Print 34 comment(s) - last by King of Heroes.. on Dec 23 at 9:48 PM

One ISP owner says if the RIAA wants his help, it better bring a checkbook

Most people are aware of the prolonged legal campaign that the RIAA has waged against alleged music sharers. The RIAA has filed suit against people with little proof, often seeking to do nothing more than scare the person into paying the high fees that RIAA demands for copyright infringement.

DailyTech reported last week that the RIAA announced it would end its legal campaign against suspected illegal file sharers and would instead work with ISPs to combat illegal file sharers. Some ISP owners say that this new plan will put the cost of battling music sharers on the ISP rather than the RIAA or the copyright owner.

One ISP owner named Jerry Scroggin says that if the RIAA or Hollywood wants the ISP to enforce copyright law, that Hollywood or the RIAA should foot the bill. Scroggin owns a small ISP called Bayou Internet and Communications and counts about 10,000 customers.

CNET News reports that Scroggin says if the RIAA asks his ISP to help it combat pirates, that it had better bring the checkbook and leave legal threats at home. According to Scroggin, he receives several notices each month that he needs to remove file sharers from his network and sends the same thing in reply.

Scroggin says, "I ask for their billing address. Usually, I never hear back."

It costs a lot of money for an ISP to track down customers that the RIAA says are illegally sharing files and the ISP is expected to do the footwork for the RIAA free of charge. Scroggin continues, "They have the right to protect their songs or music or pictures. But they don't have the right to tell me I have to be the one protecting it. I don't want anyone doing anything illegal on my network, but we don't work for free."

The ISP power says that he has a long history of helping law enforcement and isn’t trying to be a "hard ass" but the realities of finding alleged file shares and proving that they are actually breaking the law are very hard to accomplish. He says that there is often very little or no proof that the customers allegedly sharing files have done anything illegal.

To simply cut the users off at the request of the RIAA or Hollywood could cost him as much as $1,440 over the contract term of a subscription plan. Scroggin also says that the letters that are sent are often legally threatening to him, when he is doing nothing to affect the business of the company allegedly seeing their copyright violated. There's got to be a better way than HBO sending me threatening e-mail," he said. "What I'm saying is, let's sit at the table and come up with a way that works for everyone, including the customers."

Scroggin highlights what is likely to be the RIAAs biggest challenge in gaining the assistance of ISPs to combat pirates -- the cost of doing business. Add to that the bad blood between ISPs and entertainment companies stemming from years of legal threats and RIAAs new plan to stop pirates may be no more effective than its original plan of suing everyone.

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Well what do you know...
By DASQ on 12/22/2008 1:10:39 PM , Rating: 5
Turns out RIAA's massive legal team IS pretty pricey.

They also need a better team of writers. Convince the ISP's with callings of honor, duty, king and country.

RE: Well what do you know...
By Regs on 12/22/2008 1:25:37 PM , Rating: 5
What they need is a new format and a better quality product. If every other industry has to shape and bend for the customers ever changing expectations and needs, why does the entertainment industry think they can just kick and scream to get what they want?

I think of music on CD's as to men who deliver ice to your door. You can't bank on one investment forever.

RE: Well what do you know...
By Jimbo1234 on 12/22/2008 1:48:15 PM , Rating: 2
Nah, you don't need a better quality product. You can just ask the Fed to bail you out.

RE: Well what do you know...
By ebakke on 12/22/2008 3:53:39 PM , Rating: 2
And when they balk, threaten THE RECESSION OF THE CENTURY!!!!

RE: Well what do you know...
By on 12/22/08, Rating: -1
RE: Well what do you know...
By rudolphna on 12/22/2008 6:42:45 PM , Rating: 2
What the hel l does THAT mean?

RE: Well what do you know...
By Motoman on 12/22/2008 10:15:39 PM , Rating: 5
It means we all get a little dumber when we read one of PS3's posts.

RE: Well what do you know...
By MrPoletski on 12/23/2008 9:03:52 AM , Rating: 3
don't feed the troll.

RE: Well what do you know...
By notolerance on 12/22/2008 10:39:03 PM , Rating: 2
I've asked before and I'll ask again.

You done WHAT to the dog?!?!

RE: Well what do you know...
By TheSpaniard on 12/23/2008 1:14:43 AM , Rating: 1
you sir continuously surprise me

RE: Well what do you know...
By AdamBomb42x on 12/22/2008 3:25:32 PM , Rating: 2
I think that they need some tissues.

RE: Well what do you know...
By artemicion on 12/22/2008 10:41:21 PM , Rating: 3
If it's such a great and easy idea - go out and do it. If the industry so desperately needs a "new format and a better quality product" then go out there, execute, deliver it and reap in the billions on your ingenious idea.

I know I'm gonna get -1 for this post, but why don't we be honest with ourselves and admit that we hate the RIAA for no other reason than the fact that we want our s*** for free. The reason that no entrepreneur is going out there and offering an innovative music service is because the bottom line is that it's probably not going to be as profitable, and if it's not as profitable nobody's going to offer it, and no artist is going to sign up for it. Except maybe Radiohead. So maybe you can go out there and invent the Free-Radiohead-MP3-Distribution-Service. And I like Radiohead so I encourage you to do that. But for the most part, artists and music companies want to get paid. And if I were an artist and/or music company I too would want to get paid.

But I'm not an artist and/or music company and, *surprise*, I don't want to pay.

RE: Well what do you know...
By TheSpaniard on 12/23/2008 1:16:48 AM , Rating: 2
so the iTunes store wasnt inovative enough for you?

what about Guitar Hero

Those 2 are the current wave of music distribution and they are doing quite well

RE: Well what do you know...
By plonk420 on 12/23/2008 1:48:04 AM , Rating: 1
i want to SAMPLE my shit for free.

i still buy (most) all i really love. if i had money and weren't spending it all on computer parts, i'd even buy the music i "like".

i own almost all of the top music on my playlist. if i don't get what i don't own this xmas, i'll be looking for it with xmas money... except for maybe Poets of the Fall (unless i can get it for less than $30+shipping)

and if i can't get a physical copy, it DAMN BETTER BE lossless (thank you, beatport!)

RE: Well what do you know...
By MrPoletski on 12/23/2008 9:02:36 AM , Rating: 2
not to mention that if the music industry were to get off their behinds and fully embrace + push high quality audio formats such as super audio CD and DVD audio then people will really be missing something when they only get the mp3.

For the record, CD is PCM 44Khz 16 bit, DVD audio is also PCM up to 192Khz 32bit but usually only 96Khz 24bit, SACD is 2.88Mhz direct stream digital but it's a tough call on quality between it and DVD audio.

MP3 at 128Kbps is an 11-1 compression of CD quality and mp3 compression usually comes with a low pass filter at around 16Khz. Sure you need decent audio kit to hear the difference properly but if they pushed the format then I'm sure we'd see this decent audio kit dropping in price significantly.

I will still never understand why the industry didn't jump on SACD with a vengence... there are no SACD burners in existance (for the end user) and capturing the DSD bitstream then converting it to something usable is a PITA and requires specialist equipment - either that or plug your line out into your line it for real quality reduction. Hello piracy? or rather, bye bye piracy. Yeah the songs will get distributed but they will be defacto lower quality as apposed to the situation right now, where you can easily download FLAC's of any album you want and eveneasier get high bitrate mp3's made from the original recording.

You see, even if SACD totally replaced CD 1 for 1, there would still be no SACD burners because the PC, the driver of optical storage mediums, is well into its DVD and blu ray that offer much higher data capacities than the built-for-purpose format SACD.

Give me all my music in HD audio! for the love of my ears!


RE: Well what do you know...
By King of Heroes on 12/23/2008 9:48:43 PM , Rating: 2
I agree.

I find it very, very odd that the music industry is STILL using CDs for physical distribution. SACD I can understand, since its not really widespread. But why the heck HAVEN'T they at least moved to DVD yet? DVD is very widespread, you're not going to get a mass panic of people without DVD players. Everyone (or at least most people) have one or they can buy one for cheap. The only drawback I guess is the lack of portable DVD players maybe?

SACD does sound interesting, especially the physical copy protections it implements.

RE: Well what do you know...
By tomsj on 12/23/2008 12:42:52 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, no. I hadn't done much file sharing until f*cking Hilary Rosen, president of the RIAA, started suing twelve-year-old girls. On that day, I burned every song I own onto a series of twelve DVDs and sent them to my twenty-five closest friends.

RE: Well what do you know...
By The0ne on 12/22/2008 1:40:29 PM , Rating: 2
"Ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country."

or "Ask not what we can do for you, ask what you can do for your us! NOW!"

RE: Well what do you know...
By dragonbif on 12/22/2008 3:00:28 PM , Rating: 2
They will just push the cost to the users (use) adding 10$ a month to our bills.

RE: Well what do you know...
By StraightPipe on 12/22/2008 3:52:58 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not to found of price hikes. I mean if you wanna give me an additional service, and allow me to opt-in for it, then I'll consider paying more per month.

For example there have been several talks about a possible "flat-fee" for file sharing. You pay $5-10/mo and get unfettered access to whatever you want.

Only bad thing about that plan is i already have unfettered access to the net, so wheres the incentive to sign up?

RE: Well what do you know...
By bodar on 12/22/2008 3:52:19 PM , Rating: 2
Nice one.

"Grab your sword and fight the Horde... of filesharers! By the Light!"

