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White House Lauds MN RIAA Win, Analysis of Victory

Zonk posted about 7 years ago | from the really-could-have-done-without-that-this-week dept.

The Courts 368

cnet-declan writes "The Bush administration's copyright czar says the RIAA's $222,000 recent jury verdict against a Minnesota woman shows copyright law is 'effective' and working as planned. C|Net's coverage has comments from Chris Israel, the U.S. Coordinator for International Intellectual Property Enforcement. Israel is formerly a senior Commerce Department official appointed by President Bush in July 2005 who previously worked for Time Warner's public policy arm (Warner Bros. Records is one of the plaintiffs in the RIAA case). The site also features an interview with Rep. Rick Boucher, no fan of the RIAA, on whether Congress will change the law, an analysis of why U.S. copyright law is broken, and four reasons why the RIAA won."

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Par for the course (4, Insightful)

MrCopilot (871878) | about 7 years ago | (#20877701)

Yep sounds like this White House. Corporations 1 Billion, Consumers/Citizens Who?

Re:Par for the course (5, Insightful)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | about 7 years ago | (#20877773)

Yep sounds like this White House. Corporations 1 Billion, Consumers/Citizens Who?

Since when do they comment on this stuff? I'm surprised they didn't comment on the Vonage loss against that bullshit patent. Or everytime a bullshit patent is enforced. On second thought maybe they try to stay neutral in Corporation vs Corporation matters.

Re:Par for the course (2, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | about 7 years ago | (#20879141)

When the visibility is this high, and the corporation has bribed, eerrr lobbied, this hard its not surprising to see the government ( i wont say 'bush', this sort of nonsence is a government issue in general, not an administration issue ) comment on it.

Sort of like the 'war on drugs', or 'war on big tobacco', ( and soon, 'big snack food' ) you can expect public comments.

I say its time for us citizens to have a 'war on RIAA', and take no prisoners. Start with voting out anyone that in the least supports this. Show them we are displeased with their being purchased and no longer looking out for their constituents.

Re:Par for the course (4, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 7 years ago | (#20878005)

I'm the last person to defend the Bush regime, but bear in mind the phrase "copyright law is effective and working as planned" means "we see no need to tighten copyright law and create yet more insane crap, like the DMCA, to help copyright owners defend their copyrights."

If the industry had lost the case, given that P2P copying of music without the copyright holder's authorization is rampant, you can bet the fact would have been used in the intense lobbying to impose still more draconian copyright laws and penalties. That lobbying is going on now, the government is being told that existing laws are inadequate and need to be tightened. The music industry's win is an ironic defeat for that lobby. If the music industry can defend its copyrights using the existing legal tools, then there is little reason to provide them with more.

The biggest argument for more draconian copyright laws is rampant copyright infringement. Unfortunately, many in the tech community do not see that and think that laws get over-turned when people ignore them: with few exceptions, that attitude flies in the face of history. Those promoting copyright infringement are doing those who want to see a free exchange of information and genuinely fair use of, and improved access to, everything else no favors whatsoever.

Re:Par for the course (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20878037)

bear in mind the phrase "copyright law is effective and working as planned" means "we see no need to tighten copyright law and create yet more insane crap, like the DMCA, to help copyright owners defend their copyrights."
That's the good half of the meaning. The bad half of the meaning is that it also means "we intended for courts to award damages of 100,000 times the cost of stolen goods, and for a single mom to be bankrupted for stealing 23 music tracks."

Magna Carta, the first Constitution in the history of the common law on which our great Republic is built, stated that "every freeman shall be fined in proportion to his fault; and no fine shall be levied on him to his utter ruin." Sad to see that in Bush's America this apparently only applies to freemen, not single moms.

Re:Par for the course (3, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 7 years ago | (#20878365)

"Sad to see that in Bush's America this apparently only applies to freemen, not single moms"

Whilst I agree that the magna carta is at the roots of modern democracy and the RIAA are a bunch of souless pricks, "freemen" was a restrictive term back then and did not include women, children or slaves.

Re:Par for the course (4, Insightful)

yincrash (854885) | about 7 years ago | (#20878855)

Yet now all these people are considered free due to our own legal system, so your point seems moot.

Re:Par for the course (-1, Offtopic)

rvw (755107) | about 7 years ago | (#20878095)

This sounds like Bush saying Iraq is a free democracy.

Re:Par for the course (0, Troll)

Dunbal (464142) | about 7 years ago | (#20878417)

Of course it is, and if you say different then you're not a patriot. When you download music you are downloading terrorism and Harming Our Troops. See you in Gitmo.

RIAA and GNU have a lot in common (1, Flamebait)

tjstork (137384) | about 7 years ago | (#20878649)

Let's face it. RIAA is doing a lot of the dirty work for the open source movement. IF, a judge were to rule, or the congress were to decide, that copyrights did not somehow apply to electronic documents, or that, users could freely copy a digital image without having to abide by any sort of license or royalty restriction, the OSS movement would be screwed because the GPL would become utterly meaningless. That is, if the little consumer can steal a song, then mega corporation can also violate the GPL, as both are based on copyrights. You could, when the dust all settles, be allowed to copy music legally, but then, you would also have to allow companies to grab all the GPL code, commercialize it, and do exactly the very thing that spawned the GPL to begin with.

Re:RIAA and GNU have a lot in common (1)

webmaster404 (1148909) | about 7 years ago | (#20878771)

But then, MS wouldn't have a monopoly now, technology would explode in growth being not restricted by copyrights, and then the GPL becomes the BSD license, Apple has been doing the same with OS-X, take safari, they took KHTML konqueror's base then added a proprietary UI over it same thing what they did with the OS-X kernel by taking the BSD kernel + X and added a proprietary GUI, at least though apple has those components still open-sourced. But still, killing copyright wouldn't be bad, although if we could at least kill patents and make innovating technology legal without having to have the MPIAA/RIAA "approving" it, the technology industry would grow by leaps and bounds.

Re:RIAA and GNU have a lot in common (2, Insightful)

Waffle Iron (339739) | about 7 years ago | (#20878845)

The people who wrote the GPL were trying to simulate a world without copyrights by using copyrights in an unusual way. In a world without copyrights, there would be no need for such a simulation.

Re:RIAA and GNU have a lot in common (2, Insightful)

phantomlord (38815) | about 7 years ago | (#20879081)

In a world without copyright, free software has no protections. Evilcorp can take your code, extend it, release it closed source and give you the finger because you have no claim of ownership over it. If that's the world the FSF wants to live in, they can convert the license on all their stuff to the BSDL and enjoy it now.

A world without copyright doesn't mean that everyone includes the source for their programs... It will also raise the cost of software dramatically. Autocad might cost $300k because a large architecture firms will buy one copy to install on all of their computers. Yeah, they could get it third party for free but then they wouldn't have any support to go with it. You can say the free software community will just develop a competitor, but again, that's going to rely on coders putting in a ton of effort to be feature comparable to Autocad and anyone can take that code, extend and close it because nothing protects it. Even with the protections of copyright, there still isn't a viable FOSS 3D CAD application which competes with Autocad that I'm aware of.

Liberty and justice (4, Insightful)

tsa (15680) | about 7 years ago | (#20877707)

Liberty and justice for all corporations!

Re:Liberty and justice (5, Insightful)

rucs_hack (784150) | about 7 years ago | (#20877753)

If a law is deemed working properly when it can destroy someones life for the sake of a few MP3's, I would say that what we have here is fascism.

