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Music Media The Almighty Buck

RIAA Calls Settlements Proof that Education is Working 425

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the find-the-sarcasm dept.
MattW writes "AP reports that the RIAA has filed the next 80 lawsuits. The article contains a dumbfounding quote from Cary Sherman, President of the RIAA: 'The fact that the overwhelming majority of those who received the notification letter contacted us and were eager to resolve the claims is another clear signal that the music community's education and enforcement campaign is getting the message out.' Just for clarification, Cary, all it proves is that monopolistic giants can, in fact, afford to pay lawyers more than average people, and so said people are easily bullied. But nice try." It warms my heart to know that artists will be getting all the money that's due to them. Musicians always look so poor when I see them on television. Finally, they can afford the lifestyle they deserve.
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RIAA Calls Settlements Proof that Education is Working

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 31, 2003 @08:09AM (#7356908)
    Since these lawsuits being filed are obviously the huge monopolistic giant against the little guy, and the little guy obviously can't AFFORD to defend himself, doesn't that mean something is fundamentally broken here?

    Isn't it just as obvious that 20 corporate lawyers against a single public defender simply ISN'T fair?

    Hello? President Bush? Senate? Congress? Can you hear us?
    • by GrenDel Fuego (2558) on Friday October 31, 2003 @08:14AM (#7356930)
      Isn't it just as obvious that 20 corporate lawyers against a single public defender simply ISN'T fair?

      Public Defender?

      I believe these are civil cases, not criminal, so I'm not certain that public defenders are even provided. If you don't have the money for a lawyer, good luck.
    • by shaitand (626655) on Friday October 31, 2003 @08:19AM (#7356962) Journal
      Congratulations, you've finally woken up to the reality of te broken existance that has been in place in this country for the 22yrs I've been around and continues growing worse.

      Don't cry to the polititions, they are mere puppets for the corporations.
    • by loraksus (171574) on Friday October 31, 2003 @09:00AM (#7357236) Homepage
      No, I'm sorry. Congress is too busy passing themselves raises in the face of record unemployment and telling the RIAA to threaten first and then file court papers so they hear less whining from the /. folks who pester them. Oh yeah, scrounging money for a whopping $12,000 to go to the families of each American soldier killed in Iraq. Oh. And I think they matched $100,000 Canadian to help contribute in the moving of a killer whale down from Canadian waters.

      I believe the white house is thinking of new ways to award Haliburton contracts that nobody else happened to bid on because they weren't quite public.

      They CAN hear, they just don't WANT to. All they want is is swag and to be re-elected, and quite frankly, if you're on /. you either don't vote, or the cost benefit ratio for getting your vote is too low to justify working at it. Am I over-generalizing? Certainly. But politics comes down to numbers and just think how many of your representatives in Washington think the way you do, and also have the guts to turn down money or votes to stand behind their beliefs.
      Give yourself 10 minutes without google and see if you can come up with a list of 20 names.

      Oh, yeah, no public defender in civil cases. Basically by the time you step into the courtroom, you've already spent more than you would if you had settled unless you choose to "represent yourself". I somehow doubt pre-paid legal will win your case if they are against lawyers who get paid a lot more. /bitter.
      • Give yourself 10 minutes without google and see if you can come up with a list of 20 names.

        While I agree with your premise that most people don't know (enough) about their elected representatives, I thought it was also fair to say that not only do a great number of states have less than 20 Congress members total, but any given person only gets to vote for 3 (1 Rep from your district, 2 senators).

        I'll see your James Walsh and raise you a Hillary Clinton and a Chuck Schumer, your bet.
  • South Park (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bjb (3050) * on Friday October 31, 2003 @08:10AM (#7356909) Homepage Journal
    (WARNING: slight spoiler contained)

    If you haven't seen this week's new episode of South Park, you might want to catch it on Comedy Central. Basicaly, there is a stab at the music industry in general. Cartman starts a Christian rock band just to exploit it for the money (calling the music simple and bad), and a "ghost of Christmas present" of sorts shows the kids that because they downloaded a song, certain musicians won't be buying their 3rd gold plated Rolls Royce. Or something to that effect.

    Not the best episode they've done, but certainly an open statement to the RIAA.

    • It wasn't a 'Ghost of Christmas Present' - it was an FBI Agent.

      • Hello? Anybody in there? He said 'Ghost of Christmas Present' of sorts. Ever seen Dicken's classic, "A Christmas Carol"? The Ghost of Christmas Present showed Scruge what the world around him was like, things that he normally wouldn't know because he didn't know or didn't understand, just like the Children didn't understand that they're "hurting" the poor, poor cry-babies...er, musicians.

      • Re:South Park (Score:2, Informative)

        by Ramze (640788)

        It was a metaphor -- a "ghost of Christmas present" of sorts -- which is why he put it in quotes and used the term "of sorts". Metaphors often involve stating one thing as a fact when implying it is merely like something else.

