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Record Company Collusion a Defense to RIAA Case?

samzenpus posted about 7 years ago | from the fight-the-power dept.

The Courts 275

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Is collusion by the record companies a defense to an RIAA case? We're about to find out, because the RIAA has made a motion to strike the affirmative defense of Marie Lindor, who alleged that "the plaintiffs, who are competitors, are a cartel acting collusively in violation of the antitrust laws and of public policy, by tying their copyrights to each other, collusively litigating and settling all cases together, and by entering into an unlawful agreement among themselves to prosecute and to dispose of all cases in accordance with a uniform agreement, and through common lawyers, thus overreaching the bounds and scope of whatever copyrights they might have" in UMG v. Lindor."

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trade groups are legal (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20407889)

A few years ago, while browsing around the library downtown, I
had to take a piss. As I entered the john a big beautiful all-American
football hero type, about twenty-five, came out of one of the booths.
I stood at the urinal looking at him out of the corner of my eye as he
washed his hands. He didn't once look at me. He was "straight" and
married - and in any case I was sure I wouldn't have a chance with
him.

        As soon as he left I darted into the booth he'd vacated,
hoping there might be a lingering smell of shit and even a seat still
warm from his sturdy young ass. I found not only the smell but the
shit itself. He'd forgotten to flush. And what a treasure he had left
behind. Three or four beautiful specimens floated in the bowl. It
apparently had been a fairly dry, constipated shit, for all were fat,
stiff, and ruggedly textured. The real prize was a great feast of turd
- a nine inch gastrointestinal triumph as thick as a man's wrist.

        I knelt before the bowl, inhaling the rich brown fragrance and
wondered if I should obey the impulse building up inside me. I'd
always been a heavy rimmer and had lapped up more than one little
clump of shit, but that had been just an inevitable part of eating ass
and not an end in itself. Of course I'd had jerk-off fantasies of
devouring great loads of it (what rimmer hasn't), but I had never done
it. Now, here I was, confronted with the most beautiful five-pound
turd I'd ever feasted my eyes on, a sausage fit to star in any fantasy
and one I knew to have been hatched from the asshole of the world's
handsomest young stud.

        Why not? I plucked it from the bowl, holding it with both
hands to keep it from breaking. I lifted it to my nose. It smelled
like rich, ripe limburger (horrid, but thrilling), yet had the
consistency of cheddar. What is cheese anyway but milk turning to shit
without the benefit of a digestive tract?

        I gave it a lick and found that it tasted better then it
smelled. I've found since then that shit nearly almost does.

        I hesitated no longer. I shoved the fucking thing as far into
my mouth as I could get it and sucked on it like a big brown cock,
beating my meat like a madman. I wanted to completely engulf it and
bit off a large chunk, flooding my mouth with the intense, bittersweet
flavor. To my delight I found that while the water in the bowl had
chilled the outside of the turd, it was still warm inside. As I chewed
I discovered that it was filled with hard little bits of something I
soon identified as peanuts. He hadn't chewed them carefully and they'd
passed through his body virtually unchanged. I ate it greedily,
sending lump after peanutty lump sliding scratchily down my throat. My
only regret was the donor of this feast wasn't there to wash it down
with his piss.

        I soon reached a terrific climax. I caught my cum in the
cupped palm of my hand and drank it down. Believe me, there is no more
delightful combination of flavors than the hot sweetness of cum with
the rich bitterness of shit.

        Afterwards I was sorry that I hadn't made it last longer. But
then I realized that I still had a lot of fun in store for me. There
was still a clutch of virile turds left in the bowl. I tenderly fished
them out, rolled them into my handkerchief, and stashed them in my
briefcase. In the week to come I found all kinds of ways to eat the
shit without bolting it right down. Once eaten it's gone forever
unless you want to filch it third hand out of your own asshole. Not an
unreasonable recourse in moments of desperation or simple boredom.

        I stored the turds in the refrigerator when I was not using
them but within a week they were all gone. The last one I held in my
mouth without chewing, letting it slowly dissolve. I had liquid shit
trickling down my throat for nearly four hours. I must have had six
orgasms in the process.

        I often think of that lovely young guy dropping solid gold out
of his sweet, pink asshole every day, never knowing what joy it could,
and at least once did, bring to a grateful shiteater.

GNAA PRESS RELEASE - DO NOT MOD DOWN. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20407901)

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Caulfield (GNAP) - Vancouver, British Columbia

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Re:GNAA PRESS RELEASE - DO NOT MOD DOWN. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20408031)

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Re:GNAA PRESS RELEASE - DO NOT MOD DOWN. (-1, Offtopic)

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A defense? (1, Troll)

nekozid (1100169) | about 7 years ago | (#20407907)

Yep, it sure is *a* defense.

Re:A defense? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20407941)

Well on your way to a -1 Troll ranking! Next you'll be shilling for the GNAA, I bet.

Re:A defense? (1, Offtopic)

mr_matticus (928346) | about 7 years ago | (#20408635)

Can you explain how parent is a troll? I'm really asking.

Re:A defense? (0, Offtopic)

Yaa 101 (664725) | about 7 years ago | (#20409307)

Probably bean counters don't like smart asses.

I'm tired of these defenses. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20407947)

Just settle or admit that you are wrong. The RIAA is doing the right thing by protecting their intellectual property. Even though the only record label represented by the RIAA that doesn't try to sell all crap is Warner Bros. (Madonna is the only musician with any talent and by far the best singer ever), it is still wrong to make unauthorized copies. It is like stealing from a thrift store. It is mostly junk (except for Madonna, she is the best!), but it is still wrong. Downloading music without paying *does* cut into the profits of the labels and artists (all of the artists deserve further pay cuts for low quality product except Madonna). If you couldn't obtain it for free, you would pay for it. It is capitalism working without proper regulation such that those who invest time and money (time is money) into a product can't earn a profit. I think there is somewhat of an inelastic demand for music. If you raise the price by cutting out the free stuff, you will still see demand.

Anonymous Coward Sig 2.0:
--
Madonna has the best voice and content creation ability.

Re:I'm tired of these defenses. (2, Insightful)

huckda (398277) | about 7 years ago | (#20408095)

the RIAA has no intellectual property...

each individual record company does...

Re:I'm tired of these defenses. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20408119)

Yes, I was simplifying. The RIAA represents the record labels in the protection of the intellectual property (copyrights). Also, WTF? Why am I being modded funny? I was serious! I anticipated being modded 5, Insightful.
Anonymous Coward Sig 2.0:
--
Madonna is the only talented artist.

Re:I'm tired of these defenses. (1, Funny)

packeteer (566398) | about 7 years ago | (#20408651)

the RIAA has no intellectual property...

I bet if you started using their logo they would disagree...

I'm sure they also have a patent on BS lawsuits.

Re:I'm tired of these defenses. (1)

packeteer (566398) | about 7 years ago | (#20408685)

I'm sure they also have a patent on BS lawsuits.

