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RIAA Drops P2P Lawsuit Strategy, Goes Local 208

An anonymous reader writes "Wondering why the RIAA hasn't announced 800 lawsuits per month any more? Well, they're still suing people, but have developed a new strategy according to Slyck.com. Instead the RIAA is looking to be more localized, focused and personal with its new strategy." As another reader puts it, the RIAA "will opt to file lawsuits on a weekly basis and work with local media to give it a more geographically relevant feel." Perhaps they'll also pick their targets a bit more carefully.
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RIAA Drops P2P Lawsuit Strategy, Goes Local

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  • Fantastic (Score:5, Funny)

    by l5rfanboy ( 977086 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @11:18AM (#15628038)
    So instead of one rediculous article a month we're going to get ten a week of equally little value?

    Great.

    • So what? (Score:3, Insightful)

      Does any ./er read local news?
      • does checking the weather online count?
      • Does any ./er read local news?

        I read KTVO [ktvo.com]'s news (such as it is -- seems they need MUCH work, what with all the typos, misquotes, leaked information, etc(not that I'm perfect in the typo department)), and the news of the local [kirksville...xpress.com] paper (though they only put two or so stories for each day on the web site).

        I suspect I'm not alone.

        (Well, mayhaps I'm alone in the particular sources I read, but.. ahh, you get the point).
  • Huh? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Cleon ( 471197 ) <cleon42@@@yahoo...com> on Thursday June 29, 2006 @11:20AM (#15628048) Homepage
    "more localized, focused and personal?"

    What, are we talking warm, fuzzy, happy, huggie-time lawsuits from your friendly neighborhood big-brother cartel?
    • Re:Huh? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by plague3106 ( 71849 )
      Heh.. indeed. Wonder what will happen though if locals happen to side with the filesharer, and not the RIAA? Now instead of suing some college kid without any money across the country, they are suing a local college kid with no money. Will it make them look greedy in the eyes of the community? Do most people feel that stealing from Walmart is wrong, since they are a huge mega-corp?

      Here's hoping this stragegy backfires.
      • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Funny)

        by DrSkwid ( 118965 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @11:47AM (#15628260) Homepage Journal
        > Do most people feel that stealing from Walmart is wrong, since they are a huge mega-corp?

        Most people feel stealing is wrong, how could they not.

        I enjoy stealing, but I'd be hard pushed to convince anyone I was doing the right thing.

        • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 29, 2006 @12:32PM (#15628555)
          The problem is the definition of stealing. Traditionally, stealing always meant intentionally and permanently depriving someone of their property. This was later extended to cover situations where you deprive someone of a service, or where you don't permanently deprive someone of property but you deprive them of it for long enough to render it useless (i.e. taking someone's concert ticket and giving it back after the concert has gone ahead).

          In no sense of the word can it be said that anyone here is being deprived of anything. A digital copy leaves the original completely intact. Of course, **AA argue that every single copy equals a lost sale. They would, wouldn't they? But this is blatantly ridiculous. There are far too many people who hoard music/movies - they couldn't have afforded to buy them all even if they wanted to. The truth is that a very tiny portion of those people who download would have bought the item if they hadn't downloaded (and a number of those people buy the item anyway, after they've tried it).

          Downloading is just a convenience to most people. It's easier for me to download an album/movie and spend an hour listening to/watching it than it is for me to research what's worth buying. If I like it enough that I'll get more mileage out of it than the initial look, I'll buy it anyway. If there were no downloads I wouldn't buy any crap that came out, I'd do lots of research to see which were worth my limited fiscal resources. I'd waste a lot of my free time in doing so, but meh, I'd be more happy burning through time than I would money.

          The real criminals are those who sell pirated items. Their customers have proven that they would be willing to buy (at the right price) the content and as such it's easier to make a case for a lost sale. Not all of them would be lost sales of course, most people would rather pay £5 for a movie AND see it at the same time as it's released in the cinema than wait 6-12 months and pay £20. But they are at least demonstrating that they're willing to pay some amount for that copy - thus the guy selling it is depriving the copyright holder of a sale, arguably stealing in the process.

          Do we see the **AA/governments/police stamping out these resellers? Well, to a tiny extent. But for the most part they're going after casual downloaders. Why is this, if the real "thieves" are getting away with it? Because the real argument isn't about theft, it never was. It's about control. **AA want it and the internet has done a pretty good job of eroding it. So they attack downloaders, try to make us fear the tool that will remove their control, push for laws to control how we use content we've paid for. In essence they're trying to limit our rights in regards to our own legally purchased content - to me THEY are the real thieves in all of this. Just ask the artists, who also get royally screwed...
          • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Curunir_wolf ( 588405 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @01:01PM (#15628760) Homepage Journal
            In essence they're trying to limit our rights in regards to our own legally purchased content - to me THEY are the real thieves in all of this. Just ask the artists, who also get royally screwed...

