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2191.78 Years for the RIAA to Sue Everyone 636

este writes "According to an article in the Inquirer, if the RIAA maintains its rate of lawsuit issuance, it will take more than two millenia for them to sue evey P2P file trader. The author accounts for many additional difficulties facing the RIAA in this daunting task."
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2191.78 Years for the RIAA to Sue Everyone

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  • They probably will sue everyone about 1000 years after the earth crashes into the sun.
    • Wow, there'll be some REALLY rich lawyers living out on Pluto by then!
    • by Doesn't_Comment_Code ( 692510 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:04AM (#6559222)
      From the article: 219 years! They'd have to sue our great grand children!

      I wouldn't put it past the RIAA. Imagine how much money our grandchildren will have. They can pay it all in damages to the RIAA with interest.

      Maybe they will make vague SCO threats against our grandchildren telling them to pay for their grandparents licensing, or face litigation.
    • Re:At that rate... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      People have kind of missed that fact that (at present) they are only able to sue American P2P users). As the world stands today, they can't sue everyone.

      Many of us outside the USA are increasing what we make available via peer to peer -- out of sheer vindictiveness.
  • by EvilTwinSkippy ( 112490 ) <> on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:00AM (#6559170) Homepage Journal
    Hell one could make a career from dragging out litgation. Look at the folks at Caldera, er, SCO.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Actually the counting model is flawed. You should also consider the fact that every year new P2P traders will be born and they will start distributing the stuff at about 15 years of age.

      Thus the cases RiAA has would to deal with would grow exponentially every year.
    • And we had to program in the snow! Uphill! And every five minutes we'd have to give the hamster inside the power supply an electric shock to start his heart, but that was only after we kick started the backup motor!

      I'm sorry, I just couldn't resist.
    • by jkrise ( 535370 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:28AM (#6559536) Journal
      RIAA says: We sue the whole world for P2P misuse. Those who think they've been sued wronly, please opt-out by visiting the nearest court, depositing $5 towards opt-out costs and inform us over Kazaa er.. e-mail.

      Failure to opt-out would mean that you plead guilty, the penalty for which is 95% of all earnings, including future earnings, over the next 2191.78 years...

      PS: If you have paid our associate SCO, you have been automatically opted-out.


  • Why even try? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mschoolbus ( 627182 ) <{travisriley} {at} {}> on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:00AM (#6559176)
    As put by Rage Against the Machine:

    "You can kill the revolutionary, but you can't kill the revolution."
    • Re:Why even try? (Score:5, Informative)

      by KReilly ( 660988 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:05AM (#6559236)
      This is assuming that
      A) They actually maintain this level of lawsuits, they could easily step up the amount.
      B) All file sharers remain online, I read a while back that their has been a dip in kazaa usage since the start of the lawsuits.

      They never intended to sue everyone that uses p2p, they are intending to scare everyone out of using p2p.
      Put simply, if they sued half, I could almost guarentee the other half would stop. Thus cutting their time to 1 millenia
      • Re:Why even try? (Score:3, Informative)

        by M. Silver ( 141590 )
        A) They actually maintain this level of lawsuits, they could easily step up the amount.

        Maybe not... didn't one of the court workers get quoted as saying they had to bring in extra help just to handle the stuff that's being filed now?
        • Re:Why even try? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by ahfoo ( 223186 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:53AM (#6559864) Journal
          I personally did notice what looked like a dip right after they announced that subpeonas had been served and they started posting screen names. At one point last week my client was showing only about 3.1 million but then this weekend I glanced at the screen and saw 4.3 which is about as high as I've ever seen. I was surprised to see it pop back so fast, but then again not too surprised. I think one thing the RIAA is failing to perceive is the utter lack of attention span amongst the people they're trying to shock.
          I think this is a real obvious flaw in their strategy. Their biggest artists are best known for their shock value. Using the "scared straight" tactic on a group of consumers who are specifically self selected as seeking out shock as entertainment is questionable.
      • Re:Why even try? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Kneo24 ( 688412 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:42AM (#6559689)
        The dip that was reported was done over the fourth of july weekend. Of course there's going to be less people online during that time. Just more propaganda to fuel their machine, that's all it was.
      • Re:Why even try? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by felis_panthera ( 160944 ) <felis,panthera&gmail,com> on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:50AM (#6559803) Homepage
        I read a while back that their has been a dip in kazaa usage since the start of the lawsuits

        On the contrary. Although there was a short dip in Kazaa useage after the RIAA announced their new program of suing the pants off of everyone who even looks at copyrighted material, yesterday WinMX came back on-line with a vengeance. Something in the nature of 4000 trillion (is that a quadrillion?) songs went on-line for download over WinMX. My room-mates and I went on a DL/UL spree, filling many gaps in our respective collections (combined total somewhere in the 50 GB range).

