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RIAA About to Transform? 217

It has been reported for a while that the RIAA was suffering some cutbacks and dwindling support, but techdirt is reporting that the cuts may be even deeper than most originally suspected. Who knew suing potential customers would ruin your business? "I'm sure some will somehow 'blame piracy' for this turn of events, but it's hard to see how that's even remotely the issue. The real issue is that the RIAA has basically managed to run one of the dumbest, most self-defeating strategies over the last decade. Rather than helping major record labels adjust to the changing market, it continually, repeatedly and publicly destroyed its own reputation and the reputation of the labels — each time shrinking their potential market by blaming the very people they should have been working to turn into customers."
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RIAA About to Transform?

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  • Worse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Friday February 27, 2009 @06:45PM (#27018639) Homepage

    each time shrinking their potential market by blaming the very people they should have been working to turn into customers.

    Worse than that, they were shrinking their market by blaming the very people who already were their customers. Contrary to the way we sometimes talk about it, "people who download music in violation of copyrights" and "people who buy music" are not mutually exclusive groups.

    Often enough, the same people who will spend money on high-quality convenient products that they feel are worth the price will also look for alternate channels in cases where they don't think the product they are being offered is high-quality enough, convenient enough, or worth the price.

    Now I'm not trying to excuse people who download music illegally. It's illegal. I don't do it. I don't advocate that others do it. I don't approve of it. I'm just pointing out that all those nasty/evil group of "pirates" and "thieves" that the music industry keeps blaming, vilifying, and suing-- that group has a fair amount of overlap with that industry's legitimate customers.

  • Meet the New Boss, (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Neptunes_Trident ( 1452997 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @06:50PM (#27018677)
    Same as the old boss. Heh, Just because the RIAA transforms, does not imply that the copyright laws they try to enforce or fight for have changed. Slam them all you want and call'em a failure, as far as I'm concerned this means nothing. When the laws change toward cultural liberation, (like they used to be) only then will I celebrate. Only then.
  • by SCPRedMage ( 838040 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @07:08PM (#27018861)
    Blu-spec CDs are just CDs. They hold no more data than a regular CD. The only difference is that the masters are made with a blue laser instead of the standard red laser, which supposedly lowers their error-rates.

    Blu-spec CDs are nothing more than a marketing gimmick.
  • Re:Will it be... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by EdZ ( 755139 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @07:18PM (#27018941)
    Given the RIAA's usual complaints, a BAW filter seems appropriate.
  • Who knew? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Groo Wanderer ( 180806 ) <> on Friday February 27, 2009 @07:22PM (#27018979) Homepage

    "Who knew suing potential customers would ruin your business?"

    SCO did. Worked for them as well.


  • Re:Worse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LuYu ( 519260 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @08:16PM (#27019369) Homepage Journal

    Now I'm not trying to excuse people who download music illegally. It's illegal. I don't do it.

    I am so sick of this argument. The RIAA never (as in: not once) sued anybody for downloading music. No matter what they said to the press, 100% of their "filesharing" lawsuits were for uploading. Further, it has never been conclusively established that downloading songs is illegal. In the Napster case, the judge stated that people using a service like Napster had the "effect of piracy". Just because something has the same consequences does not mean it is the same thing. On top of that, it has since been argued -- rather convincingly -- that music sharing increases sales because the heaviest downloaders are also the biggest music buyers.

    You can listen to the radio for free. Are you or the radio station doing something "illegal" when you tune in? Are radio audiences "pirates"?

    This whole "downloading == theft" thing is merely the RIAA's creation.

  • Re:Worse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Friday February 27, 2009 @09:02PM (#27019681) Homepage

    I didn't say that "downloading == theft". I wouldn't. In fact, I've argued many times here on Slashdot that copyright infringement is not the same thing as theft, and people who are trying to equate them are being dishonest.

    However, there are many laws other than those against theft, and to the best of my knowledge, it's not untrue to say that copyright infringement is "illegal". Also, that copying copyrighted material without a license to do so is generally considered copyright infringement, and that the process of downloading something from the Internet includes "copying".

