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[P]
Defending the families sued by the RIAA

By Holmes Wilson in Culture
Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 01:32:43 PM EST
Tags: Music (all tags)
Music

When the RIAA sued 261 music sharers, the press was ready. Journalists knew the suits were coming--it was only a question of when, and who. But for the targets of the lawsuits (the vast majority families with children) there was nothing inevitable about it. Imagine getting hit with a lawsuit for more than the value of your home because your kids went to the wrong webpage and downloaded the wrong program.

My role in this started a month ago, when my site was contacted by a programmer who, appalled by the story of Brianna LaHara, wanted to collect donations for people who'd been sued. We worked out a simple "P2P" Defense Fund.that could go up quickly without any legal hassle or red tape, and we started calling people who'd been targetted. The first phone calls were a shock: until then I'd thought about the lawsuits in intellectual/strategic terms (is this a good move for the RIAA or not, etc.) but on the phone these were real people with tough, complex lives:

My husband and I both work full time to make ends meet. We have 4 children ... We are middle class and live from paycheck to paycheck. We are good, honest people. This lawsuit has devastated us.
Musicians and independent labels are speaking out against the RIAA lawsuits, and one independent musician is even donating proceeds from his CD sales to the Defense Fund. An opportunity exists to stop future lawsuits.


By using a peer-to-peer contribution system, we were able to avoid legal hurdles and red tape, and ensure that all donations went directly to the people who had been sued. Each recipient can set up his or her own PayPal account, and our site can track the amount of money each person received. A Perl script on our page rotates the recipient in the "Contribute Now" box so that whoever has received the least money so far is at the front of the line. Jason Rohrer, the programmer behind the open-source broadcast protocol konspire2b, wrote the code and it works great. Donations distribute evenly over time, and we don't have to touch the money. This peer-to-peer, no-middleman approach seemed like the perfect response to major label middlemen. The hard part was contacting the families who'd been sued and getting them signed on.

It might be hard for many k5 readers to appreciate how completely adrift these families were. Almost none had heard of the EFF, and most didn't even have email addresses. Many were singled out as "major downloaders" simply because they didn't know how the software worked: people who use Kazaa frequently don't keep all their music in their shared folder (especially since news of the impending lawsuits began circulating) but most of these people didn't know what a "shared folder" was. It seemed that the RIAA's criteria had selected for people who didn't know that much about computers, and who didn't understand how filesharing software worked.

The vast majority of those sued were families with young children. Even if their parents aren't computer literate, any 13-year-old with a screen name will learn to use Kazaa from a friend in a matter of minutes. One father who'd been sued was angry at his son, but couldn't honestly blame him. "He said 'dad it was just a website' so I asked him to take me to it. And he was right, it was just a normal website and it didn't say anything about it being illegal." Not only does it not say anything about being illegal, Kazaa's site had 5 colored hearts across the top and looks like a toy.

The RIAA's criteria also singled out people who love music. Several of the people we talked to were musicians, and many owned hundreds of CDs. One man John, who is signed up on the fund, is a professional gig musician in Chicago. We couldn't contact him at first because he was playing guitar that night, and every night that week. A woman who signed on to the fund told us about her family's interest in music,

We have three daughters, ages 20, 18, and 12, all whom are musically talented .... our eldest daughter is majoring in Vocal Performance at ______ University.... collectively we own over 500 CDs. Many of the downloaded songs are actually singles from various CDs we own ... the girls enjoy creating their own mixes.
Many musicians oppose the lawsuits, and some are joining to help those who've been sued and to fight the RIAA and the major labels. Independent musician Scott Andrew LePera is donating proceeds from his new CD to families sued by the major labels. He's selling his folk-pop record "Where I've Been" through his website for $5. The CD has 6 songs to play on a CD player plus two whole albums in MP3 and Ogg format, all released under a Creative Commons license. If his fans think they're getting more than their money's worth, they can "tip" him by paying more than $5. This month's tips will go to the Defense Fund, and he's raised about $240 so far.

Even major label musicians are speaking out against the suits. Musicians like Moby, Bob Weir (from the Grateful Dead), and Gregg Rollie (Santana and Journey) sounded off to the San Francisco Chronicle against the lawsuits and the major labels' business practices. "For the artists, my ass," said David Draiman of the band Disturbed, "I didn't ask them to protect me, and I don't want their protection."

The punk-rock and pop-punk label GoKart Records is fighting back against the RIAA lawsuits by making several of their new releases available as free downloads. In an interview with O'Reilly OpenP2P GoKart's founder Greg Ross says that what the major labels really hate about filesharing is not lost sales, but lost control: "with few exceptions ... the access to fans is controlled by the five major labels. But they can't control what people download. All they can try to do is control people's access to downloads, or scare them so they won't."

Meanwhile, hundreds of families and individuals are suffering needlessly as part of the major labels' scare campaign:

Our second daughter is a nursing student at ____ University. As you can imagine, the tuition bills for educating her and her sister are tremendous. We are hardly in a position to pay the price to the recording industry as their sacrificial lamb.
So far, the Peer-to-Peer Legal Defense Fund has raised over $1300 for 12 families and individuals, but it will take a lot more money to make a significant dent in these people's legal fees and settlement costs. You can contribute here, and you can choose who receives your donation by clicking on "Full Recipient List" (if, for example, you want your donation to go to someone who is fighting the lawsuit.)

The following are some other great resources:
RIAA Radar - Make sure the music you pay for is RIAA safe.
Boycott-RIAA - News and information.
StopRIAAlaawsuits - An open coalition of sites that will call for a one-week boycott of major label CDs when the next round of RIAA lawsuits are filed
Downhill Battle - Music activism site (we started the Defense Fund)
The Problem with Music - Famous rock producer Steve Albini's famous critique of the music industry.
Weed - Share an artist's files freely, listen 3 times for free, then pay $1 to unlock. Artists get half and filesharers even get a cut. Uses DRM, but clever enough to deserve a chance.
OEbase - An online music store that only sells handpicked (really good) music. Free streaming and MP3s of lots of independent and unsigned bands.

Sponsors

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Login

Related Links
o Defense Fund
o one independent musician
o konspire2b
o Scott Andrew LePera
o Creative Commons
o San Francisco Chronicle
o GoKart Records
o free downloads
o interview
o Peer-to-Pe er Legal Defense Fund
o here
o RIAA Radar
o Boycott-RI AA
o StopRIAAla awsuits
o Downhill Battle
o The Problem with Music
o Weed
o OEbase
o Also by Holmes Wilson


Display: Sort:
Defending the families sued by the RIAA | 214 comments (180 topical, 34 editorial, 5 hidden)
+1 (2.00 / 20) (#1)
by kobayashi on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 02:25:15 AM EST

I can't decide whether I am more angry, or depressed, about this kind of abuse of the legal system.

Reenactment of a similar dilemma (2.06 / 29) (#8)
by K5 ASCII reenactment players on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 06:05:26 AM EST

I can't decide whether I am more angry, 
or depressed, about this kind of abuse 
of the editing system.
|
Actually, I can decide. I'm angry. 
 \
  \  ####
    /  ##
    o o #
    /_  |
     =  /
    \__/



[ Parent ]
Okay (1.25 / 8) (#27)
by LilDebbie on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 07:19:28 PM EST

k5arp, I'm gonna have to stop modding your posts up because it's getting kinda tiring and doesn't really matter anymore with the new moderation system. So in the future, assume there's another 3 vote there from me on every comment you make.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
No problem; we, like justice, are blind to ratings (2.15 / 20) (#53)
by K5 ASCII reenactment players on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 06:57:54 AM EST

 And we're also an ass!
          /
   #####
  /____#_/\
 |_____\ \/ 
  /_   |\/\
   U   | \_\
  \___/


[ Parent ]
supporting the riaa (none / 2) (#135)
by orstenwald on Sun Oct 19, 2003 at 12:19:28 AM EST

i dont think i understand your motive, i see you supporting these people with lawsuits against them from filesharing copyrighted material. so that would mean you oppose the riaa and their monopolous organization that combines all the major labels into an organization with the power of a corporation that owns 95 percent of the market, and you support the file sharers. then why would you accept this lawsuit and keep paying the fine. then the riaa would become professional suers making a revenue through suing. this seems to be indirectly supporting the riaa. i protest the riaa because i feel music or art or anything with artistic value should be celebrated freely or at minimal cost not covered and hoarded for one main purpose <money>. i think a better way to fight this control is to question the laws that constrains us, (the law is not always right, and we must never believe this for we will be in danger of freedom and individuality) or create better, more encripted p2ps where downloading is anonymous or nearly so anyways. people have to question, in america there is this large sentiment against questioning and a huge urge to conform. but we cannot allow this to happen

[ Parent ]
Paying the settlement doesn't make them money (none / 1) (#153)
by Holmes Wilson on Mon Oct 20, 2003 at 02:07:02 AM EST

Paying the settlement doesn't make them any money.  It probably costs them more to file the lawsuit (figure 1 hour of lawyer time = $200-$500).  Don't worry about the RIAA making money off of lawsuits.

But these families are really screwed, and they don't have much of a choice anyway (they're all pretty much forced to settle, unless they want to lose their house/car)

[ Parent ]

i know it but that wasnt the point (none / 0) (#184)
by orstenwald on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 09:42:51 PM EST

that was just an example, and they are not charging near what they could. they could challenge the law, get supporters, this law was made to further make consumerism run through the veins of america. i dont think this fund solves the problem at all, i think that this is only feeding the RIAA not fighting them, it solves part of the debt problem but not the RIAA problem

[ Parent ]
The sad thing (2.67 / 31) (#3)
by Blarney on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 03:26:32 AM EST

From what I'm hearing, the typical RIAA settlement offer is for about $3,000. This wouldn't even begin to pay the legal bills for an actual lawsuit.

There's room to move up. They're trying to hurt the families they've randomly picked, but aren't trying to ruin their lives, just make them really sore and upset.

So if generous souls all contribute to pay these $3,000 settlements, the RIAA will just demand $6,000 or $10,000 or god knows how much.

After all, the law thinks that paying $15,000 to a lawyer and paying thousands of dollars PER SONG is perfectly fine. There's a long way up, a long way for the RIAA to jack people for even more.

So I think this is a good thing and a worthy cause, but I worry that it may end up enriching the RIAA more. If they think that they can get more than a few thousand, they'll try to get more.

We thought about that, but it seemed unlikely (2.93 / 16) (#40)
by Holmes Wilson on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 03:21:42 AM EST

We talked to several of the lawyers representing these people, and only one of them brought up that concern.  Then he though differently of it: the RIAA is in a very sensitive PR situation right now, and if there was the public perception that they were raising the settlement offers because outsiders were pitching in support, that would make them look much worse than they do now (again, they're already walking a fine line).

As for "enriching the RIAA," the record companies are certainly not making any money off of these lawsuits.  The settlements will probably barely cover legal fees.  And the public reaction will probably lose them money in the short term.  They're not fighting short-term legal battles, they're fighting a long-term battle with public opinion.

We think that by rallying around those who've been sued we can make sure they're strategy of suing families goes nowhere.  That stops the lawsuits.

[ Parent ]

can we know who is not settling? (none / 4) (#141)
by anmo on Sun Oct 19, 2003 at 02:51:43 AM EST

I'd be glad to send my money to some who are committed to go to court and fight it. I don't want to give money to those who settle, that's pure charity. For the common good, this has got to go to court.

[ Parent ]
The Kuro5hin Information Minister notes (1.66 / 62) (#6)
by K5 ASCII reenactment players on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 03:47:53 AM EST

Holmes Wilson has posted
0 comments, 0 stories, and 0 diaries,
has bought no adverts, and has not
edited this story. I tell you his 
truly, you will find no evidence of
contribution, only astroturfing.
\   
 \     _--.
  \  _-___*\
   \  |O-O | 
      |(_  |
       \() /
        --


The K5 Information Minister... (2.00 / 17) (#17)
by K5 Information Minister on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 11:37:11 AM EST

fully endorses this enactment, but declines to authorize it as a re-enactment. Again, it would seem that the space-time continuum is having some serious warpage issues on this fine morning.

[ Parent ]
You're right (2.72 / 18) (#38)
by Holmes Wilson on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 03:11:10 AM EST

I'm not an active participant in kuro5hin.  Hadn't even heard about it until a couple months ago, and I'm just learning about the editing process.

But I'm certainly willing to participate, when I have the time.  And like I said previously, I can't feel guilty about astroturfing to get these families some money, because they need it, in an immediate and absolute way.

But if it is astroturfing, I think it's simultaneously a pretty substantial piece, even if only because we've been having long phone conversations with people who journalists are scrambling to get a hold of.

[ Parent ]

Egoboosted are ya? (none / 3) (#100)
by Vesperto on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 07:36:42 PM EST

we've been having long phone conversations with people who journalists are scrambling to get a hold of and i thought you were doing it for the cause, not the fame, tsk tsk...

If you disagree post, don't moderate.
[ Parent ]
Yeah, I was doing it for the ego boost. (none / 1) (#103)
by Holmes Wilson on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 07:49:34 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Don't sweat it. (none / 0) (#196)
by Fantastic Lad on Thu Oct 23, 2003 at 07:51:13 AM EST

A good story is a good story regardless of its source, and around here the story is often only half the basket anyway, where debate makes up the other half. So this RIAA item can be tossed into the K5 crucible along with everything else, and thank you for it.

