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RIAA Lawsuits from a John Doe's Perspective

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the through-the-wringer dept.

Music 629

An anonymous reader writes "Nick Mamatas was sued by and subsequently settled with the RIAA for file sharing. He wrote a piece for the Village Voice describing his experience, and he goes on to briefly discuss the implications of "John Doe" file-sharing lawsuits. He argues that the labels are using these suits as a source of profit; he also claims that when his lawyer contacted the RIAA to discuss the suit, he was put in touch with a regular staffer, not another lawyer. 'It feels like they're doing a volume business,' Mamatas' lawyer notes."

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fp for klerck (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11906392)

First SLAHSDOT MARTYR!!!

Re:fp for klerck (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11906406)

What'll you do when you get lonely
And nobody's waiting by your side?
You've been running and hiding much too long.
You know it's just your foolish pride.

Layla, you've got me on my knees.
Layla, I'm begging, darling please.
Layla, darling won't you ease my worried mind.

I tried to give you consolation
When your old man had let you down.
Like a fool, I fell in love with you,
Turned my whole world upside down.

Layla, you've got me on my knees.
Layla, I'm begging, darling please.
Layla, darling won't you ease my worried mind.

Let's make the best of the situation
Before I finally go insane.
Please don't say we'll never find a way
And tell me all my love's in vain.

Layla, you've got me on my knees.
Layla, I'm begging, darling please.
Layla, darling won't you ease my worried mind.

Layla, you've got me on my knees.
Layla, I'm begging, darling please.
Layla, darling won't you ease my worried mind.

Last Modified Sunday, 29-Dec-2002 03:58:19 EST These pages were made by Justin R. Erenkrantz unless otherwise stated. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. These pages will look best in an XHTML 1.0 compliant browser.

Re:fp for klerck (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11906435)

Klerck... Oh Klerck

Well you came and you left with a gunshot
But I need you todayy
OH KLERCK
Well you posted on LJ you'd do it
But I didn't believe
OH KLERCK

A volume business? (0, Offtopic)

Silverlancer (786390) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906395)

Ugh. Their music sounds enough without too much volume.

Re:A volume business? (3, Funny)

Gentlewhisper (759800) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906436)

It is pretty sad that our courts are used for this.. but repeat after me guys, "Chi-Ching!"

Re:A volume business? (4, Funny)

HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906516)

Especially when they turn it up to eleven

The RIAA (5, Funny)

Tobias.Davis (844594) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906403)

The RIAA is to America what GNAA is to Slashdot

Re:The RIAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11906420)

The RIAA is the America what SA is to 4chan. [4chan.org]

Re:The RIAA (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11906434)

The RIAA is to America what worms are to Klerck [livejournal.com] .

Re:The RIAA (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11906586)

The RIAA is to America what GNAA is to Slashdot

I never realised that a business association of music monopolists who get custom laws written and sue people had so much in common with a bunch of white middle class nerds who troll slashdot pretending to be gay black guys. Well, you learn something new every day.

Volume business? (4, Funny)

Stick_Fig (740331) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906413)

Hey, at least they're doing something they're good at.

Just think, if the lawsuits decrease, record execs will suddenly whine, "OH WE ARE STARVING, WE SUED EVERYBODY! HELP US ORRIN!"

Blasted popup (-1, Offtopic)

teslatug (543527) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906415)

Looks like they've got one of those pop-up ads that make it paste Firefox at villagevoice.

Not Here... (1)

Nirvelli (851945) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906654)

My Firefox didn't get a popup.

Shareholder Profit (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11906423)

Perhaps companies need to declare their extraordinary profit in shareholder reports due to pursuing 'legal avenues'.

Your local RIAA Office here to Serv You! (3, Funny)

chaffed (672859) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906425)

Your friendly and conveniently located RIAA offices are here to take your extor... settlements. Just stop into one of our many locations.

We are also accepting unsolicited settlements. If you feel guilty about steeling from the table of our hard working label execs just drop by and we'll settle everything.

Re:Your local RIAA Office here to Serv You! (3, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906474)

Your friendly and conveniently located RIAA offices are here to take your extor... settlements.

Maybe they can set up drive-thrus.

Instead of a Jack-In-The-Box clown, we can have giant, glowing plastic heads of Ashlee Simpson, 50 Cent or Shania Twain.