        It's somewhat similar to a simile only without the term "like" or "as". Though, some might argue that it was a simile since he used "of sorts" which could be an alternative to "like" or "as."

        Southpark uses metaphors constantly & The FBI Agent was playing the part of the ghost

      • Citizen, your license to exist is revoked. Please report to your nearest recycling centre.
    • by MoonBuggy (611105) on Friday October 31, 2003 @08:15AM (#7356934) Journal
      It's also very lucky that the RIAA intend to pass on every cent of the lawsuit settlements directly to the artists who deserve it, and are not in any way interested in bulking out their own wallets at the expense of those who actually create music.
    • Re:South Park (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I believe the horros were as followed.

      Lars Ulrich couldn't buy his gold encrusted shark pool bar. He would have to wait one more week until he could get it.

      Brittney Spears had to downgrade from GolfStream 4 to the golfStream 3. This one doesn't even have a remote control for the integrated dvd surround sound system. Can you believe that.

      Master P can't buy his some his own island. The FBI sees the future and that island will not have an owner.
    • Re:South Park (Score:3, Informative)

      by da3dAlus (20553)
      God that episode was funny. Here's a link to the episode synopsis, and some downloads [southparkstudios.com].

      It's ep 709: "...When the other boys kick Cartman out of their band, Cartman pulls his own group together to make music for Jesus. Meanwhile, Stan, Kyle and Kenny are arrested for downloading music from the Internet."
    • by LordKronos (470910) on Friday October 31, 2003 @08:47AM (#7357128) Homepage
      Here is the transcript:
      http://www.spscriptorium.com/Season7/ E709script.ht m

      Detective: This is the home of Lars Ulrich, the drummer for Metallica. [they approach a bush] Look. There's Lars now, sitting by his pool. [he's seen sitting on the edge of a chaise longue, his face in his hands, softly sobbing]
      Kyle: What's the matter with him?
      Detective: This month he was hoping to have a gold-plated shark tank bar installed right next to the pool, but thanks to people downloading his music for free, he must now wait a few months before he can afford it. [a close-up of Lars sobbing] Come. There's more. [leads them away. Next seen is a small airport at night] Here's Britney Spears' private jet. Notice anything? [a shot of Britney boarding a plane, then stopping to look at it before entering] Britney used to have a Gulfstream IV. Now she's had to sell it and get a Gulfstream III because people like you chose to download her music for free. [Britney gives a heavy sigh and goes inside.] The Gulfstream III doesn't even have a remote control for its surround-sound DVD system. Still think downloading music for free is no big deal?
      Kyle: We... didn't realize what we were doing, eh...
      Detective: That is the folly of man. Now look in this window. [they are at another mansion, and they look inside a picture window] Here you see the loving family of Master P. [He's shown tossing a basketball to his wife while his kid tries to catch it] Next week is his son's birthday and, all he's ever wanted was an island in French Polynesia. [his mom lowers the ball and gives it to the boy, who smiles, picks it up and drops it. It rolls away and he goes after it]
      Kyle: So, he's gonna get it, right?
      Detective: I see an island without an owner. If things keep going the way they are, the child will not get his tropical paradise.
      Stan: [apologetically] We're sorry! We'll, we'll never download music for free again!
      Detective: [somberly, dramatically] Man must learn to think of these horrible outcomes before he acts selfishly or else... I fear... recording artists will be forever doomed to a life of only semi-luxury.
      • Re:South Park (Score:3, Interesting)

        by homer_ca (144738)
        They've made statements like that before. Like Stan and Kyle's speech to George Lucas is Episode 609, Free Hat, where Lucas was going to remake Raiders of the Lost Ark into a special edition and destroy all the old prints.

        http://www.spscriptorium.com/Season6/E609script . ht m

        Kyle: It's not too late to do what's right. Give us the print. There's still some good in you, Mr. Lucas. We know there is. [Lucas hangs his head in shame and turns away]
        George Lucas: It is... too late for me, boys.
        Kyle: Yo
    • I can't be bothered looking at listings to see when it's on, and I'm too cheap to buy it on DVD. Can you share it on Kazaa, please?
  • Absolutely (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GaelenBurns (716462) <gaelenb@assuranc ... o l o g ies.com> on Friday October 31, 2003 @08:11AM (#7356914) Homepage Journal
    Compared to the average person, corporations have effectively infinite resources, so of course people aren't defending themselves.

    All the same, I wish someone would fight the charge based on the lack of hard evidence. I'm referring to the easily spoofable search results that the RIAA is using as "proof" for its case. All we would need is one positive result and this lawsuit war would be over.
  • by mauddib~ (126018) on Friday October 31, 2003 @08:12AM (#7356922) Homepage
    "Musicians look so poor when I see them on television"

    As an amateur musician I'm sad to read that. Actually most musicians have a hard time getting the ends together. Unfortunately, the 'selection' process of the record companies doesn't really help that problem, since they select more on sex appeal and neutralness than on musical abilities or originality.

    For those musicians who are original and are making what I like to call "real music", it would be nice to have a little extra money to get their music out to the public.
    • The musicians that you refer to have everything to GAIN from P2P file sharing, as it gives them another opportunity to get their music noticed by music fans. The ones who lose from P2P are those poor saps you see on MTV's "Cribs", who live in such appalling conditions...
      • Oh yes, I am not against P2P file sharing at all! All I'm trying to say is that most 'real musicians' (which is totaly an oppinion), do not have the resources to get their music to the people *and* making a living.

        Please understand that it takes a long time and alot of manhours to produce an album(especially if it is filled with original music, not like the stuff you usually hear on MTV). Most not commercially oriented musicians only do this because they enjoy the artform of it. Now come to understand that
        • Uhh...as an amateur musician myself, I have to question what you mean by "not like the stuff you usually hear on MTV". Are you suggesting that everyone that releases a cd just remixes old jazz records? I'm not even sure how to take that. "Real" music is quite subjective, and just because something released doesn't have the complexity of a Baroque fugue certainly does note mean that it's not "real". That being said, a lot of music that comes out on major labels _does_ take a lot of time and effort. The diffe
    • For those musicians who are original and are making what I like to call "real music", it would be nice to have a little extra money to get their music out to the public.

      The poster was being sarcastic, incidentally. Looking at most artists nowadays, it doesn't seem like they're suffering - watch any rap video and listen to how they brag about having the bling bling. It's sad and pathetic.

      The point the poster was making is that the RIAA isn't fighting for the artists, it's fighting for the labels (and itse
    • by jimfrost (58153) * <jimf@frostbytes.com> on Friday October 31, 2003 @08:31AM (#7357033) Homepage
      As an amateur musician I'm sad to read that. What he said. I'll grant that P2P has probably improved the sales of many musicians' music; for sure the easy mobility of MP3s has allowed my friends and I to more easily sample music, and I've bought more (and much more eclectic!) music as a result of that.

      But it's worth remembering that there is a difference between sharing a clip and wholesale downloading. At some point in scale it stops being reasonable at starts being serious theft. When you've got people out there sharing tens of thousands of songs it's hard for me to see that as anything but a big rip-off and very hard for me to see why the RIAA should leave them alone.

      I don't envy the RIAA their position, because this technology is going to be very hard for them to stop. And I agree with people who think that if they'd taken a softer stance on internet distribution earlier that they might have been able to leverage the technology rather than fighting it.

      As for the musician's compensation, I think it would be very interesting to see if any of the money from these settlements actually made it to a musician. I know which way I would bet. If the musicians benefit from this at all, it's going to be from reduced wholesale copying, and really that's likely to benefit only the most popular musicians.

    • "Musicians look so poor when I see them on television"

      I think you missed the other point of this sarcastic stab... are the real musicians going to see a cent of this money? Or is the RIAA going to keep it all for their lawyers and themselves?
    • by weave (48069) on Friday October 31, 2003 @08:36AM (#7357072) Journal
      For those musicians who are original and are making what I like to call "real music", it would be nice to have a little extra money to get their music out to the public.

      Just curious, how much money have you received from these settlements? How much money have you received from the royalties imposed on blank music CDs (or all CDs in Canada)?

      I'm guessing zero.

      Have any artists received any payments from these settlements?

    • For those musicians who are original and are making what I like to call "real music", it would be nice to have a little extra money to get their music out to the public.

      Yeah, and settlements against 12 year olds who download Oops I Did It Again... I bet that money goes straight into helping those musicians making real music.

      Hahahaha.

    • For those musicians who are original and are making what I like to call "real music", it would be nice to have a little extra money to get their music out to the public.

      But don't you see? That's the beauty of P2P, you don't NEED a ton of money to get your music out to the public, just put it up on KaZaa or the like, and it will be spread across the internet to a great many people who are actually INTERESTED in what you have created and not forced down their throats in some payola radio fashion.

      P2P filesh

    • by Lumpy (12016)
      since they select more on sex appeal and neutralness than on musical abilities or originality.

      WHAT????

      have you Even seen these "rock stars"?

      Let's start from the beginning...
      Rolling stones- horribly ugly.
      Aerosmith - Uglier than the Rolling Stones! ...

      now let's fast foreward....
      Guns and Roses- Cousin IT and the uglies on tour!
      Blues Travveler- Oh gawd, dont look at them!
      Motorhead - Beat with the ugly stick..
      Nickleback - Lead signer has a face only a pitbull could love.

      I can go on and on and on....

      Bands
    • Unfortunately, the 'selection' process of the record companies doesn't really help that problem, since they select more on sex appeal

      I know! I keep wondering why no one's offered me [miami.edu] a record deal.
    • This Musician's Take (Score:5, Interesting)

      by pezpunk (205653) on Friday October 31, 2003 @09:15AM (#7357398) Homepage
      look, i've been in bands for roughly 13 years now. any musician who actually makes the mistake of believing the RIAA is acting in the best interests of anyone other than the music PUBLISHERS is either a) ignorant of the situation or b) ludicrously naive.

      now, music PUBLISHERS, in my opinion, are at the heart of this problem. this bullying litigation, these big corporations claiming your brain and your ears are their property. well maybe they don't claim that quite yet. just wait.

      intellectual property laws need a major overhaul, especially in the arena of artistic works. as far as i know, there is virtually no difference, legally, between say, a microchip schematic and the song "What Do I Get" by the Buzzcocks. complete "ownership" of both can be bought and sold.

      this is where artists get screwed.

      since the artists, generally, are private individuals, they don't have the means to reach an audience large enough to make a living from their music. this is where the large multinational corporation steps in. they promise the exposure and distribution needed to move units far beyond the artist's capabilities. all they ask in return, of course, is the sole publishing rights to the music.

      at this point the musician is a slave. the artist can't even legally burn his own CD, or send MP3s to friends.

      even worse, if the corporation decides that the CD isn't selling well enough, they can decline to print another run of CDs. and of course since they own the publishing rights, it's illegal to make copies of that music through anyone else. i've seen lots of bands who go on tour and can't even sell their own CDs at their shows because their label didn't want to spend the money to print them. I've seen an established band with half a dozen full-length albums out unable to sell a single CD to a sold out audience because of a publishing deal gone bad. i've seen a band sell 40,000 CDs and not see one cent from their label.

      the way to solve this problem is simple. intellectual property laws are too strong. first, in the case of artistic works, make it illegal for ownership OR exclusive publishing rights to be transferred away from the creator of the art himself. with one simple stroke, the power with which the music "industry" has imprisioned the musicians would dissolve. there would actually be some power in creating something rather than simply buying the rights to that creation. a musician, unhappy with his current label, would actually have some leverage. moving to a new label wouldn't mean abandoning the rights to all his previous work.

      in addition, when an artist dies, the intellectual property rights shoud die with him. none of this nonsense with the estate of pablo picasso sueing websites for posting pictures of Guernica a good 70 years after he painted it. "the estate of pablo picasso" didn't paint the damn thing. it's just a team of lawyers trying to get paid.

      even my band's mascot, Feseral Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan, a republican, made a speech not long ago stating that intellectual propety laws had become too restrictive. they have crossed the line and become a hindrance rather than a tool for the progress of modern society.

      of course, it's a self-perpetuating problem. monetarily, and therefore politically, the publishers outweigh the musicians by a wiiiiiide margin precisely BECAUSE of these unjust intellectual property laws.

      i wish i could see a brighter future for musicians, but until then i'll continue to operate outside the boundaries of this music industry.
    • The musicians that are "harmed" by P2P downloading are not the starving artists like yourself. In order for someone to be harmed by P2P, they must have a sellable product that, instead of being sold is simply downloaded instead, thus depriving them of the sale. If nobody knows about you, it's difficult for you to claim a loss.

      On the other hand, I found bands like O.A.R. before they "made it" (I still consider them a small band, but when you're playing in large venues, there's a grey area) by grabbing stu
    • I am not understanding what you are meaning.

      Are you saying the Recording Industry (RIAA) SHOULD be able to rake off large amounts of profit from the efforts of the artists by (among others) price fixing CDs and charging the artists for "breakage"? Are you saying the RIAA is a GOOD thing?

      Or are you saying that, if the RIAA went away, there would be more money available to the artists that CREATE the music due to elimination of greedy middlemen, more variety available when the marketing droids are not the o
    • Unfortunately, the 'selection' process of the record companies doesn't really help that problem, since they select more on sex appeal and neutralness than on musical abilities or originality.

      The record industry looks for a marketable product a lot of that is based on image (not just sex appeal), but predictability makes for a safe investment. However, we should be careful not to malign bands just because they've signed to a major label. Most bands are convinced that this will help them be heard and are

  • by AftanGustur (7715) on Friday October 31, 2003 @08:16AM (#7356941) Homepage


    That's why some people refer to the US "Legal system" instead of "Justice System".

    I'm not claiming that you have the right to make copies of things you buy, or listen to your music where you want, or go to the toilet during commercials ... Uhh, wait a minute, there is something clearly wrong here ..

  • by Pingular (670773) on Friday October 31, 2003 @08:16AM (#7356943)
    that on the RIAA [riaa.com] website the WHOLE of the front page (latest news) is covered with information about the court cases etc, they even have a complete Piracy Section [riaa.com], it makes me wonder how they're helping artists when all they're doing is sueing the people who (might) buy their albums. Surely they shouldn't be doing stuff like helping young artists find work?
    • This reminds me a bit of the "technology" corporations that file patents that they never intend to take advantage of, only to sue the hell out of anyone that comes within reach of said patent. Maybe the RIAA will eventually do the same thing - Not producing good music, only to sue anyone who wants to....Oh wait, nevermind.
  • ... the slightly-used "Mission Accomplished!" banner hanging outside his office.
  • Follow the money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DjMd (541962) on Friday October 31, 2003 @08:17AM (#7356949) Journal
    CowboyNeal wrote "It warms my heart to know that artists will be getting all the money that's due to them. Musicians always look so poor when I see them on television. Finally, they can afford the lifestyle they deserve."

    I would have a lot less problem paying for music and even paying in these settlements, but you know damn well that the artists aren't even going to see 1 cent on the dollar... This is just going to pay record companies.
    More likely right into Cary Sherman's pocket...

  • The "message" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by heironymouscoward (683461) <heironymouscoward&yahoo,com> on Friday October 31, 2003 @08:18AM (#7356956) Journal
    Is bullshit. Digital media have cut the legs away from traditional music distribution, and the RIAA are just trying to stop the sea from rising. They could sue the entire populace, it will change nothing.

    Music - like technology, writing, science - represents human heritage and human culture and the era where small groups control access to this for commercial gain is over, finished, and now it's just time to bury the stinking corpse and go for a real party.

    There are so many good ways of rewarding creative effort, it's a pollution of the concept of "art" to pretend that money is all that matters. Luckily, almost no-one is fooled.
    • This is the most insightful message I've read in a long while!

      And I just my moderation points 5 min. ago :-(

      life sucks ;-)

    • Re:The "message" (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dr_dank (472072) on Friday October 31, 2003 @09:08AM (#7357324) Homepage Journal
      Digital media have cut the legs away from traditional music distribution, and the RIAA are just trying to stop the sea from rising.

      I see this argument time and time again and I'd like to put this forth for the sake of being the devils advocate:

      When has the RIAA clamped down on the distribution of independent music? All of these lawsuits have to do with the unauthorized copying of their works. To my knowledge, no one has been sued for sharing their local garage band demo.

      The word "monopoly" is floated around here a lot in regard to the RIAA, but their monopoly is only on popular music. There are tons of music, free for the taking (in fact, being encouraged to be downloaded and shared) without having to pay into their game.
      • Indeed, the RIAA has been granted what amounts to a legal monopoly on the taxing of musical distribution via modern media. Underground garage bands can ignore the RIAA so long as they don't try to broadcast their music.

        It's not only the US - in many European countries there are similar organizations that claim they collect money for artists but in fact are just glorified tax collectors.
      • To my knowledge, no one has been sued for sharing their local garage band demo.

        Perhaps you missed the point. Along with the inordinate monetary amounts, the RIAA has pursued injunctions that prevent the lawsuit victims from sharing music. Any music.

        They're using their own IP as a stalking horse to dismantle sharing in general. That's the only way their artificial-scarcity-based control of the market can survive. RIAA can suffer the odd indy label here and there, because RIAA controls the largest re

  • Old School (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SamDirty (720585)
    I still say that I won't buy any more music until I can DL it directly from a musician's site and know that they are collecting the money, not thier pimp. I have no problem paying for talent, but I do have a problem paying a promoter. Why don't more artists try to distribute music this way? Until that day comes I will just dust off the tape recorder and rip from the radio, old school. XM + Recorder = Mad beats.
  • With the basis of the lawsuits when even the musicians [yahoo.com] are blasting the lawsuits as wrong.
  • " It warms my heart to know that artists will be getting all the money that's due to them. Musicians always look so poor when I see them on television. Finally, they can afford the lifestyle they deserve."

    Just because the RIAA are using shitty tactics, dosen't mean you should be allowed to infringe copyright. It's currently illegal and if Musicians *are* getting a raw deal, then they should get the money that is owed to them.

    Also remember that all the props you see on MTV are funded by the record compan
    • What's illegal? Pirating music, or transferring music.

      I think many people are starting to see a blurry line between these two. Many artists, small or underground freely distribute their music on the net because they want their music to be free, or they want to be heard.

      The RIAA is trying to make sharing music illegal, not just sharing copyrighted music, but all music. If people can get Free for music, why would they pay for it?

      • The RIAA is solely concerned with music under coyright to their member studios. They don't give a shit what you do with the 2 and a half hour opus you've recorded in your basement with your 5-assed monkey drummer. Your arguements would carry more weight if you stuck to the facts, instead of erecting strawmen such as this, claiming the RIAA want's to stop anyone copying any music anywhere for any reason.
    • "Just because the RIAA are using shitty tactics, dosen't mean you should be allowed to infringe copyright."

      Okay, I'll stop when they stop using shitty tactics. Deal?

  • by Half-pint HAL (718102) on Friday October 31, 2003 @08:22AM (#7356982)
    Musicians always look so poor when I see them on television. Finally, they can afford the lifestyle they deserve.

    Musicians that you get to see on TV that is.

    Many musicians struggle on in obscurity, the cost of equipment and getting publicity taking everything they make out of music. Others, like myself just walk away from it all and get an office job.

    Even those that you see on TV aren't really benefitting, with the exception of the few real superstars (Eminem, Madonna etc). The record companies like their charted artists to look rich, so they dress them up in expensive clothes and send them to flashy parties in fancy cars -- then send them the bill for it.

