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RIAA Recommends Students Drop out of College 869

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the always-has-your-best-interests-at-heart dept.
boarder8925 writes "An MIT student accused of copyright infringement has been documenting her struggles with the RIAA. Upon trying to negotiate her settlement, a representative told her that "the RIAA has been known to suggest that students drop out of college or go to community college in order to be able to afford settlements.""
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RIAA Recommends Students Drop out of College

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  • Perfect... (Score:5, Funny)

    by InVinoVeritas (781151) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:23AM (#15066780)
    Drop out of school so you can afford the settlement offer, which will severely hinder your earning potential, causing you to pirate more material because you can't afford it... lather, rinse, repeat.
    • Re:Perfect... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CPT Carl (222361) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:40AM (#15066985)
      I'm surprised the RIAA hasn't tried to re-introduce the concept debtor's prisions. That seems to be the timeframe they think they're operating in...
      • Re:Perfect... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by oirtemed (849229) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:13PM (#15067439)
        except this isn't even a legal debt this is extortion... You OWE me or I'll take you to court. In a way I hope it lasts till I graduate from law school.
      • Debtors Prison (Score:5, Informative)

        by PhYrE2k2 (806396) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @03:01PM (#15069371)
        To put this into context for anyone who's thinking "huh?"

        Bad debtors were once jailed within 'Debtors Prison', being removed as functional members of society, until their debts were paid. Once this was proved to be ineffective, and as modern considerations on fair rights came to play, an effect coined as 'The Race of the Swiftest' occurred. Creditors would, upon learning of a company's misfortune, take legal action against a debtor and be granted a portion of the company's assets in compensation for their debts. While this was reasonably effective for such creditors, there was no remedy for those creditors who were not as 'swift' to learn of the insolvency soon enough.

        As a result of this unfairness, various governments introduced Bankruptcy, such as Canada's 'Bankruptcy & Insolvency Act' and the US's 'Bankruptcy Act' (Chapter 11). The intention of these is to balance all interests, while being fair. They are all, in one form or another, intended to (a) give an honest but unfortunate debtor a 'fresh start' by relieving of them of the burden of most of their debts, and (b) to repay creditors in an orderly and fair manner using the resources of the debtor (read: liquidate assets and distribute to creditors based on a fair order of security and distributed evenly within each class).

        Just in case debtors prison sounds confusing :)

        -M
    • by jozi (908206) <valsharessa1.hotmail@com> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:44AM (#15067029)
      "lather, rinse, repeat."

      I finally figured out the mystery why programmers always use the entire bottle of conditioner when taking a shower... Thank you!

  • by liliafan (454080) * on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:23AM (#15066781) Homepage
    I haven't ever really understood what the RIAA hopes to achieve from all their lawsuits and extortion rackets, I mean all they are doing is alienating their core market the way they have been going recently I can't wait for someone to make a stand against them in court.

    I download music from the internet quite frequently, if I like the song I have downloaded I will usually buy the album if I don't like it I delete it, does this mean I am commiting a crime? In my case p2p has caused my to buy more cds than I usually would have if I hadn't of been exposed to certain artists and songs. Is this common I really don't know perhaps other people don't purchase cds by artists they like personally I like to support musicians I like.

    One great example my favorite group collective soul release an album entirely self financed, the day it was released I was able to find tracks on p2p which I downloaded and listened to constantly, until my next paycheck came through at which point I went out and purchased 5 copies of the album 2 for me 3 for various family members, I did the same with two of their previous albums, I own every single album they have release in some cases more than one copy of the album, it gets interesting when you consider I discovered this group through p2p in the first place.
    • by immakiku (777365) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:33AM (#15066892)
      Yes if you download copyrighted music, you're commiting a crime. Maybe it shouldn't be a crime, but it's a crime all the same. Yours is a weak justification of why the RIAA might want to not keep this illegal, but for the moment it still is illegal and so making a stand in court will probably not do any good.

      I think the point here is that RIAA's methods are objectionable. From what I've read about them, I get the impression the RIAA is like the secret police in the way it works. People should be making a stand outside courts - like boycotting or setting up organizations to oppose RIAA.
      • Yes if you download copyrighted music, you're commiting a crime. Maybe it shouldn't be a crime, but it's a crime all the same.

        Last time I checked, downloading isn't a crime, regardless of what the **AA folks say. Uploading, however, is. This is why you can download freely from such sites as that russian mp3 site (disregarding any other international issues such as it's legal there, etc).

