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The RIAA's recent case and a pending case in the UK provide some insight into whom it might prosecute next

The Recording Industry Association of America is the oft villainized copyright-infringement watchdog for the music industry in the U.S.  Its letters to music sharers have led to thousands of settlement over the last few years.  Now, following its recent success in the jury civil trial Capitol Records, et al v. Jammie Thomas, which resulted in a jury verdict of $222,000 in damages, many wonder who the RIAA might target next.

The RIAA might have given a clue during testimony by music industry lawyers in the Thomas case.  During the case Jennifer Pariser, the head of litigation for Sony BMG, was called to testify.  Pariser noted that music labels make no money on bands touring, radio, or merchandise, so they are particularly vulnerable to file sharing.  She went on to say that when people steal music the label is harmed.

Pariser believes in a very broad definition of stealing that is echoed by many supporters in the RIAA.  She believes that users who buy songs are entitled to one, and only one copy.  Burning CDs is just another name for stealing, in her mind. "When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." Making "a copy" of a purchased song is just "a nice way of saying 'steals just one copy'."

Such logic has been a driving force behind efforts to "rights manage" music including the current DRM found on Apple's iTunes files and Microsoft's DRM, which is also widespread.

While it seems unlikely that the RIAA would be able to effectively identify "burners", such litigation remains a legal possibility for the RIAA and major music labels, in the minds of their lawyers.

Another possible avenue of legal action for the RIAA is the pursuit of businesses that play unauthorized music in stores.  The Performing Rights Society (PRS), Britain's version of the RIAA, may give the RIAA some possible ideas with its pending litigation.  The PRS is suing the Kwik Fit Group, a car repair shop in Edinburgh, for £200,000 in damages.  The case revolves around the complaint that Kwik Fit employees brought in personal radios which they played while working on cars, which could be heard by colleagues and customers.  The PRS says this amounts to a public "performance" and should have entailed royalties.

The possible implications if this litigation succeeds are numerous.  The RIAA could pursue retailers like Borders Books who play music in their restrooms or on their store floors.  They could also seek action against small businesses that have radios in their stores.

These possible future targets may seem outlandish or farfetched, but the RIAA and its foreign equivalents have some heavy legal firepower.  It hires many of the country's top lawyers and have gained millions in settlements and recently have added the $222,000 Thomas verdict to its coffers.

Some fear the RIAA is overstepping its bounds, including in the Thomas case.  Rep. Rick Boucher, a Virginia Democrat, and strong advocate of fair use, recently went on record stating that the trial verdict was excessive and "way out of line" with other cases of this nature.

The Bush Administration feels that the case was very fair and was a positive example of our nation's laws at work.

"Cases such as this remind us strong enforcement is a significant part of the effort to eliminate piracy, and that we have an effective legal system in the U.S. that enables rights holders to protect their intellectual property."

With the RIAA's powerful legal, financial, and political backers nobody can truly say what it impossible for it to accomplish.  Now as it is in the midst of delivering its eighth wave of infringement letters to colleges, it may soon be turning its attention to CD burners or businesses that play music in front of customers.

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You've gotta be kidding me
By FITCamaro on 10/9/2007 10:31:02 AM , Rating: 5
They're going to sue businesses who play radios?

Radio is a public, free medium. What is the difference between me listening to the radio in a store or in my car? Nothing. Sure there's other people there than the entity that owns said radio but this is hardly something new. Businesses have been playing music in stores for years. And customers like it.

What's next? Sue middle schools for playing music at dances? Go around to college parties and sue the host for playing music? Should the NFL be suing people who invite friends over to watch the game at their house? How about the MPAA sue people who buy DVDs and let someone borrow it or let a group come over and watch it?

This kind of crap needs to stop.

RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By FITCamaro on 10/9/2007 10:33:08 AM , Rating: 4
Let me also say I think a bunch of people should go to outside the RIAA's main headquarters with radios, tune them to different stations, and just start blasting them.

RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By RedAlice on 10/9/2007 10:49:22 AM , Rating: 4
Sounds like a "blast". I can't believe they'd target RADIO listeners! Radio stations pay royalties to broadcast the music. They make that money back by radio advertisement, which requires a LISTENING Audience. They pay for the music so they can make a profit off of selling adspace inbetween songs... I don't see how they would have a legal foot to stand on by making these bold accusations. I'm glad this lady is appealing.
To me, it's copyright infringement when someone makes a PROFIT off duplicating somebody's work. If I were to copy a CD and sell it to someone for a profit, that is copyright infringement.
If I burn my CD and decide that I want someone to listen to one of the songs, I don't see how that is copyright infringement if there IS NO PROFIT involved. I paid for the CD originally! It's my legal property.
If that's the case, that "sharing" music is illegal, they should go after the thieves who steal CD's out of cars! It's copyright infringment! They didn't pay for it! Stolen! It's not just petty theft now, it's COPYRIGHT Infringement!
Just imagine if everyone said "well you paid for it, but you can't share it..." Like a paid for it, but you can't let anybody else drive it.
The way I see it is that allowing free d/l's of MP3's is nothing but advertising. 30 second sound clips are not enough to judge a song by...and I'm not going to pay $1 for a song that I'm not sure I'll even like. I'm not going to throw my money away. By allowing me to d/l a few songs I can decide whether I like an artist or an album, and I will then decide whether it's worth my money to buy the CD.

RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By ADDAvenger on 10/9/2007 11:16:47 AM , Rating: 2
No joke, I'm generally sympathetic to the RIAA, but this is absolutely stupid. I'm all for rewarding the artists' hard work with my money (well, assuming it's any good), but honestly, fining people for having their radios on!? I hope there's some serious backlash for this, because I honestly don't have words for how stupid this is; it's simply amazing what our legal system comes up with these days.

RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By fic2 on 10/9/2007 12:24:26 PM , Rating: 5
You realize that the RIAA has little, if anything, to do with rewarding artists work, right? They have been sued many times by various artists for royalties. The RIAA is all about "rewarding" record execs.

RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By Oregonian2 on 10/9/2007 2:28:18 PM , Rating: 2
Do bands, when on tour, get a discount in the fees they have to pay to play their music? How about bands that don't even have a record contract anywhere, how do they determine how much they have to pay to play their music?

I want to see them sue me for singing a song in public. I'll only have to sing for the jury to have them throw the case out (although I may be tossed into the slammer if I don't stop "singing" when the court orders me to).

RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By fic2 on 10/9/2007 4:30:21 PM , Rating: 2
I sing so badly I could see someone sueing me to stop...

RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By hrah20 on 10/10/2007 1:38:10 AM , Rating: 2
they are getting desperate !!!

RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By ADDAvenger on 10/12/2007 1:00:10 AM , Rating: 2
You realize that the RIAA has little, if anything, to do with rewarding artists work, right? They have been sued many times by various artists for royalties. The RIAA is all about "rewarding" record execs.

Of course, I don't like them because they support artists directly, I generally lean towards their side because they're against pirating which hurts said artists. However, I am beginning to see that they're doing a lot more harm than good.

Are there even any good guys anymore, any group that isn't extreme anti-piracy or extreme fair-use with its head up its extremist butt?

RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By mindless1 on 10/17/2007 9:44:44 AM , Rating: 2
Rewarding artists for their work is an overly simplistic idea.

Did they choose to be an artist, and/or continue to try to produce content knowing the current market? Yes.

Did they choose to sign on with a mass distributer, knowing there was a finite limit to the control of distributing that content? Yes.

Did they really do much "work" or did they say "oh I spent so many hours on this", when they were essentially frollicking about in leisure?

I'm sorry but no, artists don't generally "deserve" anything more than the market will bear and that includes ALL aspects of the market, especially those citizens who are not part of that market because they choose not to (or can't afford) to buy that content.

Artists don't "deserve" to be paid anything at all! They work under a different compensation system than an hourly or salaried job. Deserve has nothing to do with anything. Their pay scale depends on two things:

1) Self promotion to get either individual payments or strike a deal with a larger corp.

2) Producing content that the market deems worth $$.

If they don't meet both of these requirements, and only to the extent that they do meet both, do they get anything at all for their artistic works.

Let's speak truth here. Most artists get nothing. Millions of people feel artistic and most never see one penny from it. Those who see some money, get paid based on their social networking/marketing and what value others, not a generic preconceived concept of "get paid" deem valuable.

Artists are not on the welfare system by default. If they can't make a livable wage as an artist, it's damn well time they found a job they can succeed at. The REAL problem is the middleman leeches who desperately try to survive in an era where promotion and distribution have become far cheaper by other means than those of past eras.

Cut out the middlemen, give the artists a fair share of what those who can afford to pay, deem worthy of pay, and don't re-elect those in legislature who are puppets to the media industries' deep pockets.

RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By nitrous9200 on 10/9/2007 4:01:28 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly, sometimes I want to hear the whole song to see how I like it instead of just a short preview, which doesn't mean much. And if they plan to continue suing everyone who's downloaded music, they're going to be at it for a LONG time.

RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By maverick85wd on 10/10/2007 6:53:14 AM , Rating: 2
This is what happens when art is taken over by business men. I believe fully that artists should be payed for outstanding performances, perhaps there are other things to consider; the Grateful Dead encouraged piracy with cassettes and people went to their concerts... that is how they made most of their money. Music is art and should be shared freely. MP3 downloads have encouraged me to go out and buy a CD because I liked so many of the songs and I wanted to get a CD-quality experience. Either way, these laws types of proceedings hurt people that are trying to do things honestly in the first place.

RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By othercents on 10/9/2007 10:42:55 AM , Rating: 3
The next step is having the police pull over anyone that is playing music in their car loud enough to be heard by someone else. Doesn't RIAA understand that they are just going to shoot themselves in the foot? There is no longer a reason to listen to music if it means you can be sued for it. I can imagine someone listening to their music on earphones, but it be so loud that someone else around them can hear it. Because of this they are sued?

Maybe they should sue the car manufacturers for putting radios in cars that are loud enough for people to hear. Oh who do they sue if you take your car to be worked on and one of the employees turns up your radio for everyone in the shop to hear? Are you at fault?

This has just gone too far.


RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By Chernobyl68 on 10/9/2007 1:32:29 PM , Rating: 4
they could sue drivers who listen to the radio when they have passengers in the car...

RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By kinnoch on 10/9/2007 4:52:38 PM , Rating: 1
I don't think they have an issue with multiple people listening to the radio because that music is liscenced by the radio station. They worry about people playing CDs, because they only got that one time fee. Although, thats total bull shit :)

RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By MDme on 10/9/2007 6:19:45 PM , Rating: 2
so what if I play a CD on my radio and someone in the same room "listens" to it (whether they meant to or not)...will they sue me? This is ridiculous.

RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By BeastieBoy on 10/10/2007 5:26:41 AM , Rating: 1
But the case against Kwik Fit relates to radio, not CDs. The royalties have been paid by the radio station.
The radio station should sue the record companies or whoever for preventing their show being played to an audience, thus reducing listener numbers and therefore advertising revenue.

RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By theapparition on 10/10/2007 7:22:59 AM , Rating: 4
But the case against Kwik Fit relates to radio, not CDs.

Where in the article does it say that?? It says they played their radios, not radio stations. The article is misleading and should be re-written to say they played their stereos, since they are being sued for playing CDs, not public radio. If you look up the actual suit, you'll find that's true.

RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By mooncancook on 10/9/2007 7:49:36 PM , Rating: 2
Now I know "Who kills the Boombox". Damn them RIAA, I miss the days of boomboxing on your shoulder in the public!

By Supersonic3474 on 10/10/2007 5:49:50 PM , Rating: 2
I work for a Home Automation Company that are responsible for Whole House Audio. The entire company listens to the radio at the same time. Are we going to get sued??

The RIAA are out to ruin people and get as much money as they can by suing the very people who have made them rich. Keep in mind that that the damage they speak of is only hypothetical so I don't think they have any grounds to sue everyone.

RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By AntiM on 10/9/2007 11:32:02 AM , Rating: 4
I would LOVE to see a boycott. Let these greedy bastards cling to their outdated business model. In the end, it's the consumer that has the ultimate power.

RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By codeThug on 10/9/2007 3:01:28 PM , Rating: 2
Whoa, watch you say. You might be accused of supporting the "Recording Industry Holocaust" and getting your name firmly ensconced on someone's black list.

Then, when you turn 85, you will be brought up on charges and either jailed or deported...

If you really want to make a difference, buy that Radiohead CD for a reasonable price and help usher in the total collapse of the RIAA.

RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By gameman733 on 10/9/2007 11:32:20 AM , Rating: 2
They're going to sue businesses who play radios?

Well, since you asked.. The small restaurant I work for got hit with a licensing fee to play the radio in their restaurant. I don't know the details, but essentially they called and asked if we played music, the person told them yeah, and that was the end of the conversation. The owner then started getting billed. I don't know how accurate the story is, but that is what the owner has told us.

RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By theapparition on 10/9/2007 12:15:30 PM , Rating: 3
They cannot possibly sue for listening to "radio". Radio is broadcast on public airwaves that anyone can listen to.

What was confusing in the article was that employee's of the repair shop brought thier "radios" in. Not that they played "radio stations". They must have played CD's or MP3's and that's what the lawsuit is about.

Completely stupid either way, though.

What's next? Sue middle schools for playing music at dances? Go around to college parties and sue the host for playing music? Should the NFL be suing people who invite friends over to watch the game at their house? How about the MPAA sue people who buy DVDs and let someone borrow it or let a group come over and watch it?

It's funny you mention it, but I think all those issues are real (albeit, shouln't be). I'm pretty sure that schools have to license some music to play for band and events. The NFL already forbids the watching of "their" games at a public venue, unless they have purchased a license to rebroadcast. Your allowed to watch it in your home only, but the local bar is not allowed to show the game while charging you a cover (They can't profit from showing the game). Recently, there was a church group that was forbidden by the NFL to show the superbowl, because they charged a mizerly sum to cover the cost of the event. And you are already not allowed to loan a CD/DVD out to a friend. The problem with all of those rules is enforcement. How do they know you loaned it out? They want a system to track everytime a work is viewed/listened to. In fact, the ultimate goal is to charge per view, a true on-demand situation where the consumer owns nothing.

College parties, well, that's a free-for-all, there's no way that could be regulated, but the intent is to try and regulate it. (BTW, FIT had awful parties, except for those couple nights at the barn..........)

Your right though, this has to stop.

RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By johnrdupree on 10/9/2007 1:58:36 PM , Rating: 3
In the US, businesses that play a radio must pay ASCAP and BMI for the pleasure. The reasoning is that you are using their product (music) to make money for yourself and they want a cut. Of course, these organizations represent the artists (supposedly) and not the recording industry. This system is well established and you can not get around it. The payments are based on the type of medium (radio, CDs, jukebox, DJs, live bands) and the number of people your establishment will hold. I would think that the UK has a similar system.
How the RIAA, an organization that represents the recording industry, figures into this, I don't know. Unless they claim that people are sitting in bars making copies of the songs playing on the jukebox, it's really none of their business since the media was legally obtained and the broadcast rights are granted by ASCAP and BMI.

RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By FITCamaro on 10/9/2007 3:15:31 PM , Rating: 2
And yes I know that a lot of businesses pay to play music in their stores. However normally those are businesses that have set music loops to play the same songs over and over. Best Buy, Circuit City, Starbucks, JC Penny, etc are all this way.

The idea of charging a mechanic a fee though to listen to the radio while he/she works because a customer might hear it is ridiculous. Or to charge a bar that has a radio in it. Now say a club, yes. People are there for the music. I don't know about you, but I don't go to a mechanics shop or bar to listen to the radio. Or even a bookstore should one be playing the radio.

Besides what does it matter who hears it? How are you "stealing" by listening? If anything you might hear a song you hadn't heard before and inquire into its artist and possibly purchase the CD said song is on.

Yes I know the NFL and other sports though have rules against public display of a game. But thats for businesses. If you want to invite 10-15 people over to your house for a Super Bowl party, you're not expected to pay a fee to do so.

RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By theapparition on 10/10/2007 7:20:06 AM , Rating: 2
In the US, businesses that play a radio must pay ASCAP and BMI for the pleasure.....The payments are based on the type of medium (radio, CDs, jukebox, DJs, live bands)

Wrong, you seemed to have missed it too. Playing the "radio" and playing a "radio station" are two separate things. A radio is just a hardware device that has the potential to play back many formats (AM/FM/Tape/CD/MP3). A radio station is a publicly broadcast medium (for radio AM/FM and for TV VHF-L/VHF-H/UHF) that legally cannot be charged for, set in stone by the FCC.

They must pay if they play copyrighted music, but not if they play a "publicly broadcast radio station". Many companies pay to play the copyrighted music, and subscribe to commercial free music or use CD/MP3/satellite, since they don't want the potential for their competitors ads to be broadcast in their store.
But if any store sticks up a radio and plays an AM or FM station, they CANNOT be charged for that.

From the ASCAP faq:

From the ASCAP Licensing FAQ:

Yes, you will need permission to play records or tapes in your establishment. Permission for radio and television transmissions in your business is not needed if the performance is by means of public communication of TV or radio transmissions by eating, drinking, retail or certain other establishments of a certain size which use a limited number of speakers or TVs, and if the reception is not further transmitted (for example, from one room to another) from the place in which it is received, and there is no admission charge.