        As mschoolbus said (quoting Rage, all hail Rage!!): "You can kill the revolutionary, but you can't kill the revolution."
  • by JDark ( 512354 ) <{johnathandark} {at} {}> on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:01AM (#6559184)
    Great.. with my luck I'll be served in the first 200 years.
  • Article text (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    RIAA will take 2191.78 years to sue everyone

    Sum hope

    By INQUIRER staff: Tuesday 29 July 2003, 10:31
    READER MICHAELA STEPHENS says that if the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is right and that 60 million US folk are file sharing, it's going to take the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) a mighty long time to get round to them all.

    She said: "I pulled out my calculator to see just how long it would take the RIAA to sue all 60 million P2P music file traders at a rate of 75 a day. 60,000,000/
  • then, it will take two millenia. They want to just terrorize the significant majority from sharing MP3 and I guess about an year is enough for this.
    • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:16AM (#6559390)
      P2P networks rely on their network externiality to be effective. That is to say, a P2P network doesn't work very well if there are fewer people on it. So, they don't need to sue everyone... if they just knock out the biggest sharers the network will become useless so that the small people stop using it too.
      • I see it as a neverending cycle though. They knock off a huge sharer (say 500 GB of shared, copyrighted material). The next in line is someone with 400 GB, who has most of the same files the 500 GB sharer had. The new big fish downloads like mad until he has 600 GB. He gets sued and the next in line already has 500 GB since she was on a DL spree.

        The only thing this will accomplish in the end is a slight and temporary vacuum at the top end of file sharing. No one has managed to stamp out crackers (the guys who break copy protection, not the pasty white people) yet, because for every one at the top that gets knocked off, three more rise up and take their place. For serious file sharers, the ammount you have to share is status, just like 0-day warez.

        "You may stop this individual, but you can't stop us all... after all, we're all alike." --Mentor's Last Words
    • Terrorism (Score:3, Informative)

      by lpret ( 570480 )
      Fabulous. We've got a consortium of companies using terrorist methods to get their way.

      However, it doesn't matter anymore. Technology will always provide a solution to "get around the system." Even now, Kazaa Lite and many others have changed their system so that it protects users against the RIAA for now. And once the RIAA breaks that, another protection will exist. You can't fight a system that goes underground.

  • by LazloToth ( 623604 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:02AM (#6559193)
    It's not about getting them all - - it's about nailing a few and scaring the rest. State highway patrolmen are effective pulling over maybe one of every several thousand cars that pass. Ditto, in principle, for the RIAA.
    • by darien ( 180561 ) < minus berry> on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:04AM (#6559226)
      It's not about getting them all - - it's about nailing a few and scaring the rest

      Reminds me of my days in that co-ed dorm.
    • by Dutchmaan ( 442553 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:05AM (#6559234) Homepage
      It's not about getting them all - - it's about nailing a few and scaring the rest. State highway patrolmen are effective pulling over maybe one of every several thousand cars that pass. Ditto, in principle, for the RIAA.

      ...and yet people still speed regularly.
      • by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:09AM (#6559284) Journal
        ...and yet people still speed regularly.

        Whereas if they didn't pull anyone over for speeding, even mnore people would speed, and probably speed a lot more. I know I stick to the speed limit because I don't want a ticket. I don't think I'm the only one.
        • by Dutchmaan ( 442553 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:13AM (#6559345) Homepage
          So in essence the RIAA uses tactics of a police state... I'm sure glad they don't have influence in our government! (for the humor impaired that was tongue in cheek)
        • Well, here's how I see it. In a democracy the laws are supposed to be by/of/for the people. If everyone wants to speed them what's the point of setting a speed limit? Isn't that against the will of the people?