    The average artist incurs more costs over the term of his contract than his earnings. As a result of "being in debt" to his record company, the company can then demand that the artist does not record for anyone else, even though they don't want to record him themselves. The artist then cannot record and loses his chosen way of earning a living.

    Don't blame the artists for the work of the RIAA: we're as much victims of the music industry cartels as the consumer.

    • Even the folks that work for the musicians that you see on TV don't get that much.

      In my side employment, which in all honesty DOES pay more than my university research position (but not by much...and I have to buy my equipment from this, but I would have done that anyways, so it comes up almost as a nul sum).

      Too many ignorant fucks think of the people on stage as the only ones that should get paid. I've worked with several popular artists over the years as I was lucky enough to get my foot in the door wi
  • My Response (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bios_Hakr (68586) <xptical@@@gmail...com> on Friday October 31, 2003 @08:24AM (#7356994) Homepage
    Be beligerent...

    Send them a doodle of an octopus giving them the finger 8 times.

    I'd suggest that we all break into record stores and destroy the CDs, but insurance would cover it and we gain nothing.

    No, it's easier to settle than to fight. If I got the letter, the one condition of my settlement would be that I get an invoice of who gets what ammount of the payment. Then I'd call up all the artists on the list and let them know that I'm glad my 35 cents contributed to their new Ferarri.

    Maybe it's time to start selling a dead-man switch for our PCs. Just use an open WAP as your switch and you will be covered. When they sue you, thermite your hard-drives and then claim that someone else used your WAP to download that stuff...
  • Nice objective piece (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mr_z_beeblebrox (591077) on Friday October 31, 2003 @08:25AM (#7356996) Journal
    Musicians always look so poor when I see them on television. Finally, they can afford the lifestyle they deserve.

    First, musicians won't get the money they deserve. The minions and scumbags around them will get the lions share. Second, do you like music and enjoy listening to recordings? If so you should pay for that convenience. Artists SHOULD get paid commensurate with the amount of people they make happy. Top 40 stars are listened to by millions of people and thus should make millions of dollars. Alternative underground bands may have 100s or 1000s of followers and should make money that supports that level. Just because Cowboy Neal does not believe that creating something that will make 1000s of people sit and relax and listen for a couple of minutes is a worthwhile endeavour doesn't mean that it isn't. I consider slashdot to be my source of "press" on these issues, it would be nice to see it treated as such. Artists deserve their licensing to be respected just like programmers do wether you agree with the license model or not.
    • Just because Cowboy Neal does not believe that creating something that will make 1000s of people sit and relax and listen for a couple of minutes is a worthwhile endeavour

      Odd, you're description sounds alot like slashdot. So I'd guess he does think it's a worthwile endeavour indeed.

    • by Zog The Undeniable (632031) on Friday October 31, 2003 @08:50AM (#7357149)
      Er...no. Most Top 40 stars are manufactured shite foisted on us by the record companies because of their looks/demographic appeal rather than their musical talent. Just look at all the substandard cover versions being released by teen "bands" (most of whom can't play any instrument whatsoever). Shows like American Idol/Pop Idol and Popstars prove how easily an "artist" can be manufactured (yeah, it's always the best looking ones that win [1]) and we, the public, just suckle at the tit of Simon Cowell, who earned $50m last year from peddling dross.

      If anything, these "artists" deserve a McWage because they're just doing exactly what they're told, and not adding anything to the sum total of human knowledge and culture.

      [1] with the honourable exception of the ginger minger in Girls Aloud ;-)

    • Make up your mind! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Kombat (93720) <kombat@kombat.org> on Friday October 31, 2003 @10:07AM (#7357929) Homepage
      First, musicians won't get the money they deserve. The minions and scumbags around them will get the lions share.

      This point of view has often bothered me. I don't get it. First of all, it takes dozens, maybe even hundreds of people to produce an album. From the talent scouts, to the lyricists, marketers, sound engineers, cover artists, and everyone in between. If it takes 200 people (counting the actual artist) to produce an album, why should the artist get more than 1/200th of the profits? What makes them so deserving of this huge windfall, leaving the other 199 equally hard-working (and probably better educated and less drug-addicted) staff to fight over the remaining scraps?

      Would you prefer the type of arrangement we see in the movie industry? Tom Hanks makes a movie and gets paid $20 million. The other 500 people involved in the movie get ... well, far, far less, needless to say. Is that fair? Doesn't the guy who puts in overtime painting the sets so they'll be dry for tomorrow's shoot deserve just as much pay as the trained monkey spouting lines (that someone else wrote for him) in front of the camera (which is being run by another low-paid professional)?

      So which situation would you prefer? Relatively equal distribution for all, including the artist (a la music), or grossly disproportionate distribution of the profits (a la movies)?
  • Cary Sherman has stated before the money collected will go to the enforcemnt process, not the artists or even their masters, err labels...