Ha! That's silly of me!

People don't even download Ashlee Simpson songs for free.

I wonder if a giant, glowing head of Ted Nugent is a sign of the End Times. You could pay your fine and buy some ammo at the same time.

It's a profit center!! (4, Insightful)

Newer Guy (520108) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906429)

Let's see.. 1700 times a minimum of 3000 dollars... 5.1 MILLION DOLLARS! Not too shabby, HUH? And I'll bet that the artists and performers never see a single cent of it!

Re:It's a profit center!! (4, Funny)

Orcspit (600792) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906482)

Hmm, Dollar a song at iTunes, Author of the article had about 2500 songs downloaded. Sounds like you might as well just download all the songs now and take your chances, pay RIAA later. Saves you from having to go through all the trouble of paying for iTunes.

Re:It's a profit center!! (2, Insightful)

marshall_j (643520) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906500)

Nono, this stops piracy which in turn drives sales of cds which creates more revenue which means the RIAA can drop their % on contracts. Right?

Given their standards (4, Insightful)

jspoon (585173) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906530)

And I'll bet that the artists and performers never see a single cent of it!

From what I've read of their contracts with artists, the RIAA is probably charging them for the privilege.

Lawsuits for profit! (5, Funny)

sabernet (751826) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906437)

Man, that article has opened my eyes. I never would have guessed all these lawsuits were used to generate profit for the cartel.

-----

I'll file this under "duh".

It's like tort (5, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906438)

A few companies started settling instead of fighting frivilous lawsuits. Now it's the primary source of income for some law firms, and its side effects are a measurable drain on the economy.

So will society let this one spin horribly out of control until it is a vast, pathetic cataclysm of Brobdingian proportions, that makes strong men weep, strong women faint and baby Jesus cry?

Of course we will. The question was rhetorical.

Re: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11906446)

Those people at the MPAA can go freaking die. They shut down a SONIC (read: the furry little hedgehog) WEBSITE just because it had like two movies. Of course, duh, we got to make those overpaid exec's salaries somewhere, right?

It doesn't matter .... (5, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906453)

It doesn't matter if they are just using the lawsuits as a revenue stream.

Copyright infringement is against the law, and I have absolutely _no_ sympathy for people who think that because it's just a "little crime" there should be just a "little penalty". That's nothing more than a bunch of handwaving to rationalize the criminal activity in the first place.

Re:It doesn't matter .... (0, Troll)

erick99 (743982) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906468)

Reflexive thinking like that is unimpressive and diminishes you greatly. Add something to the debate. Your shrill declaration is noise.

Re:It doesn't matter .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11906476)

Unlike you, a lot of people here on Slashdot do have some sympathy for such people. Try looking at this from their perspective.

Re:It doesn't matter .... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11906484)

What about the people who aren't guilty but can't afford to defend themselves? We have no idea how many defendents are criminals and how many the RIAA are simply extorting.

Re:It doesn't matter .... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906593)

Name one case (in copyright matters) where it was "extortion".

Just one... where the person facing fines wasn't committing copyright infringement in the first place.

Otherwise you're just grasping at straws.

Re:It doesn't matter .... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11906609)

Since they never go to court, we'll never know.

WHy do you think the RIAA targets grandmothers and little girls? Because they know that THEY won't fight it in court - they CAN'T. The RIAA will never sue someone who will likely make them look stupid in court.

Re:It doesn't matter .... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906649)

You are sounding like a conspiracy theorist... think about it.

Re:It doesn't matter .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11906637)

Just one... where the person facing fines wasn't committing copyright infringement in the first place

Quote from TFA:
"about 8,400 have been sued by the recording industry--including, last month, an 83-year-old dead woman from West Virginia"

Okay, that's one who wasn't committing copyright infringement. Looks like I got that straw.

Re:It doesn't matter .... (5, Insightful)

$exyNerdie (683214) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906485)

Copyright infringement is against the law

Laws are to be for the benefit of people. These days, if you are rich and can have a government official elected by generous donations, media exposure, etc., you can get laws passed that might benefit you more than the public...

Re:It doesn't matter .... (4, Informative)

$exyNerdie (683214) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906502)

Here you go (on the laws being passed for businesses):

http://www.cnn.com/2005/ALLPOLITICS/03/09/bankrupt cy.ap/index.html [cnn.com]

Re:It doesn't matter .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11906658)

Actually, if you put some thought into it, the new bankruptcy law will benefit consumers by discouraging them from running up outrageous debt. Nobody has the right to go tens of thousands of dollars in debt and then just walk away from it.

Re:It doesn't matter .... (2, Insightful)

gkuz (706134) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906524)

These days, if you are rich and can have a government official elected by generous donations, media exposure, etc., you can get laws passed that might benefit you more than the public...

"These days"? Read some history, dammit. It's been this way in the US of A for at least 150 years. Ever hear of Jay Gould? Andrew Carnegie? This ignorant ahistorical whining is getting really annoying.

Re:It doesn't matter .... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906560)

I am "the people".

I respect copyright law not only because it _is_ the law, but because I respect the reasons for it.

I'm entitled to my opinion... and as it just so happens, in this case, the law happens to coincide with my opinion.

Re:It doesn't matter .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11906604)

So in other words, you're saying you're so beaten down by 'the man' that you'll be the RIAA's bitch even though they charge way too much for a cd? It costs them jack shit to make a cd and they charge $16 - $20 for it...that's why I only buy like one cd a year.

Re:It doesn't matter .... (4, Insightful)

Sancho (17056) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906614)

I stopped "respecting" copyright when they stopped sharing it back with the public. Remember that bit? Copyright is supposed to be a limited monopoly, but large copyright owners such as Disney keep pushing it back by purchasing new laws. And it's even been held up in court.

No, I don't download because I don't want to get sued. But I can't accept copyright as it exists today.

Re:It doesn't matter .... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906636)

I don't agree with that aspect of the law either, but that's not at issue here because works whose copyright would have expired by now are not typically works that people commit copyright infringement with.

Re:It doesn't matter .... (1, Insightful)

Iamthewalrus (688963) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906505)

I have absolutely _no_ sympathy for people who think that because it's just a "little crime" there should be just a "little penalty".

Yeah! Death to all jaywalkers!

Re:It doesn't matter .... (1)

compm375 (847701) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906532)

No, not death, just a $20,000 fine.

Re:It doesn't matter .... (3, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906581)

It's not criminal activity. It's a civil dispute between citizens. The fact that there are *any* criminal copyright laws in your country (if there are) is a result of out and out corruption. Get a grip.

Re:It doesn't matter .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11906587)

Yes, and as we all know, the law is 100% in correlation with what is ethical. No one could ever have been treated unfairly by the law in all of history. I mean, except for blacks. Oh, and women. Them too. Oops, I forgot about Mexicans. And lets not forget about the mentally ill.

Why are you defending copyright so much? It exists to help people, not criminalize marginally improper use of material. If you want to bend over for corporate America, go right ahead. Some of us dont think they should weild the power they are currently weilding.

Re:It doesn't matter .... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906624)

I defend copyright becaause I respect the copyright holders. Specifically, I respect the copyright holder's right to have the final say in who may copy his work.

I have no sympathy for people who disprect the copyright holder's wishes by copying a copyrighted work without permission (fair and personal use copies notwithstanding, which I support and advocate with equal, if not actually more fervor).

Now they're suing the bassist of X? (1)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906454)

When will the horror end?

No, seriously, when will it end? I'd like to know.

By the way, bassist/co-songwriter/co-singer.

RIA(A) tactics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11906458)

Sounds similar to another organisation in the news lately. Only by threatening to shoot people they have shot themselves in the foot. Hopefully this continued assalt on individuals will reward the hyped out, paranoid entertainement industry with the same results.

How??? (1)

irefay (785141) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906460)

Is the RIAA a government run establishment? Where do they get their power and athority from? Does the recording industry pay them to do its bidding or what?

Re:How??? (2, Informative)

djeaux (620938) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906518)

(1) No. RIAA is not a government entity. (2) They get their authority through the power of FUD. (3) Yes. They are paid by the recording industry to "protect" its interests.

Re:How??? (1)

MrBigInThePants (624986) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906534)

>Is the RIAA a government run establishment?
Actually the government is (partly) run by the RIAA via senator's bacl pockets.

>Where do they get their power and athority from?
As stated above, near a senator's butthole.

>Does the recording industry pay them to do its bidding or what?
Yes.