          Similarly with the RIAA. If a majority of the population uses P2P networks then shouldn't the rights and freedom of the public overthrow the rights and freedoms of the corporations? Afterall their actions do not cost the corporations anything, except perhaps forcasted profits, which is impossible
        • Actually, there seems to be a lot of evidence that speed limits are not effective in reducing average motorist speed or in reducing accidents. Reduced speed increases survivability but not the likelihood of a crash, so it's a noble goal. But speed limits aren't the way to do it (

          The most effective method of reducing speed is a visible patrol car. People are guaranteed to slow down when being watched. Which is interesting, because many state policeman seem to think that sneaking around is going to slow people down -- around here, they love parking in the shadow of underpasses and the like. Which is silly, because here in NY people flash their beams to indicate "hey, hidden cop ahead." The fastest guys slow down, while the rest of us play it cool.

          Average traffic speed around here is 70 MPH. I mean, all three lanes are doing at least 15 MPH over at all times during the day. Only bluehairs drive the limit, and that's not hyperbole -- I bought a beetle with a max speed of about 63 and I get passed by people on the damn offramp. HOWEVER -- when a cop is visible in the U-turn lane, speed drops to about 60 MPH average for at least a mile before and after. Which is good, because during rush hour they lurk in the most dangerous parts of the throughway.

          The parable here is this: the RIAA could save a LOT of money by simply sending a letter to people "caught" file sharing that says "Cut it out, or we'll sue you." I think most of us would be sufficiently scared to curb out practices. And those of us sharing legal files (there's got to be somebody else besides me sharing Proj. Gutenberg texts on KaZaa) wouldn't have to worry about some fool legislature BANNING peer to peer.
    • by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:07AM (#6559256)
      and amazingly enough it doesn't deter anyone. Have you been on a highway recently? Average speeds are in the low 80s.

      Fines are usually in the $150 range for speeding (which could possibly kill someone).

      Fines for downloading music are $750 to $150k PER OFFENSE.

      That's just wrong.
      • by dlur ( 518696 ) <> on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:13AM (#6559343) Homepage Journal

        The fines aren't between $750 and $150,000 per offense. These people are being sued for that amount in civil court cases. The vast, vast majority of these cases aren't criminal cases, they're civil. Huge difference. If they were criminal cases you'd pay a fine and go to jail for a while, but you'd also get a court appointed lawyer if you couldn't afford one and have the option of a jury trial.

        In a civil case there's not much for a limit on damages and no governmental checks and balances on what those limits are. So basically the RIAA can almost literally sue the pants off you for doing something that doesn't physically hurt anyone and just has minor monetary effects on their being. Isn't America great?

      • by jmo_jon ( 253460 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:18AM (#6559416) Journal
        Fines for downloading music are $750 to $150k PER OFFENSE.
        Well, lives aren't worth as much as property. You're allowed to shoot someone for breaking in to your house, even without being threatend.
        • You're allowed to shoot someone for breaking in to your house, even without being threatend.

          Not in most states you aren't. They can break into your home and if they don't have a weapon, you can't harm them. I shit you not. The family can come back and sue you: "Oh, he was just drunk, or stoned, or lost and confused. He didn't know where he was. He thought he was in his own house, and then the defendent shot him!" And if the police report doesn't show that the guy had a weapon, you're SOL.

          This is why most
    • And of course everyone on the road maintains the speed limit at all times...

      Highway Patrol might be effective in slowing traffic when they are immediately present, but it doesnt stop someone from slamming on the gas as soon as they are out of sight. Same goes for the RIAA, File trading may slow as long as the lawsuits are publisized(and successful), but the instant the media tires of the story it will pick up again. (Not that it has really slowed, Kazaa still has like 5 Petabytes of data available on ave
    • Actually traffic fines are also a significant form of income for small towns. In PA it got so bad they passed a law that forbade anyone but the State Police from using RADAR.
    • by Bonker ( 243350 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:11AM (#6559315)
      Correct. The RIAAs goal here is to make a big deal out of what happens to the file sharers THEY sue.

      Lawsuits have been mostly targetted at Verizon users and have been 'mysteriously' targetted away from AOL/Time Warner users. (Hmm... I wonder why?)

      The goal here is to create a scare tactic. They want to be able to say 'If you share music, we'll do this to you!'.

