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RIAA Sues XM Satellite Radio 402 402

skayell writes "The RIAA is suing XM Satellite radio contending that the ability to store songs in memory makes it similar to an iPod, but with no income involved for the RIAA." From the article: "XM said it will vigorously defend this lawsuit on behalf of consumers and also called the lawsuit a bargaining tactic. [...] The labels are currently in talks with XM and its rival Sirius Satellite Radio, to renegotiate digital royalty contracts for broadcasts."
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RIAA Sues XM Satellite Radio

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  • Finally (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mfh (56) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @01:43AM (#15348528) Homepage Journal
    ... a worthy opponent against the RIAA.

    I hope XM tears em a new one.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @01:45AM (#15348531)
    ...but we don't get to make extra money off it (note: the artists / label were already paid for the song being aired, and recording off-air for personal use is covered by fair use law).

    Wah! It isn't fair that we don't get to make more money, so it must be illegal.
  • Is it just me (Score:4, Interesting)

    by johnny cashed (590023) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @01:45AM (#15348533) Homepage
    Or does a picture of a snake eating its tail come to mind?

    Here is a choice quote:

    "...Because XM makes available vast catalogues of music in every genre, XM subscribers will have little need ever again to buy legitimate copies of plaintiffs' sound recordings,"
  • Re:Is it just me (Score:3, Interesting)

    by barefootgenius (926803) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @01:56AM (#15348570)
    Legitimate? I thought they hadn't won the case yet. Typical stuff from the RIAA though.
  • I think it's time (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Runefox (905204) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @01:59AM (#15348583) Homepage
    It's time someone declared a monopoly lawsuit against the RIAA. They have been pushing their weight around with impunity because they're the only major recording industry, and they get nearly 100% of the profits made on almost, if not every major label in North America. They have no competition, no will to provide a better service to its customers or its labels/musicians, and they seem to have gone insane with the power this has granted them. That seems like enough of a case to me.
  • by linuxhansl (764171) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @02:04AM (#15348602)
    $150.000 per song, 160.000 distinct song offered per month... That $24.000.000.000 in potential damages. I think this day can be mark as the day when the RIAA finally lost it.
  • by weav (158099) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @02:23AM (#15348668)
    "...Because XM makes available vast catalogues of music in every genre, XM subscribers will have little need ever again to buy legitimate copies of plaintiffs' sound recordings," the lawsuit says referring to the hand held "Inno" device.
    This is similar to saying "once they have it in bad-sounding overcompressed XM format, they'll never want it in 16-bit linear". I have a hard time imagining this being the case. XM and Sirius both squish their content very hard to fit so many channels in their bitstream. If I heard something on XM and liked it, I'd probably run out and buy it on a released CD so I wouldn't have to listen to all the compression artifacts.

    The war between sheet music publishers and piano roll makers, all over again...

  • Re:Recordable (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheNetAvenger (624455) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @02:46AM (#15348759)
    I think the one broken leg that RIAA has is songs are recorded in the memory, so it's not a traditional radio broadcast.

    I wonder if RIAA won this case, would it affect MP3 players which allow recording of radio?


    No, and yes...

    MOST XM receivers DO NOT have the ability to store songs, they only buffer a few seconds. The exception is a few of the newer portable units and higher end deck units.

    I would esitmate 90% of the XM customer base has the traditional XM Receivers with ANALOG outputs, even though the units are receiving a digital broadcast.

    So in this sense, XM is NO different than other radio stations.

    The problem I think they are trying to use against XM is that it provides so much music content at single time, that you can usually find a song you like to listen to, or a talk show you want to listen to. So this is where this scares RIAA.

    However, Cable & Sat. Companies have provided 100s of music channels in the same capacity, and hence yet, we don't see RIAA fighting them, because they know they would easily lose based on the fair use rulings from VCRs in the 80s.

    I can actually record songs from my Sat./Cable easier than from my XM, as we almost all have DVRs for our Cable/Sat. and even companies like Dish Network sell portable players that allow you to offload the shows/songs/content to portable players.

    This is really sticky and said that RIAA think they can get away with this. XM isn't even the maker of the portable receivers that allow you to record the songs form their service, that is who the RIAA should try to go after in the first place, but again, this would go back to the VCR rulings because they are 'device' manf. and not content providers.

    In an ironic story, Australia just legalized the 'fair use' of VCRs and DVRs this last week (even though people there have used them illegally). And back in the 'land of the free' USA, we are witnessing a regression of persoanl freedom once again.

    We now have so much capability both analog and digital, that we all could record every album in CD quality using our computers etc, and this is just by pulling the songs from 'regular' broadcasts.

    If the RIAA gets their wish, that is what we will end up doing rather than paying them money. We can then support bands and labels that don't support RIAA or send donations to the bands we like and bypass them all together. Becareful what you wish for, RIAA...

    Sad...
  • I've seen legal arguements going both ways on this issue. Some say downloading alone is illegal. Some say you must distribute. Some say you must copy to another device.

    However, when we were all kids we were taught right from wrong. If you're telling me that downloading music from the internet that you didn't pay for isn't stealing, then I don't know what to say. I can't say I haven't done it. Sure, I've stolen music. And I also make the decision to purchase CDs from certain labels and artists. I consider it a willing decision to support certain companies, and to screw the music industry on the whole when I do decide to steal. I don't understand those who are for some reason in denial that this is stealing.