            Yes, very insightful. You've come very close to the real issue, here. See, when CDs came out (never mind the promises about the prices coming down - they never did), everybody started re-buying albums that they already had to get the CD version. (How many copies has "Dark Side of the Moon" sold again?) So many people paid for the same music twice.

            The next format was the DVD-Audio, but that never really caught on. So the next market was the iPod and on-line music. Well, guess what? I can just rip my CD's to populate my iPod. "NOOOOO! We can't allow that!" Too late now, the genie is out of the bottle. But that doesn't stop the greed.

            1. Control everything.
            2. All downloaded music must be paid for.
            3. No more ripping CDs (how many now come without copy protection?)
            4. Profit forever!!!
          • In no sense of the word can it be said that anyone here is being deprived of anything. A digital copy leaves the original completely intact.

            However, you are still being a cheap, freeloading asshole.
          • "The real criminals are those who sell pirated items."

            I think most people reading this will agree with that statement as long as it doesn't include allofmp3.com and the other Russian music/software download sites. And, I think you were right to not word it as "...make a profit off of piracy," otherwise The Pirate Bay and the various P2P services would fall under the "real criminals" classification -- Kazaa and TBP have profited handsomely by fulfilling their mission of providing easy access to pirated

          • > In no sense of the word can it be said that anyone here is being deprived of anything

            By "Stealing" the music, you are depriving them of the income they would have received had you purchased it.

            However much you may disagree with the logic, that is a sense of the word...
          • In no sense of the word can it be said that anyone here is being deprived of anything.

            You are depriving the producers of the music (from the artist, to the record label, etc) of a potential sale. They have copyright law on their side and each person who copies (assuming not for legit backup purposes) this content is depriving the copyright holders their money. You may not agree with it, but the law is the law. I don't agree with my cities income tax, but it is the law. I have a choice of not living i
        • I enjoy stealing, but I'd be hard pushed to convince anyone I was doing the right thing.
          Just tell 'em you're stealing from the IRS.

          They'll probably offer to help.
        • Most people also feel there exists a different level of stealing. Ie, music / video sharing, they simply dont care that it is "wrong" or dont even beleive it is wrong. more people music illegally than vote.
      • Do most people feel that stealing from Walmart is wrong, since they are a huge mega-corp?

        I sure hope not. I'm just a regular guy, living in a small apartment, working the 8-5 grind trying to afford medical care and save up enough money to someday afford a home, family, and retirement. I also own several shares of WalMart. When people steal from WalMart, they are actually stealing from me and thousands like me. Anyone who doesn't think that is wrong is just an evil person trying to justify his own greed.

        • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Detritus ( 11846 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @01:58PM (#15629334) Homepage
          I'd have to disagree with you. I've known people who stole from their employer and viewed it as an unofficial fringe benefit of the job. They were in minimum or low wage positions like cleaning and maintenance. As they explained it to me, the company tolerated a certain level of theft, as long as nobody got too greedy and the work got done. If the company cracked down, they would have a great deal of trouble finding replacements who were willing to do the work for the wages the company was willing to pay. It was simpler for everyone involved to tolerate the status quo.
          • What you are describing is called embezzlement, even if a manager is in on it.

            If your friend's skill really is worth more than his pay, he should ask management for more money or work for another company. That would be legal. If he and his manager embezzle to give him an "unofficial" (ha!) pay raise, they are both criminals.

            Of course, I think it is most likely that your friend is just a thief, and management knows absolutely nothing about this "unofficial benefit." It's not hard to increase a person's pay.
    • I wonder if this is the reason why Bell Canada recently stated that it will be monitoring content? Perhaps?

      ttyl
                Farrell
  • Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Turn-X Alphonse ( 789240 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @11:21AM (#15628057) Journal
    Translation : In national press we're getting made to look like the bad guys, so we're going to keep doing it but focus our attacks. So instead of it being in the big news papers it'll only make the local ones and we'll look like better guys instead of villians.

    We see this in the UK when police raid places, it's ignored on the major news channels but local ones make if their main feature.

    Either way it's the same shit, different day news wise.
    • Re:Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gid13 ( 620803 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @11:30AM (#15628134)
      Good points. They bring up a couple big questions for me:

      1. How does the RIAA control the media so well? Are the big papers and news channels really lazy enough to only report things that have press releases?
      2. For a group of companies that makes their money by essentially making idiots look cool, why are they so incapable of making non-piracy cool?
      • 1. How does the RIAA control the media so well? Are the big papers and news channels really lazy enough to only report things that have press releases?
        Yes.

        2. For a group of companies that makes their money by essentially making idiots look cool, why are they so incapable of making non-piracy cool?
        They spend many many millions on an awful lot of idiots, for each one they actually have a success with. Plus, making people feel that something they really want to do is actually uncool is way harder than convinci
      • Re:Translation (Score:5, Informative)

        by owlnation ( 858981 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @11:48AM (#15628272)
        1. How does the RIAA control the media so well? Are the big papers and news channels really lazy enough to only report things that have press releases?
        Possibly because the RIAA has direct and indirect connections to the media.

        The MPAA most certainly does. For example: 20th Century Fox is part of http://www.newscorp.com/operations/other.html [newscorp.com] which owns the NY Post, The Sun and the Times in the UK, and many many many more news outlets all over the world. There is not a snowball's chance in Hell of getting negative publicity over any MPAA action in a News Corp media business.

        And so on with Time Warner and the rest...

        While they are not the RIAA per se - there are connections between all these players, and a joint vested interest.

        • For example: 20th Century Fox is part of http://www.newscorp.com/operations/other.html [newscorp.com] which owns the NY Post, The Sun and the Times in the UK, and many many many more news outlets all over the world. There is not a snowball's chance in Hell of getting negative publicity over any MPAA action in a News Corp media business.

          Bring on the Blipverts!
      • Re:Translation (Score:3, Informative)

        by _Sprocket_ ( 42527 )
        1. How does the RIAA control the media so well? Are the big papers and news channels really lazy enough to only report things that have press releases?


        Any PR org. should know how to game the system. To understand how this is done, read Paul Graham's "The Submarine" [paulgraham.com] which does a nice job covering the subject.
      • 2. For a group of companies that makes their money by essentially making idiots look cool, why are they so incapable of making non-piracy cool?

        Let's be honest, piracy is always going to be cool because we all wanted to be pirates on the open seas at some point. This version of piracy is much safer to the pirates and doesn't cost those that got pirated lifes or solid goods. If the RIAA can make non-piracy look cool, then they could found a new modern religion based around preserving their copyrights. What it
      • Re:Translation (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        How does the RIAA control the media so well?

        CBS - Owned by Viacom
        ABC - Owned by Disney
        NBC - Owned by General Electric, who also owns Vivendi/Universal
        CNN - Owned by Time/Warner
        Fox - Owned by News Corp., who also owns 20th Centrury Fox & Fox Broadcasting (couldn't find any musical ownership, we are discussing the RIAA after all)
      • Re:Translation (Score:3, Interesting)

        why are they so incapable of making non-piracy cool?

        BR> Aye, there's the rub. When the **AA employs hyperbole to make their case seem more relevant, they simultaneously make it more cool to be on the other side. Imagine you're 14 and you hear on the news, "A gang of cutthroat pirates electronically broke into the RIAA vaults today and made off with 50 godzillion* dollars worth of music..."

        Just look at the products of the entertainment industry. "Ocean's 11 & 12", "Grand Theft Auto", and all the

      • I think they've learned from the past [google.com] that it's just not possible to make respecting copyright cool. :)
    • Re:Translation (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SatanicPuppy ( 611928 ) * <Satanicpuppy@@@gmail...com> on Thursday June 29, 2006 @11:42AM (#15628231) Journal
      Speaking as someone who's married to a reporter, and who works at a "local" news outlet, the publicity can only be worse from trying to localize their lawsuits. The media outlets will pick it up, and talk to the person, who'll act bewildered and put upon, and then talk to their neighbors who'll be indignant and offended, and then wrap up with a public official saying "Well, it's a law, but we don't really hold with big national corporations poking their noses into our business, and really they're pencil dicks anyway."

      That's the thing with national news...They talk to national people. Some Senator or Representative who really needs RIAA money for his next election. But local news, you're talking to elected officials who probably won their office by a few thousand votes at best, about people who live right down the street. Make it local, you make it personal, and people will take it personally.
      • The media outlets will pick it up, and talk to the person, who'll act bewildered and put upon, and then talk to their neighbors who'll be indignant and offended

        That's so true.

        If the RIAA doens't hire about a gazillion extra PR people, this tactic stands no chance of working.

        However, the RIAA does have the advantage. They know when and where they're filing lawsuits, so they can pre-organize local talking heads to explain how and why filesharing is the bane of civilized society.