      Like TheInquirer said, though. Our current legal system just isn't up to prosecuting over a sixth of our population and probably isn't up to prosecuting over a thousandth. The RIAA companies KNOW they can't do anything about the reality of file-sharing. They also know that if they do much more, then they're going to start seriously alienating their customer base. (If they haven't already. I haven't spoken to ANYBODY about the recent lawsuits who didn't say they felt upset about ever buying records or CDs.) The only way they can acheive their goal is to create the peception of a new criminal class, and sadly for the RIAA, it's not working. CNN is running a story this morning more or less martyring Justin Frankel and talking about the bonuses of using WASTE. e.fileshare/index.html []

      Even the people who are theoretically on the music industry's side-- CNN being yet another AOL/TW company-- are standing against the RIAAs wave of mass stupidity.
    • There's a pretty big difference between law enforcement enforcing criminal laws and corporations suing civilly to protect marketshare.

      The way I see it, filesharing is a tremendous expression of the Market's belief that most music product has no value, or at least not the value that the studios allege. People are voting with their pocketbooks, and since we live in a retail rather than a bartering (or, truly, market) world, it's a zero-sum situation: either the consumer loses by paying more for product than
  • Prior art: (Score:5, Funny)

    by Thud457 ( 234763 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:02AM (#6559196) Homepage Journal
    Jason Fox [] has them flummoxed.
  • Excellent! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:03AM (#6559207) Homepage
    That means that everyone that their last name starts with a letter greater than B has absolutely nothing to worry about!

  • Stupid analysis (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JohnGrahamCumming ( 684871 ) * <slashdot@jg[ ]rg ['c.o' in gap]> on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:03AM (#6559210) Homepage Journal
    That's a totally boneheaded analysis if ever I saw one. The RIAA does not have to sue every file trader, they just have to sue that ones with large caches of files (because they can get the biggest bang for the buck there... more files, more damages) and then they have to make a noise about what they are doing.

    By suing a few, they'll scare the many and reduce file sharing to a background noise nuisance... at least that's what they hope. Their point is to be very public about the fact that they are willing to go after individuals so that many individuals will simply stop file sharing because they are afraid.

  • by Wacky_Wookie ( 683151 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:03AM (#6559211) Homepage Journal 4&rel

    It turns out that it's the Record Companies themselves. It's not loss of profit that the RIAA is worried about anyway, it's always been about loss of controll. If the RIAA can't force the public to think the artists it hand picks are cool, then they can't be sure of profits from manufactured bands.

    My .5 pence ;)
    • by Anonymous Coward
      It's not loss of profit that the RIAA is worried about anyway, it's always been about loss of controll

      I've been saying that since they started complaining about Napster.

      It seems rather obvious to me because they want to sell one artist's music to a million people, not a million artist's music to a million people. People claim they buy the music of the artists they like, but the RIAA doesn't care if you buy those albums they want you to buy the flavour of the month.
      • Then let's remember the bands that heven't been signed to a label, but have some snazzy digital recording HW/SW. Then we can consider all of the albums that have been discontinued.

        If this was really about money, then the RIAA would be using P2P as a tool, not a weapon. Send talent scouts out to the networks to see who is actually popular rather than telling us what's popular. Find out if a particular album should be re-issued. Take a page from the book of Lucasberg(TM), and put out "Special Editions" of po
  • by TedCheshireAcad ( 311748 ) <> on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:03AM (#6559212) Homepage
    I realize it's just humor, but the point of the RIAA's suits is to deter people from using p2p under fear that they will get sued.

    But if there are 60 million p2p users, the probability of getting sued is pretty low, even if it does depend on the number of files you have shared.

    Perhaps the next version of KaZaA will have a suit-o-meter, that will actively display your probability of being sued by the RIAA ;)
  • Sure, it might take them two thousand years to sue every filetrader (assuming the number remains the same) but even if they only sue a hundred or a thousand people, I know that I'll think twice before downloading another song, legitimate (if I have a scratched CD, etc) or not: will they sue me because of it? Is it worth the hassle, and a multi-thousand dollar settlement? You don't have to sue everyone to scare everyone into submission, at least for a while...
  • The simple fact is that as long as people tell them that they have some kind of right to restrict what others copy, this is going to linger on. It should really encourage us more than ever to use p2p technologies like Freenet - eventually we can put them out of business.
  • Last I checked the copyright termes were 90 years after the death of the artist. Oh god, they must be planning on keeping the Backstreet Boys in suspended animation.

