Print 31 comment(s) - last by Ben6821.. on Aug 3 at 2:05 PM

Google is also admonished for promoting accountability

"Legislation not likely to have been effective tool for music."

I. RIAA Realized SOPA was Ineffective

That's the Recording Industry Association of America's take on the fortunately deceased "Stop Online Piracy Act" (SOPA) (H.R. 3261) and the U.S. Senate's Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) (S.968).  In other words, even one of the world's most notoriously belligerent and aggressive copyright wachdogs thought that SOPA was ineffective.

That's an important admission to consider as similar legislation is spewed up once more.

Of course the RIAA never intended for the public to glimpse that statement or others in a letter from RIAA Deputy General Counsel Victoria Sheckler to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).  But thanks to TorrentFreak and its associates, the letter -- dated April 2012 -- has leaked onto the web for all to see.

Much of the letter chronicles the slow death of SOPA due to "viral" grassroots campaign.  The letter expresses concerns regarding "anti-SOPA sentiment in “netizens” being used by opponents to oppose other copyright protection measures."

For all its punitive provisions, even the RIAA admits SOPA would have been "ineffective" at fighting piracy. [Image Source: Realising Designs]

The RIAA makes it clear in the letter that it's still at odds with some of SOPA's key corporate opponents -- including Google, Inc. (GOOG).  It vows to "keep pushing" Google to change policy, such as offering an unlimited number of link takedown requests, remarking, "Google has resisted voluntary best practices."
Of course the "best practices" as the RIAA sees them would essentially mean Google handing it a blank check for internet censorship.  The RIAA is upset that Google wishes to independently review requests for integrity, viewing such accountability as "resistance" to its anti-piracy edicts.

II. Six-Strikes Plan Sneaks in Internet Disconnections

As previously stated, the RIAA appears to have viewed SOPA as an ineffective instrument -- well, behind closed doors, at least.  But it did offer praise to SOPA for elevating the "important principle regarding intermediary responsibility."

"Intermediary responsibility" is the term the RIAA uses to describe policing by internet service providers, either by warning file-sharing users or by blocking pro-infringement sites, such as The Pirate Bay.

Following the death of SOPA, the RIAA is pushing for a "six strikes" plan voluntarily adopted by ISPs.  

Thus far Time Warner Cable (TWC), Comcast Corp. (CMCSA), and Verizon Wireless -- a joint venture between Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and Vodafone Group Plc. (LON:VOD) -- have all agreed to implement the plan.

You're out
The RIAA wants to subject Americans to a "six-strikes" plan. [Image Source: Ed Zurga/AP]

Under the scheme, the ISP partners would send warnings to users caught file-sharing.  As users received progressively more warnings they would face consequences, including:
  • throttling (temporary)
  • service tier downgrade (temporary)
  • redirection to landing page until subscriber contacts ISP
  • restriction of Internet access (temporary)
  • redirection until subscriber completes meaningful education on copyright
Booting file-sharing users off the internet -- a controversial provision of many "strikes" plans -- is not listed as a current pillar of the plan, but it is included in a sneaky manner.

While the Memorandum of Understanding does not call for terminations, the letter mentions that ISPs in the U.S. must have a "termination policy for repeat infringers" in order to receive Safe Harbor protections under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) [PDF], which modified Title 17 of the U.S. Code.

In other words the RIAA says that it's not asking to disconnect users, though it casually mentions that the law requires that.  Likewise the ISPs can say they aren't bowing to RIAA request, but rather to U.S. Code.  Of course the RIAA was a key lobbying force in passing that change to the U.S. Code, so at the end of the day the RIAA rhetoric is nothing more than a clever public relations ploy.

The RIAA sneaks the idea of disconnecting users into its six-strikes plan.
[Image Source: The 1709 Blog]

Under the six-strikes plan the RIAA would graciously allow users to pay $35 to receive a review that would look at whether the infringing file could have been protected due to "fair use" rules, "pre-1923" (public domain) status, or account misidentification/hijacking incidents.

Sources: Bay Files, TorrentFreak

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: This seems backwards
By Reclaimer77 on 7/31/2012 4:02:24 PM , Rating: 5
There's a whole lot wrong here. Since when did the RIAA become a Government law making body anyway?

RE: This seems backwards
By JasonMick on 7/31/2012 4:24:36 PM , Rating: 5
There's a whole lot wrong here. Since when did the RIAA become a Government law making body anyway?
The train of "progress" has more or less been...

1. RIAA lobbies the gov't to "reform" the law (as in gives Congress people from both parties large sums of cash to buy their way into office)

2. DMCA gets passed under Bill Clinton in 1999.

3. Big media starts to sue individuals and sending them threat letters, empowered by the new U.S. Code.

4. Big media extorts millions in out of court threats, but spends far more, and generates an enormous amount of public ill will.