Well, neoconservatism, which as far as I can tell is the same thing, only with better suits.

Re:Liberty and justice (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20877833)

Well, neoconservatism, which as far as I can tell is the same thing, only with better suits.

Fascism had waaaaay better uniforms and regalia.

Destroying someone's life (1)

superbrose (1030148) | about 7 years ago | (#20877875)

Isn't it great to see that punishment has been served, and now a strong example has been set as a deterrent!

Screw the woman's life, and scare the living flesh out of all those evil filesharers that have committed similar crimes.

Now we can all sleep better knowing that the artists and their friendly record companies can survive in the Land Of The Fees. And thank god that the record industry does not have to deal with many artists like Prince [] ... obviously artists like that don't get by, and what about the industry!?

Re:Destroying someone's life (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 7 years ago | (#20877939)

"The Artist formerly known as Prince should know that with behaviour like this he will soon be the Artist Formerly Available in Record Stores"

I bet he's shaking!
With lots of concerts, the publicity if they cut him of due to him giving away CDs and 80 million records sold he's sure to be forgotten!
And if most of his income come from concerts and similair I guess he don't care that much if they are sold or not.

This is actually great because the sooner well known artists are cut of from the ties with the record industry and sold in online store there more and all the money goes to the artist or the artist let it totally free and decide to promote him- or herself in some other way such as this the better.
More listeners, more friendly community, more live performance/music happnenings and similair for your money, eventually more money for the artist in the end, what is there to lose?

I hope it develops into something better for the artists aswell.

(In related activitiys I guess the same could be said of pirated video VS large cinema events but then the problem are that some people eventually prefer to see movies at home instead, I don't know how to fix that issue. I'd rather say cinemas are dead and we don't need them but I don't know how the movie industry shall get their money.
Same for the software industry in the cases there you can't charge for support of the product or sell related goods.)

Re:Destroying someone's life (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | about 7 years ago | (#20878657)

I'm a prince fan, but he recently did The Wrong Thing. []

So much for so-called heroes against the evil empire.

Re:Liberty and justice (5, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | about 7 years ago | (#20877893)

Here's a simple argument that her punishment was unjust - because it is being used as a stick to scare to the rest of society rather than an as an actual punishment, and is therefore out of proportion. How do we know that it is being used to scare society rather than as a fair punishment? Because millions of people do exactly the same as them and if everyone were prosecuted to such a degree, US civilisation would go bankrupt en masse. The penalty is inherently selective in targeting only example cases, because any consistent application of it would devastate the country. Punishments designed to scare people are not in proportion to the crime, because that is not their purpose. The interest is in creating the very greatest degree of punishment that is achievable.

Re:Liberty and justice (4, Funny)

marcello_dl (667940) | about 7 years ago | (#20877969)

I completely agree. But I'd define this a mild "reign of terror".

I am not liking it so I'm gonna fight it (as my ultimate rebellion is actually believing the propaganda called "democracy" and "justice" that some interest have fed us throughout the years).

But how to fight? Shall I do exactly what they want us to avoid? Or avoid their products? Or avoid them but in the cases where they are extending copyright or patents on something they have no conceivable right on? (+70years, silly patents).

On another perspective, NeoCons will have big explaining to do upstairs, if the God they're trying to justify themselves with is really there:

- "You see, My Lord, I just wanted to..."
- "Please, call me Allah."
- "...Oopsie..."

Re: Neocon God (4, Interesting)

cheros (223479) | about 7 years ago | (#20878231)

God, that was funny :-).


Now, if you really want to kick the industry in the chins it's very easy, but I don't have the time for it.

(1) Register a site "BuynoCDsDay" and put SENSIBLE arguments on there why what the RIAA and the record industry in general is doing is wrong. Talk about the RIAA acting as a second police force, talk about the total absence of rational proof (i.e. lack of evidence) and talk also about alternatives (saying something is bad is easy, offering alternatives is evidence you've been thinking about it)

(2) Plan a day somewhere around Xmas where normally their sales volume is quite high and ask people not to buy a single record that day. Nil, none whatsoever, and to tell their friends as well. Give good arguments (for instance, list the consequences of what happens when the RIAA is allowed to continue abusing the law) and maybe also identify that the RIAA is a primary reason of records being so expensive (here's a question for you - it costs millions to make a movie, yet I can buy a movie DVD for the same money as an album CD, why?). Try to go as wide as possible - get people to translate the site as well because the bigger you make this, the more it will hit.

(3) Market the crap out of this site. Talk to The Register, Slashdot it (which means you'll need to keep to text and small image sizes), get it in Boing Boing, Ars Technica etc, the works. Make promos and stick them on YouTube. In other words, keep hitting it. Email the BBC about what you're doing. Get on the news, annoy your parents with it, come up with a good slogan and yell it everywhere - democracy is being able to say what you think (but without insulting people - ther'e such a thing as good manners).

However, there is ONE thing you should not do. Do not promote illegal activity. Breaking copyright is wrong, whatever your reasons are you have no right to break the law. Just send a signal to the RIAA that the game is up - and this "win" of theirs (which will surely be challenged) will make all those others accused even fight harder (except the dead ones, of course).

So there, instant revolution recipe. I'll go and take my tablets and lie down now :-)

Re: Neocon God (5, Insightful)

muuh-gnu (894733) | about 7 years ago | (#20878647)

> Breaking copyright is wrong,

It isn't.

> whatever your reasons are you have no right to break the law.

If the law is unjust, it's not only wrong, but your obligation to break it. If the world worked by your logic, the civilisation would have never developed past the slavery, monarchies, colonialism, and so on, because every of those steps required breaking some kind of then effective, but unjust law. If you didnt ignore, fight and break unjust laws, you wouldnt even live in the US but would be a massively exploited british colony. If you happen to be black, you would still be prohibited from learning something and would have the lagal status of a "thing", could be sold, bought and auctioned, and if youre a woman, youd be prohibited from voting, studying, appearing on streets without a burqa and so on.

FUCKING NOBODY who is not profiting from artificial, enforced scarcity, perceives either this judgement or the underlying copyright fascism as "just" or democratically approved, and without massive civil movements, there seems just to be no way to change the laws, because the persons in power simply "dont allow" the people to do it bacause they know that copyright, as we know it now, wouldnt survive a single night if people _really_ decided democratically about it.

Re:Liberty and justice (2, Interesting)

visualight (468005) | about 7 years ago | (#20878245)

It's been more than 5 years since they got my money. No CD's, No DVD's, and I don't got to the movie theater anymore either. I almost caved for Spiderman3 but I didn't.

I considered going in front of a movie theater with a sign but I figured if it was just me people would just think "look at that crazy guy..." as they were standing in line. If there's like 50 people it would be different.

Re:Liberty and justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20878665)

Yea, different. "Look at those 50 crazy guys..."

I haven't sucked on the RIAA or the MPAA's teats (2, Informative)

crovira (10242) | about 7 years ago | (#20878737)

for years.

The suckage of the RIAA's client's 'product' is legendary and I see no need to support it in any way.

Unfortunately, is still too expensive to make movies because there isn't an independent movie market place for the CREATION of movies, but its coming as production equipment, (like film cameras, lenses and editing software,) keep getting cheaper and better.

It will become possible to finance the creation of movies, the distribution of movies over the internet through something like podcasting. You can pitch ideas on the 'net, see what sort of an audience would be interested (that gives you an upper limit on budget,) and go produce it.

