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Telcos Stand Against RIAA 308

john82 writes "In an interesting and insightful article, NetworkWorld Fusion discusses how lawyers for SBC and Verizon are fighting the RIAA's attempts to monitor their customers. As we've heard before, RIAA wants the telcos to report when users download any copyrighted material. Lawyers for SBC and Verizon are fighting back. They also claim that the RIAA is trying to grant themselves powers that are outside of even the Patriot Act. Now where have heard that before? NWFusion also points out that RIAAs handwaving, threats, tantrums have less to do with protecting the rights of musicians, than with protecting the revenue stream created by an out-of-date distribution system." In other RIAA news, taped2thedesk writes "According to the Washington Post and Ars Technica, the RIAA will now contact P2P users before suing them." The RIAA's not so bad, they'll settle out of court over the phone, if you don't mind paying up instead of getting a lawyer.
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Telcos Stand Against RIAA

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  • by Nix0n ( 649693 ) on Thursday October 02, 2003 @11:09PM (#7120651)
    So does this mean that we *don't* hate telcos this week ?

    Is this also the week that eggs are bad for us ?

  • by the_bahua ( 411625 ) on Thursday October 02, 2003 @11:11PM (#7120657) Homepage Journal
    Um, I'd like to see the shell script that runs on networking equipment that determines which packets are copyrighted, which are legitimate, and which are porn.
  • How considerate.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02, 2003 @11:11PM (#7120659)
    They ring you up.. "We demand you pay us $ or we'll take you to court"

    What choice do most people have? None.
    • I imagine there's no way someone can 'force' a case either.

      For instance, let's say the RIAA makes a big mistake and sues the kid of a hot shot lawyer with plenty of resources, who decides to bite and take the whole thing to a long-winded public jury trial.

      Presumably, the RIAA would just drop the case, where what you really need them to do is get a judge/jury who think that suing 12 year old kids for copying music from millionaires deserves either to be thrown out or re-educated with listening to the com

  • Its about time... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by darkfus ( 177149 ) on Thursday October 02, 2003 @11:11PM (#7120661)

    Maybe big business can accomplish what a million screaming geeks can't...

    sig?
    • Re:Its about time... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by yo303 ( 558777 )
      But they didn't go far enough.

      The Pacific Bell lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, asks that the subpoenas be declared invalid, Meyer said.

      They should have asked that the DMCA be declared invalid.

      yo.

  • by Faust7 ( 314817 ) on Thursday October 02, 2003 @11:13PM (#7120672) Homepage
    According to the Washington Post and Ars Technica, the RIAA will now contact P2P users before suing them.

    "Hello, SBC Customer Service? Yes, I'd like to order Call Screening for my -- why, yes, that is the number I'd like to block. How did you know? Hmm, three days? Fine. Thank you very much." *click*
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02, 2003 @11:35PM (#7120832)
      Hopefully if the RIAA directly contacts people it'll come to light all the quicker how random their contacts have been. So far they've claimed to be taking legal action against 300+ people for file trading. Their record at the moment stands at suing four children under 12, almost 10 people who don't have machines to run the software they claim they used, or even accounts with the ISPs they claim they used to download software from, and six people who don't own a PC or have internet access to begin with. By my reasoning 4+9+6 makes for 19 out of that 300 who obviously aren't file trading how the RIAA says, AT LEAST

      There are certainly people who will have the software able to trade, the machines to run it, on ISPs the RIAA claims, but who DON'T trade. Whats their error rate hitting then? somewhere up around 10% of people they're taking legal action against

      It's shotgun tactics.
      • What do you expect when the addresses they are trying to look up are 10.0.0.1, 192.168.0.2, and 127.0.0.1
      • I'm interested in what your saying especially with regard to people who don't have the right machine or account with the ISP. Would you have any links on these by chance? I have seen their much publicized gaff with the retired school teacher sued for (and later dropped) for hosting gangster rap on her... mac.
    • Anonymous Call Rejection works great too! I never get spammer calls, period. Who needs an FCC block list?

