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RIAA Sues XM Satellite Radio 402

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the everyday-evil dept.
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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  • by legallyillegal (889865) <legallyillegal@noSpam.gmail.com> on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @01:42AM (#15348523) Homepage
    this makes me laugh... way to go riaa, sue a legitimate radio service
  • by Buran (150348) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @01:43AM (#15348524)
    So why aren't they suing every radio station in the country, and why haven't they been doing this for decades?

    Digital = terrorist?
    • by Poppler (822173) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @01:46AM (#15348536) Journal
      From the summery:
      The RIAA is ...contending that the ability to store songs in memory makes it similar to an iPod, but with no income involved for the RIAA.

      So this is different, apparantly XM subscribers can store songs on the unit.

      Still ridiculous, of coarse, after all anyone with a computer or a cassette deck can accomplish the same thing.
      • by Buran (150348) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @01:53AM (#15348558)
        Oh boo hoo hoo, cry me a river. RIAA, not everything has to give you money. Not everything is GOING to give you money. Give it a rest.

        To the poster I'm responding to: yes, I thought of that; a lot of radios out there can record from radio to tape, or maybe some can record to hard drive (like the RadioShark) or to removable media of some kind. But if being able to store part of the broadcast is a bad thing, as said ... why didn't the RIAA sue decades ago?

        I think it's because they know the suit is baseless. It was ruled legal decades ago to timeshift, after all, and being able to record broadcasts for later playback is nothing more than that.

        The RIAA is just trying to capitalize on the technical illiteracy (overall) of judges and juries, I think.

        Hey, can I start suing random companies now because their business models don't involve giving me money?
        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @02:12AM (#15348632)
          >Hey, can I start suing random companies now because their business models don't involve giving me money?

          No. You're not rich enough. It would be illegal.
          • I don't think it would be illegal to sue anyone for anything.
            • You are incorrect, although only in very limited circumstances. From wiki:
              In criminal and civil law, barratry is the act or practice of bringing repeated legal actions solely to harass. Usually, the actions brought lack merit. This action has been declared a crime in some jurisdictions. For example, in the U.S. state of California, barratry is a misdemeanor.
        • 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 Znork (31774) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @04:55AM (#15349174)
            "I wonder how the RIAA plans to stop /that/?"

            It's called broadcast flag.

            "becasue I can save stuff to my DVR"

            Again, they want to be able to sue the cable company if it doesnt implement broadcast flags, and they want to be able to sue your DVR maker if your DVR doesnt honor them.

            "it will be difficult to figure out exactly where to draw the line."

            It is impossible to draw the line simply because it's not based on specific logical grounds founded in reality. It's simply not a physical product, and there is no line between transmission, conversion, duplication and storage.

            Basically, the RIAA wants to get paid for anything and everything. They'd like to get paid for you hearing a song in the background of a phone conversation, they'd even like to get paid for you whistling a song. The only limitation is what technological means exist to enforce it.

            I suspect this type of sociopathic behaviour is more or less unavoidable when you hand over state-protected monopoly powers to private parties.
            • 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.

        • by jacksonj04 (800021) <nick@nickjackson.me> on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @05:38AM (#15349284) Homepage
          It's like any patent is immediately a new and shiny technology if you append "on the INTERNETS!!!!". After all, being able to record content online is totally different from being able to record that movie you watched on Cable. I mean, one comes down a wire in the ground and the other... umm...
        • by indifferent children (842621) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @08:14AM (#15349766)
          But if being able to store part of the broadcast is a bad thing, as said ... why didn't the RIAA sue decades ago? ... It was ruled legal decades ago to timeshift, after all, and being able to record broadcasts for later playback is nothing more than that.

          IIRC, the legal rationale behind the right to record off-the-air broadcasts was a Fair Use because the broadcasts were made over the public airwaves. Since XM is sent encrypted, and they can/do control the delivery of the content, that Fair Use provision may not apply. (which doesn't mean that the RIAA aren't a bunch of asshats)

      • On the other hand, they are also sueing every computer owner they can get their hands on. The RIAA is nothing if not consistant.
      • "Still ridiculous, of coarse, after all anyone with a computer or a cassette deck can accomplish the same thing."

        Yes, but you don't pay a subscription to the radio station. Neither do you purchase a proprietary unit from the radio station to listen to their music.

        However, I believe the ship will sail on this when it gets through the courts. Not that I'm a master tea leaf reader, but this could go the way of the old law suits over VHS and cassettes--users can make Fair Use copies of music on their own.
      • by Jafafa Hots (580169) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @03:23AM (#15348885) Homepage Journal
        but with no income involved for the RIAA.

        15 minutes ago, I took a shit. I am concerned that I may be sued becuase of course, there was no income involved for the RIAA.

      • Still ridiculous, of coarse, after all anyone with a computer or a cassette deck can accomplish the same thing.

        And you pay a royalty to the RIAA for every blank tape sold in the US.

        And you pay a royalty to the RIAA for every blank CD for your computer that claims to be a "Music" CD Blank.

        Not so ridiculous now, huh? The RIAA has always wanted to collect a royalty on all things that can copy, in any way whatsoever, their "product". They are evil and greedy. There is one way to stop them. Stop listening (n
      • So this is different, apparantly XM subscribers can store songs on the unit.

        Still ridiculous, of coarse, after all anyone with a computer or a cassette deck can accomplish the same thing.

        Not all of them can store songs on a unit. It's meant for time-shifting shows like a TiVo so people can record the show and then play it back when they're stuck without a signal like on a subway or in a building. As you said, how is this ANY different than the billions of radios that sold with cassette decks included

    • Hm, I thought radio stations generally had contracts to broadcast their music.

      Are you saying there are other reasons they keep broadcasting crap music and calling it the latest and greatest, than ties with music companies? :-o
    • by Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @02:41AM (#15348731) Homepage Journal

      So why aren't they suing every radio station in the country, and why haven't they been doing this for decades?

      The last thing the RIAA wants is a level playing field, because if one existed, their leverage would disappear. With radio, they can still engage in payola [wikipedia.org] practices. With XM and Sirius, they're dealing with entities that would rather control their own destinies, rather than suck on the RIAA's teat. It's not that XM and Sirius are digital, but that they are nation-wide and multi-channel. The RIAA can bully individual stations with impunity, and even the big guys like Clear Channel play along because they've essentially bought into the cartel. But XM and Sirius aren't part of the cartel, so the RIAA is giving them a shot across the bow. The message is: "Join the club, or we'll take you down."

      • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @07:00AM (#15349498) Homepage
        With XM and Sirius, they're dealing with entities that would rather control their own destinies, rather than suck on the RIAA's teat.

        Im you are wrong there. The biggest Teat sucker on this planet in Radio is Clear Channel.

        Guess who Owns a big stake in XM... Clear Channel. They are more than happy to suck on that Payola teat in the XM world. It is really stinking easy to pick out the XM channels that are sucking that teat hard BTW. they sound exactly like your regular FM clear Channel station.

           
        • by edwdig (47888)
          ClearChannel has 4 music stations on XM, plus some talk stations. Due to ClearChannel's recent lawsuit, they now have commercials on their stations. As such, XM has placed "cm" after the station name to indicate "Commercial Music". Also, all over ClearChannel's stations have been moved into a new category "Regional Talk, News, and Music" or something like that. XM has done everything they could to marginalize the stations.
  • Finally (Score:4, Interesting)

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

    I hope XM tears em a new one.
    • I was just thinking that. Finally someone with a warchest big enough to bring them down.
    • Re:Finally (Score:5, Informative)

      by LordLucless (582312) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @02:18AM (#15348653)
      ... a worthy opponent against the RIAA. I hope XM tears em a new one.

      Why would they? If it's going to cost them 10 million to "tear em a new one" in court, or 0.5 million in re-negotiated royalty fees, the choice is pretty clear. I'm not too up on corporate law, but it may be possible for shareholders to sue the directors if they tried to fight this when it was more economical to cave in. Warchest or no, companies are made to be profitable. It doesn't matter if they're the RIAA, XM, or Wallmart, they're not going to pay to fight someone else's battle.

      Expect this to be over very shortly as XM and the RIAA sort out a new licensing deal. The legal threat is just a strong-arm political tactic by the RIAA.
      • Re:Finally (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Fëanáro (130986) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @02:59AM (#15348798)
        If it's going to cost them 10 million to "tear em a new one" in court, or 0.5 million in re-negotiated royalty fees, the choice is pretty clear.

        I suspect the re-negotiation fees are meant to be a more permanent income stream for the RIAA meaning they want something recurring per song or per month.
        In the long run, this fee will be more expensive than any court fee.
      • Re:Finally (Score:3, Interesting)

        by erroneus (253617)
        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 di
        • Qwest (Score:3, Funny)

          by LunaticTippy (872397)
          OT, I know.

          As a proud Qwest customer, I know the true reason they didn't hand over the records.

          Incompetence.

