of minidiscs. They put a heavy emphasis on "mix tapes". Mix tapes.. riiiight. I'm sure that's really it. :P If the attraction is really in being able to make legal copies of things you own for the purpose of putting all of your good music in one, convenient place.. isn't that exactly the same idea as mp3? Isn't that what SDMI is designed to prevent? But the RIAA has no problem with the minidisc.

Phillips is currently selling a standalone CD writer that makes exact copies of CDs, and does nothing else. They boast about this in their commercials. Unlike conventional computer CD-R drives, which _can_ be used for completely legal purposes, or for making mixtapes of the cds you already own a la minidisc, the CD writer they're selling makes an exact copy of a CD you have already. There is NO POSSIBLE PURPOSE for this device except for making copies and then distributing them illegally. But the RIAA has no problem with it.

None of this is about copyright violation at _all_. (If it were, they'd go after copyright violations.) It's about the RIAA maintaining a monopoly; it's about elitism; it's about keeping anyone outside of the small group of ultrarich megacorporations from operating without going through the ultrarich corporations, or keeping small groups from gaining cultural power.

It's about destroying anyone who can't afford a lawyer.

(p.s. this is offtopic, but doesn't Phillips own some of the patents on mp3 or something? if so, where are they now? Not helping napster, apparently..)

Black Markets (1)

Muttonhead (109583) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476863)

Major record studios sued a five-month-old music company today, claiming that its software creates a black market for illegal copies of digital music.

The too high price of CD's is what creates a black market. The too high price of anything can create a black market.

Re:Missing the point... (1)

wook (114159) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476864)

There is also another point that we are missing. That is that the RIAA cant do anything about pirated songs these days, they know that and so do we. There are just to damn many ways to do it. The problem is that Napster makes it easy to download music, and that the program is specifically made for this purpose. Now for most of us it doesnt matter cause we can go other places and get anything we want. The RIAA knows this. They are just pissed off cause this new program came out that makes it so any one with an IQ higher than their shoe size can use and download pirated music. So now the number of people that can and do download pirated music grows at an increasingly growing rate. They are suing Napster cause they think it will send a message to all the people that use it, cause they are too damn stupid to do it any other way, that they cannot do that. If the RIAA wins then most of those people will never download mp3s again because they are ignorant. They would do the same thing to IRC if it was advertised to download mp3s. Let the Wookie win, hell yeah!

Re:what irritates me. (1)

EvilKevin (26404) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476865)

Just paranoid speculation, but might RIAA's blind eye towards Phillips and Sony be because they both own huge recording companies and are thus represented by RIAA?

Re:Like trying to hold back the ocean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1476866)

Not to mention artists will always get paid, because even if EVERYONE had a computer (which they don't), there would still be plenty people who just didn't want to fuck with Napster type things. Or didn't know about it.

Many artists enjoy their work, and preach how they do it for the music, not the money. Of course, surely they need to get paid, and they always will. So what the fuck is the problem? Greed.

Although, many artists don't give a fuck if you pirate mp3s. The main enemy is the RIAA.

OPEN SOURCE NAPSTER (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1476867)

i want to use napster to distribute copies of my copyrighted, non-distributable open source natalie portman and open source drew barrymore project. i would be cool among all teen cyberpunks as i imposed 10:1 ratios on their access to my copyrighted, non-distributable open source natalie portman and open source drew barrymore project. how jealous they would be of me.
"i am jealous of anonymous coward, " they would confess, "he has imposed a 10:1 ratio on my access to his napster compatible copyrighted, non-distributable open source natalie portman and open source drew barrymore project."
"look how he sits at his computer, like matthew broderick, with his little talking box and ally sheedy, " they would note.
"i will revoke your access and then you will be handsomely rewarded!" i would announce.
"yes!!" the young cyberpunk would agree, "i will be handsomely rewarded!"
thank you.

Re:Whats next? (0)

rude (123826) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476868)

fuck the RIAA, i say send them 50 million emaisl a day to badbeat@riaa.com or 50 million phone calls to them at 1-800-BAD BEAT (1-800-223-2328). you know in the ned we choose by wether or not we buy. =P

Re:Whats next? (1)

Sesse (5616) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476869)

As explained, it's the same physical action, but in the case of the cassette (or some other mediums, as some other reader pointed out) you have actually paid for it, so it's legal.

I think you can pay the RIAA per song, and do the same to MP3. It still doesn't allow you to distribute it to non-paying friends, though.

/* Steinar */

Legal Defense Fund (2)

Signal 11 (7608) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476870)

We need a legal defense fund - no doubt Napster cannot support a drawn out legal battle - their revenue comes from banner ads built into the client which as is likely only covers the bandwidth and meager upkeep costs for their servers / employees.