      -Pat

    • RIAA: "This is the RIAA.... "
      Me: "May I please have the full details of your name, company and address."
      RIAA: "Wha.."
      Me: "I need to inform you that you have violated the Do Not Call Registry. I am not interested in your services".
      RIAA: Click.
  • Telcos are refusing to monitor due to the added cost, nothing more.

    At the risk of my karma, I'd just like to say that this whole thing is getting to the point where I just wish the RIAA would fuck off and die, and take SCO with them. How do companies survive so long after so many people actively loath them?

    • by zabieru ( 622547 ) on Thursday October 02, 2003 @11:21PM (#7120732)
      This is, after all, the same Verizon that spent who knows how much in legal fees fighting the RIAA's right to subpoena information on their customers at all. So if it's a cost issue, it's enlightened self-interest: They believe that customers choose them for the value-added of privacy. I don't think their decisions make economic sense on only that basis. Love 'em or hate 'em, I think they're operating out of pride: We're the phone companies, and any hacker, phreaker, or record label trade group who crosses us is going down. But once again I could be wrong.
    • Microsoft is the most successful company in the world. You think the record companies and SCO are really worried about being hated?
    • I, for one, have not bought a single CD since I lost my slow preview of music called Kazaa via dialup. Now that I have no clue what songs are good and what songs suck I refuse to give them my $$ at Wal Mart for the CDs. Yeah you can assume all you want about previewing over radio but I can't pick up a single station where I live. They've lost over 6 months of purchases when I averaged over 50 cd's a year before. If only there were more like me.
    • by netbornmusic ( 710332 ) on Thursday October 02, 2003 @11:27PM (#7120775) Homepage Journal
      How do companies survive so long after so many people actively loath them?
      Because much more people don't know or don't care. Tens of millions people buy what RIAA sells. I think that all this antifilesharing campaign's real purpose is just to frighten the majority of people. They aren't very familiar with the details, what is really legal, what is not, etc. They just hear over and over that downloading of mp3s is illegal and may end up in jail. So they just keep buying...
  • by a no n y man 123 ( 712893 ) on Thursday October 02, 2003 @11:18PM (#7120705)
    Every time a story like this is posted, I see a number of posts saying "God bless SBC!" or "I love Verizon!"

    Before you assume they're suing the RIAA just to protect your privacy, think again. The main reason is to avoid the costs of looking up someone's info every time the RIAA issues a subpoena.
    • by FeloniousPunk ( 591389 ) on Thursday October 02, 2003 @11:28PM (#7120786)
      So what? Do you require your benefactors to be saints before you accept or even appreciate their help? It's enlightened self-interest. I could care less about their motives, that they're fighting the RIAA is enough for me.
      • I could care less about their motives, that they're fighting the RIAA is enough for me.

        I see. So if their motives are purely to maximize their income and, as such, they suddenly work out a deal with the RIAA that the RIAA pays them whenever they have to comply with any of the RIAA subpoenas, and keep this a secret all the while continuing to appear to fight the RIAA, you'll have no problem with that? They'll continue to appear to fight the RIAA so it's not like you'll notice any difference.

        Motiv

        • I see. So if their motives are purely to maximize their income and, as such, they suddenly work out a deal with the RIAA that the RIAA pays them whenever they have to comply with any of the RIAA subpoenas, and keep this a secret all the while continuing to appear to fight the RIAA, you'll have no problem with that? They'll continue to appear to fight the RIAA so it's not like you'll notice any difference.
          Well, if they work out a deal with the RIAA that ends up screwing me, then the situation has changed,
    • Not only that, but many ISPs rely on file sharing as a method of peddling their wares. I've seen many an SBC Yahoo! DSL commercial where they tout "downloading music" as a feature of their service.
    • by TexVex ( 669445 ) on Friday October 03, 2003 @01:07AM (#7121305)
      Why do everyone hate the telcos?