    I'm not trying to be controversial here. I don't believe that copyright was intended to prevent private individuals from enjoying copyrighted material without a license. It was more to prevent professional publishers from poaching off of each others' work for profit. On the hand, copyright does have a valid role in ensuring that artists are compensated for their work, and in the current legal formulation, I believe copying songs without buying them (outside of "fair use") is illegal.

  • Re:Worse (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Friday February 27, 2009 @09:06PM (#27019693) Homepage

    It just depresses me that you (quite rightly) felt you had to throw in that last paragraph, even though the things you didn't say can be easily spotted, simply by reading your actual message.

    It depresses me a bit too. I've found that I have to tell people what I'm not-saying on a pretty consistent basis, or else I get attacked for saying things that I specifically did not say.

    I don't think we really listen to each other very well, and we don't think very deeply about what other people are saying. If we did, we'd often find that people who disagree with us are disagreeing for a reason-- maybe even a valid reason-- even if they're still "wrong".

  • by cibyr ( 898667 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @10:14PM (#27020045) Journal

    That said, I do appreciate Trent Reznor providing FLACs, both in CD-quality format -- 16/44.1 -- and in 24/96.

    I wish everyone did this. Even if I didn't like the music I would've bought Ghosts anyway just to support people selling music in good format.

  • this was a bad move by the RIAA because they didn't anyone would pay attention. well someone did. and it appears that enough help is being focused on particular cases that some unfortunate for the RIAA precedents have been or are going to be shortly set. lets not stop now. but score one for the internet.

    Agreed. They embarked upon a ludicrous campaign and they have lost. It is now all over except for the mopping up. Unfortunately for the families caught up in it, though, there's still a lot of mopping up.

  • Re:Worse (Score:4, Insightful)

    They didn't know that he had downloaded any songs when they sued him. They sued him because he had made the files "available".
  • by qubezz ( 520511 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @11:33PM (#27020439)
    It's a technology to be avoided because it is from Sony. The same people that installed root kits on it's customer's computers. We shall not forget that they despise their customers.
  • Re:Worse (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bhiestand ( 157373 ) * on Friday February 27, 2009 @11:36PM (#27020449) Journal

    You made a little mistake... you didn't yell loudly, beat your chest, and say it in a more confident manner. You'll never get modded up this way!

  • Re:Worse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by steelfood ( 895457 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @11:59PM (#27020527)

    Yes, but what GP is trying to say is that downloading isn't copyright infringement. The burden of obtaining authorization to distribute is on the person offering the goods, or the uploader. And it shouldn't be on the burden of the receiver to know whether the copy is obtained through legit channels or not.

    So people who download may be pirates, but they're not committing any crime or tort until they redistribute what they've downloaded. Whether it is moral or otherwise is another issue. But since copyright infringement is not theft, the data can't actually be "returned" and the owner of the files can't be charged with possession of stolen goods.

  • Re: NYCL FP FTW!! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Brickwall ( 985910 ) on Saturday February 28, 2009 @03:58AM (#27021477)
    ZOMG! Even for /., this is self-congratulatory beyond the pale.. Also, fuck you. ;}
  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Saturday February 28, 2009 @06:40AM (#27021931) Journal

    >>>You, cibyr, can't tell the difference between a high-bitrate MP3 and a FLAC

    You can when you hook it up to your 4.1 or 5.1 surround system. The difference becomes immediately obvious, even if you've used a 320 kbit/s MP3. There are weird sounds coming from the speakers which should not be there. AKA compression artifacts.

  • Re:Worse (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NewYorkCountryLawyer ( 912032 ) * <ray@becke[ ] ['rma' in gap]> on Saturday February 28, 2009 @08:44AM (#27022339) Homepage Journal

    what he really means is that he uploaded them

    No, because there was no evidence that he uploaded them, either.

  • Re:Worse (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NewYorkCountryLawyer ( 912032 ) * <ray@becke[ ] ['rma' in gap]> on Saturday February 28, 2009 @08:58AM (#27022415) Homepage Journal

    The courts do seem to have seen uploading as infringement

    The issue hasn't come up yet; there hasn't been an RIAA case with any evidence of uploading... at least not of which I am aware.

  • by Tubal-Cain ( 1289912 ) on Saturday February 28, 2009 @04:37PM (#27025247) Journal
    Why do people make posts like this one to undo their mod? Why not instead make a useful post anywhere else in the thread?

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