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43 Million Americans Use P2P Software 537

robl writes "If the NYTimes article is correct then somewhere around 1 in 6 Americans apparently are unindicted felons. In the eyes of the public file swapping is as morally wrong as speeding on the NJ Turnpike. The rest of the article talks about the RIAA's carrot/stick/education approach and how they may find themselves entering into negotiations for some forms of file sharing. Also the EFF will be running ads in Rolling Stone next month asking if enthusiasts are tired of being treated like criminals."
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43 Million Americans Use P2P Software

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  • 1 in 6? (Score:5, Funny)

    by vfwlkr ( 668341 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @04:51AM (#6148203) Homepage

    1 in 6 americans know how to use their computer?

    • Re:1 in 6? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by blanks ( 108019 )
      You would be suprised as to how many people know how to use napster/kaaza then know how to check their email.

      My roommate hires many Latinos for construction work and shows them how to use the internet. The first thing he does, is shows them how to download porn off of kaaza.
    • Re:1 in 6? (Score:5, Informative)

      by cperciva ( 102828 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @04:56AM (#6148217) Homepage
      1 in 4 Americans are under the age of 18; so yes, (more than) 1 in 6 Americans know how to use a computer.
    • Re:1 in 6? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09, 2003 @05:02AM (#6148244)
      IANAA but I know plenty of people who can use P2P software but haven't got the first clue about computers.

      Typical conversation:
      "I downloaded this file but I can't play it.."
      "Just install these codecs"
      "Are they a virus?"
      "No..they'll let you play your file"
      "Where should I install it? My dad will kill me if it's a virus."

    • Re:1 in 6? (Score:5, Funny)

      by jkrise ( 535370 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @05:02AM (#6148245) Journal
      5 of 6 Americans know about viruses and anti-virus software for Windows.

      5 of 6 Americans think Windows IS the computer.

      5 of 6 Americans think Microsoft is a microscopic kind hearted firm, like the MSN flutterby.

      5 of 6 Americans know about spam, RIAA, MPAA etc.

      Only 1 of 6 actually know how to use their computer. The rest are used by their computer.
    • Re:1 in 6? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Fulkkari ( 603331 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @05:02AM (#6148246)
      1 in 6 americans know how to use their computer?

      No. I think that is the number of people, helped by the geek next door. The true number is even worse I believe.

    • Re:1 in 6? (Score:5, Funny)

      by arvindn ( 542080 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @05:45AM (#6148366) Homepage Journal
      "When I was young and naive I believed that all human actions are directly or indirectly motivated by the twin goals of money and sex. Now I know better; there are three drivers - money, sex, and the fear of computers." -- me

      I wanted to make it my sig. Too bad /. allows only 120 chars :(

    • Re:1 in 6? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Zocalo ( 252965 )
      Actually, all that means is 1 in 6 Americans know how to download, install, and run a P2P client. Since the bulk of those are going to have installed the standard KaZaA client, that could also mean something like 1 in 10 Americans are prepared to install who knows what on their computer in return for some free music.

      Rather scary really.

  • porn (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09, 2003 @04:53AM (#6148212)
    the other 5 of 6 just look at porn sites
  • by bad_fx ( 493443 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @04:56AM (#6148218) Journal
    You know, believe it or not, P2P software has some legitimate uses...

    Like backing up all my stuff on random stranger's computers. :)
  • by mschoolbus ( 627182 ) <.travisriley. .at. .gmail.com.> on Monday June 09, 2003 @04:56AM (#6148222)
    If anyone is guilty in here, raise your hand...
    • Re:Doubt it, but... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      *raises his hand, moreso than most*

      And if you think for a second I'd admit it publicly, you're a fool :)

      Way I look at it is, I spend a LOT of money on DVD's and so my downloading of telesyncs and DVD'rips is more than covered. I don't listen to much music, so the 3-4 MP3's I download a month really isn't eating into the industry's pockets cause I wouldn't have paid a dime for them anyhow. I didn't buy CD's before, and I won't later.

      To summerize: The RIAA and MPAA shouldn't see my 'piracy' as lost revenu
      • by Alsee ( 515537 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @05:32AM (#6148325) Homepage
        *raises his hand, moreso than most*
        And if you think for a second I'd admit it publicly, you're a fool :)

        You're the "fool". Slashdot does track the IP address on posts, even when anonymous. The good old DMCA says they can subpoena that information without a judge's order.

        Whoever dreamed up the idea of bypassing the judge when getting a court ordered subpoena should should have all his constitutional rights revoked. And I don't exactly have much sympathy for the idiots who passed this law either.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09, 2003 @05:49AM (#6148375)
      First off, I have nothing against the RIAA really. They are a business. A corrupt and monopolistic business to be sure, but they are out to make money and survive. I can't blame them any more than I can blame ebola for trying to do the same... except about the money part.

      I have a shiney new dvd writer. It has a nice button on the front. A tray that goes in and out. Oh, and it writes dvd's. Aside from archiving the family footage, and making great backups I like to do some authoring with dvd's.

      Although I believe my flash animation skills are beyond question, others don't seem to think 2 hours of my artistic creations are worth the dvd they are burned to.

      What I love to do is snag music videos off various newsgroups and p2p programs, and put them together on my own mtvdvd. I make custom menues, do different transitions, cut the crappy intro screenes for #lamevideos on pir8net, put the whole thing together, and everyone I know loves them! Every single person I've showed them to has begged me for a copy.

      You know what else is interesting.. there is NO legal way for me to obtain the videos. Heck, the ??AA would make a killing selling these things. I know that I have seriously considered getting one of those in-dash dvd players just for this purpose (don't worry, I'm not a stupid driver).

