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Rosen Believes RIAA is Wrong about P2P Lawsuits 287

Newer Guy writes "Former RIAA head Hilary Rosen now believes that the RIAA is wrong by pursuing their lawsuits of individuals for using P2P programs. In a blog post, she writes that she believes the lawsuits have 'outlived their usefulness' and states that the content providers really need to come up with their own download systems. She also is down on DRM, calling Apple's DRM 'a pain.'"
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Rosen Believes RIAA is Wrong about P2P Lawsuits

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  • by BroncoInCalifornia ( 605476 ) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @11:46AM (#15509234)
    She seems to have had a change of heart. She tries to back peddle on her record a bit. But you have to give her credit for seeing that the RIAA is on a bad course.
  • Re:Dear Hilary (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cbiltcliffe ( 186293 ) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @11:51AM (#15509265) Homepage Journal
    No, I think we should take this and publicize it as much as possible. Point out to your MP, Senator, Resident Dictator, or whoever that the person who used to espouse DRM and P2P lawsuits is now saying they're pointless and "a pain."
    A bunch of /.ers have very little pull in political circles, but Hillary Rosen, even though she's been a PITA before, now appears to be on our side. And she does have a lot of pull in political circles. Let's use that to our advantage.
  • Re:Dear Hilary (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Buran ( 150348 ) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @11:52AM (#15509273)
    I agree.

    If she thinks suing is wrong, then why the fuck did she allow anyone to be sued? What a hypocrite. I'll believe this when I hear that she is ordering all the money taken from dead people and 13-year-old girls and Mac users and all the other wrongfully-sued people be returned, but I don't see any hint of that. I'll believe that when the lawsuits stop.

    Actions speak louder than words, and talk is cheap. Put our money where your mouth is, or fuck off.
  • Re:"A pain"? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10, 2006 @12:41PM (#15509445)
    Not only that, but since Apple has such dominance they can control pricing to some degree, keeping downloads at $.99 and not letting the labels charge outrageous fees. (This is similar to the control Walmart has over manufacturers, etc.)

    But also, this again is a change of face. They loved iTunes when it was the only game in town and still a small fish (I know, I did some work for labels at the time). Now, as mentioned above, it stifles their ability to rape customers. Do you ever hear artists bitching about the $.99 price?
  • by Soko ( 17987 ) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @01:01PM (#15509531) Homepage
    Since this seems to stand in direct contradiction with everything we (or, at least, I) thought about her in the past, does that mean that Rosen, like any other CEO, will do whatever they think their current employer needs, regardless of personal opinion about it?

    That's pretty much a CEOs JOB, friend, to further the interests of the people investing in thier company no matter what. Google and Canonical are exceptions, where having a social concience is not considered a liability. Usually the question "Am I doing he right thing" is followed by "for the company". It depends on whether your self worth is tied to being a good CEO, or being a good regular standard issue human.

    I got out of management when I realised that I would have to someday fire people who were no longer useful to the comapany. Having to tear apart one persons life so the rest would have a stronger company to work for scared the hell out of me - I doubt I'd of had the stomach for it. I'd therefore make a poor CEO, in the eyes of investors, anyway.

  • by scwizard ( 941758 ) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @01:16PM (#15509622) Homepage Journal
    Good in theory, but if a college student is downloading gigs of mp3s, then they are not a fan of any one small band enough to go out and buy any CDs (they won't download the latest single from iTunes either due to DRM being a pain). If file sharing was heavily prosecuted then they'd listen to the radio.

    I think if FM radio didn't SUCK now, then a lot of college students would turn to that to get their random music fix instead of bit torrent / emule.
  • Re:Dear Hilary (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cbiltcliffe ( 186293 ) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @02:07PM (#15509830) Homepage Journal
    A bunch of /.er's have much more sway to the political tide than Hillary Rosen. All they have to do is vote.
    Let's for the Republicans, who are in the pocket of corporations. Nope...
    Or we could vote for the Democrats, who are in the pocket of corporations. Nope...that doesn't work either.
    Or we could vote for an independent, but they'll never get elected, because 90% of the US population are stupid, short-sighted pricks who'll only vote for something if they know it might win.