Elitism is the first step towards stagnation.

-FL

[ Parent ]

Keep up the good work (N/T) (1.70 / 20) (#10)
by brain in a jar on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 07:31:29 AM EST


Life is too important, to be taken entirely seriously.

Ads for crappy "artists" make me cry (1.02 / 39) (#12)
by The Baby Jesus on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 08:59:38 AM EST

Putting your ad in the Edit Queue and never editing it or even responding makes me bawl like a little schoolgirl who just found out that what her friends said about sex is probably true.

how is this an ad? -nt- (1.83 / 6) (#67)
by Xcyther on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 01:36:43 PM EST



_________________________________________
"Insydious" -- It's not as bad as you think

[ Parent ]
And for that matter, (2.00 / 7) (#86)
by andamac on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 04:38:08 PM EST

what the hell are schoolgirls telling each other about sex that makes them cry?

[ Parent ]
oh, come on (2.14 / 7) (#111)
by Mizuno Ami on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 09:07:26 PM EST

You know that females are so weak and stupid that any time a male has sex with them it's rape.

[ Parent ]
+1 FP (1.96 / 33) (#18)
by Imperfect on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 12:01:40 PM EST

This is a valuable service, and you assholes are shitting on it because your editing changes aren't being made, or because the guy hasn't posted any comments? It's not really that bad (grammatically or otherwise), and a lack of comments is a clue to trolling - which this obviously isn't.

Get a goddamned life and wake up to your civic responsibility. FUCK your editorial eliteness. This is something people should see.

Not perfect, not quite.
Reenactment of our complete agreement (2.63 / 22) (#20)
by K5 ASCII reenactment players on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 01:29:56 PM EST

I agree, let's
go to vote.
 |           YOU FOOL! It's too important to 
 |           risk voting on it! Just READ it.
Ow! Your          /
argument is      /
very persuasive /
    \          /
      *SMACK* /
      O/ __O 
      /\_  |>
      _/ \ /
           \\


[ Parent ]
You've got way too much free time on your hands (1.66 / 9) (#22)
by inadeepsleep on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 03:22:31 PM EST

or else a program that does that ascii art for you.


[ Parent ]
We're sorry to have to reenact (2.76 / 30) (#25)
by K5 ASCII reenactment players on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 06:07:53 PM EST

             Both, actually, but to
             be honest, a lot of it 
             is cut and paste.
Well, OK...           /
OW! What             /
was that            /
for?               /
  |        Sorry, we're both victims
  |        of circumstance here.
            /
   *SMACK* /
   O/ __O 
   /\_  |>
   _/ \ /
        \\


[ Parent ]
i don't get (1.64 / 31) (#28)
by scatbubba on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 08:06:33 PM EST

or you guys all don't get it. Downloading music is illegal. These kids didn't go to the wrong website and download the wrong program, they distributed illegal copies of music. The parents in these houses had to know the RIAA were taking exception, unless they don't watch the news, read or surf the web. If you think there should be no copyright laws, thats fine, lobby your representative, but until the laws are changed, there is no story here.

illegal, yes. wrong, well... (2.84 / 19) (#29)
by SocratesGhost on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 09:04:10 PM EST

They're not the same thing, you know. And there's a growing number of people who are increasingly disillusioned with the copyright and patent system.

The last time an industry sued its customers, big changes happened. At the early part of the 20th century, cars were pretty well locked up in patents owned by a few manufacturers. When Henry Ford came along with his killer app called the Model T, the industry sued him and his customers. Guess what happened? The public got behind Ford, the courts overturned the patent, and the rest is history.

We may very well be seeing the same thing again.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
Illegal, no. (2.33 / 9) (#58)
by fn0rd on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 10:21:15 AM EST

It's perfectly legal to download a copy of a song you have already purchased. It is perfectly legal to share a song with others on the assumption that they have already purchased the music.

--------------------------------------------------------------
This fatwa brought to you by the Agnostic Jihad
Death to the fidels!

[ Parent ]
illegal, yes (none / 4) (#62)
by SocratesGhost on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 01:01:50 PM EST

otherwise, people would still be hosting them on their websites on the assumption that the people who download it have already purchased the music. There's pretty good precedent that filesharers have to take reasonable measures to prevent illegal download.

I'm not even talking about illegal uploads, but of illegal sharing. Fromw what I understand, these people are not being sued for downloading songs, but for sharing them. It doesn't even matter if you have the CD for every song on your drive. If a song is downloadable via a P2P app, the industry has the law on its side to sue you.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
And just where had this been tested in court? (none / 1) (#149)
by fn0rd on Sun Oct 19, 2003 at 04:25:47 PM EST

I don't think it has. Everyone who has been sued has settled.

--------------------------------------------------------------
This fatwa brought to you by the Agnostic Jihad
Death to the fidels!

[ Parent ]
It has (none / 1) (#158)
by SocratesGhost on Mon Oct 20, 2003 at 04:03:02 PM EST

ever heard of Napster? That was pretty clearly shot down under the sanction of the courts. Not every law has to go to the Supreme Court to be tested.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
Yeah, well this is illegal too. (1.47 / 17) (#30)
by causticmtl on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 01:57:02 AM EST

In a lot of states even owning a picture of this much less placing yourself in a position for the picture to be taken is grounds for arrest.



Did you click on the link? I'm calling the authorities right now! You downloaded it, it's on your computer, shut up, you're being sued.

That's how it (sort of) feels.

[ Parent ]
There is no story here? (2.37 / 8) (#33)
by Holmes Wilson on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 02:58:16 AM EST

Nearly every other major media outlet in the country seems to disagree.  As well as thousands of weblogs and other forms of grassroots media.

[ Parent ]
Sue is what the RIAA is doing (none / 5) (#60)
by thelizman on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 12:01:38 PM EST

Granted, the majority of file sharers you're hearing about are guilty as sin, of of nothing else then of ignorance. But this shotgun litigation (which is illegal in some states) they are catching innocents, such as teh 68 year old granny they accused of sharing "Trick Daddy" songs.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
psst (2.66 / 6) (#73)
by Politburo on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 02:35:11 PM EST

The parents in these houses had to know the RIAA were taking exception, unless they don't watch the news, read or surf the web

Guess what, that's a lot of Americans!

[ Parent ]
Hey, guess what... (none / 2) (#102)
by Vesperto on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 07:45:06 PM EST

...in some states it's illegal for women to drive unless there's a man in front with a red flag. Get the drift?

If you disagree post, don't moderate.
[ Parent ]
Not quite... (none / 4) (#110)
by kcbrown on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 09:05:51 PM EST

Downloading music is illegal.
No. Sharing music that the copyright owner hasn't given permission to download is illegal. So if you download a piece of music you're in the clear: the person who provided the file to you is the guilty part. Maybe. Because for them to be guilty the music in question has to be something the copyright owner doesn't want distributed.

Now how are you, with your p2p downloader, supposed to know which music is legal to share and which isn't?

Right: you can't. But that doesn't automatically mean that it's illegal to share a piece of music, nor does it mean that it's legal.

Chances are, any given piece of music that's available via p2p is illegal to distribute in that manner. But now we're talking about playing the odds, high though they may be.

To be honest, I think sharing music that you don't know you can share is dubious at best, but the copyright owners (the RIAA) are behaving highly irresponsibly by using these sorts of heavy-handed tactics without at least giving their targets an opportunity to clean up their act first. Any organization that has that much power and uses it so irresponsibly needs to be taken down by pretty much any means necessary, even if the means in question are illegal.

Remember, people: legal and ethical are two entirely different things, and don't let anyone, especially lawyers, tell you differently.

[ Parent ]

-1 Idiotic (1.34 / 32) (#47)
by Talez on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 04:31:47 AM EST

I'm sorry but helping out Little Johnny Copyright Infringer isn't the way to help this problem. Will people keep continuing to infringe on other people's copyrights if they know someone is going to be there to bail them out?

I'd bet your defense fund on it.

Si in Googlis non est, ergo non est

People will continue to use filesharing either way (2.00 / 6) (#48)
by Holmes Wilson on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 04:40:52 AM EST

And I'd bet a lot more money on that.   And in this case, filesharing is the only thing that can save music from monopolistic corporations and mediocrity, so don't knock copyright infringement.

Practically speaking, the Defense Fund is nowhere near the point of neutralizing the disincentive to fileshare.  The best we can do is help these families recover and get on with their lives, without getting pushed into bankruptcy (and in the case of one couple I spoke with, homelessness).

[ Parent ]

That would be great (none / 4) (#69)
by Easyas123 on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 02:09:50 PM EST

If the majority of filesharing was about good music and copyrights vs. monopolies and commercial pap. It's about liking free crap, no more no less.

If the infringers are 13 year olds, do you really expect them to have an expansive taste in music? The like the stuff that is on the radio, no more no less. And that is what they download. Filesharers are like the average consumer, they have to be advertised to before any interest forms.

***********************
As the wise men fortold.
[ Parent ]

Sampling. (none / 2) (#125)
by irrevenant on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 03:23:20 AM EST

But THAT is exactly the void that file sharing fills.  The radio basically spews the same regurgitated commercial pap over and over.

File sharing lets the user sample a wide variety of different music.  The big companies don't want this, because it puts the smaller companies and independent artists on a more even footing.

It's not in their interests to make it happen which is why they were so slow to seize on the possibilities of e-music.  Even after a court ruling forcing them to invest in e-music (IIRC), they're still basically dragging their feet.

I certainly expect the 13 year olds who use file sharing have a more expansive taste in music than those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Expanding tastes in music (none / 2) (#129)
by Holmes Wilson on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 02:36:47 PM EST

Kids now who are interested in music are going to develop their tastes exponentially faster than I did when I was that age.  They'll simply get sick of crap faster, because they won't be waiting around months to buy the album before they find out it's crap.  And if psy-trance or dancehall or twee or electroclash sounds like a cool category of music to them, they'll download six hours of it and decide if they like it and if not, move on to the next thing.

Also, it's really easy to program / record your own music at home on a very cheap computer these days.  And there's tons of very available raw material out there to sample.

It's so obvious that this is happening.  IT professionals who 5 years ago would've been listening to Nine Inch Nails and Weird Al are now listening to Boards of Canada (don't know who they are?  download 'em and see)

[ Parent ]

What about the innocent parties? (none / 5) (#81)
by coderlemming on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 04:02:40 PM EST

Come on. You expect that the RIAA will win every single one of those lawsuits? I'd be surprised if they won even half of the ones they didn't settle. It's going to be very difficult to prove just who downloaded what, and when. What kind of evidence can the RIAA gather on the Internet that could possibly hold up in court?

Beyond that, read the text above a bit more. In at least one case, the people were downloading single songs that were on albums they already owned. Sure, you can say "well, then the courts will find them innocent", but in this country, an innocent verdict is still prohibitively expensive to the defendant.

That's right, the RIAA gets to cause damage to people by swinging its huge legal department at them, and they have to pay thousands to defend themselves even if they're completely innocent. "Beyond a shadow of a doubt" is thrown out the window when you hit reality.


--
Go be impersonally used as an organic semen collector!  (porkchop_d_clown)
[ Parent ]
Direct TV lawsuits (none / 1) (#90)
by Holmes Wilson on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 05:13:23 PM EST

Another great example of how corporations can do this are the DirecTV lawsuits.  DirecTV sued dealers of smartcard hardware in Canada, took their customer records, and sued everybody who'd bought a smartcard programmer for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

They offered to make the lawsuit go away if you paid them back and gave them back your legally purchased hardware.

It was obvious that at least 10-20% of the people they'd sued were using the technology in legitimate ways, but most of those people simply had to pay up, because a lawyer for a case like this always costs more than $3000.

The DMCA really needs to get reviewed.  Legal battles between corporations with deep pockets and families with kids and mortgages are not a fair fight.

[ Parent ]

I'd say the legal system needs to be reviewed... (none / 2) (#123)
by irrevenant on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 03:13:21 AM EST

...in particular, the idea that free representation is available in criminal cases, but not if it's 'just' a civil suit where the accused is 'only' subject to complete financial ruin seems a bit ludicrous.

For people not to be able to afford to enforce their legal rights means they don't HAVE those legal rights.

[ Parent ]

"beyond a shadow of a doubt" (none / 3) (#114)
by Trepalium on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 10:36:06 PM EST

Innocent until proven guilty is part of criminal proceedings, not civil ones. Civil lawsuits are based more on a "more likely than not" determination, from what I can tell. For most of these people, things would be a lot simpler if they were in a criminal lawsuit instead, because they could then get representation at no charge, and the burden of proof would be stiffer.

[ Parent ]
A couple of questions (2.22 / 22) (#56)
by Easyas123 on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 09:09:58 AM EST

Even though I do not agree with your position, a couple of things in your article jumped out at me .
Imagine getting hit with a lawsuit for more than the value of your home because your kids went to the wrong webpage and downloaded the wrong program.
Does this mean that they should not be held responsible? I suppose it is possible to not have heard of the whole filesharing issue, but there are more computer issues than this one. Hearing about any of them should make a resposible parent:
  1. Monitor what their children are up to on the net.
  2. Come to at least a basic understanding of the tool we call the computer.

Another question , based on this statement:

It seemed that the RIAA's criteria had selected for people who didn't know that much about computers, and who didn't understand how filesharing software worked.
I have been led to beleive that the RIAA is about computer savvy as a catfish. How did they "select" for something they seem to have no ability to understand? Would it have been any better if they had pounce on people who did understand filesharing?

