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Comparing the RIAA To "The Sopranos"

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the riaa-would-make-terrible-television-though dept.

The Courts 193

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "According to commentator Therese Polletti at Dow Jones MarketWatch, 'the RIAA's tactics are nearly as bad as the actions of mobsters, real or fictional. The analogy comes up easily and frequently in any discussion of the RIAA's maneuvers.' Among other things she cites the extortionate nature of their 'settlement negotiations' pointed out by Prof. Bob Talbot of the University of San Francisco School of Law IP Law Clinic. His student attorneys are helping private practitioners fight the RIAA, and the the illegality of the RIAA's use of unlicensed investigators. She goes on to cite the fact that the RIAA thinks nothing of jeopardizing a student's college education in order to make their point, as support for the MAFIAA/Mafia analogy."

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Can we at least hope... (4, Funny)

tgd (2822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22807900)

Can we at least hope the RIAA and MPAA will end the same way?

Re:Can we at least hope... (5, Funny)

hostyle (773991) | more than 6 years ago | (#22807956)

Um. Suddenly and unexpectedly at the last minute, with everyone left wondering what really happened, and secretly wondering if there will be an unannounced comeback at some non-fixed point in the future?

Re:Can we at least hope... (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808092)

His entire family was whacked at the end of the episode, just the way Tony said it happens..."everything goes black."

Re:Can we at least hope... (3, Funny)

tgd (2822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808104)

Actually, no, I was thinking "slow-mo shot of Meadow, and a bullet to the head".

Your version was not nearly as nice sounding.

Re:Can we at least hope... (3, Funny)

howdoesth (1132949) | more than 6 years ago | (#22810138)

How will one go about securing the rights to Don't Stop Believing with the RIAA gone, though?

Re:Can we at least hope... (2, Insightful)

imamac (1083405) | more than 6 years ago | (#22807958)

If everyone counter-sued the heck of them. And won. Maybe.

Re:Can we at least hope... (5, Insightful)

aurispector (530273) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808224)

An interesting article on Ars Technica regarding copyrighted games:

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080320-pc-game-developer-has-radical-message-ignore-the-pirates.html [arstechnica.com]

Basically the message is that pirates were never customers and can therefore be ignored. I would take it one step further and say that piracy is a form of free advertising. More than once I've bought cd's based on mp3's I heard. The music and movie industry suits are a bunch of whining dinosaurs; all they need to do is make the disks worth buying by offering additional content liek posters, stickers, etc..

Re:Can we at least hope... (1, Interesting)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808810)

Basically the message is that pirates were never customers and can therefore be ignored. I would take it one step further and say that piracy is a form of free advertising. More than once I've bought cd's based on mp3's I heard. The music and movie industry suits are a bunch of whining dinosaurs; all they need to do is make the disks worth buying by offering additional content liek posters, stickers, etc..

This seems to ignore the fact that it is VASTLY cheaper to download an mp3 or an album than it is to download a video game. For one, games can be 2GB+. Second, if you look at the size of the public that plays video games and those who LISTEN TO MUSIC, I'm sure you'll find that the latter is orders of magnitude greater than the former. I'm never one to side with the RIAA, but when you buy a game, you're getting the nice box, instant gratification vs. hours on torrents, the manuals, a guaranteed crapware-free install, tech support, online play and possibly other benefits. When you download an album, you're getting the entire product. Winamp will even download the cover art for you. Want the lyrics? Google. Want posters? eBay, allposters.com and a thousand other sites that sell posters at decent prices. In other words, piracy would most likely never kill the games market, but mp3 downloading almost certainly *could* kill CD sales in 5-10 years.

all they need to do is make the disks worth buying by offering additional content liek posters

So an illegal practice is threatening their business, and they should react by enhancing their product at much more cost to themselves? Would you pay $25 for a CD if it included a poster that you could buy for $12 on eBay and download the mp3s for free? Would they bundle a $15 music CD with a $20+ poster instead of selling both in a store to poor idiots who don't know about torrents? I despise what the RIAA does, but your alternative doesn't make much business sense given that piracy is illegal, and the music business is just that -- a business.

Re:Can we at least hope... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22808966)

Just imagine the amount of money they could save by not hiring people to astroturf, too!

CAPTCHA: "funded". Figures.

Re:Can we at least hope... (3, Insightful)

aurispector (530273) | more than 6 years ago | (#22809746)

It's technically illegal but laws can be changed to reflect reality. The industries fantasy is that they should get paid for every time someone plays a song. The reality is that with unlimited supply with virtually zero production costs the value of an mp3 is basically zero. The fact is, you get more VALUE from a CD, but cd's have been massively overpriced for years.
Additionally, the music industry existed for promotion and distribution. Now that distribution is basically free, their only function is promotions. This puts the artists in the curious postition of being popular not due to their hype but their talent. Artists were never the ones getting paid from album sales anyway; the labels made the bulk of the money. Cut out the middleman by having bands sell mps'3 directly from a website and the money goes where it should-to the artists.

Artist may have to resort to actually PERFORMING in order to make money. Damn shame.

The industry ought to adjust to the reality on the ground: mp3's are advertising & thats all.

