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The first rule about newsgroup lawsuits is, you do not talk about newsgroup lawsuits

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is taking aim at Usenet newsgroup providers, though has only targeted one particular company so far.  The RIAA filed a lawsuit against Usenet.com on Oct. 12, claiming the newsgroups harbors "millions of copyrighted sound recordings."  

Usenet is a relatively centralized method for users to distribute files and messages created before the Internet or peer-to-peer technology was created.  Unlike traditional peer-to-peer networks, Usenet hosts its files on hub servers at Internet backbones instead of client nodes.  This advantage gives newsgroups extremely fast download speeds, but steep learning curve and limitted access keeps the userbase relatively low.

The protocol has stayed relatively "under the radar" in the wake of Napster, Kazaa and other P2P networks. Even though the popularity of Usenet has been on the decline since the late 1990s, the service never fully died out, and remains popular for images, videos and binary file sharing.

According to the legal brief, the defendant, Usenet, "provides essentially the same functionality that P2P services such as Napster, Aimster, Grokster and Kazaa did (prior to being enjoined by the federal courts) -- knowingly providing the site and facilities for users to upload and download copyrighted works -- except that defendant goes further than even the P2P services to facilitate and encourage copyright infringement by its users." 

A copy of the lawsuit can be found by on Wired.com (PDF).  

The RIAA seeks unspecified monetary damages and "injunctive relief for copyright infringement."

Marketing on the Usenet.com web site likely does not help its case against the RIAA:  "Shh... Quiet! We believe it’s no one’s business but your own what you do on the Internet or in Usenet.  We don't track user activity."

The RIAA's up-and-down battle against file sharing continues, both with battle victories and losses.  The RIAA won a civil court battle over a Minnesota woman, who must now pay $222,000 worth of damages to the record industry. 

In addition, more than 400 "prelitigation" letters have been sent by the RIAA to 19 U.S. universities across the country. An example of a letter sent to an alleged filesharer is available on EDUCAUSE (PDF).


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If you can't inovate, Litigate
By Cogman on 10/20/2007 9:59:43 AM , Rating: 5
Too bad the RIAA couldn't be more focused better business practices rather then suing pirates and complaining about how bad the problem is.

I almost think that attacks like this do more damage to them then good. Basically those that will pirate will pirate. But when you start attacking piracy in public, those that don't know how say "You can do that?" and learn how. Honestly, I learned what torrents are and what the Bay of Pirates was just from RIAA and MPAA law suits.. lol.




RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By DragonMaster0 on 10/20/2007 10:17:54 AM , Rating: 3
By definition, the RIAA exists to do these things. If you go on their website, they say they're "promoting the financial vitality of [their] members[record companies]."


By OblivionMage on 10/20/2007 11:06:37 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
"promoting the financial vitality of [their] members[record companies]."

That is just the thing though, they abandon and destroy their record companies themselves, and blame it on P2P.


RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By Kuroyama on 10/20/2007 10:30:59 AM , Rating: 2
Too bad the US Government couldn't be more focused on better anti-drug education rather then arresting petty drug users and complaining about how bad Columbia is.

I almost think that attacking drug users like this does more damage than good. Basically those that will use drugs will use drugs. But when you publicly attack drug use, those that don't consider drug use say "Where can I get a hit?" and learn how. ... lol


OK, not a perfect analogy, but I don't see the anti-RIAA logic as being all that different than that of the anti-drug enforcement types, basically "We're gonna do it anyways so stop treating us like criminals and leave us alone".


RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By Kuroyama on 10/20/07, Rating: 0
RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By Spuke on 10/20/2007 11:49:43 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
but pirating music (whether legal or otherwise) is Stealing something which another person(s) Worked to produce.
Right, but unfortunately piracy is not stealing (theft) by law. If it was, you could bring criminal charges against the pirates. But you can't so it's not stealing.


RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By Ringold on 10/20/2007 6:55:38 PM , Rating: 3
That's like saying not making a minimum amount of education would hurt only those who drop out. No, there are huge costs/benefits to society.

If nothing else, giving people the nod to sit and be crack whores only means that tax payers end up on the hook for their medical care due to feel-good big-government. Just like alcohol, when one of these tools hop in their loaded shotguns and go driving down the street and kill an innocent family.. well, there you go, more externalities.

Not that I'm wholly against legalization; it being illegal just runs contrary to my libertarian streak and I think education and rehab would just be more effective at stopping the problem. Just saying that the belief that it "wouldn't hurt anyone but yourself" is completely wrong. It hurts the user, it hurts everyone close to the user, it hurts the economy (which hurts everybody), and it can also hurt innocent bystanders.


RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By Ringold on 10/20/2007 6:57:10 PM , Rating: 1
Out of curiosity, how'd that automagically get posted with a 1 rating? Not that I care, just don't see what was in it that might've triggered some auto down-mod function.


RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By jajig on 10/21/2007 8:09:25 AM , Rating: 2
Most likely the word 'whore'


RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By fk49 on 10/20/2007 10:49:54 AM , Rating: 3
Right, because listening to music is illegal.


RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By Kuroyama on 10/20/07, Rating: -1
RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By Mitch101 on 10/20/2007 1:34:50 PM , Rating: 2
Mechanics sued for listening to radio
http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquirer/news/2007/1...

The PRS says Kwik-Fit mechanics were using personal radios while at work and the music (which is protected by copyright) could be heard by colleagues and customers. This act of playing or performing music in public renders the firm guilty of copyright infringement


By Chadder007 on 10/20/2007 4:34:28 PM , Rating: 2
They sent our company a threatening letter too saying that we shouldn't be playing any music within a room loud enough to carry into other rooms with more people. It has gotten rediculous.


By Alexstarfire on 10/20/2007 5:46:11 PM , Rating: 3
I've heard about that and I just don't understand them at all anymore. Pirating, OK,I get that. Not being able to listen to PUBLIC RADIO in public? I don't get that. They are either saying that they don't need publicity at all to promote their mostly crappy music, or they are saying that pirating is how they are promoting all of their mostly crappy music now. Either way it's a lose-lose situation for them.