Where exactly is the line of resposnability? Is the RIAA only supposed to go after people who "know" how to work a computer and "know" filesharing is illegal? Thsi is not a new issue. The lawsuits may be fairly new, but there has been an uproar about filesharing for a while now.

***********************
As the wise men fortold.

Correct, they shouldn't be held responsible.. (2.54 / 11) (#65)
by sudog on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 01:24:10 PM EST

..many of those people come home at night, exhausted from a hard day's work, and you're expecting them to act as a complex legal filter for something as esoteric as a computer file-sharing program?

Don't be obtuse.

They probably do monitor what their kids are up to on the net, but you can't expect them to be aware of an obscure legal issue that has only just been raised by those idiots at the RIAA.

And we don't expect the RIAA to only go after savvy computer users. We expect them not to go after anyone at all.


[ Parent ]

Not an excuse. (2.25 / 12) (#68)
by Easyas123 on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 02:01:15 PM EST

That excuse would not be tolerated for any other shady activity the kids got up to under the parents noses, and it should not fly here either.

Complex legal filter? Come on. Unless it is stated that what you are about to download is the copyright protected property of the site owner or operates under an open licence, don't download it.

Even though the RIAA's busness model is horrible and the copyright issue needs to be adressed, it is silly to simply expect them to go out gently into the night. Large money making organizations (even stupid ones) do not roll over and play dead.

***********************
As the wise men fortold.
[ Parent ]

So (2.57 / 7) (#72)
by Politburo on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 02:34:02 PM EST

Complex legal filter? Come on. Unless it is stated that what you are about to download is the copyright protected property of the site owner or operates under an open licence, don't download it.

So we've gone from "assume it's OK, go ahead and download it," to, "everything is illegal! Are you sure that's legal! What are you downloading!"

Is that the way you use the internet? I'm not really condoning illegal activities, but I don't think it should be the users' burden to *verify* everything is legal before it is transferred. We should have a good sense of what is legal and not legal, yes.

[ Parent ]
How about an acid test? (2.42 / 7) (#74)
by Easyas123 on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 02:43:36 PM EST

If what you are about to download is available as a commecial product, don't download it. It is not perfect, but it is safe.

***********************
As the wise men fortold.
[ Parent ]

Sense (none / 4) (#75)
by Politburo on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 03:13:00 PM EST

I would say that is pretty much a 'good sense' of what one should and shouldn't be downloading with reckless abandon.

[ Parent ]
Re: How about an acid test? (2.80 / 10) (#78)
by DrReagan on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 03:41:08 PM EST

But what they are about to download gets played for free on the radio all the time.. its not unreasonable for them to assume its free to listen to on the internet also. The average person in the street really hasn't got a clue what copyright law is.

[ Parent ]
So (none / 1) (#155)
by Easyas123 on Mon Oct 20, 2003 at 09:07:36 AM EST

If I do not understand the law I should feel free to break it?

***********************
As the wise men fortold.
[ Parent ]

Playing devil's advocate (none / 1) (#166)
by ishark on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 06:05:34 AM EST

If lawmakers cannot take the time to make the law understandable by anybody, why should they expect anybody to respect it?

[ Parent ]
Once again (none / 1) (#169)
by Easyas123 on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 09:46:11 AM EST

Not an excuse. There are plenty of laws that you may not understand, but still you have to obey. There are plenty of laws that make no sense, but you must obey. Knowing legalese is not a pre-req. to following the law.

In any event, it is a consumer issue. Simply give your money to someone else until CD prices from the RIAA go down. We can acheive what we want without looking like criminals.

***********************
As the wise men fortold.
[ Parent ]

Laws are for the people.. (none / 0) (#203)
by sudog on Sat Oct 25, 2003 at 01:10:20 AM EST

..and laws that the people can't possibly be expected to learn and know aren't laws for the people. They're laws used as tools of arbitrary control by an unfair corporate-backed government.

By keeping the people in the dark about obscure laws, the people can be kept in line out of fear that the way they're leading their lives is "illegal" and can put them in prison. It keeps them from questioning authority, because if they do, the authorities can use these obscure laws as a far more direct means of control and punish contrary views.

You're living in a false consciousness--you know all this, but deliberately reject it in order to allow yourself to continue living your life without feeling like a hypocrite.


[ Parent ]

I agree with this (none / 0) (#214)
by Golden Hawk on Wed Jan 28, 2004 at 06:47:16 AM EST

Any law which is frequently broken but rarely enforced should be eliminated for that reason alone, because it can be used for selective prosecution of people we dislike for unrelated things.

For example, this is why there's a statute of limitations.  We can't just start harassing people for things that are no longer an issue, because this gives people the power to hold long forgotten or inconsequential things over our heads like the sword of damocles.

Unfortunately, my philosophy is not followed in north america.  It's a common tactic for a law to never be used, unless it is broken in conjunction with a more haneous crime, or for minor obscure civil laws being used as a pretext to destroy someone via the pain of protracted litigation.

If one were to ask me, "It's rarely ever used and no one knows about it" should be legal grounds for a law to be nullafied in a court of law.
-- Daniel Benoy
[ Parent ]

How... (none / 2) (#122)
by tonedevil on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 03:04:29 AM EST

does taking acid help me determine what I can download?

[ Parent ]
Downloading is not illegal (3.00 / 6) (#92)
by curunir on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 06:02:10 PM EST

Unless it is stated that what you are about to download is the copyright protected property of the site owner or operates under an open licence, don't download it.

Each and every download of each and every one of the people accused in these lawsuits was 100% legal. What's getting these people in trouble is that they, in turn, shared the music with others. Copyright law places the onus on the provider of the material to determine that that which they are providing is free of copyright restrictions, or that they own the distribution rights to that material.

If you don't even understand copyright law, how can you expect the families of those accused to understand it? It's difficult to argue that these people didn't realize they were downloading the content in question, but it's not unreasonable for many of them to say that they didn't realize they were providing it as well.

[ Parent ]
Civil vs. criminal copyright infringement. (none / 1) (#109)
by haflinger on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 09:05:25 PM EST

It's difficult to argue that these people didn't realize they were downloading the content in question, but it's not unreasonable for many of them to say that they didn't realize they were providing it as well.
Yeah, and that would get them out of criminal liability: to get tossed in jail, there has to be mens rea and they didn't have it, at least not beyond a reasonable doubt.

But at a civil lawsuit, you can get sued for doing anything that the law says you shouldn't do. For example, if you break out into a rendition of Hey Jude in front of a couple hundred people in a club, without permission from Michael Jackson (or whoever has the Beatles copyrights these days, I dunno; it used to be MJ anyway) you can be sued (except that they wrote in an exception for this one case in the statute). Which means that, yeah, the unlucky families are SOL. But hey, that's what you get for living in a democracy where people think that copyright laws are boring and pirates are just those wacky hackers.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

Downloading isn't shady. (none / 0) (#202)
by sudog on Sat Oct 25, 2003 at 12:55:32 AM EST

It's cultural exchange and sharing. In Canada, it's perfectly legal. I'm not talking about some third-world corrupt governed country. Canada.

So get a life. It's never been theft, and it never will be, no matter how much you like to buy into RIAA anti-society propaganda.


[ Parent ]

The moral of the story (2.64 / 50) (#64)
by randyk on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 01:21:16 PM EST

from now on, shoplift CDs. The legal costs are less and you don't need to have computer clue to avoid getting caught.


--

"undefined behaviour includes but is not limited to me kicking your ass" -- cod

yeah yeah (1.03 / 26) (#70)
by /dev/trash on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 02:19:36 PM EST

My husband and I both work full time to make ends meet. We have 4 children ... We are middle class and live from paycheck to paycheck. We are good, honest people. This lawsuit has devastated us

They live paycheck to paycheck but can afford to have an internet connection, a high speed one at that I bet.

---
Updated 07/20/2003!!
Summer Tour!

Golly (2.75 / 12) (#71)
by tonedevil on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 02:32:03 PM EST

Can you imagine a middle class family, most of us live 2 or 3 paychecks from $0.00, actualy having the temerity to maintain a subscrption for an internet connection. Computers are a luxury for the ultra-wealthy, after all, these upstarts need to learn there place.

[ Parent ]
I guess... (none / 4) (#80)
by /dev/trash on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 04:00:57 PM EST

A lot of people who say they are poor or working paycheck to paycheck, really just need to cut back on expenses that are not really necessary.  The Internet ( at least the 50 dollar high speed brand) is not a need.

---
Updated 07/20/2003!!
Summer Tour!
[ Parent ]
How do you know? (none / 3) (#83)
by theR on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 04:07:14 PM EST

Have you ever heard of working from home?



[ Parent ]
sure have... (none / 0) (#96)
by /dev/trash on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 06:55:31 PM EST

That's a business expenese, either paid for by the company or used expense on the taxes.

---
Updated 07/20/2003!!
Summer Tour!
[ Parent ]
business expenses (none / 1) (#172)
by Hakamadare on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 01:21:29 PM EST

or used expense on the taxes

while this is a valid tactic for the self-employed or consultants, you can't pay rent and buy groceries with next year's income tax refund.  this is still an expense that these people have to bear themselves in the short term, and if you're living paycheck to paycheck, all you have is the short term.

-steve
---
Schopenhauer is not featuring heavily on the "Review Hidden Comments" page at the moment. - Herring
[ Parent ]

alot of people who are wealthy (none / 4) (#84)
by hapbt on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 04:08:07 PM EST

are selfish asses

[ Parent ]
Let's see.. (none / 1) (#91)
by lowmagnet on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 06:01:20 PM EST

My 44 dollar a month cable modem means I don't need a 32 dollar a month cable service thanks to BitTorrent (TV shows only, no music, no movies). I also don't need to spend 25+ a month on a land line phone, which I'd never use anyway.

I have a cellular phone for which I pay 50/month, no matter where I am or how I'm using it. I can take a call anywhere and I can give out one contact number that can never be used by tele-marketers; that alone is worth the 50 dollars.

I have NetFlix for movies, at 20 dollars a month. I can usually rent 12 titles per month, which works out to less than a dollar each. Again, better than cable + premium services, since I choose what's on.



[ Parent ]
yeah but..... (none / 1) (#97)
by /dev/trash on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 06:57:48 PM EST

Are you truly living paycheck to paycheck?

---
Updated 07/20/2003!!
Summer Tour!
[ Parent ]
Sorta.. (none / 1) (#174)
by lowmagnet on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 02:07:09 PM EST

I have two houses I'm paying for until the first one sells, so it is a bit tight. I don't know about paycheck to paycheck though. Maybe paycheck and a half.

[ Parent ]
wich reminds me of something I saw... (none / 0) (#176)
by /dev/trash on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 03:34:08 PM EST

Most people like to say they are poor when in reality they are broke.  Being poor is more of a long term thing, whereas being broke is short term.

You're broke, but once the house sells, things will be better.

---
Updated NEW 10/15/2003!!
Summer Tour!
[ Parent ]

Paycheck-to-paycheck (none / 1) (#104)
by nicebear on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 07:53:09 PM EST

Most people live paycheck-to-paycheck: It just means that they spend all the money they earn and have no savings. (In fact, many people spend more than they earn, and have considerable debt.) Spending money like this may be slightly irresponsible for anyone on a reasonable salary, but it's hardly unusual.

And no matter how many small luxuries an average family foregoes, it won't be able to afford the RIAA's $150,000 per song. Why not spend all your money if its going to be lotted by the RIAA anyway?

[ Parent ]

Two things (none / 1) (#107)
by tonedevil on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 08:08:16 PM EST

Point one, the internet connection. You, I repeat only you, have decided that this family have an unnecessary internet connection. Further you seem to imply that said connection is a prime reason they are living paycheck to paycheck. With this divine knowledge you have deduced that they need to cut back on that, no doubt you have other ideas for them to properly budget their household finances as well.

You, you arrogant so-and-so, have no idea how they connect to the internet or what percent of the family budget that consumes. Additionaly I believe there is mention of four children, with two children I have found it necessary to maintain highspeed shareable internet connection for them to keep up with homework.

Point two, you are quite OT unless you are saying that this family needs to rebudget so they can pay the RIAA some amazing amount of dough for being "poster children" for the RIAA's campaign of "We will kick your downloading ass". If that is what you are saying it's just asanine.

[ Parent ]

yes. (none / 2) (#108)
by /dev/trash on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 08:59:34 PM EST

  1. The Internet is a want not a need.
  2.  I am sure they buy other things like clothes at the Gap, etc, so no it's just not the high speed internet that makes them irresponsible.
  3.  I have 56k dialup, and I download stuff, I know how long it takes with a crappy connection, I just can't see kids downloading music over a 56k link.  Instant gratification and all that.
  4.  I survived high school AND homework without the Internet, hell even without a computer.
  5. I was pointing out that they seemed to want excused because they were hard working and poor parents.  
What has happened to a little responsibility?  Know what is on your PC, or ask someone, but don't play the "I am poor and don't know nuthin". angle when caught.

---
Updated 07/20/2003!!
Summer Tour!
[ Parent ]
Not even (none / 0) (#119)
by tonedevil on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 02:52:03 AM EST

1. The Internet is a want not a need.

That can describe anything beyond food, clothing, and shelter.

2. I am sure they buy other things like clothes at the Gap, etc, so no it's just not the high speed internet that makes them irresponsible.