5. Big media realizes this is not sustainable, so they seek a new tactic, using the law they bought.

6. Big media switches to threatening to sue ISPs if they don't comply (kind of like suing a gun maker for their product being misused in a crime, eh?).

7. ISPs resist, but at a point realize some policing may be cheaper than fighting suits.

8. Guilty until proven innocent policy takes hold. Big media can scapegoat ISPs for the enforcement.

Again the gov't played an intimate role in all of this, as your comment alluded to.

Big media lobbyists bought and paid for favorable laws, creating artificial liability among telecoms and giving big media a means to force telecom companies to harm their consumers.

And ironically there's a lot of evidence that for all the harm they have nothing good to show for it -- pirating users have been shown in numerous studies to buy more content LEGALLY than their peers who do not pirate. And there's much evidence that industry revenues have not suffered from piracy.

But consumers and ISPs most definitely suffer from these efforts.

RE: This seems backwards
By Karim Temple on 7/31/2012 11:55:38 PM , Rating: 2
pirating users have been shown in numerous studies to buy more content LEGALLY than their peers who do not pirate.

We've heard this a lot over the past couple of years Jason, but I'm curious about the methodology in these studies. First of all, who the hell are these people who don't pirate? What planet are they from? Oh, I know, the planet where computers haven't been invented yet.

As far as I can figure, these people have to be one of two groups: 1) people who only consume the kind of music/video/gaming that wasn't on sale in the first place or 2) people who pretty much hardly ever (or never) consume digital content.

I mean, if they're spending less AND they don't pirate, as suggested by said studies, they probably just aren't very interested in digital media. That would pretty much mean the methodology of these studies is fallacious.

RE: This seems backwards
By DalisMoustache on 8/1/2012 2:49:19 AM , Rating: 4
Why would the outcome of the study mean the methodology (the manner in which the study was conducted) was flawed?
The flaws I see are in your argument which seem to presuppose a lot of things: a) that anyone who doesn't pirate must be from another planet, b) that everyone with a computer is a pirate, c) that piracy only affects digital content, d) and the entire main premise that non-pirates are not interested in digital content.
A flaw would be trying to extrapolate one statement into any conclusion at all except perhaps the simple one that is stated and its inverse, which is that non-pirating users buy less content legally than their peer pirating users. For instance, perhaps pirates are better informed where to LEGALLY purchase content cheaper. This would mean for equivalent amounts spent by pirates and non-pirates the pirate is able to acquire MORE content. Interest may not equal informed. Or perhaps pirates are simply better barterers. Or perhaps the flaw is in misinterpreting what exactly "peers" means in the studies' contexts.
Or perhaps, by way of example, if studies show that Ferrari buyers typically speed, perhaps Ferrari shouldn't, in their best business interest, call speeders worthless scum who should pay millions of dollars in fines for every infraction and misrepresent their actions as "attempted murder". Just sayin'.

RE: This seems backwards
By Samus on 8/1/2012 3:07:13 AM , Rating: 5
Hey RIAA\MPAA, here are some ideas to win back customers:

Make cinema tickets $5 again. (after all, 80% of theatre profits are from concessions)

Make downloadable music DRM free at studio quality for $0.99

Stop alienating your customers.

Stop lobbying politicians to pass unconstitutional legislation.

Lift the restrictions on satellite radio broadcast quality (96kbit)

Give artists more than 10% of the profits.

Anybody in upper-management takes a paycut and distributes it back to the artists that actually did something.

RE: This seems backwards
By JNo on 8/1/2012 7:31:07 AM , Rating: 3
But... but... I thought America was the land of FREEDOM compared to all the other stinky degenerate backwards countries in the world.


I'm not actually trying to bash Americans, just highlight a few things to those who have been brainwashed into thinking it the absolute flagship of democracy and freedom.

RE: This seems backwards
By leviathan05 on 8/1/2012 9:13:25 AM , Rating: 2
I believe most of the contributors on this site are aware that we have been on a slippery slope of diminishing personal freedom for awhile. This news isn't even close to some of the more infringing policies that have been passed in the past 20 years.

As to the topic of the article, I have no problem with the RIAA trying to protect their members' property, but their execution has proven that they may be as inept as the politicians that they have bought.

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs

Most Popular Articles5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
Laptop or Tablet - Which Do You Prefer?
September 20, 2016, 6:32 AM
Update: Samsung Exchange Program Now in Progress
September 20, 2016, 5:30 AM
Smartphone Screen Protectors – What To Look For
September 21, 2016, 9:33 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki