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The Electronic Frontier Foundation tears into the Recording Industry Association of America's controversial lawsuit campaign as it looks back over the past four years

Against a climate of litigation and DRM, the Electronic Frontier Foundation released “RIAA v. The People: Four Years Later,” a report (PDF) examining the entertainment’s anti-piracy efforts four years after the first P2P lawsuits targeting users.

The 25-page report -- which includes nine pages of citations -- covers broad territory, chronicling the record industry’s various legal campaigns and why each one has failed. Starting with the RIAA’s early attempts to “sue the technology,” the EFF argues that each successive attempt to curb piracy with litigation has no effect at best and, at worse, drives piracy even further underground: “In response to the RIAA lawsuits, many filesharers are beginning to opt for new file sharing technologies that protect their anonymity,” the EFF writes, “[and] infiltrating these private P2P circles is much more difficult than simply trolling public P2P networks.”

Legitimate downloading services do not escape the EFF’s analysis, either. Referring the DRM-encumbered downloads from stores like iTunes, the EFF writes: 

“While these restrictions, when considered in a vacuum, may strike some as reasonable, they make for a less-than-attractive carrot when dangled in front of music fans used to the unencumbered MP3 files they find on P2P networks. At the same time, the DRM technologies have not succeeded in keeping any “protected” songs off the Internet. In fact, the existence of these restrictions gives otherwise law-abiding customers a reason to seek out P2P channels when their legitimate expectations are frustrated (after all, these are the customers who paid for the music they could have obtained for free!).”

Interestingly, the EFF seems to feel that illegal file sharing and P2P piracy may actually be in a state of regression: with the dropping costs of high-capacity storage media, friends and social circles have returned to swapping CDs instead of downloads; with the cost of optical media dropping, this is easier than ever. Moreso, users are not just swapping CDs, but may also be trading hard drives filled with music, allowing pirates to trade files at a rate faster than P2P networks. 

The report ends with remarkable proposal: rather than continuing lawsuits against its own customers, the EFF proposes a “voluntary collective licensing scheme” not unlike the royalties systems used for performance venues, radiostations, and restaurants. Essentially, P2P filetrading would be legal if the trader paid a monthly fee:

“The music industry forms one or more collecting societies, which then offers file sharing music fans the opportunity to “get legit” in exchange for a reasonable regular payment, say $5 per month. So long as they pay, the fans are free to keep doing what they are going to do anyway -- share the music they love using whatever software they like on whatever computer platform they prefer -- without fear of lawsuits. The money collected gets divided among rightsholders based on the popularity of their music. In exchange, file sharing music fans who pay (or have their ISP or software provider or other intermediary pay on their behalf) will be free to download whatever they like, using whatever software works best for them. The more people share, the more money goes to rights-holders. The more competition in P2P software, the more rapid the innovation and improvement. The more freedom for fans to upload what they care about, the deeper the catalog.”  

The concept is not new, however, as companies like Napster have already done it for a few years now with its “unlimited access” rental program, where consumers have free access to a large library provided they keep paying the monthly fee. The key difference between the EFF’s scheme and rental services, however, is that users, not rightsholders, retain control over the files downloaded, the software used for playback, and the means of acquisition; a stark contrast to the “walled gardens” that permeate the digital music market of today.

According to Ars Technica, the idea has already been passed around by EFF attorney Fred von Lohmann at a Beverly Hills DRM conference last spring. The labels refused, citing that consumers would “pay exactly once,” download everything they wanted, then immediately cease all future payments.

"This is about money, not morality," says von Lohmann. "With a blanket licensing solution, the RIAA can call off the lawyers and the lobbyists, and universities can get back to education instead of copyright enforcement."



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RIAA and p2pers
By JasonMick (blog) on 8/30/2007 5:31:49 PM , Rating: 5
I think the RIAA is out of control. Some of their lawsuits were against people that did not even own a computer, and obviously could not d/l music.

On the other hand, I think people who just d/l music p2p and never buy music are also equally corrupt. I personally feel p2p d/ling is a good thing, but should be used like a preview.