Ok Kreskin, what makes you so damn sure? Who the hell died and made you the sheriff of this woman's level of responsibility?

3. I have 56k dialup, and I download stuff, I know how long it takes with a crappy connection, I just can't see kids downloading music over a 56k link. Instant gratification and all that.

Mind reading, again. Great you know how long downloading takes and because you have already declared this entire family irresponsible you can unequivocally state those kids wouldn't stand for that, as they clearly lack the patience and discipline.

4. I survived high school AND homework without the Internet, hell even without a computer.

Wow Grampa did you really walk 50 miles to school uphill both ways. OR That's how we did it in my day. It was good enough for us it's good enough for you spoiled, irresponsible brats of today.

5. I was pointing out that they seemed to want excused because they were hard working and poor parents.

I believe she was pointing out that this was going to work a rather nasty finacial hardship on her family. If you are now raising or ever have raised children you might understand her point. Then again "you" might very well not.

Is it the phrase "living from paycheck to paycheck" that got you so wacky?

[ Parent ]

High speed internet and Americans in luxury (3.00 / 9) (#89)
by Holmes Wilson on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 05:05:10 PM EST

You know it's funny, one of the RIAA's lawyers for the Southern Californian district court made the same point to a woman I talked to: "Well you could afford your broadband connection" she said. The woman in question had lost her job months ago, her unemployment had run out, and she was getting a divorce. The date their $4000 settlement was due was the same day they had to be out of their apartment, and they didn't have another apartment to go to; all she had was $500, a car, and lawyers bills for the divorce

This woman's response "Yeah, I could afford it WHEN I HAD A JOB!!" But even screaming about it is too mild a response to a notion this offensive.

Generally in America, everybody has a reasonably high standard of living, when they're employed. At the same time, they have the worst job security and social safety net in the industrialized world (this is empirically true). One of the lies that keeps America going is that you're not poor if you have this that and the other material posessions. I even read a "conservative" study a couple years ago that decried, "the majority of those below the poverty line HAVE COLOR TELEVISIONS!"

Judging people's well being by their outward wealth in this country just doesn't work, because at the core we're all just like the 15-year-olds from the projects who spend every last cent they make on Tommy Hilfiger because they don't want to look poor.



[ Parent ]

Well, sure ... (3.00 / 6) (#116)
by Anonymous 242 on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 11:28:45 PM EST

... unecessary expenses are usually the reason families live paycheck to paycheck. While there are a significant number of exceptions (some families simply don't have anyone who can find a job making a living wage), the largest number of financial problems in the US come from a lack of financial education combined with predatory advertising for credit and a culture that insists that anyone and everyone can have it all on an installment payment plan.

I know a family whose household income was (at one point) over twice that of mine. I'm guessing their debt load was also close to twice that of mine before they got bailed out by an unexpected inheritence. They weren't bad people. They weren't even stupid people. They were just mostly uneducated about the way money works so on income that I would be able to retire on after four years, they only managed to find themselves in more debt.

What really gets me is the fact that the US requires people to go to school for twelve years and yet doesn't require students to learn the basic skills that are requisite for living in a capitalist economy.

I'll get off of my soapbox now.

[ Parent ]

I don't even understand what's so hard about it: (none / 0) (#156)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Mon Oct 20, 2003 at 12:30:44 PM EST

Someone needs to get out there and teach these people that credit cards are the finance industry's tool for bending you over.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

paycheck to paycheck (none / 0) (#162)
by derepi on Mon Oct 20, 2003 at 06:31:37 PM EST

I live paycheck to paycheck (at a loss every month). I do not shop at the Gap; in fact, I don't buy clothes at all. I do not buy expensive food, electronics, or services. I do pay for electricity, rent, gas, and phone service, as well as gas for my car to take me to and from work. I do not pay for health insurance because I cannot afford it. I pay all of my bills, in entirety (including credit cards) every month, but sometimes I miss meals to keep the grocery bills down. Yet, technically speaking, I am above the federal poverty guidelines.

I am highly educated (PhD candidate in physics) and I have a good work ethic. I am currently employed and spend between 50 and 70 hours each week at my job. In my chosen field, there are no better jobs available, though some jobs do come with health insurance.

Eventually, I'll run out of savings and have to get a second job or leave my current one. I hope I'll be promoted in my current job before then, but I have no guarantee of that from my employer. The only guarantee I have, and this one is quite remarkable, is that I may be employed here for as long as I like, at least the next 5 years.

Not everybody who is poor is poorly educated, be it in general or about financial matters.

[ Parent ]

My Boycott is Official (2.53 / 15) (#76)
by Wah on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 03:14:22 PM EST

Two people you need to know about in regards to this.

Henry Ford and Thomas Edison.  It shows both sides of the argument about what problems and opportunities mass corporate resistance to technological change can offer.  Crisitunity.

Cartels in the market should NEVER use the law like this.  We can't stand for it, as consumers, as citizens, as free people.  

When there are 60,000,000 new felons created in a country of 300,000,000 over the course of 3 years, and many of them don't even know it, there is a SERIOUS problem with part of the laws in that country.

Anyway, I think my last UMG CD was Eminem's, which I think is pretty sweet.  I listen to it when I walk home to my apt in Harlem.

But that's it.  Until they really help to sort this problem out. Nobody, from 216 to Zuchero is going to get an attibutable sale from me (I reserve the right buy used CD's and listen to the radio, and watch movies and commercials, all with properly licensed msuic.  Oh, and bars, I'll still pay for music by going to good restaurants that pay lawful royalties).

We need to renegotiate our deal.  A boycott is one way to make that abundantly clear.

BUMG

or just the RIAA in general, if that's your bag.
--
kewpie

henry ford (none / 3) (#82)
by hapbt on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 04:06:27 PM EST

was also a nazi who helped hitler start volkswagen and wrote a letter to congress asking that all jews be deported

[ Parent ]
Your point? (2.50 / 6) (#105)
by Vesperto on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 08:04:28 PM EST

So he was a nazi. Bad, yes. He created the Model T. Good.
So Hitler was a nazi. Very bad indeed. He was behind the world's first (and still the best) speedway - or wahtever you call it - as well as the Bettle. Good.

Evil geniouses have good ideas. It's odd, but it happens.
No, i'm not nazi. No, i'm not racist. Fuck the jewish lobby. Fuck nazis as well.

Got the point?

If you disagree post, don't moderate.
[ Parent ]

Unfortunately, it won't work... (3.00 / 6) (#112)
by pla on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 10:02:48 PM EST

A boycott is one way to make that abundantly clear.

A large scale boycott can have amazing effects to the goal of getting a corporation to change its ways. Unfortunately, that has as a key phrase "large scale". I've boycotted the RIAA for the past five years (well, okay, I've bought perhaps one major-label CD per year, but that still falls far short of the typical music consumer), and many others who realize how evil the RIAA can act have done similarly.

We, however, form a VERY small minority. Most people continue to buy, slowed down only by the poor economy (and not by piracy as the industry might like to pretend). So no one even notices our decreased buying.

A solution exists, though - Even people who don't know all the political BS behind the RIAA's behavior can recognize that, put simply, CD prices have gone up while quality of the music has gone down. We all have a very quick and easy way around that, though - Indie music. Buy right from the artist, or one of the microlabels that act more as a sort of artist collective than a real corporate label (Magnatune, for example). You end up paying less (which everyone, from the audiophiles to the boy-band fangirls, can appreciate), of which the artist gets FAR more. And in many cases, you get better music (though subjective, if you can't stand any radio station identifying itself as having ClearChannel as its parent company, you'll probably agree with me).

So, don't just boycott the RIAA. Turn all your friends on to privately produced music. Even if quality, supporting the artists, and giving the RIAA "the bird" don't matter to them, paying USD$5 per CD and almost always having the power (and even permission from the artist) to try-before-you-buy via MP3 downloads will get people's attention.

Considering the ease with which a private musician can produce a run of CDs and distribute them on a website for a third the cost of a store-bought RIAA CD, I truly believe that only the general public's lack of awareness about this has kept the RIAA from losing the entirely of its market share.


[ Parent ]
Another reason boycotts won't work... (none / 3) (#121)
by irrevenant on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 03:03:28 AM EST

You make good points.

I just wanted to add that, another reason boycotting won't work is that the RIAA have hit upon the very effective trick of attributing all downturns in sales to 'pirates'.  This has the dual effect of quashing any "vote with your $$$" criticism and supporting their position on Intellectual Property.

[ Parent ]

Yes (none / 0) (#182)
by epepke on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 04:38:45 PM EST

Also, of course, preventing people from getting turned on to indie labels, not piracy, is what the RIAA action is really all about.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
i dsagree (none / 3) (#128)
by Wah on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 12:16:11 PM EST

i'd tell you why but k5 ate it, and I'm out a frickin' hour on a sat. morning.  have a good weekend.
--
kewpie
[ Parent ]
Boycott doesn't work (none / 2) (#148)
by Builder on Sun Oct 19, 2003 at 03:31:34 PM EST

If you just boycott cd's, any lost sales will just be attributed to piracy. If you want to make your boycott more effective, ensure that every time you would normally buy a CD, you instead send an e-mail to the band or their manager explaining why you aren't buying that CD.

If a band gets enough letters / e-mails saying that people aren't buying the cd because they are protesting the RIAA's actions, then maybe we will have an effect.

But then, so far I've received 0 replies from artists who's music I've not bought but instead sent letters to.
--
Be nice to your daemons
[ Parent ]

Boycotting works in both ways (none / 1) (#152)
by Holmes Wilson on Mon Oct 20, 2003 at 02:02:19 AM EST

As these companies lose sales, they lose market share, and less of the industry looks like them, and more of the industry looks like honest, cool independent labels (like Saddle Creek, Def Jux, or Warp).

It doesn't matter whether the industry knows you're boycotting.  By boycotting a corrupt group of companies you can make them shrink, and eventually disappear.  Going the extra mile is great, but I'd send that email to your friends or family members to get them to boycott too.

The more sales they lose, the better off music will be, so be strategic about it.


[ Parent ]

Only large scale (none / 1) (#154)
by Builder on Mon Oct 20, 2003 at 03:26:21 AM EST

boycotting silently can only work if you have a large scale boycott. As long as the boycott is costing them less than 10% total revenue they will just chalk it up to piracy and buy even more draconian laws.

If we could get a massive boycott or demonstration together, then we wouldn't need to tell individual bands. But as it stands, most people are still buying CD's.
--
Be nice to your daemons
[ Parent ]

thats what i mean (none / 0) (#185)
by orstenwald on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 09:45:49 PM EST

i will join this, i think this is far more effective in fighting the RIAA then feeding their menacing hands

[ Parent ]
Break the Law until the Law Breaks (2.62 / 37) (#77)
by seraph93 on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 03:18:49 PM EST

Reading through the comments, I see statements like, "People should be held responsible for their actions," "They're infringing copyright and need to be punished," "You broke the law, suck it up," and so on. Surely the law was broken, but I think you all missed the real issues.

The RIAA has historically enjoyed the lion's share of all the profits made by the music industry, because it controlled (monopolized) the means of production and distribution for said industry. A musician needed a record label, as the equipment required for the production of albums, and the infrastructure required for their distribution, was well beyond the financial means of the average artist. Since then, advances in technology have lowered the cost of equipment, and the Internet has made distribution a trivial task. In short, the RIAA has been rendered obsolete by technological progress.

Should the RIAA be allowed to litigate these technological advances out of existence, so that it can maintain its obsolete monopoly? No.

Does the RIAA deserve to maintain the profits that it reaps from both its artists and the public, even now that it is no longer necessary to the music industry? No.

Without the RIAA, we could directly pay a musician five dollars for a CD, we could choose from thousands of unique musical styles, and we could share the music with anyone we want. With the RIAA, we can pay twenty dollars for yet another coaster full of the same pop trash, and ninety percent of that money goes to a bunch of worthless middlemen who would call their customers thieves and criminals rather than acknowledge their own uselessness. Yes, filesharers are breaking the law, but more importantly, they're defying the status quo. They're paying what they think the music is worth, and they should continue as long as they can.

The RIAA isn't suing these people because it's been robbed. The RIAA is suing because it's afraid that technology has progressed too far to allow it to continue robbing people.
--
Ph-nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
Mising the issue? (2.18 / 11) (#79)
by Easyas123 on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 03:52:15 PM EST

Well no. the issue is simple. if you do not like the way a product is produced, marketed, or sold you do not steal it. if you break the law expect to get punished for it.

Two different issues at work here.

  1. If the RIAA et al overprice their product, we move to a different product with better prices.
  2. If the artists are getting ripped off, they stop working for the company. Of course that also means that a lot of the things that the artists get from the company outside of distro will be lost.
You speak of paying the artist directly as if they worked in a vaccum.

You may also want to take a look at your thousands of musicl styles argument. With micropayments of thousands of styles vs. limited funds to support that style, what do you think will happen?

People like filesharing because it is free. The 13 year old kid, or Johnny freshman with his univesity's DSL line is not interested in striking a blow for the art and against archaic copyright law. They simply like free shit.

***********************
As the wise men fortold.
[ Parent ]

A few points. (2.92 / 13) (#85)
by Xeriar on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 04:21:06 PM EST

Well no. the issue is simple. if you do not like the way a product is produced, marketed, or sold you do not steal it. if you break the law expect to get punished for it.