      There is obviously consumer demand for this stuff. So much demand in fact that consumers have resorted to less than legal means to obtain them. Its a shame that so much revenue is wasted.
      • First off, I have nothing against the RIAA really. They are a business.

        Aren't they really a trade orgination which represents the combined/similar interests of its members (who are conventional businesses).

        A corrupt and monopolistic business to be sure,

        Aren't those big 5 labeles a cartel [reference.com]. To be a monopoly, you really need to be one company controlling a market (eg, Microsoft). But the market is controlled by a group of 5 labels who collude [reference.com] to control the market.

        but they are out to make money and su

  • by Zog The Undeniable ( 632031 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @04:56AM (#6148223)
    The figures won't include groups of friends making their MP3s available via private FTP servers, which I know goes on and is pretty much undetectable by anyone wanting to stop file sharing. Waste [com.com] is the latest craze among my Net friends - the download may have been pulled, but the genie is out of the bottle.

    File sharing is the only "killer application" for broadband, and most people with BB use file-sharing at least some of the time.

    • by Troed ( 102527 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @05:04AM (#6148252) Homepage Journal
      Why I use WASTE [troed.se] (and some info about the name, links to the novel etc).

      True, filesharing will probably be a popular use of WASTE, but secure chatting with your friends is equally attractive.
    • by AKnightCowboy ( 608632 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @05:08AM (#6148261)
      which I know goes on and is pretty much undetectable by anyone wanting to stop file sharing. Waste is the latest craze among my Net friends - the download may have been pulled, but the genie is out of the bottle.

      You know, how much longer is AOL going to put up with this Frankel guy at Nullsoft? He and his "cohorts" released Gnutella which has got to be one of the biggest thorn in big media's side, he released some program to turn AOL's banners into something else in AIM, and now he goes and releases Waste which is basically similar to Gnutella but for much smaller groups. Why has he not been fired along with any co-conspirators? Does Nullsoft have that much artistic license or self-sufficiency that they won't get in trouble for this stuff or is AOL just too big to really handle internal affairs like this properly short of forcing them to pull it from being downloadable? As you said, the cat is already out of the bag. I can't believe Nullsoft doesn't get taken to task for not getting approval from corporate's lawyers before any software release!

      • He's already announced that he's quitting Nullsoft, so it's a bit of a moot point.
      • The Time Warner half may be a giant media corporation, but first and foremost, AOL is an internet service provider.

        It could be argued that any increase in internet traffic directly results in a higher bottom line for their quarterly report (since AOL is undoubtedly paid for every byte that flows through its networks originating from smaller ISPs - roadrunner, earthlink, etc). It's called growth, and it's what fuels this stock market, as was witnessed by the implosion of dot-com stocks.

        If AOL tracks the s
  • Dear /. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jericho4.0 ( 565125 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @04:58AM (#6148228)
    Dear /.
    Please stop linking to NYT articles. You know why, Thank you.
    • Re:Dear /. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by visualight ( 468005 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @05:31AM (#6148323) Homepage
      I think that the NYT gets more than a few page views from /. - page views that affect how much they can charge for ads.

      If slashdot stopped accepting submissions that included a NYT link would the NYT stop requiring registration? Or maybe allow slashdot to link directly to the article?

      just wondering if a slashdotting is actually a measurable benefit to a big site like that.

    • Logon with this (Score:3, Informative)

      Thanks to Portal of Evil News [poe-news.com]

      L: poenews
      P: poenews

      Still, /. submitters should stop giving them hits.
    • Re:Dear /. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by blancolioni ( 147353 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @06:26AM (#6148458) Homepage
      Oh, just fucking register already. Gender, age, zip code, country. You can even lie if you want.

      At least you have an excuse for not reading the article.
  • I would love to see the justice system bog down and stop because 43 million Americans turned themseves in for DMCA violations, Copyright infringement, IP theft, and running Bonzi Buddy.

    So much for a representational government - I wonder how many Senators have kids with a pile of 'illicit' mp3s/warez/mp4s.

    Ah...they're probably all out drinkin' and pukin' with Jenna.

    • Seeing as USA has 2mil imprisoned, this is not that far off.
  • P2P2$ (Score:5, Insightful)

    by djtripp ( 468558 ) <djtripp@gmaiCOFFEEl.com minus caffeine> on Monday June 09, 2003 @04:59AM (#6148234) Homepage Journal
    I do wonder how much if the sharing leads to actual buying. I know there are a lot of people who would rather "Try it out" then actually buy the game to take full advantage of it, like online playing. Many don't have the know how on hacking the programs, they just want to get a taste.

    Perhaps a test to see if their system will handle it, becasue you really don't want to drive out to CompUSA, find it, wait in line, buy it, wait in traffic, install it, trouble shoot it, trouble shoot it, re configure, pull out some hair, get back in traffic, and arrive at the store right when they close before a holiday...

    Call it optimisim on my part, but people aren't that inherently evil... so they tell me...
    • Re:P2P2$ (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sllim ( 95682 ) <achance@eart h l i nk.net> on Monday June 09, 2003 @05:24AM (#6148298)
      I have bought more games this year then I think I have ever before.
      And every year I buy less and less music.

      And there is nothing strange about it.

      The RIAA has gotten me to the point where I feel like a schmuck every time I buy music.

      But the game industry on the other hand.
      You know it is kind of strange. Cause I don't think that PC games are any less buggy this year then any other.
      But this year I am treating them differntly. I download them off Usenet and give them a try. If I can't get the game to run or the control is just god awful (like the Matrix, what a crime that is) then I count myself lucky I downloaded the game and I don't worry about it.
      If on the other hand the game runs fine and I play it a couple of times, I buy a legit copy.

      Sometimes if the game is buggy but has potential (like Need For Speed 2 6 months ago) I put it aside and try to patch it. If the patch solves the problem I buy it.

      Granted my plan is skirting the law. But the honest truth is that 2 years ago I was so fed up with the general bugginess of PC games that I had given up playing them at all. It is a crime when they advertise a game will work and it doesn't.

      I think I have a pretty good system.

    • Actually...

      A few years back around when Half-Life was first released I was very into downloading warez. So I hear about Half-Life and people tell me it's pretty damned good (and my computer sucks at the time so like it's hard to find anything that runs.) So I download a beta, install it, play it, love it. It ran pretty well on my computer (think it was a 233 AMD K6-2 with like 32 megs of RAM and some 2MB generic video card.) I spread it to all my friends and a few days later I reserved a copy at EB,
    • Re:P2P2$ (Score:4, Informative)

      by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @07:48AM (#6148698)
      I do wonder how much if the sharing leads to actual buying. I know there are a lot of people who would rather "Try it out" then actually buy the game to take full advantage of it, like online playing. Many don't have the know how on hacking the programs, they just want to get a taste.

      Yeah, right. Whatever. The vast majority of people just want free stuff. Games, software, music... they want it all.

      I help out giving tech support in #winehq on freenode sometimes. We routinely get people in there asking in broad daylight for people to send them copies of CrossOver or WineX, or asking where they can be downloaded. Half the time, it's because they:

      a) couldn't find them on KaZaA on Windows, and
      b) want to run those types of programs on Linux anyway.

      They do this apparently not realising that employees of both those companies idle in that channel.

      So, if people want to kid themselves that P2P users are simply "trying before they buy" that's fine by me - if you spend an evening telling 13 year olds addicted to warez to piss off, and that no you won't send them CrossOver for free, then maybe you get a slightly more realistic perspective.

      I think the EFF campaign is funny. "Tired of being treated like criminals?". Well, most people are. Sucks, doesn't it.

      Meanwhile people who sit on KaZaa all day hurt the rest of us, see the sibling post about how shops are changing their game return policies.

  • Big Deal (Score:5, Interesting)

    by el_munkie ( 145510 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @04:59AM (#6148236)
    According to NORML's website, 80 million Americans have smoked pot, that horrible life-ruining plant. Additionally, Marijuana laws are enforeced much more than those that pertain to P2P programs.
    • It's all part of the great leap forward - when workers in developing coutries won't work for beans anymore there will be gaols full of techies to code and handle tech support for free. see my other /. comment on this topic [slashdot.org]. It's all about selective enforcement of laws that lots of people break.
    • if we all are felons (Score:3, Interesting)

      by HanzoSan ( 251665 )

      Why keep it illegal? I dont understand what the point of this is, we cannot lock 100 million people up in prison, so why waste our money filling prisons up with people who share files and smoke pot, its ridiculous.

      It makes me wonder if this actually is some kinda police state, I mean what happened to democracy? IF we dont think its morally wrong, and only a few rich CEOs who happen to own the information think its wrong to share it, why should the ones who have money rule over the ones who dont? Thats not
      • by Niadh ( 468443 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @06:20AM (#6148440) Homepage
        You must be new to America...

        Here is the short, short version. America was created by people, for the people, as a sanctuary from overbearing governments. It was designed to be a low upkeep entity. Everything was spelled out in black and white in the Constitution. The Constitution had one fatal flaw. It counted on politicians doing what was best for the nation, not their wallets.
        • by Art Tatum ( 6890 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @07:03AM (#6148558)
          The fatal flaw is that the Constitution counted on a watchful populace that cared more about what their government was doing than on who was going to win American Idol and The Bachelorette. Or how much beer they had in the fridge. Or if they were getting enough sex. Pleasure is the real American idol.
  • Why yes, yes I am (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AKnightCowboy ( 608632 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @05:00AM (#6148237)
    I am sick and tired of being treated like a criminal both by the RIAA/MPAA as well as the computer software industry. In these organizations efforts to combat piracy they've gone completely off the deep end and made their products difficult for even their own paying customers to use. That, in my opinion, is utterly unacceptable.

    Copy protected CD-like discs, encrypted DVDs that are not legally playable under open source operating systems, and games that require you to keep the god damn CD in while playing even though you install the entire thing to the hard drive all drive me insane. These people are forgetting the number one rule in business: the customer is always right. ALWAYS! If you forget that or start to justify arguing this point then you might as well not be selling stuff to consumers.

    • by HanzoSan ( 251665 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @05:33AM (#6148329) Homepage Journal
      If you dont like the laws, buy new ones, it works for Disney.

      The constitution is fake, no one ever follows it, freedom of speech? You dont have it, profit comes first.

      Its funny how 1% of the population who owns the information can force their rules on the 100 million or so file sharing people who dont own any intellectual property and who dont think its morally wrong to share it.

      Since when did capitalism decide the concept of right and wrong? I guess some peoples religion is capitalism, and I suppose this government is run by capitalism and not democracy.

      If this is the case why should normal working class people stay in the USA? Its slavery if you cannot even get to vote on an issue such as this, no you are automatically a felon.

      You get labeled some wicked name like a "pirate" when sharing has absolutely nothing to do with being a pirate, because sharing sounds so morally right they make up new words and terms to put a negative spin on it, now you are a pirate, a cyber terrorism, and every chance they get they try to compare sharing information with robbing a bank, or running into a CD store and stealing CDs at gunpoint. No you arent stealing the CD you are copying the CD, stealing means someone is missing something, either a physical object or a profit.