Satellite and internet radio stations are not broadcast on public airwaves and would be required to have a license to rebroadcast. Obviously, any personal media would need a license as well.

RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By FITCamaro on 10/9/2007 3:04:47 PM , Rating: 2
(BTW, FIT had awful parties, except for those couple nights at the barn..........)

I thought YouTube took that video down....TIME TO SUE!

RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By techfuzz on 10/9/2007 1:09:36 PM , Rating: 2
Yes they are going to sue people who play radios and they have already started:

Sitting in your car with the windows down and music loud enough the person sitting in traffic next to you can hear?
- Guilty of copyright infringement

Listening to music at work and someone in the cubicle next to you can hear?
- Guilty...

Having a BBQ in your backyard and your neighbors can hear the radio next door?
- Guilty...

Enjoy the last of your radio listening freedom...

RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By 1078feba on 10/9/2007 2:06:26 PM , Rating: 2
The really funny thing is that you will have these teens and twenty-somethings who have put $10K worth of stereo equipment in their rides, which would then become...worthless!

No more BOOM-BOOM of the pile-driving bass as the car rolls past you.

RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By RedAlice on 10/9/2007 5:33:45 PM , Rating: 2
They could always buy CD's =D

RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By johnrdupree on 10/9/2007 2:35:36 PM , Rating: 2
The point is that they are suing businesses because they claim the business is using music to make money. There is difference between sitting in your house listening to the radio and having a beer, and sitting in a pub listening to the radio and having a beer, in their minds at least. Having the music playing in the pub adds value to the pub, and therefore the pub should share the revenue with the people who helped create that value (the artists who made the music). Hence the licenses from ASCAP, BMI, and (in the UK) RPS. This has nothing to do with the RIAA.

By bravacentauri83 on 10/9/2007 4:06:04 PM , Rating: 4
We got a call at the local company I work with from BMI. They told us we have to pay royalties for playing a radio station while customers are on hold. We've been doing this for over TWENTY years, and we all of a sudden get a phone call telling us we are doing something illegal? The funny thing is that their literature states NOTHING about how our business applies to the rules. It said something to the nature that it had to be a retail store and a certain square footage. Our company meets NEITHER requirement. We turned off the radio just so we wouldn't get hassled by them again. Now customers complain because they think we hung up on them.

Way to go BMI and RIAA.

RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By tbone97225 on 10/9/2007 5:02:00 PM , Rating: 2
I can understand to a point the pressure RIAA is in. The big labels are losing money daily to various music download & file sharing services. CD sales are well, when was the last time you bought a cd? 'Nuff said.

That being said, punishing businesses for playing radios in their businesses is going way to far. The only thing I have to say is I'd love to see them enforce these kind of Nazi tactics. As far as CD burners go, they won't touch those either.

RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By wallijonn on 10/10/2007 2:56:44 PM , Rating: 5
The big labels are losing money daily to various music download & file sharing services. CD sales are well, when was the last time you bought a cd? 'Nuff said.

A major part of the reason for CD sales drop is due to "too much product" on store shelves. Unless you listened to music at the store via headphones there is really no way to know what you are buying. DVD movies have jackets which describe the movie, along with pictures and a list of actors. But if you pick up a CD at random, what possible information could one put on the back jacket to allow one to ascertain what one is buying? Unless you know what a song sounds like before hand there is little reason to buy something which you may not like.

Until CDs come with micro speakers with music clips recorded in ROM (like "singing" birthday cards) sales will continue to decline.

RE: You've gotta be kidding me
By feraltoad on 10/9/2007 6:01:04 PM , Rating: 2
The NFL advised a church that displaying the SuperBowl with a projector and charging an admission (the church said it only paid for the food provided ;)) was illegal. I think they did it anyway and just asked Jesus for forgiveness. I may have to rethink my neighborhood theater I run in my garage.

By Zagor on 10/9/2007 10:16:19 AM , Rating: 5
All I can say is: amazing...

and, that I will NEVER buy another music CD again. They have their right to "protect" their intellectual property and I have my right to NEVER give then a cent.

RE: Amazing
By mmntech on 10/9/2007 10:29:05 AM , Rating: 5
I'm with you on that boycott. This is just getting silly. So now it's "stealing" when you make mix tapes and listen to the radio at work? Next they'll be telling you that you can't listen to your car stereo with the windows down because it's a "public performance."

I think RIAA's goal is and always has been to eliminate fair use. This is one of the reasons copyright law needs to change. There's no consumer protection. That's how you get the RIAA abusing the court system, at the taxpayer's expense, for their own gain, because they can't sell their products.

RE: Amazing
By iGo on 10/9/2007 10:39:00 AM , Rating: 5
Not only that... soon they will sue you for singing a song.
It's their Intellectual property, you know!

RE: Amazing
By rdeegvainl on 10/9/2007 10:51:03 AM , Rating: 5
It is getting rather ridiculous. I agree, if they are gonna be dicks about their IP, I will be a dick and not buy anything from them. I don't need what they sell, and I don't need the hassle.

RE: Amazing
By TechLuster on 10/9/2007 1:27:19 PM , Rating: 5
I agree with all of the above posts and will not be buying any music from a mainstream label anytime soon.

But guys, there's one other very important step that we all can and should take: Join the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Sign up & donate NOW!

RE: Amazing
By FITCamaro on 10/9/2007 3:27:18 PM , Rating: 2
I gave feedback to that stopthespying website. I doubt they'll like it.

RE: Amazing
By Fritzr on 10/9/2007 11:58:57 AM , Rating: 4
Already been done. Tom Fogerty was sued for recording music that sounded like his own work. A real irony is he is now recording for the same label that earlier paid him no royalties for his work & sued him for sounding too much like himself -- new owners :) (See his Wikipedia entry)

You can also be sued if your singing can be considered a performance and you have not licensed the work for performance. Square dance callers got hit heavily around 20 years ago when an International Directory meant to allow people to find callers was used to locate callers who had not obtained permission to use commercial music.

If they are going to say that making an over the air broadcast audible to people not carrying a radio by simply not ensuring that people who are not there to listen, hear it, then you may find yourself facing a lawsuit if you sing a hit song on the street. After all it is a public place so you cannot sing, whistle or play any but Public domain tunes without getting a performance license first :P This one seems silly but there have been stranger lawsuits. Be careful with your radio while you're outside -- someone may report you for that performance :D

RE: Amazing
By creathir on 10/9/07, Rating: -1
RE: Amazing
By fic2 on 10/9/2007 12:18:39 PM , Rating: 5
If the copyright system has worked flawlessly for over a hundred years then why was it changed in 1909, 1976, 1988, twice in 1998 and again in 2005? Always to take away rights from people who bought a copyrighted work or to extend the ownership rights of creators (now 120 years for a company).

RE: Amazing
By soydios on 10/9/2007 1:49:38 PM , Rating: 3
fic2 has the facts right, creathir doesn't

as the way we produce, distribute, and consume media changes faster and faster with technology, the copyright laws will have to change as well, or we end up with excessive lawsuits like this one

RE: Amazing
By eetnoyer on 10/9/2007 10:34:48 AM , Rating: 5
Henceforth and forthwith, any and all copyrighted music must be listened to on headphones that are keyed to the purchasers genetic code. That way no "unauthorized" listeners (to include family members, friends, passersby, etc.) will be exposed to unintentional copyright abuse and possible legal action.

RE: Amazing
By PrinceGaz on 10/9/2007 11:36:40 AM , Rating: 4
You forgot to mention that those headphones will be strictly volume-limited in order to ensure that people nearby cannot hear the music being played.

RE: Amazing
By dedo98 on 10/9/2007 3:01:08 PM , Rating: 1
Unbelievable, are you kidding me! This is getting way out of hand. Copyright Law as of now allows you to make an archival backup of your media. So it is legal to make a CD as long as you destroy it when you get rid of the original, same applies to DVDs. I believe the music industry already receives royalties from the sale of blank CDs, just like they do cassettes. That stupid bitch Jennifer Pariser of Sony BMG (I would hate to be her husband, boyfriend or lesbian lover) seems just like a total control freak. It isn't the RIAA that considers the copying of CDs for personal use is stealing just her and Sony BMG. If the RIAA goes after the business playing music, goes after the radio being played to loud that it is considered a public performance, they are going to cripple the artists. No one is going to play their music because it will be losing financial venture. Nothing is going to change until the artists and the media outlets get together and tell the labels and RIAA to piss off. By the way did anyone read what Yahoo said about DRM? Here is the link:

Nine inch nails, Radiohead.. ect.
By i4mt3hwin on 10/9/2007 10:20:47 AM , Rating: 5
With bands like Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead attempting (or have in NIN's case) to break off of Record Labels, corporate scum like RIAA's time is limited. I honestly can't wait to see what the music industry is 7-10 years from now.

RE: Nine inch nails, Radiohead.. ect.
By TomZ on 10/9/2007 10:47:25 AM , Rating: 4
Yes, I agree - I think the music business is going to undergo a radical change once more and more bands find ways to avoid the big record labels. All it takes is a few big acts to get the ball rolling and show that it can be done. Record companes are going to soon be the "useless middlemen" whose cut is no longer justified when producer can directly sell to consumer throught the Internet.

RE: Nine inch nails, Radiohead.. ect.
By drebo on 10/9/07, Rating: 0
RE: Nine inch nails, Radiohead.. ect.
By TomZ on 10/9/2007 12:35:20 PM , Rating: 3
If you think that no good songs have come out in the last 10 years, then you're not looking very hard. Within the type of music I listen to, there have been tons of great records produced on an ongoing basis. For example, the record released by The Arcade Fire this year was brilliant within that genre of music.

By cyriene on 10/9/2007 11:31:29 AM , Rating: 2
As a NIN fan this is good news for me. I can't wait to see what happens, but I hope Trent can pull it off. Whether most people like the new music or not, I know I will continue to support Trent.

And there are some pretty good indie bands that aren't signed to major labels. In fact, NIN had a few open up for them during their previous tours.

RE: Nine inch nails, Radiohead.. ect.
By fic2 on 10/9/2007 12:32:37 PM , Rating: 3
I saw a program about copyright/etc on CNBC a few months ago. One of the bands they talked to was Bare Naked Ladies. They had broken from their label. They said that they sell a lot fewer albums, but make a lot more money. I think they now make $6/CD vs $0.50 before. They had just done a fan cruise where they sold out the ship and (I guess) played every night. How cool would that be?

With the internet it shouldn't be hard to break from a record label as long as you have a fan base.

RE: Nine inch nails, Radiohead.. ect.
By TomZ on 10/9/2007 12:38:33 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, and that points to the financial investment required to build up a fan base. In a way it is "easy" for a band like BNL or Radiohead to break free from big record labels, since they already have millions of fans around the globe. The question is, for new bands, can they personally afford or find investors that will help them get to that point? That is one of the things that a record company does now with the "current" system.

RE: Nine inch nails, Radiohead.. ect.
By MobiWan on 10/9/2007 1:11:25 PM , Rating: 4
Right, except that for every NIN, BNL and RadioHead there are a 1000 other bands/artists trying to make it that essentially sell away all their rights to the record labels only to have the labels sit on their album, mismanage their promotion, etc...
Fact is the labels used to actually DEVELOP artists, and this takes time. The suits that run the labels now just view the artists as factories and it's all about flavor of the minute, mold them, sell them, dump them.

The system is increasingly not only anti-consumer, but has been anti-artist (which gets nowhere near as much press).

A boycott of any RIAA affiliated labels and a show of support to non RIAA/truely independent releases would be a move in the right direction. It would hurt the labels, and by supporting the alternatives, would show the artists screwed by the labels that there is another way and it's not just because of the tired 'people are just file sharing' or 'no good music is being made' excuses from either camp.

And it is possible for young bands to do it (in fact they may be ultimately better equipped just because they have grown up with the current technology), they just need to do the research and yes, in some ways it is harder. But it has to start somewhere and they have to see that the public supports it.

By twajetmech on 10/9/2007 5:17:43 PM , Rating: 4
Without radio, how des the RIAA expect to advertise their artist' work ? Maaybe the radio stations should start charging them to play their music instead, after all the RIAA is effectively stealing valuable commercial time

Farewell, 'fair use'
By rbuszka on 10/9/2007 10:19:51 AM , Rating: 2
The RIAA will not stop me from burning backup copies of my CD library until the record labels offer a retroactive lifetime warranty against scratched CD media.

RE: Farewell, 'fair use'
By vortmax on 10/9/2007 11:47:43 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. There should be no law against backing up music for the owners use only. If there was, then they should replace a scratched CD at no charge (not due to negligence of course)...

RE: Farewell, 'fair use'
By theapparition on 10/9/2007 12:27:35 PM , Rating: 3
There already is a law on this. You are completely legal by making up a backup copy of any song/movie that you own in the USA.
With the DMCA, though, it adds the provision that you can't circumvent copy protection to make that backup copy.

So in other words as it stands today, you can make a copy of any CD for your personal use. You can't loan that out to a friend, and letting your household family listen to it is questionable, but most jurisdictions (with any common sense) would rule that as fair use.

You cannot make a copy of a DVD, though, because that has copy protection. If the DVD came without protection, then you could make a copy. And DVD's (to my knowledge) don't have any sort of scratch replacement program. So we're already half way there.

This has to stop. The DCMA has to be re-written and new "sensible" laws enacted. Sadly, this will have to be done at the legislative level, which has shown it is more interested in lobbyists than consumers. What needs to happen is a top senator needs to get sued by the RIAA, then things will more real quick.

RE: Farewell, 'fair use'
By Meaker10 on 10/9/2007 12:40:38 PM , Rating: 2
At least here in the UK it is illegal for them to prevent you from making a backup copy so in effect copy protection is illegal in the first place (at least for the first disc).

RE: Farewell, 'fair use'
By marvdmartian on 10/9/2007 4:49:25 PM , Rating: 2
Can you imagine if these RIAA bozos got the rights to, say, a song like the "Star Spangled Banner"?? They'd have thier little song nazis at every school sporting event, counting the number of people that were singing the national anthem, in order to make certain that they charged each and every one of them for using their property! (sarcastic eye roll)

Karaoke next?
By Hokum on 10/9/2007 11:03:04 AM , Rating: 2
I mean your performing, to an audiance, so you must be breaking copyright... right?

This is going too far...

So if i buy a CD and i go to my car (its old) and it doesnt have a CD player, and as i cant buy tapes any longer, i cant "steal" a copy on to a tape to listen to in the car?

RE: Karaoke next?
By Hokum on 10/9/2007 11:09:31 AM , Rating: 3
If making a copy is stealing, why do the Sony phones come with software to rip music CD's to them?

RE: Karaoke next?
By Omega215D on 10/9/2007 4:02:32 PM , Rating: 2
This idea coming from the Sony music corp =D.

A giant corp like some fat ass who doesn't know what his/her feet are doing.

RE: Karaoke next?
By Omega215D on 10/9/2007 4:03:14 PM , Rating: 2
This idea coming from the Sony music corp =D.

A giant corp like some fat ass who doesn't know what his/her feet are doing. *packs his bags...

WHAT THE @*!@?
By iFX on 10/9/2007 11:00:46 AM , Rating: 4
<<<The case revolves around the complaint that Kwik Fit employees brought in personal radios which they played while working on cars, which could be heard by colleagues and customers. The PRS says this amounts to a public "performance" and should have entailed royalties.>>>

Are you fucking kidding me? Fuck that I am boycotting. I won't buy ANY music from any label until this shit stops.

RE: WHAT THE @*!@?
By TomZ on 10/9/2007 12:40:55 PM , Rating: 4
You might find this helpful - lets you tell prior to purchase whether the record label is RIAA-affiliated or not:

Holy crap
By Polynikes on 10/9/2007 11:56:38 AM , Rating: 4
The case revolves around the complaint that Kwik Fit employees brought in personal radios which they played while working on cars, which could be heard by colleagues and customers. The PRS says this amounts to a public "performance" and should have entailed royalties.

If this case doesn't get thrown out then the end is officially nigh.

Seriously, I refuse to buy music from bands whose labels are part of the RIAA. I just won't do it. I'll see them in concert, maybe buy merchandise, whatever, but no records for me.

RE: Holy crap
By Conor026 on 10/9/2007 12:13:39 PM , Rating: 4
Holy crap is pretty much all i can say too.

Like where does "public performance" stop,
if i invite some friends around this weekend
and play a cd in the background, will that
be considered "public performance" too.

Boycotting any bands that are with the RIAA.

This RIAA crap takes the fun out of music.

By Harkonnen on 10/9/2007 10:51:29 AM , Rating: 5
Step 1: Sue everyone and everything.

Step 2: ..........

Step 3: PROF.......Hey! Where is our profit?!

RE: Hah
By rdeegvainl on 10/9/2007 11:11:30 AM , Rating: 2
LOL, I would rate up but i already posted.

What about portables?
By EidolWays on 10/9/2007 4:13:42 PM , Rating: 3
In the quotes from Ms Pariser that I've seen thus far, she makes no distinction between various means of copying. Now, the parent articles typically reference "burning," but Pariser doesn't seem to make a distinction.

So what does this mean for portables? If you purchase a song online and then place a COPY on your iPod then, by her definition, you've just stolen the song. Never mind that it will still only be you that's using the song.

Part of the problem here seems to be that music is nearly being treated as software. "You gotta have a license for every client machine on which the software is installed!"

The fun thing is that this would also mean burning my purchased music to a CD for enjoyment in my car is illegal. And I fail to understand why someone else hearing the music that plays from my car incurs a LOSS for the label. It's entirely possible that anyone who hears the song would not have otherwise heard it. They might like it and go buy the CD. In which case, isn't it free advertising?

I'm also not certain why her testimony is given such weight. She's the legal counsel for a company that has a personally vested interest in extracting as much cash out of the market as possible. This equates to an obvious bias. Furthermore, she offers no actual proof to substantiate her claim that such copying by a single user actually hurts the label. That is, unless you consider purchasing a new copy for every single device or medium you put the song on to be the norm. OK, then I might buy into the copying incurring a loss. The frightening thing is that they'll likely try to convince some judge that it is the norm and that the current system is, in fact, nothing but a glut of theft.

That's the fun part. They don't have to offer reasonable proof of loss or temper their forward march at all. So long as they can convince some idiot judge that things are not as they should be, then they win.

Also, y'know, I voted for Bush. But I still wonder at the man quite often...

RE: What about portables?
By EidolWays on 10/9/2007 4:22:05 PM , Rating: 2
As an addendum to my own post, what about moving a song file? In so doing, there are temporarily two copies before your computer deletes the original. Does this mean that even moving a song from one location to another on your PC constitutes theft?

RE: What about portables?
By Chocobollz on 10/17/2007 1:04:16 AM , Rating: 2
Err.. actually, when you delete your file, the data were still be there in your harddisk, its just the index which is deleted and so it means if you move your file, there'll be 1 copies left there on your harddisk, and yes, you can be prosecuted as a theft :P

By redbone75 on 10/9/2007 10:55:23 AM , Rating: 2
I love how some of our "lawmakers" get quoted as saying this is fair. They are just monkeys that say and do what the big corporations pay them to do. If the corporate dollar was taken out of Capitol Hill we might just see an end to these ridiculous suits, but that is wishful thinking.

RE: Lawmakers?
By Black69ta on 10/9/2007 11:17:29 AM , Rating: 4
Don't insult Monkeys, internet movies prove that even they know when S**t stinks, lol. Politician would have to have a committee debate if they need to fund a study, to decide if it would help to poll the general population, as to whether they should hold an election,,,Oh wait, who got caught in the bathroom soliciting?

By tdawg on 10/9/2007 12:03:15 PM , Rating: 4
The Brain of the RIAA: "We need to stop people listening to our music free on the radio, or making a backup copy of their cd's, since we don't make money on them. We're going to cut out all these theives. No free radio! Yay!

6 months later... "Why isn't anybody buying CDs? Don't they know what's out there?" "Uh, no Bob, you cut out all the mediums that gave your musicians exposure. Now you just expect people to buy your CDs without hearing them first. By the way, here's my notice; I'm going to work for an industry that actually has brains."

RE: Genius!
By codeThug on 10/9/2007 4:33:38 PM , Rating: 2
Well put..

The RIAA are nothing more than middlemen or brokers. They don't "RECORD" anything. In commerce, often middlemen are worth their place in the supply chain. However, in the case of music, their monopolistic stature and aggressive unjustified measures are earning them a place right next to Australopithecus.

The sooner the better.

Artists need to take charge.
By Mitch101 on 10/10/2007 10:28:07 AM , Rating: 2
Artists/Bands need to take charge of their own music sales and downloads. Someone needs to write a web program like PHPNUKE and make it easily installable or pre-installed from one of the major internet providers that allows them to easily sell their own songs.

One of the most succesfull and most profitable bands was the greatfull dead and they encouraged people to bring recorders to thier concerts. Bands can make money without signing to big labels.

Otherwise like this person got this with a 200K fine they are going to hit the wrong person so down on thier luck they have nothing to live for and he will park a truck filled with whatever or go in guns blazing! Society has a lot of crazy and when you burn enough people eventually you hit a nut case who fires back. Heck if some minimum wage ex employee who loses his job is willing to do it then imagine where these kinds of fines will go.

RE: Artists need to take charge.
By Mitch101 on 10/10/2007 10:32:50 AM , Rating: 2
So here is the math a recording artist get some 5 cents for every song sold and lets say that by signing with a recording company they sell a million songs. $50,000

If they start up thier own buisness and sell their own cd's and have an online outlet with a program that allows them to sell thier music online and get say a buck for a song then a 12 song cd means if they can sell 4,167 CD's they make the same as selling a million albums with the RIAA.

4,167 vs 1,000,000 Im betting some popular local bands that pack in a couple hundred people in a night club can do this easily.

RE: Artists need to take charge.
By tjr508 on 10/10/2007 3:49:43 PM , Rating: 2
Congrats. That is by and far the worst math (or logic if you want to call it that) I have seen all month.

Next RIAA Target: Ear Worms
By jskirwin on 10/9/2007 2:34:39 PM , Rating: 2
Just a note that I am currently hearing "You've Got Another Thing Coming," by Judas Priest in my head - and I'm not paying royalties.

deh... deh... deh... You've got another thing comin'...


RE: Next RIAA Target: Ear Worms
By codeThug on 10/9/2007 4:37:11 PM , Rating: 3
In the RIAA's head, they are hearing "Breakin' the Law, Breakin' the Law".

And you will be paying royalties...

The Music and Film Industry
By rjfear on 10/9/2007 1:12:49 PM , Rating: 2
The solution to the problem is as simple as stated in quite a few of the comments here. Take away the money. Stop buying the material and the greed driven people pushing the issue will leave.

Let's go back to listening to live music and paying the people that play the instruments and quit feeding the recording industry monster.

RE: The Music and Film Industry
By Kenenniah on 10/10/2007 4:11:26 PM , Rating: 2
I totally agree with you in theory and principle.
The cynical side of me thinks that a boycott has just as much of a possibilty for even more litigation. I can see it now...RIAA would just blame each decline in sales on piracy and copyright infringment. They are seemingly unable to actually comprehend reality, and unfortunately our legal system seems to be in the same boat.

By headslacker on 10/9/2007 1:25:15 PM , Rating: 2

I thought Sony won us (you and I ) the
right to record for personal use anything
with there amazeing new product.
The Sony Beta max.

Go Team Sony!

RE: Sony
By headslacker on 10/10/2007 5:17:02 PM , Rating: 2
Remember Mr. jaws,
5 sec rule, pay for a ring tone ?
or oh god sampling did id did ya
or how about the Lear cassette tape
c30 c60 c90 go, that mixed tape your friend gave you
in the 80s and then you went out and bought an album
cause that one song rocked.

The sony company sued and won the right to sell a video
tape recorder so we could enjoy without profit
the future viewing of recored video
and now they don't want us to enjoy the rights
we bought with the original long playing record
c.d. or download to put it on a different media
and enjoy at our leisure or share with our friends
lets see how many of you have bought
"dark side of the moon"
on lp, c.d., 8 trac and mp3 ... reel to reel ;)
i have 3 of the 5, and you?

End note;
can I get money back for hearing songs in public I hate

By Hakuryu on 10/9/2007 3:53:56 PM , Rating: 2
Sure there are music downloaders in the US/UK, and I've seen news stories on copied CD's being sold, but the real place music labels are losing money is overseas.

I was in the Army in Korea in 1992, and like every 50 feet outside the base was a music store that sold nothing but copied tapes. They would get a real cassette, copy the jacket and tape, and then sell those copies. If anyone in the military paid $10+ for a tape instead of $2-$3 charged in these copy stores, then I would be amazed. I saw lots people buying these copied tapes, including officers.

The music industry is losing millions in places like this, outside every military base in countries where this can be done. I wonder when the RIAA is gonna get the balls to sue 1/2 the enlisted people in every military base in these countries. Most people think they are evil now, wait til they start suing our 'troops'.

By SavagePotato on 10/10/2007 11:21:08 AM , Rating: 2
Simply because they can't. Foreign countries such as China, Thailand, etc have real piracy, IE people standing on the street selling perfectly duplicated discs by the dozen for $1 each.

However it's pretty tough to get any money out of a street vendor from Thailand.

They can however scare money out of US citizens in a blatant moneymaking attempt, every case they settle out of court is money in their pocket. Ones like the recent $220k judgment I'm sure do nothing but cost them money. They will never collect a fraction of that, and the legal costs were likely more than that in the first place.

A Day Late... but hopfully someone will read.
By Drexial on 10/10/2007 10:33:38 AM , Rating: 2
I feel its time that people start pettitioning to their favorite bands to drop their labels. instead of buying that $500,000 lamborgini save it to release their next labum on their own. it doesnt cost that much to have CDs printed profesionaly. and it would leave them to do anything they wanted.

like one of the best hip-hop artits said

"40,000 sold, $400 grand
f*** a middle man
i dont trust anyone else
bootleg it and sell it to the streets myself"

By Drexial on 10/10/2007 10:36:15 AM , Rating: 2
oops, got distracted and forgot to include the fact that Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails are already doing this now. why let someone else make money off of your art. its your work you sell it. you get the money.

Precedent exists already in the US
By The Jedi on 10/9/2007 10:57:47 AM , Rating: 3
There are laws in the US that regulate what you can do with radio and music in public. It's been a while since I had a semester of Communications Law. I think radio in public is in the clear. But playing a CD of music in a public business needs to be broadly licensed. Teams from ASCAP drive around the US in vans and if they happen upon a business playing music that's unlicensed, they levy a fine on that business. At least that's what I recall. But there are music vendors i.e. Muzak, and ways of licensing music for places like Borders, grocery stores, malls, etc. I had a buddy who went to music business school who told me that small royalties are paid on songs broadcast on the radio.

It sounds like Microsoft's Zune method of sharing a song for 3 days or 3 plays or whatever is more accomodating than the RIAA's preferences. Music has to be heard somehow to spread and even sell.

The phenomenon of albums that are only half good probably contributes to declining CD sales anyway.

I can see it now...
By tjr508 on 10/9/2007 11:19:10 AM , Rating: 3
From this day forward all automakers must disable the CD player when passengers are detected to prevent illegal performances.

Criminalization of Society
By Cubexco on 10/10/2007 10:07:51 AM , Rating: 3
This business reminds me of "Joe's Garage" by Frank Zappa, where the powers that be decide that it is best for everyone to be like everyone else, and the easiest way to do so, is to make everyone a criminal....

Incidently, Zappa "released" one of his albums on the radio, inviting listeners to "bring out their tape recorders and record this", as the record company did not want him to release a particular album, nor would they let him approach some other label to release it!

By shimizoo on 10/9/2007 10:21:57 AM , Rating: 2
This is the abuse of the big company....take it or leave it. This is the new Inquisition.

Insanity in the Courthouse
By Houdani on 10/9/2007 10:59:45 AM , Rating: 2
What are the rules in the UK for bringing frivolous lawsuits like this? Certainly someone in the courts over there would be willing to swap their wig for a backbone and hit the PRS with a massive fine for SAS like this.

At some point, the courts and lawmakers have to step up and act in the interests of The Consumers Who Elect Them and quit letting the megacorps run roughshod over the judicial system.

And I thought it was bad here in the States. Sheesh.

By sam adan on 10/9/2007 11:02:36 AM , Rating: 2
What now, I can’t play my radio in public? This is preposterous. The RIAA and in particular Sony (BMG) spokesperson is wrong. The will continue to alienate themselves and put themselves right out of existence with this heavy handed actions. Copying and haring has always been gong on and will continue to go on. The RIAA must come up with creative and palatable means of sustain themselves and the artists they represent.

By sam adan on 10/9/2007 11:05:17 AM , Rating: 2
I will stop humming my favorite song in the shower, you will never know where and when the RIAA is listening.

This just...
By Cerberus29 on 10/9/2007 11:17:14 AM , Rating: 2
pisses me off so much that I want to go to the RIAA and the PRS and just slap them repeatadly and tell them to grow up.

We won't be able to listen to music soon, we'll be able to buy it, but not listen to it as someone else might hear it.

I think the idea of a mass boycott is a brilliant idea and it really needs to be done to sort out the RIAA and PRS.
If the music industry and these crackpot companies want to stop us listening to music then we should stop completly and see how they like it.

Look at the bright side
By AntiM on 10/9/2007 11:27:33 AM , Rating: 2
If it becomes illegal to play music in a car that's loud enough for other people to hear it, then that gives us the right to drag them from their car and perform a citizen's arrest. Right? Citizen's Arrest... Citizen's Arrest!!!

Stop them
By crystal clear on 10/9/2007 11:29:25 AM , Rating: 2
Some fear the RIAA is overstepping its bounds, including in the Thomas case. Rep. Rick Boucher, a Virginia Democrat, and strong advocate of fair use, recently went on record stating that the trial verdict was excessive and "way out of line" with other cases of this nature.

The only way you can stop the RIAA(demanding /getting RANSOM money) is not through the courts but your law makers.

"public outcry,public outrage" are your weapons.

You should start a "Let your senator/congressman know campaign".

Let him know what you feel about the RIAA-millions of letters (not emails) could convince them to stop the RIAA by ,limiting the compensation that the RIAA can get.

Those politicians still rely mostly on public opinion on such issues -just remember they need your votes.

Compensation should be limited to $ 1 per song downloaded.

Now is the time before its too late.

By m3rdpwr on 10/9/2007 11:45:27 AM , Rating: 2

I want my elevator music!!!


RIAA's new revenue
By viperpa on 10/9/2007 11:51:25 AM , Rating: 2
RIAA's new revenue stream, get people to buy music and then sue them over fair use. What better way to get free money.

This is a perfect example of abuse of fair use laws and stifling advancement of technology. Who would every thought playing a radio at work, playing music in your car is against the law.

Breaking News:

The RIAA is going to sue people who are part time music buyers. The RIAA said there revenue stream should not be denied cause people want to spend money on something else. If it came down to buying food or music, music is top priority a spokesman for the RIAA said.

Whats next? No more humming?
By JonnyBlaze on 10/9/2007 11:55:47 AM , Rating: 2
I can see someone getting sued for humming songs. RIAA will probably go after karaoke bars next.

Copyright and Retail Stores
By mrpipzoid on 10/9/2007 12:08:59 PM , Rating: 2
You folks are like so-o embarrassingly behind the time; ignorant even. The legality of using radio as background in a retail setting was decided TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO in a case involving the Gap. (They're a clothing retailer!). This is pretty common knowledge. The following abstract is from the NYT <
(I ain't a'gonna pay for the whole article.)

The Supreme Court refused today to review a ruling that could require many small retail establishments in the New York area to pay royalties for the right to keep a radio turned on for background music for their customers. The Gap Stores, a nationwide clothing chain, had appealed a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York. The appeals court ruled that the broadcast of music off the radio by a Gap store in Greenwich Village infringed the copyrights on the...
April 27, 1982

By dirkiffer on 10/9/2007 12:17:36 PM , Rating: 2
when cds first came out we were promised that the music you bought would last forever and that the price per unit would soon drop as the tech became more common.
i would like my money back from the thousands of dollars worth of cd/dvds that have not lasted forever or even a few years. and whatever became of the price drop???

Wrote your representatives
By ajfink on 10/9/2007 12:20:19 PM , Rating: 2
This is the time for everyone to contact their state and (more so) federal representatives, whether they be in the House or the Senate, and tell them how they feel on this issue. It would be good to have the opinions of their constituents in their minds on this sort of topic.

The same goes, in fact, for other topics that concern most Dailytech readers, such as Net Neutrality and the like.

You'd be surprised what a letter or an email can do to shape a lawmaker's actions, even if you're not buying them presents and flying them to golf courses like powerful lobbying groups.

By tnearing on 10/9/2007 12:47:16 PM , Rating: 2
I would like to point out that last year I was involved in producing a video yearbook for my high school for which we had to raise money to buy the rights to a couple of songs so that it wouldn't just be boring slides and clips. We were had to spend about 200 dollars per song. Even though we were going to give the video away for free! Wee ended up using some local musicians to make up for the fact that we could only afford about three songs.

How stupid can they be???
By lyelve on 10/9/2007 1:10:29 PM , Rating: 2
Don't these idiots see that evertime a radio is playing in public, that it is free advertising for their artists?? I can't tell you how many times I have heard a song in a store, office or other public venue and went out and purchased that song/album. I am with everyone else on this. NO MORE PURCHASES FROM ME!!!

it's CLOBBERIN' time
By zander55 on 10/9/2007 1:13:02 PM , Rating: 2
i do believe i have the topic of the next article i write for our school newspaper.

By Locutus465 on 10/9/2007 1:15:13 PM , Rating: 2
RIAA has already been proven to be a monoply harmful to cosumers in American courts, how much farther will the goverment let them go before taking desicive action? It amazes me that so many resources are being thrown at fighting Microsoft and when it comes to the RIAA the government stopped at a nearly meaningless court win declaring them a monoply...

Perhaps it's just me, but I think it's about time to go Standard Oil on the RIAA... They're attacking the average american consumer for what? Downloading a song once? Listening to music on the radio (ok, that's the UK but how long before the same happens here particularly if they manage to win across the pond?), burning a backup of a CD, ripping CD's to Mp3 so they can carry them on their iPod? Enough is enough, I'm all for protecting copy rights, I do personally consider downloading stealing (there for I subscribe to Zune and buy music through that service), but I'll be damned if the RIAA is going to tell me I can't burn the Mp3's I just bought to CD.

Has no one before thought to declare the RIAA an illegal organization and force them to disban? I'm pretty sure a loss like that would temper lables into more sane versions of copy right protection... For instance going after only people distributing pirated material, and dropping the fight against home recording technology all together.

By johnnyMon on 10/9/2007 1:50:46 PM , Rating: 2
"The RIAA could pursue retailers like Borders Books who play music in their restrooms or on their store floors. They could also seek action against small businesses that have radios in their stores."

The author of that blog passage is clueless. Borders *already* pays a license fee for that publicly performed music. So do most small businesses who play the radio (the ones who don't haven't been caught yet).

When you listen to the radio, the station is paying a small license fee per song for the right to play it on their station. But when the Hard Rock Cafe plays the radio, for example (which is really private satellite radio with custom programming), to entertain the whole restaurant, they are using that music to make a profit. This was not part of the small license fee the radio station paid when the played the song. And it's not part of the license fee you pay when you buy a CD. If you're using the song to make money for your business, you need to pay the artists and the labels for that.

The case of the car repair shop is taking this to an absurd level. That some people might have overheard the radio?? I'd like to be the lawyer defending the car repair shop in that lawsuit. The RIAA is shooting themselves in the foot by being way too aggressive. But when a business plays the radio to its customers, they should (and do) have to pay a separate license fee.

By 1078feba on 10/9/2007 2:19:19 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting to note that in reading all the posts/responses so far, none of the usuals have made an appearance.

Add my voice to choir, pun intended. Not only will I not buy from any of the major labels, neither will anyone in my family. This is so far beyond the pale that it'd be comical if it weren't so disgustingly, pathetically cynical.

By excrucio on 10/9/2007 2:34:11 PM , Rating: 2
[sarcasm and seriousness] Isn't what cd music encryption is for?

Then use it, then everything is legal if WE get around it thats your problem for not encrypting the cd correctly.

You proclaim to be a non profit organization yet your making thousands on poor people, on KIDS, on Elders.

Just sad how low a company will go for money.

It's like taking 500,000 off bill gates every day, he makes that in a minute.

So now we are illegal to burn data? yeah thats damn fucckiing right, data! you target the cd burning how can you be sure we are really burning audio?.... Wait a cop will stop us and ask if our cd is LEGIT?

well thats easy, let's use a cover maker and paste it.

ok ok are we done yet?


Let's go to the online radio issue, WE LOVE MUSIC, people RUN on music, music is like food we need it to be able to do some things. helping other companies CHARGE 400% more for online radio royalties, WHAT IN THE FUX are you out of your sane mind?

Land radios don't pay that much. wait you wanna do that do land radios too right?

Just face it, you're trying to make money.

RIAA: The Millennium Hitler Company.

Just plain sad. Those who rate my post negative, go ahead. They are trying to make the world a better place by suing us that have no money to live with a mortgage. You should be helping cops put away real criminals.

We download, but yet 50cent, young joc, linkin park still makes their 60000000000000000000 dollars from CD SALE...wait what? CD sales? Yeah PEOPLE STILL BUY ALTHO THEY DOWNLOAD, you knwo why????!?!?! BECAUSE WE LOVE supporting the bands we love to listen, damn straight.

Okay one....What about songs that cant be bought in the US???? Such as TRANCE songs where the US doesn't even support techno music besides stupid corny US techno DJ's

We cant buy those cd's because they are based on europe.

Yeah Only if the world was a better place huh RIAA?..

im done.

[/sarcasm and seriousness]

By Firetribe666 on 10/9/2007 2:53:54 PM , Rating: 2
It hires many of the country's top lawyers and have gained millions in settlements and recently have added the $222,000 Thomas verdict to its coffers.

I don't think this is quite accurate, should probably be received millions...

The next line of questioning was how many suits the RIAA has filed so far. Pariser estimated the number at a "few thousand." "More like 20,000," suggested Toder. "That's probably an overstatement," Pariser replied. She then made perhaps the most startling comment of the day. Saying that the record labels have spent "millions" on the lawsuits, she then said that "we've lost money on this program."

Quoted from:

As many others have said, the RIAA is getting out of control, on many levels. I have stopped buying RIAA bands music and will continue to boycott them until they pull their head out of their arse.

By xxsk8er101xx on 10/9/2007 3:07:48 PM , Rating: 2
"Burning CDs is just another name for stealing"

The one thing that the RIAA is stupid in not realizing is this: we don't need their music. it is not essential to everyday life.

Boycotting the RIAA is probably the best thing for this country. If we can force the RIAA to go bankrupt we can live in harmony once more and enjoy music in a way that is meant to be. That is, the idea of free expression without the fear of oppression from government/businesses.

Now I get it!!
By jimmy43 on 10/9/2007 3:31:56 PM , Rating: 2
1. Sue Everyone
2. ????
3. Profit!!

Guys come on its simple

By dherasa on 10/9/2007 3:39:56 PM , Rating: 2
You all remember a couple of years ago when the seller of real state property was the one who ruled? Now is the buyer who rules. The same is gonna happen with music business, they now wanna rule, but at the end the buyer is who rules. They will probably prohibit Google from having videos on youtube, and yahoo, and Microsoft. RIAA is gonna fight with the real giants, and that is when they gonna get in trouble. And believe me, nobody has better lawyers than Google does.

Where is the freedom USA is known for? Is that gone?

By counterclock on 10/9/2007 4:56:08 PM , Rating: 2
I suppose Pariser's use of the word "suppose" when she stated "When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song," was to insure that we all understand that she was just speculating. But somewhere in her legal education she must have been taught about the Audio Home Recording Act -- -- Guess she just wasn't thinking about it that day under oath.

I suppose if I put on rose colored glasses I can call the sky red. Damned unlikely I'd ever get a judge to agree.

The RIAA is Right
By Sat32 on 10/9/2007 5:40:47 PM , Rating: 2
They have a right to control there property I like to have control of my own property, as I'm sure most of you do as well.

The problem is the RIAA sold the property a Music CD doesn't
cost a dollar "about the price of a blank CD".

So if the RIAA wants to sell the latest CD from the latest, greatest artist, for a buck then they can tell me how I can use it.

If not I paid for it's mine to use as I wish the owner.

By CommercialMusicSucks on 10/9/2007 6:21:59 PM , Rating: 2
RIAA says "We are going to sue you for ANY use of our music".

And that's just fine with me. I don't know why ANYONE would buy the crap that Sony Music Monopoly puts out.

You are a fool if you do. Don't you know that they are just corporate projects with staff writers and a bunch of managers. THE MUSIC IS FAKE - just like the Monkees in the 60s.

I just bought a bunch of CDs from Amazon and I intent to turn around and send them right back with the reason of "Due to recent events with the RIAA, I can not determine whether I will be sued or not so I can not use the product."

I suggest everyone reading this does the same and go buy some FANTASIC music available from REAL musicians all over the web not associated with any label.

By chickencoop on 10/9/2007 8:20:47 PM , Rating: 2
Is the next step to sue me for playing the radio, CD or a DVD in my car with some of my friends riding in the car?

These people's elevator does not go to the top floor! Heck, I don't think it even works. This whole thing is a classic example of a bunch of lawyers out to make money and nothing else.


New Wave 2007
By pranilm on 10/9/2007 8:23:04 PM , Rating: 2
"Video killed the radio star" and the RIAA killed music. End of Story

This is getting out of hand.
By Domicinator on 10/9/2007 8:53:24 PM , Rating: 2
I still buy CDs. I like to have a stamped copy of my music, not a burned copy, and I like to have it somewhere other than on a hard drive.

That being said, as soon as I buy a CD, I rip it to my main computer, I share it over my network with my laptop and my wife's laptop, and I also put all the files on my Chocolate so I can listen to it in the car without carrying CDs around.

So is the RIAA going to sue me for all this? Apparently I'm not allowed to make copies of stuff that I bought.

This it complete Bullsh**
By justinmcg67 on 10/9/2007 9:24:51 PM , Rating: 2
So, they can SUE me for listening to a PUBLIC BROADCAST? Or how they can sue me in MY vehicle for listening to MY cd that I purchased with MY hard earned money?

How is making a COPY of something "stealing?" Maybe they shoudl look up what a COPY is! "An imitation, reproduction, or transcript of an original" If I purchase something and I can make a copy, I'm going to. Their reasoning is so stupid. That's like having a company try to sue me for making a copy of a piece of paper! And for all you know that piece of paper could be crayon drawings form a 5 year old! (Oh wait, they'll get another $222,000 for that one as well!)

RIAA is NOT an Association. RIAA is an abusive and corrupt organization bent on making PROFITS from any one it sees fit; be it American's or European's or anyone. Simply put, this is nothing more than a company that is exploiting people's RIGHTS and LIBERTIES to turn a profit. Just look at how they act in the court room, and the reward: $222,000.

When will America fight back against these huge corporations and agencies that defy our Bill of Rights and Constitution?

Plain idiotic
By DeepBlue1975 on 10/10/2007 9:27:20 AM , Rating: 2
As Fitcamaro said, this is totally ridiculous.

I see this actions as the last cry a dying whale makes: they know they can't stop internet sharing from happening, they know they can't always win and some day the simple use of sharing will tend to shift the law towards ways that are friendlier for those who share stuff online.

Seeking people online is time consuming, and somewhat expensive, while randomly walking around shops and find those who have their radios turned on is far more simpler and the proof is damn obvious, and almost every single shop out there has a radio turned on.

They are just trying to shift to easier preys to keep on getting profits...
I just hope that they don't get what they want. Something as stupid as this shouldn't be approved at all.

Screw em
By djtodd on 10/10/2007 9:53:58 AM , Rating: 2
I for one, stopped buying music long ago, and will refuse to buy anything with DRM. If the riaa continues down this road I think many more will as well. I hope the artists feel the pain enough to shake some sense into the riaa.

By mal1 on 10/10/2007 10:00:14 AM , Rating: 2
It hires many of the country's top lawyers and have gained millions in settlements and recently have added the $222,000 Thomas verdict to its coffers.

Doesn't this imply that the RIAA has earned (I use the term earn very loosely here) more than they've spent on their crusade to destroy the enjoyment of one of humankind's oldest art forms? And wouldn't they have to actually collect $222k to add it to their "coffers"? Someone correct me if I'm wrong here, but it seems to me that the RIAA's quest to extort money from everyone and their dead relatives has probably cost them a hell of a lot more than they have gained. As far as I can tell their own net gain is the animosity of a rapidly growing number of their customers.

most stupid thing I've read yet...
By aguilpa1 on 10/10/2007 1:35:51 PM , Rating: 2
WTF..., this bi****, is getting a fist full of cash stuffed up her a** and is being used as a hand puppet to say what ever RIAA wants her to, cause she obviously has no brains of her own...., Ridiculous...

By lagomorpha on 10/10/2007 1:45:33 PM , Rating: 2
Who will be surprised if the RIAA starts offering songs only as "pay per listen"? After all every time you hear it you make another copy in your brain. At least they havn't tried to patent music yet.

By Martimus on 10/10/2007 5:00:55 PM , Rating: 2
I just read the story about Kwik-Fit, and all I can say is WTF?

Why on Earth would a music company sue its customers for playing the music they sold it? That sounds like a great way to lose all of your customers. I mean isn't that the sole reason to buy the music - TO LISTEN TO IT? So other people can hear the music ... so what? How do you expect someone else to know they like the song to buy the CD if they never hear the song? I mean, how asinine can you get?

I love it!!!
By Setsunayaki on 10/11/2007 1:09:11 AM , Rating: 2
I love how when a musicians goes up to a label and records any piece of music....THEY GIVE THE LABEL COPYRIGHTS TO THEIR OWN MUSIC...

Thats right....So if I spent 10 - 20 years learning how to play music, developing some talent...Some moron who has no musical experience and was a business major in college.....end up ripping me off and making 95% of all the money I should be making for himself....

And since the COPYRIGHT is for the music label and not the individual....I can actually be SUED by the label if I LEAVE THE LABEL AND PLAY MY MUSIC while joining another label...GREAT NO?

The music industry would make much more money if musicians themselves were given a much greater cut.....You know...if they were paid what they deserve...Sure some turn on them and say "life is not always fair..."

I want to see those people actually learn music for 10 - 20 years and stick their neck out before even saying. Sure...we all make a choice when we choose a career....but truthfully...if a company existed where musicians EVEN GOT at least 25% of everything to start and had money....that practically every musician from every single label on the planet would flock to that company and you would soon see a recovering music industry.

Those idiotic commercials that the RIAA puts up "If you dont buy my CD, I cant eat" is complete bull, because they target the person and are put up by the RIAA to represent them....So these musicians should instantly be blacklisted....

You know, when a college band I liked went to a label...the band for their first album was only given 1% of the profits from CD sales after expenses...

Sorry, but the music industry is a raqueteering operation...where people who are on top, are out to make as much money as possible, so they send lobbyist to try to get congress to pass laws that would benefit their profit. The end result are the customers and musicians getting screwed.

If you truly want to fight against the RIAA...Refuse to even have any contact with any company who supports their ways....In time, RIAA will lose so much money that they wont be able to even operate. Also you can spread any song as much as you want....Its funny...I can hear a radio recording, but if I spread a radio recording, its considered to a crime.

Also the moron who made the statement should be shot....

Stealing is the act of physically taking something from someone...that person said "Copying is the same as STEALING"

NOT TRUE...Stealing means that I HAVE TO GO AND ACTUALLY take the object for myself....NOW COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT is the act of reproducing something, by copying a a means of not having to pay for it. MAJOR DIFFERENCE.

This is the list of labels...Note that if a COMPANY is not an RIAA member, they actually get sued over and over until they are forced to join....The reason RIAA companies should be avoided...BUY NOTHING FROM THEM is because those who are NOT RIAA labels are SUFFERING EVEN greater by all the pressure and that is not fair to them..

What you literally have is some CARTEL forming within the music industry that is against free enterprise and should be stopped. Not only are they after innocent people, they want to maximize their profits....

If the people don't stand up for the issues that plague things, they will find themselves robbed by these large corporations....

Digital Revolution
By initialised on 10/12/2007 5:29:44 AM , Rating: 2
"when people steal music the label is harmed"

The Label, not the artist, suffers the loss. The artist may actually benefit from copyright infringement by reaching a wider audience. Sony have known this for years which is why they make (or licence) mod chips.

Digital media makes it far easier for the artist to take control of their product and the labels are scared that when this takes off properly they'll loose out.

By DragonMaster0 on 10/13/2007 11:10:12 PM , Rating: 2
By DragonMaster0 on 10/18/2007 10:30:33 PM , Rating: 2
Stealing is the act of physically taking something from someone...that person said "Copying is the same as STEALING"

Every single cable, satellite, media, etc. companies tell this. They take it the way that you didn't pay for it, not that someone else lost it (They seriously don't care about that sort of stealing and would probably like that you buy the CDs back again. The stolen goods have been already paid legally, they aren't hurt at all by this.)

And who are they to tell that it's not right. May I remember that Sony installed rootkits on computers? (And has the intention to continue these practices I read a few months ago)

A few things
By clovell on 10/9/2007 11:49:43 AM , Rating: 1
Jason, look, I know we all have our personal views on politics, and that while this is a tech board, the two often intersect. However, I think to attribute a quote with such little context to 'the Bush Administration' (current vernacular for anything from the big bad wolf to whatever) is pushing it a little too far. Was this said in an official statement from the white house, or did somebody catch Condeleeza Rice off the cuff? It'd be nice to know.

And, I see this RIAA crap going nowhere. It is not illegal to copy CDs - I don't care what anybody says. Were that the case, Nintendo would have brought more than just Cease and Desist orders against sites like The Wonderful World of Emulation when its legal department went after ROM sites roughly a decade ago. It is legal to backup data you own as long as it is for personal use.

Sony BMG can file their suits, and they will lose. Then they can cry about how nobody likes them.

Legislating through the courts
By umeng2002 on 10/9/2007 1:12:53 PM , Rating: 1
That's what all these law suits are. The RIAA knows that they'd cause a shit storm if they actually tried to get specific laws passed, so they sue someone in court that sets a president which then effectively alters the law for everyone else (read: abridges fair use).

It's a popular way to make laws if your are in the minority.

One town looses a law suit to arrest illegal immigrants for being here illegally, and then now it's illegal for all local governments to protect their own cities.

Some nut job judge finds that copying a CD for personal use is illegal - and BAM! that overrides the power of the elected official's legislation - until a specific law is written to allow that. It's funny too because the RIAA own website says it's OK to copy CDs for personal use.


By ttnuagadam on 10/9/2007 4:24:31 PM , Rating: 1
So apparently RIAA's right to be greedy and selfish and use piracy as a scapegoat for why the GARBAGE they sell as "music" nowdays doesnt sell, overrides the right for the rest of us to burn cd's? Am i understanding this right?

Im glad the rights of fake musicians and their studio manufactured shit-on-reel take priority over the rest of us.

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