Anything else??

Re:How??? (1)

irefay (785141) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906556)

Sweet, I can now kill people without a trial or jury if I see them perform a crime.

Re:How??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11906589)

You're about as stupid as a fencepost, I guess. The RIAA files civil suits against file sharers. Most of the file sharers elect to settle out of court. Your analogy is utterly pitiful.

If you're going to kill anyone, perhaps you should start with yourself. Or at least stop adding to the already poor quality of posting here.

Re:How??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11906644)

If you're going to kill anyone, perhaps you should start with yourself.

Can we all start modding anyone who suggests that another poster commit suicide (you know, to make themselves look witty or badass or whatever) -1 redundant? Seriously, it's getting older than Natalie Portman/grits/Soviet Russia.

Re:How??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11906569)

Is the RIAA a government run establishment?

No.

Where do they get their power and athority from?

From their members and from the US legal system.

Does the recording industry pay them to do its bidding or what?

Uh...well, considering that it's the Recording Industry Association of America, I'd say that you just answered your own question.

Why are these suits wrong, exactly? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11906463)

Rationalize all you like, but ultimately these people are violating copyrights by sharing music, or getting something they aren't entitled to by downloading. When the RIAA goes after the technologies used to enable P2P sharing, there is an outrage and rightfully so. However, when the RIAA actually goes after the people doing the wrong things, there's also an outrage. But that's just pathetic. All these people that just won't be happy until they can get all the music they want for free need a serious lesson in ethics, economics, and a slap upside the head.

Re:Why are these suits wrong, exactly? (1)

erick99 (743982) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906499)

They are throwing tea into the harbor to make a point is another way of looking at it. Perhaps it can be seen as civil disobedience (though certainly not in all cases). Such acts in our past ultimately paved the way for solutions that made a great deal more sense than that which was in place.

Re:Why are these suits wrong, exactly? (1)

CasmirRadon (865714) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906619)

I for one really, truly, honestly, would like to see some actual studies on downloading music as an impact on recording industry profits. I would like to see studies conducted with due scientific rigor, with fully documented methodology and results.

I have not spent a great deal of time specifically looking for these studies, but am I wrong to wonder why the existance or nonexistance of such important considerations never seems to enter the public debate?

Why is the RIAA allowed to assert these claims of lost/stolen profits? Although personally I believe their claims to be philophically/intellectually/economically bankrupt, that does not hold much weight either without proper scientific study.

And no, their "estimates" do not count, not until methodology is fully published, debated, and tested among scientists who are not paid for a specific conclusion.

Re:Why are these suits wrong, exactly? (3, Interesting)

HardCase (14757) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906640)

I guess that I can accept that it's civil disobedience, although it's a stretch. But if that's the case, then you do your civil disobedience, go to your trial and make your statement. But that's not happening here - the disobedience is happening, but when the hammer drops, most of the defendants start making up all sorts of lame-ass excuses about why it was all innocent.

Don't put me down on the side of the RIAA - mass subpeonas are a cheesey way of using a loophole in the law. But don't lionize the people who got caught. Civil disobedience is one thing, being stupid and getting caught at it is another. Everybody knows what the RIAA is doing...so by now, the people getting caught are just playing the odds and losing. And I'm still trying to figure out exactly what civil right the music industry is violating anyway...being a bunch of luddites and treating your customers like criminals is bad business, but it's not trampling on anybody's rights.

Re:Why are these suits wrong, exactly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11906606)

because the punishment is incongruent with the crime. if the movie or CD costs $20 to buy, and you're being sued for downloading it, where's the justification in having to pay tens of thousands of dollars? i suppose you could say that they're factoring in your further distribution, but that would only work if they were only going after who shared files. they're not, they're going after people who simply download.

Re:Why are these suits wrong, exactly? (1)

tchuladdiass (174342) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906651)

Actually, they are going after people who do both. At least the guy in the article was caught because they were browsing ip address of people who were sharing. However, this is a result of the way most p2p apps are set up -- they automatically share what you download.

Proof? (4, Interesting)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906475)

First, is it just me or does that article come across as if part of his settlement entailed him promising to use his public position to author a "scare-em-straight" article?

Second, why aren't people going to court over these lawsuits? I don't see why you would even need a lawyer. Just go to court and say "I didn't do anything illegal. Show me proof beyond a reasonable doubt that I did."