On a side note, places that don't play radio music tend to have really crappy music. If I find a place that plays the radio I usually end up going to them every time.


RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By nilepez on 10/21/2007 7:08:29 PM , Rating: 2
Is this really applicable here? UK albums/singles clearly state that you can't perform, broadcast or copy the recording without permission (of the label as I recall). In the U.S. all we get is it's illegal to copy it.

With that said, in the U.S. it IS REQUIRED that a place of business have a license from ASCAP or BMI to play music .

All bars, for example, have to have one. This is a means to pay the song writers and has been on teh books for as long as I can remember.

As such, I suspect that if a radio is played by workers that is clearly audible in teh waiting room, ASCAP or BMI (not the labels) would go after that business. I've seen that happen to bars that had CD players.


RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By MGSsancho on 10/20/2007 3:36:41 PM , Rating: 2
its not stealing, its copyright infringement. copying music with out the copyright holder's consent. thus you are charge in a civil court not a criminal one... well normally


RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By tmouse on 10/22/2007 8:22:07 AM , Rating: 2
Actually there is both a civil and a criminal statute to the copyright laws. However, ONLY the government can pursue the criminal statutes, so if RIAA cannot convince a DA to file they must file under the civil statute. The radio story only applies to non OTA broadcasts i.e.: CDs or tapes, they would have NO grounds on a true radio broadcast since the performance is already paid for as a public performance. I do not like the RIAA but I wonder if people would think it’s alright to sneak into a play or sports event and not pay? It is a theft of service, even though you can hear the same song on the radio for "free" its not really free, it has ads and you do not control the time its performed. Also many songs are not played OTA, illegal copying is a theft of service if you define the service as the provision of entertainment on demand. True the writers and performers get only a small share BUT they do get a share and every sale lost IS money lost to them, not to mention stores, their staff, the delivery people ect. I do not know where people get off thinking if I don't like something they should not have to pay for it, where else in the world does this happen? In restaurants, NO.. At sports events, NO... Want to preview a book go to a library, want to preview a movie wait for it to go to television, want to preview a song wait for the radio to play it. Contrary to most posts I think most people would have bought the DVD just for a certain song (they heard it , liked it and want it)true most of the non-single tracts may be junk but vote by not buying the DVD. Now I think copyright law DOES need some SERIOUS re-writing to codify some end user rights such as the right to copy for YOUR OWN USE, or play for friends at a party ect...However you cannot give the copy away, you can transfer your rights by giving away your copy denying your self the ability to use it “on demand” without paying for another copy but keeping your copy and providing another person with one is just plain wrong.


RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By mdogs444 on 10/20/2007 11:30:47 AM , Rating: 2
There is much more to arresting petty drug users than what you are describing.

There is a direct correlation of drug use to crime. Many drug users use and use until they have no money, no job, and then they become worse criminals, theifs, and murderers to feed their addiction.

Also, by arresting drug users, it enables the authorities to attempt to find who sold them the drugs, and sold it to the previous seller, and so forth. You need to target the small fish in order to tackle the big one.

Its all common sense. The very high majority of tax payers do not want drugs in their communities, drugs are illegal, and its the duty of the police and government to crack down on it.

I dont see this as a problem, and I dont see any logic to your argument.

Drug education is only effective if the person listening WANTS to listen. This is the same for any education. The biggest form of education is learning from mistakes. Sometimes it takes the person to mess up and deal with the consequences in order to learn and change.


RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 10/20/2007 11:39:19 AM , Rating: 2
Many times people never learn.


RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By mdogs444 on 10/20/2007 12:19:28 PM , Rating: 1
Agreed, but keeping them behind bars as opposed to on the streets is a better option...IMO


RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By Kuroyama on 10/20/2007 11:47:36 AM , Rating: 4
My point was not so much about drug use, since this is obviously the wrong forum for it, as it was about the weakness of the typical "pro-piracy" justifications. Piracy is illegal, just as drug use is, and if we're going to lock up casual drug users then we should lock up those who pirate music as well. My addendum was intended for the "piracy doesn't hurt anyone" claim, to illustrate a point of view from which piracy is theft and perhaps is more amoral then legal marijuana use ever would be. (ie. hence we should punish illegal piracy as much as illegal marijuana use)

And who knows, perhaps once kids learn via music piracy that they can take whatever they want without paying for it, then they'll go one step further and steal the TV from the neighbor's house (J/K).

Now, to respond to your remarks about drugs. There is little difference between the bad situations you describe and those that arise from alcohol, gambling, and any other behavior which is fine in moderation but self-destructive when taken to the extreme. If you disagree then apparently you have never known casual drug users. My college roommate occasionally smoked dope, and yet managed to get a BS in Physics from what is reputed to be the hardest undergrad department in America. And this was not at all an isolated incident.

Hard drugs are a different issue. My little sister was a crystal-meth addict (she ran away from home) and she says the lack of control from the addiction was one of the scariest things that has ever happened in her life.


RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By mdogs444 on 10/20/2007 12:40:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
My point was not so much about drug use, since this is obviously the wrong forum for it, as it was about the weakness of the typical "pro-piracy" justifications. Piracy is illegal, just as drug use is, and if we're going to lock up casual drug users then we should lock up those who pirate music as well. My addendum was intended for the "piracy doesn't hurt anyone" claim, to illustrate a point of view from which piracy is theft and perhaps is more amoral then legal marijuana use ever would be. (ie. hence we should punish illegal piracy as much as illegal marijuana use)


You are not going to hear an argument on the weakness of the "pro-piracy" groups from me. However, I dont think that pirating music is going to have the same effects on the rest of the civilian community as drug use has.

quote:
Now, to respond to your remarks about drugs. There is little difference between the bad situations you describe and those that arise from alcohol, gambling, and any other behavior which is fine in moderation but self-destructive when taken to the extreme.


In response to the excessive gambling and alcohol use scenario, I absolutely agree. There are situations that alcohol use negative effects the community - DUI, disorderly conduct, etc - and I dont think they are cracked down and punished hard enough for them. Gambling should be used as a form of entertainment, but some people get sucked into the gambling bug and become addicted, to where they lose their assets, their house, and start stealing to feed their addiction - and I am not going to defend their actions at all. The only difference between gambling and alcohol use in comparison to drug use is that they are not illegal - unless done underage, or if your actions in response to gambling or alcohol take place in violation of the law. I, for one, am not opposed to permanently banning the licenses of DUI drivers, and banning the gambling rights of those who have committed crimes in reponse to their gambling addiction. But I am not in goverment and its not my choice. All I can do is debate what is legal and what is not legal, as well as what the clear available statistics show. I dont believe there should be any flexibility for "morality" is law, rather there should be legal, and illegal. You do the crime, you do the time.

quote:
If you disagree then apparently you have never known casual drug users. My college roommate occasionally smoked dope, and yet managed to get a BS in Physics from what is reputed to be the hardest undergrad department in America. And this was not at all an isolated incident


I have known many casual drug users, in fact, I still know many. In my youth, high school, I wont deny that I experimented with things that I do not condone, and would not recommend that any children, or any person for that matter, be associated with. Of course I ended up just fine - two bachelors degrees in Engineering and Technical Management, as well as a masters in Business. But for every person you see that experiments with drugs and becomes successful, you also have those who are destined to be successful and lose control of their lives to drugs and in turn effect the lives of loved ones and their community.

No one is saying that every single pot smoker is a threat to society, or at least I'm not the one making that judgement, but what is evident is what pot use can, and in many cases does, lead to. I have known many people who started off just smoking pot once in a while, which lead to pills as an alternative high, to cocaine, (and etc.), which not only takes control of their lives and puts them into a downward spiral, but it also affects the people and communites around them. They may start underperforming at work, losing friends, stealing from innocent people and family to feed their addiction, etc. We all know that is not the case with all people, but its clearly out there, it does happen, and is unpredictable. So in result, people do not want drugs or drug users in their community because its seen as a direct threat to them, and rightfully so.


RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By Kuroyama on 10/20/2007 1:02:09 PM , Rating: 1
It sounds like we don't disagree that much then (I was using hyperbole).

We both agree that doing something illegal, including piracy, should be punished. We both agree that alcohol, gambling, and pot use can be fine in moderation but self-destructive in excess (to oneself, one's family, and one's community). It seems that any disagreement is likely about where to draw the line rather than whether these behaviors are bad or not.

And so I ask all you pirates out there, why shouldn't you be punished for breaking the law? Or is it that everything illegal you do is OK, but everything illegal someone else does is not OK?

Stealing my money via identity theft is wrong, but stealing Warner Brothers or Madonna's money by pirating is OK? Heck, they're both stealing from the rich, because in the end the bank will probably end up footing the bill from identity theft anyways.


RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By mdogs444 on 10/20/07, Rating: 0
RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By Spuke on 10/20/2007 4:23:43 PM , Rating: 2
You guys need to change your terminology from stealing (theft) to copyright infringement. One is a criminal offense (stealing) and the other is civil. These are two totally different offenses here.


RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By smitty3268 on 10/20/2007 4:52:33 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Ive heard that people download/share/steal the music because the music companies and recording artists are rich and dont need to be charging this much for digital media which costs nothing to make. I say thats a cop-out for wanting "redistribution of wealth" to some sort because its not fair that they can be rich and still make money for their products.


I agree for the most part, although personally every time I buy some music I think it's a shame that most of that money will be going to RIAA which does things I disagree with. I'd much rather buy directly from the musicians themselves, hopefully that will start to happen in the future.

Ive heard that the music companies have a monopoly so the users choose to steal the music as a "protest" response of sorts. I say that those people are complete idiots. A "protest" is a legal way of expressing your views in order to get the attention of a vast audience. The real way to "protest" this would be to get everyone together and just NOT BUY the products. Thats the only way the prices will come down is if there is a huge decrease in demand. But by stealing the music, you are proving that the demand is high, and just becuase you dont deem that the price is appropriate does not give you the right to just take it.

Copyright infringement isn't really any different than other forms of civil disobedience, which have been rightly called protests. That said, an outright boycott would be much more effective and people just don't want to give up listening to music.

Ive also heard the argument that its not stealing profits because the user would not have actually BOUGHT it anyway. Somehow, they see that argument as they have the RIGHT to just have it because the company is not losing profits, just not making profits. So that means you can steal a Ferrari off the streets because technically Ferrari is not losing money? Seriously, get a life and make a logical point because if you seriously believe that fact, then you must be dillusional.

Wow, that's one hell of a straw man argument you managed to come up with there. If you steal a Ferrari off the streets, someone is losing a lot of money. Could be a dealership, a private owner, or an insurance company, but someone is. No one loses money from copyright infringement. Not RIAA, not the musicians, not private owners. No one. I suppose you could make an argument that the ISPs lose some due to the increased amount of traffic on the internet. What RIAA has lost is a potential sale, a possible future amount of money. If you can't see the difference between those two things, you are truly blind.

In all sense, people steal simply because they CAN - and they can do it very easily. Until the recent crackdowns and lawsuits, everyone felt there was no way that THEY would get caught, but now that the possibility is out there, no one wants to take responsibility for their own actions.

Agreed. However, that is never ever going to change. As long as the public can buy microphones for a reasonable price, people are going to record music. If the music industry does manage to completely stop the mainstream p2p sites, something I don't think is possible since another will always just start up after you close one, piracy will just go back to where it started - friends sharing between each other. Whether it's via email, or even snail mail, that's never going to stop and will be impossible to police.

if you want to put the countries freedoms on line because of you refuse to pay

I'm sorry, I must have missed something there. What are you talking about here?

then you deserve to get caught and fined heavily/put behind bars.

Don't get me wrong, I mostly agree with you. Where we apparently disagree is that I (correctly, BTW) view copyright infringement as something different than theft. In every possible way, both legally, practically, and morally. That said, it is the law. Should the law be changed? Not completely, but there certainly need to be some tweaks. If I backup my music so that a scratched disk doesn't cost me anything, I'm breaking the law. If I copy the legally bought music on my hardrive onto an iPod, I'm breaking the law. At least according to RIAA. If I sing along with the radio in my car, I'm breaking the law. If I play some music at a party, I'm breaking the law. This is all rather ridiculous. OTOH, I don't think sharing music online with millions of other people should be legal.


RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By mdogs444 on 10/20/2007 6:01:58 PM , Rating: 1
You know, after I read some of my post, parts didnt make sense and didnt pass the message i was trying to imply, so allow me to further explain myself...

quote:
Copyright infringement isn't really any different than other forms of civil disobedience, which have been rightly called protests. That said, an outright boycott would be much more effective and people just don't want to give up listening to music.


You are right in the sense that i am using some incorrect wording - stealing vs. infringement. However, I also think that some forms of infringement are also forms of theft. Such as downloading music without paying for it. IMO, the person who is making the copy available is guilty of infringement, while the person taking the copy is guilty of theft. But again, thats just the way i interpret it.

quote:
I'm sorry, I must have missed something there. What are you talking about here?


What i was referring to was our freedom to use the internet the way we please without ISP interruption. I believe ISP's technically can limit their service - providing that they issue it in writing to all its customers. With all the pressure put on them by the RIAA and all these anti-piracy groups, it could come to the point where all the file sharing applications are blocked & banned - even for those who are using it as a legitimate service to share files that are not guilty of copyright infringement - shareware, etc.

Im with you in that i dont agree with the infringement terms of the RIAA - listening to music too loud, putting it on an ipod, etc. But those cases have not yet been established as guilty in court yet. But i believe the internet piracy group really has created a stir in today's society.

The bottom line really comes to - if you dont want to pay the price of fines, jail, etc - then dont do the "crime". Its really that simple. No one says you have to agree with all the laws, but unless you want to pay the price, dont break it.


By smitty3268 on 10/20/2007 11:09:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What i was referring to was our freedom to use the internet the way we please without ISP interruption.


Ok, that makes sense. I was just reading the article about Comcast doing that. There's no question that the flagrant way file sharing has gone mainstream has led to some pushback by media companies. Still, they have a long history of always opposing new technologies. First they opposed cable TV, then VCR's saying it would be a total disaster for anyone creating IP, and then the internet. I just think that if they would have embraced the technology early and setup something like ITunes they could have really stopped it from spiraling out of control. At this point, I'm not sure they're ever going to be able to win.


RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By masher2 (blog) on 10/20/2007 11:55:03 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
There is a direct correlation of drug use to crime. Many drug users use and use until they have no money, no job, and then they become worse criminals, theifs, and murderers to feed their addiction.
True because drugs are illegal, and thus vastly expensive. Feeding a cocaine or heroin habit therefore takes hundreds or thousands of dollars a week...far more than a junkie can hope to earn legally.

If drugs were legal, however, the costs would be a tiny fraction as much, and there would be no need to turn to crime. Furthermore, the massive profits the government would make off legalized drug sales would more than compensate the costs of treatment programs -- or even subsidized drug purchases -- for severe junkies.


RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By imaheadcase on 10/20/07, Rating: -1
RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By mdogs444 on 10/20/2007 12:52:08 PM , Rating: 1
imaheadcase -

While its evident that you have seen Billy Madison probably too many times. Your statement is no better than what you think of Master2's. I may not agree with Masher2's logic, but what you are doing is whats typical of "drive-by" media in which they make a response to a subject by being for or against the topic, tell someone else how stupid they are for not agreeing, but giving no statement of why or anything concrete to back up their point.

Therefore, "drive-by media" tactics do not provide any solution to a problem, more less create a window for everyone to see how ridiculous you are.


RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By mdogs444 on 10/20/2007 12:47:52 PM , Rating: 1
Masher - in many cases on politics, you and I agree. However, in this case, I will have to disagree.

An argument can be made that addicted drug users perform crimes because they have no means to purchase the drugs that they crave. however, legalizing the drug use will not solve the problem, just condone drug use.

By making drugs easier to obtain, there would be a much higher risk of drug dependancy upon not only addicted users, but casual users, as well as people who wouldnt have used in the first place due to it being legal. Also, with an increase in availability, comes an increase in addiction and daily use. Crime may or may not decrease - and to be honest, id rather NOT try this method to find out - but what would definately be evident is the number of deaths due to overdose because of a higher addiction rate and easier methods to obtain the drugs.

Its more of a "6 of one, half dozen of the other" argument in which i dont want to see either of the results.


RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By Kuroyama on 10/20/2007 1:11:42 PM , Rating: 2
Is anything you just said different than the case made against legalizing alcohol during Prohibition? Prohibition didn't accomplish anything other than to increase crime and decrease tax revenue, and I have my doubts that keeping drugs (or piracy) illegal actually accomplishes much beyond stopping a few anal people such as myself who follow the law more carefully than perhaps necessary (although I do break the speed limit I never used drugs even when my roommate offered them).


RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By detinith on 10/20/2007 1:13:19 PM , Rating: 2
you shouldn't worry so much about how it affects other people as much as it'd affect society; you're speaking of addictions seem to skip over how alcoholism in america has many treatment options, including the intervention of family. impacts on society of legalized drug use and distribution will give access to a cash crop that has topped corn. basing anti-drug policy on reactions of the individual is moot; we've seen there isn't much concern with that with tobacco.


RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By mdogs444 on 10/20/2007 1:21:54 PM , Rating: 2
You are looking at treatment options like every addict wants to be treated - which is not correct. It would be great if that were the case, but what good would a treatment option do if they can go back out on the street and walk up to a place and legally obtain the drug again very cheaply?

Alcohol is a much different animal than cocaine, heroin, crack, crystal meth, etc.


By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 10/20/2007 3:59:46 PM , Rating: 4
There's varying degrees of drugs as well. While meth should absolutely not be legal under any conditions, drugs like cannabis cost this country vastly more money to combat than seems logically possible.


RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By jtemplin on 10/20/2007 3:33:12 PM , Rating: 2
Im taking drugs and crime, an upper level criminology course, which focuses on the relationship and intersection between drugs and crime. This is from the department's website:
quote:
According to a 2005 U.S. News and World Reports ranking of the quality of Criminology and Criminal Justice Doctoral programs, the Maryland program is number one out of the thirty-two programs ranked.
In case you doubt my credentials...

In my opinion you are presenting only one side of a complex debate with no clear answers. You are presenting a worst-case scenario as the destiny for any user of drugs. Think of drug users' criminality falling along a normal distribution. There will likely be a skew towards increased criminality. How surprising is this considering the act of acquiring the drug is illegal itself. Also consider that many people who are not otherwise aggressive, may become aggressive under the influence of certain drugs (stimulants(crack, meth, coke), PCP) eg the angry drunk.

Aggressiveness is a long established predictor or correletate (no implied causative link in my statement, but it has been recognized as stated) of criminality. It is possible that the percentage of people who may be "happy drunks" could balance this out, some say, but I digress. The problem is systemic and requires it to be treated as such.

And the nonsense about catching the little guys to catch the big guys...Cops bust little DEALERS to rat out the people that supply them. I highly doubt that average drug arrestee is copping pleas to rat people out. The drug problem in our country is not abating but the war on drugs as it exists is a miserable failure. People WILL use, regardless of legality (um prohibition?). We are cracking down more than ever, and our prison system is swelling, but we cannot stem the tide. To me this says that something isn't working. I don't have the solution, but I do know your oversimplified version of reality is one I would not let stand unchallenged.


RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By jtemplin on 10/20/2007 3:35:37 PM , Rating: 2
Hm my response is way out of date...Well just click parent. Actually mdogs has said many sensible things since what I last read. Take it FWIW.


RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By nilepez on 10/21/2007 7:23:24 PM , Rating: 2
Most drug users don't steal. Why? Because most drug users don't do what you describe. Most drug users (by a factor great than 19 to 1) are casual users. It's no different than alcohol, where most people don't use become alcoholics, but a small percentage (2-3%?) will.

The crime you describe, for the most part, is caused because drugs are illegal.

When the U.S. finally bans cigarettes (and we know this is coming), you relatives that smoke will be down on crack street looking for a few packs of smokes.

The war on drugs is a loser. the percentage of habitual drug users in the U.S. has not changed a bit in the last 30-40 years. Casual use goes up and down (and the drug of choice frequently changes), but it's unchanged.

And if you doubt that the crime isn't related to it's illegality, then I suggest you do some research one what happened with the country banned Alcohol -- what, you thought drive by shootings started in East L.A. in the 80's?

Finally, at least with alcohol, a constitutional amendment was required to ban it. With pot, all it took was some lobbying by certain interested parties (hint, they make products like beer, vodka and whiskey) and a propaganda like that seen in Reefer Madness (which is notorious for being devoid of facts and filled with misinformation).

Drugs like pot are legal in the Netherlands, and other drugs are generally tolerated. The net result with that social experiment has been less crime and lower drug use.


RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By Treckin on 10/20/2007 2:16:54 PM , Rating: 5
I used to buy CD's...
Besides the fact that they would always get scratched... If you loose them, they are GONE...

I just think that the RIAA wants to have their cake and eat it too. The CR says that I have the right to LISTEN to the music.. That I have not purchased the right to do what I want with it. I would offer that if I have purchased the right to LISTEN to the music, than that should not be contingent upon me having physical possession of the medium... As I said, if I purchase a CD, I have only bought the right to listen to the CD, not to own the digitized info on the actual disc

In that case, it should be up to the RIAA to assure my unfettered access to the data I have purchased. I lost 150 CD's before, and the RIAA told me I was out of luck... I I didn't actually purchase the CD's, but the data, they should be obligated to assure my access to that...

They want to take the advantages of data ownership (no responsibility on their part for damaged goods) and licensing (CD is merely a medium, ownership is rather a contract) and have the best of both worlds...

FUCK the RIAA... I wish we could get some ballzy legislatures to pass some pro-consumer protections against this sort of abuse by strong political machines(RIAA).


RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By Cogman on 10/20/2007 2:06:53 PM , Rating: 2
I should clarify my statement here. I'm not saying that I condone piracy, just that the way the RIAA is attacking it is all wrong. Someone gave the drug user analogy. How about we have police that drive through a town filled with drug users, and once every month or so they pick a random one up for drug use and say "Let that be a lesson all you!" These are tactics that DON'T work. Futhermore, you get public articles that say something like "Police arrest man at 220 S Main where he was in a line of 400 buying Crack for $30.00 / gram from Joe bob." What does that say to the normal person "Hey, I can buy crack from Joe bob at 220 S Main".

Like me, thats how I even found out pirate bay existed. Furthermore, in the name of "Anti-Piracy" they do things like say you can have your legal marijuana, but you are only allow to take it in your kitchen and no where else, and here is a locking mechanism to stop you from opening it elsewhere, Oh, and we will up the prices on you too. And all this because "We don't want you to share your drugs with someone Illegally" Now, it is so crazy that some drug stores even sell the drugs at a marked up price just so you don't have to have the locking mechanism on your bottle. (reference to DRM)

Things like this only tend to drive people to piracy (drug use) not away from it. If you can get your drugs for cheaper elsewhere and use it anytime anywhere, wouldn't you? Especially with monthly media outbursts basically advertising the local of where to get the stuff.

I don't have a solution that would stop piracy, but I'm also not being payed to come up with one. Honestly, releasing movies only HD is probably one of the best ways to curb it as people don't want to wait forever just to get a movie (easier to just buy it from the store.) Sure, someone will release a reduced quality video of it, but more people would just rather by the HD quality from a store then wait for weeks just to have the media finish downloading.


RE: If you can't inovate, Litigate
By Kuroyama on 10/20/2007 2:25:57 PM , Rating: 2
In many countries people do have the bandwidth to download HD in a reasonable amount of time, and if it were streamed then they could probably download it real time. In the US those with FiOS can probably do this as well. Heck, even Netflix's 1.5Mbps "Watch Now" stream is sufficient that I don't notice any artifacts or quality issues when watching on my 37" TV.

