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The Almighty Buck

RIAA, Music Unions Agree On Payments For Digital Play 119

Anonymous Brave Guy writes "BBC News is reporting that musicians and artists will now be paid directly for broadcasts of their work in the U.S., without the cash going to record company middle men, as a result of a deal struck between trade unions and industry representatives including the RIAA." Note the tidbit toward the end of the story mentioning the new European copyright directive, and saying "It gives copyright owners permission to use encryption to block the duplication of copyright-protected works." Permission?
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RIAA, Music Unions Agree On Payments For Digital Play

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  • Wow (Score:2, Insightful)

    why would they need permission? At least they haven't made it illegal to break teh encryption. I never had a problem with the DVD folks using CSS, it was just the "cracking it is illegal" part that bugged me
    • Not only that, but how exactly does encryption stop the pirating of copyrighted works? One of two things can still happen:

      1) Somebody makes a 1:1 copy of a CD/whatever and plays it as normal, because the key would be, presumably, be on the media.

      -or-

      2) Somebody records the decrypted sound (by monitoring data being passed to the output (ie. soundcard) or some similar mechanism), and releases an MP3/Ogg/whatever that's not encrypted at all.

      Man, I love committees and politicians.
      "Hey guys, I heard about this cool thing called encryption... let's start using it!"

      "How's it work?"

      "I dunno.. it just sounds cool, and we get to seem like we know a lot about technology."

      "Wow... you're right. Let's go ahead with that."
    • Re:Wow (Score:2, Insightful)

      Because it is possible to only grant copyrights on the condition that the work not be encrypted.

      Frankly, I think that a work encrypted in order to deny access, and not as a simple side effect of an encoding technique (e.g. people cannot listen to CDDA bits w/o knowing what to do with them) should not be considered to have been published at all. But then, I'd also reserve statutory copyrights for published works as well.

      Authors don't need encryption. They already have copyright law on their side. And while a counter argument might be made that burglary is illegal but people still have locks, remember that the _purpose_ of copyright is to encourage many people to read the works, and eventually change and incorporate them in new works -- which fundementally requires openness.
      • remember that the _purpose_ of copyright is to encourage many people to read the works, and eventually change and incorporate them in new works

        If individuals want to incorporate copyrighted works into new works without a lawsuit or royalties bankrupting them, they have to wait for the copyright to expire. Yeah, right. Not in my lifetime nor in yours. Copyrights already last 95 years [wikipedia.com], and you can bet that by 2020, Di$ney will have contributed another $6 million of soft money to the Republicratic Party in exchange for yet another term extension. How the courts consider 95 years as sufficiently "limited Times" designed "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts" escapes me.

        Boycott the estate of Sonny Bono, whose widow introduced and sponsored the bill. Boycott Cher, who has been quoted as favoring a term of "forever less a day." Boycott the Walt Disney Company, which bankrolled the bribes that got the bill passed. Boycott all color motion pictures produced by MPAA member studios, as the first commercial color film technology appeared in 1923, and all works created on or after January 1, 1923, are under an effective perpetual copyright [everything2.com] in the United States.

        May Sonny Bono rot in he11.

    • Copyright holders need "permission" because copyright itself is a privilege granted by society: we give you these extra rights for a limited time and a costly legal apparatus for enforcing them, and you distribute your works widely.

      Arguably, copyright holders who encrypt their works aren't living up to their side of the deal. If copyright holders don't live up to their side of the deal, why should society live up to its side of the deal?

      I understand why the Europeans ultimately gave in to industry demands, and this is not a simple decision. But I think in the long run, this is a mistake. Content creators should choose between either free and open distribution coupled with legal protection, or technological protection. If you give them both, they will use technological protection to exclude both fair use and ultimately transition into the public domain. Less and less of what is protected by copyright today will make it into the public domain eventually, because of technological protections, and fair use is already greatly restricted.

      • Arguably, copyright holders who encrypt their works aren't living up to their side of the deal.

        I would argue further that claiming copyright on encrypted work is defrauding society and stealing valuable legal protection services.

        The US DOJ should prosecute anyone who claims copyright on the following materials:
        - DVDs with CSS.
        - Computer software with registration keys.
        - Video programs with automatic gain copy control.

