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Filesharing Traffic Drops After RIAA Threats 635

bryan writes "According to CNN, facing the threat of lawsuits from a music industry trade group, fewer people are using online filesharing applications to swap songs. Internet audience measurement service Nielsen Net Ratings said traffic on Kazaa, the leading filesharing platform, fell 15 percent in the week ended July 6 from the previous week. It was during that prior week, on June 25, that the Recording Industry Association of America said it would track down the heaviest users of "peer-to-peer" services like Kazaa and sue them for damages of up to $150,000 per copyright violation." This follows earlier reports, from the filesharing companies themselves, that traffic was actually increasing.
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Filesharing Traffic Drops After RIAA Threats

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  • by mao che minh ( 611166 ) * on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:08PM (#6437258) Journal
    Television evangelist Pat Robertson was overheard stating that the process of natural evolution was impossible, given that it's findings lie outside the idea of Christian creation dogma. All the while scientists the world over continue to compile and test bodies of evidence for it's many intricate workings. Despite all of the evidence to the contrary, Pat Robertson's opinion remains firm.

    If Pat Robertson were to tell the truth, he might loose some of his marketshare.

    The file sharing companies want to display a facade that their business is as strong as ever, even in the face of the new RIAA litigations and attempts to prevent the further theft of their products. Saying otherwise might hurt their (the file sharing companies) potential advertising campaign or the planned "pay-per-play/download" strategies.

    • Reverse (Score:5, Interesting)

      by blunte ( 183182 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @06:32PM (#6438097)
      And who's to say the reverse isn't the case?

      Could it be Nielsen doesn't have the best numbers?

      From their press release [], I can't tell how they arrived at their numbers.

      I also wonder about their "unique visitor" term.

      It seems to me that file sharing admins would have a pretty good idea of the traffic on their networks.

      Hard to really know what's going on with so little information.

      • Re:Reverse (Score:3, Informative)

        by ReTay ( 164994 )
        At a guess they are not covering the correct networks? I have see one or two with high amounts of traffic.
        Of cource you could try
        The RIAA can't find you and it is free.
      • Re:Reverse (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Daetrin ( 576516 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @08:08PM (#6438748)
        Could it be Nielsen doesn't have the best numbers?

        So we have to decide between the opinion of those with less accurate information, and the opinion of those with a vested intrest in distorting the more accurate information which they have, not a great choice.

  • by ranolen ( 581431 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:09PM (#6437270)
    How many of you have slowed or stopped your file sharing???
    • I'm still downloading, but I'm moving the files out of my shared directory once noone else is downloading it from me. I guess that makes me a wussy lamer leech. :-(
    • Re:Taking a poll (Score:3, Insightful)

      I don't think the Slashdot crowd has the same mentality toward legal issues involving the RIAA as normal users. Your poll is going to have an unusually high number of people voting in favor of file swapping.
      • Excellent point (Score:3, Interesting)

        by s20451 ( 410424 )
        I don't think the Slashdot crowd has the same mentality toward legal issues involving the RIAA as normal users.

        The reason why slashdot users are passionate about things like the RIAA, the DMCA, etc. etc., than the average person is that the average person accepts the argument that sharing copyrighted files is wrong.

        Thus, while the average person will share files in an anonymous environment, he or she either feels guilty about sharing or otherwise doesn't feel strongly enough about it to cause trouble, a
        • Re:Excellent point (Score:3, Informative)

          by Kwil ( 53679 )
          Here's another point.. ..everybody gets up in arms about calling it theft when it's not.

          If we want to be perfectly honest, let's stop calling it sharing -- it's not that either, it's distributing.

          If you want to get really picky, it's making available for distribution.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:18PM (#6437396)
      "How many of you have slowed or stopped your file sharing???"

      We at are still going strong.
    • No one (Score:5, Interesting)

      by HanzoSan ( 251665 ) * on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:19PM (#6437430) Homepage Journal

      No one stopped sharing, they just switched to networks which are harder to monitor.

      People arent stupid, they know the RIAA is looking at Kazaa.

      Just as many people are on Kazaa, but if you think Kazaa is the best place to find music files you are wrong.

      Face it, no one is going to stop.

    • Re:Taking a poll (Score:5, Interesting)

      by JudgeFurious ( 455868 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:29PM (#6437552)
      I have but I have to admit that it only applies to movies. I last logged in to get a song before iTunes Music Store came online. Now that's got my music needs covered.