      You can steal a profit by selling someone elses Cd, you take eminems CD, burn it and sell it, this is stealing a profit, this should be a crime.

      However, if you just copy it and give it away, theres no stealing and theres no way you can convince any sane person that its morally wrong to share when it benefits society to share.

      SHARE, but dont STEAL, if someone wants to pay for Eminems CD, Eminem made the music and should get to profit from his work, however if someone refuses to pay for it and just wants to hear it, why not let them?

      • by Babbster ( 107076 ) <aaronbabbNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday June 09, 2003 @06:42AM (#6148501) Homepage
        However, if you just copy it and give it away, theres no stealing and theres no way you can convince any sane person that its morally wrong to share when it benefits society to share. SHARE, but dont STEAL, if someone wants to pay for Eminems CD, Eminem made the music and should get to profit from his work, however if someone refuses to pay for it and just wants to hear it, why not let them?

        Cool. Then if you spend a year writing a piece of software, Microsoft can have as many copies as they want without compensating you even if you're trying to negotiate with, say, IBM to purchase the software. That sounds brilliant.

        While I may disagree with the length of copyrights in this country, it doesn't mean that copyright itself is wrong.

        Good copyright law is a good thing. Allowing someone to protect the investment they've put into their intellectual property is perfectly reasonable. If I spend a year (or two or five or twenty) working on a book, a song, a computer program or anything else that's ephemeral/easily copied, I'm entitled to profit from that product if at all possible. It's not for someone with handy access to a Xerox machine or a PC to decide that they get to do whatever they want with it until I say they can (or the copyright expires - hopefully within a reasonable period of time).

        You SAY that your concept is "share, but dont steal" but then you go on to advocate the idea that people should be able to have Eminem's music whether they pay for it or not, implying that it should be permissible to do so - once everyone does it, what does that do to Eminem's ability to "profit from his work"?

        There seems to be a perception - especially prevalent in terms of music - that intellectual property is everybody's property. It's not...at least not until the copyright runs out. If I write a book, you have no inherent right to it, whether it's to read (unless I've offered it to the public, either free or for sale) or copy it and offer it to others. If we do it your way, the only way I profit from writing a book is in the warm feeling I get in my heart from doing so...and that isn't going to heat my cardboard box in the winter.

      • by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @07:45AM (#6148687)

        Oh yay, another idealistic "everything in the world should be free" post that hasn't thought about the consequences of what it advocates, preferring to take cheap shots at non-representative straw men. Let's see...

        Its funny how 1% of the population who owns the information can force their rules on the 100 million or so file sharing people who dont own any intellectual property and who dont think its morally wrong to share it.

        Bull. Most of these people agree that it's morally wrong, and know that they should be paying for it or not having it at all. They do it because they know they can (probably) get away with it.

        Since when did capitalism decide the concept of right and wrong?

        Since most of your population decided to vote for the guys in the two big parties who put on a snazzy show, rather than investing a handful of hours doing their homework and voting for someone who might actually act in the best interests of the population. Until you do that, you're going to get a lot of rich people in government who get richer, and the stand-up guys who put moral integrity ahead of their wallets will be in a small, cherished minority.

        I guess some peoples religion is capitalism, and I suppose this government is run by capitalism and not democracy.

        The problem with democracy is that in its purest form, it only works in the presence of an informed and rational population (for some values of "informed" and "rational"). Your informed and rational population in the US spends more time watching American Idol than the news. Go figure.

        It's curious, actually, that 1/6 figure mentioned in the original story, and the comparison to speeding made there. Statistically speaking, although many people speed, it's about the top 1/6 who speed dangerously enough to cause a higher accident rate. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they're also among the most vocal advocates of their own driving ability, and the fact that, as they see it, they're not doing anything wrong. It's only after the accident when they've taken a life and wrecked a family that they realise the consequences of their actions.

        Mass copyright theft isn't, I hope, going to have such dire consequences, but the people who think they can carry on regardless without doing long term harm are kidding themselves. The big guys are big enough to play these games with them, but the small guys in the music biz are getting hurt already.

        SHARE, but dont STEAL, if someone wants to pay for Eminems CD, Eminem made the music and should get to profit from his work, however if someone refuses to pay for it and just wants to hear it, why not let them?

        Because you didn't put the work in to make it, so you have no right to let them, maybe?

        I love this bit from the original story the most:

        Also the EFF will be running ads in Rolling Stone next month asking if enthusiasts are tired of being treated like criminals.

        They're not enthusiasts. They are criminals. You have a legal system that says so, and those laws are there for a good reason. Get over it. If you don't like it, lobby for someone to hit the price-fixing monopolies who abuse the intellectual property laws, but at least aim somewhere near the right target.

    • by HardcoreGamer ( 672845 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @05:57AM (#6148400)

      The 43 million is secondary (or even tertiary) to the story. The real story is about the changing tactics of the industry and how it continues its attempts to force music-lovers to listen to music how the industry wants them to, instead of being responsive to customers as any good business should.

      Now that a direct sales model is viable (iTunes [apple.com], Prince [npgmusicclub.com] and others) because the means of production and inexpensive distribution is widely available for a low cost, the industry has lost its main competitive advantage.

      The oligopoly that the record companies have had is coming to an end and instead of embracing a new business model they keep trying to force everyone to adhere to the old broken model.

      Also, please refer to the following articles from 2 days ago, paying special attention to the editorial:

      Music Industry Changes its Tune on Sharing ... Sort Of

      The NYT has a pair of stories about online music today. The first is a long article about how the music industry is trying to transform its image and its business by embracing online music and sharing ... within limits [nytimes.com]. But at the same time comments about filesharing like ''We're going to continue to address this with harsher and harsher means,'' by Universal's CEO aren't encouraging that the attitude has changed. The NYT Editorial page comes down firmly on the side of music-lovers with this gem: ''You don't have to be a 19-year-old college student to sense that there's something indecent in the concentration of the recording industry [nytimes.com]...''

      * 2003-06-07 19:15:59 Music Industry Changes its Tune on Sharing ... Sor (articles,music) (rejected)

    • by Johnno74 ( 252399 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @06:08AM (#6148420)
      In actual fact, only 20 million americans use P2P software.

      But some of those people use it alot, far more than the average person, so really what they mean is "the equivalent of 43 million americans use P2P sofware".
    • Re:Why yes, yes I am (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Ephemeriis ( 315124 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @07:24AM (#6148624)
      I work at the local EB, and we've been having more and more customers come in with problems related to copy protection schemes in the last year or so. We've got folks who can't play their games or DVDs on their Xbox or PS2 because they happen to be running it through a VCR. We've got folks who can't install or play various games because their CD drive isn't supported by the latest incarnation of SafeDisk or its ilk. We've got people with a tiny scratch in some vital part of the disc, which suddenly makes the entire thing unplayable. We've got folks with misprinted CD keys. We've got people with strange hardware configurations that aren't allowed by SafeDisk and its friends. All these things in an attempt to prevent piracy....and all they do is make things difficult for the paying customers. The actual pirates don't have to put up with any of these problems.

    • by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @07:24AM (#6148625)
      These people are forgetting the number one rule in business: the customer is always right. ALWAYS!

      Um... Would those be paying customers? ;-)

  • by Devil Ducky ( 48672 ) <slashdot@devilducky.org> on Monday June 09, 2003 @05:01AM (#6148240) Homepage
    I can honestly say that I have never, nor do I plan to in the forseeable future, sped on the New Jersey Turnpike. Now the Pennsylvania turnpike is another question, but how can they honestly expect me to do 55 around Pittsburgh?

    And just for the record I always obey all speed limits while using P2P software, because frankly my cable connection sucks. Because of the limitations of Adelphia, I can also say I don't download illegal music, movies, or software; I find it much easier to have someone hand me a CD for such things.
    • Re:Moral Speeding (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sllim ( 95682 )
      Moral Speeding?
      I dare you to drive 55 on the PA turnpike around Pittsburg.

      Email me if you survive the experience.

      Dude that is more like speeding to stay alive.

      The first time I drove on that stretch of the turnpike I came through an area where there pretty much was no shoulder. Every 1/2 mile or so they had carved a space out where a truck or a couple of cars could pull over in case of a problem. Aside from those spots you were in deep trouble if you had engine problems.
      Well traffic was, wow. I think I
  • Hindsight is 20/20 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09, 2003 @05:02AM (#6148247)
    I'd like to see the RIAA step up to the plate on those statistics.
    The shame of it all, for the RIAA, is that they probably could have been *very* successful with an online campaign, had they embraced mp3 and sharing technologies instead of dissmissing them and taking action against their users.
    I don't even think that it's just greed that made them act the way they did -- they probably just didn't have enough in-house expertise to properly advise them on a proper strategy to deal with all the new technology. ...And now they're in too deep to change.

    -Tom West
  • but I think that number is going to spike dramatically once p2p applications are used for more than swapping media files. How about p2p medical services, dating services, whatever. I think this kind of ultra-decentralised computing will be the next wave.

    P2P really has endless possibilities.
  • that there's some resolution to all this down the pike that is fair to all concerned?

    Major record companies deserve this mess; they've done it to themselves by overpricing CD's. However, they and the "stars" aren't the only ones affected by P2P copying -- studio musicians depend on royalties to live, and they are Not multimillionaires. I hear (anecdotally, but from reliably, from a friend who works for the musician's union), that those men and women are really hurting -- royalties are drying up.

    Most peo
    • I'm sorry for those musicians.

      Sorry that they maybe recorded with artists who are on the for instance the BMG label who are now selling Corrupt Audio Discs.

      I was going to buy a CD by Spiritualized, but after I found out that it was a CAD, and unable to be digitally extracted to my PC, I'm not going to bother. I'm not going to rip it, either, though.

      But, if record companies continue to flog CADs which don't play properly on PCs or sometimes car audio system, and people can instead get hacked MP3s off a

      • Despite what you may have thought musicians dont make a penny from CD sales most of the time, they also dont own any intellectual property most of the time.

        Their contract says the record company owns anything they make,the record company keeps about 95% of what their CD makes from sales, Musicians end up getting a $30,000 a year salary from CD sales after selling millions of copies, they only make real money from tours, concerts and so on.

        Do musicians care if you buy their CD? No they dont because most o
  • by Max Romantschuk ( 132276 ) <max@romantschuk.fi> on Monday June 09, 2003 @05:18AM (#6148285) Homepage
    I would be delighted to pay, say 5 Euros/Dollars for a movie download in DivX and/or a comparable format. Knowing that the movie would't be a fake would be great too...