1: Downloading music is not stealing. This concept goes back to Thomas Jefferson and the idea of 'intellectual property' - "He who lights his taper at mine does not diminish me."

And the whole world is a little brighter, even.

2: Legality does not equate to morality. The RIAA has brought in some pretty immoral laws, allowing them to enforce contracts signed by minors, continue collecting debts after bankruptcy...

And even with all this, their claims to these copyrights are still dubious!

A law, does not make an injustice right or an act wrong. It is merely a decree by at least half or two-thirds of 537 people that a certain rule shall be obeyed.

By two hundred and ninety million people. It doesn't make it right.

----
When I'm feeling blue, I start breathing again.
[ Parent ]

You left out (2.57 / 7) (#87)
by Easyas123 on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 04:40:24 PM EST

The other side of the argument. If the property in question is veiwed as a commodity, not just an idea, it's stealing. If the idea is an actual product it is stealing.

The RIAA is morally wrong and leagally right. Theives of the P2P nature are wrong in both senses. What they do is illegal, and the moral action to take vs. the RIAA is not to steal, it is to buy elsewhere.

The actions the RIAA take agaist minors/the bankrupt are also not known to the majority of P2P folk. If they do not know of the actions of the RIAA then they have no claim to morality on that point.

***********************
As the wise men fortold.
[ Parent ]

Not theives, murderers (none / 1) (#178)
by Peaker on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 03:40:05 PM EST

Please don't underestimate the intensity of the crimes of those P2P murderers. Their copyright infringements do not constitute theft of copyright meterial, but the murder of creativity. In fact, P2P networks are actually genocide. I say, send those P2P traders to the Hag court!

If you didn't get it, I was sarcastic.

[ Parent ]

Yeah (none / 0) (#180)
by Easyas123 on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 04:10:00 PM EST

I juuust got it. If it had been better, I probably would have gotten it faster.

Now be good and let the grownups talk.

***********************
As the wise men fortold.
[ Parent ]

I've been taught this too (2.80 / 10) (#93)
by Golden Hawk on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 06:14:04 PM EST

-----
If the RIAA et al overprice their product, we move to a different product with better prices.
-----

I've been taught that if I don't like something, that I should protest it peacefully, rather than invasively retaliating against the system I disagree with.  This is a very enlightened philosophy in my opinion, because it is a non violent way of effecting change, and it gives the people we disagree with ample time to straighten up their act.

However, the poster seems to be associating the idea of copyrights to property, because this philosophy ('if you don't like it, then just don't buy it') is exactly the one that people are engaging in when they visit the P2P sites and obtain copied CDs.  In protest of the products that are being released by the RIAA member companies, they simply refuse to buy them.  In fact, they refuse to have anything to do with these companies.  They simply get their Nickelback or Micheal Jackson from another distributor.

When the poster falsly equates the song itself, (and not the CD) with property, then the song itself becomes part of the product.  This is the issue in dispute, NOT the issue of wether or not violating the law in this instance is a peaceful act of civil disobedience.
-- Daniel Benoy
[ Parent ]

It's good to know I'm not posting in a vacuum (none / 3) (#137)
by seraph93 on Sun Oct 19, 2003 at 01:12:14 AM EST

If the RIAA et al overprice their product, we move to a different product with better prices.

So go to the store and show me the different product, show me the better prices. Where are they? Locked out of the music store by RIAA contracts. So the easiest way to better prices is filesharing.

If the artists are getting ripped off, they stop working for the company.

And renege on their draconian contracts, get sued into oblivion, and never sell a CD in a mainstream store again.

With micropayments of thousands of styles vs. limited funds to support that style, what do you think will happen?

I think that people like Britney Spears (or whoever it is this week) will no longer be rich. I think that musical artists in general will have a harder time getting wealthy. What will happen as a result, is that the most popular artists will be judged on their musical talents and not their marketing skills. Musicians will make music because of a love of music and not a love of money. I think that's a good thing, but of course your mileage may vary.

People like filesharing because it is free, &c

Quite true. Joe Filesharer isn't doing this because he wants to strike a blow against archaic copyright law, but his quest for free shit has the side effect of striking that blow. So I support him, not because of his motivations, but because of the end result of his actions.
--
Ph-nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
[ Parent ]
Say what? (none / 2) (#157)
by Easyas123 on Mon Oct 20, 2003 at 03:39:11 PM EST

So go to the store and show me the different product, show me the better prices. Where are they? Locked out of the music store by RIAA contracts. So the easiest way to better prices is filesharing.
Ever been to a local show? Ever been to your favorite bands website? Have you tried iTunes or any of the other cheap downloading siites? Go to an indipendent record store. You can buy a used copy of a mainsteream CD or find some really good indy artists. There are your better prices and different products.

And renege on their draconian contracts, get sued into oblivion, and never sell a CD in a mainstream store again.
As opposed to when people steal the songs. What exactly does the artist get out of that? There is also the thought that if an artist decides to sign one of those contracts, then thats their deal. I am not even in the music busness and I know that the contracts are crap. But you can wait until the shoe is on the other foot. Take DMB as an example. Their contracts are, (reportedly), fair because they built themselves up first.

Musicians will make music because of a love of music and not a love of money. I think that's a good thing, but of course your mileage may vary.
Do you have any idea how impractical that is?
  1. In almost any city of a decent size there are at least 3 bands that are good enough that if you went to a show you would say: " These guys are great! I wonder whay they haven't made it big yet?" Knock this number up for cities of real size.
  2. Multiply that number by cities around the world that could support these local artists.
  3. Put all of those artists on the already crowded web.
How long do you you think it would take until some busness says: Hey! For a fee I'll increase your presence so that people will spend money on your songs? What would you get then? Same thing we have now? Good chance.

The best bet consumers have is to vote with our money as always. If lower profits are recorded due to filesharing, do you think that the RIAA is going to change their model or litigate their profits and get their $$$ back some other way?

There are better business models out there, failing to use them will only ensure that they do not survive.

***********************
As the wise men fortold.
[ Parent ]

Can't think of a good subject line (none / 0) (#201)
by seraph93 on Fri Oct 24, 2003 at 03:44:38 PM EST

...There are your better prices and different products.

Yes, but I'd like to see that sort of thing as the norm rather than the alternative.

As opposed to when people steal the songs. What exactly does the artist get out of that?

Publicity. Also, remember that filesharing is copyright infringement and not theft. Whether sharing a given file is illegal or not is determined by whoever holds the copyright. A lot of copyright holders don't want to face the fact that new technology has changed the rules of the game. Either they'll have to change their business models, or convince the courts to give them total control over our computers. Which would you rather see?

Do you have any idea how impractical that is?

Actually, it's far more practical than the RIAA model, for the simple fact that it takes into account that the old ways of the music industry are obsolete.

How long do you you think it would take until some busness says: Hey! For a fee I'll increase your presence so that people will spend money on your songs? What would you get then? Same thing we have now? Good chance.

If it's a new business that doesn't have a preexisting monopoly, then the chances are good that we'd get just an advertising company, and not the RIAA.

The best bet consumers have is to vote with our money as always. If lower profits are recorded due to filesharing, do you think that the RIAA is going to change their model or litigate their profits and get their $$$ back some other way?

The consumers are voting with their money (or lack thereof). And the RIAA is litigating.

There are better business models out there, failing to use them will only ensure that they do not survive.

Yes, there are better business models out there, but the RIAA would rather sue than use them, and in doing so ensures that the better models will have much difficulty attaining prominence. If this sort of thing had been allowed way back in the day, we'd all be paying royalties to the manufacturers of buggy whips every time we bought a car, and that's just ridiculous. But paying a fee to the recording industry for every spindle of CD-Rs you buy isn't. Why?
--
Ph-nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
[ Parent ]
I won't even bother to read rebutals. (none / 3) (#106)
by Vesperto on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 08:07:27 PM EST

Your coment was superb. Concise, straight to the point. I'd choose it for the Best Comment of the Year award.

If you disagree post, don't moderate.
[ Parent ]
I don't buy it. (2.83 / 6) (#113)
by Trepalium on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 10:11:40 PM EST

Artists that were signed to RIAA labels should've known what they were getting into. You simply do not sign a contract without either completely understanding it, or buy getting a lawyer who completely understands it to explain it to you. Anyone who got screwed in this method has themselves to blame as much as anyone else.

Should the RIAA be allowed to litigate these technological advances out of existence, so that it can maintain its obsolete monopoly? No.

Peer-to-peer applications that exist primarily for distributing copyrighted works without authorization? Hell yes, they should be able to litigate it out of existence. Digital music on computers in general? Of course not.

I firmly believe that the RIAA, and it's member companies are fully responsible for the advent of peer-to-peer filesharing. Since the late 90s, it was clear that the internet would provide the means for sending digital audio out to computers. I would say that by 1998, the music industry should've had digital music distribution initiative being started. By 2000, most of the bugs should've been out of the system, and the service would've been immensely popular. No, instead we're in late 2003, and serious digital music distribution services are just now being seriously set up.

Napster would've likely still happened in this timeline, but it's litigation into oblivion would've likely marked the end of peer-to-peer filesharing. KaZaA and Morpheus would not have really received the kind of attention they have today, and these lawsuits would have no reason to be happening. Instead, the recording companies dragged their feet (and are still dragging their feet), and delayed implementing these services because of fears about security of the digital files. While it's true it only takes one breach of the security in order to render the security more or less useless, but so long as the simple lock was enough that it would be easier to acquire the file legitimately versus illegitimately, that would be of little concern.

Copyright infringement will likely continue on forever. The RIAA can't stop it, after all, the BSA never could, and they've been going after people copying digital bits for a lot longer. It IS possible to compete with free in these cases. All you have to do is provide good value with less hassle than getting it via illegitimate channels. Look at Apple's iTunes, for example. It provided a certain measure of copy protection on the files they distributed. Tech savvy users could use the CD writing capabilities to by-pass the copy protection, but the price was close enough to being right, and the technical bar for breaking the protection was adequate to prevent most people from bothering to break it.



[ Parent ]
Alternatives? (3.00 / 7) (#117)
by irrevenant on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 02:03:46 AM EST

"Artists that were signed to RIAA labels should've known what they were getting into. You simply do not sign a contract without either completely understanding it, or buy getting a lawyer who completely understands it to explain it to you."

I think the original poster was making the point that the RIAA basically holds all the cards.  If you want to be big in music, you have to go through them and take whatever self-serving deal they offer you. i.e. there was no real alternative BUT to sign or fade.

Although you make a good point about the unfairness of the RIAA having greater access to legal counsel.

[ Parent ]

They did know. (none / 1) (#126)
by mindstrm on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 09:10:43 AM EST

And yes, it is copyright infringement.. but the point is still valid.

Consider, had this kind of technology existed out of nowhere, suddenly, before the recording industry developed the way it did, would it have ever existed in the first place? If not, why do we still need it now?

[ Parent ]

They did know. - sorry, too many pronouns. (none / 3) (#127)
by mindstrm on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 09:12:57 AM EST

And yes, it is copyright infringement.. but the point is still valid.

Consider, had p2p types of technology existed out of nowhere, suddenly, decades ago, before the recording industry had a chance to develop, would it have ever developed? Would we need the recording industry?

No, the idea would have been absurd.

So, how can it be valid now?

[ Parent ]

The RIAA is still useless (none / 2) (#139)
by seraph93 on Sun Oct 19, 2003 at 02:24:37 AM EST

Artists that were signed to RIAA labels should've known what they were getting into.

Yes, they knew. They knew they were getting into the only contract that they could sign, the only one that would get them on the radio, the only one that would get them on MTV. That's what happens when one group monopolizes an industry.

Peer-to-peer applications that exist primarily for distributing copyrighted works without authorization? Hell yes, they should be able to litigate it out of existence. Digital music on computers in general? Of course not.

Then radio should also be litigated out of existence. After all, it's primarily used to distribute copyrighted works that anyone with a tape recorder can copy without authorization. Yes, I know that peer-to-peer is different, but how different is it, really? What is the difference between hearing a song on the radio that you like and hearing the same song via Kazaa? Both are equally likely to distribute a popular song that makes someone want to buy an album, but peer-to-peer allows anyone to find out whether or not the rest of the album is actually worth twenty dollars. Apparently, most albums aren't, or the RIAA wouldn't be whining about lost profits. People like music, and I believe that they'd happily pay for music that they enjoy, but not as much as the RIAA wants them to pay. If the salaries of all the useless middlemen were cut out of the equation, I think that CDs would suddenly cost a fair price. The RIAA doesn't want to acknowledge that it's useless. It doesn't want to be cut out. Hence the lawsuits.

Digital music on computers in general will have to be litigated out of existence if the RIAA is to keep its piece of the pie. For every filesharing scheme that the RIAA destroys, two more will spring up to take its place. The only way to stop this is implementing Digital Restriction Management on every piece of computer hardware sold. I don't know about you, but I use my computer for more than consuming media, and I'd like to be able to continue doing that. I bought this hardware, and it should do what I tell it to, not what a bunch of monopolists think it should do.

I firmly believe that the RIAA, and it's member companies are fully responsible for the advent of peer-to-peer filesharing.

I don't know if the RIAA is responsible for peer-to-peer's advent, but they are certainly responsible for its popularity.

...[many good points about how the RIAA should have changed its business model to keep pace with technology]...