I mean, other than a record company CLAIMING that someone at some IP address was sharing certain songs, what proof is there? If something goes missing from my garage, I can't just point a finger at a neighbor and tell the judge "no, I KNOW he took it - I saw it!". You have to have more proof than that. Something unbiased and irrefutable, preferably from an independant party.

Short of confiscating your computer, finding an installed P2P application ACTUALLY RUNNING AT THE TIME, with a configured shared directory full of copyrighted songs that you are not legally licensed to distribute and your software is actively serving them to active downloaders at the time that it is being viewed by a judge - what proof is there?

Re:Proof? (1)

compm375 (847701) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906517)

Right, how do they know it wasn't your neighbor leeching off of your wifi?

Re:Proof? (1)

tchuladdiass (174342) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906521)

I was thinking that if this happened to me, I'd print out a bunch of CERT reports pointing out ip-spoofing vulnerabilities, etc., and replacing my drive with a "clean" one, then see how they can argue against that. However someone in another slashdot article pointed out that to defend yourself you have to front their legal costs (one of those special laws they bought?), don't know how true it is though.

Re:Proof? (5, Informative)

BoneThugND (766436) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906526)

This isn't criminal law. In a tort case, they don't have to prove it 'beyond a reasonable doubt.' They have to prove it 'based on a preponderance of the evidence.'

Which basically means, if the judge and/or jury thinks it's more likely you committed the tort than not, they can force you to pay damages.

Re:Proof? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11906542)

and can they prove that it was you in person Mr Seumas who sat at that computer connected to that ip address at that exact time ?

thats why eulas ,riaa suits and the like will always be bullshit because you cannot prove who the operator was

Re:Proof? (1)

Cerv (711134) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906554)

Just go to court and say "I didn't do anything illegal. Show me proof beyond a reasonable doubt that I did."
IANAL but isn't the standard of proof required in a civil case in the US 'on the balance of probability' rather than 'beyond reasonable doubt', which is used only in criminal trials?

Re:Proof? (2, Interesting)

tekiegreg (674773) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906565)

Show me proof beyond a reasonable doubt that I did."

Therein lies the problem, you did nothing illegal. This is a civil case and not a criminal one. Reasonable doubt is not the standard here. Basically you're looking at a "Preponderance of the evidence". Basically the judge listens to you, then the RIAA and decides who sounds better. So if the RIAA has anything better than "you did it", you better be just as well prepared and then some...

Re:Proof? (1)

plsavaria (823160) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906583)

In civil court, you need a lawyer. Fighting and winning would be more expensive than settlement... (AFAIK)

does it matter? dont pay. (5, Informative)

x757x (674442) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906478)

its a civil suit judgement, correct? I had one from 1998. I did not pay it, no big deal. It is not the court's responsibility to force you to pay. (at least not where I live). its "on" my credit report, but i have never been turned down for anything since then, (have a very nice credit score actually) and it will get removed soon. I actually called the lawyer representing the person that sued me one day, and asked him about it (thats mostly what he does for a living). He said a good percentage of the judgements he wins never get payed, as there is no way to force the loser to cooperate. Maybe its different in other states? If I lost the case, I would basically be like kiss my ass RIAA.

Re:does it matter? dont pay. (3, Informative)

tchuladdiass (174342) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906507)

I've heard that in many states, you can go to court again for non-payment, then the court can order the local sheriff to go with you to the defendant's property to start confiscating stuff for auction until the dept is paid. Although I don't know if this works for just businesses or individuals too.

Re:does it matter? dont pay. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11906544)

Of course, the plantiff can go back to court and the court can order your wages garnished and sieze and sell your personal property until the judgement is satisfied. And in most states, that also includes your home and your bank accounts.

I guess you got "lucky" in that the plantiff in your case didn't pursue the matter further, but the court can most certainly force you to pay. Either that, or you're just making the story up.

Re:does it matter? dont pay. (1)

winkydink (650484) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906579)

And, in most states, the plaintiff can go back to court and add another 7 years on the time to collect.

Re:does it matter? dont pay. (1)

x757x (674442) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906622)

I guess the key is "most states". rules are probably different in each states court system. He definitely said he couldnt garnish wages, which was all I was worried about.