        (Because they're trying to demo

      • Well, it's a law, but we don't really hold with big national corporations poking their noses into our business

        And then the **AA turns and says "But local representative, this person clearly broke copyright infringement laws. This person has downloaded/uploaded well over 1000 songs. We are taking our legally authorized action. Are you saying it is none of our business that someone infringed OUR copyrights? I don't understand how you say this is none of our business. In fact it is the business between
    • Re:Translation (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Optikschmoptik ( 971793 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @11:47AM (#15628255) Homepage
      The advantage of this, especially in the U.S., is that it is so much easier to manipulate local news. Most network local stations have distilled their newscasts down to 1. Weather, 2. Sports, 3. What you should be scared of, and 3a. What local shame is deserved, 3b. Missing or potentially missing children.

      Now in national media, the RIAA vs. Everyone Else fight is probably a draw; or at least they're not seeing a lot of potential in pushing their agenda on the national stage. However, it's so much easier to be the only source for a shoestring local news station and make sure that they report your story from exactly your spin angle. Ask Karen Ryan about that.

      RIAA can make sure that their local raids, local lawsuits etc. are reported in category 3a along the lines of "The dangers of filesharing in the tri-county area" or "Is your neighbor a dangerous media pirate?" And they'll show some poor hapless dropout sputtering to defend himself. He'll get one soundbite that makes him sound like a rube or thug. The local RIAA rep, (polished, well-dressed and trained), will politely yet sternly rattle off some talking points (probably trying to sound like a DA), and the report will wrap up with a conclusion that justice has been served. Think the EFF will be able to keep up in that realm? I doubt anyone could develop the rapid response needed to get a rebuttal into local news cycles, nationally distributed.

      We love to complain about the terrible quality of the major nationwide news networks, but the local stuff is just horrific. It's diabolically clever for them to use it to their advantage.

  • But, I thought that (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ematic ( 217513 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @11:23AM (#15628078)
    piracy had been contained [slashdot.org]!? Is the RIAA talking out of both side of its mouth again. Or, does one hand of the RIAA not know what the other is doing? Hmm.
    • But I thought that piracy had been contained!? Is the RIAA talking out of both side of its mouth again. Or, does one hand of the RIAA not know what the other is doing? Hmm.

      Piracy has been contained. It used to be happening on a national and global level. It's been contained to a local level now!

      Open letter to the **AA: Most adults don't have the free time to consume your products (music, movies). Most of the consumption comes from youth, who don't have so much money to buy your products with. What they
    • "piracy had been contained!? Is the RIAA talking out of both side of its mouth again. Or, does one hand of the RIAA not know what the other is doing? Hmm."

      Let's say that Best Buy announces that shoplifting is contained. Contained, of course, != "eradicated completely." Perhaps to Best Buy it means that their losses to shoplifting are less than 5%.

      Does that mean that Best Buy will now:

      1. Immediately cease all measures to curtail shoplifting?
      2. Or, keep doing what they're doing, because it's been effect
  • by teamhasnoi ( 554944 ) <teamhasnoiNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Thursday June 29, 2006 @11:23AM (#15628081) Homepage Journal
    Ha. This is a repost, but I thought it good enough to give another chance - I really think someone should run with it.

    Boycotting the RIAA will only result in more cries of, "Pirates! Pirates!". I think a different boycott is in order.

    On the RIAA page, there is a list of labels that associate themselves with the RIAA - remember, the RIAA is a group of labels, and other music related 'entities' that like the lobbying power that the RIAA gives them.

    Not buying CDs, videos or DRMd files is not going to hurt the RIAA - they make their money from 'dues' from the individual labels. Not buying CDs will only help the RIAA make a case that it's due to piracy, and make that case to those who make the laws.

    However, if a boycott was organized that picked, let's say five, (smaller) labels from that list, and let them know that no CDs from them will be purchased that month or year by the organized boycott, calls of piracy hurting sales could be refuted on that smaller scale,(Not that they can't be refuted now...)

    Labels who think that calling their customers thieves, handing out lawsuits, restricting fair use, and lobbying for the demise of independent music is ok will get a message that their customers will not stand for it.

    Issues with this:

    In order to work this boycott has to be big, organized, and educated. Big, so the set of music the particular few labels include intersect with the boycotting group. The boycott doesn't work if no one was going to buy that music anyway. Those sales 'lost' to apathy will be blamed on piracy, and used to lobby for more restrictions and copyrightholder power.

    Oraganized, so that the chosen labels (picked by size and choice of music: see above) get an actual message : "You are being boycotted by x number of people who have agreed that they will not buy your labels offerings until: (insert ultimatum here - hell freezes over, a year passes, or my favorite, disassociation with the RIAA) This notice should be sent anywhere that would reproduce it, and those not 'signed up' should be ...

    Educated, so that they know what the RIAA is (not a company per se, but a collection of companies), why the boycott is happening, and how they can help.