          Every time I've had to deal with Qwest they fuck it up hard. Even turning on a phone line doesn't go well. You'd think they'd be good at that.

          I suspect the NSA asked for the info, Qwest tried to comply and failed. Then called it integrity.

      • Why would they? If it's going to cost them 10 million to "tear em a new one" in court, or 0.5 million in re-negotiated royalty fees, the choice is pretty clear.


        Because the 0.5 million would be just the down payment on a total sum that's much more than any legal expenses would be. The reasoning goes both ways, would the RIAA be willing to spend 10 million in court if all they could get in the end were 0.5 million in re-negotiated royalty fees?

      • Re:Finally (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Just Some Guy (3352)
        If it's going to cost them 10 million to "tear em a new one" in court, or 0.5 million in re-negotiated royalty fees, the choice is pretty clear.

        Absolutely: see them in court. There's a lot of financial value to be had in demonstrating that you won't voluntarily submit to extortion.

      • Re:Finally (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mrhartwig (61215)
        While I suspect you're right for a large number, or even a majority, of cases, there are companies that will pay extra to prove they won't bow to extortion. Hopefully XM is one of those.

        Prime /.-relevant example: IBM probably could have bought out SCO a long time ago for less than they're going to end up paying in legal fees, time & materials, etc.
  • 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)

      Legitimate? I thought they hadn't won the case yet. Typical stuff from the RIAA though.
      • I think you took the word "legitimate" out of context there. The status of "legitimate copies of plaintiffs' sound recordings" will remain constant regardless of the outcome of this case. They will remain legitimate whether XM wins or loses. The only question is whether other methods of disseminating and cataloging copyrighted music (specifically, recording satalite radio) are legal.
        • "...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,"

          No. I don't think I read it wrong. Its from the lawsuit filed by the plaintiff. The plaintiff is saying that if you subscribe to XM you won't have to buy copy's of the plaintiff's sound recordings. With the use of the word legitimate, the plaintiff is saying that the XM subsribers are using illegimate copy's. This is the reason

        • Re:Is it just me (Score:5, Insightful)

          by jthill (303417) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @03:44AM (#15348960)
          The problem here is that they've flat out said what the cynics have asserted all along: the RIAA believe they should be paid every time anybody hears anything. He didn't take it out of context. He identified the context RIAA are trying to establish: that to shuffle papers and holler and scream in the press and drag people to court and demand everybody's money for work other people did forty years ago somehow makes them useful members of society.

          It's real simple. They're not the only ones caught in this bind. There are too many people on this planet, and not enough useful to do. It's hard to tell thousands of people to go practice the frenchfry question. Nobody wants to do that. Nobody. So we leave niches open for them. They can play War on Some Drugs, or be Direct Marketers. "Deficits are meaningless. Reagan proved that." That's one of the guys running our sock puppet. Translation: at the level of national policy, money has long since been utterly decoupled from value. The name of the game has become musical rice-bowls, and most politicians are rice-bowl manufacturers. The RIAA are hoping they can get another before the music stops.

          There's no question that recording a copyrighted broadcast is legal. It's legal. Distributing that recording isn't; performing that recording in public isn't. That attempt to categorize the mere possibility of recording off a broadcast as "disseminating" is another reframing attempt, exactly like you're trying to do with "legitimate".

    • Whatever, this is a brilliant move on the RIAA's part (just the kind of legal thugery they always do).

      It's just a ploy; they sue the most conservative organization out there (XM is not exactly a Fair Use advocate [com.com]), and even if they lose, it gives consumers (and even the courts) the impression that the line is being fought somewhere much closer to the RIAA's ideal legal system.

      Metaphorically, if you sue tons of people for simply saying your name in public, then perhaps it will be easier to make people thi
    • Re:Is it just me (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cgenman (325138) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @02:18AM (#15348651) Homepage
      "...XM subscribers will have little need ever again to buy legitimate copies of plaintiffs' sound recordings,"

      With the quality of the Plaintiff's music, I think that's a given.

    • RIAA-world math (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TBone (5692) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @02:26AM (#15348681) Homepage
      "...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,"

      Unless someone invented some sort of new way of compressing and storing broadcasts, by my quick math, figuring an average of 4 minutes per song, a user would need 214 Inno's to record the "vast catalog" and never have to buy music again. And this doesn't include any new music that comes out from this day forward.

      Only in RIAA-world do the suits think the average consumer has $77,000+ (for 214 Inno's at $360 each) to plunk down right now, plus 63+ weeks to spend 24/7, recording entire catalogs of music.