The same with movie houses trying to compete with 1080p and 41"+ screens.

They are going to be in real trouble in a very few years.

But back to the RIAA:

There are lots of indie artists who's record companies get my money instead.

The RIAA is one last gasp of any industry trying to hold back the tide.

Like buggy whip makers, they are trying to force cars off of the roads. We all know where that led.

I'm going to quite myself from next Monday's podcast, ("bad form" I know), but the RIAA only represents a very few clients:

"* Arista
* Capitol Records
* Elektra
* Fonovisa
* Interscope
* Lava
* Loud
* Maverick
* Motown
* Priority
* Sony
* Universal
* Virgin
* Warner)

Personally, I think the RIAA's lawyers are tone-deaf, evil, profligate dwarves who have neither senses of shame or of proportion.

I will never buy "any" of products from any firms they represent. (There are plenty of alternatives.)

Kiss my ass, RIAA. Kiss my ass."

Re:Liberty and justice (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 7 years ago | (#20878483)

I am not terribly surprised that a man that was appointed by the courts despite having lost the majority vote, would think that this was justice served. Abuse of the justice system is something which is encouraged when judges don't do a good job of keeping obviously unreliable evidence out of the proceedings.

I think the main hint is that they brought in witnesses to perjure on their behalf. I wouldn't be half as bothered by this if the evidence had some level of reliability but when you allow the plaintiff to use speculation as a basis for a case, that is a problem.

HDs are more likely to fail in computers that don't have some form of line conditioning, that aren't being checked from time to time to make sure that they aren't covered in dust and after being used for years. And surprisingly enough this isn't terribly reliable and happens more often to those that aren't good with computers. People more inclined would probably have had back ups. Allowing the RIAA "attorneys" to use screen shots as evidence that infringement was going on is so beyond any reasonable courtroom procedure that it makes me want to cry.

I think the clear message from all of this is that the RIAA can extort money with the governments blessing without having a strong case.

[ot] Capital Punishment Tangent (1)

wild_berry (448019) | about 7 years ago | (#20878565)

Does "it .... being used as a stick to scare to the rest of society rather than an as an actual punishment, and is therefore out of proportion" apply to the death penalty? I ask because often people say that capital punishment as a deterrent is one (of a handful, admittedly) justification for the death penalty.

Re:[ot] Capital Punishment Tangent (1)

david_thornley (598059) | about 7 years ago | (#20879109)

No, the argument doesn't apply to the death penalty.

If we executed all murderers, it wouldn't particularly change society. We used to get along pretty well when death was the standard penalty.

If we fined all people who deliberately shared songs ten thousand dollars per song, it would cause tremendous upheavals.

If it helps, think of it as the first form of the Kantian categorical imperative: Always act so that your actions could be made into a rule. Executing murderers could be a rule. It used to be, at least when we could find and convict the murderer. Imposing outrageous fines for file-sharing wouldn't work as a rule.

Re:Liberty and justice (1)

Weh (219305) | about 7 years ago | (#20877899)

Well, neoconservatism...
You mean national-conservatism I think ;)

Re:Liberty and justice (5, Insightful)

15Bit (940730) | about 7 years ago | (#20878017)

What you have here is a fundamentally malfunctioning legal system. A punishment should fit the crime committed, not the collective crimes of everyone else who breaks the same law. Being punished to "serve as an example to others" is a concept which should have been left behind in the middle ages.

Re: U.S. Justice (3, Informative)

I_Voter (987579) | about 7 years ago | (#20878923)

Justice and the U.S. Constitution.

IMO: Few people that express political opinions about, justice, civil liberties, or even decisions by the U.S.Supreme Court, seem to be aware of our founding fathers original views. In simple terms the basic defense against government "tyranny" in our original constitutional concept was the jury.

My Quick and Dirty Background

In 1670, the traditional right of trial, by a jury of the defendant's peers, became much more powerful. The King's Chief Justice ruled that a jury could not be punished for bringing in a verdict that the Judge thought was unreasonable. This gave the jury the right to nullify the law in any specific trial! It's no accident that our U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights mention trial by jury six times. Our founding fathers understood the importance of the jury to protect the citizens from any state including a republic.

Alexander Hamilton in Federalist Paper No. 83 -

"The friends and adversaries of the plan of the [constitutional] convention, if they agree in nothing else, concur at least in the value they set upon the trial by jury; or if there is any difference between them it consists in this: the former regard it as a valuable safeguard to liberty; the latter represent it as the very palladium of free government."

Thomas Jefferson's views were much stronger! -

"I consider trial by jury the only anchor yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of it's constitution." If you think that Jefferson overlooked the right to elect our representatives, you should consider a second quote of Jefferson, from a letter written in 1789, while serving. as ambassador to France: "Were I called upon to decide whether the people had best be omitted in the Legislative or Judiciary department, I would say that it is better to leave them out of the Legislative."

One Historical Example: A Glorious Tradition of Free Speech

In 1735, jury nullification decided the celebrated seditious libel trial of John Peter Zenger. His newspaper had openly criticized the royal governor of New York. The current law made it a crime to publish any statement (true or false) criticizing public officials, laws, or the government in general. The jury was only to decide if the material in question had been published; the judge was to decide if the material was in violation of the statute.

Later "Judicial Refinements."

A U.S. Supreme Court decision, (Sparf and Hansen v. U.S.) in 1895, declared (in legal principle) that jurors did not have the right of "jury nullification." It could be said that they were proclaiming the jurers in that seditious libel trial of John Peter Zenger to be criminals! The acceptance (in principle) of the immunity of a seated jury limited the full impact of the decision. However; in most states trial judges now tell jurors that their only job is to decide if the "facts" are sufficient to convict, and that if so, they "should" or "must" convict. Defense attorneys can face contempt of court charges if they urge jurors to acquit if they think the law is unconstitutional or unjust. However, in England "Rumpole of the Bailey" can use the following defense - "Yes my client did it! So what! Does any member of the jury really believe my client deserves to be punished?"

This subject is explored more fully in the book, -

JURY NULLIFICATION: The Evolution of a Doctrine , pub 1998, by Carolina Academic Press, Author: Clay S. Conrad.

More recently - California has allowed judges to enter jury rooms, under certain special situations, to evaluate if the jury is reasoning properly! These actions have been examined (2001) by the California Supreme Court, and found acceptable based on the 1895 Supreme Court decision.

The ability of the Judge to "judge" the reasoning processes of seated jurors, under admittedly rare situations, is only true in the present time. However: You can be sure it will be extended to other states and with less narrow requirements over time. The ability of a juror to vote his or her conscience is an insult to an unrepresentative government's power. The Supreme Court is as about as unrepresentative as you can get, so they will not likely stand in the way of any legislative act.


References for the political jury.

1. The best! But can you find it?
JURY NULLIFICATION: The Evolution of a Doctrine ,
A Cato Institute Book, pub 1998, by Carolina Academic Press,
Author: Clay S. Conrad

WE THE JURY: The Jury System and the Ideal of Democracy ,
by Jeffery Abramson, professor of politics and legal studies
at Brandeis University, published 2000, Basic Books

Corporate VS Private copyright violation (2, Insightful)

crovira (10242) | about 7 years ago | (#20878945)

The problem is that she is a human being, who is probably going to pay for the rest of her life for the "copyright violation" of just making the stuff available, rather than a corporation, who could either afford it or just go out of business, while the corporate officers pocketed the money and go on to start up the next shady deal.

I'm not recommending it, but it would illustrate her plight if she would commit "sepuku" in front of the RIAA offices for TV cameras, in exchange for her kid's safety, as this would illustrate the actual attitude of the RIAA (I like to think that the sight of a woman gutting her self like a fish all over their carpet might give some of them nightmares, but I don't really think it would.)

Basically, she was a single individual going into a system designed for corporations to KILL each other.

Now her life is ground meat. She'll spend her life paying for the mistakes on lost of peoples' parts.

In old Imperial Japan, her head would have been separated from her body.

Those ARE the stakes.

Re:Liberty and justice (1)

FreudianNightmare (1106709) | about 7 years ago | (#20878325)

'what we have here is fascism....Well, neoconservatism, which as far as I can tell is the same thing, only with better suits.'

Are you kidding? Everyone knows the Nazi's always had the sharpest uniforms in WWII. In a style war, black ALWAYS wins.

Re:Liberty and justice (1)

BimotaGrrrl (1049778) | about 7 years ago | (#20878583)

I'm befuddled as to why anyone here would object to this ruling. This community more than most seems to understand the responsibility of a user of a work to a) know; and b) respect the creators' rights for the use of that work. This applies to the GPL copyleft license, where it requires that all derivative works maintain the original copyleft license; as well as to the concept behind the Creative Commons. Similar to this case in question, if someone took GPL'd works and made a derivative and then attempted to restrict the use of that derivative in a way not allowed by the GPL, you'd expect that person to be subject to punative action. If you're going to do something with work that someone else created, then you should know and respect the license for that work, whether that license specifies relative freedom or restriction. Buyer (or borrower) beware.

Re:Liberty and justice (3, Insightful)

ChrisMaple (607946) | about 7 years ago | (#20879023)

Even those who think copyright law is paramount may have a sense of proportion. There's no reason to believe the woman acted with intent to harm, or achieved or attempted financial gain (beyond having posession of a lot of music she didn't pay for). She was fined far, far beyond any actual demonstrated damages.

A just verdict would have been a fine of perhaps $2000, a requirement that all her internet activity be monitored for several years, and a warning that severe fines would be imposed upon discovery of similar misbehavior in the future. This is, after all, a first offense, and it was until this judgement a grey area in the law.

The GPL analogy is not appropriate because GPL violations generally involve attempts at substancial financial gain for the violator.

Re:Liberty and justice (2, Insightful)

CyberSnyder (8122) | about 7 years ago | (#20879179)

Why is everything being prosecuted in civil trials rather than criminal court? Are they not breaking the law? Of course, the answer is easy. Burden of proof is much lower and corporations can keep top legal staff on their payroll where the average American cannot afford to hire a good lawyer or will be in the position of hiring a lawyer and winning in which case they lose $100k or more in legal fees. Or losing, paying $200k in damages *and* $100k in legal fees. The court system is just a tool that is stacked heavily in the favor of the corporations. "We the People" died sometime within the past generation or so. Fortunately, "We the People" can stop purchasing the CDs and MP3s and cut the corporations off at the knees. I think I'll stick with my current habit of purchasing used CDs and supporting local bands.

Re:Liberty and justice (1)

deniable (76198) | about 7 years ago | (#20877755)

I prefer "No representation without compensation," and they have a lot more money to give.

As the pendulum swings further... (5, Insightful)

speedfreak_5 (546044) | about 7 years ago | (#20877731)


At this point, I kind of get a kick of seeing how the copyright system is thrown in favor of those who are responsible for most of the "content" (not worthy of the term "music" eh? :) that is put out there for your consumption. I can't wait for the pendulum to swing back hard. It's already showing some resistance (file sharing and what-not) to being in favor of one side heavily over the other with respect to the original idea of copyright. Some term extensions are fine with me. But the current system of life of the author + 70 years AND digital rights management is obscene and a kick to the crotch of the idea of copyright.

Support fair use! (1)

MikeFM (12491) | about 7 years ago | (#20877973)

I was thinking earlier of putting together a nice looking website that puts the issue into easy terms for people to understand and frames things so they'll care. Anyone good at drawing? My graphic artist isn't up for anything that might involve conflict. I have some ideas of how I want the website but I'm not good at drawing.

IT is TIME we all pirate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20878165)

YES let every person in canada and the usa get sued for 220, 000 $
and then when we default and cannot pay we all lost our jobs and go on welfare the whole of sai dsystem comes crashing down. As one poster before said when the punichment metted out is so great that an application of it too everyone would devaste your economy whose really screwing stuff up.

I for one wish they'd sue me. Seems they never go after anyone who can speak for themselves wihtout a lawyer let alone with. And any 12yr olds and grannies, doesn't that show you what they people are truly about? YES bush we know your that kinda.
Facist I have said it since the irrational reation to 9/11 and the patriot act.
AND no ONE listened.

Episode four (4, Funny)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 7 years ago | (#20877743)

Emperor Bush: No pirate will dare oppose the RIAA now.

Princess Hacka: The more you tighten your copyrights, the more songs will slip through the P2P nets.

Re:Episode four (1)

Clockwork Apple (64497) | about 7 years ago | (#20877781)

Shouldn't that be Grand Moff (muff?) Bush?

You are referancing episode four. No Emperor in that one.

Re:Episode four (2, Funny)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 7 years ago | (#20877839)

Crap! I've been so traumatized by the recent episodes that the details of the original are already fuzzy!

Make available (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20877789)

This making available is wrong. They do the same thing when songs are played on FM radio. This is the flaw in this case.

Somebody should post the 24 songs and the bands names so they can be shamed in public. Remember don't by those band music or any RIAA member music in the future.

not the same (2, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | about 7 years ago | (#20877885)

when the radio played the song, it had payed for distributing them. That is the problem with you logic. The problem here, is that the girl did not pay to distribute them. Look, if I buy a CD and then share my music with a friend, and s?he rips it, then that is fair use. IOW, that person and myself have the RIGHT to do that. OTH, if I rip a CD and then offer it you, then I am selling something (for nothing, but still selling since I do not know you). I do not have that right. If I receive stolen property, and then offer it around, I am fencing. That is also illegal. That is what she was doing.

Two things need to be attacked;
  1. The length of time of IP. That has become silly. In particular, America's pushing our version is the worst. Australia's was actually, pretty fair. Hopefully, more nations push back against US and push for something like Australia's was.
  2. DMCA WRT DVDs/Music. We bought the movie and/or music. It is our right to back it up and use it how we see fit. As long as we are not distributing it, then there should not be an issue.
Though, Good luck. There is not much difference between a dem and pub, other than a pub runs monster deficits. They both love the current version of IP.

Mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20877937)

As an adjunct to point 2 I should say that the price of "content" in a market based economy is what the market will bear. That's capitalism, the fact that governments have awarded monopolies on distribution rights shouldn't be allowed to change the underpinnings of our economic system. At market price, music is so cheap that piracy is hardly worthwhile.

This is all moot anyhow since the major labels are already dead in the water.

Re:not the same (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 7 years ago | (#20877971)

But then they complain with services such as allofmp3 which "has paid for distributing them".