Re:Can we at least hope... (3, Insightful)

cromar (1103585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808824)

Exactly. If you pirate something, like it, and can afford to buy it, do it. It's the moral thing to do. Ergo, anything you pirate and don't buy should be something you wouldn't or couldn't pay for. Most "pirates" I know or have spoken with operate this way. And so yes, it is basically free advertising.

Re:Can we at least hope... (0)

FLEB (312391) | more than 6 years ago | (#22809024)

The problem I have with that stance, though, it that unless you're flat broke, you're still pirating something you "could pay for". Considering that music is by no means near essential to human life, just suck it up and go without until you can afford it, just as you would for a luxury item that's less easily piratable.

Re:Can we at least hope... (3, Interesting)

cromar (1103585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22809664)

It's wouldn't OR couldn't. For example, I would love to have a copy of Photshop CS 3. It is $650 [adobe.com] . I could afford that but would never spend that much money on it (i.e. I wouldn't ever buy it at that price). So, if I pirate it they have not lost a sale to me.

Another scenario: I would very much like to have the full version of Ableton Live 7 [ableton.com] ($500). I can afford this comfortably after I save up for 6 months or so and then will probably buy it. Now... if I pirate it before then and buy it after I save up, they lose nothing.

You see, intellectual "property" is really nothing like physical property. Physical property can be stolen, and then someone always loses something. With IP, making a copy does not always result in a loss of sale. Very, very different.

P.S. Another example: I watched all four seasons of Peep Show [youtube.com] on YouTube recently, and will definitely be buying the DVD. In this case, the BBC (or whoever) is actually gaining a sale because I pirated their show: I most likely never would have seen it if it wasn't on YouTube.

Re:Can we at least hope... (4, Insightful)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 6 years ago | (#22809968)

It's wouldn't OR couldn't. For example, I would love to have a copy of Photshop CS 3. It is $650 [adobe.com] . I could afford that but would never spend that much money on it (i.e. I wouldn't ever buy it at that price). So, if I pirate it they have not lost a sale to me.

Furthermore, if you pirate it, you become proficient with it. So you give them mindshare.
So if you ever decide to use this software professionally, you will buy it. And you won't even consider purchasing anything else.

The software industry, in part, understands this and therefore does little to suppress home piracy of professional software. And that is why Windows was easy to pirate until it got to nearly every computer: now that you depend on it, we'll make you buy it.
Kind of like drug dealers — it's all free until you get hooked.

Indeed, strict enforcement of anti-piracy measures would really benefit F/OSS development, not the big companies.

Re:Can we at least hope... (4, Informative)

apoc.famine (621563) | more than 6 years ago | (#22810034)

"Could" and "Would" are two very different things.

I could listen to internet radio (well, that's now in debate, but I used to be able to) for weeks, for free, and not hear anything I would want to purchase. Likewise, I could download a few GBs of mp3 files, listen for a few weeks, and not hear anything I would want to purchase. In neither case has the artist "lost" a sale.

The whole "1 download = 1 lost sale" argument is very, very flawed in this sense. Yes, if I pulled 3 albums over bittorrent, I "could" pay for them. But if I "would" pay for them, I...well...would. A sale is only lost when I find and download something that I would ordinarily purchase, but decide that the internet price of "free" is more appealing.

I have downloaded a fair bit of music from the internet. Mostly pretty niche stuff, that not a lot of people are into. Not the stuff carried at my local music store, that's for sure. A lot of it I couldn't hear anywhere, yet WOULDN'T purchase without hearing. This was exploratory downloading. No sales were lost, as I wouldn't have purchased it. Yet I now own all 6-8 or so CDs of a particular band in that set, BECAUSE of that exposure. The rest of the bands? Don't listen to the mp3s, haven't bought any CDs. No sales lost due to that downloading, sales actually GAINED for one band because of it. Now I suppose you could tell me that it's somehow my duty to buy everything, THEN decide what I like, but I'm a weirdo who wants to spend my money only on things I want.

Back in the day, before I was completely wise to the amount of malware infused warez in the world, I downloaded some cracked commercial games and played them. Generally, they would hold my interest for a couple of weeks, and then get deleted to free up space. Once in awhile, I'd find a good one, and without fail I'd purchase it. Would I have purchased any of them without the opportunity to try them first? Probably not. Spending $40 on a game is hard to justify after getting burned a couple of times in a row on shitty games. Trying first allowed me to spend my money on what was worth it, supporting the people who's efforts I appreciated. Once again, rather than losing sales, the free downloads gained sales, and that money went to people who produced something I appreciated.

I've come to realize that companies being slimy is the reason I am this way. Companies who slipped me a turd covered with gold foil at the same price as a decent product are the reason I insist on trying first. Now I don't know if I'm somehow weird or unique in this regard, but giving me something to try for free is the best way to get money out of me. I'll pay for stuff that's worth it. But I don't trust companies to give me a product that's worth paying for 90% of the time.

Re:Can we at least hope... (2, Funny)

operagost (62405) | more than 6 years ago | (#22809452)

There won't be any Journey songs playing, however-- because the illegal pirate downloaders STOLE THEM ALL!