    P2P software will continue to be used until someone gives us a viable commercial option. DVD's are 20 to 30 Euros here in Finland, and I'm not counting the rare imported stuff... There's no way I'm paying that much for a movie, especially when it probably has broken even in the theaters prior to the DVD being released.
  • by LogicX ( 8327 ) * <`su.xcigol' `ta' `todhsals'> on Monday June 09, 2003 @05:22AM (#6148292) Homepage Journal
    As a perfect example of P2P: Lets show some legit usage.
    You can get 5.1-RELEASE i386 ISOs right now -- before they're publicly available on the FreeBSD FTP mirror at
    glow.rh.rit.edu [rit.edu]
  • Thats spin. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HanzoSan ( 251665 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @05:22AM (#6148294) Homepage Journal

    Its debateable if file swapping if morally wrong at all. Some of us believe its a personal freedom, like freedom of speech, and that its not morally wrong but morally right.

    The only few who think its morally wrong are a few guys who happen to own copyrights, the average American does not own any intellectual property is cares more about defending their freedom to share files than defending some unknown CEOs freedom to own them.
    • Its debateable if file swapping if morally wrong at all. Some of us believe its a personal freedom, like freedom of speech, and that its not morally wrong but morally right.

      Each of us have our own judgments about the morality and immorality of various acts. We don't have to agree about any of your points, however, to be able to mutually function in a society.

      You don't need to agree with America's social norms to conform to them -- we don't have laws to make immoral things illegal, moral things immoral o
  • An observation... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TWX ( 665546 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @05:24AM (#6148297)
    When one person owes you {money,stuff,etc}, it's bad for them. When you feel that millions of people owe you {money,stuff,etc} it's bad for you.

    So, the RIAA, and the MPAA to a lesser extent are in the second category. While I don't like the MPAA's practices with DeCSS, at least thy have taken to pricing their products in a range that I as a consumer don't feel bad about paying. I'll gladly buy DVDs from the bargain bin for $6.00.

    The RIAA on the other hand isn't playing so nice. When a CD is $17.00, the musician might see a few pennies, and discounts on the products aren't forthcoming, it's understandable why people copy music and don't feel bad about it. The soundtrack for many movies on CD costs more than the movie on DVD itself. There is something very wrong with the world when this is the case.

    The MPAA has been lucky, since movies are large enough that copying them isn't nearly as big a no-brainer as CDs/mp3s are, but at the same time, if they keep movies cheap, we'll be more inclined to buy them instead of copying them. The RIAA's problem has been around much longer, is much deeper entrenched, and does not appear stoppable by legislation, threats, civil suits, or any other means that they have come up with. If they don't significantly change their business model it'll only get worse, to a point where artists find new labels that don't play by the RIAA's rules, and the RIAA as an organization will cease to be. If they aren't willing to change, they'll get what they deserve.
  • by jkrise ( 535370 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @05:26AM (#6148301) Journal
    If an election were to be held for the president today, and Ms.Clinton sided with the P2P sentiments, she's assured of atleast 43 million American votes! Maybe much more, if the article is accurate enough.
    • Ummm that's a rather silly statement. What happens if half of those 43 million americans hate her? Or if they're not of the legal age to vote (which is very likely)? Besides the average voter doesn't known much about P2P or even care.
  • Two ideas for p2p (Score:2, Interesting)

    by LucidBeast ( 601749 )
    They should embrace kazaa or some other p2p and start a legit pyramid selling scheme of mp3's. For example I could connect to sonys mp3 server and download mindless pop for some cost. In turn I share this pop on my server, and get credit for all downloads, from which a small comission is paid to the originator of the material. If my site is up and has lots of intresting material I might even make a small profit as a distributor so it is in my intrest to stay in the system. Transactions could be handled by a
  • Criminal penalties (Score:5, Interesting)

    by smiff ( 578693 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @05:29AM (#6148315)

    Under US copyright law [cornell.edu], it is only a crime to download copyrighted works if you reproduce more than $1,000 in goods within 180 days. Or if you infringe copyright for financial gain.

    It would appear that it is only a felony if you reproduce or distribute [cornell.edu] 10 or more copies with a total value of at least $2,500.

    • the thing is , just how do they conclude what the value of what any one item is. I personally don't even have much against the copyright laws the NET Act tries to enforce.... it's the way it is worded.

      If you offer up one song, are you then responsible for the value of the copy of that song anyone who downloaded it from you then shares as well? It's impossible to tell really.

      How the heck do they come up with things like: (NET Act) [usdoj.gov]

      if the offense consists of the reproduction or distribution of 1 or more c
  • by Zakabog ( 603757 ) <john@@@jmaug...com> on Monday June 09, 2003 @05:30AM (#6148317)
    5 in 6 slashdotters are amazed that 1 in 6 americans can operate a computer AND use it to go online. The other 1 in 6 slashdotters didn't read the story yet.
  • by Ravn0s ( 212743 ) <azreel@freespiritmind.com> on Monday June 09, 2003 @05:37AM (#6148336) Homepage
    only outlaws will use filesharing.

    I have a hard time believing that pay per download will solve anything. I still RARELY am able to find the CDs I want when looking through my local music store.

    Admittedly, I rarely listen to or buy music from major record labels. But try going into a music store and finding a CD by Juno Reactor. Or VNV Nation. No luck? How about DreamTrybe, or Thirteen of Everything. Or Kenna. STILL can't find it? Six Mile Bridge maybe? Probably not. So, I either have to hunt down those CDs on ebay or some obscure indie site (and no, not all those bands are indie) OR - I simply have to enter the band into KazAA and badaboom! I have the music I want.

    Is it stealing? Probably - although I always end up buying the CD when I can find it. Is it illegal? Well, according to the RIAA - yes. Do I share my MP3s? YOU BET I DO! Who am I to be able to tell if that person downloading my file is trying to get another copy of that CD that was stolen out of his car, or if they just want to get it for free?

  • by HanzoSan ( 251665 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @05:40AM (#6148348) Homepage Journal

    Why not call it by its true name.

    "The No Electronic Information Sharing (NEIS)Act"

    Why? Because thats what it is.

    Define theft,, heres theft

    a : the act of stealing; specifically : the felonious taking and removing of personal property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of it b : an unlawful taking (as by embezzlement or burglary) of property

    You cannot STEAL information because information by design is not physical and cannot be contained.

    This is like me getting mad at someone for stealing my thoughts! Should I be able to copyright facial expressions and then sue anyone who makes that expression? Well?

    If you use it you are STEALING my face right?

    Thats what I thought. But believe it or not, intellectual property exists simply to protect stupid abilities and rights such as these which dont even matter while removing our personal freedom.

    So we lose personal freedom in exchange for someone to have the right to "own" facial expressions, let me ask you all something, how much intellectual property do each of you own? Unless every American owns tons of intellectual property, why do we give up our personal freedom which we all currently own in exchange for something of absolultely no value to us? Sure it matters to a rich CEO, if you are one of these guys then yes you care but to me and to the average person, it only reduces our creativity and freedom.

    • Oh dear - what passes for insight these days is really sad.

      To answer your question:

      > let me ask you all something, how much intellectual property do each of you own?

      Well, in the last week, I produced three whitepapers, a few tens of thousands of lines of code, and a couple of proposals, all of which are my intellectual property (or were, until I sold them, naturally). I've also written books, a shed load of web content, and I'm generating more intellectual property as I type right now. So, it turns ou
    • by Kethinov ( 636034 )
      In the latter of the two articles posted by the parent, therein lies this quote.

      âoeWe have the right to control the property we own the way we want to,â said David Munns, the chief executive of EMI Music North America. âoeTo be successful I have to listen to what the consumer is telling me, but if that means me going broke that's not the answer. You've got to do what you've got to do.â

      This guy can't see the forest through the trees. He says he's gonna go broke but he doesn't realize

  • what's the fuss (Score:4, Interesting)

    by geoff lane ( 93738 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @05:50AM (#6148381)
    all those musicians could always go out and play live again, can't they :-)

    The music industry have created their own downfall and I have no sympathy at all for them.

    But the music won't die, just the RIAA, managers, agents, publishers and all the middleman hangers on who create nothing but take their cut anyway.
  • by Mark_MF-WN ( 678030 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @06:03AM (#6148406)
    Sure, swapping MP3s is illegal -- but the point of this is that it SHOULDN'T be. America is a democracy, after all, and people are voting through their actions. If everyone in America started practicing bigamy, that'd be legal too. Don't believe me? Just look at the Gay-rights movement. That was only 1/10 people, far less than the number of file-swappers -- but they've been getting a LOT of laws changed over the last few decades. Besides, you can whine and complain all you like about it being illegal, but a law that no-one obeys is no law at all.
  • by chthonicdaemon ( 670385 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @06:10AM (#6148422) Homepage Journal
    The tone of the article is very pro-copyright. I resent statements like
    [Uses like]... making unauthorized copies of hundreds of copyrighted songs without paying for them, are clearly not legal ...
    on the basis that it does not say whether I may have hundreds of friends who sent me these files or whether these files are available for free, etc.

    Not only that, but I have serious doubts as to whether 'copyright' as we know it today will exist in the future.

    I especially love the blatant statement
    We have the right to control the property we own the way we want to
    that belies the fact that the industry is built around intellectual property, and that you get very little when you buy a CD. Information as a tradable entity is ok, but freedom to use that information in any way I see fit (including redistribution) needs to come with my trading rights.

    Perhaps this means a change in business model for the entertainment industry, and perhaps it means that artists will not be in the running for mega-millions anymore. But none of this is earth-shattering.
  • BOOK-TIP (Score:4, Insightful)

    by diskret_tmp ( 669450 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @06:13AM (#6148428)
    I have read so many half baked arguments about this really important subject on slashdot that i wish people would start to really get thinking: here is a very interesting book about the subject: INFORMATION FEUDALISM by Peter Drahos and John Braithwaite, EARTHSCAN - http://www.earthscan.co.uk. just a few citations: "Intellectual property rights began their life as tools of censorship and monopoly privileges doled out by the king to fund wars and other pursuits." Looking at England in the 16th century - the first intellectual property fights were being fought over printing, the then copyright holders were the craft guild known as The Stationers. They were fearing competion and loss of their monopoly status and thus asked the state for measures to be taken against Piracy (everybody who printed books had to be a member of the guild). Eventually the Stationers ended up as an arm of the state, having their own court and the powers to search and seize pirated material (books printed by independent printers). Does that sound familiar? ....The "pirates-printers", Bourne and Jefferson, argued in 1586 that the privilege system kept prices high, deprived the public of choice and was contrary to the common law. --- From this point on intellectual property law keeps returning in its different guises. What i find most alarming in this context is basically how the different distracting - "re-educational" arguments keep coming back from people who are most likely to be hurt if the current intellectual property laws are not fought. There is no moral element in intellectual property rights unless you adhere to the sermon that keeps coming from the copyright holders. Consider the option to be born as an untouchable in india 100 years ago - it would have been morally wrong to take part in society and rebel against being outside of human society. Fortunately these moral forces were fought.... uff - i am getting carried away ... check out the book mentioned above - gives you lot of insights into a problem that lies at the heart of postindustrial economy.
  • Metrics (Score:3, Interesting)

    by foniksonik ( 573572 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @06:22AM (#6148447) Homepage Journal
    Interestingly enough, metrics for piracy have only been around as long as the internet/p2p! Did the RIAA have any chance of checking up on how many people were making tape recordings of their friends music.. and the sharing that commenced.. and later with CDs? I think not. They have been using the same technology they decry as criminal to keep track of those same 'criminal' activites. There is precedent of course... drug stings comes to mind.