        They should warn first and give offenders a little time to disclaim illegal copyrights. Everyone has a natural right to produce encrypted work, it's just wrong to claim copyright on such.

        The DOJ needs to drop any pending prosecutions for infringment of illegal copyrights, and Congress needs to shovel the unconstitutional slop [cornell.edu] out of US Code Title 17.
    • Possibly for when the copyright owner is a record company. Musicians who belong to a union might want to form some sort of standard for authorizing the use of encryption mechanisms.
  • by Newer Guy ( 520108 ) on Saturday November 10, 2001 @04:52PM (#2549215)
    That the artists already have an orginization called The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). Unlike that one, this 'new' one has partial RIAA control. The final irony is that the BBC used a graphic for WorldClassRock.com, a web site that I set the streaming up for (15 different streams)and is now down to a single mono 20k stream (in other words is practically defunct).
    • No irony whatsoever in the creation of yet another "new" organization: the RIAA simply wanted a different deal than they had with ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. So they refused to negotiate digital rights with those bodies and perforce created a new one.
  • by ryants ( 310088 ) on Saturday November 10, 2001 @04:54PM (#2549224)
    This is mostly on-topic... I think... oh well.

    MSNBC has this article [msnbc.com] which is a pretty description of the origins of copyright in the US and how the system is currently completely out of whack.

    • by FallLine ( 12211 ) <fallline@operam[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Sunday November 11, 2001 @09:53AM (#2550718)
      The author states that the intellectual property laws envisioned by the Founders aimed to strike a balance between authors, publishers, and readers. This is well and good. However, in his criticism of DCMA and other means to shift the balance towards the creators, he neglects the fact that there is more to this balance than just written law. There are many other forces at work which absolutely must be considered, but the author gives them no consideration.

      For one, the nature of digital media enables people to pirate goods in a way that is totally unprecedented. No time before could a work of art, say a book, have been distributed by one lone pirate. It would have required transcription, printing presses, distribution networks, and so on. Even his concept of the so-called "fair use" as it is viewed today is extremely different from the "fair use" of 200 some years ago. When a professor today wants to do a lesson he can merely (many actually do this) photocopy whole chapter(s) and give them to his students, there was no equivelent of this in Jefferson's time. In other words, technology shifts the balance of power drastically into the pirates court. The same work that would have recieved balanced protection in Jefferson's time could be easily ripped off wholesale today.

      Second, the author fails to consider the changing nature of the works produced and the markets that they are sold into. For instance, he mentions database producers recieving protection, yet he neglects that they are serving a unique function, a function unparalleled in Jefferson's time, that adds substantial value to the consumer, which is, in fact, very necessary in the digital world. There is little comparison between the levels and kinds of publications in Jefferson's days and that of today. The rate of creation, the shelf life, the specificity of published works, the amount of resources poored into development, and many other things have changed DRASTICALLY.

      In short, the author takes means that were sufficient and proper in Jefferson's times to be a universal statement of what is right for all of time. Laws change for a reason. While I take issue with parts of the DCMA, it's simply ignorant to ignore the reasoning behind it. What's more, I disagree with the assertion that Jefferson would have supported the likes of Napster; Jefferson was a reasonable and intelligent individual, not an absolutist.
  • Astonishing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by melquiades ( 314628 ) on Saturday November 10, 2001 @04:55PM (#2549227) Homepage
    What? The record companies actually relinquished any control of anything? You're kidding. What's the catch?

    The RIAA's large-scale actions of recent years -- first and foremost the DMCA! -- have been designed not so much with an eye to profit as an eye to control. They are a very powerful cartel, and they'd like to keep it that way -- even at the expense of immediate profits.

    So what's the catch here? Could it be that they're suddenly worried about anti-trust action? Were the two artists' unions involved actually that effective?

    If the unions were effective, it might be worthwhile to start making the anti-DMCA case to them. The kinds of controls on copyright the DMCA creates are ultimately to the benefit only of the copyright holder -- which, in the case of most recordings, is the record company and not the artist. Although it appears to benefit artists by protecting their work, the DMCA actually takes music out of the hands of musicians.