Original (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22807918)

There's an interesting thought. Original too, I think we should start calling them the MAFIAA. Like that's never been thought of before.... [yahoo.com]
 
-haw haw

Re:Original (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22807984)

Here's an even better thought: Imagine what the country would be like without niggers. Go ahead, imagine it! Sounds pretty good doesn't it?

hot grits

There is a difference (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22807930)

the Mafia has morals and a culture of respect

Re:There is a difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22808392)

Yeah, but the Sopranos were a whiny, bitchy, dysfunctional family.

Re:There is a difference (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808420)

And their justice is swift and sure... if a bit sloppy sometimes. The line between cop and criminal is getting very blurry.

Re:There is a difference (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22808522)

HAHAHA THAT'S SO FUNNY OMG I CAN'T STOP LOFFLING

hahahaha ha ha h ha ha aahha ha ha hahhha a FAPFAPFAPAFAP

you fucking idiot.

Re:There is a difference (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 6 years ago | (#22809984)

Oh Please, trying to aggrandize the mafia to denigrate the RIAA.
That's like asking how are lawyers not like rats, and then stating that there are some things that rats won't do.

The biggest difference (5, Insightful)

kpainter (901021) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808094)

The RIAA doesn't have a cool theme song. And they wouldn't have to pay royalties if they did.

Re:The biggest difference (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22808408)

The RIAA doesn't have a cool theme song.

No surprise. Where are they gonna find good music?

Mod parent up (1)

spazdor (902907) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808930)

I'm sure they can find a CC-licensed piece to use. Appeal to that DIY indie crowd, y'know? It's a big market.

Re:The biggest difference (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#22809676)

The RIAA doesn't have a cool theme song. And they wouldn't have to pay royalties if they did.

I don't know about the theme, but Journey's "Don't stop Believin'" at the end of the final episode of the Sopranos is from an album on the Columbia label - and Columbia are part of Sony BMG.

nyf89897werw hdsahtTGTf (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22808096)

++dfsi jfsa7TGTEwq66 gftrtffrdfes '.l'.'.'..' UYY UFWE UIUI WdcrdfrddeD#S$D$%R$R%$R%R%df dgbwgtdstg f-0-0-00--0 dGWDGW HWLhlhjllh hello neighbour

Wait a minute... (2, Insightful)

OldFish (1229566) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808098)

The RIAA has the law on their side so aren't they more like "The Untouchables" ???

Re:Wait a minute... (1)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808154)

Law on their side or not, I wouldn't exactly say they're "good guys". So "The Untouchables" is out.

Re:Wait a minute... (4, Funny)

OldFish (1229566) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808236)

The Untouchables is out !?!?!?! I'm shocked... Would you believe "Serpico" ???? I'm afraid not Mr Smart. How about an angry Boy Scout?

Any ordinary trust (3, Interesting)

Hojima (1228978) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808102)

Nearly as bad doesn't cut it. As much as I agree that they're bastards, these guys don't kill for profit (probably because it's not worth the hassle anyways), sell harmful products, torture people, etc. Handling mobsters and handling major trust figures have some differences and similarities. One thing they have in common is that you can fix the problem quite efficiently by catching them in some horrid act and successfully convict them. But given that they are a trust, treat them like Microsoft and split them. The government is one of the few forces powerful enough to take them on, and if normal civilians get together and make a campaign against them, there is a chance that you will have a fair fight in the courtrooms. The only trouble here is motivation, and these bastards simply have to piss more people off before anything like that has a chance of succeeding. But it looks like they're on their way.

Re:Any ordinary trust (5, Funny)

rozthepimp (638319) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808162)

"these guys don't.... sell harmful products, torture people, etc." You forgot about Rap.

Re: not torturing people (1)

kanweg (771128) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808290)

I did see a list of music used in a US holiday camp south of Florida to entertain the people there, recently.
I found this URL using my favourite friendly non-evil search engine.
http://www.motherjones.com/news/featurex/2008/03/torture-playlist.html [motherjones.com]

Bert

Harmful products? (1)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808488)

sell harmful products...

Have you listened to some of that stuff?

Re:Any ordinary trust (3, Informative)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808588)

these guys don't kill for profit (probably because it's not worth the hassle anyways), sell harmful products, torture people, etc.

No, they don't. RIAA is much less forgiving. Rather than shooting you in the back of the head for something you probably knew you had coming to you, they'd rather hit you with a life-destroying $222,000 settlement [wikipedia.org] for something you were capable of doing, and watch your life fall apart around you.

At least the classic mafia deserves respect.

Re:Any ordinary trust (3, Interesting)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808640)

I'll point out it was a jury who returned that verdict, and jurors in the case have repeatedly pointed out that the reason they ruled the way they did was because they felt the defendant was lying to them and the Court in her own defense.

Re:Any ordinary trust (4, Insightful)

Bombula (670389) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808620)

these guys don't kill for profit

Well it depends on how you define "kill for profit." If you mean kill with a GLOC or a piano wire, then no, most monopolized industries don't kill for profit. But if you account for deaths that the company (or group of companies) could have prevented either through action or inaction but didn't expressly for the purpose of profit then I think you're actually out on very thin ice here. The monolithic pharmaceutical and health insurance companies knowingly "kill" thousands of people each year for profit. The manufacturers of cigarettes knowingly "kill" millions of people each year for profit. If you brought these charges up in court, it'd be 'wrongful death' instead of 'murder', but killing is killing and dead is dead as far as most people are concerned.