      I've never had bad phone service. It's always worked. Even when the power goes out, I can pick up a hard-wired phone and get dialtone. I've never had a problem with clarity of my phone connections -- they are always crystal clear. I've never had a call fail because of bandwidth unavailability. The service has a reasonable cost, and their bean counters will usually let you get a month in arrears before they cut you off. I've used two different cable companies and two different telephone companies for broadband, and DSL beat out cable modem both times. The DSL connections are more reliable, both in continuous connection times and in steady bandwidth availability. The telephone companies will market to those who want to run services through their pipe and even make blocks of static IP addresses available, while the cable companies dole out static IPs stingily and charge three times as much.

      So, in a nutshell, telcos produce a superior quality service that does what it's supposed to do virtually all the time and for a good price. What is to hate?

      It's easy to hate Microsoft because of their ridiculous EULAs, overpriced software, and hard-on for Digital Restrictions Management. It's easy to hate the RIAA for wanting to bankrupt people already near the poverty line and for refusing to admit that just maybe they are putting out lower quality product at higher prices in a sluggish economy and that just maybe their failure to adapt to new technology might be a straw woven into the handbasket that is taking their business to Hell.

      So what have the telocs done to earn such ire?
      • It's always worked. Even when the power goes out, I can pick up a hard-wired phone and get dialtone.

        That's a federal regulation that they maintain power. It's not the goodwill of the phone company to do so.

        So, in a nutshell, telcos produce a superior quality service that does what it's supposed to do virtually all the time and for a good price. What is to hate?

        You must be lucky. I get slammed by long distance companies once every two years or so... even when I make NO long distance calls. Hell, I do
        • Well, I don't know about _your_ telco, but maybe you weren't asking the right questions.

          I had a second phone line in my house for Internet only. It took me all of 2 minutes to set up with Sprint. "I want the following services, only: local service, tone dialing. I want no local toll carrier, and no long distance carrier. Yes, I want to lock these choices in. No, I don't give you premission to contact me with special long distance offers. No, I'll do the installation myself, thanks. Yes, good-bye. Click"

          24
      • Why do everyone hate the telcos?

        I'll tell you why I hate the telcos:

        1) The service is absurdly overpriced for what you get. I can go to fry's a pick up a commodity 100mbps switch for less than $10 per port, but can I get decent data service to my house for less than $60/mo? No.

        2) Yes my basic phone service is quite reliable and I can always dial 911. That's because the California PUC requires it, and there are very stiff penalties for failing to deliver this minimal level of service. But what if I want
        • Ok, uhh, one thing (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Friday October 03, 2003 @07:09AM (#7122405)
          What the hell does the premise of #1 have to do with the conclusion? A consumer 100mbps eithernet switch has NOTHING to do with providing high speed data over long distances. I work for network operations for a unviersity, of I have some idea what I'm talking about. It is COMPLETELY different to grab a little switch and have a workgroup than it is to have a large carrier class facility.

          For one there is just the switches and routers themselves. Not small, not cheap. We aren't talking $60, $600, or $6000 but tens of thousands of dollars for a single blade (of which one chasse holds many) in some cases. Then there is the fact that copper ethernet won't run over long distances; 100 metres is the spec limit, so we are talking some other kind of technology, never mind your house doesn't have the wiring to it for that. There is then of course the cost of maintaining all this infastucters. Stuff breaks, it needs to be replaced, and in the case of wires to houses, it's not cheap often.

          Then there are the two biggest costs: The support staff for customers and the bandwidth. Data doesn't magically get on the Internet, bigass lines to other carries are required and that's not cheap in any fashion.

          As for laying fibre to your house, you have NO concept of how expensive that sort of thing is. It wasn't cheap to build our copper network. It took many years and a lot of dough. To upgrade the whole thing to fiber will cost even more and probably take longer. You don't just wave a wand, you have to dig shit up, lay cable and so on. Also fibre requires additonal percaustion since it really can't be spliced if it is going over any sort of distance.