    In any case, how has the market changed? Just because they have metrics to describe the amount of revenue they are losing to song swappers (not file swappers, there's a difference) doesn't mean the numbers have really changed all that much. When is the last time you asked a 'real world' friend to borrow a CD to make a copy?

    So if this is factual then they are not losing any more revenue from song swapping than they have historically since the advent of consumer recordable media... so much for the arguement that song swapping is killing the recording industry. It's only with the introduction of the internet and p2p and corresponding digital footprints that they've been able to track said 'piracy' and give it a value.

    Clearly then it isn't the everyday file swapping which has increased RIAA losses, it is RIAA business practices which have done so. IE: Music industry is killing Music industry, not song swapping.
  • by [cx] ( 181186 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @06:41AM (#6148495)
    Everyone in Canada put together. I bet in Canada though the percantage of p2p users is alot higher since more of us can read!

    Yeah, we know all your schools are still like Saved By the Bell.

    I never make a serious post, but really how seriously can you take an article that assumes to have known how many p2p users are out there?

    I think there are probably more people using private servers or private channels (see irc) to obtain illicit data "STEALING".

    I don't believe its stealing but corporate America and likewise those golden lined suit wearing CEOs believe they own everything, including ideas.

    But hey the world we live in sucks, nobody wants to change it so we can just complain on a webpage that probably has more intelligence than the USA congress, but probably alot less productivity.


  • by linuxislandsucks ( 461335 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @06:52AM (#6148529) Homepage Journal
    RIAA is going to always hav eproblems..oen cannot run back the fair use definitions brought on by inventiosn such as the Xeorox copier..which if we look at copyright law before the modern digital age is allowing people to commit felonies every day by just the act of copying a page of copyrighted material..

    Here is to RIAA efforts at running the too top heavy Music inudstry into an early grave..
  • What the fuck? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stubear ( 130454 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @08:31AM (#6148924)
    Just yesterday there was an article on /. lambasting for allegedly (though this word seemed to have been dropped from teh accusations) violating the GPL and people were calling for the death of Linksys. How dare a company steal the work of the OSS community. Oh, wait, you mean it's morally OK to violate copyrights now? Is this one of those days of the week things? Sunday it's bad to violate copyright, Monday it's OK?

    I wish people would start calling this what it really is and stop all the bullshit. You are basically too fucking cheap to purchase movies and music and instead of simply doing without you resort to violating copyrights. I say this, what goes around comes around. The next time Linksys or some other company uses GPL'ed code remember your stance here.
  • No Surprises (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CmdrGravy ( 645153 ) on Monday June 09, 2003 @08:32AM (#6148931) Homepage
    I am not surprised by this figure, I was discussing filesharing in the pub on the weekend with some of my friends who are not at all geeky and have never heard of /.

    The five of them have widley varying careers and none of them would consider themselves criminals. 2 of them were annoyed about the DeCss saga, 1 was buying a CD Burner to download stuff and burn CD's, another was getting Broadband to download stuff faster and another was already downloading stuff. The other 2 don't have computers.

    All these people and most other people I have spoken to do realise that they are probably committing a crime but quite frankly they don't care because (a) they are getting music for free and (b) who cares if the record companies are losing money over it.

    Some justifications for those reasons:

    People have been getting music for free off their friends for years, there are some favourite albums which have at various times been passed around 10+ people in our extended group over 10 or more years.

    In the UK the record companies seem only interested in setting up the next Pop Stars / Pop Idol / Shit manufactured act they can squeeze money from. Very rarely are they promoting any band which people like me are actually interested in - last night I saw on TV that Morrisey is unable to get a new record contract when bozo bands like One True Voice just have to turn up at an audition looking nice and sign away any artistic control over their 'career' from that point on.

    The record companies really are bringing this on themselves and no amount of whining and threats from them are going to stop this kind of behaviour.
  • They say that music is too expensive.

    That if it they could just download the songs they want that they'd pay for them.

    That not enough money goes to the artist, and they don't want to support that sort of system.

    This is bullshit.

    Even if systems were in place to allow people to download as many individual songs as they wanted for only a buck a song, and even if mechanisms were in place to guarantee that 50% of all revenues would go to the artist, piracy wouldn't diminish... In fact, it would probably continue to rise. The reason people download this stuff isn't because of any higher morality, it's because they want it, and they know their chances of getting caught is next to nil. To make an analogy, how many people speed all the time that wouldn't speed if they knew there was a copy watching them? Morality, you see, isn't affected by laws or the chance of getting caught - if people believe something is morally right, they'd do it regardless of what the chances of getting caught were.

    Piracy will only continue to grow, but that's not a reason to abolish copyrights. Hell, if anyone advocates the abolition of copyrights, they probably don't even care that the artist doesn't get a fair cut of the money - they just want what they want without having to pay for it. Somehow I think most pirates are in this category, although they may not admit it.

    In my opinion, musicians, writers, and software artists who have chosen to seek compensation for their copyrighted works are often deserving of the compensation they are seeking. And if it does not deserve compensation, why the hell should I waste my resources (time downloading, hard drive/CD space etc) on it?

    The only thing that would ever truly end piracy would be such a gross violation of human and civil rights that it's not even worth mentioning. But then, you pretty much say the same thing about almost any crime. The most we can do is to continue to punish the infringers that are caught to the fullest extent that the law permits. It's not a very effective deterrent, but it's all we've got.

I have ways of making money that you know nothing of. -- John D. Rockefeller