Oh noooooo! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11906479)

RIAA is making money out of people who break the law and infringe on their copyright (and thus their profits). TRAGEDY! My heart bleeds!
Note I didn't say 'steal'; I want sane argument here, not arguing semantics with slashbots. I'll probably just get modded down instead ;-p
So, what's so evil about this that it merits a YRO mention?

RIAA bastards (4, Funny)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906483)

RIAA Bastards (Sung to the tune of "Radio Ga Ga" by Queen)

I sit alone and watch the lights, on my PC for several nights. And ev'rything I want to load, I find it on the net, you know

You gave us all those boyband stars. Their CD price -- a total farce. You made 'em sing - which made us cry. We just want all those bands to die

RIAA

You'll just become some background noise, suing groups of girls and boys, who just don't know and just don't care, about your new idea of "fair"
You had your time, you've had the power. You're going to have your final hour

RIAA

All we hear is, RIAA bastards, RIAA sue you, RIAA wankers.
All we hear is, RIAA retards, RIAA blah blah
Peer to peer is new. RIAA no one now needs you!

We taped CDs - we dubbed the stars, off radio for hours and hours. Now we swap files amongst our peers, The tech just changes through the years

Let's hope you leave 'cause you're no friend. Like all good things they come to an end. Don't stick around, as we won't miss you. We're growing tired of all your bullshit
You had your time, you've had the power. You're going to have your final hour

RIAA

All we hear is, RIAA bastards, RIAA screw you, RIAA smacktards.
All we hear is, RIAA wankers, RIAA losers, RIAA ha ha.
All we hear is, RIAA retards, RIAA blah blah
Peer to Peer is new. RIAA, no one now needs you!

RIAA bastards, RIAA bastards, RIAA bastards
RIAA

You had your time you've had the power. You're going to have your final hour
RIAA

Re:RIAA bastards (1)

MrBigInThePants (624986) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906572)

heh, very funny. Most of the queen song rewrites are rubbish. (and based on bohemian rapsody)

This one is heaps better.

Sounds like a bush/cheney commercial (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11906494)

We sue you so that we can stay alive. Of course, we ignore the billions of profits that we have.

Another way to share files. Legally. (3, Interesting)

zymano (581466) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906503)

It's called the LIBRARY. I know they don't have all the movies or songs but that could change with a little more funding. If we could also 'UNITE' the libraries through internet networking then we could also download or the library could download hard to find movies or songs.

One point on the Riaa lawsuits . Is it really like breaking into BEST BUY and stealing CDs' and movies ? Aren't these MP3's,Camcorder tapings, Divix, AVI and Mpegs just average to bad copies. If so then how could it be counted as theft ? Shouldn't there be a consideration to quality. Wouldn't you equate this to recording RADIO with tape ?

Re:Another way to share files. Legally. (1)

irefay (785141) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906543)

So I should be punnished more for stealing a Farrari than a handa? Or how about killing a homeless guy compared to a rich guy?

Re:Another way to share files. Legally. (2, Funny)

Aeiri (713218) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906645)

So I should be punnished more for stealing a Farrari than a handa? Or how about killing a homeless guy compared to a rich guy?

Are you stupid?

Obviously you should be punished more, hell, stealing a Honda would probably not even be a felony.

Re:Another way to share files. Legally. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11906634)

You can borrow CDs from the library. But you can bet that the RIAA considers anyone who copies a CD from the library to be doing it unlawfully.

RIAA Lawsuits from a *real* John Doe's Perspective (1)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906508)

Huh? Okaay. Damn pirates...they deserve what they get.

Now what's this with Martha Stewart and her lemons and donuts? Poor gal, she's suffered so much...

Man, this Michael Jackson guy trial really rocks ass...what'll they think of next.

et al...

[/sarcasm]

Nobody cares for the real news any more.

clarification, please (2, Insightful)

negative3 (836451) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906509)

I still can't understand how "We're losing money" is the same as "We're not making as much money as we think we should".

Like SCO? (1)

MrFlannel (762587) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906513)

Perhaps (wishful thinking) the RIAA is secretly going bankrupt and this is a last ditch effort at some profit (a la SCO)?

Alright, maybe not, but I can dream, can't I?

really (1)

varmittang (849469) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906522)

Really!!! They are after money. Oh my god, never saw that coming. Did you?