      It's a limited storage device with even more restrictions on moving content than cassette/CD have now, and they're already proven legal in piles of court cases. You almost have to wonder if RIAA has any income stream, given how hard they're trying to make money through the legal system.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      "...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,"

      In other news, coal oil lantern manufacturers sue lightbulb producers on the grounds that "lightbulb buyers will have little need ever again to buy plaintiffs' lanterns". Horse buggy builders are said to be following the case closely.
  • What? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Virak (897071) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @01:46AM (#15348534) Homepage
    I can store songs in my memory and play them back at will fairly accurately. Am I at risk of being sued by the RIAA?
  • Recordable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by foundme (897346) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @01:47AM (#15348539) Homepage
    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?
    • 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...
      • 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).

        Australia has not legalised them yet. They are just putting a bill before parliament now. Format and time shifting is still currently illegal here.
  • Hide all those songs you've got stored illegally in your head.
    • No problem, mine are encrypted so that if you attempt to play them back without post-processing through a $200,000 audio lab they sound like absolute garbage...

      ... oh, wait, on second thought, guess I should be worried.

  • by Raul654 (453029) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @01:53AM (#15348559) Homepage
    "XM subscribers will have little need ever again to buy legitimate copies of plaintiffs' sound recordings" - I don't think the music industry needs any help persuading people never again to buy their music - they're already doing such a fine job of that by themselves.
  • The last sentence... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Wakkow (52585) * on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @01:56AM (#15348569) Homepage
    "Everything is changing and the industry is petrified"

    That just about sums it up.
  • 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.
    • Well that's the problem - Copyright gives them a legally sanctioned monopoly - why aren't there competing pressings of Pink's latest album or old Stones classics on the market? because copyright is broken - and the RIAA is the worst example of why
  • by yakkowakkodot (916507) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @02:01AM (#15348588)
    Variations on wavelengths, amplified and broadcast, take approximately 3 seconds from source audio to the listener. This cumilatively creates a 'storage medium' where anyone with a reciever can illegally intercept music. This of course can be resolved by renegotiated royalty payments.
  • Payola (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Freaky Spook (811861) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @02:01AM (#15348590)
    It used to be RIAA members giving Ratio station producers and DJ's gifts, holidays and other fancy toys to promote and play their music.

    Now everythings on digital it seems the RIAA is doing all it can to prevent anyone getting access to their artist products.

    Its a strange world we live in.
  • What? The RIAA ran out of 14 year olds, and non-PC owning soccer moms to sue?

    This is plain silly. First off, they aren't upset at XM Service. They are upset at hardware that works like a radio-Tivo. However, TV companies aren't suing Tivo. They're adapting advertising to Tivo.

    The RIAA is barking up the wrong tree, and pretty soon everyone and I mean everyone will turn on the RIAA. Many artists in the industry hate their tactics. Having a portion of the radio recorded Tivo like is not the same as ill

    • actually, you have that in reverse.

      "illegally" downloading music from the internet is functionally no different the recording radio to cassette tapes, and therefore should not be "illegal".

      to paraphrase the argument they made to make it illegal "ZOMG!!11one1, there are millions of people doing this (just like there are millions of people using vcrs to 'steal' tv), QUICK, OUTLAW IT"
      • 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 con

        • " I don't understand those who are for some reason in denial that this is stealing."

          because it's not, and if you own a vcr/PVR/audio cassette recorder then you are a hyppocrite.

          The spirit there is...to steal and circumvent the companies that want to sell these things to you.

          (sarcasm)Quick!, there are billions of people "downpouring" water from their faucets, this must be made illegal because theyre "stealing" from evian.. how will evian survive! If a company sells you air under this philosophy then youre "s
        • I think your right from wrong lesson got a little garbled.

          Sharing is good, not bad.

          Stealing is, of course, very bad. But sharing does not mean stealing.

          I've never stolen music, and I very much doubt you have either. You just bought an illogical load of horse pucky from some people that regard it as stealing because they somehow feel entitled to a monopoly on making copies, and a nice fat monopoly rent-check everytime anyone does that.
        • How many times...

          Downloading copyrighted material without the copyright owners permission might, might, be copyright infringement. Copyright is a legal concoction which only exists because it is supposed to enhance the public domain. It is not a right that is comparable to the right to own property. Why? Because the right to own property has a moral basis. We agree collectively that people can own property, things, stuff. Objects you can touch with you hand.