      I still go to P2P for the odd South Park episode, that hard to find must have porn, or to get some software. Movies have absolutely nothing to fear from me though. Too much time and the results are crap.

      I never said I wasn't stealing their shit. I only said I'd buy it if they met me halfway. iTunes did that and now I'm doing that.

      Now let's get with the $5 DVD's and the $29 Photoshop people! Chop Chop!
      • Re:Taking a poll (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Daetrin ( 576516 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @08:23PM (#6438849)
        Now let's get with the $5 DVD's and the $29 Photoshop people! Chop Chop!

        I actually had the exact same experience with audiobooks. For the last month or two i've been considering buying audiobooks so i'd have something interesting to listen to during me 30+ minute commute. However if you go to Borders or Barnes and Noble or they cost a bloody fortune. $30 is about as low as they get, and seeing prices up in the $70s and $80s is not uncommon.

        I bought one cheap audiobook (A Wizard of Earthsea) and was impressed, but the price kept putting me off. I was seriously considering looking around on filesharing systems to see if i could grab mp3s of them from somewhere. Most of the tiles i want are books i already own anyways, so i wouldn't have felt too guilty about doing so.

        Then i discovered that i could buy audio files of the same books from [] Theoretically they have the same list price as the tape version, which is insane, but just about all the files there are marked down to a reasonable price, and if you're willing to sign up for a monthly account you can get any two books a month for $20.

        I signed up for the one year membership since after looking through their library i could find at least 24 books i wanted and that way i could get a free mp3 player. (Yeah, it's a piece of junk player, but if i'm going to sign up for a year anyways...)

        So the book-on-CD people made $30 or $40 off of me once, and then scared me away with the horible prices and the lack of availability of the books i was interested in. put things at a reasonable price and just made $250 off me. And i would have never taken the time to find if the CD people were pricing things at a reasonable price of $20 or so per book. (About what i'm paying now when you consider the price of CDs.)

  • the truely interesting statistics would cover whether those who are not sharing are primarily uploaders or downloaders, and what there volume was before they stopped.
  • Correction (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sulli ( 195030 ) * on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:10PM (#6437292) Journal
    According to CNN

    According to RIAA member AOL Time Warner

  • by missing000 ( 602285 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:11PM (#6437298)
    I assumed that everyone just stayed at home and downloaded mp3's on the 4th of July.

    I can't belive that many people really had something better to do than surf the web on a holiday.
  • That's why truly anonymous P2P apps [] are the only way.

    Please mod me up - we need help with this project. Please get in touch if you can code, or have ideas, or comments.

    • udpp2p (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Srin Tuar ( 147269 ) <> on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:30PM (#6437569)
      The fundamental premise of udpp2p is broken.

      Spoofed source addresses do not beget security nor anonymity, especially now that ISP's are required to "cooperate". Properly configured routers will put a dead stop to the practice, and even without that its still trivial for a big organization to backtrace you.

      If you want real anonymity you need something called "plausible deniability" which you can get only from projects such as freenet [].
      • Re:udpp2p (Score:5, Interesting)

        by dasmegabyte ( 267018 ) <> on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:34PM (#6437610) Homepage Journal
        Agreed. Forget Udpp2p. Freenet's already here, it's bigger, it's faster, it's better...don't waste your time.

        Of course, Freenet's not the easiest thing in the world to use. It's getting better, but the high rate of key return failure is disheartening. Still, it's better than requesting a file on KaZaa, only to find out that the user isn't really trading.
        • Re:udpp2p (Score:4, Informative)

          by Geekenstein ( 199041 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @06:51PM (#6438217)
          As a past and present freenet user, I have to disagree. The main problem with Freenet is that it relies so heavily on people who claim they will run permanent nodes. Far from the promise of consistent, anonymous storage, you're lucky if you can still retrieve all the pieces of a large file within a week of its publication. For small files or recently introduced files, you get pretty good results. Just don't expect to get anything relatively old. "Permanent" nodes come and go way too often, even with the admittedly very cool file correction protocol that reassembles missing pieces.
          • Re:udpp2p (Score:3, Informative)

            by dasmegabyte ( 267018 )
            The latest version of freenet I downloaded doesn't even have an option for permanent nodes; i thought it got phased out for this very reason!
      • Or, (Score:5, Funny)

        by missing000 ( 602285 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:40PM (#6437664)
        If you want real anonymity you need something called "plausible deniability" which you can get only from projects such as freenet.