I don't feel his pain (4, Insightful)

waynegoode (758645) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906527)

What is his complaint?

Is he upset that he got sued? That it was filed as a John Doe suit? He admits in the article he broke the law, so I don't think he has the right to complain.

Is he upset that his lawyer (whom he did not pay) did not get to speak to lawyer at the RIAA? Doesn't the RIAA have the right to handle their case the way they want do?

Is he upset they sued a lot of people at the same time as him? If it's illegal, say so and fight it. If the other people aren't guilty, let them complain. Otherwise, it sounds like an acceptable legal tactic to me.

Yes, the RIAA has done some things wrong in handling these cases. Originally, they were requesting information without a filing a suit, but they have changed that. Also, they have sued some innocent people, but the writer admits he is not one of those.

He was caught with his hand in the cookie jar and doesn't like it. Well, sorry. If he did not want to be sued and pay up he should have not violated the law. He, like everyone else, must face the consequences of their actions.

I don't like the way the RIAA is reacting to digital music, but that does not give me the right to steal music. If you don't think someone is offering their music fairly, then boycott them. That is a time-honored legal method of protesting.

Calling downloading "civil disobedience" is an insult to those, like the civil rights protesters and the protesters in Tiananmen Square, who have used civil disobedience to try to right the wrongs of society. File sharing is stealing to avoid paying the cost, not civil disobedience--it directly benefits the protester. Civil rights protesters did not directly benefit from their protests. The only thing they got was a change in the laws--the whole point of their protest..

If you steal music, then, as a law breaker, what right do you have to complain about the RIAA?

Re:I don't feel his pain (5, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906631)

I believe he is upset for the same reason that a lot of people are upset: they don't like copyright law. When a large percentage of the population think a law is no good that law should be rescinded. Why don't people like copyright law? Because it's no longer a good deal. Copyright used to be a law that only affected publishers engaging in trade. They were the only ones who could copy, so they were the only ones who were affected. Now we all copy, all the time, and we don't like a law that was crafted hundreds of years ago to serve the specific purpose of restricting trade to encourage progress restricting each and every one of us.

Unfortunately, the will of the people no longer controls the state of laws in our countries. That's why we're upset, and frankly, I think it's a pretty good reason to be.

One man saw it coming .... (1)

jobbleberry (608883) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906528)

I remember posting a response to a similar article about sue happy music execs in the past. And here it is:

[http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=98474&c id =8405791] ....

--- Snippy Snippy ----
New business model? (Score:3, Insightful)
by jobbleberry (608883) on Friday February 27, @01:18AM (#8405791)
Is it just me or are companies starting to use Law Suits as a business model.

For example the Music Industry has got it down to a fine art. Find a consumer, sue them for millions, they can't afford legal costs so they settle for around 3 - 5 grand, move onto the next.

They could potentially make more money this way out of indiduals then by having them buy CD's.

Just my thoughts anyway.
--- Snippy Snippy ----

I actually find it kind of scary that what started out as an attempt at sarcasm turned into possible reality!

"Volume business" (1)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906529)

Perhaps someone should stand up and refuse to settle. What did your lawyer say about your chances if you went to trial?

When all else fails... sue? (2, Insightful)

BlastM (663010) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906535)

'It feels like they're doing a volume business,' Mamatas' lawyer notes.
Maybe I'm being overly optimistic, but large-scale litigation seems to be the sign of a failing business model.

Towards the end, SCO's business model was pretty much:
1) Sue
2) Sue
3) ???
4) Profit!
to the point where they listed court cases among their achievements on their corporate website.

The media indstry seems to be slowly heading in this direction. Maybe the demise of the RIAA labels / MPAA studios is imminent?

breifly?? (1)

grolschie (610666) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906537)

he goes on to breifly discuss the implications

;-)

What about the insecure wireless router defense? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11906568)

If the RIAA comes after me, I'm going to court and tell them that I don't secure my wireless router. I have no idea who leaches off my internet connection and I don't care. Even if they take my pc, I will have wiped the hard drive clean anyway.