        If you'll notice, no one has been busted for downloading. They have been busted for sharing (distribution). That the part
    • I can't wait for someone to make a stand against them in court.

      Anti-**AA lawyer "Your honor, I am making a stand in court"
      Judge - "What is your stance"
      Anti-**AA lawyer "To put restrictions on the **AA, a group who malignantly, vilely, evily, uncaringly, and in a mean spirited fashion sue people who pirate music/movies"
      Judge - "Isn't pirating illegal, and punishable by law"
      Anti-**AA lawyer "Well yes but..."
      Judge - "Whats your point son"
      Anti-**AA lawyer "The **AA do it malignantly, vilely, evily, un
      • by crabpeople (720852) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @02:44PM (#15069173) Journal
        Yeah wow nice troll buddy but it more likely will go like this:

        Anti-**AA lawyer "Your Honor, These *.AA people are threatening lawsuits all up in here. They have no evidence. They should make their peace.."
        Judge - "Wow.. your right. Case dismisssed!"
        *.AA - " but but PIRATES!!"
        Judge - "Pirates sail the sea son, now take your extortion racket and leave town"
        *.AA - * whine whine lumbering dinosuar of the old world noises *
        Judge - "Thats it motherfuckers, you going down!!"
        *Judge pulls out sawed off shotty and jumps up on his bench*
        Judge - " Pistol grip pump motherfuckers!! "
        * *.AA lawyers head asplode *
        * Lawyer falls down, a crimson fountain coats everything in recently depreasureized blood. A leather satchel falls to the floor *
        Judge - "Well now you dirty slime-yer, whats this?"
        * Judge opens the satchel and a small white kitten tumbles out*
        Kitten - "mew!"
        Judge - " Those evil bastards, they were going to eat that kitten "
        * Anti-**AA lawyer steps onto the severed skull of *.AA lawyer crushing it to dust*
        Judge - " your kitten eating hording culture days are over. Set my people free! "
        * all the peoples of the world get together and share their collective culture and world peace is declared (also bu$h gets cancer and dies)*

        -FIN-

    • I download music from the internet quite frequently, if I like the song I have downloaded I will usually buy the album if I don't like it I delete it, does this mean I am commiting a crime?

      Yes. You are breaking the law. Whether you get caught or not or whether or not it is a good law is a different question.

    • by MarkByers (770551) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:58AM (#15067211) Homepage Journal
      if I like the song I have downloaded I will usually buy the album [...] does this mean I am commiting a crime?

      It's not a crime. It's perfectly legal to voluntarily give money to an illegal price-fixing cartel, although the morality is obviously questionable.
    • I suspect, when it comes right down to it, the RIAA's policy as far as lawsuits are concerned really have nothing to do with enforcing the law. When you look at the pattern of their lawsuits, it almost seems that they intentionally avoid sparing anyone - be they children, old women who have never used a computer before, or people who more than likely had someone sneak onto their unsecured wi-fi network. These are people who are either obviously innocent, or don't deserve to be subjected to lawsuits that c
  • This is ridiculous (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dobedobedew (663137) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:24AM (#15066784)
    Are any of you still buying RIAA label cd's? If you are, you are supporting this crap.
    This has to stop.
    • Bingo. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by C10H14N2 (640033) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:34AM (#15066912)
      I don't understand the problem. If you think they're evil, don't consume their products. Why the hell do people treat CDs like friggen crack? You DON'T NEED IT. Paid, free, physical media or downloaded, just stop. The artists are part of the beast as well, why respect them if they're willing participants as well? Don't even listen to it on the radio.

      You can't simultaneously support something you find evil and retain a shred of credibility, so just stop. If you can't stop and are willing to break the law for your fix, I humbly suggest that you quite literally have a substance abuse problem and should seek professional help or a twelve-step program or something.

      Hell, spend your CD money on booze and then join AA so you can sit around and blame the RIAA for your alcoholism.
      • Re:Bingo. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mshiltonj (220311) <mshiltonj@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:49PM (#15067868) Homepage Journal
        If you can't stop and are willing to break the law for your fix, I humbly suggest that you quite literally have a substance abuse problem...

        breaking the law != doing something wrong.

        The law is a ass. -- Charles Dickens
      • Re:Bingo. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by EzInKy (115248) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @02:18PM (#15068936)

        Hell, spend your CD money on booze...