        Or, your neighbors un-protected wireless AP. You gotta love other peoples networks
      • Re:udpp2p (Score:3, Interesting)

        by caluml ( 551744 )
        No, a properly configured router will only block packets that don't appear to come from that network. That still gives you a lot of addresses to chose from.
        • Re:udpp2p (Score:5, Insightful)

          by dissy ( 172727 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @06:36PM (#6438124)
          > No, a properly configured router will only block packets that don't appear to
          > come from that network. That still gives you a lot of addresses to chose from.

          No. A properly configured router is connected to TWO networks, and will not allow traffic to pass either direction unless the source IP matches what it knows of the two networks.

          If your network is, and your source IP is not, it should drop it.
          If a packet attempts to get in to you and its source IP _is_ in that range, it should also drop it.

          Forging your IP will fail the first test.
          The second test is to prevent others from pretending to be hosts in your network to bypass IP based security rules.

      • Re:udpp2p (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ReelOddeeo ( 115880 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @06:10PM (#6437917)
        What if every packet of a file you received had to "bounce" through another node on a gnutella-like network?

        Okay, so you downloaded a file, but from where? Five thousand different nodes sent you parts of the file.

        Better yet, what if no file is actually ever sent, but randomish blocks of bits that must be XOR'ed together to reconstitute the file. This means that a file takes double or tripple the bandwidth to download. But which other node sending you a randomish block of bits was guilty of copyright infringements? Said differently, where did you download the file from? Can someone monitoring your traffic even know that you downloaded a file? Can we even make this work in the presence of someone running a packet sniffer. If each incomming packet indicates which "fileid" or "ssa checksum" it is part of, which block, and which XOR part.

        You've now eliminated the spoofed packets problem of getting blocked at firewalls. A downloaded file arrives as many UDP packets from thousands of different nodes. No single such packet contains any copyright material, just random bits.

        The node sending out the file has to send out two or three copies. Each block of the mp3 file is XOR'ed with a random number. The random number and the result XOR block are two blocks that must be XOR'ed back together to reconstitute the original block. Repeat this process on one of the two halfs, and you've now got three blocks, if you care to use three times the bandwidth to upload/download a file to ensure that no single block has copyright content.
    • I suppose there are legitimate applications for anonymous sharing. I don't really think that stealing music is one of them. But if you really want to do this, why not simply obscure what is being shared? That way network congestion control is left intact.

      Any well administered network will interpret these packets as a Denial of Service attack and kill them anyway.

      If you just encrypt the material, nobody will know what you are sharing.

      Except of course for the directory you published telling people h

  • Unreliable stats (Score:5, Insightful)

    by l810c ( 551591 ) * on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:11PM (#6437303)
    They didn't take into account 4th of July weekend here in the States. A lot of people wnet out of town. 15% decrease with a 3 day weekend is Not a trend or a result of the threat.
    • Re:Unreliable stats (Score:5, Informative)

      by Genjurosan ( 601032 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:20PM (#6437435)
      BINGO! You hit the nail on the HEAD.

      AAA Predicted that 37.4 million Americans planned to travel over the holiday. --With the US population roughly at 291 million, that's about 13%..

      For backup of my stats:

      US Population Clock:

      Travel States: (search for July 4th on this google cached page) J: ravel+statistics&hl=en&ie=UTF-8
    • by Polo ( 30659 ) * on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:25PM (#6437490) Homepage
      In related news, job attendance dropped 20% compared to the previous week.

  • In other news... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AKnightCowboy ( 608632 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:11PM (#6437309)
    IRC channel #mp3-d00dz attendance is up 4500%. Not to mention tons of private FTP servers re-emerging. This isn't really a big deal IMHO. There are millions of songs that have exchanged hands. Just find a friend with tons of songs, setup an FTP server, and trade amongsts yourselves from now on. We've primed the pump, so to speak. ;-)
  • Stats (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BWJones ( 18351 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:12PM (#6437310) Homepage Journal
    I would not be surprised if the increase in file-sharing was due to a bunch of new folks coming on-line to see what the hub-bub was about, while the decrease is most certainly due to the folks that were sharing large collections with lots of easily trackable bandwidth that got spooked.