We know the RIAA is counting (nay, depending!) on Napster backing down. The RIAA is the Microsoft of the computer industry - sue people just because you'd win the war of attrition. If there is ANY way for me to help, PLEASE contact me, I'd be willing to contribute a few bucks to a defense fund - Napster is a great product. As a sidenote, you might be able to raise the necessary funds by pledging to open source Napster if you got n dollars. I know it isn't the ideal situation, but the alternative is even worse. The key is to distribute the load and amass enough resources to stay afloat long enough to bring the media down to bear on the problem - they love stories about the underdog. The best we can hope for is bad enough publicity and lost sales as part of a possible boycott that they would back off.

This shouldn't be a surprise at _all_ (1)

gregstoll (90319) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476871)

Oh, come on, now. Is anyone here _really_ surprised by this? Napster has a disclaimer, and mentions that there are thousands of legal mp3's out there, but how many people (myself included) actually use it to get legal mp3's? *waiting for responses* ....I thing RIAA might have a point here (as much as I hate to admit it!) - they should be quite worried by this...

RIAA gets injunction banning FTP, HTTP, cp, rcp... (5)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476872)

Napsters tools are no more inherently tools for pircacy than ftp is. Yes, it provides a mechanism for people to exchange information. Music happens to be information, so yes, it, too, can be exchanged. Illegally, if both parties are unscrupulous enough to do so. So what?

The "cp" command allows one to do the same (copy to disk and distribute at will). rcp and scp are even worse -- they do the same thing across a network. The venerable ftp protocol allows users to download information in binary format at will. Oh shit! So does http, come to think of it! Then there is IRQ, the most evil of evils. Poeple speaking freely with one another in realtime. Good Lord! Not just a piracy tool, but a conspiricy tool as well! Call the FBI stat!

The RIAA, in even filing this lawsuit, is effectively proposing the banning of the entire internet and all of the utilities and protocols which make it a usable medium for any type of information exchange. This is an attempt to do two things: (1) intimidate a small company with a large legal fist and (2), if they should be so lucky as to find a judge with sufficient sympathy (or a great deal of Sony stock in his portfolio), to effectively ban any tool that lets users exchange binary information of any kind ('cuz it just might be music).

If this doesn't make the absurdity of their lawsuit clear, nothing will.

Sue Everyone! (1)

TheMayor (123827) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476873)

It doesn't make any sense for the RIAA to sue Napster. Napster is no different that the Diamond RIO. It's not about what it can do, it's what people do with it. Kinda like a gun. "guns don't kill people, people do."

They mind as well sue computer makers for creating a device that facilitates music piracy!

Haahaa.. what a a joke.

I say we all start a big boycott against buying any cd's or music that the RIAA is associated with.

Anyway.. those are my thoughts..

Re:Whats next? (1)

deefer (82630) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476874)

What has happened to CDC, anyway? Their website hasn't been touched for weeks! Hardly the actions of "media whores"...
Maybe they're working on some diabolic new hac^H^H^H^administrative tool for W2K/Linux/TransMeta...

OK: Ironic one (1)

guran (98325) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476875)

You don't say ;-)
BTW the RIAA seems closer to the empire than to Chewbacka. (or perhaps rahter the trade federation)

Oops sorry geek overload

riaa.org (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476876)

Anyone ever been to their web site? It's like Scientologists designed it or something. Just a bunch of links to propaganda sheets. They desperately wish they were cool. There are NO links to discussion or feedback, that I could find.

Last cool thing that came out of RIAA was the "LP curve" (improved fidelity and keeps needle from jumping off the vinyl on those disco beats).

Honestly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1476877)

I think this program kind of does push the law to the limit, but hey, it's about loosening your top shirt buttons and living a little. I don't know who has unlimited funds to spread to the big 5 music companies for lots of poor quality tracks just so they can get one good one.

Content Discrimination (1)

Sludge (1234) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476878)

When people compare suing the creators of Napster to suing the creators of FTP, I find one essential difference: Napster discriminates on it's content based on file format, whereas FTP does not. Like the story [slashdot.org] about Lycos denying Excite, Infoseek or Yahoo searches, Napster is responsible for all content that passes through their program because they have content discrimination. This is not a place they want to be.

I still maintain that a more general purpose type of Napster clone should exist, to fully realise the possibilities of this sort of file distribution.

Furthermore, I'm not a lawyer.

Fringe Benefit for Winning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1476879)

It would certainly set a precedent if Napster wins. I think the RIAA is taking a big risk - if they lose this one, any other similar lawsuits are at best a losing gamble. Go Napster!

Nitpick. (2)

Spunk (83964) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476880)

There is NO POSSIBLE PURPOSE for this device except for making copies and then distributing them illegally.

Gee, not to oversimplify or anything...
How about the garage-band who can now afford to press a whole ton of their own CD's?