I entirely agree. I also think that the dinosaurs should have grown fur long before that meteor struck. But they didn't, and now they're extinct. The RIAA couldn't keep up with the times, but instead of going extinct, it's trying to sue the clocks into running backwards for a bit. I don't like that at all, and anything that helps speed the RIAA's demise is a good thing, in my book.

It IS possible to compete with free in these cases. All you have to do is provide good value with less hassle than getting it via illegitimate channels. Look at Apple's iTunes, for example.

iTunes is a step in the right direction, but there are still too many middlemen in the way, and the RIAA is still one of those middlemen. It costs too much, too little goes to the artist, the compression is too lossy, and DRM sucks. What I'd really like to see more of are record labels like Magnatune. Five (or more, if you want) dollars an album, half the money goes to the artist, and you can share the music with anyone you want. And the RIAA doesn't make a penny from it.
--
Ph-nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
[ Parent ]
Other good independent labels (3.00 / 4) (#151)
by Holmes Wilson on Mon Oct 20, 2003 at 01:57:03 AM EST

Magnatune is really cool, but don't forget about the hundreds of indie labels who've been around for years and who do great stuff.

Def Jux, Saddle Creek, K Records, Constellation, Secretly Canadian.  Those are all real good labels too.  I'm not sure exactly how big a cut each of their artists gets (probably 40-70%) but they provide a huge service to their bands.  Robb Nansel of Saddle Creek plays backup instruments for Saddle Creek bands, and K-Records founder Calvin Johnson is probably one of the best lo-fi producers in the world.

Plus, if a band is on labels like that, people in certain music communities will pay attention to them.  The labels are like community editors.

[ Parent ]

The Difference (3.00 / 4) (#164)
by curunir on Mon Oct 20, 2003 at 07:44:35 PM EST

Then radio should also be litigated out of existence. After all, it's primarily used to distribute copyrighted works that anyone with a tape recorder can copy without authorization. Yes, I know that peer-to-peer is different, but how different is it, really?

Radio stations pay money to ASCAP/BMI/SESAC for the privilege of distributing content over the airwaves. Not that this validates anything that the RIAA is doing, but it is a significant difference in that a legal compromise was reached by the involved parties that provides a mechanism to compensate the copyright holder.

Personally, I believe that the laws will need to be changed in order for the RIAA to be forced to change it's business model. Upwards of 60 million users use P2P applications to trade files. It's pretty clear that, regardless of how the law is written, a significant percentage of the population believes that sharing files in a non-commercial fashion fits within their moral concept of fair use. Any time this many people become criminals (err...civilly liable) seemingly overnight, the law they're violating should be thoroughly re-examined.

[ Parent ]
you wackos (1.03 / 27) (#88)
by codejack on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 04:45:32 PM EST

I find myself in the position of supporting the RIAA; As an aspiring corporate raider, I only wish they would quit pussy-footing around with these people; they ought to throw the book and garnish 95% of these criminals wages for the rest of their lives. they could even get the laws changed so it would hit their kids, too! this would create a permanent under class which they could then force to work (basically for nothing), driving profit margins through the roof. You wackos keep on harping on "Intellectual Property" reform, and how "unfair" this all is, I'm going to buy stock!


Please read before posting.

We're the wackos? (2.00 / 6) (#94)
by razumiking on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 06:22:41 PM EST

Where do these people come from?

As an aspiring corporate raider

I'm sure your mother is very proud.

I only wish they would quit pussy-footing around with these people;

Yeah, well, in America we have this thing called "due process." Look into it.

they ought to throw the book and garnish 95% of these criminals wages for the rest of their lives.

You're a republican aren't you? File sharers are terrorists! Patriot Act! Part of what has made America the home of the free (until now) has been civil disobediance. If a law is unjust, you have a moral imperative to defy it the same way soldiers have an obligation to defy immoral orders.

they could even get the laws changed so it would hit their kids, too!

I can't believe you would even say that. That is just disgusting.

this would create a permanent under class which they could then force to work (basically for nothing), driving profit margins through the roof.

Oh yes! It will be just like Victorian England! We'll have debtors prisons and twelve year old girls will have to become prositutes to keep their mothers who "stole" a Britney Spears song twenty years ago from dying of consmption! Yeah, that sounds really good.

You wackos keep on harping on "Intellectual Property" reform, and how "unfair" this all is, I'm going to buy stock!

You should read some history. This sort of attitude is what led to Fascist Italy. Of course, Republicans can't be bothered with history, they'd rather just stick to their Fox News and Olde Tyme religion. You propose to profit directly from from the suffering of your own countrymen. Most of them teenagers and college students! It's just stunning to hear the way you people think.

Well, I don't think you'll be singing the same tune when they catch your son or daughter "pirating" the new Eminem album and you end up having 95% of your wages garnished for the rest of your life. It's not fun to be on food stamps. And I guess your kids won't be going to college either, since they'll be convicted felons. They'll probably even be tried under the Patriot Act! But you love your Patriot Act! Round up them terrorists! Yah!

[ Parent ]

Hello, Mr. Sarcasm-Impaired Cretin. (none / 4) (#130)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 03:41:35 PM EST

You have a mental deficit that prevents you from understanding the parent poster. Do not let it discourage you, sarcasm-impairment is a very real psychiatric condition that affects 17 million people just in the United States alone. You are not alone. And there is treatment for this. Please contact a psychiatric professional today, and within a few weeks, your treatment regimen and therapy will allow you to understand what people really mean so that these kuro5hin posts don't just zoom right over your head.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
Oh, sarcasm is it? (none / 1) (#131)
by razumiking on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 05:20:55 PM EST

As someone who holds a degree in Psychology, I think I can spot sarcasm when I see it. I took a course that spent half a semester on the various aspects of it for crying out loud!

My sarcasm radar didn't get much on this post. Maybe you can help me, though, you being such an expert and all. Could you please explain what, exactly, makes you think the author is being sarcastic?

[ Parent ]

On a more serious note. (none / 1) (#132)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 07:26:51 PM EST

If you are asking me what specific phrases or turns of thought suggest that it is sarcasm, I can't specify one. Maybe your courses were geared toward sarcasm in a spoken enviroment, where body language and intonation play a key role. *shrug*

Still, sarcasm of the printed word is far from a new thing, predating the internet by hundreds, if not thousands of years. (Weren't there greeks who polished this sort of thing? Seems that several of the classic comedies had quite a bit of it.) This just screams sarcasm to me, and is the sort of thing I might write, were I in a sarcastic mood. Intuition, or whatever it is, won't allow me to read through it without getting that impression. Then again, maybe I am reading too much into it.

Just one reality check though... no one suggests debtors prisons or inherited debts in a serious way. They're either trying to be humorous, or bitterly sarcastic, or at least some mix of those two.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

Look, I've got a PhD in humour (none / 1) (#133)
by omrib on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 07:48:27 PM EST

and I don't find it funny. Something here must be wrong - my diploma says I can spot humour when I see one.

oxo


[ Parent ]

you're right (none / 1) (#136)
by codejack on Sun Oct 19, 2003 at 12:50:53 AM EST

I was not being sarcastic, I really mean what I posted, and actually I WAS suggesting a form of debtor's prison, modified for maximum production; why jail them when they can work? and building jails is a needless waste of resources, we'll just build forts to keep them OUT, and that'll be cheaper. besides, we're going to need all the protection we can get if all that crap about environmentalism is actually true; and I'm certainly not going to be the one to tell my children that they're going to die because I couldn't get them into the protective forts because I couldn't afford it!
On the other hand, there will be a higher class of plebeian to act as servants, and we'll need some of them to live, also; see, all of you may have a chance yet! but not with this self-righteous attitude that everyone is "entitled" to live. that's why President Bush (who, while an idiot, is a very malleable idiot, with all that god-talk he spews, very popular; We call him "Stud" to his face, and "Dud" behind his back, isn't that a hoot?) is rolling back all that "New Deal" nonsense the commies got passed into law. See? we were right; tell the people they're "entitled" to social security, then medicare, then universal health care, then access to an underground fortress to live through an environmental apocalypse; sorry folks, there just won't be enough space inside, so, some of y'all gotta stay. I'd start saving now.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Well thank you! (none / 1) (#134)
by razumiking on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 08:13:14 PM EST

If you are asking me what specific phrases or turns of thought suggest that it is sarcasm,

Yes...

I can't specify one.

Oh, I see. So a minute ago, I'm an idiot for not "seeing" this "sarcasm" of yours, but now you say you can't point it out yourself.

Still, sarcasm of the printed word is far from a new thing, predating the internet by hundreds, if not thousands of years. (Weren't there greeks who polished this sort of thing? Seems that several of the classic comedies had quite a bit of it.)

You're erudition is astounding. Perhaps you can give me an equally condescending lecture on how long irony has been used in texts too. Certainly though, as the printing press was an innovation of the renaissance, sarcasm in this form could not have a history of thousands of years.

This just screams sarcasm to me, and is the sort of thing I might write, were I in a sarcastic mood.

Fascinating. It sounds like the kind of thing I would write if I were a rabid NRA member with a subscription to Reason magazine.

Then again, maybe I am reading too much into it.

Yes, maybe so.

Just one reality check though... no one suggests debtors prisons or inherited debts in a serious way.

Right. You ever listen to Rush Limbaugh? He advocates much crazier crap than that. Have you ever sat in traffic next to a guy listening to that garbage? Nodding his head, sometimes saying "Hell yeah" or whatever other redneckism comes to mind? I know I have. These people are real and with the advent of new "user friendly" internet, they're all over the place. Try checking out freerepublic.com and you'll see a lot more of the same. These nut jobs are running this site into the ground. People talking about how Rodney King is some evil thug (AND using scare quotes around "beating"! I mean, what the hell is that supposed to mean?) or how great it is that the US "Liberated" Iraq. This place is flooded with crazies. So yeah, I'm sorry if I try to talk some sense into these people. I've mostly just read and lurked in the past, but I just can't take it anymore...

Anyway, in the future you might try to be a little less insulting when you don't really have a case for yourself.

[ Parent ]

hello my friend (none / 1) (#144)
by d s oliver h on Sun Oct 19, 2003 at 05:47:49 AM EST

they could even get the laws changed so it would hit their kids, too! this would create a permanent under class which they could then force to work (basically for nothing) this is what tipped me off that the fellow was being sarcastic. one must take what one reads on the internet with a grain of salt, as the old phrase would have it. perhaps it is more difficult to detect sarcasm without being able to hear a person's tone of voice but this is quite clearly sarcasm. also "corporate raider" is not something i could imagine anyone ever seriously identifying themselves as. and stop fighting with that other person! no need for all this anger.

[ Parent ]
Thanks, Dad (none / 1) (#145)
by razumiking on Sun Oct 19, 2003 at 01:21:04 PM EST

Look, I've read the pub.rec. FAQ. I'm simply trying to get you people to appreciate that these guys, guy like the author of the post in question, exist. He even explicitly says he wasn't being sarcastic right here:

https://www.kuro5hin.org/comments/2003/10/16/14350/583/133#133

I mean, it doesn't get much clearer. For all the condescension around here, it sure doesn't seem like people have any reason to actually believe their claims.

As for the corporate raiders bit, have you ever seen the movie Wall Street? It was actually fashionable to identify oneself as a corporate raider in 80s and with the way the crazies are taking over again now, I'm sure we'll see more of that in the coming years. Of course, now they'll be called "corporate crusaders" instead.

I think you need to get out more. i know where I live, you can't throw a can of Billy Beer without hitting a fanatic like this guy. THEY ARE ALL OVER THE PLACE. I don't know... maybe it's the slashdot reality dsitortion fied or something... The point is, these people are for real.

[ Parent ]

okay (none / 1) (#146)
by d s oliver h on Sun Oct 19, 2003 at 01:33:50 PM EST

i accept what you say totally.

[ Parent ]
degreei n Psychology (none / 1) (#160)
by andreiko on Mon Oct 20, 2003 at 04:56:36 PM EST

"As someone who holds a degree in Psychology"

I hope you are not practicing your degree. Your righteousness will never experience empathy.

And without empathy you are unable to feel someone's suffering.

Which means that you are capable of infinite cruelty without even realizing it. It means you are capable of making people suffer again and again because you like it or because your righteousness says it's right, whatever. And this is what control is all about.

Get a grip, man! Your knowledge does not make you better, just more knowledgeable. If you don't make your choices from your heart, you are as useful as an imperfect dictionary.

These people's lives and future are being destroyed. Their actions have NOT led to anything close to the PUNISHMENT they get. This is sadistic bullying, this is beheading a thief in the public square with the purpose of inflicting terror in the rest of the population.

Scary thing is the population watches.

[ Parent ]

that's funny (none / 0) (#187)
by codejack on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 11:33:37 PM EST

I hope he is practising; he seems to have alot more insight than the rest of you. of course, it may also be because he shares my attitudes, that the rest of you are sheep, and deserve whatever you get. I applaud razumiking's courage in clearly stating what needs to be said, that this "huggy-feely" nonsense spewed by the majority of practising psychologists that what people "feel" matters. they are animals. animals don't feel; how else can you justify eating them? that razumiking would stand up here, on this bastion liberal free speech, and advocate cannibalism just goes to show that there are decent, goddess-fearing people in the world still. happy Samhain, raz!


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
As someone who holds a degree in psychology, (none / 1) (#171)
by ph0rk on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 12:27:29 PM EST


I can tell you all that its a worthless piece of crap!  Go get a real degree!

.
[ f o r k . s c h i z o i d . c o m ]
[ Parent ]

Yeah, right (none / 0) (#173)
by epepke on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 01:42:06 PM EST

Like you really understand sarcasm.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
thanks, troll. (none / 4) (#159)
by andreiko on Mon Oct 20, 2003 at 04:45:15 PM EST

Hey why don't we cut a finger off the hand of everyone who sings "Happy Birthday" without paying a license fee?

Anyway, I enjoyed reading your post because

  • it's a great example of trolling
  • it's a great example of the sickening phylosophy that out-of-scale revenge and punishment will make a better society
Have a nice day and make sure that nobody in your family commits the crime of copyright infringement. This might take most of your free time but it might be worth it.

Have a nice day.

[ Parent ]

we have a winner! (none / 1) (#186)
by codejack on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 11:08:48 PM EST

was it good for you, too?




Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
YHBT. (none / 0) (#199)
by valar on Thu Oct 23, 2003 at 06:04:19 PM EST

HAND.

[ Parent ]
Congratulations, Kurobots (1.08 / 23) (#115)
by Kasreyn on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 11:25:16 PM EST

I'm proud to see that a person with no comments or stories posted can come here, dump a massive advertisement in the queue, and have it go FP.

After all, it would be a sin to -1 anything that bashes the RIAA and has lots of links, right? Those mean it's good no matter what!


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
A common misunderstanding (none / 3) (#118)
by Holmes Wilson on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 02:29:04 AM EST

Many misunderstood that the person who posted this piece (me) was the musician linked to on the front page.  I'm not, and I hadn't heard of him until a few weeks ago, when he emailed me offering to donate proceeds from his CD to the defense fund.

His story is a good example of how there are musicians on both sides of this debate, so I mentioned him in the article (along with another independent record label I read about that's taking a stand against the lawsuits--GoKart records).  What he's doing is a great gesture that will really help some people who need it, so I linked to his page.

Did you misunderstand that I was Scott LePera?


[ Parent ]

Yes (none / 2) (#120)
by Aphexian on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 03:01:28 AM EST

Absolutely! Novel ideas must suffer if not validated by a majority of a tiny little (and mostly silent outside of this website) minority! Oops, it got voted to the front page... Damn, guess it was a majority of the minority after all.

Okay, Consumerism must die! Capitalism has no place in America, never did!! Crap, wrong again... damn... Uhhh...

People are completely self-interested, as evidenced by the links in the article... Oh wait, proceeds were being distributed to a selfless cause... Man I'm really sucking at backing you up here... Hmmmm....

What a selfish, selfish maneuver these CROOKS attempt to apply! Oh wait, I donated $20.

You have every constitutional right to call me an idiot for doing so, however I think that when a majority of the population of the US approves of something (even indirectly) then the democratic/representative government should enact laws for it - not against it.

Personally, with the relocation of the labor market to foreign countries and the unhealthy level of unemployment in this nation, I'm happy to donate the cost of a CD to a worthwhile cause. There's an added benefit that my money might actually stay in THIS economy as opposed to another.

Crap. I guess I don't agree with you at all - just as a matter of logic. Hope I didn't waste your time.


[I]f there were NO religions, there would be actual, true peace... Bunny Vomit
[ Parent ]

first post. (none / 1) (#143)
by dianetics on Sun Oct 19, 2003 at 04:17:58 AM EST

Oh wait, I donated $20.

liar!


     -- Signed, Sergi Datchev, Amateur Dianetics Auditor.
[ Parent ]

Word to the Kurobots (none / 2) (#140)
by seraph93 on Sun Oct 19, 2003 at 02:36:37 AM EST

Y'know, for being a vapid, empty advertisement, this story has generated quite a bit of good discussion. So at least in that respect, it's a pretty good story. I'm happy it made the front page. Keep up the good work, Kurobots!

(Nice sig, by the way)
--
Ph-nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
[ Parent ]
Are you a chick? (1.07 / 14) (#138)
by wij on Sun Oct 19, 2003 at 01:14:59 AM EST

I thought you were a guy. After all, Holmes Wilson is a very male-sounding name. But I ran your article though this site, and it says you're a chick!

R U really a girl?

"I am an intellectual of great merit, yet I am not adequately compensated for this by capitalism; this is the reason for my opposition to it."

Not for me... (1.75 / 4) (#142)
by KrispyKringle on Sun Oct 19, 2003 at 02:56:11 AM EST

It told me it thinks the author is male. Maybe it was having a bad day.

[ Parent ]
Maybe I write like a girl... (2.00 / 5) (#150)
by Holmes Wilson on Mon Oct 20, 2003 at 01:50:35 AM EST

But I'm definitely a dude.  That's a hot site.  Why do you have a quote from Ann Coulter in your sig file, dude?

[ Parent ]
perfectly correct, sir (1.00 / 4) (#147)
by codejack on Sun Oct 19, 2003 at 03:20:12 PM EST

exactly, our supporters are everywhere, it's jsut a matter of time, now. soon, those of you who insist on this pathetic attempt at resistance will be left out in the apocalypse, while those who are loyal will be allowed to live as our servants. Well, some anyway; there won't be enough room for everyone in the Environmental Apocalypse Underground Fortress. we'll probably use a lottery system to see who gets to sell all their descendants into slavery and join us in the EAUF. We really need to change the name of it though, something with a better acronym than EAUF. I just don't think it will market well to the kids.
Anyway, you better get into line now, because obviously, Republicans will have first dibs. the only thing democrats are in line for is a heap of trouble if they keep poking into our secret projects; I swear, the aliens are about to go ape shit if one more person stumbles on to them. Just the other day, Xemus was telling us to hurry it up; We made a deal that they would quit randomly abducting folks until our plans are set, then they get the pick of everyone outside. So they are understandably anxious to get the whole thing over with, and, hey, it's not like we can force them to keep their end of the bargain, y'know? they could start abducting people again any time now, for all we know, they already are! so settle down, get a job at mcdonald's, and you may just have a shot at unending servitude for you and all your descendants.


Please read before posting.

Hmmm...I haven't seen you at the meetings... (none / 2) (#168)
by simul on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 09:20:35 AM EST

Link 1

Link 2

Read this book - first 24 pages are free to browse - it rocks
[ Parent ]

Ha! (none / 1) (#183)
by codejack on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 09:27:13 PM EST

wrong group of elitists there, buddy! that bunch of sissified wannabe jews couldn't build an apocalypse-proof fortress with 5 years production of legos and 700 pounds of Jack Daniels! I mean, come on; 3 generations of eugenics and we get... George W. Bush!?!?
no, it's quite obvious that that particular group will have to be shot into space and blown up to purify the gene pool, just one more reason we have to get cracking!


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
public execution (2.00 / 6) (#161)
by andreiko on Mon Oct 20, 2003 at 04:57:42 PM EST

These people's lives and future are being destroyed. Their actions have NOT led to anything close to the PUNISHMENT they get. This is sadistic bullying, this is beheading a thief in the public square with the purpose of inflicting terror in the rest of the population.

Scary thing is the population watches.

No longer do we watch... (none / 3) (#167)
by simul on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 08:47:24 AM EST

We start things like the ACLU and "legal defense funds" and we contribute to them.

When the public fights back as a collective, it is unstoppable.

Read this book - first 24 pages are free to browse - it rocks
[ Parent ]

but will they fight back? (none / 2) (#179)
by xcham on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 03:47:25 PM EST

The ACLU might fight back, small pockets of resistance will always exist - but the population en masse remains oblivious to things that don't directly concern them. The main reason that the DMCA slipped through the cracks is that in general, the people of the USA (really everywhere but especially in America, it seems) are passive, apathetic, altogether pitiful creatures who can't see the bigger picture and won't until it's too late.

Recall how in George Orwell's Animal Farm the animals entrusted the pigs with their safety and well-being, and the laws on the barn door slowly changed, gradually being replaced, but the other animals were too dumb to know the difference. Whenever something controversial came up, like one horse being carted off to the "hospital" (or rather the glue factory) there were always a few who spoke out, but they were dismissed as maniacs... and the laws continued to change until by the end, the barn door read that "ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS." I think that makes about as much sense as the DMCA, don't you?

Freedoms will be slowly lifted from beneath us unless everyone is alert and constantly on the watch for those who would take them away from us. While there are people (the readers of K5, for sure) who can think critically and seek out the big picture, we're still a minority. You can educate people all you like but you can't make them start caring. Sadly, even people just like them getting the shaft (i.e. lawsuits from the RIAA) won't provoke most people to start caring.

So what the hell can we do? If evidence stares them in the face that this could happen to you and people still don't listen/don't care, I'd say the situation really is hopeless. Perhaps that's why despite all sorts of scientific evidence that smoking can fuck you four ways from Sunday, teenagers still start smoking. It's illogical, unexplainable, and stupid. But that's the way people these days are. The human mind has the capability to rationalize just about anything, including apathy, and that'll be the ultimate downfall here.



[ Parent ]
the Internet has changed that (none / 0) (#213)
by simul on Tue Nov 11, 2003 at 12:00:43 PM EST

defence of free speech online *is* a powerful defence of our freedoms

Read this book - first 24 pages are free to browse - it rocks
[ Parent ]
What have they done? (1.85 / 7) (#163)
by svampa on Mon Oct 20, 2003 at 07:02:48 PM EST

You may agree that copyright must be defended, but the fact is that the family is guitly of nothing, they haven't done any real damage. RIAA can't say "because of this family we will lose bilions". RIAA may say "But a lot of people like this, really damages the system". Perhaps, but in order to defend a general principle you can't crush a family.

I wonder if a Music Company has a weird accounting system, the CEO's and main share holders' families have to pay an amount equivalent to what they could have earn in 20 years and all their properties seized. Perhaps they are not guilty but if every body does de the same...taxes must be paid.

I think something is wrong when Eron's responsibles, that have done illegal acts and have really damaged a lot of people, have problems but live like kings, and a family that has done nothing is going to hell in order to defend the general priciple of copyright.



What's the goal here? (3.00 / 10) (#165)
by epepke on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 03:12:18 AM EST

I can see raising money to fight the RIAA, using some of the accused as test cases. Or of getting seed money for the purpose of winning more money from the RIAA from countersuits. Or even getting money to promote awareness of what is going on. This is quite reasonable.

Face it, people. The DMCA and associated measures, with their draconian remedies ($150,000 per song?) passed because the same ordinary, hard-working folk that this is supposed to defend couldn't possibly have been arsed to care at all, or do anything but vote for the guy with the Nicest Necktie. I've talked to people for years about why they shouldn't support such measures, and the answer is always "We Didn't Know," as if it were some kind of mantra that if you repeat it often enough everything becomes OK.

The RIAA is doing a great favor by going after little people, rather than the vast CD-duplicating schemes in Asia which they would go after if they actually cared so much about piracy (which they don't), because it brings awareness to the people who might actually be arsed the next time. One of the basic rules of politics: when the enemy is shooting themselves in the foot, let them.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


an interesting take on it... (none / 5) (#175)
by xcham on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 03:28:16 PM EST

But certainly a less than comapssionate one. You yourself admit the lengths to which the RIAA and other mind-bogglingly evil organizations (read: MPAA) are ridiculous. While it sure as hell serves to set an example, but you said it yourself - the answer is usually "We didn't know." proving that the example-setting paradigm doesn't work.

Punitive measures aren't the answer no matter how you look at it, especially with these proportions. While you may reduce it to any degree of simple implication that you like, "play in the mud, therefore get dirty"... it doesn't make suing these people out of house and home for breach of copyright any less cruel, any less ridiculous. Anyone who thinks it's OKAY to hold these people accountable for millions of dollars that the defendants don't have (and the record companies don't need/deserve) really needs to check their pulse and see if they're still human. This isn't justice, this is socioeconomic torture.

To frame it in a different context, being sued for such an enormous amount of money is a good deal more devastating and crippling than being convicted of murder. Jail being what it may, I'd prefer it over a life of destitution in the outside world - 25 years in a cell is a more attractive option than spending the rest of my life working ridiculously hard and handing over nearly every penny to pay off a debt. I don't care who you talk to, in what arena of philosophy, you'll find that the right to live is held in much higher regard than intellectual property rights. And yet the punishment for violating the latter is much worse than for that of the former. Our society's priorities need serious re-evaluation.



[ Parent ]
Who owns compassion? (none / 2) (#181)
by epepke on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 04:35:05 PM EST

As I said, if the goal is to extract even greater quantities of money from the RIAA or to get some test cases to challenge the laws, then it's quite reasonble. Since you've decided I'm not compassionate, I have to guess that you've decided that these are bad, uncompassionate goals. If the goal is instead to provide a de facto revenue stream for the RIAA to reward them for being assholes, you have to factor that into the equation.

Punitive measures aren't the answer no matter how you look at it, especially with these proportions. While you may reduce it to any degree of simple implication that you like, "play in the mud, therefore get dirty"... it doesn't make suing these people out of house and home for breach of copyright any less cruel, any less ridiculous.

And giving the RIAA some money (most of these cases are settled out of court) to pay them off so that they'll go bother someone else is going to fix this problem exactly how?


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
It's really sad how adrift they are (1.66 / 6) (#170)
by daragh on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 11:26:55 AM EST

But it's hard to keep up with these issues when you approach them from the "outside", i.e. if you are just an end user that doesn't think about these things a lot of the time.

No work.