    It would be a long, difficult, argument, but perhaps it's time to start making it. I'm a musician, and I'm convinced; I think others could be as well. If the artists' unions can pull off a deal like that, they might also be able to pull the rug out from under the **AA's run on the constitution.
    • the DMCA has implications that reach far beyond music and the RIAA, such as the well known DVD/DeCSS issues with the MPAA and newer issues such as the related proposed SSSCA.

      now seems as good a time as ever to propose changes to the DMCA, before its implications become accepted by most of society. similarly, while it is generally viewed that the SSSCA will not pass in its current form, it is also believed by many (and probably rightly so) that a future variation of it will surface again. this is unacceptable. something needs to be done to protect the right to develop software, to write and release music and books, and to distribute artwork, or there will be little free speech left in the US save what is officially sanctioned, and essentially censored.

      nearly 3 full albums of free music, downloadable without registration, advertisement free, and RIAA untouched... complete with print resolution artwork -- homepage at www.earth2willi.com [sejus.com]
    • by kscd ( 414074 )
      So what's the catch here? Could it be that they're suddenly worried about anti-trust action? Were the two artists' unions involved actually that effective?

      Heheh. I'm sure they're shaking after seeing what the DoJ did to Microsoft...

      -kscd
    • dollars to doughnuts says the RIAA will start charing a fee for every song thats downloaded to the artist. Because we all know they help musicians protect themsevles don't we. Propably just to make sure they get their cut; Or maybe not.
  • I don't believe this. Considering their past actions, it is unlikely that the RIAA and record industry would sign onto a deal like this where they cut off one of their own revenue streams.

    I say that there's more going on here than meets the eye.

  • by ekrout ( 139379 ) on Saturday November 10, 2001 @04:58PM (#2549233) Journal
    In other news...

    RIAA officials will be sending groups of up to 2,000 teenagers to any house party, block event, or apartment get-together where so-called "DJs" (i.e., pirates) are illegally performing protected works. By filling the space with RIAA agents, the hackers and pirates can't get in, thus protecting the vital intellectual property from misuse.

    Also, the RIAA and MPAA are continuing their plans to merge and become the fourth branch of US government, overseeing the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Especially the judicial branch. Look for the RIAA seal in a courtroom near you! You PIRATE!
  • RIAA CA, possibly. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by imrdkl ( 302224 ) on Saturday November 10, 2001 @04:58PM (#2549235) Homepage Journal
    "It gives copyright owners permission to use encryption to block the duplication of copyright-protected works." Permission?

    My guess: artists will be issued certificates from RIAA authority. (CA)

    Yes, I understand that keys is is all they need to encrypt their music and not actual certificates, but hey, maybe I want "certified" music. heh. Anyways, this is one way for RIAA to stay in the picture.

    prediction: next they'll wanna sell their music to me encrypted with my own key.

    I never used Napster... was this a feature?

  • by pvera ( 250260 ) <pedro.vera@gmail.com> on Saturday November 10, 2001 @04:58PM (#2549236) Homepage Journal
    I don't think permission is the right word. If I own the copyright then I don't have to get permission from anyone if I want to copy-protect my work.
    • Actually that a misconception: copyright is a monopoly specifically granted by a government (e.g., the King of England) to a person or organization, authorizing them to use the King's law-men to enforce the monopoly. In the U.S. it takes a specific constitutional clause to make this type of monopoly legal.

      Given that, every grant of copyright is a "permission".

      The line from the article is misleading, however: the author may understand the constitutional issue but misunderstand what the specific American law says.

      • The line from the article is misleading, however: the author may understand the constitutional issue but misunderstand what the specific American law says.

        That part of the article is talking about a European Union directive, it isn't about an American law at all. I agree it's misleading and confused though.
  • Groups that signed the agreement included the Recording Industry Association of America, a recording industry trade group, and two major artists' trade unions, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the American Federation of Musicians.

    I'm surprised a RIAA spokesdroi^H^H^H^person did not say "In the words of Bill Gates, 'It was a fair agreement'..."

    Translation: The fat lady ain't never going to sing because that song is copyrighted on a protected disk. And no, you can't have the mp3 version!