What the hell am i talking about? Everyone does that these days.

Re:I'm tired of these defenses. (1)

davecarlotub (835831) | about 7 years ago | (#20408169)

You've put tears in my eyes ... oohh Madonna, how I love you.

Re:I'm tired of these defenses. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20408485)

I agree that they have a right to defend their copyright, but the punishment is not proportional with the "crime"

The have repeatedly asked students to quit school [techdirt.com] . Apparently the RIAA can't wait untill they get a job to pay them. The RIAA needs money so badly, that they think it's worth destroying kids hope of a real life.

They have also sued 12 year olds [foxnews.com] , and even dead grandmothers [afterdawn.com] aren't safe...

Re:I'm tired of these defenses. (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | about 7 years ago | (#20408763)

How does downloading a song I would not have bought damage profits?

Sale if I cannot download it for free : $0.00
Sale if I can download for free : $0.00
Sale if I can download it for $1.00 : $0.00 - Since I won't bother .....

Sorry how are they losing revenue ?

Re:I'm tired of these defenses. (5, Interesting)

21st Century Peon (812997) | about 7 years ago | (#20408881)

Ok, then put it another way: Why do you deserve to have the song for free? (Just to be clear on my general position - RIAA = bad, but paying people for their work = good, though I'm not getting into a row about relative revenue-pie-slice sizes)

Re:I'm tired of these defenses. (1, Insightful)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | about 7 years ago | (#20409109)

I can listen to it on the radio ... for free

I can listen to it on Internet radio ... for free

I can listen to it on Television ... for free

Why can't I download it for free?

Re:I'm tired of these defenses. (1)

arehnius (1071476) | about 7 years ago | (#20409147)

Television and radios pay when they broadcast songs. Kazaa and the pirate bay don't. At some point, someone has to pay. When you download illegally, nobody pays.

Re:I'm tired of these defenses. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20409287)

Because your basic premise is flawed. The song obviously has more than $0 worth to you, or you wouldn't even bother to download it if it was free. Your valuation of the song, however (perhaps unfortunately) is less than what they are willing to charge.

So, maybe you want to hear a particular track. You don't care at all about the other songs on the album, so you're not willing to pay $15 (what do albums go for nowadays?) to get all the tracks. However, you're also not even willing to pay $1 to get the song by itself. And you can't find a better deal than that ... so you steal it.

It is terribly flawed logic to say that because you won't pay $1 for the track or $15 for the album, then the "sale value" is $0. Maybe at that instant ... but if they found a large enough market of people like yourself, they could cater to it. Maybe the song's worth a nickel to you (if only for the right to download it from a reputable song download service). Maybe a penny ... who knows. But if you steal the song, they'll never be able to recover your true valuation of the song. Therefore, there are very real damages.

Re:I'm tired of these defenses. (5, Interesting)

mariushm (1022195) | about 7 years ago | (#20409035)

If you couldn't obtain it for free, you would pay for it.

Not necessarily. I would borrow CD's from friends or trading with them, or I would gather 5-10 friends and buy one record with them and so on.

Some people don't realize there are millions of people who really have other priorities in life then to buy a CD for 30 dollars when they earn 300 dollars a week or even less and the rent is 200 dollars and the various monthly fees are 60 dollars. But they would buy at least one CD a month if the CD was 9.99 dollars.

Some people don't believe in buying records when the music on those records is freely available on FM radios, they would copy it anyway from the Internet, but these people would gladly go to a concert if it was possible. For example, I would NOT pay 40 dollars for a Yanni CD but I would pay 100-150 dollars without blinking for a concert ticket if Yanni or Mike Oldfield concert in my country. These are concerts where you "feel" the music, if you're at a live concert.

Furthermore, I believe that downloading music often increases sales, because I can't remember how often I'd recommended bands and albums to other people, which later on have purchased tracks or albums from iTunes. I may not be buying, but I'm referring people.

Check out the forums of Digitally Imported for example, and see what people are saying at various tracks, you'll see lots of comments like "Wow! Where can I buy this mix?" Would you consider that by listening to that mix on DI.fm, that artist lost a sale? He won hundreds just by gaining popularity and getting his work known.

Re:A defense? (5, Funny)

o2sd (1002888) | about 7 years ago | (#20407991)

Why would a Wookiee, an eight-foot tall Wookiee, want to live on Endor, with a bunch of two-foot tall Ewoks? That does not make sense! But more important, you have to ask yourself: What does this have to do with this case? Nothing. Ladies and gentlemen, it has nothing to do with this case! It does not make sense! Look at me. I'm a lawyer defending a major record company, and I'm talkin' about Chewbacca! Does that make sense? Ladies and gentlemen, I am not making any sense! None of this makes sense! And so you have to remember, when you're in that jury room deliberatin' and conjugatin' the Emancipation Proclamation, [approaches and softens] does it make sense? No! Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, it does not make sense! If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit! The defense rests.[1]

Re:A defense? (3, Funny)

IConrad01 (1105603) | about 7 years ago | (#20408005)

Great. Now my room-mate's head just exploded. Thanks. Do you know what it costs to get blood out of a hard-drive??

Re:A defense? (5, Funny)

NoPantsJim (1149003) | about 7 years ago | (#20408389)

Do you know what it costs to get blood out of a hard-drive??
Long story short, after three acquittals I can proudly say as a free man that yes, yes I do.

Re:A defense? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20409003)

Do you know what it costs to get blood out of a hard-drive??
Long story short, after three acquittals I can proudly say as a free man that yes, yes I do.
Hans Reiser, is that you ?

Re:A defense? (1)

untaken_name (660789) | about 7 years ago | (#20409253)

Ummmm...if your hard drive was open so that you could get blood IN TO it, you needed a new hard drive anyway. Those things are sealed for a reason, dude. Unless you were referring to your computer as a 'hard-drive', in which case, I'd like to put some of YOUR blood in to it.

Re:A defense? (4, Funny)

bobby1234 (860820) | about 7 years ago | (#20408409)

Emancipation Proclamation,
I don't listen to hip hop music!!!

Legal collusion (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20407915)

The collusion here appears to be legal rather than economic so I'm not certain the anti-trust laws can be applied.

Re:Legal collusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20408061)

Explain.

Re:Legal collusion (2, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | about 7 years ago | (#20408235)

it's basically no different than a class-action lawsuit. The class in this case is RIAA members.

Re:Legal collusion (3, Insightful)

WhiskeyJuvenile (534710) | about 7 years ago | (#20408167)

Establishing a uniform legal strategy across an industry is arguably a combination in restraint of trade prohibited by the Sherman Act - 15 U.S.C. 1.

Re:Legal collusion (5, Insightful)

kaschei (701750) | about 7 years ago | (#20408439)

I somehow doubt the courts see illegal file-sharing as "trade." If they were suing rival record companies for certain reasons, yes, but I don't see that prosecuting copyright cases jointly as a restraint on trade.