Cancelling Copyright (2.66 / 9) (#177)
by Peaker on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 03:38:05 PM EST

Copyright was historically used in an environment where copying was difficult, and simple individuals were not affected by copyright restrictions. Thus, limiting people's freedom with some works for 14 or 28 years was pretty much balanced with the extra incentive to create works that eventually go into the public domain.

Today, copying is trivial and greatly limits the freedom of people, without creating anything that goes into the public domain. This is obviously disturbing the balance between the limitation on freedom of people and the incentive to create new works that eventually promote Science and Useful Arts by entering the public domain.

What if the following alternative is used:

  • No limitation on copying works
  • Part of the tax is defined "intellectual works fee"
  • People may, if they want, control which intellectual works creator gets a part of their fee (fee votes). Their obvious interest is to promote the creations that they use. Most of the fee would go according to the total of all fee votes.

    This system would not only be enforcable (as opposed to the currently unenforcable copyright system), but also waste a lot less resources on unnecessary intellectual-works duplication that results from copyright, copyright protection mechanisms, licensing complications, etc.

    Do you not think this would serve the explicit purpose of copyright (Promoting Science and Useful Arts) a lot more than the current system, which only serves intellectual works creators, but not society as a whole?

    Is this not the inevitable result of the in-enforcability of copyright?

  • This is a bad idea (none / 1) (#191)
    by kurtmweber on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 04:11:40 PM EST

    The creator of a work has every right to control the distribution of his works and the terms under which they are distributed.

    Kurt Weber
    Any field of study can be considered 'complex' when it starts using Hebrew letters for symbols.--me
    [ Parent ]
    Why don't you back up your claims? (none / 2) (#193)
    by Peaker on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 04:47:13 PM EST

    Why does the creator of a work have every right to control the distribution of his works?

    How does this add up with limited times of copyrights (originally 14/28 years)?

    Why are the rights of creators more important than the freedom and general good of society?

    [ Parent ]

    No basic moral right (none / 0) (#209)
    by error 404 on Mon Oct 27, 2003 at 11:15:42 AM EST

    Copyright is a mechanism for getting creators of works paid, and was invented because people considered creating works to be a good thing, a thing to be encouraged, a thing that someone should be able to make a living at and thereby get very good at it.

    If you can think of another good way to get artists and musicians writers paid - not neccessarily to get rich, but to be able to pursue their craft full-time - without govornment subsidy being the main source of income, there are lots of people who want to hear it.

    Copyright is failing in the field of music. The failure isn't that end users are obtaining music without paying, it is that the musicians (other than the occasional star) aren't being paid. And they weren't being paid before MP3 either. The non-payment of musicians rests on the shoulders of the music industry, not the file sharing individuals. The labels are still making enough money to pay the musicians, it would just cut into profits.

    That being said, the law is what it is, and I haven't heard anything here to indicate people breaking it for any better reason than to obtain goods and services without paying for them. There has been some well-deserved and possibly beneficial collateral damage, but that doesn't make it right. The RIAA is treating the customer base the way they have been treating the talent base (all but the very top) all along. Maybe people will notice. Probably not.

    If you want corporate music, pay The Man. Otherwise, pay the musician.


    ..................................
    Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
    - Donovan

    [ Parent ]

    Is it illegal for somebody (2.75 / 4) (#188)
    by mirleid on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 08:17:46 AM EST

    ...to download a copy of a song which he/she already owns (ie, has a legally bought copy of a CD containing it)?

    And before you ask: "because he/she is too stupid/lazy/impaired/whatever to figure out how EAC works"...

    Chickens don't give milk
    No. (none / 1) (#189)
    by scanman on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 09:53:24 AM EST

    It's not illegal to download any music. It's illegal to allow others to download music from you (share).

    "[You are] a narrow-minded moron [and] a complete loser." - David Quartz
    "scanman: The moron." - ucblockhead
    "I prefer the term 'lifeskills impaired'" - Inoshiro

    [ Parent ]

    Just fight the system? (1.33 / 6) (#190)
    by ylikone on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 01:59:40 PM EST

    Somebody should organize these people that are being sued and help them defend themselves... with guns. I mean, just ignore the court orders, when the police come for you just make sure you have the support of your local militia group. Hey, the US is practically heading toward a civil war because of Bush anyway.

    *sigh* (none / 0) (#198)
    by valar on Thu Oct 23, 2003 at 05:57:07 PM EST

    That is the silliest thing I have heard all day. It also has complete disregard for the fact that America has been in similar circumstances before. I don't like Bush, but you have to understand that none of this is new-- Bush is like Reagan-lite, ok. Breath in, breath out, calm down. It is going to be ok.

    [ Parent ]
    No, Bush is not Reagan-like (none / 0) (#200)
    by jjayson on Fri Oct 24, 2003 at 04:59:44 AM EST

    Reagan won 49 states in his reelection. I doubt people like Bush nearly as much.
    _______
    Smile =)
    A determined United Europe army would probably get their butts kicked by an LA street gang! — Parent ]
    sarcasm (none / 0) (#211)
    by ylikone on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 10:02:25 AM EST

    I wasn't being serious in my suggestion...

    [ Parent ]
    You know (1.00 / 9) (#192)
    by kurtmweber on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 04:12:09 PM EST

    Maybe if they just hadn't stolen stuff this lawsuit wouldn't have happened? Has that ever crossed anyone's mind?

    Kurt Weber
    Any field of study can be considered 'complex' when it starts using Hebrew letters for symbols.--me
    Ethics 101 (none / 0) (#206)
    by nairobiny on Sun Oct 26, 2003 at 06:12:58 PM EST

    Has it ever crossed your mind that there's more to ethics than "This is the law... don't break it!"?

    [ Parent ]
    Truth. (1.00 / 4) (#194)
    by weshouldbegood on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 10:13:43 PM EST

    I think it's fairly obvious that the kids know what they are doing is illegal. All I hear is that they know it's illegal but they don't care. They figure someone else will get in trouble - not them. As for parents, yes, sure they're troubled after they get the lawsuits but parents have to question where their kids are getting all of this free music. Common sense would tell them that if there kid has a whole lot of music s/he probablly has it illegally. They just don't care. Not until they get the lawsuit. Then it's all tears and such. If parents aren't willing to be responsible and stop criminal behaviour in their kids at an early age I see no problem in the parents paying the lawsuits. The suits are excessive, there is really no doubt, but the settlements don't seem to be. $3,000 is bearable. Having your children grow up as criminals is not.

    Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. - I Corinthians 6:9-10 (KJV)





    "DotCom - The box said "requires Windows 95 or better." So I installed Linux"
    Reality (none / 1) (#195)
    by codejack on Thu Oct 23, 2003 at 01:37:25 AM EST

    sorry, man; "leaving aside the existence of god issue...," it's just not gonna happen. it's like jay walking, or cheating on your taxes. everyone does it. everyone knows everyone does it. there is no realistic way to stop it. hey, RIAA, show some adaptability.

    as far as my children growing up to be criminals, well, here's my top ten list;
    10. they will anyway, if they're anything like me. I mean, Hunter S. Thompson was my hero for several years, and i strove to imitate "Duke" probably waaaay too often for my peace of mind concerning my kids' probable teenage exploits.
    9. at least they'll have a chance at becoming president.
    8. you've never broken a law in your entire life? not even cut a tag off a mattress? (rimshot for another cheesy mattress tag joke)
    7. 2.5 million american prison inmates can't be wrong!
    6. apparently, you have to screw up majorly before being reborn; what'd you do? (FYI, I was born OK the first time.)
    5. civil disobedience is the only consistent american virute. all sides seem to condone this practice, at least for their fellow ideologues.
    4. when you raise a the perfect child, call me. I have a bridge to sell.
    3. In an effort to "meta" everthing I possibly can, an attempt at a "meta-top ten list" is here.
    2. I'm rich and white, I can get my kids out of trouble. (sarcasm. this note is here because of razumiking.)
    and the number 1 thing I'm discussing, whatever it is (sorry, I lost track back around number 9):
    1. when the madness finally comes down from the mountain, and the rats have left their usual internicine conflict, and are running rampant through the streets of our hometown, like some twisted midwest holiday like beet harvest day gone wrong with lawyers and guns, someone's gonna have to be left over to pick survivors out of the wreckage, and, if they're wearing ties, bury them again; but those few will be the criminals, the wretched masses forever looking over their shoulder for the next shafting they know is coming. even then, the odds aren't good; the latest gallup poll shows that fewer than 14% of criminals have adequate supplies of beer, cigarettes, and central nervous system depressants to make it through the coming apocalypse, and half of them probably lied.


    maybe the muslims are right; the great satan is here, slavering for souls and pissed because his ISP is down and he can't download MP3's and rip off those hard-working, innocent recording industry executives. he's pushing broadband, and hoping the free flow of information will be our doom, because neither bush, nor nuclear weapons, nor the ice-capades have managed it so far, despite their best efforts.


    There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.
    Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Ch. III, "White Blackmail"



    Please read before posting.

    [ Parent ]
    Reality (none / 2) (#208)
    by weshouldbegood on Sun Oct 26, 2003 at 09:33:15 PM EST

    > sorry, man; "leaving aside the existence of god issue...," it's just not gonna happen. it's like jay walking, or cheating on your taxes.

    You say this, yet when you get hit by a car or brought to court for fraud you want society to help you. If you jay walk and get hit by a car you should pay your own hospital bill. In the same way if you're bold enough to think that you can steal from artists you can pay your own RIAA bill.

    > everyone does it. everyone knows everyone does it. there is no realistic way to stop it. hey, RIAA, show some adaptability.

    Not everyone cheats on their taxes nor J-walks. It can be reduced by giving large, very large fines to people and making it known that if you steal there are consequences.


    > as far as my children growing up to be criminals, well, here's my top ten list;

    It sounds like you're giving up without even a fight for your kids. Like saying "oh well, too much work, probably wouldn't help anyhow."



    "DotCom - The box said "requires Windows 95 or better." So I installed Linux"
    [ Parent ]
    how the world changes (none / 1) (#212)
    by codejack on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 11:13:38 PM EST

    10 years ago, I was in high school. every day, I rode the bus from the "rich" part of town. having conversations with my friends, most of them republicans from republican families who were too poor to live in the real rich neighborhood, instead spending all their money on houses and cars, so they couldn't afford to send their kids to private school, I was consistently called an "idealist," that all my grand beliefs in freedom, democracy, and justice were secondary to corporate interests because they were what mattered. I was told that I should be a "realist," just fight for myself, and let others fend for themselves. I rejected that idea, as the body must reject any poison, that sought to denigrate the very foundation of our country.

    now I am being accused of being a bad parent because I accept the fact that children misbehave, that teenagers often break laws, not in any malicious manner, simply in pushing their boundaries.

    Not everyone cheats on their taxes nor J-walks. It can be reduced by giving large, very large fines to people and making it known that if you steal there are consequences.

    so when my 4 year old son jumps on his bed, which I have told him not to (a law), I should, what?, take all of his furniture out of his room? ground him for 5 years?

    yea, this has really worked on the war on drugs.

    one of my high school friends has been in prison for 8 years in florida, for a first offense drug trafficking charge. 1 kilo, 18 years old, 20 to life, no parole.


    The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. Hunter S. Thompson


    Please read before posting.

    [ Parent ]
    Nor extortioners? (none / 1) (#204)
    by trejkaz on Sat Oct 25, 2003 at 05:17:12 AM EST

    But RIAA are the extortioners. So who is going against the word of your always-so-correct god?

    [ Parent ]
    RIAA (none / 1) (#207)
    by weshouldbegood on Sun Oct 26, 2003 at 09:25:55 PM EST

    Yes, as my post states the amounts the RIAA is asking for (before settlement) is ridiculous. It seems very out of proportion to the crime. However, the RIAA being a bunch of rich people wanting to get richer by whatever means (extortionists) doesn't mean that you are just free to go off and pirate whatever you want. It means you might want to consider checking out indie music or mp3.com for some free legal downloads. If I were talking to RIAA I'd likely tell them that the compensation they're looking for is wrong. I'm not however. Right now the issue is people breaking the law and thinking their jolly righteous pirates 'cuz of it.



    "DotCom - The box said "requires Windows 95 or better." So I installed Linux"
    [ Parent ]
    THIS IS A BIG STUPID DISTRACTION!!!! (1.00 / 4) (#197)
    by Fantastic Lad on Thu Oct 23, 2003 at 08:00:29 AM EST

    The debate on this subject has been had. The podiums are slick with nerd spit. The audience has lost its voice. Nobody, but nobody who has chosen a side on this issue is EVER going to change it. So why is it coming to a head now, of all times?

    Please pardon my bolded all-caps. . .

    OF COURSE THIS IDIOCY IS GOING ON NOW. THERE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO BE AWARE OF AND ACTIVE ABOUT. WHO OWNS THE RIAA??? THINK ABOUT IT!!!!!!

    Ahem.

    Thank you for your attention. Now please go and spend the remainder of it wisely.

    -FL

    Australia has it better. (none / 1) (#205)
    by trejkaz on Sat Oct 25, 2003 at 05:21:16 AM EST

    I prefer the Australian situation. ARIA are going after the ISPs for "profiting from illegal activity."

    That is somewhat more honourable than going after someone who if they had any money, might be able to afford the currently overinflated price of CDs.



    Defending the families sued by the RIAA | 214 comments (180 topical, 34 editorial, 5 hidden)
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