    Should have read THAT on the contract before signing.

  • What bothers me (Score:4, Insightful)

    by phorm ( 591458 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:04AM (#6559224) Journal
    Is not only are they at many times taking the law into their own hands (and somewhat frivolously I might add), but could also be tying up mass amounts of the legal system in such a venture. In the end, will hurt not only those being sued unjustly, but all of the country as the legal system gets bogged down by idiotic cases.
  • by mgcsinc ( 681597 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:05AM (#6559229)
    I'm gonna be the first to make some crazy numerical speculations to bring this number down to a more sensible time in which the RIAA can disable national file sharing. Please, these numbers are meant as argument-starters, so by all means, argue against them. Let's say of 75 people a day who are subpoenaed, 25 are scared shitless and settle. They each have 15 close friends each, who they also scare shitless, and who stop sharing (I say sharing, because it is those who are sharing who get subpoenaed, and they keep the networks alive). Also, publicity from the settlements brings 50 sharers down per settlement. That's 1650 sharers gone, per day. Then let's say 25 of those who are subpoenaed battle it out in court, and lose. A loss will have much larger publicity, so let's say we lose 200 sharers per loss, and the friend effect should bring down another 50 people a piece (think about seeing your friends lose thousands of dollars to the music industry after a court ordeal). That's 6275 sharers down per day. Finally let's say 25 people never see continued legal battle, or just win. That inspires 100 sharers to get back online, apiece. This all makes for 5425 sharers lost per day, net. Finally, there is an effect whereby sharers will be generally afraid of being subpoenaed in general. We can probably safely bet that for every 10% of the current sharing community which is subpoenaed, 2% of other sharers will be scared out of sharing, and that proportion would probably grow exponentially as the RIAA gains monster effect. Finally, consider that once the community loses more and more sharers, sharers are able to download less and less music in return for their contribution, and will share less and less. With all these effect coupled, I dare say that two millennia is a bit of a longshot...
  • And that is for the RIAA to use the P2P network to sue itself. Perhaps we will see an RIAA-sponsored feature in upcoming releases of W2K3: 'autosuit', in which your computer automatically formats you an appropriate lawsuit and sends a log of incriminating evidence to the RIAA.
    Maybe the most effective resistance against the RIAA would be for 10,000,000 people to voluntarily go to the authorities and confess to having downloaded exactly 1 song. "I did it, and I can't sleep cause of the guilt, please punish me."
    Kind of like burning ID passes in Apartheid South Africa. If everyone does it, punishments become unenforcable.
  • by KrancHammer ( 416371 ) <GunseMatt@hot m a i l .com> on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:07AM (#6559258)

    I am a strong supporter of property rights, intellectual and otherwise (yes I know the IP rights situation is a bit more complicated). However, the RIAA's strongarm, bullying tactics are pissing me off. I would not vote for any politician who supported that organization. Yes, people have a right to make a dollar or thousand for their intellectual contributions, but people also have a right to such as "innocent until proven guilty," and "freedom from unwarranted search and seizure" and a dozen other rights the RIAA, MPAA, and their highly funded Washington lawmakers would trample on in the rush to stamp out music piracy. I used to have sympathy for the RIAA's viewpoint. No longer.

  • by Alkarismi ( 48631 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:07AM (#6559263) Homepage
    It is simply the chilling effect of the *threat* they are after.

    You only need look as far as slashdot to see posts suggesting that kazaa et al usage is declining. Speaking with non-geek users of these services also shows that the threat is slowly being taken seriously.

    Of course the **AA are merely playing King Canute as usual, in the long run suing the f*ck out of their customers will not restore their fortunes, merely delay the inevitable.

    I used to spend several hundred a month on DVDs & CDs. Now... well I guess I never did like bullies much!
    • by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:26AM (#6559507)
      Kazaa use is declining? Funny, I just logged on the other night for my daily dose of pornage and found that there were nearly 7TB's of files available. Last time I checked it was in the low 6TB range...

      Some people have gotten a clue and moved to other methods (like BT) for getting their TV episodes, porn, music, etc. BT speeds are BLAZING fast compared to most of Kazaa (not for music, for movies, etc). I average about 100kB/s for most songs on Kazaa, I can download entire albums from BT at 200kB/s+
  • Imagine... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SharpFang ( 651121 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:07AM (#6559265) Homepage Journal
    A guy has a gun pointed at crowd. Whoever goes to attack him, will be shot. If they rushed all, they would surely overpower him, but the first 2-3 would be killed, for sure. Who wants to be first?

    RIAA doesn't need to sue everyone. Just some suitcases and "Who wants to be next?"
  • Question (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tomstdenis ( 446163 )
    of the 57M [or whatever the number of the day is] P2P users, how many are actually allowing people to download significant quantities of files?

    I bet if the RIAA managed to stop say the top 5% of P2P "senders" they could cripple a network.

    I dunno about you, but when I used P2P back in the day I didn't wait 8 hours for some lame as 56K to send me a music file.

    Until P2P truly becomes a balanced network [e.g. everyone with decent speed] it will remain fairly easy to knock out a P2P usefulness.

  • by ( 410908 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:08AM (#6559282) Journal
    In an unheard of move, the RIAA has decided to use a basic P2P scheme to have its law ordinance sent to everybody.

    A cascade chain of Court Letters will be sent from Lawyer branch to Lawyer branch and only the lasts in the distribution tree will have to send the letters.

    After the close observation, the RIAA has been put to court by Bittorrent inventor.

    Also, the Courts are looking at this apparent pyramidal scheme as a new, innovative way to collect money from unsuspecting lusers.

    See you later, this was AN, from Slashdot News Channel...
  • They could split us against each other. We could hope the report-on-people tactic strikes the American spirit as repulsive, couldn't we?

    Couldn't we? Oh...
  • by NetDanzr ( 619387 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:12AM (#6559326)
    The chances of winning the jackpot in Mega Millions are 135,145,920 to 1. With $5 spent per drawing and 104 drawings per year, it will take me 259,896 years to win the jackpot.

    In a sense, RIAA is betting on the right horse. They'll win their big jackpot 118.58 times faster than I'll do.

  • They'd have to sue our great grand children!

    Michaela says that as if she expects that they won't. Oh, yes. They will. They've developed a company called Life Extension (LE) that will store their physical bodies while allowing their minds to roam free, suing P2P users, their children, their children's children, etc.

  • by leekwen ( 677248 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:13AM (#6559340)
    this is obviously too much for one person to handle. we need to create a distributed network among kazaa network users.

    i will start by suing myself. you can help too by donating your spare cpu cycles towards our cause.
  • by borkus ( 179118 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:13AM (#6559347) Homepage
    Let's see -
    • 60,000,000 defendants at ten defendants per attorney is
    • 6,000,000 attorneys at an average height of 5'8" is
    • 33,960,000 feet of attorneys laid end to end or
    • 6,400 miles of attorneys laid end to end

    That's enough attorneys laid end to end to cover every sidewalk in New York [].
  • by tds67 ( 670584 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:16AM (#6559378)
    She said: "I pulled out my calculator to see just how long it would take the RIAA to sue all 60 million P2P music file traders at a rate of 75 a day. 60,000,000/75 = 800,000 days to subpoena each person or 800,000 days/365 days in a year = 2191.78 years to subpoena each person".

    Hey babe, let me show you how a man calculates all this: After whipping out my sliderule and factoring in the size of the aforementioned subpoenis', I come up with 2200.25, a much bigger number.

  • by LoneStarGeek ( 626553 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:16AM (#6559384)
    Well at least the RIAA lawyers will have work the the the next 2,000 years.

    In my opinion there is no logical way they can sue everyone file sharing songs around the world. The courts would be so blocked up from these frivilous lawsuits that no real trials could be heard. To be fair they would have to raid everone's cassette tape collection from the 70's/80's and sue people that made taped copies of albums and CDs then gave them away to friends.

    The RIAA and it's fleet of lawyers are insanely greedy. If only the artist got their fair share of what a song grosses then maybe they would get more sympathy.
  • by r_j_prahad ( 309298 ) <> on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:18AM (#6559411)
    That kid I used to tease about his name in secondary school, Zwykowski or something like that, I'll bet he's laughing his ass off now.
  • by frenchgates ( 531731 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:27AM (#6559527)
    There was an article today about how the book publishers are going through a very rough sales period. Like record companies, they can only count on profits from a few guaranteed big sellers like H. Potter and H. Clinton.