  • News at 11 ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Professor D ( 680160 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:12PM (#6437313)
    Internet file swapping teens take a break for 4th of July. (15% = 1/7 of the week)
  • by expro ( 597113 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:12PM (#6437314)

    Since these services are peer to peer with no centralized servers, it would be interesting to know how the measurements were made.

    If they are merely asking people if they used P2P, it seems like fewer people would openly admit it.

  • by RyanFenton ( 230700 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:12PM (#6437315)

    10% claimed up, 15% claimed down, that means we should see a 22.5% up counter-claim.

    Unless aces are wild, which could throw the whole thing off.

    Ryan Fenton

  • by Lord_Dweomer ( 648696 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:12PM (#6437319) Homepage
    Filesharing companies claim their userbase increased after being threatened....

    Media claims their threats were effective and the userbase decreased...

    I mean...neither of these two groups would have an ulterior motive...naaaah...

    So, in cases like these, aside from using your own good (or not so good) judgement, how are we supposed to be able to tell who to believe, or if we can't believe either source, where to find a source we CAN believe?

  • And just how might the RIAA be able to track the 'heaviest users'? It seems like they're just putting pressure on some team of 'investigators' to point them out.

    What happens in false-positivies? When someone's time and money are wasted because the RIAA took them to court over 'suspected piracy'? How much is the RIAA paying this team? My guess is 'more than they're losing to piracy'. Then they can add the two numbers up and profit in lawsuits.
  • by pbaker ( 458394 ) <.pbaker. .at.> on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:13PM (#6437329) Homepage Journal
    Maybe the decrease was because this was the week of July 4th. You know...people are outside setting off fireworks and having BBQ parties, instead sitting inside downloading music. It would be interesting to see if traffic also dropped on the week of July 4th, 2002.
  • About them File Swappers,
    ain't it just wrong?
    Goin' all around
    swappin' them songs.
    Swappin' them Mp3s,
    and the movies, what the hey?
    Gettin' nasty threads
    from the RIAA.
    Look at those File Swappers
    tradin' up a torrent
    Waitin' 'til the fateful day
    they burst in with a warrant.
    How to be a File Swapper,
    don't need a ticket.
    Get a P2P app,
    click the file and swap it.
  • No problem! (Score:5, Funny)

    by GuyMannDude ( 574364 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:13PM (#6437333) Journal

    According to CNN, facing the threat of lawsuits from a music industry trade group, fewer people are using online filesharing applications to swap songs.

    Fine, whatever. Just as long as the number of people sharing porn videos doesn't drop!


  • by JudgeFurious ( 455868 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:13PM (#6437339)
    Legal alternative which gives me music the way I want to buy it. See RIAA guys, now that wasn't so hard was it?

    We aren't all theives just looking for free music. Some of us were just looking for what we consider to be an equitable business model for buying songs. I've found iTunes and it's close enough that I'd rather buy music there than download it on Kazaa.
    • I couldn't agree more! The iTunes Music Store is awesome, I think once it hits Windows the landscape of online file sharing will be permanently changed. The other night I was looking for a CD from a smaller independent band, and a search of 6 record stores in my city turned up nothing. I used a friend's Mac the next day, and within 5 minutes, I had bought, downloaded and burned the CD I was looking for.

      It's a shame the RIAA is so inflexible and that they are still trying to enforce their draconian system o

    • by twitter ( 104583 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @06:15PM (#6437953) Homepage Journal
      Does iTunes really do it for you? If so, I'm happy really I am. But it will NEVER match the collection brought forth by Napster or any other file sharing network. Dan Peng's story pokes brilliant fun at the inadequacies and he got it published by the morons as a success story for the RIAA: []

      Still, when I hear a timeless Beatles classic on the radio and then go home to look for it on Pressplay or ITunes and it isn't there, I tend to longingly eye the Kazaa icon that still sits on my desktop, beckoning me to return to piracy.

      Can't get a Beatles song? A song from one of the most mercilessly comercialized bands in all history is not on iTunes? iTunes must blow!

      No commercial company can measure up to the file sharing networks. They have lost the recordings, or just don't have money or resources to digitize them. The distributed effort of all music fans created a catalogue of all kinds of music you could never get in a store. That's what you get when you let music lovers share their stuff. Some of the newer music services are gettin good, but none match Napster yet. The comercial services don't stand a chance unless they figure out how to enlist the fans. It is this fundamental failure to make work available by the current "owners" that makes them obsolete, despite legal sucess beyond all reason. People will get around them sooner or later.