    LA Times said in this story [latimes.com] "The proceeds from any trials or settlements will be kept by the RIAA to cover the cost of its anti-piracy campaigns, rather than being used to compensate labels and artists."
  • Its only a small minority of musicians that get the 'blessing' of the RIAA, and thus make it big.

    Most just barely make a living.

    However this does NOT justify what the RIAA is doing, I just hate to see real musicians lumped into the same group as the 'superstars' ( i.e. sellouts )
  • 'The fact that the overwhelming majority of those who received the visit by Guido and Slash contacted us and were eager to resolve the protection money issue is another clear signal that the Mafia's education and enforcement campaign is getting the message out.'

    Nice server you've got here, shame if anything happened to it...

  • Personally, I'm waiting for them to screw up and sue one of their own. I can't wait for "Michael Bolten gets busted for sharing Puff Daddy mp3s" to show up in the news. ;)
  • What the hell? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bunhed (208100)
    Musicians always look so poor when I see them on television. Finally, they can afford the lifestyle they deserve.

    That's not what this is about. It's not about the musicians at all you dim wit. It about the corporations that are hiding behind the musicians and art in general with regard to this issues. Get educated before making comments like this because you are not helping if you are as ignorant as the RIAA.

  • by flamingdog (16938) on Friday October 31, 2003 @08:33AM (#7357053) Homepage
    Not entirely flamebait, please finish before modding down...

    Mainstream music sucks anyway. Get over it and stop downloading it for the simple fact that it sucks.

    That said, if you actually want to support an artist, don't ever buy their albums. Instead, go to their shows and buy their merchandise. Most of the time, this money goes directly to them. This is almost always true for small bands on small labels. I haven't bought a record in 6 years because I know not a single cent is going to the artist unless I buy that album straight from them or it was DIY released. Instead, all the money I would have spent on records, I use to buy shirts, stickers, posters, pins, and what the hell ever straight from the band when I go to see them.
  • Pah! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DaneelGiskard (222145) on Friday October 31, 2003 @08:34AM (#7357059) Homepage
    Sorry to sound harsh, but I prefer to chose on my own _who_ educates me and _on what_. The sentence about "the RIAA educating the music community" just gets on my nerves.
    • The legal system is not for education, but for settling disputes, determining guilt, and punishing the guilty (or responsible) parties. Using the legal system in this fashion is misuse and abuse. I hope the RIAA has their collective butts sued for this. There are two ways to educate people: through teaching and/or advertisement. I don't think dragging judges, lawyers, and ordinary citizens through financial hell to teach millions of others a lesson is a fair or justifiable use of resources.
  • by pointbeing (701902) on Friday October 31, 2003 @08:35AM (#7357063)
    I signed up for the RIAA Do-Not-Call List.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 31, 2003 @08:40AM (#7357094)
    It warms my heart to know that artists will be getting all the money that's due to them. Musicians always look so poor when I see them on television. Finally, they can afford the lifestyle they deserve.
    Sounds suspiciously close to "since they are rich then they won't mind me stealing from them." If you can't get a job (key word CAN'T), have children to feed, etc and then you steal some food to eat then call me and I will gladly help you out. Last I checked, music and movies are not required for you to live and frankly since many like myself understand how to budget and not spend our money on that stuff unless the important requirements are first satisfied... I am annoyed at the tone here.

    Don't get me wrong, the RIAA and the MPAA are a bunch of bloated, jack-booted thugs that I would dearly love to see eradicated from the face fo the Earth. However, I just don't understand why the justification/sentiment is still so popular that when stealing music and movies it is somehow in response to the decadence of the RIAA, MPAA, and its "members" of actors and musicians.

    Just steal the stuff and be done with it. If you feel the need to justify your actions when there is no real judgement (as in no judgement that matters, like in a court of law) levied against you than clearly you have internal guilt issues and should sit down and think things over. Stop being pathetic losers. Stop trying to justify your choices. Stop confusing entertainment with life and liberty. If you don't like their tactics then don't support them. Refuse to see the Matrix and Return of the King. Refuse to buy the next 1337 music album from "Cool Seattle Rip Off Band #39371." I can't remember the last time I went to a movie or obtained a music CD (bought, had a buddy burn it, etc). Have some balls, and stop being little whining bitches. Do something about the problem, don't make the problem worse. (No, war of attrition is not part of the solution and YES, your dollar is your vote of approval when you give it out)

    Stop being whining bitches

    • Stop confusing entertainment with life and liberty.

      Life, liberty, and happiness (property), are the three inalienable rights according to the Declaration of Independence (which they got from John Locke, et al.)

      Therefore, when you are holding a cd in your hand; while you only hold a license to that property, you are entitled to the fair use of it. The person who owns that property retains their right to it.

      This is very much indeed an issue of life, liberty, and happiness (property).

      I do agree with you
  • Don't they realise that these tactics are about as fruitful as SCO's efforts? I mean a sword has a double edge. History teaches us that the sword will indeed swing the other way and I hope it chops the head off of these several snakes.

