RIAA at it again!

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  • Lex
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Apr 2001
    • 27461

    RIAA at it again!

    The embattled music industry disclosed aggressive plans Wednesday for an unprecedented escalation in its fight against Internet piracy, threatening to sue hundreds of individual computer users who illegally share music files online.

    The Recording Industry Association of America, citing substantial sales declines, said it will begin Thursday to search Internet file-sharing networks to identify users who offer "substantial" collections of mp3 music files for downloading. It expects to file at least several hundred lawsuits seeking financial damages within eight to 10 weeks.

    Executives for the RIAA, the Washington-based lobbying group that represents major labels, would not say how many songs on a user's computer will qualify for a lawsuit. The new campaign comes just weeks after U.S. appeals court rulings requiring Internet providers to identify subscribers suspected of illegally sharing music and movie files.

    Facing the music
    The RIAA's president, Carey Sherman, said tens of millions of Internet users of popular file-sharing software after Thursday will expose themselves to "the real risk of having to face the music."

    "It's stealing. It's both wrong and illegal," Sherman said. Alluding to the court decisions, Sherman said Internet users who believe they can hide behind an alias online were mistaken. "You are not anonymous," Sherman said. "We're going to begin taking names."

    Critics accused the RIAA of resorting to heavy-handed tactics likely to alienate millions of Internet file-sharers.

    "This latest effort really indicates the recording industry has lost touch with reality completely," said Fred von Lohmann, a lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "Does anyone think more lawsuits are going to be the answer? Today they have declared war on the American consumer."

    Public resistance?
    Sherman disputed that consumers, who are gradually turning to legitimate Web sites to buy music legally, will object to the industry's latest efforts against pirates.

    "You have to look at exactly who are your customers," he said. "You could say the same thing about shoplifters -- are you worried about alienating them? All sorts of industries and retailers have come to the conclusion that they need to be able to protect their rights. We have come to the same conclusion."

    Mike Godwin of Public Knowledge, a consumer group that has challenged broad crackdowns on file-sharing networks, said Wednesday's announcement was appropriate because it targeted users illegally sharing copyrighted files.

    "I'm sure it's going to freak them out," Godwin said. "The free ride is over." He added: "I wouldn't be surprised if at least some people engaged in file-trading decide to resist and try to find ways to thwart the litigation strategy."

    The RIAA said its lawyers will file lawsuits initially against people with the largest collections of music files they can find online. U.S. copyright laws allow for damages of $750 to $150,000 for each song offered illegally on a person's computer, but Sherman said the RIAA will be open to settlement proposals from defendants.

    "We have no hard and fast rule on how many files you have to be distributing ... to come within our radar screen," Sherman said.

    The RIAA said it expected to file "at least several hundred lawsuits" within eight to 10 weeks but will continue to file lawsuits afterward on a regular basis.
    How ironic, I copied the article. However, I will give due credit to CNN. Anybody think invasion of privacy here? I sure do. Why doesn't the music industry accept the slow economy like all other businesses have to? No, they are always looking for someone to blame. Well, don't blame me, I buy my music, thank you very much and I run Zone Alarm to keep your ass out of my computer! :B

    Lex
    Doug
    "I'm out there Jerry, and I'm loving every minute of it!" - Kramer
  • David Meek
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Aug 2000
    • 8938

    #2
    Ditto Lex. I pay for mine - always. All 600+ CD's and 500+ albums. And that's not counting the 300-400 albums I (gulp) gave away after replacing them with CDs, or the 400 DVDs that someone gets a percentage off of for the music on them. The RIAA has "made bank" off of me to the tune of maybe $30,000+ (gross), and now they go on this public prosecution bit. Grrrrr.
    :evil:




    David - HTGuide flunky
    Our "Theater"
    Our DVDs on DVD Tracker

    .

    David - Trigger-happy HTGuide Admin

    Comment

    • Eduardo
      Moderator emeritus
      • Jun 2002
      • 1258

      #3
      here's my eliquant response to RIAA

      :321:




      http://home.nc.rr.com/ejimenez

      Comment

      • George Bellefontaine
        Moderator Emeritus
        • Jan 2001
        • 7637

        #4
        DITTO :321:




        My Homepage!
        My Homepage!

        Comment

        • SiliGoose
          Senior Member
          • Aug 2000
          • 942

          #5
          My response is to open WinMX (my prefered music "stealing" software) and put my whole catalog online 24-7 to see if they catch me. I'll be the guinea pig for the law suit. Come get me!

          (btw, anyone here a lawyer? )




          -Sili
          www.campmurphy.net

          Comment

          • Digital Bob
            Member
            • Aug 2000
            • 56

            #6
            dB
            dB

            Comment

            • Digital Bob
              Member
              • Aug 2000
              • 56

              #7
              Ok, it must be me. What don't I get here? An entity that is dedicated to protecting the rights of it's members for all of their mutual benefits is threatening to make use of the courts and existing laws to do so. And people are upset by that?

              Anyone here ever belonged to a labor union? Proffessional orginization? Trade group?


              What don't I get? If you don't break the law and rip people off you are completely unaffected by this.

              Must be me... *scratches his head*




              dB
              dB

              Comment

              • Brandon B
                Super Senior Member
                • Jun 2001
                • 2193

                #8
                I would say it has to do with their tactics. Of the 4 people they sued already, one was running a file indexing program that indexed ALL files, not MP3's and was not actually involved in any significant file trading. He couldn't afford to defend the lawsuit and so gave the RIAA his savings account (12 grand).

                They are not (IMO) going about this in a level-headed matter, but are rather engaged in a witch hunt (albeit with many real witches flying about). Their indiscriminate approach to fighting this problem is creating as much inequity and damage as the the issues they are attempting to solve.

                So even though I have NEVER downloaded any music, I am afraid I share the single digit attitude expressed by my friends above.

                BB

                Comment

                • Digital Bob
                  Member
                  • Aug 2000
                  • 56

                  #9
                  At the risk of alienating myself from the whole forum... :LOL:

                  I will none the less follow-up your reply with these questions:

                  1) So when you say he was indexing (making available) all files, there is an assumption that because I offer cookies, ciggarettes, buggle gum and carrot sticks to teen agers I am not to be held accountable for offering the ciggarettes?

                  2) When you say he was not involved with any "signifigant" file trading, the unspoken part of that statement implies there was at least some. Again I have to ask a hypothetical quuestion. If am doing 75 on the highway and the guy ahead of me is doing 85 and I get stopped, do I NOT deserve a ticket for breaking the law?

                  I do appreciate the healthy exchange of ideas, I guess I am just old fashioned about some stuff.




                  dB
                  dB

                  Comment

                  • Brandon B
                    Super Senior Member
                    • Jun 2001
                    • 2193

                    #10
                    Indexing the existence of mp3 files on a network when you are indexing ALL files on the network is in no way equivalent to offering a product illegally to a teenager. His software indexed all files. Just like Google, or any other type of indexing or searching software returns all relevant results. The people who placed mp3's on public shared volumes might be said to be engaging in infringing activity. The people who used the index to find and download the mp3's can easily be classified as infringing. His activities cannot.

                    Read this for a good explanation:



                    As to your second point, I used the word "significant" as I have no knowledge as to how much, if ANY, file trading he himself has done, and more to the point, this was not the activity the RIAA suit alleged. It was targeted solely at his providing of the indexing software as facilitating this filetrading. They very incorrectly equated this with placing the files online for download himself.

                    As for alienation, nah. Your posts are polite and logical. Unless you start spouting rubbish, few if any here are going to have a problem with you simply disagreeing. This is the most civil of the 7 or so HT forums I have been part of.

                    Read the link though, and let me know what you think afterwards.

                    BB

                    Comment

                    • Lex
                      Moderator Emeritus
                      • Apr 2001
                      • 27461

                      #11
                      dB, when I first read the article, I thought they were going to ping individual computers looking for song distribution software, and try to isolate people that way. A CLEAR violation of my right to privacy if that's the case. Now searching servers, different catagory. But who's to say I don't share MP3s back and forth between my office and home AND own all the CDs? Can I be truly responsible if other people find and download them without my knowledge?

                      Anyway, just food for thought.

                      Lex
                      Doug
                      "I'm out there Jerry, and I'm loving every minute of it!" - Kramer

                      Comment

                      • PMazz
                        Senior Member
                        • May 2001
                        • 861

                        #12
                        They are taking the tactic of going after the uploaders, thinking that if they can curb the number of people willing to share their files, that the downloaders will have no place to "get the goods".

                        My problem with their tactics is they lobbied for, and got, congressional approval to bypass the current system of justice. They can, without police or judges, subpoena service providers for private information. Now we have corporate police instead of public servants deciding who, what, when and where investigations and inquiries about who's doing what on the net. And it's not only the RIAA that now has this power. Any copyright holder can do the same. Very scary.

                        And besides, file sharers will always be 2 steps ahead of them anyway. All they will accomplish is the creation of a new type of software/system that falls between the cracks.

                        I don't participate or condone illegal file sharing, nor do I condone sidestepping what I thought was our right to privacy from these vigilante groups.

                        This will just be seen in history as another scoop of dirt on the remains of the RIAA......And they'll still blame the internet for their mistakes!

                        Pete
                        Birth of a Media Center

                        Comment

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