    Ideally, artists should provide a few tracks online just like they release singles for radio stations. We can sample their music and decide if we want to buy it. But quick searches on P2P networks and BitTorrents will show you that fairly often people are sharing full movies, full albums, hell, full collections. The spirit there is not to promote by samples, but to steal and circumvent the companies that want to sell these things to you.

    People break laws all the time. They jaywalk, litter, speed, etc. Downloading music is stealing. As much as I hate the RIAA, that doesn't change the fact that stealing remains stealing.

  • by Arker (91948) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @03:07AM (#15348826) Homepage

    If I heard something on XM and liked it, I'd probably run out and buy it on a released CD so I wouldn't have to listen to all the compression artifacts.

    I would too, except... if that CD is coming from an RIAA affiliated company, forget about it. I don't care how much I like it. No way these communist bastards get another cent from me.

  • by JPriest (547211) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @03:28AM (#15348904) Homepage
    As FM and AM broadcasts become digital a "lossless" technology to record them will be just around the corner (if not already). I wonder how the RIAA plans to stop /that/? Also, can TV stations sue my cable company becasue I can save stuff to my DVR and watch it over and over again without buying a DVD of it? I think once they cross into this gray area it will be difficult to figure out exactly where to draw the line.
  • by caluml (551744) <slashdot@spamg o e s h ere.calum.org> on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @05:58AM (#15349344) Homepage
    Just noticed something strange - why do we in English say "took" a shit/dump? Made, Did, Had, I can understand, but took just seems entirely wrong.
  • Re:Finally (Score:3, Interesting)

    by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @06:12AM (#15349383) Homepage
    You describe typical corporate behavior... weighing the costs, what are the long-term costs, etc. But once in a while, a 'human' or even a group of them takes control of the situation and surprises you.

    Take for example, Qwest. I don't pretend to know all the details or motives involved, but when the US Government was secretly collecting phone records from all the other phone companies, Qwest refused. So, while the others simply rolled over and gave the executive what they wanted, one decided to behave differently for some reason.

    In XM's case, again, I don't pretend to know the details or the personality of the company or the people running it, but the fact that the company is relatively young and still developing might suggest that surprises are in order. Perhaps it's just wishful thinking, but I too hope XM tears them a new one. At some point, the RIAA will either lose its support/membership or the courts might find that they are a racketeering operation that exists not to "defend" anything, but as a band of pirates or gangsters collecting money through litigation and intimidation.
  • Re:Headline Lawsuits (Score:5, Interesting)

    by klang (27062) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @08:05AM (#15349733)
    In that environment, I'm no longer buying music as it no longer has high value and has no resale value.

    Until recently, I hadn't thought about this point.

    I avoid DRM protected music because it forces me to to take backups (CD's don't) and is of far lower quality than CD's. Furthermore, my insurance will cover my CD collection .. I doubt they will cover my iTunes library...

    I've never sold any of the CD's that I've bought .. but I have bought used CD's and I have given CD's to friends and family after losing interest ..

    "Resale Value" is definately on the list of reasons not to buy DRMed music ..
  • by The Only Druid (587299) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @08:59AM (#15349984)
    It's simple: originally, we would "partake" of that activity (partake in defecating, partake in napping, etc.). The word "partake" diminished into a homonym with the existing word "take" (i.e. the existing, seperate, verb), and then after that became common the original distinction was lost and existing grammatical rules for the verb "to take" were applied.
  • by hackstraw (262471) * on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @09:29AM (#15350166)
    It's called broadcast flag.

    Honestly, I welcome the broadcast flag. Odds are it will be cracked in less than one week and it will give us an easier way to record content _without_ commercials.

    Odds are the broadcast flag will only be present on content and not advertisements, so all we have to do is look for the broadcast flag, then record, and when the broadcast flag is not present, stop recording :)

    A while ago, I was against "stealing" music and whatnot. It doesn't too much affect me because I don't listen to the latest pop hit wonder, so I can quickly and easily buy quality music at the used record store or download mostly legal recordings of live concerts as allowed by the musicians.

    But, honestly, I've changed my mind, and I actively encourage people to "steal" music at their will. I'm not going to get into the stealing vs infringement thing. In fact, why not go to your local brick and mortar store like say, Walmart, and fill up a shopping cart and just leave with it full of CDs. If you like MP3s, I suggest USENET. There are excellent binary downloaders for USENET postings for all platforms (Linux, OS X, Winders), and with a broadband connection that you can steal from your neighbors unsecured WAP, you can download about 1-2 gigs of MP3s in 24 hours. I have personally downloaded 1.8 gigs worth overnight. Its much better than torrent or other p2p sites. You may have to pay for a USENET access, but I believe that those are only about $10/mo. Much less than the cost of one CD.

    The thing that sucks is that everybody knows that XM will not lose this case, but it will cost them unnecessary funds for probably 2+ years worth of legal bills. I wish our legal system had a similar gotcha that others do where in a civil suit if the plaintiff loses, they have to pay the defendant's legal bills, or some similar punishment for abusing the system. Being that the lawyers always win in such cases regardless of the outcome, as the system is set up now, its in their best interest to sue anybody and everybody. I mean, on their CVs they only talk about their wins, right?

    Just think of the day when you talk to a younger person at a quiet public place, and talk about the "good old days" where it was allowed for people to listen to music. Just imagine the look on their face.

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