Someone tell me if I am wrong, but... (3, Insightful)

ShatteredDream (636520) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906590)

Most of the smaller labels out there don't seem to particularly care about file sharing. Century Media, which isn't that small, but isn't RIAA affiliated to the best of my knowledge doesn't do these kinds of suits. I guess it's because they're not so big that most of the people are just swiping free MP3s that they have no intention of buying. I have frequently downloaded metal MP3s and I go out and buy the real CD when I can find it.

I guess it comes down to, what is the average file sharer's excuse other than "I want it, I want it now and I want it for free?" Most of the file sharing I have seen among other college students isn't obscure stuff, but top 40s type stuff. It's stuff that if you go to buy it online you can find a ton of bargains on. Not only that, but the "poor college student" excuse is bullshit. The most prolific abusers of file sharing I have seen were people that could afford to **buy** most of what they downloaded.

I'm glad that the RIAA has cut down on its lobbying and started doing its job. The RIAA is supposed to protect artists and labels, and that's what they are doing now. New laws don't mean a damn thing unless they are so draconian that enforcement is trivial. These lawsuits are not even in the same league, let alone as some of the laws that people like Fritz Hollings have tried to foist on people.

And you know what's amusing? This is precisely the type of copyright defense that was originally intended in America by our founders. So stop your bitching, you could be arrested by the FBI and sent to a federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison. People like Fritz and Orrin Hatch would love to send file sharers to prison, but the RIAA is happy with a few thousand dollars in civil liabilities which sure beats the fines you would pay in criminal court. In fact, these mass lawsuits are a drop in the bucket compared to what you could face.

Btw, if anyone wants to shop for cheap metal, I have found http:///www.theendrecords.com to have a great online store for distributing popular and obscure stuff. It's even got free shipping in the U.S.

Thank you DirecTV (2, Interesting)

XMyth (266414) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906596)

For forging the path to this type of lawsuits. Innocents (and the occasional crook) sued for profit . Welcome to your future America.

so what happens.... (5, Funny)

hawkeye_82 (845771) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906599)

... when you call the RIAA now?
"If you're being sued for file-sharing, please press 1
If you were caught using Kazaa, press 2
If you were caught using Morpheus, press 3
If you would like to speak to a lawyer, press 4"
*beep*
"Please hold while I transfer your call to the next available legal representative."
*listen to 5 minutes of Ashlee Simpson*
"All our lawyers are currently suing other customers. Your money is very important to us. Please hold for the next available legal representative"

So would he rather they take the suits seriously? (1)

endus (698588) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906600)

Hey listen, the RIAA are scumbags, but that doesn't mean that they don't have a legally sensible and valid case against these people. Would it please people more to have the RIAA take the suits seriously and *really* bust people's balls as bad as they could? If I wasn't as smart as I am I would probably have kept sharing files instead of stopping about a year before the suits started and I can tell you one thing: if I got busted for it I would thank my lucky stars every day that they turned me over to some pimple faced gopher in the customer service department rather than sending the types of lawyers that companies like the RIAA employ after me. That's not a case I would be likely to win.

Re:So would he rather they take the suits seriousl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11906623)

No kidding. I know what I thought when I first saw Napster... and it wasn't "Cool, this is going to work forever!"

Making it difficult to trade (3, Insightful)

AlgUSF (238240) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906607)

The RIAA is just making it "not easy" to trade files. People will still get away with it. The hard-core traders will use IRC, Gnutella, etc. These people believe in "Fair Use", and are not the average Joe-Sixpack saying "This napster thing lets me get something for free". I personally buy the CDs that I listen to, however I believe that "Fair Use" allows people to share music, whether it be online, or by letting a friend borrow your CD...

Billy Boy (1)

irefay (785141) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906617)

Why can't someone go after Gates for stealing other peoples ideas and actualy makeing a HUGE profit off of it? How about this:

Average Song Length: 3 min

RIAA fine: $725

For Bill Now

Hours spent by original inventors of consept:

1000 hours (or 1200000 songs)

Apply RIAA fine:$870,000,000

Sherman Vs Sherman network s?? (1)

has2k1 (787264) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906633)

Is it just a coincidence that the RIAA President is called Sherman?

I bet the musicians will see none of this (4, Interesting)

Mike Kelly (864224) | more than 9 years ago | (#11906652)

Musicians are probably getting none of these funds - A lot of them would not get any royalties if this music was distributed legally 'cause their contract was signed before the advent of digital music.

100% profit (after lawyer's fees)!

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