Most songs I d/l I don't enjoy. Sometimes though I will find a song I do enjoy, or better yet a whole cd I find listenable, I go out and buy the CD. First, there is some special enjoyment in owning the cd. Secondly, you are becoming a patron of the artist, something so essential to small-time artists.

I can see d/l'ing big named pop tracks...those musicians get more money than they could imagine, already. What bothers me is when people listen to small time artists, enjoy their music, but never go out and support these artists by buying cds. I can understand the argument of financial constraints, but a cd is just $10-$15, so you could easily support your top few favorite small time artists.

Of course, as I said I equally loathe the RIAA and their zealous reign of terror. The RIAA needs to realize that they need policy change, not lawsuits to preserve the music industry.




RE: RIAA and p2pers
By CascadingDarkness on 8/30/07, Rating: 0
RE: RIAA and p2pers
By Highbuzz on 8/30/07, Rating: -1
RE: RIAA and p2pers
By omnicronx on 8/30/2007 7:01:13 PM , Rating: 3
Hey take your head out of the sand, Musicians make most of their money from endorsements, concert revenue and only a tiny amount off of CD sales. Of course some money is taken from their pockets, but the majority is being taken from the labels themselves. And its not like they don't make money anymore, they just don't make as much as they use too, which is no fault of ours. If they had embraced the digital revolution instead of fighting against it, none of this would have happened.

As the OP said, many people use P2P to preview the music, and will go buy it. Most of the music i download i would not buy in a million years, especially for 1 good song on an entire album. If artists put out good albums that are good from start to finish, i would have no problem buying every album that i listen to.


RE: RIAA and p2pers
By AraH on 8/30/2007 7:47:42 PM , Rating: 2
i agree with the last bit of your post, however, i think it's very hard for artists to do this, trying to cater to you're taste without varying it too much (songs would otherwise be very similar)... however, as much as there are many albums i would love to have, i have to honestly say that i start to think 'i already have it, why buy it?' (especially as i'm still on my dad's income, the situation could change once i start working though... dunno), although the best of the best i do buy... which is where i think many people stand (with some of them more liable to buy and some of them less...)


RE: RIAA and p2pers
By derwin on 8/31/2007 2:33:16 AM , Rating: 4
"musicans dont make money from CDs."

BS. Musicans pay back the studio, marketing, and legal fees associated with recording a big name CD using CD sales. The rest (concerts, endorsments, etc) are where they make a profit, but they still make money off CDs.
Heres the problem. Why does a good band need to pay a studio or marketing firm? Shouldn't mastering a CD be considered part of the artistic process? Shouldn't the producer be really part of the band, and only split his fair shair of their CD income? Why a flat fee? Unless he is like a factory worker churning out things without regard to its musical content, he ought to be paid not on a fee bassis, but how all the other musicians are paid - by their fair shair of the revenue. Secondly, why the h-ll do you need to promote a good CD? If its good, it sells itself. Kurt Cobain needed no marketing firm to make nirvana famous. Michael Jackson (who sucks, but for the sake of argument) needed no marketing company to make it as a big artist. The reason the record industry sucks is because they are no longer about the music. As long as the dollar comes before the quarter note, we as purchasers of their product have a responsibility to NOT buy the s--t pushed on us. DL it if its catchy. DL it if its a nice party tune. But for god's sake, er.. for music's sake, DONT PAY FOR CRAP, or you will get more crap.

I will continue to dl ALL of my music until this monster of art entierly for profit and not for any art at all continues to exist.

Art is expression. Art is a glimps into the soul of another human being. Art is beautiful. The Music industry (INDUSTRY!!! WE CALL IT AN INDUSTRY!!!) is none of the above.

F--- em. I miss the days when music was music first, and SINCE its good, they get paid.

Don't take me wrong, I think real musicans deserve to be paid. There are plenty of real musicans out there, but right now, they work for the RIAA, not the other way around. I am doing this as much if not more for them than I am for myself.


RE: RIAA and p2pers
By rdeegvainl on 8/31/2007 5:15:49 AM , Rating: 3
Sure you, just like people eat cows so there is more space to grow crops.
I disagree with your post, Michael Jackson was promoted (jackson 5) Nirvana was promoted(mothers screaming that it was evil) The reason a good band needs a studio and marketing firm in the first place, is because, even though they may have a great band and music and album, no one knows of them, they won't get airtime, how the hell are they gonna get on a radio station for petes sake, except for maybe one song at a late hour on a special segment for underheard music, that someone will say hey that is pretty good, i hope they make it big and then i'll even consider getting there music. If they don't have a producer and marketing behind them, they are dead in the water. Art for money i think is the best possible situation too. If an artist can't focus on his/her art, then that art will not be as good as it could be, sure there are the few exceptions, but I would rather people be able to make a living for providing us all the entertainment that they do.


RE: RIAA and p2pers
By derwin on 8/31/2007 3:04:06 PM , Rating: 3
The problem is systemic - i.e. the reason good bands can't get air play without a marketing and promotional campaign is because all the other crappy bands filling up the radio do have those things. The music industry needs to stop controlling what is on the air, and let the radio stations and thus their listeners decide.
Art for money is great. Art for the sake of money is horrible. What I think you ment to say is money for art. Money for art is great. Art for money is not.


RE: RIAA and p2pers
By AToZKillin on 9/4/2007 4:11:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Shouldn't mastering a CD be considered part of the artistic process? Shouldn't the producer be really part of the band, and only split his fair shair of their CD income? Why a flat fee?


Tracking (recording), mixing, and mastering are all considered part of the artistic process. Producers are responsible for overseeing the artistic process, and are compensated as such.

Typically, they get an producer's advance (taken out of the artist's share...so in that sense they are a 'part of the band'), as well as a percentage (usually <5%), paid from record one. Meaning, they don't have to recoup the advance...they get paid right off the bat, unlike the artist.

quote:
Musicans pay back the studio, marketing, and legal fees associated with recording a big name CD using CD sales.


Typically, artists are given a recording advance (which is what you are probably referring to when you say "pay back the studio"), and sometimes a personal advance (for living costs). They shouldn't be paying for marketing and promotion, and the only legal fees they should be responsible for would be the percentage that their attorney gets for getting them signed (or whatever was agreed upon).

Music for profit has existed since...forever ago. Many classical composers wrote for money, as well as performers. I don't think it's in any way contemptible for a musician to demand compensation for their time and effort, as long as the product is good. On a side note, Michael Jackson is a pretty sweet performer, his personal issues aside.

In regards to this big topic in general, this is a system I've been a proponent of for a long time, before it ever was mainstream. For derwin's purposes, it's good for one thing: music that's good will be downloaded and heard, and those artists will be paid! So, if some diva or boy-band tries to pump out a garbage album/single, and only a few download it before the rest of the populace hears that it sucks...guess what? No $ for them!


RE: RIAA and p2pers
By Webreviews on 9/1/2007 12:03:08 AM , Rating: 2
Many musicians, even big brand-name ones, are realizing that they can give the music away and make much more back on concerts, branding, and special events.


RE: RIAA and p2pers
By CascadingDarkness on 8/30/2007 7:19:53 PM , Rating: 2
I really was hoping by putting in every high-horse argument in one post that everyone would catch on to the sarcasm. Nothing is better then comparing IP to stealing Ferraris. =)


RE: RIAA and p2pers
By mars777 on 8/31/2007 1:26:48 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
You sir are wrong! {casts first stone}


You sir are brainwashed {pats on your back}.

quote:
Would you walk into a store and steal their Ferrari?


No, but i would spit on their Ferrari :)

quote:
Also, there is no such thing as enjoying music to live an enriched life. You can live without music, even if it is a boring unfulfilled life. You sir are wrong!


I can live without the load of shit most popular artists pour out of their assholes. But music is another thing. Music is in the hands of small authors.


RE: RIAA and p2pers
By Dharl on 8/31/2007 11:38:23 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
{casts another stone for good measure}


I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. Thank you sir for a very commical "zealot" reply.

RIAA has always been about money and forever will be. They won't change this practice for at least a generation. Till the people who are under this opression become the next leaders.

I use to download music from P2P. Then buy the CD afterwards. This is how and why I bought so many at the time of Napster originally starting up years ago.

Now... I haven't bought CDs in 6 years or more. I can't stand the RIAA. I'd consider the same for movies... if that wouldn't cut out an even bigger portion of what I spend my spare money on.


RE: RIAA and p2pers
By AnnihilatorX on 8/30/2007 5:48:42 PM , Rating: 2
I buys CDs when I previewed and very much liked the album

For some songs CD quality is just tad better than mp3s
Though I am seeing more and more EAC (Exact Audio Copy) lossless music files on P2P


RE: RIAA and p2pers
By Christopher1 on 8/31/2007 1:17:35 AM , Rating: 2
That is what most people who download stuff on P2P networks are doing: try before buy; are downloading software, music, and games that are not in print anymore (personally, I've downloaded some Windows 98 era CD games that you just cannot find anymore); or are downloading software, games and movies that they would never be able to afford.

Most of them are doing those first two things, and not the last.

I don't download music on p2p networks, though that is because I don't even want to support an industry bilaterally in their 'we need to use DRM' arguments.. I have a subscription to Yahoo's (once MusicMatch's) music service where I can listen to any music I want for a $80 yearly fee. I cannot KEEP the music on my computer (that's a higher service than what I have now), but I can stream as much of it as I want, and since I am near a wireless network all the time...... I just do that.


RE: RIAA and p2pers
By Axbattler on 9/1/2007 3:46:47 PM , Rating: 2
I only half-agree. I do not believe that the small artists deserve my money/support any less than the big artists simply for being the little guys.


Music CD's are over priced
By EglsFly on 8/30/2007 11:21:47 PM , Rating: 3
Music CD's are over priced.
http://news.com.com/2100-1023-244195.html
A typical music CD cost $10-$15.

Yet, I can purchase a big budget block buster movie which cost way more to produce, let alone the fact that DVD's also cost more to manufacture than CD's, for less than $20.

If Music costs where more inline with actual value, then this wouldn't be an issue.




RE: Music CD's are over priced
By tcsenter on 8/31/2007 8:32:41 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Yet, I can purchase a big budget block buster movie which cost way more to produce, let alone the fact that DVD's also cost more to manufacture than CD's, for less than $20.
Err...you defanged your own alleged contradiction. "Block buster" movies have by definition already raked-in a few to several hundred million dollars at the box office before the movie goes to DVD sales and rental. The vast majority of the movie's production, distribution, and marketing costs have already been recouped along with, in many cases, a reasonable or customary profit. The pressure to recoup any outstanding costs or boost marginal returns through DVD sales and rentals is thus hugely lower. Revenues from DVD sales and rentals often equal or surpass the box office receipts of movies that by all accounts did reasonably well at the box office. In many cases, revenues from DVD sales and rentals are almost pure profit after direct cost of goods sold.

There is nothing remotely similar to this for music CDs. When a CD is released, it has not yet made a flat nickel. A promotional tour would have to be extraordinarily profitable to offset an unprofitable CD release. Most tours are barely profitable and done to drive sales of the album.
quote:
If Music costs where more inline with actual value, then this wouldn't be an issue.
Right, and you get to decide what the "actual value" of music is rather than the people taking all the risks? I'm all with ya on that one. I think Acura owners would be far less likely to become a victim of car theft if Acura stopped grossly "over-charging" for their cars, which surely are worth much less than Acura's asking price (according to me...and I don't have to provide a single bit of support for that because "I'm the decider").

BTW, $10.98 ~ $12.98 was the typical new CD price 23 YEARS AGO (I purchased my first CD player in 1984), reflecting the average premium of $3.00 over the cassette price. The typical price of a new cassette in 1981 was famously documented for posterity when Tom Petty threatened to title his new album "$8.98". CD prices are cheaper today than cassettes were in 1981, after adjusting for inflation using the Consumer Price Index:

$8.98 in 1981 is equal to $21.19 in 2006 dollars

Ergo, if the price of music had kept pace with inflation like all other consumer products, a CD today should cost $21.00. Note this does not include the $3 premium we used to pay for CDs. Its based on the price of a cassette in 1981. You smarmy bastards pay less for music today than every generation since WWII, yet whine and moan about music being 'overpriced'. Its an excuse to steal, nothing more.

Ask any veteran police detective working larceny or theft if he has EVER known a thief to come-out and say "I steal because I want something for free, because the rules don't apply to me, and anyone who doesn't like it can go f-ck themselves." Nope, never seen it, never even heard of it, will be the universal reply.

They always wrap it in some self-serving justification, casting themselves as a 'victim' who is just 'righting' some perceived wrong, often stylized in a warped parallel to 'Robin Hood'. Weird, I must have missed the version where Robin Hood took from the rich and gave to the self.


RE: Music CD's are over priced
By HotdogIT on 8/31/2007 1:17:56 PM , Rating: 2
++

It's not that music is "overpriced": It's that it's "overpriced" compared to what is so easily accessible: Free.


RE: Music CD's are over priced
By mindless1 on 8/31/2007 8:22:09 PM , Rating: 3
Sorry, but it really is "overpriced". Music is not a necessity in life and there are plenty of other entertainment values today that cost less than $10-15 per 8 minutes, (runtime of those 2 songs per CD that made you buy it if you would).


RE: Music CD's are over priced
By Axbattler on 9/2/2007 5:00:18 PM , Rating: 2
I do not buy that argument at all. Entertainment, as you said, is not a necessity of life. What is not a necessity, becomes a luxury - and luxury come at a premium. Now it's not the same as staying in a 5 star hotel, its more of a 'common luxury'... and priced accordingly.

And since when is entertainment measured solely by runtime? Even if it is measured by runtime, I happen to listen to my favourite tracks more than once. A lot more than once. Sure a book will give more "hours for the $", but a bungee jump a lot less. Then again, I do not hear people say "Mangoes are overpriced, you could get so many more apples for the price". It's simply absurd to measure entertainment by time alone.


RE: Music CD's are over priced
By mindless1 on 8/31/2007 8:18:44 PM , Rating: 2
You're forgetting the most important thing, supply and demand. There's no demand for CDs at their current prices. Claim it's due to too few good artists, or that these artists rush out 80% crap after generating one good song, that OTH and satellite along with better consumer electronics receivers improved the quality of broadcast reception, or digital downloads increased whether it be for profit or pirated.

It really doesn't matter which we blame, when considering that the perceived market value of a CD is lower than their current pricing model. Once this situation is established, people will do many different things to get the music they want. P2P downloading happens to be the more popular method, but suppose that magically went away tomorrow. What would people do? They'd record OTH, trade CDs/CDR/DVD full of music. I'm going to speculate that most people who have the spare time to do all this P2P aren't particularly high wage earners, their time is less valuable and they just don't have the budget to buy the music.

They will just find another way to get it or do without, but doing without doesn't solve any problems the RIAA claims. The RIAA illusion is that they can conspire to control the market then demand a steady income stream from a public that has too many other entertainment distractions in the modern world like web surfing, gaming, hundreds of TV channels, etc. RIAA thinks they can sue towards one of three ends:

1) Make money from suing

2) Scare people into buying music they wouldn't otherwise

3) Raise the perceived value of music by keeping anyone from getting it for free

I've already listed a few reasons why #3 isn't going to happen. The music industries grown rate was culturally and technologically periodic. That period is over.

As for #2, people don't buy products from industries that try to scare them, except maybe with the exception of prescription drugs where the threat is indirect implication you will be sick or worse off without drug x.

#1 has an inherant flaw, that the music industry has not demonstrated loss beyond one digital upload per P2P download in many cases. Call that 1/10th of one CD, or $1. Beyond this restitution, let the punishment be the equivalent of stealing a $1 product from a store. When law catches up to technology, we should have a Petty Infringement penalty reflecting that there was quite negligible loss but still that a law was broken.


Who gets the money?
By Lazarus Dark on 8/30/2007 5:53:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The money collected gets divided among rightsholders based on the popularity of their music.

No. I hate popular music even more than record labels and the RIAA. I refuse to support 99% of what is considered music, which is most of what's "popular" on the p2p's. I mostly listen to niche stuff anyway, Christian Death and Unblack metal, which is rarely traded on any p2p's anyway.

People mostly trade crappy pop music. The thing I love most about the internet these days is that small bands and niche genre's can find their audience, even if its halfway across the world. And I prefer to directly support the music I deem worthy, to ensure none of my money goes to pimping out Big C's Hummer or paying for Christina's herpes cream. I love the EFF, but I don't think this is any kind of solution. Musicians I think are better off selling their music directly now. There are services like metal-downloads.com and Blood&Ink's mp3 store, but recently I've seen a few bands even selling their songs directly on their myspace page.




RE: Who gets the money?
By JasonMick (blog) on 8/30/07, Rating: 0
RE: Who gets the money?
By TomCorelis on 8/30/2007 6:45:25 PM , Rating: 2
Personally I am more concerned about the potential for abusing a system where all artists get proportionate cuts, regardless of the actual sales numbers. What's to prevent me from squeezing out a couple of crap singles just to get in on the music gravy train?

The bottom line is that the industry blockheads need to pull their heads out of their asses--there's nothing but stuffy old businesspeople with their stuffy old business principles sitting at the top it seems. I firmly believe that you can't do business on the internet in the same way you could in this physical realm; the internet provides everybody with the know-how nearly infinite supply, unlike the real world where finite supply is the very thing that keeps business going. These companies need to build their products and services around that, and not against it.


RE: Who gets the money?
By HotdogIT on 8/30/2007 9:35:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I firmly believe that you can't do business on the internet in the same way you could in this physical realm; the internet provides everybody with the know-how nearly infinite supply, unlike the real world where finite supply is the very thing that keeps business going. These companies need to build their products and services around that, and not against it.


Everyone says that, but there is rarely a good explanation on HOW to do it.

With music and the Internet, you're always going to be competing with free. If you sell it for 25 cents a song, a lot will still pirate it, for free! Subscription service? Screw that, bittorrent here I come! Higher quality, 256kb AAC? Screw that, FLAC here I come!

It's a great thought, really, it is: "Compete with how the market has shaped itself!", but when the market has shaped itself into "very easy to get for free", how do you sell something?


RE: Who gets the money?
By TomCorelis on 8/31/2007 12:06:00 AM , Rating: 2
Then we're riding on the bleeding edge of internet commerce. People have found ways, and had isolated pockets of success.

I don't know the answer, I'm just asking the question :-)


RE: Who gets the money?
By Clienthes on 9/2/2007 12:50:52 AM , Rating: 2
AllofMP3 had the *perfect* model for this. The model has been demonstrated.

Not saying what AllofMP3 did was right, but the way they did it sure was.


something interesting
By Gul Westfale on 8/30/2007 8:35:08 PM , Rating: 2
a german site that i frequently visit is 3dcenter.org
over the years they have pointed out several interesting aspects of this, namely:

- it seems that not even a single case has actually gone to court- people settle before any trial can take place. this appears to be great for teh RIAA as it would be virtually impossible for them to prve a case in a court of law; even if they can prove that the information they have was not faked (data is easy to fake, by the RIAA and by downloaders who protect themselves by re-routing tyheir traffic through others) they still cannot prove taht it was you sitting at the computer. thus they push people to settle rather than to go to trial since they know they'd most likely lose.

- in order to obtain information about a person on a P2P network the RIAA needs to either hack into and/or reverse engineer the program in question, or it needs to install a trojan on your computer. the former is a violation of the DMCA, and the latter is illegal as well.

- lastly, older albums (like elton john's work from the 70s) does not technically belong to the companies that sell them on the internet. the contracts for these works was drawn up so long ago that electronic distribution was not even considered, and thus the record companies themselves are pirates by distributing these works without proper consent from the artists. of course the artists don't care (more sales= more money), but technically all the record companies are pirates, and on an industrial scale :)




RE: something interesting
By TomCorelis on 8/30/2007 9:47:20 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
- it seems that not even a single case has actually gone to court- people settle before any trial can take place. this appears to be great for teh RIAA as it would be virtually impossible for them to prve a case in a court of law; even if they can prove that the information they have was not faked (data is easy to fake, by the RIAA and by downloaders who protect themselves by re-routing tyheir traffic through others) they still cannot prove taht it was you sitting at the computer. thus they push people to settle rather than to go to trial since they know they'd most likely lose.