    No Hydra references allowed, These bastards are indeed a contemporary threat that will suffer the fate of the TWX industry. (They used to be the best in the business)

    Anybody remember TWX?

    Didn't think so.
  • Oh come ON guys (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mwood (25379) on Friday October 31, 2003 @08:57AM (#7357185)
    Back when the Evil Corporate Giants tried to deal with their purported problem by shooting the messenger (Napster, ISPs, the Internet at large), you all said this was wrong and they should go after the real offenders. Now they are doing that and you object? Pah.

    The situation is complex and this will work to simplify it. Eventually some of the defendants will choose to go to trial and make the Giants prove their case, which should expose some real data (as opposed to FUD^Wspeculation) about the nature and magnitude of the problem. There will be some chain-reaction suits when consumers stung because they had not bought what they thought they had, turn around and sue third parties for deceiving them and thus exposing them to legal liability. Some genuine thieves will be punished and that should decrease the incidence of such theft somewhat. Then maybe we'll be able to judge just how much of the music industry's current situation is actually due to theft and how much to making products that no longer appeal.

    I'd very much like to see some of these cases go to trial. I think we'd learn a lot. But we'd all have to give up some of our prejudices. Wouldn't that be a shame.
    • Speaking as one of those who said "go after the offender", I still believe "go after the offender" is the right thing to do.

      In addition, because I am capable of holding nuanced views (look it up if you have to), I also believe that the RIAA has gone about charging the offenders in a clumsy way that is causing far more problems then it is solving, and taking advantage of brutally unfair copyright laws to hit them with massive, life-breaking fines. This I do not approve of, even though I otherwise am OK with
  • by CountDown (694948) on Friday October 31, 2003 @08:57AM (#7357186) Journal
    Hello, there is a 600 lb gorilla in the room. What is this education crap? The RIAA is not educating us. What they have been trying to do is brainwash us.

    "Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)"
    Education Ed`u*ca"tion (?; 135), n. L. educatio; cf. F.
    'education.
    The act or process of educating; the result of educating, as determined by the knowledge skill, or discipline of character, acquired; also, the act or process of training by a prescribed or customary course of study or discipline; as, an education for the bar or the pulpit; he has finished his education.

    When the result of your 'education' is a small decrease in the 60 million criminals, you are not educating. What the RIAA is preaching, not teaching, is no longer prescribed or customary.

    The RIAA has outlived its usefulness and its arguments are taking on a more and more dangerous tone. They should be working on servers and other electronic music delivery systems.

  • by Cruciform (42896)
    It warms my heart to know that artists will be getting all the money that's due to them. Musicians always look so poor when I see them on television. Finally, they can afford the lifestyle they deserve.

    You ignorant, trolling jackass. The ones you see on television are the rare success stories, typically groomed and media-hyped all the way into a specific market niche.

    And even then, the contracts are still far in the publishers favor.

    (of course I'll get modded down for this, but that was just asinine.)
  • Another perfect example of how the industry fails to understand consumers, be it those paying their bloated salaries or those being sued.
    --
    Education != intimidation. If the RIAA were to hit me with a > $1 million lawsuit you're damn right I will roll over and play dead. I have a family to concern myself with and my family will not benefit from me fighting the case in court.
    --
    Theft is theft. Stealing from RIAA members does not make you Robin Hood. You are not stealing from the rich to give to the poor. Yo
  • Results=$$$ (Score:2, Insightful)

    by scottennis (225462)
    Based on the RIAA's arguments for initiating these lawsuits, I would think that the only "proof" that they are working would be an increase in CD sales.

    Has that happened yet?
  • Artists' Rights! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by byronne (47527)
    "It warms my heart to know that artists will be getting all the money that's due to them. Musicians always look so poor when I see them on television. Finally, they can afford the lifestyle they deserve."

    Um, the artists get nothing, squat, fuck-all from this process. If the point of the RIAA is to protect the copyrights of and benefit the artists they sure have a funny way of seeing that they're compensated properly-if at all. None of the previous settlements (Napster, MP3.com, etc.) have benefitted the
  • Please stop using the "the musicians/actors/RIAA/MPAA make so much money they can afford to be stolen from" defense. It's utterly ridiculous. There are plenty of legitimate arguments against the RIAA, MPAA, DCMA, et al. It's not your place (or mine) to decide whether someone who has legal rights is rich enough for your poor, pitiful soul to violate them. That is plain and simple communism, where everyone gets the same amount, no matter how hard they work, or based on any other factors (luck, demand, etc
  • When our government places the value of copyrights, which for almost all cases are simply forms of entertainment, above the value of patents, many of which actually lead to people living longer, healthier lives. What is the logic behind having patents last only 17 years (which is a reasonably length of time IMO), while copyrights last 95+ years?

    It's no wonder that nobody respects copyright anymore. The whole system has become a bad joke.

If it is a Miracle, any sort of evidence will answer, but if it is a Fact, proof is necessary. -- Samuel Clemens

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