      • twitter

        I'm sure that probably a lot of music hasn't made it to iTunes yet that people are looking for. How can it not be? The sheer volume of stuff people want is incredible and hopefully it will all (or at least mostly) make it on there.

        I think the thing to keep in mind is that yes, no commercial company can measure up to the file sharing networks RIGHT NOW but they're relatively new and have to take a much different approach to assembling their catalog than Napster and Kazaa did. The upside to this
    • by carpe_noctem ( 457178 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @06:34PM (#6438115) Homepage Journal
      Until iTunes music store starts to carry music that is at least -somewhat- off the beaten path, I'm not going to subscribe. Here is a brief summary of my last iTunes store experience:

      1 Hrm...iTunes music store. 0.99$ sounds about right. Been meaning to pick up that new autechre album, anyways.
      2. Search "autechre": returns 0 results.
      3. Hey, that's a bummer. Lets see if they've got anything else.
      4. Search "boards of canada": 0 results.
      5. wtf
      6. Search "aphex twin": 0 results.
      7. wtf * 2
      8. Ok fuck this. Preferences->Deactivate iTunes music store.

      Maybe this has changed since last time I was on, but the selection sucks. Maybe autechre and boards of canada might be considered 'obscure', but aphex is on a major label and is quite well known. Until the iTunes store evolves from yet another place to buy eminem's music, I'm not putting any money into it.
  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:13PM (#6437342) Homepage
    ell 15 percent in the week ended July 6 from the previous week. It was during that prior week,

    Hmmm kinda funny how filesharing drops on the biggest holiday/vacation/camping week in the USA.

    that week most areas had massive concerts, air-fairs, festivals, beer tents, you name it than any other week of the year.

    over 50% of my neighborhood were gone a large portion of that week either to shows at the local music festival or travel to detroit or chicago for their festivals/events...
  • by Fux the Pengiun ( 686240 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:14PM (#6437353)
    Doh! Read the links...the RIAA is talking about song-swapping going down, while the p2p perveyors are talking about traffic going up. That's a distinction...people are swapping fewer songs, but more other stuff.

    My guess: Since they're all Pirates, they're downloading that new Johnny Depp movie. ARRRR!!!
  • Gadzooks! (Score:2, Funny)

    by i8urtaco ( 663163 )
    No wonder I was having trouble finding a decent mp3 of "Don't copy that floppy".
  • Where I work they have a pretty lax internet use policy -- blah blah blah no pr0n please blah blah as long as you get your work done blah blah

    All of a sudden last week, the sysadmins sent out notice that they will be blocking commonly used P2P ports out of fear of being sued by the RIAA. This is a small non-profit company that's just managing to keep its head above water. No way could we deal w/a lawsuit. It's another case of money buying the legal system - whether RIAA could ultimately win the lawsuit i

    • This is why someone, preferably a well-known group like the EFF or ACLU, needs to start a non-profit fund to defend people from the RIAA.

      The RIAA is like a wounded sabre-toothed tiger... It's going down slowly, and it's getting weaker, but it's still more than strong enough to kill the average person.

      Even though they are slowly disintegrating, they still have far more money to bribe the judge and far more lawyers than their victims (who are chosen because of this) ever will so most of their victims ha
  • easy: school's out (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hazem ( 472289 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:16PM (#6437375) Journal
    This can be easily explained. Most universities in the country were finished in mid June and sent the kids home. The kids don't normally have access to that sweet T-3 when they are at home. So of course file-sharing went down.

    I doubt it has little to do with the RIAA threat.

    In other news, truancy drops by 90% after mid June.

  • I just logged into Kazaa and saw just as many people offering files as usual.

    Where is CNN or whoever getting their statistics from? The RIAA?
  • by dcavanaugh ( 248349 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:18PM (#6437405) Homepage
    Maybe the swappers have as much material as they want. The current offerings at the store are so pitiful that they aren't worth downloading, much less buying.

    If I worked for RIAA, I would use P2P activity as a leading indicator of future sales. Reduced P2P activity means the current products are not very popular. When will they learn?
    • If I worked for RIAA, I would use P2P activity as a leading indicator of future sales. Reduced P2P activity means the current products are not very popular. When will they learn?