          Look, there are a LOT of problem with the phone companies. I'm sure I've dealt with more than you have. However, just because you can buy an 8-port consumer grade, made by Linksys, switch for $60 does NOT mean that the telcos can get a carrier class switch for the same price, much less everything else needed. It's not like they buy a bunch of cheap Linksys gear and hook it together and everything works magically.
          • However, just because you can buy an 8-port consumer grade, made by Linksys, switch for $60 does NOT mean that the telcos can get a carrier class switch for the same price

            It was an analogy - I'm not suggesting that SBC can run the phone system on linksys equipment, jackass.

            But the rest of the world has moved to packet switching while the telcos are holding on to their channellized services and custom features like frame relay and inter-LATA crap because it LETS THEM KEEP THEIR PRICES HIGH. DSL/T1/T3 are

      • Why do everyone hate the telcos?

        I've never had bad phone service.It's always worked.


        Oh! Someone from outside the US!

      • Let me introduce you to this little letter I got from Verizon. See, Verizon is the only local service game around because they have a monopoly on the service in the area. Others have tried, Verizon has cheated, bought, and legislated them right out of the area.

        So, I use Verizon for my Internet access. Apparently, I wasn't paying them enough on my local-only $21.00 a month plan for unlimited calling. So, they sent me a letter informing me of a "great new benefit!" The great new "benefit" was an extra $

  • by kevin_conaway ( 585204 ) on Thursday October 02, 2003 @11:18PM (#7120706) Homepage
    Bleh,

    Though I havent bought a cd in a while (ive just been listenening to classic rock on the radio), ive decided recently that its time for some new music. I bought a few cds off cdbaby.com and have been very pleased. The music rocks and the service rocks! I hope their prices and all else stays the same.

    The crap that the RIAA is pushing these days isnt even worth my time.
  • by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Thursday October 02, 2003 @11:21PM (#7120730)
    Speaking of the RIAA, as far as one crime that is known to have been comitted, where the hell are our settlement checks [slashdot.org] from their price fixing? These things were supposedly to come out this summer, but it's fall already and I sure have not received mine, even though I bought the last albums I'll ever buy in the proper time period and filed the claim in time.
  • by Atario ( 673917 ) on Thursday October 02, 2003 @11:21PM (#7120731) Homepage
    ...to a new revenue stream so they can stop relying on the outmoded one. How does it work? Observe:
    1. Call people, telling them the RIAA is going to sue them back to the bronze age unless they fork over an arbitrary amount of cash.
    2. Make it an automated message, calling out with caller ID info blocked, so people can't respond except to the address provided in the message.
    3. Checks roll in.
    4. Angry rants also roll in; these may be safely discarded.
    5. Profit!
    Voila: no reliance on the old revenue stream. Just keeping up with the times by switching to an IPL[1] business model. It's the new wave -- catch it!(tm)




    [1] Intellectual Property Litigation.
  • Call me a cynic. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by YouHaveSnail ( 202852 ) on Thursday October 02, 2003 @11:25PM (#7120759)
    I'm glad to see the telcos taking this position, and I applaud them for it. But I also think it's worth considering that a love of freedom may not be the only thing that inspires telcos and other ISP's to take a position against the RIAA.

    Avoiding any and all responsibility for policing the content that travels over their connections is strongly in the best interest of any ISP. Having the longest history of operating a complex communications network, the telcos probably have the strongest understanding of that concept. In asking the telcos to report file sharing behavior, the RIAA is asking them to take a certain amount of responsibility for content that the telcos cannot control.

    If the telcos acquiesced to the RIAA's request, one can only assume that they'd also have to police their corners of the internet for terrorism-related activity, porn, blasphemy, and all manner of content that sufficiently powerful organizations object to.
    • Not to mention... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Kjella ( 173770 )
      ...that they *know* they can't stop it. Encrypted services will pop up, people will use them and stuff will flow. And then the ISPs gets blamed for the mess "You were supposed to stop them, but you didn't". No, I think part of it is that RIAA made the bed, and now they get to sleep in it, the ISPs sure don't want to take their place.