Re:Legal collusion (1)

WhiskeyJuvenile (534710) | about 7 years ago | (#20408461)

The restraint is based on the fact that record companies are legally free to give their music away. The RIAA-led arrangement would be preventing them from doing that, ergo restraint.

Here is why it *IS* economic collusion: (5, Insightful)

Morgaine (4316) | about 7 years ago | (#20409231)

If the RIAA labels were actually competing among themselves, then any one of them would be happy to see the others suffer alleged loss of sales. Paying RIAA lawyers to safeguard their alleged competitors' profits is therefore direct anti-competitive collusion, rather than mere pooling of legal costs: they pay shared lawyers to perform actions which they know will support their "competitors".

If real competition between labels existed, then individual labels would reduce their own prices to make official purchases as attractive as file sharing, and they would provide vast band sites to attract the purchaser, and broaden their music spectrum away from the incredibly narrow current crap, and entice fans into buying the physical albums and accessories later for profit, as fans like to do. (Often much later in life, when they have more money.) In a nutshell, they would compete on product.

If you stand back from this whole scene and try to see it through the spectacles of a free market and competition analyst, you'll find none of those elements present in their music marketting. RIAA labels simply do not respond to drop in sales by reducing their prices or raising their quality and music coverage, like indies do.

It's often described as a cartel, but some cartels are relatively shallow and defensive, whereas this one effectively has the entirety of public media in its grasp and the ears/wallets of politicians too, and has a strategy based on offence and intimidation. It is about as malevolant and anti-competitive as you can get without breaking kneecaps. And while they don't break kneecaps, they certainly have no compunction about destroying lives economically, based on legal theories which they lobbied to create.

Their slimy lawyers will probably slither out from under a charge of anti-competitive economic collusion because the legal system is driven by technicalities rather than substance. But the RIAA labels are certainly guilty as sin of it. They lost any concept of competition between them long ago.

We all saw it coming. (3, Interesting)

sabernet (751826) | about 7 years ago | (#20407921)

Who didn't know they were going to eventually use this? This is why the RIAA and not Empire, BMG, etc... brought all these suits, so they'd have this last ditch effort to break away should this finally explode in their faces.

Still, I wanna shake this woman and her lawyers' hands for this.

Re:We all saw it coming. (1)

Baricom (763970) | about 7 years ago | (#20407975)

The RIAA is not bringing the suits. When was the last time you saw a suit captioned Recording Industry Association of America, Inc. v. John Doe?

Re:We all saw it coming. (5, Insightful)

absoluteflatness (913952) | about 7 years ago | (#20407995)

This is why the RIAA and not Empire, BMG, etc... brought all these suits...
There's a reason why the case mentioned above is not RIAA v. Lindor, but UMG v. Lindor.

As far as I remember, each of the music piracy lawsuits have been brought by individual record labels, and not the RIAA. It seems that the claim here is that the labels are unfairly colluding under the RIAA umbrella, each pursuing suits in the same manner and using the same attorneys, but at least nominally acting as separate entities.

Re:We all saw it coming. (5, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | about 7 years ago | (#20408159)

The be more realistic they are attempting to hide behind the RIAA, so all the negative public reaction is directed at the RIAA and it's lawyers, rather than the music publisher and the artists in question who are allowing the work to be used to target those least able to defend themselves.

Perhaps an alternate track(sic) might be to high light the publisher involved in each civil suit as well as the greedy self serving worthless artists whose content is being cited for those civil cases.

Should not an effort be made to pursue those artists to see how they feel about their music being used to terrorise children and bankrupt their parents, I wonder what share do the so called artists get of the uncontested civil suits ;).

Re:We all saw it coming. (3, Insightful)

jombeewoof (1107009) | about 7 years ago | (#20408471)

If I had points I'd mod you up.

I don't so I'll add an example of why you are correct.

Metallica.

I was a huge Metallica fan back in the day, bought all their good albums 2, 3, in the case of their first as many as 6 times.
They stopped putting good albums out when I was in the 4th grade. (black album being good is debatable)

When I heard that they were going nuts about people downloading their music, I wondered to myself why would I pay for their music yet again to have it on yet another medium.
I've already bought the tape, and when that wore out I bought it again. Then I had to get the cd to update my collection, and I certainly would want to update the music from one of my favorite bands. And now they want me to buy it again, just so I can play it on my computer.

fuck that. I'll download it and who cares what they think.
and they lost me as a fan because of all the crap they pulled with napster. Probably doesn't help that they haven't put a good album out in something like 18 years.

I think you're right.
With the RIAA and MPAA and all the other AA's (not you alcoholics, you guys are alright) taking the majority of the heat and bad publicity
the average person isn't going to notice that it's the individual companies bringing the suits.

Metallica vs downloads (2, Insightful)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about 7 years ago | (#20409399)

[bought tape and CD] And now they want me to buy it again, just so I can play it on my computer.

No, I don't think they ever said "please don't rip the CD to MP3 using readily available tools". Downloading is not really and more convenient than home ripping, and home ripping can only be done by people who own the music. (Well, anyone who has borrowed a copy can too, but that's a side issue.)

Downloading's a bit different in that you don't need to have the original to download an MP3. The vast majority of downloaders don't have the originals. Ergo, lost profits.

Like it or not, they were only speaking up for their rights.

HAL.

Re:We all saw it coming. (1)

dcollins (135727) | about 7 years ago | (#20408547)

That's the best idea I've seen all day. I'd mod you up, but you're already maxed out on this. That's an excellent, terrific strategic idea.

Re:We all saw it coming. (2, Interesting)

zaydana (729943) | about 7 years ago | (#20408699)

The problem is, the artists have no say over how their music is used. They can cry all they want, but at the end of the day their music belongs to the record label, and what they think doesn't count.

The artists asking the RIAA to stop would be like a soldier asking their country to not go to war. You don't pay out on the soldiers when you don't like that a country is fighting a way - you get angry at the people that made the decision to go to war.

Re:We all saw it coming. (1)

Andrzej Sawicki (921100) | about 7 years ago | (#20409057)

Except that soldiers are often conscripted. Artists are not forced to sign up with the big labels. Being stupid (or, more likely, greedy) and not reading contracts before signing (and/or not having a lawyer do it for them, and/or not giving a fsck as long as the money is right) is not an excuse.

Re:We all saw it coming. (1)

untaken_name (660789) | about 7 years ago | (#20409291)

Where in the world are soldiers conscripted anymore? China? Africa? Some other unimportant backwater (read: non-America) nation?* I suspect that you were simply using that to shore up your weak argument. Many artists, just like many soldiers, are made certain promises before they sign, and are then hit with, "Oh, you didn't know? That was in footnote 214, I thought you read your contract?"
Additionally, many soldiers (and artists) may feel they have no choice but to sign disadvantageous contracts because they feel it will be better than the alternative of homelessness or whatever they wish to escape. The fact that they might be correct about that does not make it okay for someone to use their desperate situation against them. Of course, it will always happen. But still, the analogy was a lot better than you are trying to say. Some artists are just as you describe, but not all of them, and I would go out on a limb and say not most of them. Same with soldiers.

*If you actually needed this footnote to tell you I was kidding here, you are probably a Red Communist Pinko and so you don't count anyway.

Re:We all saw it coming. (1)

NMerriam (15122) | about 7 years ago | (#20408323)

he RIAA and not Empire, BMG, etc... brought all these suits


o, the individual labels bring the suits because it is the individual labels that own the copyrights being violated. The RIAA has no legal standing to sue someone for violating BMG's copyrights -- and in a way, that's the argument being made here, that the RIAA is an organization that is acting more like an agent of collusion than as a trade organization.

Re:We all saw it coming. (0, Troll)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 7 years ago | (#20408529)

Still, I wanna shake this woman and her lawyers' hands for this.

Yeah, I'm sure pissing off the judge with bogus irrelevancies and, well, pseudo-legal arguments is really going to help the woman get a judgment in her favour.

Re:We all saw it coming. (3, Interesting)

rmstar (114746) | about 7 years ago | (#20409417)

Such stunts just divert attention from the fact that the RIAA, and their colleagues in other countries, are winning this fight. They are actually marching through, encountering very little resistance. That someone actually up to this and wins his suit, or even manages to make the RIAA change some technicality in how it prosecutes (because if this woman wins, that is what will happen: they'll just change a technicality) is a complete distraction and matters zip in the grand scheme of things. A whole industry is emerging around the task of tracking, finding, and extorting file sharers. It works fantastically well.

It just isn't being said often enough: if you are sharing copyrighted files using standard networks (bittorrent, emule, etc), you are playing with fire. Sorry, but everything else is wishful thinking.

hey fags! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20407931)

why don't you just pay for music instead of being fucking theives? why not just pay your dues to the artists you supposedly support? if concert numbers in any way were in correlation with music downloads the bands would be playing to crowds the size of rhode island.
 
but you know it's a lie, you fucking faggots.

Plenty of competitors face common civil opponents (3, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | about 7 years ago | (#20407959)

I don't think we'd have to work too hard to find lawsuits (especially class actions, obviously) that inlude two or more nominal competitors sharing resources when facing a common opponent in civil court, or when serially dealing with similar issues on an ongoing basis. Most industries have trade associations that exist precisely to allow members (who frequently compete with each other) to lower their collective overhead on commonly needed marketing, representation, lobbying, etc. One might even say that labor unions (and the meta-unions) - which represent intra-competing parties - are a similar beast. If there was a solid reason to argue that being a member of a trade association somehow torpedoes your copyrights, trademarks, or any other IP turf, that would already have been rabidly pursued.

Re:Plenty of competitors face common civil opponen (1)

Alpha830RulZ (939527) | about 7 years ago | (#20408179)

For example, can you say, "tobacco companies"?

Re:Plenty of competitors face common civil opponen (4, Informative)

sumdumass (711423) | about 7 years ago | (#20408197)

Labor unions have exemptions from the anti trust laws and such. Several other industry/arenas do to like Baseball and the likes. Class action lawsuits can only be a class action if a judge allows it so there is somewhat of an exemption there too.

But this isn't really like a Class action lawsuit or trade union. This is more like all the grocery stores in a town deciding one day that too many people are stealing milk. So they create a fictional association to protect themselves that goes into each home with or without permission to see if there is milk and if the milk was properly paid for. And then if it wasn't, they determine what kind of container the milk is in, the store who sold it (or should have sold it) sues that person for an obscenely large amount of money and offers to settle for a smaller large amount of money. But both sums of money are more then the value lost by the actions.

Currently, something like that is probably against the law. The defense being offered using colluding isn't going to say "i'm not guilty", it is going to say the evidence was collected illegally by companies acting in an illegal manor against US law for profit above the amount of actual damages and it cannot be entered into this trial. So then UMG says this person distributed our copyright covered materials and here is the evidence which is all gone because of the collusion, so you go, They have no evidence, can we just dismiss this and get on with our lives, The judge says sounds like a good idea and bangs the gavel.

Now this doesn't really touch on their right to sue or anything the accused might have done, it touches on the entering computers in a questionable manor and then attempting to extort funds from people, some of which didn't even have a computer at the time they were accused. So the question is, did the record labels and RIAA collude in a way that was against the law (if it harms one person/consumer, it probably is) and if so, can the evidence they gather when working in that manner be admissible to the cases that they brought about? Generally evidence is evidence except on occasions when civil rights were violated or it was obtained illegally by a party that would benefit.

Re:Plenty of competitors face common civil opponen (4, Insightful)

XaXXon (202882) | about 7 years ago | (#20408325)

Except, it's more like someone bought some milk and then magically made more, free duplicates of that milk and gave it away to neighbors. But now the grocery store doesn't get your money. And then they claim to be doing it in the interests of the dairy farms, but (not so secretly) aren't really giving much of the money for the milk to the farms and sure aren't giving any of the lawsuit money to the farms.

All I'm really trying to say is that there's no theft involved. It's just copyright infringement.

Re:Plenty of competitors face common civil opponen (3, Interesting)

mr_matticus (928346) | about 7 years ago | (#20408679)

No, it's not like milk at all. If you're going to go there, and I don't think you should, it's more like Coke or Pepsi.

Your magic, free Pepsi machine is knowingly interfering with the undisputed property rights of Pepsi. Pepsico holds the exclusive rights to make Pepsi. Coca-Cola holds the exclusive rights to make Coke. You do not have the right to give away more Coke or Pepsi than you purchased. If you bought a bottle and magically made more, congratulations, but you can't give away or sell even a single drop more than that one bottle of soda.

The rest is true about the RIAA and their greed and general worthlessness. But you're skipping the part where you consider that what you're offering for free isn't yours to offer. You can make something similar (as long as it's not derivative) and give that away for free. You can record a cover of a song and give that away without worrying about the RIAA (you may need permission from other entities). You can't give away something that has commercial value and is owned by someone else.

Re:Plenty of competitors face common civil opponen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20409203)

Pepsico holds the exclusive rights to make Pepsi. Coca-Cola holds the exclusive rights to make Coke.
Do they? It's just a trade secret. If you acquire the recipe legally (i.e. not by stealing it or bribing an employee to divulge it), you should legally be allowed to make your own coke or pepsi. You won't be allowed to call it that, but that's a trademark problem. I'm not sure if reverse engineering the recipe would be legal in the US, but I'd think it should be.

Re:Plenty of competitors face common civil opponen (5, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | about 7 years ago | (#20409303)

Your magic, free Pepsi machine is knowingly interfering with the undisputed property rights of Pepsi. Pepsico holds the exclusive rights to make Pepsi. Coca-Cola holds the exclusive rights to make Coke.
Except that only you, and maybe a few other misinformed people, think Pepsi have any right over the Pepsi Cola recipe. Or that Coca-Cola have any right over the Coca-Cola recipe. It's funny that you chose this example, because recipes are an example of something that doesn't have copyright protection and a perfect example of what happens when you don't give companies a monopoly over an idea... you get competition.

I, personally, drink Regal Cola. It's made locally (Australia) and costs about 40% less than Coca Cola. It tastes closer to Coca Cola than it does to Pepsi Cola, and I've found it has a crisp taste that I haven't found in other cola varieties.

If it was found that Regal Cola had similar ingredients to Coca Cola or Pepsi Cola, the law would provide no "protection" to any of these players. As such, I have the choice which product I want to buy. I can choose which I prefer because they are essentially the same. This can't be said for music.

Re:Plenty of competitors face common civil opponen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20409171)

I have a question,

We are mostly christians, and this question may make some sense. According to christianity Jesus is a good example to follow. But... he duplicated the following items and shared with people he didn't even know:

1) Bread
2) Fishes
3) Wine

Now people are duplicanting mp3 and movies and sharing it with friends and people. Here it comes the question:
WAS JESUS A THIEF? (To the extent that file traders are now labeled as such)

My answer is that I believe the RIAA to be evil, it makes most sense in such a context

Re:Plenty of competitors face common civil opponen (1)

MrSteveSD (801820) | about 7 years ago | (#20409227)

Of course, many people would only bother drinking the duplicate milk because it was free. For those people the dairy is losing nothing.

Re:Plenty of competitors face common civil opponen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20408347)

s/manor/manner/g

A manor is a big house. A manner is a method of doing things (or just being polite). Posting AC because I don't want the karma hit, but I'm not trying to be mean :) You just keep writing that word, and it does not mean what you think it means.

Re:Plenty of competitors face common civil opponen (1)

ScentCone (795499) | about 7 years ago | (#20408479)

This is more like all the grocery stores in a town deciding one day that too many people are stealing milk.

Actually, this is more like all of the musicians in a town - who all book the same venue to do performances - getting tired of selling 100 tickets to their show, but seeing 1000 people in the venue they rented out to host the performance. And then following up when it becomes clear that people are putting information up on a public network that explains how to get into the show through the building's unlocked back door.

a fictional association to protect themselves

Do you really think that trade associations are fictional? Why do you think that?

Re:Plenty of competitors face common civil opponen (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | about 7 years ago | (#20408561)

I believe corporations are registgered as fictitious entities, aren't they? "fictitious business name" is on the business license they have to post publicly.

Re:Plenty of competitors face common civil opponen (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 7 years ago | (#20408669)

The only thing fictional about them is the separation from the companies they are claiming to represent. This was what I mean by a fictional association. It is in reality the same as the companies banding together for the purpose of the same goals.

Now a trade association can actually be a separate entity and operate within the confines of the laws. It doesn't appear that the RIAA and the record labels are doing so. So I believe that the separation to stop the companies from colluding isn't real.

Re:Plenty of competitors face common civil opponen (1)

clickety6 (141178) | about 7 years ago | (#20409095)

it touches on the entering computers in a questionable manor

Phew! I'm safe! I live in a dodgy bungalow....

Thank You! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20407987)

I think that the MPAA and RIAA are perfect examples of collusion

History of Collective Rights Organizations (4, Interesting)

WhiskeyJuvenile (534710) | about 7 years ago | (#20408011)

Given RIAA appears to be trying to do to sound recording rights what ASCAP, BMI and SESAC have done to performance rights, I would expect that the antitrust claim probably has some legs under it, given the consent decree resulting from the DoJ Antitrust Division's lawsuits against ASCAP and BMI in the '40s and '50s.

Just an uneducated guess... (1)

yurik (160101) | about 7 years ago | (#20408043)

I like RIAA no more than an average slashdoter, and IANAL, but I don't think this defense will hold - lots of companies in an industry pull their resources together for a common goal. For example, the popular "Got milk?" commercial was licensed by many industry players - effectively doing similar thing -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Got_Milk%3F [wikipedia.org]

I am sure milk producers are competing with one another, but their common goal is to make the market larger, and that is what the commercials pursued.

Re:Just an uneducated guess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20408101)

I agree with the parent. I really hate the RIAA, I think the record companies should really change their business model in the digital age, but if a problem affects the entire industry it is just logical that they join forces. Otherwise, we wouldn't have class actions (where each claimant diminishes the wealth of the company, and are competitors in that sense), unions, company alliances and such

Re:Just an uneducated guess... (1)

WhiskeyJuvenile (534710) | about 7 years ago | (#20408109)

Got Milk? is a registered trademark of the California Milk Processor Board. "The CMPB is funded by all California milk processors and administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture." http://www.gotmilk.com/news/news_040.html [gotmilk.com] Your source states that the Got Milk? trademark has been licensed to the National Milk Processing Board, which was created by the government. See 7 U.S.C. 6407. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode07/us c_sec_07_00006407----000-.html [cornell.edu]

Re:Just an uneducated guess... (1)

WhiskeyJuvenile (534710) | about 7 years ago | (#20408127)

... which means that the Got Milk? campaign is basically run by the government, and presumptively immune from antitrust claims. So milk producers working together is explicitly provided for by the government (and is in fact pretty much mandated). Quite different than what the RIAA is doing. Forgot to mention that in my last comment.

Re:Just an uneducated guess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20408505)

Got music? Are you sure? We have a warrant to inspect the contents of your hard drive...

Re:Just an uneducated guess... (1)

rossz (67331) | about 7 years ago | (#20408619)

Using milk as an example is a bad idea. The federal government highly regulates the milk industry, deciding who can sell milk, how much of it they can sell, and for how much (the price is fixed artificially high). Since everyone in the industry has a fixed size of the milk pie, they work together to increase the overall size of that pie.

That's great.. no wait... (0)

thanq (321486) | about 7 years ago | (#20408059)


WTF does "to strike" mean?

Is it too much to ask to use a more common word for those that may not be legal majors, watch Law&Orders, or are not native English speakers?

Re:That's great.. no wait... (3, Informative)

ZombieRoboNinja (905329) | about 7 years ago | (#20408099)

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/moti on+to+strike [thefreedictionary.com]

motion to strike n. a request for a judge's order to eliminate all or a portion of the legal pleading (complaint, answer) of the opposition on any one of several grounds. It is often used in an attempt to have an entire cause of action removed ("stricken") from the court record. A motion to strike is also made orally during trial to ask the judge to order "stricken" answers by a witness in violation of rules of evidence (laws covering what is admissible in trial). Even though the jury is admonished to ignore such an answer or some comment, the jury has heard it, and "a bell once rung, cannot be unrung."


First result of a Google search for "motion to strike." It would have been faster to look it up than to post a complaint.

Re:That's great.. no wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20408203)

Yes, it is too much to ask, especially since "move to strike" is a common phrase. Non-native speakers simply have to cope with that reality. I wouldn't ask a foreign language site to avoid idiomatic expression and to dumb things down just because I'm not conversant at the necessary level.