    Heh, Microsoft can "take their ball and go home", as it were.

    the MP|RI AA can take the ball, the bat, the bases, the field, the speakers, announcers, the concessions et al.

    I'd sing the National Anthem right now, but I can't be sure if I'll get sued or not, seeing as my brain is an anti-circumvention device.
    (at least it is good for something this weekend).

    Yeah, I'm thrilled. Can't you tell?
  • For artists, what is nice is that no monies get syphoned off into the clutches of the middile men with their processing fess, etc.

    a famous example behind how music companies work is the example of Prince, the artist formerly known as Prince, etc. The story behind all that was that the name Prince was owned lock stock and barrel by (I think) WB , or had it by exclusive license, or something, and the artist could not use it in any way without money going to the record label, until the deal ran out.

    He went with the abstract symbol, so that he could retain control on his work instead of being a slave for art.

    So the RIAA only gives up what they have to, in order to keep control elsewhere.

    • Re:artists, etc. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by dhogaza ( 64507 ) on Saturday November 10, 2001 @05:34PM (#2549324) Homepage
      Speaking of Warner Brothers, they've got one of my photos on two of their pages at the official Harry Potter website. You can include it in e-postcards you send.

      They did not ask my permission. They did not pay for the use of my copyrighted work (this particular photo has been sold for publication several times).

      Needless to say we'll be talking (they've already made an offer to another photographer in the same situation).

      In all fairness, it's the web design firm's that at fault, but I find the irony quite humorous.
      • Just took a look at your site - those are some really beautiful pictures you've taken. Great work.
      • I looked through the Harry Potter site and yours trying to figure out which one they copied.

        Is it the burrowing owl? Their owl looks very similar to yours...though they look different enough that I'm tempted to say that it's a coincidence...but I could have found totally the wrong picture, and if so, sorry...

        Harry Potter's Owl (Hedwig?) [warnerbros.com]
        Don's Owl [photo.net]

        • The question is does the owl get any royalties?

          p.s. hairy potter site crashed konq. (well, didnt close any windows, just said "its crashed", and didnt let me in to see the warnerbros copy.

          More and more sites are turning IE/old versions of netscape only. soon it'll be IE only. good thing that when a site I use turns I can do the old usre_agent trick.
    • I thought Prince was his real name.... How can they stop him from using his own name??

      Let's hope they never sign "John Doe" to a recording contract....

      JMan
      • Why would any parent torture a kid with a name like Prince? Next thing you know we'll have names like MoonUnit.

        Oh waitaminute..... Nevermind.

      • Re:artists, etc. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by clifyt ( 11768 )
        Because he signed a contract and 'Prince' was a trademarked name...by the singer himself.

        Its a crying shame when I sign a contract that the gov't actually allows the countersigners to actually force me to abide by this. What jerks.

        I think I'm going to change my name because I don't agree with the contract that let me get student loans. I mean, 10 years ago they seemed like such a good deal. I got money at an affordable rate and didn't have to pay it back for years to come, and NOW they expect me to give them money in return for it.

        Give me a fricken break. I understand California putting a 7 year limit on contracts Actors / Musicians / Etc BUT when someone signs a contract because a company is willing to give them money and then doesn't like the terms of it AFTER they strike it big and realizes that what was a good deal before no longer is such a good deal (ie., the Record Company took a MAJOR gamble in the first place...or you just didn't care to realize your own potentional...whatever) which essentially is because of the chances afforded by the original contract, then tough fucking shit. BooHoo, a musician -- that has made far more money than most of us here even in the last several years that he hasn't even had a song on the charts -- had to wait for the contract he was in to expire not even paying off the record company that gave him millions.

        Anywho, this is essentially off topic and SHOULD be moded as such...and so should the parents...as too many /.'rs think that they should be able to screw musicians just because musicians think they are getting screwed by their lables, which is tantamount to saying yer already screwed, so we're just going to join in with the rest of the guys.

        clif
        editor sonikmatter
        (heh! Why doen't /. have a spell checker...everytime I preview this I find a few more...)
        • You know, one of the more interesting parts of Mulsim morality is that it is considered wrong to charge interest. Even you agree that a 7 year limit on contracts is reasonable, so contracts obviously have limitations.

          Furthermore, it is very common that successful artists will renegotiate the terms of their contracts. Prince ("The Artist") lived up to the obligations of his contract, but did not have to like it, and certainly didn't have to say he liked it.

          Bryguy
      • Too late! [spinartrecords.com]
      • Let's hope they never sign "John Doe" to a recording contract....

        Too late. John Doe's band, X [thejohndoething.com] was on Elektra, part of the old Warner/Elektra/Asylum, as far back as 1982.

        These young punks don't know nothing about the old punks. *grumble* *grumble* *creak*
  • Letting them choose (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rockwood ( 141675 )
    Though almost all of us don't like the fact that music will be encrypted and that cd's will more than likely become non-playable on desktops. I DO like that this gives the artist the power to choose. The recording labels would surely lock down everything they record.

    Giving the artist the right to choose may hopefully open a few doors and open the eyes of other artist that choose to encrypt their work; making them aware that restricting their music is NOT the answer.

    I still strongly believe that peer to peer software such as Napster increased record sales (and I believe I remember reading articles that backed up those theories).

    IMHO giving the individual artist this 'permission to choose' make actually turn into the metaphoric light at the end of the tunnel. Just my 2 pennies! - HSJ
  • Fair use (Score:3, Interesting)

    by billsf ( 34378 ) <billsf.cuba@calyx@nl> on Saturday November 10, 2001 @05:10PM (#2549274) Homepage Journal
    I like the scope of this. It starts to resolve the new problem of what a club (or radio station) is to to with the sound that went out to the public. We at N2IT Development (Yes, we do FinalScratch) have allways wondered about this problem. We all agree it isn't fair to pay the artists that can show the 'highest sales' (I'd be really surprised if fewer than 95% of the new Michael Jackson CDs go straight to the shreader.) See in the past, all you had to do was fake good sales and get other's compensation. If you are really good, you don't have to even press the CDs!

    Well, here in Europe, artists 'have permission' to place 'copy prevention' techniques on media. This is not to say they will or if they do, how easy it is to crack such crackpot ideas. It also keeps it legal to crack copy prevention: --NO DCMA in EUROPE!--

    In a sence, us geeks might actually buy a 'protected' CD just for the sport of it. We all know it is __absolutely impossible __ to protect anything with a key everyone has. This is called the "Broadcast delima" in the accademic circles. I
    think players that refuse to play until a certain release time are quite a joke. Ofcourse it is easy to 'spoof' GPS with super-low-power devices and bypass the system. Fortunatey one doesn't have to even bother with a method that may interferre with navigation as the "Broadcast delima" makes for a simpler crack.

    I am proud to be in a society that allows the personal freedom to both allow someone a lame way to "protect" their IP and at the same time makes it totally legal to 'crack and tell'. It is **ILLEGAL** in Europe to deny the user a backup. There is nothing in the law that says the 'backup' must be in the clear. (There is a "copy prevention" method that will not work on Windoze and/or IDE drives. It can be shown that it can be easily defeated with SCSI and UNIX systems, using the most popular tools.)

    Perhaps it will be mandatory to state it will not work (or copy) from an IDE/Windoze box and perhaps, if they are with it, will require a disclaimer that the latest 'copy prevention' techniques require professional copying. INAL, but in a twisted way, if Windoze cannot cut it, but Unix can, it must be technically legal, as nobody is telling you that you have to use Windoze here!
    • Re:Fair use (Score:2, Informative)

      by evvk ( 247017 )
      > --NO DCMA in EUROPE!--

      Yeah, right. Such an evil directive has already been accepted by the council: http://eurorights.org/eudmca/ . It will just take some time before it becomes a law in the member states.
      See also http://eurorights.org/twiki/bin/view/Eurorights/We bHome .
      • Are you confusing this for a European DMCA? Upon close inspection last summer, this very issue seemed to be what people thought was a "European DMCA". I believe in Europe and the fact the individual will allways count above corperate inrerests. Freedom of speech and expression would be unimaginable to lose. USA, sure, nobody knows what freedom is, Europe, NEVER!
  • One: "Member states have 18 months to ratify and implement the directive."