      Kjella
    • Avoiding any and all responsibility for policing the content that travels over their connections is strongly in the best interest of any ISP

      It may well be in their interests, but it _certainly_ is in mine. I love the idea that the telco is _not_ responsible for the content. The more that we have this kind of distinction the better our society becomes. It means that we can take their example an use it as a model for the next time someone declares that the content is the medium. Which is just absurd,

  • I agreed with her until she made the following statement: In other words, record company executives are in approximately the same position that manufacturing workers were in during the '80s and '90s: Their jobs have been made redundant by technology.

    Uhh... no... the manufacturing crisis in the 80s, 90s and today are caused by offshore relocation not by file sharing. (the same malaise that is now affecting white collar jobs)

    As an aside, does anyone know what will it take for the media to understand th

  • Why only the telcos? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    So why is it that the telcos keep getting nailed and we dont hear anything about Comcast...

    I guess people with Cable modems dont share files.

    • I never thought about it before but I figure it's like this.

      Time warner is a part of the RIAA (At least I'm pretty sure they are.) Time warner provides cable connections. Soooo they avoid suing cable users which would give cable a bad name. They can include "Download your favorite music online" in all their ads without worring about people saying "Hey didn't they sue like 100 people for using cable to download music, let's not get cable."

      Anyway, that's just my little conspiracy theory, I could be wr
  • by MunchMunch ( 670504 ) on Thursday October 02, 2003 @11:29PM (#7120794) Homepage
    I really don't even understand how they can respond to criticism by saying they're calling the accused filesharers up first and offering to settle. I mean, hasn't it been pretty clearly established that the RIAA absolutely wants every sued person to settle anyways?

    Filing the lawsuit itself changes very little--They are still using the threat of a big and costly lawsuit to extract a comparably insignificant but still sizable amount of money from people. That the RIAA did this (the call-first policy) in response to the Senate hearings is a riot. "No, Mr. Coleman, we aren't using our harsher-than-Patriot Act powers to intimidate people with bankrupcy-inducing lawsuits into settling for $3-4,000! We're calling them and threatening with the prospect of filing the lawsuit!" I don't really see how the RIAA calling and saying "We're gonna sue you unless you hand over $3,000" is any different from "We're gonna proceed with our suit unless you so hand over $3,000"

    I mean, if every one of those sued file sharers challenged the RIAA, then it would quickly run out of resources. But since the lawsuits are cheaper to settle and unaffordable any other way, we have the prisoner's dilemma--everyone pleads guilty to the 3 year sentence in order to avoid the 20 year sentence, because nobody knows what their peers are going to do. I can't imagine the RIAA reasoned it any other way either.

  • Motivations (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mcrbids ( 148650 ) on Thursday October 02, 2003 @11:29PM (#7120798) Journal
    The real reason the RIAA is attempting to force telcos to drag their customers into court is to protect the jobs of record executives, not the rights of artists, who benefit from less expensive and more effective distribution mechanisms.

    And the real reason SBC/Verizon are fighting the record companies is to protect the jobs of telco executives, not the rights of consumers.

    Don't think that the telcos are acting on altruism. They'd screw you just as badly as the RIAA would, if they really felt it'd benefit them.

    It's in their best interests to protect your privacy - just be glad that they are smart enough to realize that, and enjoy the little victory.

    The RIAA is like an animal trapped in the corner - and just like one, it'll bite anything nearby out of fear. In this case, its busy biting the very hands that feed it.

    Stand back, wait for it to calm down, and enjoy the ride.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02, 2003 @11:30PM (#7120807)
    The RIAA's not so bad, they'll settle out of court over the phone, if you don't mind paying up instead of getting a lawyer.

    ... Just call this 1-900 number and your settlement fee will appear on your next phone bill. Paying the RIAA can be that easy!

  • by The Ancients ( 626689 ) on Thursday October 02, 2003 @11:34PM (#7120829) Homepage
    For all those above that surmised the only reason the ISPs are fighting this is due to compliance costs, consider the following...