Is it too much to ask to use a dictionary? You don't even need a legal dictionary--it's in the regular one. Asking what something means in a legal context is one thing, but asking someone to dumb down standard English is a little absurd.

That's one of the more normal terms... (1)

Xenographic (557057) | about 7 years ago | (#20408209)

To strike, here, means to cross out. I assume you know what that means when you edit a document--namely that that part of it is removed. Thus, that affirmative defense would be stricken (removed) if the RIAA's motion to strike was granted. There really isn't anything better to call a "motion to strike" though. That's what they're called and if there's another name for them, it's probably far more arcane.

I'm surprised you didn't ask about affirmative defenses, instead. If you're wondering, they're a defense where the defendant (person getting sued) would have to prove something. In the motion being discussed, the defendant have to prove something about the collusion among the RIAA's record labels.

While normal words do have arcane legal meanings, this particular case is quite tame for legalese. I understood it just fine, and I'm not a lawyer of any kind. If you really need help, try an online legal dictionary [law.com] .

Re:That's great.. no wait... (1)

pclminion (145572) | about 7 years ago | (#20408329)

As in, "strike something out." Erase it, overwrite it, remove it. To an English speaker, the verbiage makes sense. Who are we to guess at what aspects of our language are clear or unclear to foreign speakers? If we over-explain, we end up patronizing you. If we under-explain, we get complaints. What do you want?

No Buzznacking (1)

pyrrhonist (701154) | about 7 years ago | (#20408437)

WTF does "to strike" mean?

It means that Slashdot's legal vocabulary questions have really gone downhill since the CPHack Appeal [slashdot.org]

Re:That's great.. no wait... (1)

jamesh (87723) | about 7 years ago | (#20408469)

It means to hit someone or something with force. If the motion is successful, Marie will be able to whack all members over the head with a baseball bat (see LART).

That's American law, though. It's similar here in Australia where we use a greatly oversized boot instead. Curiously, the term is still 'to strike', not 'to boot'.

Re:That's great.. no wait... (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | about 7 years ago | (#20408577)

Too right, mate, but here in good old Oz we'd use willow, not hickory.

The Cricket Bat -- a more refined tool from a nobler time.

Re:That's great.. no wait... (1)

untaken_name (660789) | about 7 years ago | (#20409347)

I believe you are incorrect, sir. I refer to that most excellent of sources [snpp.com] :

Andy: Hear ye, hear ye. This session will now come to order. With the
              cooperation of the US Department of State, we have present today
              one Bart Simpson.
                [everyone mutters amongst themselves]
              I believe he has something to say. Bart?
  Bart: [goes to microphone, scratches, clears throat several times]
              I'm sorry. I'm sorry for what I did to your country.
                [everyone applauds]
  Andy: [jovial] Well, you're free to go, Bart...right after your
              additional punishment.
Homer: Punishment?
  Andy: Well, a mere apology would be a bit empty, eh? Let the booting
              begin.
Homer: Booting?
  Andy: Aw, it's just a little kick in the bum.
                [a man with a gigantic boot walks in]
  Bart: Y'uh oh.


See? It's very clearly referred to as 'booting', not 'striking'.

Does prior ruling validate her claim? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20408121)

If previous cases ruled in favor of the RIAA showed payment distributions being equal to each label within the RIAA, regardless of which labels specific copyrights had been violated, I think she'd have a pretty good claim there.

I'm not going to do any legwork at this late of night, but past victories for the RIAA, depending on the specifics, might come back and bite them on the ass.

One can only hope...

While I Agree.. (5, Insightful)

VE3OGG (1034632) | about 7 years ago | (#20408263)

While I agree with some of the sentiment expressed in other posts, especially to the effect that this is similar to a trade group, there seems to be one defining aspect in this case, namely the tying together of separate copyrights to pursue litigation.

While on the surface, it might be argued that the RIAA is nothing more than an aforementioned trade group (something that is both legal and desirable in many cases), tying ones copyrights into a collective pool is a bit more of a sticking issue.

The companies represented by the RIAA represent 99% of the major American labels (the only reason I do not say 100% is there may be one or two, but the majority are). Upon tying their copyrights together, they effectively stifle competition. How so?

Well, to use a (likely flawed) analogy, imagine if Microsoft and Apple decided to pool all of their resources and patents and copyrights. Now suppose a third party (for profit) company tried to get into the market. Apple may not have prosecuted initially since they did not have access to the patent/copyright pool, and probably wouldn't see this interloper as a direct competitor to be worried about. MS, however, would. So they open up the full force of the patent/copyright pool of both companies and cherry pick the most grievous ones. The company is financially sunk. This couldn't happen without the help of Apple's patents/copyrights too.

Now, I know patents != copyrights, but in a way, it is very similar. The RIAA has access to every song in every catalogue to every major artist. This allows them, by default, to prosecute across borders. It isn't BMG, Sony, and Dreamworks each launching separate suits, it is one company that can attack with a full frontal assault. Essentially, the power has been centralized, which gives too much power to the RIAA, and makes it impossible to resist against them reliably.

Essentially, while we are dealing with intellectual property (ugh, I hate that term) theft, and some of these people may well be guilty, the spirit of the law that was enacted was meant to deter those from doing this, not to crush the offenders into oblivion. And I think that last point is quite important, and also something that many have lost sight of. The laws were created as a deterrent, and as a method of punishment, much like the stocks were of yore. The laws were NOT created (in this country) as a method to crush the individual offenders into the ground (at least, save execution... and that is another issue altogether).

My 2c

Re:While I Agree.. (1)

WhiskeyJuvenile (534710) | about 7 years ago | (#20408291)

The problem with this line of reasoning - that the RIAA's constituents are violating antitrust law - is that even though it is arguably correct, the outcome of the ASCAP litigation seems to demand that the RIAA be permitted to create a uniform copyright enforcement method in exchange for certain other concessions.

Re:While I Agree.. (1)

piojo (995934) | about 7 years ago | (#20408337)

I disagree. If Microsoft and Apple pooled patents, it would be conceivable that one could not build any sort of complex computer program without violating them. However, there is nothing preventing me from making and selling a million albums, besides lack of talent. These large record companies are not locking the little guys out of the business. There are simply barriers to entry that exist in any arena.

Re:While I Agree.. (1)

WhiskeyJuvenile (534710) | about 7 years ago | (#20408355)

You're approaching the monopoly side of the Sherman Act, not the restraint on trade side. It's more like if Apple and Microsoft got together and decided not to sell copies of their operating system at less than $100.

Re:While I Agree.. (2, Insightful)

VE3OGG (1034632) | about 7 years ago | (#20408463)

I would disagree strongly with your opinion: there are multiple barriers in place to try and enter the market in music. When was the last time you walked into a *major* record store and saw a large selection of local music? I can say (anecdotally) never. I am in them quite frequently, and not just one particular one, but multiple across the country. Some may pander to local artists in an effort to make a good impression on the local community, but for the most part, ask to order an independent label CD and you will be denied. This however, is beside the point.