          You cant own general relativity. You cant own the
  • OMGWTFPWND!!! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jdwilso2 (90224)
    Everyone burn your cassette recorders and cd writers!!! No radio in teh country should be allowed to do this illegal timeshifting nonsense!!! Recordings of our recordings are piracy, theft, and treason!!! /end sarcasm

    The reaction of the RIAA and MPAA to technology should be in the mode of adaptation. The business model of these industries was founded on the difficulty of end users to effectively make use of their fair rights provided for by copyright law. No one treats books like the RIAA and MPAA treat mus
  • 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 Mr. Freeman (933986) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @02:19AM (#15348656)
    I'd like to see how this holds up. From my understanding the RIAA has only been suing people it knows can't afford to go to court offering them "settlements" of large fines, though reduced from what they'd have to pay if they lost. Every time someone has stood up to them they've just tried to get the case dismissed.

    If they're finally suing someone with an equal amount of lawyers and money, it should be an interesting legal precedent.
  • 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...

  • by Flying pig (925874) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @02:50AM (#15348778)
    In a way it is funny that an industry that famously runs on cocaine, hookers and brown envelopes suddenly has so much respect for the law. But then what do we expect? People who have become used to inflated incomes, being able to give vent to their personality disorders, and a general lack of accountability are suddenly under threat. And they react just like any other mob, except that they use lawyers rather than guns (though if things start to go against them enough, I wouldn't bet on it.)

    Despite frequent anti-lawyer postings on Slashdot (I confess, I do it too) lawyers are better than guns; they destroy greenbacks and leave people standing. Paradoxically, the RIAA is an example of why we actually need lawyers. Or would you prefer Apple HQ to be taken out by the RIAA's Somali IP department? Or downloaders to be taken out in drive-by shootings.

    The business of lawyers is to be cheap enough that "businessmen" go to them rather than to hit-men, and expensive enough that "businessmen" have to be at least partly selective about who they sue.

  • by BlueScreenOfTOM (939766) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @02:52AM (#15348788)

    Coming from an XM Subscriber, I wouldn't WANT to record the content from the service, as it is far from CD Quality. In fact, FM sounds better in a lot of scenerios... and I've been able to tape from FM for as long as I can remember.

    Despite its quality issues, I like the XM service and am sorry to hear about this. XM is in enough financial trouble, so I've read in recent articles, and I don't think they need this. I doubt the RIAA will make them go under, but this certainly can't be good for the service.

    As far as the RIAA, I'm wondering what's next. I'm thinking they're going to sue Amazon for those 30-second 32kbps sample clips they have from CDs. And I wouldn't be at all surprised if some smart-ass exec at RIAA is reading this right now, and just yelped "BRILLIANT!" at the top of his lungs.

  • So, the RIAA is angry at people producing hardware to record XM radio, right? Isn't it impossible to get rid of this hardware? I mean, the radio has to have a speaker of some kind, right? So can't you always just cut the wires going to the speaker, wire them to an audio jack, and plug that into your sound card? Theres always a way.
  • According to the article, XM's device does not allow on-demand downloading, nor does it allow content transfers. Sony, a member of RIAA, should remember the results of the Betamax case [wikipedia.org].
  • XM recorder is just a dvr for the radio. It should fall under the sony vs univseral court decision.
  • ignoring the market? (Score:2, Informative)

    by throbi (958043)
    It seems that EMI, Sony-BMG, Universal Music and Warner don't give a shit about the market. The market wants downloadable/streamable quickly selectable music. The market wants to know the music before paying for it. The demand is there, get to work and satisfy it. All this lawsuit-circus is about forcing people to buy CDs. People want no more CDs. Is it so hard to understand?
  • by houghi (78078) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @03:54AM (#15348997)
    Just sue each and every person they can see. I know they can sue me. I have one of these tunes [findarticles.com] in my head that I can't get rid off it and I know I have not payed for it.

    As I apparently am able to store music, I must be sueable under the same rules.
  • by Dachannien (617929) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @05:39AM (#15349289)
    XM might have some problems here, but it's not with normal copyright infringement. They may (or may not - I don't know XM's technology well enough) have violated the provisions of the Audio Home Recording Act [wikipedia.org] of 1992, which specifies certain requirements for digital recorders (including royalties) and also specifically grants particular recording privileges to individuals for private noncommercial use.

    Unfortunately for the RIAA, they aren't the ones with standing to file such a suit. Various author and artist associations receive (and presumably distribute to their members) royalties enforced and collected by the US Copyright Office, and the RIAA is not among these.
  • Dear RIAA, (Score:4, Informative)

    by wackysootroom (243310) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @08:19AM (#15349787)
    You can only be a bully for so long before someone fights back or someone bigger than you kicks your ass.

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford

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