Re:Any ordinary trust (1)

Shai-kun (728212) | more than 6 years ago | (#22809042)

If you mean kill with a GLOC

I can't figure out what you're saying here. Is the Greater Lincoln Obedience Club that fatal? Were you perhaps aiming for 'death by canine'?

Re:Any ordinary trust (3, Insightful)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808742)

As much as I agree that they're bastards, these guys don't kill for profit (probably because it's not worth the hassle anyways)
Not so sure that's exactly true:
  1. Rock and roll is full of suicides and accidental deaths -- the Record companies have an indirect role in some of those.
  2. The sweatshops where CDs are made, or where tapes were once made, or where records were once made - ill health and poverty surely killed a few in those.
  3. Sony BMG. BMG is Bertelsmann. Bertelsmann were Nazis. They banned unGerman music, they used death camp labor in Auschwitz and other camps. BMG tried to cover this up for DECADES. It was only in the past few years or so that it came out.
  4. The whole Godfather/Sinatra thing.
  5. Finally, the music business is big money. They have proven time and time again to have no morals whatsoever. Do you really, honestly, doubt that a few people haven't been "disappeared" who got in their way?

Re:Any ordinary trust (1)

Pollardito (781263) | more than 6 years ago | (#22809058)

Nearly as bad doesn't cut it
don't worry, the same people that will argue endlessly that it's not fair to even try to compare downloading free music to stealing or that it's dishonest to call them pirates will surely pipe right up and point out that the RIAA never shot anyone

Re:Any ordinary trust (3, Interesting)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 6 years ago | (#22809078)

Actually, they do torture people. Mental torture. It's harsh having your dream of graduating from college being held hostage over allegations of what is really a petty infraction-- allegations that don't need to be substantiated to a high standard because the crime is too petty. The punishments are what's totally out of whack, and opened the door for all this. I'm not talking just being forced to drop out for lack of money after having to pay some exorbitant fine, I'm talking punitive expulsion for allegedly violating the law. Being railroaded. I don't know for sure but this is what I'm guessing expulsion means: You're finished at the university level. You lose all credit for all coursework you've completed. If you can get back in at all, which is doubtful with a black mark like that on your record, you'll be starting over. Colleges don't like to admit or keep the sort of people who've been caught at things such as plagiarism, cheating on exams, and the like. If you decide to try to get on with life, you'll have a rough time getting jobs with only a high school diploma, and a record that is effectively criminal. Employers don't want to hire dishonest people. The MAFIAA wants its victims to be sweating over all those possibilities. Mental torture. Paying a $3000 settlement, even if the money has to be borrowed from a loan shark, begins to look like a real good idea when faced with all those alternatives. None of this is in the cards over a speeding ticket, which is arguably a more serious crime as that can put people in danger.

Laws (2, Insightful)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808158)

The difference between the mafia and RIAA is that the RIAA (and MPAA) have had laws passed for their benefit to screw the public (for example, you're not supposed to reverse engineer / break DRM etc.).

Re:Laws (4, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808294)

The difference between the mafia and RIAA is that the RIAA (and MPAA) have had laws passed for their benefit to screw the public (for example, you're not supposed to reverse engineer / break DRM etc.).
A black market needs laws to keep stuff illegal so it can run...
Gambling, prostitution, drugs, those profitable activities are controlled by organized crime.

Re:Laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22808958)

not in europe, they're not (at least not everywhere).

Re:Laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22810126)

Gambling, prostitution, drugs, those profitable activities are controlled by organized crime.

And if they were legal, they would be controlled by organized government.

Ooooohh ... (2, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808160)

They're so gonna bust his knee-caps over this. Maybe send Pauly Walnuts to knock him around. :-P

Cheers

Re:Ooooohh ... (1)

Joey Vegetables (686525) | more than 6 years ago | (#22809890)

Or me [slashdot.org] . Except I only kneecap people who done something wrong.

Relativism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22808200)

The RIAA are EXACTLY like the mafia! Because they assault and kill people! Except they, uh...don't.

Kind of like crying that your opponents are JUST LIKE HITLER. Nine times out of ten, there's no comparison. And that one time you might have a case, you've already lost too many people with your Chicken-Littling.

Re:Relativism (4, Insightful)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 6 years ago | (#22809110)

The RIAA are EXACTLY like the mafia! Because they assault and kill people! Except they, uh...don't.

Nope. They send the Sheriff to do it for them.

Sue you.
Bankrupt you.
Send the law to seize your assets.
You get evicted.
If you try to stay the sheriff's men will throw you out.
If you try to resist them they'll use as much force as necessary - including deadly force if your resistance appears to be a threat to them.

you could compare the riaa to sharia law (4, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808212)

that is, that punishing a crime, real or perceived, with a punishment that is worse than the crime is not actually justice or morality

upload a song, owe thousands may not be as awful as steal some bread, have your hand chopped off, or commit adultery, get stoned to death, but the riaa's tactics shares with religious fundamentalist notions of justice this same disproportionate massive punishment for comparatively mild crimes

it's very simple: you don't teach anyone to respect morality with fear and terror. you just teach them that fear and terror are more important than morality

they need to learn that lesson in rural yemen as much as they do in riaa headquarters

a truly just society is one that metes out punishments that are milder than the actual crimes being punished (but not too mild, just milder). in such a way does a society provide stability and a respect for justice. if the punishments are too severe or too mild in comparison to the crimes, then justice is disrespected, not served, and society is destabilized and impoverished as a result

the impoverishments under religious fundamentalism are apparent. the impoverishments unde rriaa tactics are simply less cultural riches for us all

Re:you could compare the riaa to sharia law (1)

llamalad (12917) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808470)

> a truly just society is one that metes out punishments that are milder than the actual crimes being punished (but not too mild, just milder).