The main point, I believe, is that doing this gives the RIAA a "legal" advantage that is within the letter of the law, but not within its spirit. The RIAA has every major song title available to it, which means it can persecute in wide swaths, much wider than any other group.

Imagine if you will Microsoft, Sun, and Apple were to get together and begin prosecuting those who infringe on their copyrights (ISOs of Windows, Solaris and OSX). However, it is *not* MS, Apple or Sun prosecuting, it is a thirdparty that was created as an industry group. Well, suppose I have a copy of each operating system that I gained illegally. Normally, each company would have to get a warrant, seach my computer and prosecute me on the findings of such a warrant. This ensures checks and balances. However with an industry group, they can prosecute for all of them, far outstripping my ability to defend myself (imagine this industry group gets a certain judge that they know would be favorable to them to preside over the case. This is far simpler then getting 3 different judges who are sympathetic to their plight).

What truly worries me however, is that I wouldn't find it at all surprising if somewhere down the line, these disparate industry groups (RIAA, MPAA, Computer software manufacturers, knitting alliance against theft of knitting patterns) were to amalgamate, effectively creating a super-group. This one group could then walk into any home, give one warrant, and search that person's life for any transgressions, and extract the money from them without mercy. It could well become a new profit revenue system: this is what happens in Capitalistic systems. Businesses streamline their processes, and can you honestly admit that they would love a guaranteed income stream?

Re:While I Agree.. (1)

WhiskeyJuvenile (534710) | about 7 years ago | (#20408531)

The concept of checks and balances is inapplicable to combinations, and warrants are inapplicable outside of the criminal law arena. If a party lawfully has in its possession a piece of information, it may share that piece of information (subject to invasion of privacy torts, which would be difficult to find applicable in such a circumstance). It isn't a third party prosecuting these claims, but each party individually is performing its part in a shared legal strategy. Subpoenas, not warrants, are used in civil litigation, and you can always fight to quash a warrant as overly broad. The record labels' demands to have physical possession of your computer are pretty much out of the ordinary, and that's where the information leak comes in to play.

Re:While I Agree.. (1)

VE3OGG (1034632) | about 7 years ago | (#20408703)

If a party lawfully has in its possession a piece of information, it may share that piece of information (subject to invasion of privacy torts, which would be difficult to find applicable in such a circumstance).
While I am venturing off on a tangent, I would argue that this is exactly what we should be afraid of. It should involve various and sundry privacy torts, because there is the possibility (as the RIAA has so kindly demonstrated to us) that they can and do use extra-legal tactics to find this information out. If the information was gathered in an extra-legal way (through malware, spyware, outright invasion by way of cracking of the user's system), why shouldn't that information be regarded as subject to privacy laws? instead, however, even if UMG, in this instance, did that very thing, and was denied by the judge, then all the other participants in the industry group could have access to that information and could attempt other avenues for "discovering" that. Perhaps they then go through all of the user's traffic logs at the ISP 9which UMG may have wanted to do, but was denied the right because of their extra legal means).

It isn't a third party prosecuting these claims, but each party individually is performing its part in a shared legal strategy. Subpoenas, not warrants, are used in civil litigation, and you can always fight to quash a warrant as overly broad. The record labels' demands to have physical possession of your computer are pretty much out of the ordinary, and that's where the information leak comes in to play.
Yes, but it is the fact that they WANT physical access to my computer that worries me. I honestly have nothing to hide, but I don't want some guy "accidentally" dropping several thousand song files on my computer and then have an RIAA lawyer show up at my door saying: pay up. I have no control in a situation like that, and really no recourse since they have access to my machine -- which may have been gained in a rather non-standard way.

Re:While I Agree.. (1)

piojo (995934) | about 7 years ago | (#20408609)

This collusion you describe, would that be like the FBI, the CIA, and the local police office sharing information and pooling resources to catch the bad guys? It sounds like nothing more than that to me. Oh, but it's different because those are real law enforcement agencies. Perhaps a neighborhood watch, then? How about the Free Software Foundation? The bottom line is that it's okay for people/corporations to band together to protect their interests. Is it okay for these groups to act reprehensibly? No, but it's not any less okay than if it were done by individuals.

Imagine if you will Microsoft, Sun, and Apple were to get together and begin prosecuting those who infringe on their copyrights (ISOs of Windows, Solaris and OSX). However, it is *not* MS, Apple or Sun prosecuting, it is a thirdparty that was created as an industry group. Well, suppose I have a copy of each operating system that I gained illegally. Normally, each company would have to get a warrant, seach my computer and prosecute me on the findings of such a warrant. This ensures checks and balances. However with an industry group, they can prosecute for all of them, far outstripping my ability to defend myself (imagine this industry group gets a certain judge that they know would be favorable to them to preside over the case. This is far simpler then getting 3 different judges who are sympathetic to their plight).
Your logic doesn't follow. By similar reasoning: if you are sued by 3 groups, it is 3 times as likely that one of the groups will be able to get a judge that is similar to their plight... contradiction.

I still think that the music industry isn't significantly different than most others when it comes to barriers to entry, but instead of arguing that, I'll bid you good evening.

Re:While I Agree.. (1)

VE3OGG (1034632) | about 7 years ago | (#20408661)

You make a good point, I will concede that it is not right for any group to collude in a reprehensible manner, however I will challenge your comment that this is no different than people/law enforcement agencies banding together.

The whole point of a law enforcement agency is to catch the bad guys. The whole point of a neighbourhood watch is to catch the bad guys. The whole point of an industry group?

I'll give you a hand: to protect their industry and make a metric arse-load of money in the process, finding any way possible to do so, and without any significant checks and balances. The corporation, and by extension the trade group is a tricky beast. They might be fined by the government, but most can absorb these fines, and especially if a monopoly exists, simply charge their customers for their behavior. The company goes on to do it again and again, knowing full well they can absorb any loses they encounter.

In otherwords, your examples have a strictly defined purpose (I won't go into misuse/abuse of power, because that is a red herring at this point), and that is to protect the public. Not so with a trade group, not so at all.

Re:While I Agree.. (5, Insightful)

kocsonya (141716) | about 7 years ago | (#20408667)

> The bottom line is that it's okay for people/corporations to band together to protect their interests.

Is it? I thought that if all petrol stations in a country decided that they band together and *all* of them slap a 500% margin over the petrol you buy would not be OK. It would definitely protect *their* interests, wouldn't it?

Copyright and patent law was created in the interest of advancing arts and science, *not* in the interest of guaranteeing corporate profit margins.

Re:While I Agree.. (2, Informative)

the_womble (580291) | about 7 years ago | (#20408579)

imagine if Microsoft and Apple decided to pool all of their resources and patents and copyrights

Like a cross-licensing agreement? It happens in lots of industries.