    There are certainly other things to take into account, such as the 'list' is by design, not accurate. There have been cases where the RIAA has claimed membership by some small (and suddenly successful) lables, in order to present a 'united front' and spread the message that RIAA=success/no RIAA=obscurity.

    I'm convinced that the only way to kill the RIAA is to go after the legs - small and medium labels that support it. Once these smaller labels have severed their connection with the RIAA, the RIAA will have less money to lobby for DRM and the extention of copyrights, less money to pay lawyers to sue your dead grandma, less money to push their skewed facts, figures and arguments to an uneducated public.

    Remember, the RIAA's money comes from labels and manufacturing, whose money comes from you. Small, focused strikes by a large educated group are the only way to win.
    • So I'm not much of a boycott guy, but your idea seems fairly reasonable. The trick is, how many of these smaller and medium-sized, and therefore subject to this sort of pressure, labels are there in the RIAA AND how much of the RIAA's income do they account for? IOW, is this really going to make a reasonable difference or do the really big guys make up such a large percentage of RIAA funding that it doesn't matter how many little guys turn away from them?

      If the numbers make sense, then I'm all for it. It wo
    • by denis-The-menace ( 471988 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @11:58AM (#15628334)
      Nice try but it won't work.
      Right now teens are the #1 buyers of music.
      There are very few teens who would give up buying a popular song in protest of something.

      The real solution is to convince Small/Medium labels to either leave the RIAA or not join the RIAA in the first place.
      Convincing the Small/Medium labels without the help of their #1 customers is the hard part.
      You'd have to make it un-cool to buy from the RIAA.
      You'd have to make it as un-cool as drunk driving and give them options on how to buy the music differently.

      Imagine a video ad showing a teen in a music store thinking about where the money goes, how it funds corruption in our government (DRM, DMCA), how it makes the police kick down your door if they *think* you pirated the music, How it pays for lawyers to sue grandmas, and how little the artist actually makes from the sale. Then show the teen walking out the door without buying it. Then show the teen getting the music differently.

      Getting the music differently is part I haven't figured out, yet.
      Can they buy the music directly from the artist's web site?
      Does the artist get more $ if you buy the music at their concert?
      I dunno
      • Now THAT'S the solution. That commerical would work, instead of all this crap our side should get together to form a system similar to MADD or such to inform people about alternative ways to acquire music, or alternative layers.

        It wouldn't stop people from buying the music they'd want but it might slow the speed people buy those albums, or maybe have them investigate a small label, or a local band.
      • They can not get the music a different way. Copyright is by it's very nature a legal government enforced monopoly. The only thing you can do is convince them that the music is uncool, so that they don't buy the music at all.
      • I agree that teens are the center of 'the plan'. Your ideas of commercials are good - the same tactics as used by the RIAA would be more pervasive and perhaps less effective. Pervasive, as they would blanket airwaves, cable, and the net with their message. Less effective, because people like to believe the worst, especially when the message comes from a corporation.

        I'd love a commercial where pop music 'superstar' lookalikes (which wouldn't be hard to find - the RIAA has made every act the same :P ) loo
      • Can they buy the music directly from the artist's web site?

        Most of the time, when an new artist signs with a label, they give that label an exclusive for the next N albums. So, no, there is no other, legal, way to get that music. For your boycott, convince the teens not to buy any music from RIAA labels, and tell them there are no other *legal* ways to get it. The teenagers will figure out the rest.

        *Note. There are groups like "They Might Be Giants" http://www.theymightbegiants.com/ [theymightbegiants.com], that sell the

      • All of that is nice, but how do you get that message out there? Arguably the only real way to do it is with TV/radio/print advertisements.

        Guess who owns those TV/radio stations, and newspapers?


        Let's face it, there's no real economic way to defeat them.
    • Oraganized, so that the chosen labels (picked by size and choice of music: see above) get an actual message : "You are being boycotted by x number of people who have agreed that they will not buy your labels offerings until: (insert ultimatum here - hell freezes over, a year passes, or my favorite, disassociation with the RIAA)

      I'd go for $10M in unmarked bills and a helicopter.

    • I doubt that a boycott against **AA will accomplish much. On the other hand, a better business model might just wipe them out completely. There ARE companies out there that use a better business model. For instance http://www.magnatune.com/ [magnatune.com] -- check them out! You can listen any number of times for free before you buy, you can decide how much to pay (within limits), half of the price goes to the artist (unheard of in **AA labels!!!), and the TOS allows you to share your download with up to two of your friend
    • Or, like, what we could do is boycott Texaco Records. Then Texaco Records will lower their prices, which will make all the other music companies lower their prices too, and we'll be able to buy music for $1 a gallon!!!! Also we can all refuse to buy any music on Tuesdays. This will send the message that DRM sucks!

      Hey, here's a thought: The RIAA is calling many of its members "customers" pirates because that's what they are. They - the "customers" in question - are making unauthorized copies of music, and

      • Sarcasm aside, the RIAA is calling everyone a pirate. And let's not rehash the 'if they didn't pirate it, they would have bought it, and that equals lost sales, blah blah blah' argument. It's just not true. The reality is that most songs, apps, games and anything else in the digital domain are copied because:

        It's easier
        Faster
        Cheaper
        and in many cases with copy protection, Better

        than what is available legally. Just because someone uses their next-to-free bandwidth to grab something off the net is abs
  • by Spy der Mann ( 805235 ) <spydermann.slashdot@gmail . c om> on Thursday June 29, 2006 @11:23AM (#15628083) Homepage Journal
    They turned off their automatic lawsuit generator.
    • #include <people.h>
      void lawsuit ( struct person );
       
      int main (void)
      {
        int i;
        for ( i = 0; 1 = 1; i++ )
        {
            lawsuit ( pirates[i] );
        }
      }
      • Wow. Assignment instead of test, undeclared variable used (unless pirates is defined in people.h), control reaching the end of a non-void function, and someone still using C89 in 2006. Yup, looks like something the RIAA had a hand in to me...
    • They turned off their automatic lawsuit generator.

      Quite the opposite, actually.
      Now they have upgraded to a distributed automatic lawsuit generator !

      (But well, they might have turned off the old one, if that's what you meant...)
  • by should_be_linear ( 779431 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @11:24AM (#15628091)
    Wondering why the RIAA hasn't announced 800 lawsuits per month any more?

    World Cup?
  • More of the same (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Billosaur ( 927319 ) * <wgrother@optonlin[ ]et ['e.n' in gap]> on Thursday June 29, 2006 @11:27AM (#15628115) Journal
    The problem with the current barrage of lawsuits is equivalent to being hit with a fire hose of information. With so many individuals being hit at once, it becomes counterproductive to the entertainment industry's effort to educate the file-sharing populace. The growing perception over the years has developed into complacency. Who are these people? Do they live near me? Why should I care if some nameless, faceless individual on the other side of the continent was sued for sharing 5,000 songs on the FastTrack network?

    This lack of focus is apparent when alleged file-sharing pirates come forward to the media and plead ignorance in the face of a $3,000.00 settlement. Often times such individuals are completely befuddled, unaware their actions were unlawful.

    Or the RIAA/MPAA are so befuddled that they sue people who aren't guilty of much of anything. If they think this is somehow going to put a better face on their draconian tactics then they are even more egotistical and deluded than I had previously realized. If nothing else, it will rally local P2P groups and rouse them into action, and the local publicity the RIAA/MPAA is seeking will not be as friendly as they imagine. In fact, i see this backfiring on them in the long run, as the average customer begins to wonder why they are paying so much for this content.

    • I think local media will put more of a negative spin on it. I mean, local media is going to interview the guy sued, and I'm more inclined to have sympathy for a guy I know than someone I don't. And if this is a leading story in a local paper, then when cases go bad for the RIAA, that'll make more of a splash too.
  • Brilliant! (Score:4, Funny)

    by fobbman ( 131816 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @11:30AM (#15628137) Homepage
    You know, at first I thought that the attorneys who work for the RIAA were blood-sucking leeches for going after all of those people like they do. However, the more I think about it the more I think that they truly are brilliant. They have tapped into a seemingly endless supply of cash at the RIAA by trying to accomplish something that will never work: shutting down file sharing entirely.

    If they ARE blood-sucking leeches, they are very smart blood sucking leeches. Bravo!

    • BRIAN
      SO CAN I GET YOU GENTLEMEN SOMETHING MORE TO DRINK? OR MAYBE SOMETHING
      TO NIBBLE ON? SOME PIZZA SHOOTERS, SHRIMP POPPERS, OR EXTREME FAJITAS.

      PETER GIBBONS
      Just coffee.

      BRIAN
      Oh. Sounds like a case of the Mondays.

      PETER GIBBONS
      What if we're still doing this when we're 50?

      SAMIR NAGHEENANAJAR
      It could be nice to have that kind of job security.
  • Insurance? (Score:4, Funny)

    by BigNumber ( 457893 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @11:31AM (#15628145)
    I guess I won't be needing that Swedish piracy insurance now.
  • by SpecTheIntro ( 951219 ) <spectheintro&gmail,com> on Thursday June 29, 2006 @11:34AM (#15628173)
    The lawsuits are and will continue to be an essential part of a larger effort to encourage fans to enjoy music legally.