    If the RIAA starts cracking down on file sharers, the demand for lucrative broadband connections is going to be negatively affected. This is what will truly affect their revenue streams. Whether for good or for bad, at present legally tenuous trading is probably the biggest driver for fast internet connections.

    I'd also like to think that it's due to the ISPs overwhelming desire to do the right thing and protect customer's privacy, but I'm having trouble reconciling this view completely with the generally held views of corporate entities and their desire to run profitably.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

    • "I'd also like to think that it's due to the ISPs overwhelming desire to do the right thing and protect customer's privacy, but I'm having trouble reconciling this view completely with the generally held views of corporate entities and their desire to run profitably."

      Big corporations don't have morals of any sort -- good or bad. If you want a corporation to behave as if it wanted to do the right thing then design the system such that it is in the corporation's interest to do the right thing.

      The Telcos ju
  • Man, I work for Verizon, and they really don't have the ability to do this from my vantage point. Most of the systems we use are still Telnet based. I still fix accounts on a daily basis that haven't been touched since they were first transferred over to the system in 1990 (that's usually the only time there's a major problem with the records, when the data switches databases). They'd probably have to build a whole new system from scratch in order to comply with RIAA's wishes. Of course, I only deal with the business office lines, but most other departments use the same system I use.
    • You work in voice presumably (layer 1 of the 7 layer OSI model) . Verizon are also an IP transit company. It seems like RIAA and friends want them to monitor layer 6 data, session content. The part of Verizon responsible for IP transit would have slightly better systems in place to do things like this.
      • The part of Verizon responsible for IP transit would have slightly better systems in place to do things like this.

        I don't work for Verizon, but another carrier - and I can tell you that those systems you speak of are for troubleshooting or to satisfy CALEA and Title 3. They are labor intensive and not made for use on a large scale monitoring system.

        Making those systems available to use at RIAAs whim would cost more money than you can believe - and make Verizon responsible for holding RIAAs dick from

  • Of course they do! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mc6809e ( 214243 ) on Thursday October 02, 2003 @11:44PM (#7120879)
    The providers of DSL know that they are getting an indirect subsidy from "free" music. There are people out there that are paying $40/month so they can download music. If customers had to pay for the music too, companies like Verizon would have fewer customers.

    The telcos are just profiting from other peoples creative works. Of course they don't want this to stop.

  • by ron_ivi ( 607351 ) <sdotno@@@cheapcomplexdevices...com> on Thursday October 02, 2003 @11:50PM (#7120906)
    I think the main reason is that they don't want to become responsible for the content being sent over their lines.

    What next... they have to help turn-over people involved in other questionable activity done on the phone? ... people who called escort services just because some group wants those names? ...identify people martha stewart connected with just because they might have talked about imclone?

    Yeah, they can do that, but the process involves a warant. Just just a request from an industry group.

    If they have to start monitoring for questionable activity from any group that requests it, the next step might be for them to be responsible for illegal activity.

    • Phone companies are protected from the examples you give due to their legal status as "Common Carriers".

      I don't know the ins and outs of how that works but I do recall that some ISPs were fighting to get common carrier status and lost.

  • by handy_vandal ( 606174 ) on Friday October 03, 2003 @12:00AM (#7120952) Homepage Journal
    Say I download a song or five, once or twice a week, using Kazaa Lite.

    Say I don't post files to share -- I just grab a few files now and then.

    What's the risk? Will RIAA really find out?
    • Nope. You have more chance to be struck by lightning... And if by any chances you are not American, your chances drop to almost zero.
      • Nope. You have more chance to be struck by lightning... And if by any chances you are not American, your chances drop to almost zero.


        But the karma has been worse lately. By going after the filesharers, the RIAA is generating bad karma between themselves and the filesharers.

        Getting something for nothing that others have spent something to produce, may also generate bad karma. You can feel it by feeling a bad conscience. At first, the novelty made up for all that, but now when the copyright holders are ta
        • But the karma has been worse lately. By going after the filesharers, the RIAA is generating bad karma between themselves and the filesharers.