That's ridiculous.

Steal $100, so a just society fines you $95?

Congratulations, it's now profitable to steal even if caught in this just society of yours.

Re:you could compare the riaa to sharia law (1)

nahpets77 (866127) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808704)

I think what he means is that an appropriate punishment for stealing $100 would be to go to jail for 10 days or pay a $500 fine instead of getting your hand chopped off.

no, that's an unjust society (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808720)

steal $100, go to jail

what about the $100?

the $100 was never yours in the first place, so it is never taken back from you. it is returned to the rightful owner completely. it was never yours, ever, to ever be considered as something taken back from you. the way you are thinking about the situation is simply not the moral way to think about the situation

the $100 doesn't even figure into the punishment calculation. the act of stealing does. get it?

do you understand what morality is? apparently not based on how you frame it in your comment above

Re:you could compare the riaa to sharia law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22808788)

No it would be steal $100 and have to repay your victim $100 + expenses incurred as a result of your theft + $95 dollar fine. You still have to make right what you did, plus the punishment/fine.

Re:you could compare the riaa to sharia law (1)

rudeboy1 (516023) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808814)

I don't think that's what he means. Using your scenario, let's say you got caught stealing $100. The punishment would not be a fine less than the amount you stole. That's just ridiculous. A milder punishment would START with making you give back the money you stole, but that's not really a punishment, since you're giving back what you took, and to leave it at that would make it as though it never happened. The actual punishment would depend on how you stole the money. If you mugged a 10 year old at the end of a shotgun, the punishment might be a little different from if you took a Benjamin from your own till at your night job at 7/11.

Re:you could compare the riaa to sharia law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22809020)

Yeah, but you still have to repay the money you stole.

Re:you could compare the riaa to sharia law (1)

alva_edison (630431) | more than 6 years ago | (#22809610)

Except you apply the fine after the original $100 is returned.

Re:you could compare the riaa to sharia law (1)

mojotooth (53330) | more than 6 years ago | (#22809138)

Congratulations, you just turned a thread about music sharing into an anti-Islamic rant. Perhaps we should invent a new version of Godwin's law just for you.

i'm antifundamentalist (1, Offtopic)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#22809512)

i have nothing against islam

christian fundamentalists are just as wrong as muslim fundamentalists

but it doesn't take a genius to see that currently the muslim world has a bigger problem with fundamentalist assholes destroying muslim societies than the christian world does

when the christian world was busy clubbing each other in the dark ages, the muslim world was making advances in algebra, alchemy, alcohol, algorithms... notice a trend in those words?

the christian world was once as dogmatic and fascist religiously as the muslim world is now. then the christian world went throught the enlightment, in which religious fundamentalism was questioned, and rejected. and ever since then the christian world has gained in terms of scientific advancement and prosperity as compared to the muslim world, while the muslim world stagnated into poverty and backwardness as religious fundamentalism took root

so i have nothing against islam. i simply understand history and see a cycle between religious dogmatism and enlightment. and i recognize correctly that currently the christian world is more enlightened than the muslim world and the muslim world is full of more religious fascism than the christian world. currently. once, that situation was reversed. and it could reverse again

so why does recognizing this obvious historical cycle fact make me anti-muslim? i'm not anti-muslim at all for saying any of these obvious things. i'm simply anti-fundamentalist, and i simply understand the cycles of fundamentalist peak and wane are separate in the muslim and christian worlds. currently, the muslim world suffers a horrible fundamentalist growth much larger than the christian world currently does

understand?

Re:you could compare the riaa to sharia law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22809510)

you could compare the riaa to sharia law
that is, that punishing a crime, real or perceived, with a punishment that is worse than the crime is not actually justice or morality
No, not really. But you did compare it to a completely ignorant and politically twisted view of sharia. Thank you for your contribution to political ignorance.

i am well aware (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#22809672)

that sharia law is a larger legal framework than its most fringe pronouncements, and the majroity is mild and not undifferent from most law in the west in terms of severity of punishment. sharia law in egypt would not condone what sharia law in wazuristan would propose. and yet right now, in part sof this world, in the name of sharia law, barbarity occurs. that's a problem

and i would go further and say that law based on religious teachings in general is inherently unjust. look at the barbaric violence and thoughts and words in the torah, the bible, and the quran. this is not justice. the idea of a just and tolerant society would be one founded on the law of man, humane laws, not the law of god. for the simplest of reasons: show me the man who says he can understand and interpret the law of god and i'll show you a man who is deluded and arrogant. what man has the audacity to say to you or me or any of us with a straight face that they can adequately interpret the will of god? and yet such men in sharia law exist. no, that's not morality

Actually, I think the RIAA and MPAA... (1)

Panaqqa (927615) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808220)

...are more like that cable reality show, "The Biggest Loser"? After all, the **AA put people through a gruelling ordeal where they can't afford to eat properly, and at the end of it, the ones that survive all have to tighten their belts.

hmmm (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808228)

According to commentator Therese Polletti at Dow Jones MarketWatch, 'the RIAA's tactics are nearly as bad as the actions of mobsters, real or fictional. The analogy comes up easily and frequently in any discussion of the RIAA's maneuvers.'