    Two: "Musicians and artists will now be paid directly for broadcasts of their work in the US on cable, satellite and the internet..."

    What "member states" are they talking about?
    What if it is a US company using European hardware to broadcast on the internet? Where does that fall under? Or is it based on where the music is listened to?
  • Despite what everybody here wants to say, or how people want to spin it, the common way that software such as morpheus is used is ethically, and legally wrong. It's not fair use to give near-perfect recordings of copyrighted material to everyone on the planet. This is not the same as making a tape for your friend.
    That being said, the software is not at fault. The RIAA may argue that it's an enabling the behaviour, but this bad behaviour can, and does occur through other means. There are entire mailing lists [solorb.com] devoted to the trading of copyrighted materials via the USPS. This does not mean that the USPS should be outlawed.
    Everybody should write your governmental representatives now, preferably with checks enclosed, to make sure that morpheus and the alike are not wrongly persecuted and prosecuted for behaviour that's beyond the author's control

    .
    • For years I bought blank cassette tapes to record my own music onto from 4-track. Every tape I purchased had a built-in tax that went straight to the RIAA and its mafia-like associates, to help cover "piracy." I paid this tax even though I was using the tapes for my own copyrighted work; essentially, the RIAA got my money and I got nothing in return.

      Now, I copy MP3s. I get something, and the RIAA gets nothing. This latest news is even better--now the artists will actually get something, while the RIAA continues to get nothing. I think it's a more than fair balance. The RIAA has been screwing honest customers for years. Is it any wonder some of those previously honest customers have decided to get even?

      Incidentally, "near-perfect," even if it actually were (MP3s are rotten for the most part) has nothing to do with it; the fair use laws don't address it at all, and the RIAA can't rewrite laws to their liking. That's for the courts to decide. Your point about sharing with the whole world was well-taken, though.

      -Legion

  • Remind me again, what a record company does? so far all i have is:

    Take someone who on their own would be a worthless pile of crap -> make them into a star and get everyone to buy their music

    kind of like what Microsoft does to grad students?
  • The agreement only covers the royalties collected under the "statutory license" and not the "interactive licenses". In other words, if you can pick and chose your music, the artists royalties still go through the labels. By making the statutory licenses as narrow as possible to those wanting to "webcast", the RIAA has pretty effectively assured that those who chose to cater to the consumers and public wants with interactive webcasts must seek the interactive licenses (which are negotiated on a case by case basis and cost much more), thus assuring it is business as usual. (and thus bypassing this agreement). SoundExchange does not collect royalties for uses of music directly licensed by labels (or interactive uses), such as the Echo Networks and Warner deal earlier this week.

    This still doesn't address the fact that the RIAA and SoundExchange are NOT paying the webcasting royalties this year, even though they were due to be paid in July. This they announced in May [boycott-riaa.com]. CNet ran an article [cnet.com]

    According to Webnoize [webnoize.com] (subscription required) article, The $5.2 Million payment they made on October 15 represents only income from the cable, satellite and Muzak licenses collected from Feb 1996 to March 2000. They do not include any payment for webcasting that they have collected since 1999. Ina ddition their administrative fee is 20% meaning the RIAA collected $1.3 Million for that distribution.

    Its a step in the right direction, but its only a baby step. One interesting side note: the payment directly to artists is one thing that is contained in the Music Online Competition Act (MOCA [house.gov]) introduced on Aug 3rd by Rick Boucher and Chris Cannon, that the RIAA has condemned in no uncertain terms.

  • by Dr. Awktagon ( 233360 ) on Saturday November 10, 2001 @06:44PM (#2549452) Homepage

    Okay listen guys this is good. Why is MP3 piracy a problem?? Because really when you get down to it, songs are just data, numbers on a disk, and nothing keeps you from copying a bunch of numbers, right??

    SO HERE'S WHAT YOU DO (if you're an artist, otherwise don't do this because the FBI can't tap your phone).

    ENCRYPT your music files!! But wait I hear you saying.. how can anybody listen to TEH BOOTY BEATZ if they are encrypted??????????

