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Comment Re:What do we think? We don't know! (Score 1) 225

I was basing my statements on the 2007 and 2008 stories. I kind of stopped paying attention to this case about the time a judge ruled that "making available" theory was an invalid claim. Wasn't aware of the details of the 2009 trial or that she had recanted her original story.

Not that any of it really matters. Everything the RIAA has done in the last decade on the legal scene has been all rather pointless and accomplished absolutely nothing.

Comment Re:What do we think? We don't know! (Score 1) 225

That's the distinction... If Thomas was only a leecher and never uploaded copies, then she could make a reasonable argument about $1. But once she distributed, then she's into the "reasonable royalties and license fees" range.

Thomas was using Kazaa which, at the time, had sharing turned on by default. She may not have even known she was sharing. Also her hard drive crashed and was replaced before she was ever notified by the RIAA that she was accused of anything, so there's no actual proof that she even had copies of any of the music in question. There's also no proof that anyone other than the RIAA ever downloaded a copy and they may not have actually downloaded one either, but just saw it listed on Kazaa.

The RIAA has never proven anything.

Comment Re:How about this one (Score 1) 225

While this argument is thoughtful and well-said, it misses a key point. Record labels contracts washed away the artists rights the day they were signed. And that goes back to the 40s and 50s.

The artists may own the songs that they write (and now get paid 9 cents a copy -- half of which goes to their publisher) but very, very few own the sound recording copyrights. That's how Sony got away with paying the Bay City Rollers a total of $250,000 (their original advance), sold 70 million copies of their albums and never paid them another dime for more than 40 years (they "lost" the original contract, so they "didn't know how to break it up" among the members and, as a result just kept it all). I heard a few years ago that they band was finally taking Sony to court, but no news ever came out about the outcome.

Roger McGuinn testified before Congress that he never made a dime off of anything The Byrds did. The only album Merle Haggard ever actually profited from was an independent jazz release. Motown artists were paid $50 a song. One of the best-documented accounts is on Janis Ian's website, detailing how she still owes money from a contract in the late 60s or early 70s, and she doesn't have the right to sell her own early work because her former record label refuses to sell her old albums. She can't even buy copies of her own records to resell. These are just a few stories off the top of my head, but there are thousands of them, all just as despicable.

Sure, there are a few like McCartney, Springsteen and the Rolling Stones that can still fill a stadium -- and they are still making a comfortable living -- but for every one of those there are hundreds (if not thousands) of other artists that sold millions and millions of albums who will continue to play clubs and the Indian casino circuit until they die, just to pay their rent. They can't afford to retire because they never got paid for selling any records and never will.

While things have changed a little in the last decade (bands breaking away from their labels and becoming independent), current standard operating procedure is that you still never receive any money from recordings after your advance and if you do, you should fire your agent for failing to negotiate properly. If an artist actually gets to audit their record label (there's like a 7-year waiting period between audits) and finds that the label owes them money (which is the case 99.99% of the time), the label usually settles for 10 percent of the amount due, so they still keep 90 percent of what they were trying to skim in the first place.

In 2013, artists are supposed to start regaining the rights to material that is 35 years old, as the result of a law passed in 1976 which is just on the verge of actually coming into effect. The RIAA has already made it clear that they have no intention whatsoever of abiding by this law and will fight it all the way to the Supreme Court.

The greatest pirates the recording artists have ever seen (or will ever see) are the members of the RIAA.

Comment Re:DRM-free movie downloads (Score 1) 417

Most people I know stopped pirating music once legal, DRM-free downloads came about.

And the RIAA is still pissed about this because the legal method lets you just buy the songs you want instead of forcing you to buy an album with another 9 songs you didn't want. Giving the public what they want has decimated the music business just as much as piracy did.

Comment Re:PC Decrapifier: Free (Score 1) 474

Apple is not an OS vendor. They manufacture computers. The hardware contains some of the core code used by the OS. In the past, this was the code that made a Mac so different from everything else and provided the extra security Macs used to be so vehemently touted for. Don't know how much that has changed since OSX came into being and the UNIX code was adopted.

Some of us will pay the extra price, partly because we don't want to have to know how to build a computer from scratch in order to do the work we buy a computer for in the first place (we also do not want to know how to manufacture a car just so we can drive to work). And partly because we read threads like this one that so clearly outline the clusterfuck that owning a Windows machine seems to be.

Comment Re:Not really surprising (Score 1) 290

My initial take from the headline was that Microsoft was not predicting anything, but rather promising. The other thing about having such a large market share is that it leads to aggressively protecting that market share.

"Even though Mac OSX has introduced many mitigation technologies to reduce risk, your protection against security vulnerabilities has a direct correlation with updating installed applications."

As someone who used OS9 for most of my work until late 2010, it seems as if updating to OSX and updating all of my applications has actually reduced protection against security vulnerabilities.

Comment Re:Good. (Score 1) 238

My wife taught 8th grade in a low-income area. She used FB to keep tabs on her students and several times took pro-active steps to intervene (in a helpful manner) on the ones who were getting into gang activity and drugs. Sometimes, it helped. Sometimes, it was a waste of time.

Not all teachers are sexual predators. Some of them actually care about the kids they spend 35-40 hours a week with.

Comment Re:They can say they oppose it, (Score 1) 175

I thought the most important part of the White House response was this:

So, rather than just look at how legislation can be stopped, ask yourself: Where do we go from here? Don’t limit your opinion to what’s the wrong thing to do, ask yourself what’s right. Already, many members of Congress are asking for public input around the issue. We are paying close attention to those opportunities, as well as to public input to the Administration.

One would think slashdot should be a perfect forum to gnash out a reasonable approach to the piracy issue. If we keep letting the RIAA/MPAA craft laws, they're always going to be crap because the MAFIAA never considers the ramifications beyond their own desires. Techies have to solve this problem.

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