While the RIAA does attempt to settle, not everyone agrees to it. A couple of notable cases:

Capitol Records vs. Debbie Foster - judge dismissed case with prejudice, effectively awarding attorney's fees to Ms. Foster
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitol_v._Foster

Elektra v. Santangelo (2005) - Sued the mother of two, RIAA lost the case and went after her kids. One (Michelle) faced a default judgement of $30k, the other has interposed counterclaims against the RIAA, including racketeering, "failure to warn", and others.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santangelo_v._RIAA

There's more...

quote:
- in order to obtain information about a person on a P2P network the RIAA needs to either hack into and/or reverse engineer the program in question, or it needs to install a trojan on your computer. the former is a violation of the DMCA, and the latter is illegal as well.


All they do is observe the IP address that the illegally shared file is being uploaded from. From there, the RIAA would file a suit against "John Doe" allowing them to subpoena the defendant's ISP for contact details. In most cases the account holder of the IP address used at the time of the offense is returned and the suit is amended to include their name. However, in many cases the information is bad; maybe its the account holder's children, maybe it's a friend, maybe it's a trojan, maybe it's just bad data period. They've *tried* in teh past to install spyware in some cases, but those efforts never lasted very long.

quote:
lastly, older albums (like elton john's work from the 70s) does not technically belong to the companies that sell them on the internet. the contracts for these works was drawn up so long ago that electronic distribution was not even considered, and thus the record companies themselves are pirates by distributing these works without proper consent from the artists. of course the artists don't care (more sales= more money), but technically all the record companies are pirates, and on an industrial scale :)

The record companies are usually given all rights over the music they produce, and it does not matter how the media landscape changes. This is why even old music must be licensed (BioShock's soundtrack, for example, contained over a dozen 1940's songs licensed for use in the game.) Even though, back then, music as we consume it now was probably infathomable, the companies still retain all rights for as long as our copyright lets them.

Just side note: I'm no lawyer, I may be wrong. :-)


RE: something interesting
By Gul Westfale on 8/30/2007 10:45:23 PM , Rating: 2
this is an article from a danish newspaper which was mentioned on 3dcenter:

http://www.cphpost.dk/get/103069.html

quote:


A Danish pop band popular in the Eighties won a court decision Thursday that will likely affect all sales and distribution of music on the internet

Eighties pop band Dodo and the Dodos won a landmark decision in the Eastern High Court on Thursday, stopping Sony BMG from selling the band’s music on the internet via digital downloads without its consent.

The decision is believed to be the first of its kind anywhere and will likely influence future cases on the rights of record companies to market bands’ music within the digital universe.

Dodo and the Dodos sued Sony BMG five years ago over distribution rights after the record company sent out letters to all artists under contract with them, informing them that their music would begin being sold over the internet. Of the nearly 400 artists who received the letter, Dodo and the Dodos was the only one to challenge the company.

Sony BMG lost the case in the Copenhagen city courts but appealed that decision to the High Court. Thursday’s decision means that Sony BMG cannot distribute the band’s music without its explicit consent.

‘It was important for us to go through this long battle, because we know that this decision will also affect a huge number of other musicians, photographers and artists,’ the band’s guitarist, Anders Valbro, told public broadcaster DR.

Ironically, even though the court decision will probably have global consequences, Dodo and the Dodos never achieved any international recognition, and the band’s songs are all sung in Danish.

The band’s biggest hit was ‘Vågner i natten’ (‘Waking in the Night’) from their self-titled debut album released in 1987. The band has sold an estimated 1.5 million records and ranks as one of Denmark’s best-selling bands of all time.