RE: Well what do you know...
By MrPoletski on 12/23/2008 8:51:24 AM , Rating: 2
One ISP owner says if the RIAA wants his help, it better bring a checkbook

Too Fkin right!

This Scroggin guy...
By amanojaku on 12/22/2008 1:27:57 PM , Rating: 5
Sounds pretty reasonable. He broke down the costs exactly the way it happens and the RIAA should pay if they want cooperation of this sort. With operating margins as thin as they are ISPs are not in a position to jump blindly after every customer the RIAA, MPAA or anyone else says pirated anything. I'm not advocating piracy; I've done it in the past but have since moved on now that I can afford things and have some sense of responsibility. I'm just stating that if it costs the ISP at the request of a 3rd party then the 3rd party has to pay.

RE: This Scroggin guy...
By AntiM on 12/22/2008 3:41:52 PM , Rating: 2
The big problem is the these media companies have very powerful lobbies in Washington. If the ISPs don't play ball with them, I can see congress mandating that they implement some kind of filtering or a "tax" to pass on to their customers. It's already happening in Europe.

RE: This Scroggin guy...
By Kary on 12/22/2008 5:47:39 PM , Rating: 1
Please correct me where I go wrong, but I thought the ISP's were required NOT to know that anything illegal was going on or they were responsible. If the RIAA forces them to do packet sniffing (equivalent to wire tapping), then the ISP's are not longer innocent if illegal materials go over their networks. So, if the RIAA gets their way here they can sue the customer AND the ISP (who spent the extra money at the RIAA's request to help out the RIAA).

I just have trouble picturing ISPs going for this crap.

By cscpianoman on 12/22/2008 2:32:06 PM , Rating: 5
I seriously want to switch over to this guy's ISP. The fact he doesn't put up with crap is heads and shoulders above other companies who wishy-washy their way with customers.

By Reclaimer77 on 12/22/2008 11:27:24 PM , Rating: 2
Hell yes. This guy is my hero !

I would do it but...
By gg1pl on 12/22/2008 3:43:18 PM , Rating: 3
This is as logical as the police/hospitals asking the gun manufacturers to make sure no crimes are committed with their weapons

RE: I would do it but...
By fic2 on 12/22/2008 5:53:14 PM , Rating: 3
I thought of it more that GM/Ford/etc should track all their cars because they are used to get to/from crimes.

Former ISP owner
By wajone on 12/23/2008 3:02:48 AM , Rating: 3
Here's my take on all of this. I've been an ISP twice over the past 15 years. Bottom line is this. Unless being COURT ORDERED.... There is NO REASON AT ALL I SHOULD HELP THE RIAA. What "threats" could they possible follow up on? I don't OWN the network. I'm a wholesaler. I don't CONTROL the users, nor do I care what they do online. That's their private life. I don't have the right to spy on them no more than the phone company can open up the lines to listen in on your conversations (unless it's a matter of national security). RIAA can threaten all they want. Bottom line is they have no legal hold on me running a company. Even if they offered me money, HOW could I live with myself by telling my customers that their information is safe, if I listen to threats to turn over information to a group of people that think they own me? If they want their content protected, then get with the program. FIND A FREAKING WAY TO PROTECT IT! DRM didn't work, so what? You going to stop and cry about it and try to push people around because of YOUR FAILURE? *CENSOR* that.
I'm so sick and tired of hearing about the RIAA wants this and the RIAA wants that. It's not OUR fault your technology is so easily crackable. How about when you start your new ideas of encryption you leave out the stupid statements of "this can't be cracked". If that isn't an open door to all the cryptologists what is?
PEOPLE wake up and get with the program. I'm all for protecting ones rights, but don't think for a second I'm going to do something equally illegal to help you out with your loosing battle. Unlike you, I value my customers and their rights as HUMAN BEINGS. I assure you RIAA, if you went belly up, NO ONE WOULD MISS YOU NOR CRY FOR YOU! Truth hurts, but you done it to yourself.

RE: Former ISP owner
By jonmcc33 on 12/23/2008 12:09:01 PM , Rating: 2
Well said. The problem is that they cannot protect it ever. May as well give in and accept their losses. This has been nearly a decade of a losing war for them. More and more people have been downloading illegally then ever when Napster was created.

If music artists are suffering at all? So what! They have plenty of money from what I've seen on MTV Cribs over the years. They don't live paycheck to paycheck like I do.

Sad state of affairs...
By ajira99 on 12/22/2008 1:26:04 PM , Rating: 3
Everyday you hear about mass layoffs and cutbacks in employment, yet the RIAA simply switches to a new revenue stream. Priceless.

McGlaun, please learn to proofread
By neothe0ne on 12/22/08, Rating: 0
By superflex on 12/22/2008 2:16:00 PM , Rating: 1
Gotta love the spelling/grammar police.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads
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