I agree the RIAA efforts to date have been largely ineffective for the reasons you mention, but as someone said on another of these blogs, if the RIAA won $200,000 suits against a few dozen people then the regularity of mega fines announced on national TV would probably start having a real effect.


Drugs and peer to peer
By SavagePotato on 10/21/2007 3:40:52 PM , Rating: 2
You know it's realy ironic that there is this comparison of policing casual drug users with peer to peer users.

Since the artists and celebrities in question use their overblown salaries often times to support their Illegal drug habits.

More seriously though, our ultra capatalist world has become such a funny place. When stuff like this has become worthy of spending millions of dollars persuing and spending court time on. While at the same time the system struggles to prevent real and serious crimes that actualy physicaly harm people.

It's realy no wonder half the world wants to blow the west to hell, with dog and pony show stupidity like billionaires suing everyone and their dog because they want to be trillionaires. Were realy at one very sad point in the history of the human race.




RE: Drugs and peer to peer
By mdogs444 on 10/21/2007 3:49:45 PM , Rating: 2
I dont really see how this affects the views on "the west".

The government is not the one spending billions of tax payers money to prosecute and investigate this activity. The private companies - RIAA, etc - are the ones doing the investigation, and then pushing claims to court. Everyone has a right to file a case - even idiots who make ridiculous claims against people with no merit.

Whether I agree with these claims or not, have you ever stopped to think about the flip side that other people not in the west are jealous of the US for allowing people to protect themselves from both individual people (in this case, the RIAA vs. users) as well as individuals to stand up against big companies (people vs. Walmart, etc)?


RE: Drugs and peer to peer
By SavagePotato on 10/21/2007 3:57:37 PM , Rating: 2
The west is not comprised simply of government.

No I doubt very much that people hate the west because they are "afraid of our fredoms" That's realy believing the spin. They hate the west because they are living in squalor when the biggest issue over here is wether paris will have to stay in jail or not.

The frivalous nature of monsterously rich corporations raking everyone over the coals to squeeze out a few more pennies is just a sign of the times on how screwed up things have become.


RE: Drugs and peer to peer
By mdogs444 on 10/21/2007 4:09:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They hate the west because they are living in squalor when the biggest issue over here is wether paris will have to stay in jail or not.


Im not exactly sure what you mean by that, but I also do not get what happen's in Paris is the west's problem?

quote:
The frivalous nature of monsterously rich corporations raking everyone over the coals to squeeze out a few more pennies is just a sign of the times on how screwed up things have become.


This is nothing new. Its been like this forever. Its not going to change anytime soon. And protesting an entire country over it is not solving the issue.


RE: Drugs and peer to peer
By SavagePotato on 10/21/2007 4:30:03 PM , Rating: 2
Paris hilton, not paris france. Does the country of france seem likely to be put in prison? I don't think it is that hard to understand.

Because something is "like that forever" does not realy change the fact that it's screwed up and wrong. By the way the United States is not the only country in the west, we canadians kind of tend to think were over here too. Contrary to American beleif, no we are not a faceless nation thats just some realy big state.

Western society as a term is actualy a very poor term to use any longer to be honest, since the same societal behavior is exhibited by more nations than just north american ones. However America certainly does seem to be the home of frivalous and moronic lawsuits or at least the world leader in them.

But no, nothing will change as society as a whole is an apathetic organism. We have been pacified so much by the creature comforts of our lives that were willing to tolerate increasingly large amounts of stupidity so long as we all can keep the status quo and have our fix.


RE: Drugs and peer to peer
By mdogs444 on 10/21/2007 4:45:22 PM , Rating: 2
Ahh i gotcha now, Paris Hilton never even crossed my mind in that post lol.

I dont think everyone in America is concerned with Paris Hilton, because god knows, I'm not. Unfortunately, celebrities do cover much of our media, as well media across the globe, so it does get dispersed into each household. On the Paris Hilton note though, I think it was an relatively important situation. Not because its Paris, but because it shows that celebrities with money get off easier than normal citizens. The punishments usually are not the same if you can pay more to get out of it - but I dont think its something new, just something that the mainstream media covers more and more as time goes on.

No one is saying that Canada is not important, but lets face facts, when people talk about "the west", they are talking about the USA, not Canada. It just has to do with being the most powerful nation in world as well as being across every countries headlines, good or bad.

Also, I think its a false accusation to say that America is home to more fivalous lawsuits than any other country - not only because we dont hear about all the ones in europe or asia, but because our country is about the size of europe as a whole. take all the countries in europe, put them together, and then tell me which has more. either way, don't see how this has anything to do with what subject at hand.

I dont see anything wrong with individual people working to get what they want. Just because someone else doesn't cannot have it does not mean you cant either. Thats a socialism outlook of equal distribution of wealth.


RE: Drugs and peer to peer
By SavagePotato on 10/21/2007 5:04:38 PM , Rating: 2
There goes the S bomb.

It's funny how fast Americans are to throw out that hatred of all things not uber capatalist and point the socialism or communism finger.

Canada could be called socialist if you consider our healthcare system. Personaly some level of that is a very good thing. Sue me if I think that the world would be a better place if less people were starving on a countries own streets at the expense of someone having one ferarri instead of three.

The problem comes in seeing things as 100% black and white. You are either this or that. You eiher have to be ultra capatalist and crush the weak beneath your bootheels on the path to riches, or you are an evil socialist or commie pig who wants to ruin the dream of sitting on a gold plated toilet while someome polishes your ferarri.

Personaly I think it is making America into a spoiled rich weaker country. You have people like Bill Gates, the paragon of capatalist success, going out and pleading for people to take an interest in funding education, improving things. I would say don't stop there. If you don't take care of the country, it's going to fall the hell apart.

That doesn't mean raiding Tom Cruises assets and giving them to the poor. It means being reasonable and finding a balance that is going to keep people alive, and educated. Canada is in the position of many in government trying to force American style healthcare on it. Something I hope never happens, and we have our share of total stupidity here too. Such as funneling money into supporting a dependant and draining system that keeps the Indian reserve system funded and recieiving full social benefits while paying no tax whatsoever. If you want an example of negative socialist behavior that is a good one. However like I say someone needs to find a balance for the good of everyone.


RE: Drugs and peer to peer
By mdogs444 on 10/21/2007 6:03:16 PM , Rating: 2
Im not saying that socialism is the worst thing in the world, Im just saying that I do not believe in it. I do not care less if someone disagrees with me for that.

In regards to supporting the poor, we already do that. We give healthcare to childrens whos parents make over 200% of the poverty level. We have welfare. The problem is, alot of people here are getting sick of pushing more and more of our own money into a system, where other people take and take and never give to that system.

Its not fair to tax me at a higher percentage because I chose to go to school, chose to further myself. Now instead of being able to save up more, and give my kids things that I want them to have, I have to give it to someone who does not want to work because they are getting things for free.

Im all for supporting people to a certain extent, for only for a limited time. Im not for paying for someones welfare for 20 years because they wont get off their lazy ass.

Also, in regards to education, you really need to realize how american education is funded. The school systems are funded by property tax. People with low income, and typically live in apartments and pay rent, do not pay any property taxes for schools at all. But at the same time, grandma and grandpa down the street with a nice home, pay for the school and some of them dont even have kids at all who ever attended those schools. Then comes the school levy's. How is it that low income people or people who live in apartments can vote to pass a school levy, which comes from increase in property taxes, when they dont even pay porperty taxes at all! So basically, we have people who want to raise my taxes to pay for their kids schooling, when they dont pay taxes to begin with. Why should i be responsible for funding money into a school system to pay for kids football and baseball equiptment? Thats not education cirriculum, its extra cirricular activities which should be paid for solely by the parents of those students participating in the activities.

So everyone out there who pleads to fund education, low income, etc...there is much more to it than just a broad statement of "why dont we care for all people". The point is people need to put into a system to take from a system. Thats why the country is going to fall apart - too many people taking from the system and complaining that not enough are giving to it.

Im all for getting rid of income tax, and placing a high sales tax to take its place. That way, everyone puts into the system. That way, the more you spend, the more goes into the tax bucket.


RE: Drugs and peer to peer
By glitchc on 10/21/2007 10:45:30 PM , Rating: 2
I just wanted to point something out in your property taxes argument. It's true that people who rent, say apartment, townhome, or condo, do not pay property taxes. However, the owner of that property does. When his/her property taxes go up, the owner is sure to pass it on to the tenant in the form of a rent increase. Just because it's indirect doesn't make in intangible. So, regardless of how you feel about the issue, those tenants are paying for those school levies, and hence, deserve every right to vote on the issue.


RE: Drugs and peer to peer
By mdogs444 on 10/22/2007 7:14:49 AM , Rating: 2
I do see where you're coming from, and in most cases that is true...however, i should have been a bit more detailed. I was referring to people who receive government assistance for housing - like section 8 for example. They do not pay the rent, and therefore do not pay the property taxes. The tax paying citizens are responsible for that rent & tax, therefore are paying twice to support the school.


RE: Drugs and peer to peer
By SavagePotato on 10/21/2007 4:34:05 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, and by the way, what happens in Paris is the wests problem because she releases a damn sex tape everytime it does.


Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic
By hinchesk on 10/21/2007 9:31:09 AM , Rating: 1
Spending resources to stop piracy is like using sticks to stop the flow of a river. You may be able to affect the flow to some barely measurable degree but you're never going to solve the problem.

Stop putting effort into systems that require it's participants to be perfect to work. Accept a certain number of pirates will always exist and build a system that encourages the majority to use it by making it fair and easy to use... or spend eternity trying to rid the world of evil and make everyone hate you...

Not that Apple represents all that's good in the world, but they've undoubtedly come up with a decent system and have made a bajillion dollars doing it. What's the RIAA done?




RE: Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic
By mdogs444 on 10/21/2007 11:10:58 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Stop putting effort into systems that require it's participants to be perfect to work. Accept a certain number of pirates will always exist and build a system that encourages the majority to use it by making it fair and easy to use... or spend eternity trying to rid the world of evil and make everyone hate you...


So because people are illegally committing copyright infringement, the music industry should just cave in, cut their losses, charge less, and accept that pirates will take what they want and not pay for it....just so people dont hate them?

Not that I love the RIAA, but your argument is basically defending thieves who dont have the money to pay for something and steal it, or people who have the money and dont want to pay for it....go start back up your limewire/bittorrent, and take your chances. Dont try and get everyone to bail you out because you are knowingly doing something wrong and taking a risk.


By SavagePotato on 10/21/2007 4:46:42 PM , Rating: 2
Ask yourself how likely it is to be able to ever succesfully completely eradicate the possibility of all piracy by simply going out and suing the world.

Then start to study some of the examples. The RIAA, they are claiming to be spending millions with no return in this campaign to stomp out piracy. The fact is they are no longer needed and fighting tooth and nail to survive. It is not the pirates however that are making them unneccesary.

Example two is Radiohead. A perfect example of exactly what the paragraph quoted refers to. The artist in question having released their new album on their own, on their website. On average they are reporting being payed $20 for the album. Sure some probably pay nothing, some probably kick in extra just to support a great idea. However according to what they claim, they are still making roughly a dollar a song which goes straight to them, not to the label.

Which of those models sounds more likely to win out in the end with the given march of technology and popularity of music as a digital medium.

Time and time again intrusive and restrictive copyright protection proves extremely ineffective. The pirates pirate anyway. Now the proof that it CAN work the other way around is starting to roll in. Hopefully more artists will soon realise they don't need money mongers like the RIAA and a new age will begin.


By hinchesk on 10/22/2007 12:21:24 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
So because people are illegally committing copyright infringement, the music industry should just cave in, cut their losses, charge less, and accept that pirates will take what they want and not pay for it....just so people dont hate them?