It's also a horrible analogy in that the RIAA doesn't KILL PEOPLE. Have some perspective, people.

Re:hmmm (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22808452)

You're right they don't kill people, they just bankrupt them, destroy their chances of a good education, ruin their standing in the community and show total lack of respect for the person/persons they're going after and THEY ENJOY EVERY BIT OF IT, MORON.

Re:hmmm (4, Funny)

croddy (659025) | more than 6 years ago | (#22809002)

And if you think doing all that stuff to their musicians is bad -- man, wait until you see what they do to their P2P lawsuit victims.

Re:hmmm (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22808578)

It's also a horrible analogy in that the RIAA doesn't KILL PEOPLE. Have some perspective, people.

I think they would if it were legal. Just to make a point.

Re:hmmm (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808864)

Something can be analogous without being equivalent.

Re:hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22808936)

But she's not making an analogy (I realize the grandparent called it that). She's saying their actions are nearly as bad.

She also doesn't appear to have ever seen "The Sopranos" as she calls them a "New York mob family".

Re:hmmm (2, Informative)

AngryUndead (733008) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808904)

Actually, if you look at some of the episodes of The Sopranos, they talk about the music industry pre-RIAA and a lot of the strong arming and other tactics that went on.

The difference is that at some point these organizations came together and found that they got less flak if they didn't kill people and just took them to court and ruined their lives. It also turned out to be better for business.

Its just business, if it was less trouble for the Mafia to take people to court, they would. They (as an organization) don't like or want to kill. Dead people don't pay debts very well (see paragraph above).

So, in closing (and to be clear): The only reason the RIAA does not kill people is because it would not make them more money, not because it is morally wrong.

I don't know (4, Insightful)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808230)

The Soprano family seemed pretty human to me. Aside from the greed factor, I don't see that much humanity seeping from the RIAA.

RIAA... (4, Funny)

xtracto (837672) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808244)

Since 1999, making you an offer you can't refuse.

MAFIAA Acronym (2, Insightful)

ndrw (205863) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808332)

So it's the Music and Film Industry Asociation of America?

While I agree that their tactics are ridiculous, to compare them to a criminal organization whose actions include murder, drug dealing, burglary, kidnapping, arson, and other felonious crimes is ridiculous - it doesn't advance the debate, it distracts from it!

Re:MAFIAA Acronym (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22808548)

Isn't a protection racket a felony in itself?

Re:MAFIAA Acronym (1)

lubricated (49106) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808614)

now, who's being naive?

Re:MAFIAA Acronym (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22808618)

While I agree that their tactics are ridiculous, to compare them to a criminal organization whose actions include murder, drug dealing, burglary, kidnapping, arson, and other felonious crimes is ridiculous - it doesn't advance the debate, it distracts from it!

You're right; it's demeaning to the criminal organization...

Re:MAFIAA Acronym (3, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808918)

Nice thought, but you missed the turn off back in the alphabet somewhere around CIA/FBI. The MaFIAA might have the law on their side as opposed to the real mafia not having the law on their side, but the law (represented here today by the FBI/CIA) are no better than the mafia you describe. Can you say drugs for guns Contra scandal? Can you say hyperlink entrapment http://pedowar.com/view/755#1 [pedowar.com] , swat team arrests for non-violent criminals, tasers, and plenty of other examples of the 'good guys' acting like bad guys 'because they can' and because the MaFIAA need/want them to. Why are federal agents involved in civil lawsuit arrests? http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&output=googleabout&btnG=Search+our+site&q=federal%20agents%20RIAA%20arrests [google.com] There are those here that can say "oh, the **AA are not doing anything illegal" and I will reply back "show me how they are doing anything legal or moral with regard to copyright infringement?"

You make fine distinctions about what is good/right and what is not. Technically, you might be right. Morally, you are wrong. They use non-criminal organizations to do their dirty work and ruin plenty of lives. They use organizations that support and partake in the crimes you condemn. Guilt by association? Yes. Bad laws are worse than no laws, and those that enforce bad laws are worse than those who break them. Long before "We the people" stand up together and say NO more, there will have to be those of us who say it first.

War criminals are told that 'following orders' is not an excuse for doing bad things. The grueling financial and moral beating that defendants are taking from the good guys on behalf of the **AA is immoral. Following orders is not an excuse. The bad guys have always taken advantage of the legal system whenever possible. Someone mentioned the Untouchables earlier. They made their name by nabbing gangsters for things like tax evasion rather than the crimes they were really wanted for. Yes, the bad guys DO abuse the system and use it against good people. It is not ridiculous to think of the **AA's tactics as mafia like or to liken them to the mafia. The mafia does not kill everyone they come in contact with, nor do they sell drugs to everyone that they see. Extortion is one of their businesses, they are famous for it. So it **IS** a fair comparison and your statements otherwise are what distracts from the debate.

You might have a stronger case if the **AA had disbursed some of the money they won through extortion like pre-litigation back to the artists. It's been 6 years plus and not a dime has gone to any artist. Even the artists are shouting they want to sue the **AA. [google it]

There is at this point, not one reason to feel sorry for the **AA or support them. They have already spent all their good will and continue to use mafia like tactics to push the law onto their side so they can oppressively enforce their business model on the population of the world, not just one country. It takes government collusion to force it on such a large part of the world. With the obviousness of that, how you can think of the **AA as anything different from the real mafia is beyond me. Different tactics don't make them better, just slightly different.

Re:MAFIAA Acronym (2, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#22809128)

The MaFIAA might have the law on their side as opposed to the real mafia not having the law on their side.....
I wouldn't be so sure about that. See, e.g., Elektra v. O'Brien [blogspot.com] , Atlantic v. Brennan [blogspot.com] , Interscope v. Rodriguez [blogspot.com] , and other decisions [blogspot.com] listed in my sidebar.

The reason they seem the same, is because they are (5, Interesting)

ahabswhale (1189519) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808356)

I have an uncle who has a sizable fortune and decided after he retired that he might want to get into producing music. To his dismay, he found the industry laden with actual mob men. He ended up quitting the business and this is a guy who doesn't quit anything when it comes to business stuff unless he's damn good and ready. Granted, this was 15 years ago but I doubt those people all just packed up their bags and left such a lucrative industry. So, it's no surprise to me that the RIAA uses the exact same tactics the mob uses because the industry is littered with those people.

Business is Business (3, Insightful)

Rary (566291) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808412)

The mob is just a business like any other. Every business-person makes their own decision regarding how immoral/illegal they're willing to act in order to make a profit. Some stop just past shady insider trading practices, others go all the way past fraudulent accounting, while others still go all the way to violent crimes, either explicitly or implicitly.

The RIAA and MPAA fall somewhere between Enron (and their ilk) and the diamond industry (probably leaning closer to the Enron side), but certainly with a number of mob-style tactics thrown in, without going all the way to actual violence.

Re:Business is Business (1)

SoulRider (148285) | more than 6 years ago | (#22809090)

The diamond industry? Damn thats a pretty wide gap, just about everyone falls in between that range. Of course unless the RIAA is kidnapping artists and enslaving them so they can produce music cheaper, but I havent heard about that, yet.

Re:Business is Business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22809830)

Every business-person makes their own decision regarding how immoral/illegal they're willing to act in order to make a profit.

Unfortunately, Im dealing with one of these 'business people' now. I was supposed to do some work for a company who later ended up folding because of 'bad management', and I was left holding the bag on the domain I purchased at their instruction(they didnt want to buy it, I dont know?)

The end result, is that almost 2 years later these people are COMING AFTER ME WITH A CEASE AND DESIST LETTER and demanding that I turn over this domain and others to them for free because it 'infringes on their copyright'

Knowing full well that this sort of behavior is borderline as far as being professional, I posted the full contents of the Cease and Desist Letter" [demystify.info] online so anyone thinking of working with this company may come across this sort of behavior and maybe think twice.

The company is also involved in numerous court cases relating to other aspects of their business practices. Ive posted a short description of these events at my blackjack and hookers site [blackjackandhookers.org] . In fact, forget the blackjack!

Re:Business is Business (1)

PhreakOfTime (588141) | more than 6 years ago | (#22809866)

sorry about the repost, for some reason it didnt take under my login name and was posted as AC. Every business-person makes their own decision regarding how immoral/illegal they're willing to act in order to make a profit.

Unfortunately, Im dealing with one of these 'business people' now. I was supposed to do some work for a company who later ended up folding because of 'bad management', and I was left holding the bag on the domain I purchased at their instruction(they didnt want to buy it, I dont know?)

The end result, is that almost 2 years later these people are COMING AFTER ME WITH A CEASE AND DESIST LETTER and demanding that I turn over this domain and others to them for free because it 'infringes on their copyright'

Knowing full well that this sort of behavior is borderline as far as being professional, I posted the full contents of the Cease and Desist Letter" [demystify.info] online so anyone thinking of working with this company may come across this sort of behavior and maybe think twice.

The company is also involved in numerous court cases relating to other aspects of their business practices. Ive posted a short description of these events at my blackjack and hookers site [blackjackandhookers.org] . In fact, forget the blackjack!

NUE ARTICAL!!!! ENJOY IT NOW!!11~!!@for1`!@@#!@ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22808520)


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P2P growth going underground (3, Interesting)

Skapare (16644) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808526)

Lamy of the RIAA said peer-to-peer traffic is "essentially flat."