Semiconductor manufacturing for a start. Even if a would be new entrant had the huge amount of money needed to build a fab, they would still have to pay a huge amount of money on licensing patents. The established companies in the industry have cross licensed their patent portfolios so they do not have to pay this, so they would have a lasting cost advantage over any new entrant.

Your scenario is slightly worse in that it implies some sort of agreement to sue to protect each other, but it is not that different.

I Wish They Were Colluding More (1)

hedkandee (1148031) | about 7 years ago | (#20408307)

Then we'd see fewer cases of sites with only one or two of the big labels licensing content - e.g. imeem.com and lala.com have both managed to convince warner brothers to let them stream music for free but none of the other labels are involved.

Defense or not, it is definitely True (2, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | about 7 years ago | (#20408413)

That defense basically explains the situation. Stuff like these are always in contradiction to law of reason. Modern laws are built upon the philosophy that no fraction, group whatsoever should be able to be higher than the others in any possibility modern life has to offer - be it wealth, be it protection be it any right. It doesnt mean that the record cartel is actually a group that with hard work or chance a person or some people can set up a record company and get in. As a group, they are still way too privileged when it comes to business and law, and unfairly so. This contradicts with equality basis the modern society was built upon.

A Super-Trade-Group? (4, Insightful)

VE3OGG (1034632) | about 7 years ago | (#20408583)

Many are crying fowl that this sort of behavior is perfectly legal, but I would like to point out one thing (I mentioned this in another posting, but thought it deserved an entire post for I believe it to be a very scary point).

Imagine if you will the beginning of the free market's existence. Individual companies and groups barter for goods and services. If someone steps on the toes of another, the person who is wronged takes that person to court, and the transgressor is perhaps found guilty, irrespective of anything else he may or may not have done or is doing at the present. Fine.

Fast forward to the present. Now, instead if you step on the toes of one company (because so few major companies are one person alone), an industry group comes in with a warrant, and searches your computer. Not only do they find infringing material for the original plaintiff, but they also find about 500 other songs belonging to other members of their trade group. Well, they simply have the warrant expanded to search the rest of your network and proceed to sue your pants off for those 500 songs that they found. This means that the process has become streamlined in favour of the companies. This is not good.

Now, go a little further into the future. Not only are there trade groups, but Super-Trade-Groups. Perhaps ones dedicated to the entire entertainment industry (MPAA-RIAA-Shakespearean Theatre Company AA-ad nauseum AA) or perhaps there is just one big-super group. Think of it as a catch-all group that includes the MPAA-RIAA-Microsoft-Apple-Book Publishers-Knitting Pattern Companies-Recipe authors-TV broadcasters-GE-GM-IBM-and any other acronym in any industry).

Everyone has broken the law in some way or another. Imagine though, if a super-group could walk into your life, find all of those transgressions, and can now say: pay up (in installments of course, and there might even be an interest-only version of the payment schedule). This would mean a guaranteed source of income, and not only that, but it would also assure them that they could treat you like a criminal at any point.

If such behavior became common, it might even pose as a catalyst to lower the requirements for a warrant -- to the point where the super group can simply have a catchall carte blanche that they can use as they see fit to protect America from pirates and terroristas...

Welcome to 2084, Orwell's sequel.

Re:A Super-Trade-Group? (1)

Brickwall (985910) | about 7 years ago | (#20408767)

Many are crying fowl

Shouldn't that be "clucking fowl"?

Re:A Super-Trade-Group? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20408943)

There is something fowl in the state of Denmark, and it ain't the chicken...

What's missing here? (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 7 years ago | (#20408897)

I'm not going to read all the legal documents linked. But I will pull some stuff from my butt by saying that I seem to recall cases where 'the industry' when bringing suit doesn't seem to be particularly discriminating about the material over which they claim copyrights. If I were to be making the argument in the blurb above, it would be largely because the material over which copyrights are being claimed are actually owned by a variety of parties. That is to say only some of the material alleged would be under copyrights of UGM while the rest would actually be held under competing labels.

To be more simple, "if it's music, the RIAA thinks it's copyrighted by one of their member groups and files suit claiming to represent the interests of any one of the member groups." Here's the interesting part, I think. Since these cases are actually brought out as "{Publisher Name} vs {woeful party name}" and often {woeful party name} settles, there's actually nothing stopping the RIAA doing it again claiming to be representing {Another Publisher Name} using the exact same evidence and claims.

Cue the /. RIGHTS commentary. (3, Insightful)

danZbar (989499) | about 7 years ago | (#20409101)

Two wrongs make a RIGHT:

I've purchased x number of CDs for an average of z dollars (a price which was illegally inflated by an average of 200%).

I've downloaded y number of albums which were...free.

If xz < yz/2 then I suppose I ought to be immediately dumped into the furnaces of Mordor.

If xz > yz/2 then I am a moral individual and the RIAA can suck it.


It's their RIGHT:

Hey, it's their content. They can dictate what should be done with it. This is America. Constitution. Blah blah blah blah blah if you don't like it, gyet out.


They'll never understand what is RIGHT:

They don't see how badly they've sullied the reputation of every artist they represent, the entire process of making money from playing music, and the beloved image of the American rock star. They'll just keep on beating a dead horse, because they're old, and stupid, and ugly, and they have small wieners, and they don't really care about musicians (let alone music), and did I mention they have small wieners?


We are RIGHT:

Hey, it's our hot music. We do what we want. We do what we want. We fly by the seat of our pants and eat copyright law for breakfast. You aint bad. We bad. We download full length films the day before they come out and watch shitty screening cams that forever ruin the experience of the film, but at least we don't give the MAN our money that we made by selling downloaded music at flee markets. Yeah, look at us. We do what we want.


The desire to profit isn't RIGHT:

Artists can't expect to make money from making music, and shouldn't expect to. They should want to make music because they love it. Yada yada yada...love is all you need.....yada yada yada....the marketplace corrupts.


Newer models are RIGHT:

Just accept that CDs are promotional items to drive other types of sales, and stop suing grandmas. You can't stop progress, and you can't come up with DRM that some pimply teenager won't hack within a few weeks.


The RIGHT thing here is to do what you feel is RIGHT, no matter what the legal RIGHT:

Your right to point and click and use your ears *feels* as legitimate as (or more than) theirs to enforce their right to restrict *every* listening of a song to some type of commercial transaction, yet legally it isn't. Think about the artist. Think about the label. Think about the music. Think about your bank account. When you love an artist enough, you know you'll spend money on them. This is the compromise most of us make. This is the compromise the industry has to get used to.

Re:Cue the /. RIGHTS commentary. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | about 7 years ago | (#20409395)

CopyRIGHT is the public giving up its RIGHT to copy for the sake of getting more works. No-one asked me if I wanted to give up my RIGHT. No-one ever asks. If it's my RIGHT then shouldn't they ask me if I want to give it up before they take it away?

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