      This is brilliant! Better yet, don't let the RIAA get credit for it -- steal their stats, refurbish them as market research & sell them to record companies ;-)

    • by twitter ( 104583 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @06:27PM (#6438058) Homepage Journal
      If I worked for RIAA, I would use P2P activity as a leading indicator of future sales. Reduced P2P activity means the current products are not very popular. When will they learn?

      They know what gets traded on the networks and it terrifies them. The catalog is so much bigger than they could ever support at a physical store that the only way for them to survive is to eliminate the networks. They are obsolete, and will never wield the power of the "big hit" again. When people are free to share what they have and pick what they want, it turns out they have much broader tastes than any music mogul ever had.

      When you stand back and look at things, you might start to wonder what the purpose of the recording industry is. For decasdes it was more about promoting a small subset of all music over all others to drive sales. That's not so much a matter of promoting that one song as it about supressing all other songs. The heavy rotation play from broadcast stations never were anything more than an obnoxious advertisement. Music sharing networks cut that out and alowed music to be chosen on grounds of taste an merit, criteria the music industry abandoned decades ago.

  • Worse still (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JSkills ( 69686 ) <jskills@goofb[ ].com ['all' in gap]> on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:19PM (#6437414) Homepage Journal
    I've found an increase in decoy files out there. I was attempting to download some songs from the new Steely Dan album - hoping to preview before I buy the CD. And oh yes, I will be buying the CD no matter, I have them all . Anyway, all of the different song files were there, but each one of them was the exact same song (some old Steely Dan song from several albums/years ago). No matter what user I tried to pull from, they all had the same (single) bogus song deceptively named incorrectly. I experienced a similar phenomena when the new Chili Peppers CD came out (I bought that CD too).

    Sure I've pulled down songs, listened to them, and not bought the CD (and since I didn't dig the song, I deleted it). Is this wrong? I've actually found myself finding more and more groups this way to get into. I spent my college days working in Record World and seeing just how much it cost to produce a CD compared to how much the store charged. Nothing worse than buying the CD for one song and getting slayed by the rest of the songs (that are useless).

    Perhaps we are nearing the end of an era?

  • by djeaux ( 620938 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:20PM (#6437434) Homepage Journal
    They are NOT law enforcement. They are basically a private investigation outfit masquerading as an advocacy group for the "industry."

    If you know any private eyes, you know they lie, cheat, deceive, distort facts, whatever they need to do to get their work done. They are very often only two spits shy of being crooks themselves.

    So, it doesn't surprise me that RIAA takes stats from a holiday week, as has been pointed out already, to show that their threats & intimidation work.

    The big problem that I see is that RIAA has essentially unlimited resources -- all that money that could be paid in artists' royalties -- while Joe Blow P2Per in the dorm doesn't. It will be very interesting if RIAA ever gets an opponent in court who has some financial backing. Of course, that will have to wait until we have a Department of Justice and not a Department of "Just Us"...

  • by EZmagz ( 538905 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:24PM (#6437480) Homepage
    Assuming that the claim it TRUE and filesharing is actually down from last week, and it's solely because of the RIAA's threats, then it's only a matter of time before they go up again. Think of Napster. When it went belly-up, people stopped sharing for a few seconds until a better alternative came along...mainly Kazaa/Grokster/Morpheus. Then sharing resumed, bigger and better than ever!

    As one /.'er has already pointed out in a shameless plug for udpp2p (looks interesting, actually), the next step in p2p is straight-up anonymous filetransfers. It makes sesne, and it's inevitable...only a matter of time before someone codes up a decent client. And when that happens, you bet I'll be one of the first standing on their tiptoes, trying to see the RIAA's face and how they respond to that.

    Personally I haven't used p2p, especially for music, in a while. If I need to get my fix though, there's always alternative routes to getting what you want...hotline/IRC/FTP sites still exist and flourish. It may not be as easy, but beggars can't be choosers it seems.