No silly, that would be like saying since the legal system doesn't work let's release all the murders and rapists. If the issue truly is about revenue, then they should accept the human race will never be perfect, and find a way to profit in the current reality... part of that plan would be to minimize piracy as opposed to it being the only goal.

quote:
Not that I love the RIAA, but your argument is basically defending thieves who dont have the money to pay for something and steal it, or people who have the money and dont want to pay for it....go start back up your limewire/bittorrent, and take your chances. Dont try and get everyone to bail you out because you are knowingly doing something wrong and taking a risk.


My argument is, listen carefully, it's pointless to create a system which requires the human race to be perfect to work because it isn't and will never be. The RIAA's primary goal clearly isn't to make a better system (in which they make $$) but rather to punish in hopes of deterring others so they'll pay to play.

They're trying to force people into going along with their version of right and wrong. They, like you, are proceeding with the "one right way" attitude... the moral highground... resistance is futile... etc. While the view from the high horse may be nice, it won't get you anywhere any time soon. You can't change people that don't want to change.


By Axbattler on 10/21/2007 12:55:33 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think their expectation is stop everyone (impossible). But any sites that is big enough and hold mostly and/or refer to copyrighted materials seems to be the primary target. Like it or not, it's not the most absurd idea ever - even many will simply move to another source, it still create some inconvenience; if they can not eradicate piracy, then at least make it as inconvenient to the pirates as possible (I am second guessing what they are doing).

That's probably why they systematically go after torrent trackers/big P2P network but not Google Search/YouTube. The former indexes so much that links to copyrighted material could be seen as incidental. The later, in addition to following copyright owner's request to take down copyrighted material, also happen to contains a vast amount of contents created and posted by the copyrighted owner.

And every now and then, they seem to take individuals to court, but I reckon that's to 'set an example' (whether it works or not is another matter).

But it goes without saying that they are not in it for a popularity contest. They most likely do not care whether they are liked or not. Basically, they are not hired to be the PR people of the record companies. More like the unpopular strict teacher at school who can't stop all the rule breaking, but consider it better than letting the kids do as they like. Or maybe someone playing 'bad cop'.

I am pretty sure that if the record company wants to do something a la iTune, they would not ask the RIAA to do it.


Stupidest Lawsuit Ever
By gtrinku on 10/20/2007 7:31:09 PM , Rating: 1
They're just wasting their time, Usenet is untouchable. It is completely decentralized (when uploaded to one server, a post propagates to all other servers and can't be deleted until it's retention expires), anonymous (almost no service provider keeps any kind of logs), and you can find anything on it (movies in HD? Thousands. Advanced physics books? Choose your subject. NASA space shuttle manuals? No problem. If it exists, it's on Usenet.) Best of all, it's normally as fast as your connection allows and there's a great sense of community in most groups. They could find a way to eliminate all p2p programs, but still they wouldn't be able to lay a finger on Usenet.

And by the way, Usenet.com is just one of hundreds of service providers, do these people even know how Usenet works? Seems to me they think Usenet is just a website that provides pirated music, and if they do, they're in for a big surprise.




RE: Stupidest Lawsuit Ever
By B166ER on 10/21/2007 2:26:40 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, makes me happy I've used them. I love the idea of the learning curve being higher than the 'grab n play' options out there. But what I wonder is, who's next? mIRC?


RE: Stupidest Lawsuit Ever
By gtrinku on 10/21/2007 2:02:30 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, maybe someday they hear of XDCC and subsequently sue mirc.com for "providing access to pirated music".


By SiliconAddict on 10/20/2007 2:31:20 PM , Rating: 4
Bastards deserve to get a tap to the head.




boycott the RIAA
By xxsk8er101xx on 10/20/2007 10:21:31 PM , Rating: 3
everyone i talk to hates the RIAA and what they stand for. They simply no longer buy music.

Support your local bands instead. The music is better anyway.




By Staples on 10/20/2007 2:09:13 PM , Rating: 2
The first rule of newsgroups is a damn good one to be followed.

Reporting on them and further explaining how more people can use them will increase the rate of crackdown. I actually pay for music so I don't care if they get rid of them however they will also get rid of the porn and that is a bad thing. Worst report ever.




Internet before Usenet
By Yawgm0th on 10/21/2007 9:01:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Usenet is a relatively centralized method for users to distribute files and messages created before the Internet or peer-to-peer technology was created.


Replace Internet with Web. ARPANET predates USENET by over a decade.




Final Frontier
By Kyanzes on 10/22/2007 4:41:18 AM , Rating: 2
Next time they'll sue BBS owners.




By Regs on 10/22/2007 9:20:08 PM , Rating: 2
I stopped buying music for the longest time, though only for the few bands I actually still liked. The rest? Well their music just sucked.

Downloading it actually helped me target the few other bands I would of never heard of or bought from.

Peter Gabriel, most of his music came out in the 80's and 90's, but I downloaded one or two of his songs and the next thing I know is that I ended up buying 4 of his albums shortly after.

It's not true for everyone, and it's neither right or lawful. Though my point is I refuse to buy albums just because I heard some clip of a song in a commercial, or a sound bite on a radio station. I actually have to hear them first.

The Music Industry has really gone down the crapper and they don't care to market anything they think won't make their greedy little hands greener. I have no idea what's out there right now except for the more 'popular" bands that are backed by big time companies that choose what music you should listen to. Those are of course all the boy toy bands, girls who can't sing for the love of Christ, and singers who never played a musical instrument in their life.

The radio plays the same crap over and over again while being interrupted between every two songs with a 20 minute commercial. How can I blame them? They likely have to pay a 1 million dollar royalty fee to the producer (while the artist gets 2%) whenever they play it.

Mtv? You mean RTV. Reality Tv. Concerts? 200 dollars a ticket to sit in a bleacher.

I say f**k the RIAA, f**k their piss poor music, and f**k their dirty skizzy low-life lawyers. I hope things go around full circle. Where artists will actually no longer need their 'overlords' to produce the record label.

Whenever you see a free-lance band out in the bars, pubs, halls, and streets, just buy their damn 5 dollar CD and support them. Because they likely guy screwed by the same people who got screwed by the RIAA.




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