Are we all done if I pay a similair fee as the radio for bringing a music tracker up (not 100% comparable since I'm not the one actually having the song, but say open up my own online store then.)?

allofmp3 (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 7 years ago | (#20877997)

You will note that the RIAA is no longer DIRECTLY taking on that deal in the open. It is now close door and very quiet. I know that allofmp3 pays to the local RIAA, but does that money then flow back to the west's? IOW, do the artist still get paid in some fashion? Do not get me wrong. Right now, the concept that America has where money MUST flow to a BS corporation who represents ALL musicians (even those that want NOTHING to do with them) is wrong. But if Russia is playing fair, they will see that the money that they get for the re-sell goes to the owner of the music.

As to you other issue, I have NOT a clue. I think that our IP laws have gotten way out of hand, and need to return to what they were long ago.

Re:allofmp3 (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 7 years ago | (#20878253)

I know it never come back, I belive one is a retard if one pays for music to allofmp3 and I would never do it.

Still they are the only service I know of which spread music by only paying a similair fee such as a radio station would do, so it's the only thing I can compare with. Just say they paid the same fee in USA or whatever your country are and that it would reach the right organizations (even thought it would be a low amount.)

With long time ago what do you mean? Less piracy of movies and software? Or some other form there it's not throwd (right word?) upon?
Personally I don't think it's right to take someone else work if they don't want to, it's their to decide what they want to do with it. But then I still do it with stuff since I can't afford it all and I don't see it hurting them so much. Sort of like most people do I guess.
(Say I was into music and wanted to play around with some 1000 dollar software just for fun, then it's not the same as if I was a musican earning millions of my music later on.. imho.)

Re:not the same (3, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 7 years ago | (#20878475)

Look, if I buy a CD and then share my music with a friend, and she rips it, then that is fair use. IOW, that person and myself have the RIGHT to do that.
No, that pretty clearly is not fair use. You are fine lending the CD to anyone you please, but their ripping it is not really defensible as fair use because it violates most of the tests for fair use set out in title 17.

OTH, if I rip a CD and then offer it you, then I am selling something (for nothing, but still selling since I do not know you).
Uh, no. That's not "selling" it is unauthorized distribution and whether or not you "know" the person you are distributing to has nothing whatsoever to do with it.

Re:not the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20878611)

Look, if I buy a CD and then share my music with a friend, and s?he rips it, then that is fair use.
Once you sell the physical media to your friend, the mp3s that you ripped no longer fall under fair use and become a copyright violation. You are obligated to delete them at that time.

Re:not the same (2, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | about 7 years ago | (#20879061)

Two things need to be attacked;
The length of time of IP. That has become silly. In particular, America's pushing our version is the worst. Australia's was actually, pretty fair. Hopefully, more nations push back against US and push for something like Australia's was.
DMCA WRT DVDs/Music. We bought the movie and/or music. It is our right to back it up and use it how we see fit. As long as we are not distributing it, then there should not be an issue.

While I agree copyright is ocmpletely out of whack, do you think that'd restore balance to copyright? People today pirate the latest music, movies, tv and software. Yhat has extremely little to do with the length of copyright, do you think people would be happy if they could now watch the first season of Babylon 5, and in a few years could upgrade to Windows 95? That the 30 year olds can finally get the music they listened to in their early teens? That any of them would stop what they're doing and wait it out the next 14 years, even if we went all the way back to the copyright law of 1790? I think the general population would be as piss poor at keeping their end of a fair bargain as the RIAA/MPAA would be.

The truth is that even though the DRM systems get broken quite often, they're effective against the "now now NOW!" generation. If a DRM system isn't broken for a few months, it's a boon to sales. Can't pirate Wii/xbox360/PS3 games (or requires some ugly hardware hack that might brick your system on the next update)? Of course that helps against piracy. The RIAA/MPAA so desperately want in on that, but only recently are they starting to see that it's just not possible. People want to take the music with them whereever and play on whatever devices they got, and the end-produce (i.e. the image and the sound) can always be captured, and everything else is gravy.

Re:Make available (1)

deniable (76198) | about 7 years ago | (#20877907)

Start selling their singles for $9000 each. iTunes and others can raise their prices too.

The radio case is taken car of by royalties. If every kazaa user was required to pay royalties for every copy transferred then the RIAA would have a new business model.

Please Give GWB A Blowjob So We Can Impeach! (5, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 7 years ago | (#20877791)

I will be amazed if history does not label him the worst President we have ever had, along with the worst Presidential crew (cabinet and appointees) we have ever had.

The guy and his friends, as a group, have been almost unbelievable. What is even worse, is that on the rebound, a lot of people might actually think that voting for Hillary is a good idea. (shudder)

If you do not know who Ron Paul is, do yourself and others a favor and look him up. But if you really do not think honesty is important, go ahead and vote for any of the others.

Re:Please Give GWB A Blowjob So We Can Impeach! (1)

andr0meda (167375) | about 7 years ago | (#20877865)

God heavens no! Just suppose Laura runs for the presidency later on!

Re:Please Give GWB A Blowjob So We Can Impeach! (4, Insightful)

OrangeTide (124937) | about 7 years ago | (#20877947)

What's so great about Ron Paul? I mean unless you're a pro-lifer? One minute the guy tells us he things it's a state's right to allow or disallow abortion, and the next he says things like "In Congress, I have authored legislation that seeks to define life as beginning at conception, HR 1094." and "As an OB/GYN doctor, I've delivered over 4,000 babies. That experience has made me an unshakable foe of abortion." .. Which means it would be murder to perform abortion by his definition, and therefor outside of a state's right to regulate (they can only define the punishment for murder). And his stance does not seem to allow flexibility with regard to parents wishing to abort after tests for mental retardation, birth defects, etc. sorry, I really think it's a parents choice to bring a special needs child into this world, not a bureaucrat's choice (even if he was an OB/GYN).

A vast majority of abortions are not done by loose women who get knocked up every few months, it's a choice that women choose carefully and rarely more than once. It's an extremely difficult decision that your average woman does not take lightly at all.

Ron Paul is the best Republican on the field though, likely because he's not a sleezebag or neocon garbage. And I won't find myself voting for a Democrat until they have a massive change of heart and get back to their roots. (I never been registered as Democrat).

If you do have interest in Ron Paul I urge you register as Republican so you may vote in the primaries. (you don't have much time left to re-register and switch from being independent, most of the primary elections are held January and February 2008, depending on state). I personally doubt Ron Paul will win the GOP primaries overall, but he might make a big impact in western states who lean far more towards Libertarianism.

mod parent up (0, Flamebait)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | about 7 years ago | (#20878207)

Ron Paul is actually a crazy right winger, not the salvation wingnut Slashdotters seem to think he is.

Re:Please Give GWB A Blowjob So We Can Impeach! (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | about 7 years ago | (#20878439)

And his stance does not seem to allow flexibility with regard to parents wishing to abort after tests for mental retardation, birth defects, etc.

No offense to the radically leftist ones who can't seem to find their inner geek while talking about personal freedoms, but surely these are some of the absolutely worst reasons for abortions. You really haven't watched a lot of good geek TV and movies if you think a society full of parents who abort "imperfect" children is a good one. An episode of Star Trek with the Romulan comes to mind too for the semi-geeks.

As for the facts, I recently heard a major genetics researcher interviewed who quit his research into genetic screening years ago because when they began offering public in-utero testing at around $25k a pop or so do you know what well over 90% of clients wanted to know? Whether they were having a boy or a girl early enough to abort girls and start over for a boy without going through any more weeks of the pregnancy than necessary.

Yeah, there's a great moral defense -- abortions are important in cases where people don't want to have girls as children. That's just priceless. I know you didn't say that, but that's how the public uses these rights, so think next time you just close your ears and sing 'falalala' to yourself over abortion rights. Society may of course not need restrictions on abortion if the majority of people don't mind what its becoming.

PS I don't care if you're pro life or pro choice, try addressing the secondary issues, not the "but but, girls will hurt themselves" stuff that can be addressed without blanket abortion protections.

Making Available is not Impeachable (1, Offtopic)

Nymz (905908) | about 7 years ago | (#20878119)

Clinton argued (he was a lawyer) that 'making oneself available' for a blowjob is not sex, but is sex for the one performing the blowjob (Monica Lewinsky). Which explains why he didn't perjure himself (the actual impeachable offence that lost him his law license) when claiming he "did not have sex with that woman".

George on the other hand (who isn't a lawyer) would have to fail to use the 'making available' defense, and perform the blowjob himself (on someone else?) in order to commit perjury, which could then lead to political pressure on Congress to begin impeachment proceedings.

Re:Making Available is not Impeachable (0)

sacrilicious (316896) | about 7 years ago | (#20878425)

Clinton argued (he was a lawyer) that 'making oneself available' for a blowjob is not sex, but is sex for the one performing the blowjob (Monica Lewinsky).

Plus, Clinton was the copyright holder on his own DNA, so it was his own copyright that was violated when Monica, um, er, downloaded his DNA. :)

Re:Making Available is not Impeachable (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20878731)

Actually, Bill Clinton said he did not have sex with that woman because the prosecutors conducting the interview wrote up a specific definition of sex prior to the interview. The definition of sex the prosecutors said must be used in the interview excluded oral.

Re:Please Give GWB A Blowjob So We Can Impeach! (5, Funny)

CristalShandaLear (762536) | about 7 years ago | (#20878195)

The guy and his friends, as a group, have been almost unbelievable. What is even worse, is that on the rebound, a lot of people might actually think that voting for Hillary is a good idea. (shudder)

My mother, unfortunately is one of those people. She simply cannot see how Hillary has changed from her days as first lady to the Cheney Lite drone she is today. There are many people who don't see this and it is indeed frightening.

As for giving GWB a blowjob ....*sigh* I suppose I've given blowjobs for a lot less than the end of tyranny so I guess if you get him alone and hold him down, I'll take one for the geek world team, but damn, I expect a lifetime of free mp3's in return. I'd be an mp3 gazillionaire at MPAA rates.

Re:Please Give GWB A Blowjob So We Can Impeach! (2, Funny)

ErrorBase (692520) | about 7 years ago | (#20878505)

As for giving GWB a blowjob ....*sigh* I suppose I've given blowjobs for a lot less than the end of tyranny so I guess if you get him alone and hold him down, I'll take one for the geek world team, but damn, I expect a lifetime of free mp3's in return. I'd be an mp3 gazillionaire at MPAA rates.
Now there's a real patriot, put it on Youtube and I'll send you an URL. *ducks*

So what do you label the US citizens? (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 7 years ago | (#20878275)

Who re-elected him OR by not voting did nothing to oppose him? There is a saying, in the land of the blind, one-eyed is king. Think about this and see what it means to those ruled by Bush.

That you also lobby for Ron Paul suggests to me that you are not just a blind person ruled by a one-eyed freak but have lost all sensory capacities as well, rounded off with frontal lobotomy.

What I think is wrong with the world (Bush is far from the only "how the fuck did we elect him" leader) is television. Not the violence, or the sex but in how on tv solutions always come easy. Every problem is always one-dimensional and always gets solved before the end credits. Even "deep" series like Law & Order always only have ONE problem at the time. If the recent RIAA court cases were is TV land they would either just have the problem of how you indentify someone on the net, OR the moral problem of prosecuting someone for millions when they are pisspoor OR the issue of the morality of copyright BUT NEVER all at once, as in the real world.

You can even see this in the Oprah type shows, when she still had "difficult" shows, they still were about one thing and one thing only. The persons in trouble would abuse drugs OR have gambling problems OR come from broken homes OR have mental issues. The reason real world people are often so difficult to help is because they got ALL these problems at once and very few places are fit to deal with their combination.

But that is to difficult for tv, so everything is simplified and dumbed down till the point that perhaps many of us start to believe that simple solutions do exist.

Take the issue of that famous 300 dollar tax break, it is a pathetic amount of money based on even a low yearly income but what was the cost to society because of the numerous spending cuts that had to be made to pay for it?

Even if you believe those spending cuts were a good thing, then the US would still have been far better served if that money had been invested, if it had simple been put into a simple bank account, it could have been used to balance out any future required spending, like the disaster in new orleans or the war.

But no, people felt the effect of a down economy, so we get a simple one liner solution of being given a small amount of money and voila, guy gets elected.

But hey, what am I bothering for, you think Ron Paul is a good candidate. He has a lot of one-liner solutions, but if you actually would implement them then you would be hit with a ton of problems once the side effects kick in.

Get out of the various defence pacts like NATO? Where would the US base its operations out of that help secure the trade routes it needs for its economy? No the guy speak simple solutions for a simple audience who can't handle thinking about complex problems and reasoning out what any action might mean in the long term.

That is why really good leaders never do anything, because any change no matter how simple upsets everything else. Only once you have analyzed completely what each change might result in can you act. Do this for me, go to Ron Pauls wikipedia page, scroll down and read what he wants to do, then try to write down the total impact of each of his decisions. Can you even begin to imagine the chaos?

Re:So what do you label the US citizens? (1)

halycon404 (1101109) | about 7 years ago | (#20878575)

I think most people who support Ron Paul, myself included, aren't supporting him on hope of him getting elected. When the primary hits, I'm not voting for him, I don't want him in office. What I DO want to happen, is for a lot of the things he is talking about, to get more press. He may not have fully formed ideas, or workable solutions. But no one else is even entertaining some of the ideas he is, for fear of voter backlash.

Do I like his answer to the national budget problem? Nope, but no one else is really exploring some of the ideas he's talking about, they are just spouting the same party line that won't fix anything because that stance is popular with voters. Do I like his stance on abortion? Not so much, but I'm a guy, and my vote on that will never count as much as a woman saying "Its my body!!". No matter how much I had to do with the state of things, I don't get a true vote if it were to come up(yes, I an sue after the fact, but after the fact is a bit too late, isn't it?). So, meh. Do I like his stance on Iraq? Not really, once we committed to it, we're kinda stuck there for awhile, his answer is just as bad as everyone else's. But no other candidate is saying, to paraphrase, "We shouldn't be involved in any of these wars at all, its not our job to nanny the world". Nor do I like his answer to education, or a hundred other things. The only thing I can agree with him on, is that the idea of a "police action" has gotten totally out of control. It should be impossible for a President to put us in a state of war through "police action" for half a decade, with the decade mark coming up, without the 2/3rds majority vote from Congress on it. I know the whole problem of it started almost 60 years ago with the advent of the cold war, but come on!

I'll jump on a soap box, write letters, picket; anything and everything simply to get his views out there. But, I actually don't want the man in office. Everything with him is a binary solution. That doesn't help a whole lot for running things, but in todays media polarity gets time slots. If I have to endorse a man I can't see myself voting for, just to get some of his ideas and views out in a way thats taken as a viable option.... Instead of my retarded cousin Eddie's crack pot ranting... So be it.

This doesn't say a whole lot about our political process, but this is where we are.

Re:Please Give GWB A Blowjob So We Can Impeach! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20878401)

If you do not know who Ron Paul is, do yourself and others a favor and look him up. But if you really do not think honesty is important, go ahead and vote for any of the others.

Ron Paul, you mean the guy who's even more pro-corporation than our current President? Or do you not understand that that's actually the meaning behind "everything in the world should be able to be bought or sold"? No thanks, I'm steering as clear as possible from Ron Paul as I can.

Re:Please Give GWB A Blowjob So We Can Impeach! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20878557)

There are two types of slashdotter: those who think Ron Paul is just a step under Jesus Christ, and those who think Ron Paul is a step above Jesus Christ.

He's a politician, just like the rest of them. Never worship a politician.

Not what I'd like to hear from the White House (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 7 years ago | (#20877797)

"Effective" and "working as planned" are two phrases that I'd _not_ like to hear coming from Washington at the moment. Not until 1984, anyway.

the RIAA deserved to win, but, no surprise about W (2, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | about 7 years ago | (#20877821)

Not surprised that she lost. She was uploading music, that she had downloaded. So, it started out not hers and then she gave it away. Copyright laws EXPLICITLY prevent that. OTH, had she bought the CD, or simply borrowed from friends, and the only offered it to friends, then I believe this would have been an interesting case.

It will create more siphons, but hopefully, the press will point out that this case was NOT about downloading, but about uploading to strangers.

As to the white house, I only hope that the more that laud this ruling, the more that it comes to haunt them.

Re:the RIAA deserved to win, but, no surprise abou (2, Insightful)

smallfries (601545) | about 7 years ago | (#20878015)

No it wasn't, and that is the problem a lot of people are having with this ruling. On this occasion I would recommend that you make an exception and RTFA. This case was not about uploading, the RIAA never proved that she uploading anything.

Jury Instruction 15: The act of making available for download copyrighted material is in itself an act of copyright infringement with a fine of $750-$30000.

Based on a screen-shot of kazaa showing some song names against her IP address they have fined her $220000. If you can't see why this is a travesty of justice then stop and think about it for a second. They have not shown that she violated copyright. Instead they have altered the law to say that "if it looks like you were going to violate copyright" then that is now a crime.

Thank god I don't live in America, and the laws here are a little more sane.

Re:the RIAA deserved to win, but, no surprise abou (0)

infolation (840436) | about 7 years ago | (#20878555)

Then why, when I play my hi-fi so loud my neighbour bangs on the wall, am I not guilty of copyright infringement by making my loud music available to be recorded by my neighbour?

That's not a directly equivalent example, but it seems copyrighted materials are regularly 'made available' by individuals in the course of their everyday life, yet the onus would be on another person to actively 'copy' those materials before copyright violation occurred.

If I leave my audio CD collection in my front garden, passers-by could conceivably remove, losslessly duplicate and replace them. If I lend my ipod to a friend, they can copy my mp3s. Being fined for either of these activies would clearly be preposterous, yet are these examples fundementally different to 'making available' on kazaa?

Re:the RIAA deserved to win, but, no surprise abou (1)

click2005 (921437) | about 7 years ago | (#20878837)

Then why, when I play my hi-fi so loud my neighbour bangs on the wall, am I not guilty of copyright infringement by making my loud music available to be recorded by my neighbour?

You are but the RIAA doesn't have the technology to track those kinds of violations yet.

Re:the RIAA deserved to win, but, no surprise abou (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 7 years ago | (#20878107)

The DMCA does not have a Fair Use clause. So she would have been royally boned even if she were only sharing with her friends or even (going by the letter of that legislation) having them listen to the music in her lounge.

She should be pardoned (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20877867)

Instead of fine of $222,000 , why can't they just tell her not to do this again . And if i am not wrong , she did not make money by reselling the music. I for one want to listen to music at least 3 or 4 times before i buy .
If software can be given on trial basis , why not music

IMHO the honorable court should have been more sympathetic to this women as she is not financially as strong as other parties . I don't know if she is capable of paying this fine , if she is not , i guess then she has to sell her house or other assets , where will she live if she has to sell her house ?

I am not from your country , but i can say for sure that law is not same for all , if i am correct did not some one from white house was pardoned by your president , and that person was accused of revealing a spy identity

My country is no better , we also have draconian laws . May be someday , we all move to new planet , with our own happy laws :)

Please pardon my English

Re:She should be pardoned (4, Insightful)

xelah (176252) | about 7 years ago | (#20878525)

My country is no better , we also have draconian laws . May be someday , we all move to new planet , with our own happy laws :)

They did that once. 'America', I think they called it.

Re:She should be pardoned (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20878931)

I am not from your country , but i can say for sure that law is not same for all , if i am correct did not some one from white house was pardoned by your president , and that person was accused of revealing a spy identity

You're comparing the value of a number of bits to the value of human lives. Unfortunately... the current administration believes one has a lot more value than the other.

something being 'effective and working as planned' (1)

trickyrickb (910871) | about 7 years ago | (#20877877)

does not mean that same thing is fair or just

I'll leave someone else to think of a car analogy

They're absolutely correct. (2, Interesting)

jimicus (737525) | about 7 years ago | (#20877933)

The purpose of copyright law is to grant a temporary monopoly on the rights to copy a piece of art - be it a painting, song, book or whatever. A bit like a patent provides a temporary monopoly on an invention.

The fact that a lawsuit has been won by the copyright owner demonstrates that the law does exactly what it was intended to do - set out a series of punishments for those who would break the law and copy a piece of art which they have no right to do.

I can see two bones of contention here, but they're more related to how the law is designed than whether or not it's working as intended:

1. Is the law morally justifiable?
2. Is the process of enforcing the law fair?

Both are very reasonable questions. If they're something which is important to the general public, then they'll probably become issues at the next election. But right now, I'd imagine most politicians are more interested in the easy political points - things like crime, education, war in Iraq - than those which are generating a lot of noise on /.

Re:They're absolutely correct. (2, Insightful)

pjt33 (739471) | about 7 years ago | (#20878697)

There's a third question:

3. Does the law set proportionate punishment?

please stop trying to make sense of (1)

talledega500 (994228) | about 7 years ago | (#20877987)

broken law

Teaching children (4, Insightful)

aeschenkarnos (517917) | about 7 years ago | (#20878049)

Just a question ... are Americans teaching their children that it is good to share, or that it is bad to share?

how do they get the money? (1)

JackMeyhoff (1070484) | about 7 years ago | (#20878063)

I for one don't have hundreds of thousands laying around or in assets :) In Europe they cannot take away your means to live (ie., force you into poverty by a ruling) as that is against human rights directives. So, is this just on paper or how do they get the money?

Hey kids! (1)

renegadesx (977007) | about 7 years ago | (#20878083)

Hey Kids! uncle George W says: Don't steel music of the internets!

This is not about supporting the artist... (4, Insightful)

3seas (184403) | about 7 years ago | (#20878105)

...its about prolonging the inevitable death of the labels business.

Remove the labels and replace them with a business model that understands the enormous cost savings of technology and the internet for production and distribution.

It should be obvious, even from the court records.

I very rarely buy music and when I do I try to buy directly from the artist, but this does not stop me from lisening to a great deal more music than I have purchased (not rented).

I don't pirate but I have heard mixes others have done that remined me of plenty of songs and artists I liked years ago. But at about that time this RIAA crap started up and I figured I liked the artists and their works, not the contradictory business model of the labels as represented by the RIAA. So of course I dropped the idea of locating the music I heard on such mixes, that I might buy it.