        Funny you should mention booze. So do you also think Prohibiton would have been rescinded if nobody had broken the law?
    • by The-Bus (138060)
      Or... if you still like the artists but hate the RIAA, buy the CD used. No more money goes back to the RIAA and you still have the CD.

    • by dr_dank (472072)
      Are any of you still buying RIAA label cd's? If you are, you are supporting this crap.

      And when their profits fall, they play the victim card again and start cranking out ever increasing numbers of lawsuits. As long as they have legislators in their pockets and shyster lawyers that'll pressure settlements out of people, this will continue.
  • by Shnizzzle (652228) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:24AM (#15066791)
    clearly, if the person is no longer a college student, he/she will be less likely to pirate music. Brillant.
  • Okay... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eln (21727) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:25AM (#15066801) Homepage
    The RIAA is suggesting she may want to drop out of college to pay the settlement IF she agrees to it, because she was complaining that she couldn't afford it. It seems like they're doing what most bill collectors do, which is suggesting you get rid of pretty much every unnecessary expense you have in order to pay them. Of course, what they consider unnecessary may not be the same as what you consider unnecessary.

    To agree to the settlement is basically to agree that you wronged them in some way, and should pay them. Once you've agreed to that, how you actually pay the settlement isn't their problem. They may make suggestions, some of which you might find distasteful or even absurd, but the bottom line is they don't care how you pay a settlement you agreed to, so long as you pay it.
  • by ToxikFetus (925966) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:25AM (#15066804)
    She might have to drop out of school just to pay for the webhosting bill...
  • Ah, I KNEW the RIAA had the best interests of the public at heart! I'm glad they're so forward thinking, realizing what's truly important in the world! It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside!
  • If she did not redistribute the intellectual property, she ought to just be able to return/destroy it and that is the end of it.

    Obviously my opinion, and obviously not RIAA or Record Label's opinion, but do they really gain over the next 20 years by doing this?

    Think not!
  • On one hand that looks pretty bad that the RIAA would suggest such a thing. On the other, it's all just business right?

    The person accused has given up their right to defend herself in court and in doing so has all but admitted to 'wrong doing.' This is pretty much what they deserve. They OWE that money once they enter into a settlement agreement. The fact that they are making any suggestion at all is irrelevant. It does, however, serve to make them seem all the more dark and evil.

    She would have been be
  • Unbelievable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Geldon (444090) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:28AM (#15066844)
    I can't believe that the RIAA would stoop to such a level. The scariest part is that perfectly intelligent people believe that everyone who is sued by the RIAA deserves it and is guilty. I wish that there was some simple way to explain to a lay-person how knowing the IP address of someone downloading music doesn't mean much in linking to an actual person. People assume that an IP address is like a social security number, that always links to a single person and always to the same person. This fallacy is one of our biggest problems in infroming lay-people about what the RIAA is doing. Maybe this bit of info will help people to see how evil the RIAA actually is.
  • When Galileo was shown the instruments of torture and told to confess, he dropped to his knees and said, "Do with me as you will."
  • TFA (Score:4, Informative)

    by bwthomas (796211) <bwthomas@gERDOSmail.com minus math_god> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:30AM (#15066862)
    Run Over by the RIAA Don't Tap the Glass

    By Cassi Hunt

    Either since the day I visited my first aquarium or the day Goldie came into my family's life, our parents have told us not to tap the glass of the fish tank. It's cruel to Goldie -- I understand and respect that. I mean, heck, I am a vegetarian. But would we have many qualms over a little water perturbation if Goldie were, say, a bloodthirsty shark? I'd knock on that glass to the near-cracking point. And in that spirit, I decided to call up my new friend at the RIAA negotiation hotline again. (Hereafter I'll refer to her as Bowie, which means "yellow haired," as I'm pretty sure that's the case.)

    Last time I spoke with Bowie, the conversation was pretty much over after she named $3750 as the settlement amount. (I haven't actually agreed to settle yet.) So when I called her again, I asked -- again -- about how to negotiate that amount. I counted on the fact that self-important types wouldn't be inclined to remember a lowly pirate like me. Bowie didn't disappoint. She launched into her spiel about how the RIAA doesn't negotiate settlements. I told her that it was too much to ask for thousands of dollars from a college student who only makes just enough from term and summer employment to still come out a couple thousand in debt.

    Bowie replied that the RIAA was oh-so-kind enough to offer a six month repayment plan. At this point, I was beginning to speculate on Bowie's hair color, and decided to switch tactics. I concisely and calmly explained how the situation was ridiculous: they weren't offering a settlement, they were issuing an ultimatum! Let us screw you over gently now, or with chains and whips in court. Surely there must be some flexibility for individual cases.

    Well, she replied, they do make allowances if something like a medical emergency comes up. Now we're getting somewhere. "And who would I talk to about a situation like that, because I'd like to talk to them now."

    "Me," she replied. Ever feel like your nose has just been flattened by something large and solid? I mean, besides the doors at 77 Mass. Ave. "But you're not in a situation like that."

    Oh, but I am. The Institvte has left me with severe bouts of p-set-induced insomnia and a case of stuck-to-desk-itis that recurs two to three times in a semester, then again just before break. And my wallet certainly takes a hit for it.

    But as much as I tried to argue that I was in as unique a situation as someone with medical expenses, there was no getting through. Bowie even had the audacity to say, "In fact, the RIAA has been known to suggest that students drop out of college or go to community college in order to be able to afford settlements."

    Are. You. Shitting. Me.

    There you have it, fellow Techsters: proof of the fantastic levels of absurdity to which the RIAA attack has sunk. The Recording Industry of America would rather see America's youth deprived of higher education, forever marring their ability to contribute personally and financially to society -- including the arts -- so that they may crucify us as examples to our peers. To say nothing of wrecking our lives in the process. I finally understand what the RIAA meant when they told me "stealing music is not a victimless crime" -- the victims hang for all to see.

    Please, RIAA -- if any competent representative happens to enjoy flipping through The Tech -- please tell me Bowie is a moronic tool who can't help what the Superior Gray Coverage Golden Blonde hair dye does to her mental facilities. Please tell me you actually care about the futures of the age demographic that buys most of your music (http://www.riaa.com/news/marketingdata/pdf/2004co nsumerprofile.pdf [riaa.com]). Your evil pirates are people too, people who enjoy music and almost always still purchase it legitimately. Each has an individual life and circumstances that deserve consideration, if not for the sake of empathy for your f
  • Why hasn't some greasy lawyer tried to bring up some charges against the RIAA? There's gotta be a suitcase full of cash for any lawyer that brings the RIAA to their knees.
  • Karma to burn! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Reverberant (303566) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:42AM (#15067004) Homepage
    With apologies to a certain CIC [whitehouse.gov]: I earned karmic capital on Slashdot, and now I intend to spend it.

    1. Submit story to Slashdot, wait for it to get rejected [sonicstorm.com]
    2. Submit story to That Other Site [digg.com], wait for it to take off
    3. Wait for another Slashdot user to submit story to Slashdot.
    4. Profit?
  • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:44AM (#15067041)
    She did the action in question. She is responsible for the penalties for undertaking that action.

    We all have to make hard choices every day.

    The last time I broke a speeding law, it was pretty bogus. I still paid for the ticket and took the classes. IMHO- that particular speeding ticket set up was unfair (basically 70mph /hill\ 55mph construction zone - cop at bottom of hill).

    She chose to download songs. She probably also foolishly didn't use programs like peer guardian. She also got unlucky.

    Yes- Riaa are weasels. But by now, surely we ALL know that if you download copyrighted material you are risking a 3kish fine (or being ruined in court if you tried to fight it).

    • by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @01:47PM (#15068565) Homepage
      Yes- Riaa are weasels. But by now, surely we ALL know that if you download copyrighted material you are risking a 3kish fine (or being ruined in court if you tried to fight it).

      Allow me to clarify --- if someone accuses you of downloading copyrighted material, you are risking a the fine; regardless of anything so sticky as the truth of wether or nor you actually did it.

      The RIAA doesn't need to prove anything. They just claim it, demand a settlement, and strong-arm you into settling. They are never obligated to prove a damned thing. And since it's a civil matter, they know it's cheaper to settle even if you're innocent.

      I could claim you're a child molester, but since I have no basis to make the claim, it would be unfair to tar you with that brush (this is a metaphor, not a personal attack, I'm sure you're a perfectly nice person around children).

      What if someone who legitimately has NOT downloaded material is accused by the RIAA? They're expected to settle out of court, accept responsibility and blame -- or, they spend a godawful amount of money defending themselves.