    Yes, the threat of legislation and consistent bullying tactics are a surefire way to get me to "enjoy" my music legally. Basically all they want to do is make it look like they are catching people every day (and I'm sure they are) and then publicize that in local papers. I don't care if Robert Vaughn in Washington D.C. gets caught for file-sharing, but if Jimmy across the street gets a fine, well then I'd better be scared.

    I wonder if the RIAA has done any public image surveys since they decided to start terrorizing their consumers? It's one thing to try to protect your intellectual property; it's another thing entirely to shake down every person with an internet connection. I can't think of one person nowadays who thinks the record industry is anything but a pack of devils; I just wish there was some way of translating that revulsion into serious market reform. They're just jackals, plain and simple.

    • by ObligatoryUserName ( 126027 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @11:54AM (#15628303) Journal
      The dumbest people alive? Hardly.

      The RIAA is working great. It's a great big magnet for all the ill-will generated as the labels fight to control how music is distributed. Everyone hates them, but no one hates the member labels - the abstract acronym organization that sells nothing takes all the blame. Perfect.

      Why would the RIAA care what their public image is? They want you to like Shakira (her hips don't lie, you know) - they don't give a flip what you think about the organization.
    • Robert Vaughn [imdb.com] is currently abroad in England, filming his excellent con-man series Hustle. :) You don't have to worry about him getting sued in the US at all! (I'll bet that's a load off your mind, I like the chap too.)
  • Choose RIAA (Score:5, Funny)

    by Bromskloss ( 750445 ) <auxiliary.addres ... NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday June 29, 2006 @11:35AM (#15628177)
    ..for a more localized, focused and personal experience.
  • Reporters? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mr. Underbridge ( 666784 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @11:35AM (#15628178)
    So why are the local papers and stations acting as PR shills for the RIAA? Are they stupid or just getting cash?
    • If you bought some adverts, they'd shill for you too (Advertorial) [wikipedia.org]. Also how about leaving Slashdot alone for a day and writing a letter to your local paper - they're probable desperate for free local content, so maybe they'd print it.

      I'm more worried about publicising the personal details of alleged sharers. It's not safe when there are so many loonies out there. How would the *AA would react if individual record company execs were named and shamed like this?
  • That's the BSA model (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MoNickels ( 1700 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @11:37AM (#15628197) Homepage
    So they're adopting the Business Software Alliance model, right? Will they adopt it fully? Will they allow for retroactive purchase and penalties to be paid in an extralegal manner rather than pursuing the manner in courts?
    • So they're adopting the Business Software Alliance model, right?

      Microsoft, AKA the Business Software Alliance, doesn't usually prosecute individuals. It'd be different if the RIAA was going after large web sites that host MP3 files (does anyone dare do that anymore?) and charge money to join like allofmp3.com, but they're going after kids sharing music on their home machines with no intentions of making any money off of it.

    • Will they allow for retroactive purchase and penalties to be paid in an extralegal manner rather than pursuing the manner in courts?

      Maybe we should be asking: Will the Courts "allow for retroactive purchase and penalties to be paid in an extralegal manner"

      IIRC, in one of the (few) RIAA goonsquad cases that ended up in court, the Judge bitchslapped them when the RIAA lawyer tried to fob some of the responsibility off on their collection agency.

      I'm sure else someone will have the exact quote handy.

  • by MirrororriM ( 801308 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @12:08PM (#15628396) Homepage Journal
    FTA:

    "We hold that one who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement, is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties," Justice David H. Souter wrote in court's decision.

    So Dell, Gateway, Microsoft, Apple, etc, all need to specifically have a disclaimer stating "don't use our stuff to infringe copyright"? Currently, it looks like Dell, Gateway, Microsoft, Apple, etc are all guilty...after all, their products are all used to "infringe copyright". Same with hard drive manufacturers, cd/dvd burner manufacturers, burning software manufacturers, etc.

    That and, of course, we wouldn't want to hold individuals responsible for their own actions. It seems to me that gun manufacturers could now be held responsible for murder wouldn't it? Maybe a bad analogy, but is a gun really manufactured to specifically murder people? I agree with the lower courts decision completely - it just makes logical sense. But the fact that it was overturned 9 to 0 by a higher court tells me that a few people were bought and paid for.

    /end rant

    • What you seem to be missing is "clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement." The court felt that the defendents had knowingly and intentionally supported the use of their products to infringe copyright. In other words, if Grokster et al. take steps to specifically support downloading illegal files, then they've gone beyond just making a tool that can be used that way. They've become accomplices. It would be like Remington making a shotgun that specifically aids in targettin
    • So Dell, Gateway, Microsoft, Apple, etc, all need to specifically have a disclaimer stating "don't use our stuff to infringe copyright"?
      In fact all iPods have a sticker on their screen (as well as on the packaging) saying "Don't steal music" in several languages. So to use your brand-new iPod you have to peel off the sticker, reading what it says.
  • Artists (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Even music artists on smaller labels don't see much money from their record sales. Of course, the more money their label makes the more the label wants to use on their next album for production, promotion, etc.
    After speaking to an artist on a small label I was told that the most money they see and retain is from merchandise they sell at concerts, excluding cd's.
    Even cd's sold on websites don't necessarily put more money into the pocket of the artists, because the same percentage goes right to the label.
    If y
    • If you really want to piss of the RIAA and the record companies, while you're downloading the album illegally, just go to that band's website and purchase a t-shirt or some other piece of merchandise that does not contain their music. (even if their label is associated with the RIAA or not)

      How would that piss off the RIAA?If it really came down to them suing you, then the fact that you were willing to spend the money would only serve to legitimize their faulty "lost sale" resoning.

      I'm not saying that yo

    • Re:Artists - (Score:3, Interesting)

      by termite12 ( 247870 )
      This has been my personal experience as well. Just to reinforce:

      I've had the luxury of being a part of a band signed twice to a small labels. We made absolutely nothing, despite experiencing moderate success.

      Since then, we've purposely avoided label interest so we can control our own music and merchandise (and destiny). We record everything ourselves and release all music under a creative commons license. So far, it's working well.
      We have broken even on our bar tabs, equipment, promotion, and gas... we
  • I wonder if someone could come and sue me for NOT listenning to music. After all, they already TAX me when I buy blank media (I live in Canada,) and I never use this media for any music, data backups only.
  • Grind out a really shitty product, then charge everyone for upgrades, particularly the made-up security upgrades that seemingly fix imaginary holes.
  • So if Ed McMahon shows up at your front door early in the morning with a camera crew, you might
    think back to whether you actually returned the Publishers Clearing House entry before opening the door...
  • Instead the RIAA is looking to be more localized, focused and personal with its new strategy.

    Hey, it's Web 2.0 lawsuits!

  • since no one is getting sued, since the major ISPs, charter, time warner and Ameritech told the RIAA to go get bent.

    Hopefully more ISPs just tell them to FUCK OFF, nasty letter to follow. The lawsuits come to a crashing end because judges simply dont give a shit to bother signing off on a REAL subpeona, not those fake ones the music industry gets to write themselves.

    If ISPs were smart they would just say "hey we dont keep logs of who was at what ip for that long, those logs may exist in our backup vault, bu
  • Laugh (Score:2, Interesting)

    by spykemail ( 983593 )
    Do the RIAA and MPAA realize they're a joke? Maybe not to the unfortunate people who get sued (a good friend of mind among them), but to everyone else? In some countries you can get RIAA insurance! They sue people who have never used a computer, little girls, dumb parents, and pretty much anyone they happen to randomly pick.

    This is not going to work, anymore than their initial batch of lawsuits did. There needs to be some serious discussion of how to reform the music and movie industries and create a system
    • Problem is, who wants to pay? If you know that 98% of what you are paying for some piece of music is going to promote "music in general" via the association of artists, managers, publicity people and flunkys why would you pay if the alternative is free?

      So far, there is no compelling case for "not free". Oooh, I might get caught is not a compelling case. "I want to support the artist" is not a compelling case, because your payment isn't helping the artist.

      Unfortunately, most of what I have heard about dir
  • The aim of the new RIAA strategy is to give a name and face to a previously ho-hum lawsuit campaign. It's designed to summon a reaction that invokes a sense of relevance and vulnerability

    Hmmm. This kind of sounds like, well, terrorism. I guess those guys are better funded than the news might have previously led one to believe.

    I cannot believe they made me use the "T" word.

  • by dfenstrate ( 202098 ) <dfenstrate.gmail@com> on Thursday June 29, 2006 @01:51PM (#15629243)
    I would, if properly convinced the defendant was guilty, fine him thus:

    $3 for every song on his computer ($1 Itunes price, $2 punitive), minus $36 for every physical CD he owned ($3 a song, figure an average of 12 songs a CD).

    It's enough to make the kid feel pain for violating the law, without being absurd. While a $20,000 judgement against you would suck, it's not unpayable.

    Of course, a $20k judgement may not make such a law suit a net financial loss for the RIAA, but they can cry me and the rest of the Jury a river.

    Also remember that the Jury is the ultimate arbriter of both the defendant and the law- even if the law says he's to be fined $1000 per song or such nonsense, a jury does not have to follow that in setting an award.

    IANAL but you can read about Jury Nullification [wikipedia.org] yourself.

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