That's because so much of the traffic is moving to methods that evade the ability for the RIAA to see what is going on. More and more P2P is taking place within smaller groups that are harder to join (you have to be nominated and voted in to get access). That traffic is also encrypted, so no one along the sidelines can even see what it is. One group I heard of has rented a dedicated server of their own (so I guess they have dues to be a member to pay for it) and they access it via SSH and store files in a big "world" writable directory. If I were going to do that, I'd also keep the files therein encrypted just to be safe from the ISP. It wouldn't take more than about 20 people to get a big server at $5 a month each. They don't even need a domain name. What they do need is a few people that are also members of other such groups to provide a linkage. There have been porn trading groups like this for years. So I guess the P2P crowd is finally catching on to what the porn people learned a long time ago.

Jeopardizing a student's college education (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22808596)

"She goes on to cite the fact that the RIAA thinks nothing of jeopardizing a student's college education in order to make their point"

What about the student who thought nothing of jeopardozing his college education in order to avoid paying for music? I think perhaps the student has the larger responsibility on the issue of disregard for their college education.

Protection money paid.... (5, Interesting)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808816)

by Ohio University. Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, was the number one target of the RIAA. Until, that is, it paid $60,000 plus $16,000 a year [blogspot.com] for the 'filtering' software its expert witness's company was peddling -- then suddenly the subpoenas stopped. Not a single subpoena since Ohio University started paying off the mob.

Perhaps we should compare the RIAA to Jet Li? (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 6 years ago | (#22808822)

In Hong Kong, we would already be dead.

MPAA headquarters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22808878)

I guess they are saying that the MPAA's headquarters are in the back of a butcher shop? I guess most meetings are done at a strip club, too!

Old-school (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22808884)

Whatever happened to music trading get togethers from the days of yore? Everyone I know still trades music on CDs, DVDs, or thumb drives (now that their size has increased and cost decreased to an appropriate level). No worries about getting caught this way.

Better Comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22809008)

I think it would be closer to compare the Sopranos with the cult of scientology...

Bemused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22809100)

You guys crack me up. Still trying everything you can think of to justify getting something for nothing. The business model of the RIAA and the fact that you acquired goods for nothing are separate arguments. You can't use one to justify the other. Maybe you should buy (or photocopy by your thinking) a book on logic.

But what about the movies (1)

da1gimp (1137041) | more than 6 years ago | (#22809130)

But does the RIAA have as many(if any) good movies about it that you can get on BitTorrent.

Tgoat (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22809136)

Tangle of fatal things the rig#ht

Just stay away, and let the RIAA die. (1)

viking80 (697716) | more than 6 years ago | (#22809142)

Everybody should know that when you kill a big dangerous animal, after it has received the bane-wound, you stay away as it rages and fights, and hits everything it can reach. When this is a big dinosaur, this precaution is extra important.

All you can do is to help it die fast. This is good for both the dying animal, and you. Don't give it any first aid, and in the case of RIAA, don't give them any money.

Just stay away, and let it die.

I read the article but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22809256)

The Sopranos... never seen it, anyone got a torrent

Solves one mystery (3, Funny)

LittleGuy (267282) | more than 6 years ago | (#22809546)

Last shot of the series finale had Tony looking up before it went to black.

Happens to be an RIAA enforcer handing a summons for unauthorized downloads of Journey songs.

WTF???? (1)

Joey Vegetables (686525) | more than 6 years ago | (#22809846)

As a low-ranking mobster [slashdot.org] I very much resent the comparison.

Therese Polletti STEALS Slashdot's IP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22809884)

This blatant meme theft will not be allowed. Slashdot has a well established brand intrinsically linked with valuable IP, including the recurring practice of comparing the RIAA/MPAA with the mafia, and this unsolicited theft by MarketWatch has concretely damaged Slashdot's potential profits. We will be pursuing legal action in the form of $1,000,000 for each infraction.

Good Day,

Asshat, FUD, and Taco LLP

is there anybody else? (4, Insightful)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 6 years ago | (#22810060)

I am still seeing people seriously discussing "mafiaa" association skymodded. I guess I am in the minority then.

Why is this association (RIAA - organized crime, criminals, etc.) stupid? I feel really stupid seriously considering this myself, but I guess I have to:

1. Organized crime deals mostly with illegitimate business, RIAA deals with a legit business.
2. Organized crime kills and maimes people, RIAA sues them for vast sums of money.
3. This association with its stupid accent on emotionality drives away from the real problems with RIAA. It is bloody not working!

The real problem is:

Why are you keep buying and listening to the stuff written by the people who are enslaved by RIAA? It is like buying sweatshop sweaters, except that in this case it's not sweatshops, but sweetshops - every artists dreams of being signed by the major label.

Why are you so addicted to this stuff anyway? Why do you have to listen every day to a new single or watch new movie? Have a life! The real reason why this thing is so bloated is stupid inability of recent consumer generation to act creatively and to entertain themselves. Buy a Guitar Hero and play yourself. Make music yourself, make videos yourself, make movies yourself. Listen and watch what other people like you did on youtube or in any other free, unlimited way... Why do you have to go down to the rock bottom of coach-potato entertainment where you do absolutely nothing and only consume entertaining stuff? This is not good for you, do you realize it?

Get on with your lives. Entertain yourself actively. Create yourself. You do not have to watch latest terminator movie ahead of time on torrents in order to create your own stuff.

It is more difficult but much more rewarding when you get appreciation of your family, of your friends, of your peers, of your social network, when you see your 5-digit number of views on youtube.com /rant
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