      People hate these suits from the RIAA because they are brough forth without evidence, without any objective 3rd party, and a whole passle of cranky lawyers. I've said before, the RIAA is effectively acting as their own court system without supervision. And, they can effectively do any damned thing they want to any poor schmuck whose ISP was strong-armed into giving up their information.

      The fact that there are no checks and balances on the way this is done, means it's a situation that's just rife with chances for abuse. Oooh, the latest Brittney SPears album didn't sell well? Fine, we'll just make up a couple of people to sue and recoup our losses. It would be no different from the complete vapour trail they provide now.

      Any situation in which your accuser seems to automatically be able to force you to settle for thousands of dollars, or be bankrupted in court, is completely broken.

      Now, it sounds like the person in this article may have actually downloaded stuff. But if, and I can guaran-f'in-tee I've never downloaded music, I was accused of this same thing, I'd be left with the bullshit choice of settling and accepting guilt, or fighting it and paying through the nose.

  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:48AM (#15067084) Homepage Journal
    Simple as that. They abuse there customers left right and sideways. I find it funny that they wonder why sales are going down. They blame it on piracy but the truth is concert sales are also dropping.
    1. Music is too expensive. I can buy a DVD of a Movie for the same price as a CD. Don't give the crap about how I will use the CD more then the DVD that has NOTHING to do with the cost to produce the product.
    2. I can not find any music I really want to buy. I have gone to Launch to see what new artists are out. Nothing really grabs me. I listen to the radio. Nothing really new there. The fact that concert sales are also dropping should make it clear it is the product and not the piracy that is causing the issue.
    3. I really would love to see the record companies get a real hard look from the government. Their accounting, business practices, and yes dealing in drugs. How many recording artists have died from drug use? How many of them have had drugs provided to them by employees of the the music industry? This will never happen. They Music Industry will hide behind "artistic" freedom and start screaming about how it is just like McCarthy in 50s.
  • Evil (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Britz (170620) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:48AM (#15067089) Homepage
    I never used the term "evil" seriously before, because the concept of good and evil is pretty alien to me (I am a moderate Christian from Europe). But suggesting to drop out of college to pay a settlement for some p2p music stuff... (stealing would be if the company looses something, which is not the case with copying digital content).

    I do think content producers (and software writers for that matter) need protection, but that?

    Ask yourself, if you worked your butt off for some software and someone who is not willing to pay for it and would not use it if they had to but copied it and offered it for share, should they be made to drop out of college to pay for the settlement?
    • Re:Evil (Score:5, Informative)

      by jjohnson (62583) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:57AM (#15067192) Homepage
      She's not being made to drop out of college. She's being offered a $3,750 settlement, which is cheap compared to what it would be if lawyers and the courts got involved. Dropping out of college is something she might do so she can get a job to pay the settlement; she might also get a part time job, she might borrow it from her parents, she might sell a kidney. The RIAA doesn't care how she got the money, and phrasing it as "The RIAA wants her to drop out of college" is a misdirection that avoids the real issue: She incurred legal liability when she couldn't afford to, and now has to deal with that.
  • by Irish_Samurai (224931) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:53AM (#15067153)
    OK, I have been guilty of defending the business motivation behind the RIAA from time to time, but that shit is over.

    Are these fucks out of their mind? Drop out of school or go to community college? This would be horrible advice to anyone going to college, but this is a friggin MIT student. You know, the type of people that come up with some of the coolest shit ever. The type of people that helped develop the technologies the RIAA is exploiting right now.

    Did anyone at the RIAA think of what it would be like to piss these people off? I mean, this type of thing could not only unite the MIT campus into taking offensive action, but the whole lot of prestigious technical Universities as well.

    Plus, the run of the mill uneducated citizen can figure this one out. "MIT is where the smart people go. The RIAA says that they want this student to drop out so they can pay them. What the hell."

    I sure hope the PR guy for the RIAA drops his intestines when he gets this news.
  • by idontgno (624372) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:04PM (#15067305) Journal
    there is only one objective: get paid, either in a pre-lawsuit settlement or a post-lawsuit judgement, and thereby vindicating their perspective. The money, and the "points" the money represents, are critical.

    Like all "bill collectors", they want you to agree with them in this. "Paying me is the most important thing you can do with your money. A nice, expensive college is optional. Any college at all is optional. Food is optional. Paying me is mandatory."

    It's a strong negotiation position, that's all. If you make the mistake of agreeing without pushing back...well...remind me again, who's quickly parted from his money?

    I'm actually a little bit surprised part of the *AA's bill collector's spiel didn't start "Do you have life insurance..."

  • by vinn (4370) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:22PM (#15067556) Homepage Journal
    There's more you can do than just boycott RIAA labels. Here's some ideas:

    1. Write your congressman - you can even do it via email. Follow this link [citizen.org] for a really simple way to do that. Will they listen? If enough of you complain they will. (Don't be negative and say democracy doesn't work.)

    2. When you talk to your friends, let them know this is going on. Believe it or not, a lot of people don't know about this issue. The more people you tell, the more this becomes an issue.

    3. This stuff is making the mainstream news. When you see this issue come up in a newspaper, write a letter to the editor about it. More people read letters to the editor than articles in the paper. Tell people the ideas in this message to get them to not support RIAA.

    4. Complain on artist websites and give artists bad press. Not planning on buying the latest Bruce Springsteen CD? Why don't you write him and tell him you're not doing it because he's on a RIAA label. Big artists are not "victims" of decisions by their labels.

    5. Buy indie labels and let people know you're buying indie labels.

    6. Buy a t-shirt about this. Here's some to choose from:
    #1 [jinx.com], #2 [cafepress.com], and #3 [cafepress.com]

    Your other alternative is to not give a fuck like everyone else. Everyone has to have their issue and maybe this one isn't yours. Hopefully I've given you some ideas for getting involved about something though.
  • by X86Daddy (446356) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @01:50PM (#15068590) Journal
    If you're giving money to the RIAA cartel, then you're funding their legal bullying, and you're funding their legislation-purchasing efforts. This is simple to realize, and not some bullshit argument like buying weed from the neighborhood grower funds terrorism.

    I am not suggesting that you stop buying CDs! Although I do suggest that you do not purchase new CDs from the companies that contribute to this problem. In addition to boycott, there are other legal ways to make your point. Use RIAA Radar [magnetbox.com] to see if an album is tainted; tell your friends about the service. Buy directly from small artists. Browse MySpace to find new stuff by indie bands. Go to Used CD stores. Tell people about how you spend money on music and how you will not spend money on music. Warn people about corrupt Sony CDs and whatever the next violation is. Tell people what copyright was supposed to mean versus what it means today.

    You may not topple the giant alone, but when the daughter of a senator learns about the issue and feels strongly about it, when an exec of a smaller music label makes *less* money with the cartel and drops out of the RIAA, when a cavalier journalist with CNN or Fox hears about today's story and decides to air it, you've made a difference.
  • by Phoenix666 (184391) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @01:54PM (#15068653)
    Is to learn to play an instrument and make your own music. As a non-musician I always assumed that learning to play and read notes was a task on par with quantum mechanics, and that it required thousands of hours of lessons and matriculation to Juilliard. It took a lifetime of wanting to learn and 6 years of raging against the RIAA to finally pick up a guitar. And I've discovered that it's really, really easy to learn, and in less than a week of noodling around for an hour here or there you can pick up enough chords to play a large swath of rock 'n' roll. It's also quite fun.

    And as you play your happy little tunes you also get a great deal of satisfaction in knowing that you've become the RIAA's ultimate nightmare, an artistically and culturally liberated producer of music who will never again have need of their crap.
  • Some Good Advice (Score:5, Informative)

    by mshurpik (198339) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @02:00PM (#15068727)
    1. Dropping out of MIT is a great idea. I did it twice.

    2. You will not go to jail for non-payment of a civil debt. However, they may find a way to withdraw the funds from your assets (bank account, car, etc.)
  • by schmiddy (599730) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @03:08PM (#15069457) Homepage Journal
    I found some more info about this particular student and her case with the RIAA, if you're curious as to how these things pan out.

    Run Over by the RIAA [mit.edu] (a previous article)

    Xanga site [xanga.com]

    I thought it was interesting that she got busted for sharing on i2hub -- I was surprised when I heard of pending MPAA lawsuits against movie swappers on i2. I'm still not quite sure how the *IAA infiltrated I2, I presume they must have just paid off some undergrads to act as a proxy onto the network. It was a sad day when i2hub got shut down, it was the only cool I2 application if nothing else.

    Also, Kudos to MIT for apparently at least trying to delay giving up the student's name. I know that, at my Uni at least, the IT admins have no love for the RIAA lawyers, though there's not a whole lot you can do against an army of lawyers.

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