  • by km790816 ( 78280 ) <wqhq3gx02.sneakemail@com> on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:28PM (#6437541)
    P2P's little secret []

    Interesting quote from the head of Freenet []:
    Ian Clarke, the project's inventor, said in an interview that the RIAA's recent legal actions and threats of additional lawsuits have heightened interest in Freenet. "The Freenet site has seen a threefold increase in Web traffic since the RIAA announcement," Clarke said. "We've received more donations to the project in the last week than we had in the past two months before that."
  • by Arslan ibn Da'ud ( 636514 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:32PM (#6437589) Homepage
    Slyck [] keeps weekly stats on
    filesharing's the usage statistics today:

    FastTrack 3,525,734
    iMesh 1,175,244
    eDonkey 770,032
    Overnet 458,752
    MP2P 199,214

    These stats have actually remained fairly constant for a couple of
    weeks now. Back in May there was a lot of fluctuation on the EDonkey
    vs Overnet, and FastTrack was around 4.5M. I suppose it dropped
    because college students went home for the summer.

    At any rate, Slyck's stats have noted no increase or decrease in
    filesharing in the last two weeks. So the media hype (both ways)
    seems to be just that...hype.

    Move along; nothing to see here.
  • bzzzt (Score:3, Interesting)

    by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:32PM (#6437590) Homepage Journal
    They just went to gnutella, edonkey, or what have you. Hell, with mldonkey you can do like six protocols at once. "Kazaa is being raided," they said, "so we're going to fuck off to some other network." Comcast just gave me a 1GB/mo giganews account so I'll have a nice place to get fills, I can pretty much just use USENET now even :P
  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:56PM (#6437804)
    I remember that my statistics professor once said that statistical sampling is useless unless the sample size is large and randomized and the population is somewhat uniformly distributed. As others have pointed, the holiday weekend is an example of a nonrandomized, small sample set. Wait a few months to see if there has been any real changes.

    As for me, I've switched swapping methods to avoid detection. This means I have to come out of my mother's basement and swap CDs behind the local convenience store. :)

  • by Gogl ( 125883 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @05:59PM (#6437824) Journal
    Other possible explanations for the drop in filesharing:

    -- July 4th. Even geeks have lives.
    -- Summer. Same as above.
    -- Summer. Less college students, who tend to be heavy users.
    -- No notable "new" stuff, TV series generally aren't releasing new episodes to be downloaded over the summer.
    -- Simple statistical anomaly. 15% may sound like a lot, but if it's just a weeklong trend it doesn't mean much.

    And there are other possibilities too. Be creative, I'm sure you can think of some.

    Man, the world would benefit so much if somebody would just take out an ad during the Superbowl or something that would explain in simple terms the difference between correlation and causation. Except such an explanation is likely impossible. Oh well.
  • by big.ears ( 136789 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @06:03PM (#6437859) Homepage
    This reminds me of the great NY Blackout Baby Boom. Legend has it, on a Monday, 9 months after the big 1965 blackout, a nurse in a hospital noticed a larger-than average number of births. The NYT picked up on this, and reported it. By Wednesday, births had fallen off. It was later shown that there was no real statistical increase, and the numbers may have reflected normal weekly fluctuation (probably because people like to schedule planned births at the beginning of the week. see snopes [] for more detail.

    One week fluctuations are pretty meaningless, especially when there is a huge confounding factor like the July 4 Holiday. But that doesn't mean the RIAA won't use it as evidence to coerce people.

  • I'm sorry (Score:5, Funny)

    by Roofus ( 15591 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @06:22PM (#6438009) Homepage
    That drop in traffic is my fault. I just got my first Mac and I'm still looking for a good p2p client! I hope to be online soon and get those traffic levels back to normal.
  • sales? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by carpe_noctem ( 457178 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @06:23PM (#6438022) Homepage Journal
    The question is, did CD sales increase in this timeframe too?

    Call me cynical, but I bet not.
  • by felonious ( 636719 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @06:28PM (#6438071) Journal
    Why do we let an industry over state their loses, change our laws, restrict our freedoms with the products we own, and fuck us over all to keep an old system in place , of which, consumers have completely rejected and moved past?

    I can say it's our own fault for not fighting this or doing anything about it that allows it to continue. Tell me how is it possible that downloading files, copyrighted or not, and movies is frowned upon more than violent crimes? The guy who released the hulk movie on the net is going to do 3-6 years. That's more than first offenders get for violent crimes yet he's lumped in with them and he didn't hurt anyone's bottom line. Total and complete bullshit and we allow it to continue.