You're falling for the same crap the RIAA is spewing at us.

RIAA employees == shallow end of the gene pool (1)

bjtuna (70129) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476881)

The article quotes RIAA spokesman Ron Stone as describing Napster as follows:
"It is the single most insidious Web site I've ever seen--it's like a burglar's tool."
The funny thing about this is that Stone apparently has never seen Napster or seen it be used. (Napster, obviously, is a software package and not a website like audiogalaxy.com or something) He is what we /. readers call a "moron," a "pompous fool," or simply "the public" His story is all too common: he thinks the Internet IS the Web, and that all activities -legal or illegal- on the Internet take place through the web. ("I mean, its not happening through e-mail so what's left besides the web? Gosh, this internet thing sure isn't all it was cracked up to be..") The RIAA is trying to make an example of Napster, even if it doesn't much care/know what Napster is, what it does, or how it does it.
On a side note, I guess the only reason we don't hear much complaining from the /. community about the whole Web != Internet thing is that a good percentage would rather the media/public not know where all the REAL pirated software and music can be found; the average teenage mp3 or warez collector thanks his lucky stars every day that the rest of the world doesn't know what IRC is.
It is my feeling that the Napster issue is the first case where the RIAA and the media have actually identified a true, rampant, effective means of piracy, and my personal feeling is that while Napster may beat the rap, it would be better if they lost. Why? Because Napster brings piracy too far into the open. Thievery is a fact of life and is as old as civilization; good thieves know enough to not advertise their activities, even if they CAN play dumb. Napster was playing with fire, and should have known better.

Two can play this game. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1476882)

I used to pirate CD's and if I liked the music I would purchase the CD just to support the band. Since the RIAA has decided to be assholes I am not buying anymore CD's until they stop. I suggest to everyone burn your own CD's. FUCK THE RIAA!!!

Just Napster? (1)

duder (86761) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476883)

Last time I checked there was no official napster linux client. Fine, I went to freshmeat and found some linux clients. I admit I am not napster guru, so I do not know exactly how it works but these clients have to use napster's make-shift network. With all that said, is the RIAA going to sue only napster or the various authors of napster clients?

Re:Idea!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1476884)

Excellent! I've (ok, really) used Napster, man, there are three or four different asdfgnapsters around.

IF ONLY it could be set to, say 'illegal*.zip'... Often I've searched for things, hoping to find them already ending in mp3. I'd follow the tredn on that day ;-)

Press any key.

Re:Whats next? (1)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476885)

Welll you may have paid per cassestt due to
arrangements between the RIAA and others...
however....

You can legaly make and use MP3s or any other
copy of ANYTHING for personal use. It is called
"Fair Use". It is one of those terms in copyright
law that the RIAA seems to forget about. Amazing
they pay all these lawyers all sorts of money...
and somehow they keep forgetting about "Fair Use"

How does that happen?

Oh yea...you still can't distribute copies or
derivitive works, unless it is some sort of parody
(yes Parody technically does not require
permission) or for purposes of a review...or
educational purposes.

Napster == Illegal Transmission == Control (1)

tilleyrw (56427) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476886)

The worst thing that could happen is that the RIAA forces Napster to 'cease and desist' from producing, updating, and destributing their program and shuts down Napster server.


One solution would be to create an open-source program, similar to the ICQ, where a person logs on and issues a search for a song. All "TunezNet" users that are online at that moment and have that song in their database would be displayed.


If the worst does come to pass, this is a quite workable solution.


The foundation of this issue is one of control. The Internet cannot be controlled in its present form. Nor should it be.


Its growth is determined in part by the developer of the network, and for the moment that is America. Everyone is familiar with the illogical behavior of our legislators as they pursue their personal agendas, as they are walked down the path of dimishing freedom by their corporate masters.


There will come a time when people must decide if the gradual and continual reduction in personal liberties is an acceptable price to prevent Johnny from masturbating to downloaded porn.


I have hope. Call me foolish, naive, dreaming, but I do have hope. Hope that someone with influence, somewhere, will begin acting intelligently, rationally, and with respect for life.



Linus Torvalds and the creation of Linux are a herald for me, a herald that people care about producing not for money but for an intangible -- the quality of the product.

Re:the RIAA said it themselves.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1476887)

They can have my penis when they pry it out of my cold dead hands!

Re:This shouldn't be a surprise at _all_ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1476888)

Yeah I guess the riaa needs to sue the Al gore (the self proclaimed "father of the internet"), cd burner makers, the guy that wrote irc and your mama (sorry but i'm in a bad mood today)......

This is great! (1)

Ranger Rick (197) | more than 14 years ago | (#1476889)

Now I don't feel so bad about going ahead with my plan to sue the makers of Apache, wu-ftpd, and anyone else I can think of for making servers to distribute illegal software!
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  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

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

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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