RE: something interesting
By TomCorelis on 8/30/2007 11:57:37 PM , Rating: 2
I'm referring to the RIAA and American law. Here, that's how things works. European law is something I am not very familiar with :-)


ugh
By Visual on 9/3/2007 5:03:04 AM , Rating: 2
it would be a great thing, if by paying just $5/month you were free to get from a friend or from the internet any song you wanted... the dream of the wireless zunes even - meet a stranger in the bus grooving to some music, ask him to have it and he clicks a button... done.

it would be quite a huge pile of money if it was paid from every person like some sort of tax - and should in theory definitely be more than enough for paying all the record labels and right holders.

but in practice, of course it can't happen - those $5 would only cover a very limited library; we will never come with a good way to distribute this cash between all the deserving artists and the sharks that want a bite, and most of the money would be lost in the pockets of the bureaucracy created to "solve" this; also a lot of people would certainly object such a "tax" because they don't and won't copy music anyway so shouldn't pay.

then even if it works somehow... that'd be only for music. now what about music videos, or movies, games, software...




Stop the plea bargains
By Beenthere on 8/30/07, Rating: -1
RE: Stop the plea bargains
By siberus on 8/30/2007 11:55:35 PM , Rating: 1
They're already off the streets. If they can't pirate then they'll be forced to come out doors.


RE: Stop the plea bargains
By Gibby82 on 8/31/2007 5:36:38 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, and those record company executives who not only screw us but also the artists for more and more money....they are just great law abiding citizens? Open your eyes-the music industry has probably broken more laws than all pirates. They just have enough money to avoid being caught. If you had any sense you'd know that they don't care at all about you as a customer-they just want your money, no matter how poor it you are.

Music is a gift. It's a gift to our society, to those who can make it, and to those that can listen. It's a PRIVILEGE that life affords us all. To turn that into a money grubbing industry is horrid. Artists who complain about losing millions-I sincerely hope they lose it all. Those people are living the DREAM...they should be happy to get 100K a year...they should be happy they aren't working in McDonalds!

/rant


RE: Stop the plea bargains
By Gibby82 on 8/31/2007 5:37:49 AM , Rating: 2
Meant to reply to the OP.


RE: Stop the plea bargains
By mindless1 on 8/31/2007 8:34:17 PM , Rating: 2
They should be happy they had the chance to sit on their ass writing the songs and practicing at all, to have others supporting them while they were doing something that today's society obviously doesn't consider productive enough, of enough value to pay for nor support them.

what I've written makes it seem like I am opposed to true artists. It is not the case, but today we have an artifical industry that is not selling art, they are mechanically pumping out mostly crap then trying to claim we have to value it as much as they collaborated to price fix it. In the case of art the customer values, remember that CDs DO SELL, they just don't sell as well as the RIAA had hoped because the RIAA ignores the myriad other entertainment possiblities and expenses in modern society.


RE: Stop the plea bargains
By Christopher1 on 9/3/2007 11:39:59 AM , Rating: 2
I have to say that you are pretty much right. The music industry today is pumping out crap and then expecting us to bite and buy it.

Personally, the only music that I have found.... good lately, is the tweenage music that Disney and a few others make. Everything else just hasn't been very good recently.


RE: Stop the plea bargains
By rdeegvainl on 8/31/2007 5:28:43 AM , Rating: 2
Actually i kind of like that idea, what i would do then is one laptop per homeless, so then they can pirate and get many many years in a facility that will take care of all their needs, warm bed, food, gym membership, internet and cable. Though I hope you know who is gonna pay for this, that's right, you and me, our taxes can go to making sure everyone is in a nicer enviroment....
A friendly reminder, before you speak, think... cause you obviously forgot this time.


RE: Stop the plea bargains
By Laitainion on 8/31/2007 5:31:04 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, online piracy (in which the victim only loses a *potential* sale, an important difference) is *so* much worse than all the murders, rape and who knows what else goes on.

I think it is disgusting and draconian that the punishment for, what is essentially nothing more than petty theft at BEST (which is what it would count as if you stole the CD from the shop), is so much more severe simply because it's done online.


RE: Stop the plea bargains
By mindless1 on 8/31/2007 8:26:25 PM , Rating: 1
Were in your mind is this $10K figure justified?

Obviously you have delusions of grandeur, assigning such a large penalty and prison time to a petty act.

IMO, it should carry no worse penalty that cutting someone off in traffic, a moving violation that can risk lives. That's what, a $75 fine? Justice has to be blind and applied fairly to work. Serving special interests against the general public for petty things is not just.


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