    I don't think they have figured out that they can blame it on P2P yet.
  • by tekrat ( 242117 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:44AM (#6559711) Homepage Journal
    Just like with the terrorists, we should start a website for betting on who the RIAA will sue first. Then, if you bet on yourself, and place a good bet, you'll win enough money to finance your defense.

    It's a futures market for RIAA lawsuits, aka "America's New Economy".

  • by Kaz Riprock ( 590115 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:51AM (#6559815)

    There are several variables missing from the equation that they propose.

    First is the one that everyone picks up on...the intimidation variable (sue enough people and win and others will panic and leave). There is also the number of people that will stop pirating because they have what they need and don't want any more. Then there are those that finally get a fast connection and learn how to use the software...more than enough to negate those leaving by choice. Next, you have those that have been sued, but damn the consequences, they return to share more files. Finally, you have those that light themselves on fire in protest...and die.

    There are a number of off and on rates not in the steady-state calculation that led to the 2K+ years to get them all. There are also just those that die of natural causes while file sharing.

    My guess is that the on-rate of swashbucklers is more than the off-rate and rapidly increasing (for now), which means the population is in an exponential growth and 2000 years is only going to cover about half or 1/3rd of the people still sharing in 2000 years' time...
  • by merkel ( 219826 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @10:53AM (#6559854)

    Like everyone else, I first thought all this legal hoopla by the RIAA and other private, quasi-governmental and the U.S. Congress would eventually put an end to file sharing, but thinking about it more I realized that file sharing will just evolve. It is simply becoming too easy to transfer bits of data for file sharing to stop.

    What are some of the likely outcomes?

    1. Anonymous file sharing. I think the technical challenges to this are pretty huge. There are legitimate reasons to allow anonymous information exchange, and even the US government seems to desire this to promote favored political dissidents. If someone can geninuinely overcome the challenges, I imagine peer-to-peer networks will survive, but I'm not very sanguine about this.

    2. Private networks. Rather than letting just any yahoo search the files on your computer and suck down your precious bandwidth, I forsee private networks where friends and family can share files, but strangers can't. As long as you keep your list of buddies under reasonable control, it's going to be difficult for anyone to track file back to you.

    3. Local exchanges. Even more extreme than a private network, people might make direct device-to-device copies. Go over to a friend's house and download their entire music collection to your laptop. Meet someone at the library and sync up your iPod. Whatever - by cutting out the middleman, there are no sticky subpoena issues with your ISP. Think about it - as data storage and data transfer rates improve, it'll be feasible to exchange files with any person you casually meet. Instead of meeting for the coupon swap, you can bring your PDA/iPod/laptop/hard drive and swap with your friends.

    I really don't see how encryption, watermarking, or stronger enforcement of IP laws is going to put this genie back in the bottle.

    The music industry, just like every other content provider, is going to have to adapt their business model, by providing a reasonably priced service that provides consumers what they want.

    I think the only viable business model is subscription based access to a music catalog. For something like $10 or $20/mo., subscribers will have access to the entire catalog - and maybe special features like "webcasts", web radio, etc. But the current distribution system is done.

    That and the music indutry needs to turn out something better. Honestly - I haven't downloaded ANY music and I've still only bought about 2 CD's in the past year. It's all crap.

    • by MImeKillEr ( 445828 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @11:00AM (#6559971) Homepage Journal
      I think the only viable business model is subscription based access to a music catalog. For something like $10 or $20/mo., subscribers will have access to the entire catalog - and maybe special features like "webcasts", web radio, etc. But the current distribution system is done.

      I'd buy that, but only if it were a conglomorate site (eg. has more than one label's catalog) and didn't require a contract.

      If consumers had to pay separate fees to each lable's site in order to get music that they want, this would cut out some of their potential clientel.
    • 3. Local exchanges. Even more extreme than a private network, people might make direct device-to-device copies. Go over to a friend's house and download their entire music collection to your laptop.