    Well you have a secret key, and only the people with the key can lsiten to the music!!! So instead of worrying about people copying your files, you don't care any more, because only the people with the secret key can listen.

    PROBLEM SOLVED!! Let the money roll in, bling bling.

    cause see, you can just sell the keys, over the internet, or on CDs, or in music players, or computers, because they're just data, a bunch of numbe......OH SHIT.

    Fuck. forget it.


    • SO HERE'S WHAT YOU DO (if you're an artist, otherwise don't do this because the FBI can't tap your phone).

      ENCRYPT your music files!!

      So if I really want to transport secret data without having to fear the FBI, I'll pack it into a MP3 file and encrypt it... they couldn't get after me because I'd call myself an artist and pretend it being a special kind of art.
    • LOL, sarcasm aside though, I cant believe someone would be so technically illiterate to say "It gives copyright owners permission to use encryption to block the duplication of copyright-protected works.", dont they realize that encryption does not prevent anyone from duplicating the encrypted data? How can they possibly lack this knowledge, its not a hard concept at all?! Do they think the rest of the world is stupid, or is it that their target audience is the stupid, we should all be embarrased about how illiterate our governments are about technology, they can not be that so detached from it can they?
  • Simple proposition for file sharing networks, tag an open encryption header on an easy encrypted *.MP3 file (descibes how to descramble the file with a *.MPE tag to set it apart), transmit the encrypted file in that form, have the receiver use the open header to decrypt back to *.MP3 form or leave encrypted (as the open header leaves easy reading at runtime) on the user's hard drive.

    The sender would have a open key (in a PGP way), the receiver would have an open key, the sums of those keys gives a unique file ID number for transmitting purposes.

    The reason for open obfuscation is that the DMCA forbids the decryption for proof of file sharing (making it illegal for the RIAA to whine). The encryption is open so that the end user isn't hindered too much and each file transmitted is unique (while encrypted)and encrypted (thusly protected by the DMCA).

    Sorry if this seems cold and just another manner to inflame the copyright hubbaloo, but frankly the RIAA is a bunch of unimportant self-righteous self-important thieves that I don't care. This whole issue tires me beyond measure as it has gone beyond any level of rational human behavior on the supply / demand curve. The RIAA knows that lowering CD prices will end this issue, but are too greedy and self-destructive to take the correct action. The consumer knows that if they screw the music talent there will be little high-quality music in the future. The people that hold the money decide the fate of the market for the product. That is not the RIAA. The market has decided and will not budge the RIAA can only destroy themselves on this path until CD prices are reduced to a realistic level.
  • Detrimental (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Raven42rac ( 448205 ) on Saturday November 10, 2001 @11:57PM (#2549936)
    As if everyone did not already know that the music industry is a bloated boorish monopoly, things like this serve as a reminder of their ignorance of any technology beyond the record player and their unwillingness to accept that music swapping is actually proven to increase sales of their music, and that the new copy protection and inability of future cds to be played in a PC is actually detrimental to their bottom line in the long run, and could quite possibly alienate even more people than they already have, people who for some strange reason like to back up things so that they wont have to spend another 20 dollars to listen to the music that they want.
  • I'm not sure I understand this story. Surely the artist won't get paid for cable, satellite, and internet play of their songs if they don't own the copyright to the song? Most artists sign their copyrights away as a part of their contract.
  • Something tells me that the infamous Standard Contract will soon include a clause making all works created by the artist works for hire...

  • My favourite system would be:

    - record companies are be obliged to put digital ID tags on their CD's. New CD's have no claim on digital copyright when they don't carry this kind of ID.

    - the RIAA is forced to offer a kind of Gracenote like service. Music not covered under this service is free of digital copyright.

    The RIAA or some other organisation starts a digital service where you can register the mp3's and other music you download or burn on a CD. This is then charged on a monthly bill.

    We get software to register our mp3s. Both when we only download them and when we burn them on a CD. Of course such software is optional. You don't want to pay for bad downloads or for CDs that have to be reburned because the first version was not good enough.

    Now honest people have a workable system with which they can pay their copyright.

    Let's do this first and lets see what happens. Dealing with dishonest people can always be done at a later time...

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