    All it takes is a grass roots effort to put an end to this. We give them the power and we can take it away. This is about money and only when we stop buying completely will they listen and take notice. Until then keep spending and supporting the entity that is out to make a point by suing you into a financial disaster and making all of your choices for you.
    As I stated in my previous post the RIAA seems to be trying out every angle available to stop filesharing. Guess what? It's not working nor will it. Disinformation seems to be a new tactic but I'm sure it'll work on the un-informed masses. In all actuality I bet a mojority of filesharers are under 18 so they aren't afraid of going to jail because they can't be charged as adults. Maybe the RIAA will sue them and their parents into poverty?
  • by sn00ker ( 172521 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @06:28PM (#6438074) Homepage
    A statistical blip is not a trend.
    Particularly when it occurs over the major holiday weekend for the world's largest population of 'net users.

  • by azav ( 469988 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @06:54PM (#6438238) Homepage Journal
    First, in the late 80's or early 90's a record exec promises that CDs will be cheaper than tapes because they cost less to produce.

    Prices go up.

    Then MTV forgets that Music Television should play music on television.

    Next, Clearchannel starts the "McDonaldization of American Radio"

    Now, RIAA attacks their own customers.

    Result? Those of us that see this, really do love the music, FIND SOMETHING ELSE and rip internet radio streams to our heart's content, buy turntables and pay cash for Vinyl Records of the artists we like. We find new music, enjoy new artists, NO commercials and pay money that goes to the artists we like.

    And have big fat hard drives and data DVD burners.

    Less big music industry. More boat parties.

    And []
  • by Evets ( 629327 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @07:06PM (#6438324) Homepage Journal
    This is a classic example of using the Media as a marketing network. The RIAA gets Nielsen to say that the ratings have dropped and they send a press release to CNN in response to other sources which state otherwise. Had Nielsen said the ratings rose, we would have heard nothing more about this matter. If the reporter had actually done any work aside from making two or three phone calls and reading a press release, he would have reported cd sales increases/decreases over the same time period or maybe even suggested alternative reasons for the decrease. Instead of a complete report we have nothing more than a one sided commentary that is obviously self serving to the story's originator. It's quite absurd of an idea to think that a CNN reporter could not find an antagonistic opinion to present. There are more people to talk to about this stuff than a Kazaa backed lobbyist.
  • Oh please... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AyeRoxor! ( 471669 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @07:08PM (#6438342) Journal
    Those of you who remember the warez scenes of the BBS's of yore will remember that sometimes a board was taken down in YOUR AREA CODE. Within actual driving miles of where you lived. How long did it take for elite sections to open back up? 6 months? 3? one? They always did. They always will. Same today.

    AyeRoxor [8i3]
  • That way, no one can tell what you're doing with any kind of connection. Optimally you wouldn't even send port numbers in the clear. You could still implement NAT and Masquerading by having the firewall able to simply broker communication between the client and server; Connection comes in, gets stopped at the firewall, the destination is read, including the type of data, and a key exchange is brokered between client and server with the firewall acting as middleman. The user could be informed every time such a transaction took place so they could turn away from brokers they did not trust, but of course if properly implented, brokering the conversation will not result in being able to sniff the connection anyway, only to see connection type details, so the particular contents will not be encrypted.

    I know you can use VPNs to get much of this functionality now, but it would be better for all concerned if all the traffic were encrypted and obfuscated, not just that of people with something to hide, or those who like to thumb their nose at authority.

  • by L. J. Beauregard ( 111334 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @08:18PM (#6438819)
    As filesharing traffic fell 15%, sales by the RIAA's members likewise rose 15%....


    Did they?

    I mean I thought these eeeeevil file traders were responsible for all the woes of the music cartel^Windustry.


    Is it?

    And now that all those eeeevil file traders have got their comeuppances, the music cartel^Windustry should be back in the black.


    Shouldn't it?
  • by crashnbur ( 127738 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @09:14PM (#6439097)
    But $150,000 per violation? What a joke!

    The biggest problem I currently have with suing individuals for copyright infringement is that the infringers are being charged a lot more than their individual infringements had been worth.

    No offense to anyone who thinks one infringer's damage may equate roughly to $150,000, but I don't think so. I think it would be difficult to prove that millions of dollars worth of infringements, spread out over tens of millions of infringers, would equate to even $100 from even the worst infringers.

    You can't put everyone's bill on the one guy you catch. That's like throwing in a couple of unsolved murders into a serial killer's list just to say the killer has been caught. That isn't justice.

Yet magic and hierarchy arise from the same source, and this source has a null pointer.