      News flash- people are already doing this. It beats all the hassle of searching for a file and then ensuring its quality, and then filing it in the right place with the rest of the songs by that artist/album/mp3_bitrate_trackname. If you have a fried with a computer (I bet you do!) and you have $200 to spend []

  • by markh1967 ( 315861 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @11:20AM (#6560318)
    The RIAA seem to be playing a very dangerous game and we have to make sure that they can't back out if things don't go their way.
    What I mean by that is that they are picking IP addresses at random and starting legal procedings against the people these IPs belong to without knowing who they are.
    We should really be making sure that every IP that is listed is followed up on. We can't let them discover that one of the IPs belongs to someone with power and money and let them quiety drop that case while still prosecuting people who are unable to defend themselves.

    If they want to play Russian roulette like this we have to make them suffer the consequences if they pick the wrong IP. We can't let them find out who these IPs belong to and then cherry pick cases to fight - it should be all or nothing.
  • What do ppl shair (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ThePilgrim ( 456341 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @11:36AM (#6560542) Homepage
    What are people using P2P to share.

    Is it nSync, Britny and the rest of the modern pre packaged cr*p that is produced thease days. Or are people shairing back catalogs of songs that are hard to impossable to get.

    And yes I know I'm showing my age now :)
  • by asscroft ( 610290 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @12:24PM (#6561291)
    Remember scriveners? They used to hand-copy important legal documents because there was no other way? They were paid fairly well too, and had great skill and talent to copy with speed and legibility. Imagine if they sued to prevent Carbon Paper or Type Writers or Xerox Machines or scanners or Magnetic Media. I mean, hell, you can copy a 1000 page document in a matter of seconds on most modern HOME computers. There's no way even the fastest scrivener can compete. They could have formed an Association of America back in the 1800s and passed some DMCA-styled legislation making carbon paper illegal and we never would have progressed past the 1800s. Sure some people in free worlds would have used carbon paper, but the Interpol treaties and such would have made it clear that they were rogue states full of pirates. No God fearing American would have ever been caught using such a terrible device. Not only that, but these laws would have saved and entire industry and tons of jobs nation wide. Instead, look at the way things are. Most of you didn't even know what scrivener meant and those that did owe it all to Melville, not because you have ever met a scrivener. Can we allow the RIAA to go the way of the scriveners? I think not. We need to legislate their existence for eternity. After all, that's what this is all about. They are as obsolete as the scriveners. I need to pay the RIAA to make a CD as much as I need to pay a scrivener to make a copy of a document. All I need is talent and an IMac and I can record, encode, market world-wide and distribute world-wide and the RIAA doesn't need to be involved at all. That's what this is all about. It's not piracy and never has been. It's about losing their stranglehold on the market, and losing their usefulness all at the same time.

    Face it RIAA, you're dead as you exist today. You can sue all you want and claim Piracy all you want and hire as many republicans as you can afford, but you'll never ever ever be the necessary evil you were for most of this century. Take your money and get out of the cartel business. The world is wise to you, and all it wil take is a few brave musicians who won't use you to make millions and you'll never survive the blow. The people you're calling theives today are the musicians who'll drive the nails in your coffin tomorrow.
  • by Quixadhal ( 45024 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @12:36PM (#6561471) Homepage Journal
    That seems like about the right amount of time to finally play something original on the radio. I'll consider that a promise!
  • Don't be naive! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by werdna ( 39029 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @01:28PM (#6562174) Journal
    This is a well-understood problem: enforcement of intellectual property rights at a large, national scale. ASCAP and BMI have been doing this for decades (except for a brief 4-5 year hiatus while successfully challenging a statute outlawing the practice).

    BSA has been doing likewise.

    This kind of litigation becomes a commodity practice, easily executed because of the verisimilitude of the litigation facts. Indeed, with a decent database and document assembly program, you can pretty much automate this, and train lawyers to do it at relatively low cost.

    Because prevailing plaintiffs collect attorney fees almost 100% of the time, the hammer of this kind of litigation is significant: "Here's the deal, you can settle this case in advance for $XX,000. We can do this today, if you like, or if you would rather firght, tomorrow. I'll leave this offer open until a week before trial. The difference is that the clock is running -- the offer goes up as our attorney fee bill goes up. Let us know when you are too tired to go on."

    Oh, and by the way, a judgment for Copyright infringement is not dischargable in bankruptcy.

A successful [software] tool is one that was used to do something undreamed of by its author. -- S. C. Johnson