I mean since the Mix was illegal, I wasn't supposed to hear it and certainly in not hearing it I wouldn't be remined of ........ no sale.

I don't Pirate nor do I support rabid dogs out to bite th hand that feeds them.

The music industry labels has a history of questionable dealings such as Payola to get radio stations to play.... This sort of thing was determined to be illegal, unfair, etc... But the objective was that of getting coverage.

Now that there is plenty of coverage.... they are complaining... Why? because they are not controlling it, its more open to public choice....

Such controlling bias is not beneficial to but a few artists.

So in the mean time I wake to music I don't pay for, drive to work and back with music I don't pay for and when I get an itch for irish music I tune into livelreland and I don't pay for that either.

In fact I'd say on average over years, the music I listen to is better than 90% music I didn't pay for. And all without pirating. Most of which I wouldn't buy anyways, regardless of the fact that by the time the radio stations stop playing it, I'm sick and tired of it anyway and certainly won't have anything, and I certainly won't allow an illegal mix years later wrongly influence me to go out and buy....

Why buy and why pirate when there is plenty free and legal.....

If they shut down internet radio .. then I won't listen and won't know about artist I might just like enough to buy.

Perhaps the Labels should just shut down all radio stations music playing..... That'll save them.

bad for music...but good for the BSD license? (1)

petrus4 (213815) | about 7 years ago | (#20878167)

I at first thought that the RIAA having a successful legal precedent was an exclusively bad thing, of course...but then I realised something.

People have wondered how the BSD license is any more secure than straight public domain. It's more secure because it relies on conventional copyright law. It also seems to me that the idea that conventional copyright being toothless is one of the primary justifications used for existence of the GPL.

If it is demonstrated that conventional copyright law still has some teeth, then it can also be demonstrated that the BSD license is at least concievably enforceable likewise. That might not be good for people who want to swap mp3s, but it might just be good for the BSD license.

I know there was some talk a bit back about extending use of the GPL to other forms of media, such as music. Perhaps if we have a few more cases such as this, we could demonstrate that a permissive use license such as the BSD could be used even for such works, while if copyright is shown to be enforceable, would also be sufficient from a legal perspective to protect the copyright holder as well.

The punishment does not fit the crime (5, Insightful)

Purity Of Essence (1007601) | about 7 years ago | (#20878201)

RIAA wants to get $150,000 per infringement. If they nailed only 1/10th of the users on just the eMule network right now, each for a single infringement, they would net far more money than they normally make in a year. How can you seek damages so far removed from reality? RIAA wants us to believe that the $40 billion dollar music industry is the being victimized by eMule users to the tune of $600 billion worth of copyright infringement at any given moment.

Re:The punishment does not fit the crime (1)

butlerdi (705651) | about 7 years ago | (#20879187)

This is an election year(s). The same boys that control the music bus control the television, radio, music, magazines and newspapers. Figure it out. The politicians now work as much for these slimebags as they do for their normal masters. Do not expect justice, just terrorism as they enact the smash and grab tactics of the last 20 years. These guys know it is crumbling and are just grabbing as much as they can before they cut and run leaving the moron sheeples behind to wonder what went wrong.

Copyright holders? (1)

Soloact (805735) | about 7 years ago | (#20878221)

I don't know if I missed it in the articles, but it doesn't seem that the RIAA had to prove that they were the owners of the copyrights of the songs in question. The RIAA does not support the artists, and "artist(s)" isn't even part of their name. This misconception of the RIAA supporting the actual artists is what is scaring the people, or to put it in more accurate terms, they're scaring away their own customers. Yep, a musician here, although out of practise for a few years, I still do not grant the RIAA any rights to my materials, nor to collect royalties on my behalf (as they have the goal of wanting to collect royalties on every song played anywhere). These rights do not belong to the RIAA, but to ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, or whatever organization that actually does represent the artist(s) and publisher(s) connected to said copyrighted materials. The RIAA never gets around to telling that to the public.

He should check his kids pcs (4, Insightful)

musicmaster (237156) | about 7 years ago | (#20878223)

This "copyright czar" Chris Israel should better check his kids' (if he has any) pcs and ipods. The majority of the families in the US are at risk for a similar verdict.

But then of course his risk is quite diminished: the Bush administration has an effective system for preventing that their friends are prosecuted. The time that justice was blind is behind us.

Re:He should check his kids pcs (2, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | about 7 years ago | (#20878349)

the Bush administration has an effective system for preventing that their friends are prosecuted.

      Of course they do. The kids' iPod contents are a state secret.

Unconstitutional Fine. (4, Insightful)

Devir (671031) | about 7 years ago | (#20878241)

Ok, this is years back in school. But I do believe there is an ammendment in our constitution stating that "Fines and penalties should be fair and affordable".

Back then they saw the value of using a fine as a means of punishment. The thing is they also saw that you cant issue a fine of $220,000 against a person who makes $30,000 a year. It is unrealistic and unfair.

Though for many politicians making these obscene laws, $220,000 fine to them is like $220 for us everyday people. Their problem is they cant see nor understand what life is like for the vast majority of people in this Earth.

This country needs another Abe Lincoln. A poor man who worked his way up the political ladder. Too bad he'd be filtered out of the system before even starting.

A poor man who worked his way up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20878409)

We have one. Justice Clarence Thomas. Read his book. And yes, we should go back to copyright terms of 14 years, renewable once.

And all the folk tunes you know are plagiarized from Shaker songs, including Copland's Appalachian Springtime.

Sony only likes copyright when it favors them (1)

cbunix23 (1119459) | about 7 years ago | (#20878371)

Sony owes Steve Popovich $5,000,000 and won't pay. Sony has lost the lawsuit and two appeals. Yeah, copyright law is working all right. []

Sony shouldn't be able to collect any money for copyright violations until they pay for their own copyright violationss.

GWB sticks up only for his friends in corporate America. That's how he got to be president, he's not going to change anytime soon.

But.... (1)

j33pn (1049772) | about 7 years ago | (#20878567)

.... don't think this mean the Democrats are the anti-RIAA party. The interests of Big Business is important to both parties.

Don't Forget the Appeal (1)

teeks99 (849132) | about 7 years ago | (#20878593)

This might sound like a huge victory for big corporations, but from a legal point of view, decisions by juries don't lead to important precedents. Even more, it's totally feasible that they appeal this case, and it gets overturned. Then this white house aide will really be eating his words.

Copyright czar? Really? (4, Insightful)

gumpish (682245) | about 7 years ago | (#20878979)

I don't suppose there's a Civil Liberties Czar by any chance...

bah! (1)

alshithead (981606) | about 7 years ago | (#20879115)

Bush probably doesn't even an mp3 is. If this woman hadn't tried to cover her tracks by replacing her hard drive and then lying about it, she probably wouldn't have been convicted.

Republicans are STUPID (1)

RocketScientist (15198) | about 7 years ago | (#20879133)

Heh, figured I'd get more folks reading this if I used that subject :)

But yeah, ok, the entertainment industry, including all of the RIAA and MPAA members, gives more money to democrats than republicans by a factor of about 4:1. In addition, for the "family value" conservatives the entertainment industry is the next thing to the devil. So, why exactly does the president in particular support the RIAA? They're supporting his enemy on both the financial and ideological fronts.


injust verdicts are the sign of corrupt laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20879135)

when the laws are being bent, so too the people

paying the piper shouldn't be a life sentence
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