          They're doing a fine job of turning filesharers into the oppressed. Suing 12 year old girls and pensioners is generally not good for PR. Going after professional copyright infringers scores much better, but if they're not careful, they'll lose public trust totally, and the professionals will start getting acquitted by jurors.

    • In that manner, you destroy the P2P networks at much faster rate than any RIAA/MPAA or other officials. Fucking leech.
    • in much of the world downloading is legal. RIAA and their cronies can do fuck all against you.
  • by targo ( 409974 ) <targo_t AT hotmail DOT com> on Friday October 03, 2003 @12:08AM (#7120990) Homepage
    RIAA is trying to grant themselves powers that are outside of even the Patriot Act

    Don't worry, that can surely be fixed. However, not necessarily the way most people here would like it to be.
    • ...totailitarian regimes such as that, can surely also be fixed. However, not necessarily the way RIAA would like it to be.

      Kjella
  • Extortion... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by LamerX ( 164968 )
    RIAA: Pay up or else!

    Sounds like extortion to me. Kinda like organized crime. Maybe it's time for some Piracy Insurance. In case you decide to pirate music, so you don't get your legs broken.
  • This opens up a whole new range of email and phone scams for those who are willing to do a little research and social engineering. Imagine getting a drama major to pose as a corrupt process server for example. Or just simply getting a pre-law roomate to call up the building warez kiddie and scare the shit out of them. I can't wait to get started!
    • this is already commonplace. Every few days I get a spam on my cell phone saying "you owe us X yen for site usage fees, pay up within 24 hours or we will take legal action". There used to be a lot of people taken in by them, but these days almost nobody believes them anymore.

  • We care. We have to. We're the phone company.
  • by hhknighter ( 629353 ) on Friday October 03, 2003 @12:47AM (#7121183)
    Arr Ie Aye Aye Suing Department, please do not hang up as our collect call to your phone is very important to our revenue. This call may be monitored for further financially benefiting lawsuits.

    To check your penalties amount, press 1.
    To pay your penalties by credit card, press 2.
    To pay your penalties by check, press 3.
    To pay your penalties by organs, press 4.
    To answer in court, translate "YOUAREDEAD" on your touch tone phone.
    To speak with a suing lawyer, press 666.
    To repeat the options again, say "I confess, I am guilty".
    Otherwise, stay on the line and wait for an even bigger lawsuit
  • Not to sound like a grammar Nazi, but where is the subject?
  • Scam Alert (Score:2, Informative)

    by deathmolor ( 676227 )
    There is already scam artists calling numbers out of the phone books. Using names within sounding official and asking for credit card numbers to settle file copyright infringment.

    Do not settle with anyone over the phone be very careful you will want to see documents.
  • What a W.A.S.T.E. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Friday October 03, 2003 @04:05AM (#7121865)
    RIAA wants the telcos to report when users download any copyrighted material.

    As if the ISPs could even manage real-time content scanning on a reasonable sized pipe.

    But seriously folks, the moment ISPs might actually start trying such an exercise -- after being dragged kicking and screaming into it -- does anyone doubt that every P2P would start employing public key strong encryption (e.g. AES) on file transfers?

    • See, I don't know why they don't do this already. Encryption is incredibly cheap compared to the bandwidth of a typical user (100Mbps for Rijndael on a typical computer vs about 8Mbps for a fast college dorm connection to the general internet), with a relatively very small startup cost in terms of negotiation/modular exponentiation since the files are so large.

      I think it's a waste that any communication short of non-persistent HTTP connections for public, non-incriminating data (e.g., images) is done witho
  • One place I feel the RIAA has been incredibly remiss is that they don't provide any list of what they claim as copyrighted material!

    Think about it. How do you know if your song is copyrighted, and by whom? Is there a database where you can query to determine if you are violating the copyright of any RIAA affiliated company? If so, I sure haven't heard about it. Have you?

    Kind of like Comcast that says we'll cut you off if you use too much of our "unlimited" internet service, but we won't ever tell yo

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