    Yeah, voting seems like a real good option, there.....
    (Oh, and get into the Diebold machines)
    Now, that's the best idea anybody's had all year. We all know it's why don't you (I'm in Canada...I can't) make sure the next winner of a federal election is Chuck E. Cheese?
  • by kimvette ( 919543 ) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @04:17PM (#15510275) Homepage Journal
    No. The slashdot hive mind shall now regard Hillary Rosen is good. Get your doublethink straight.

    Hillary Rosen is good, therefore she has always been good. She is our ally, and always has been our ally.

    Seriously though - it is great to see that she admits it. One thing I would like to criticize is her implying that sharing on P2P networks is not legitimate. The legitimacy of P2P networks and the file sharing is not in question in the slightest, really. What is in question is how the people use it. If you download music and burn it to a music CD-R, the RIAA gets their royalties, which is divvied up among publishers and artists based on percentage of average sales over the latest period (I don't know if it's weekly, monthly, or quarterly - I never bothered to check that). I'd say that if a user downloads a music file and burns it to audio CD-R, that copy is fully legitimate and paid for, legally. Now, whether it is ethical or moral is debatable, because download activities may actually not line up with sales averages over a certain period, or the CD-R purchase may be way out of line (in terms of time) with the time period the CDs were actually burned, so artists and publishers may actually not be getting paid what they are entitled to out of those royalties.

    The fairest method is to collect states of completed downloads (not failed, partial, or aborted downloads) per royalty period - WORKING with folks like The Pirate Bay to obtain those stats - then they will know how to slice that blank media royalty pie. Hell if they did something reasonable and fair like that, I would actually support an increase in levies on the CD-AUDIO blank media. Yes, I know most slashdotters would buy the data CDs to avoid the levy, but the majority of people are convinced that you NEED the CD Audio discs in order to make music CDs from MP3 files. Even many computer-literate people - people WORKING in technology, think that you need CD-audio discs, so this could be a workable solution.

    Even if folks don't buy, and are happy burning 64kbps files to CD, they're not the target market anyway. They're the type who would be just as happy with recording songs off the radio, and are the type who will be swooning over HD-Radio despite the fact that it's lower fidelity than analog FM radio. No loss for the RIAA there, because those are the folks who would not purchase it ANYHOW. Let them have their free, low-fidelity music and at least carry out viral marketing for RIAA members by word of mouth. Eventually they will tell friends who WILL want to buy the CD, or share their download with a friend who is not happy with the fidelity and changes their mind and buys the CD.

    I'd also argue that downloading live bootlegs is legitimate. Many bands openly encourage trading of recordings of live performances. That is the only audio I download lately because I do not want to be exposed to new acts until the RIAA gets their collective act together.

    Lastly: RIAA (AND MPAA) members need to embrace the idea of try-before-you-buy, FULLY legitimize FREE downloads of low-bitrate (say, 64kbps or so) files, and look the other way for 128kbps files (unless a site is charging for them without paying the respective parties their dues). Higher bitrates should be cracked down on, but it ought to be to be PROVEN beyond reasonable doubt that an infraction is taken place by specific, identifiable persons. That means no suing gramma who has never owned a computer other than webtv, and no suing 7-yr-olds who may have happened to download the wrong file. Also, the settlement has got to be FAIR. Like, say, Oh I don't know, the person(s) involved MUST buy the infringing works at the average retail price, or at worst, since the RIAA may be entitled to damages, triple the average retail price. NOT thousands per track, because there has been NO damage. A sale they did not make is NOT lost money; it is monies they never possessed or had right to in the first place.

    There has to be a happy medium workable for all in this whole
  • by Chuqmystr ( 126045 ) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @04:26PM (#15510298) Homepage
    I can't help but wonder if these two clowns are trying to "align themselves" to the "new ways of distributing entertainment media". In other words are they scrounging around for new jobs with dollar signs in their eyes, visions of leading some yet to be formed companies into the brave new world of selling entertainment on the internet? Just a thought...
  • Relevant Quote (Score:3, Interesting)

    by philipkd ( 528838 ) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @05:46PM (#15510512) Homepage
    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." - Upton Sinclair
  • by thelamecamel ( 561865 ) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @09:58PM (#15511192)
    How about DRM that doesn't limit copying or the use of files, but just encodes your name/account number as a watermark? This watermark isn't checked before a file is played back, or anything, the watermark is just there. There aren't any limitations on your use, but if a file with someone's watermark appears on the P2P networks, the authorities can prove who supplied it and take them down.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton