How Not To Defend Yourself Against An RIAA Lawsuit

from the just-saying dept

There are plenty of reasonable ways to defend yourself against an RIAA lawsuit over file sharing. For example, you can show how your IP address is shared by many others and it's impossible for the RIAA to know who was actually responsible. However, one thing you should absolutely not do is erase your hard drive -- especially when there's a court order demanding you produce the hard drive as evidence. Yes, that's what one guy did, and the judge (not surprisingly) has sided with the RIAA and ruled in their favor.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2006 @ 4:40pm

    You'd be better off starting a fire, and arguing with your home-owner's insurance company & the prosecutor.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Brandon, Aug 24th, 2006 @ 4:50pm

    hmm.. couldnt you give em a different harddrive?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Jack, Aug 24th, 2006 @ 4:55pm

    Re:

    Yeah, but that would be illegal, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence. Proving that they can prove it was you is a much better strategy

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2006 @ 5:04pm

    And if you've got 2 or more systems ?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Rex, Aug 24th, 2006 @ 5:15pm

    The article is a little brief, it would all depend on the definitions. Which hard drive was one to produce? Is providing the hard drive and it's contents an admission of guilt? Did you accidently break the pin off the connector on removal of the device? Was it dropped/damaged in shipping? Get a lawyer, one that understands the issues of the net, ip sharing/spoofing because these all raise the questions related to 'proof of guilt' and ie you are innocent...(I hope)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2006 @ 5:17pm

    weird... dumb...
    i dont get it whats so bad about filesharing? its like a full "demo"...
    i used filesharing for music and games.. and then about week or two i go buy the real thing.. soo.. whats the big deal? why the incoints get punished? for things thay dint do.. sure this guy seems to have made wrong moves.. but the riaa has sued soo meny people i lost count. and most of em it wasnt there fualt. thay dint do it.. most cases its a friend whom was on pc or some thing.. but.. yea.. theres nothing wrong with filesharing for the copyright law states that you are allowed to give a copy of digital music software w/e to a friend. but only "3 copys" so... if a person buys some thing uses filesharing to transfer a file to a friend nothing wrong yet the riaa well sue the hell out of you if thay find out.. soo.. the riaa is just some people who think thay are better than us and have nothing els to do. but wast are time

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    GerenM, Aug 24th, 2006 @ 5:22pm

    The problem, Mr. Coward, is that most of the people "filesharing" are not like you or I. They don't go out and buy the CD after listening to the MP3 for a while -- they burn their own.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2006 @ 5:40pm

    F THE MAN

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Spunky, Aug 24th, 2006 @ 5:54pm

    Re:

    Nah I never bother to burn my own, just leaving on the good old hd.....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2006 @ 5:56pm

    I have 4 PCs in my house, a total of 3 HDD's on my system alone. 3 more in my server, 2 in my dads Office PC, and 2 more in the family PC....

    All PCs have the same IP (router) I could give them all my porn... Or my legal game demoes... They never specified a hard drive!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Nipsey, Aug 24th, 2006 @ 6:02pm

    ok...so after reading this (I admit, I dozed off 3 pages in), my only worry is what damages the judge gives to the plaintiff. If i read correctly, they plan to award the plaintiff on the high end of damages because the defendant acted in bad faith by destroying evidence. Granted. However if they want thousands of dollars for a few downloaded albums....well thats just crap. Sorry, your content retails at $15 (overpriced) a pop. Treble damages for punitive reasons, ok. Anything else is the aforementioned crap!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    huh?, Aug 24th, 2006 @ 6:04pm

    Re: Copyrights

    Where in copyright law does it state you can give copyrighted materials to your friends? It doesn't as far as I know. Filesharing is illegal because it is the reproduction of another person's work without their permission. Owning a copy of someone's worl without their permission is illegal. So there is everything wrong with it!

    Here is the problem in my eyes. Filesharing is designed to defeat copyright ownership. Why else would it exist? I am sure if you worked hard on something and expected to profit from that work you would not want people stealing it. That is what you are doing by downloading these files without permission from the copyright owner. You are hurting someone. That someone being the owner of that material.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Aug 24th, 2006 @ 6:10pm

    Re: Re: Copyrights

    Here is the problem in my eyes. Filesharing is designed to defeat copyright ownership. Why else would it exist?

    That's a very simplified explanation. Filesharing exists because it's a very efficient distribution method. It doesn't way down a single person's bandwidth and allows for much more efficient distribution of data.

    I am sure if you worked hard on something and expected to profit from that work you would not want people stealing it.

    Again, this is false. There are plenty of musicians who DO like people file sharing their music, because it gets them much more attention, and allows them to profit in other ways. Plenty of research has shown that file sharing does not actually hurt most artists, and can often improve their overall economic position.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    RIAA Killer, Aug 24th, 2006 @ 6:28pm

    RIAA inconsequential

    The biggest problem with this in my opinion is that the original creators don't own the copyrights. What exactly is the point of these Record companies anymore, what in the hell do they do? Soon, if not already, they will be obsolete. They are only fighting for there own worthless existance, you cannot fight advances, you can only join it. Horse cab companies didn't try to sue people who bought the first automobiles, many of them joined in the manufacturing. Markets change and you cannot control the masses less risk your destruction.

    Most of the creators of these songs make most of their money off of concerts. If the download is free or even 10 cents a song on account of the record companies not taking their share, and the artist gets more listeners and more ticket sales, who's losing? The RIAA are a buncha cheats and whiners, they used to cheat their artists out of millions of dollars in the past. They can't anymore. Karma in large dose anyone?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    dustjacket, Aug 24th, 2006 @ 6:34pm

    RIAA

    How exactly do they determine what files are stolen? I have mp3s from records and cassettes plus tracks from burned copies of cd's that were purchased by friends who made me mixes. I wouldn't be able to figure out who gave me what..

    Mike nails why sharing is good in his last lines there..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    dorpus, Aug 24th, 2006 @ 6:52pm

    Sounds good to me

    When will the Linux crowd start suing people who "tamper" with Linux code?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Aug 24th, 2006 @ 7:17pm

    Question

    How is the "Other people share my Ip" excuse going to help you if all the files are on your hard drive? Maybe there is a way to encrypt all your music so that you can turn in the drive and they can't find the songs?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    alternatives, Aug 24th, 2006 @ 7:44pm

    Re: Sounds good to me

    When will the Linux crowd start suing people who "tamper" with Linux code?

    1) Why are you worried about Linux? People who claim an association to the 'Linux camp' have taken the copyrights off of BSD code and slapped on their own copyrights. ATA code, G4U, and in the 2.0.36 kernel an inDUvidual admits to taking the code from FreeBSD, and then removed the copyright.

    2) When 'the linux camp' had virgin alantic dead-to-rights about mis-using the GNU/Linux system in the Virgin Webplayer, the gutless wonders of GNU/Linux could not be bothered to even write a nasty letter, let alone sue.

    A hypocritical lot the GNU/Linux camp is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    superfungus, Aug 24th, 2006 @ 7:51pm

    encryption

    I've heard there are "military grade" encryptions floating around out there that are theoretically 'uncrackable' but as i understand it if the judge asks you to you have to provide the key. If you don't you're acting in just as bad faith as if you had destroyed the drive and you will be convicted. You can't really play jailhouse lawyer in these situations, the law's been made: copyright infringment is illegal and if you get caught there are consequences.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2006 @ 8:07pm

    discovery process - the reality

    I work in Electronic Discovery and these "turn over your hard drive(s)" requests are my business.

    If you disobey the court order to preserve evidence you will face summary judgement (as in this case) as well as possible charges for obstruction and also allow the opposing counsel to sway the judge.

    Even if you claim a "scheduled wipe" or your system automatically deletes old emails/logs on a scheduled basis - once that preserve evidence order goes out you're hosed.


    To the person who said "which hard drive" - yes, it means all of them. During the discovery process the opposing side is allowed to "interview" and ask questions like "How many computers do you have? Do you ever bring your work laptop to this site and use it here?" and then define what is to be collected.

    How to tell whether they were downloaded or legit? Not exactly easy but it's not too tough - take a look at the metadata on the files and logs. You'd be amazed at how much metadata there is for each file and how much logging your average user has for downloads and the such. Or..Get the ISP to turn over their logs and compare file create dates. Got the .torrent still on your hard disk? How about checking hashes on the shared file and the one your drive?

    The simplest method - ask to see the person's CD collection and match em.

    There are plenty of ways to do this... Unless you really wipe the metadata you're pretty much holding a stinky pile of evidence. (As an example - Safari sticks the URL where you downloaded a file from as well as the location you clicked on the download link into the file's metadata.)

    It's looking like these RIAA lawsuits are getting to a serious point. Discovery is very expensive and these guys either got very lucky or will start going to trial

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    SmithRene, Aug 24th, 2006 @ 8:08pm

    InternetCases.com has some more info

    Here's a link at InternetCases.com to a pretty objective analysis of the legal issues in the decision.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2006 @ 8:26pm

    Re: Re: Copyrights

    "Here is the problem in my eyes. Filesharing is designed to defeat copyright ownership. Why else would it exist? I am sure if you worked hard on something and expected to profit from that work you would not want people stealing it. That is what you are doing by downloading these files without permission from the copyright owner. You are hurting someone. That someone being the owner of that material."

    The truth of the matter can be quite the opposite. For example, I have never bought an album in my life, and never plan on it. If I want to listen to music, before I used filesharing, I would either turn on the radio or borrow friend's CD's. Filesharing opened up a whole new world! By having me download artist's songs, the artists are getting more publicity (I have quite a few my friends to actually go out and purchase albums when they would normally not have). If you would never spend money to buy a CD, but still want to listen to it, why wouldn't you download it (except, of course, for the RIAA)?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    The Gonz, Aug 24th, 2006 @ 8:42pm

    Re:

    Giving them a hard drive is a figure of speech. They will more likely produce a search warrant and just confiscate the whole computer or all computers on the premises. Oh - and they usually don't call you up to give you notice before they do it. To quote a Seinfeld line - they love the pop-in.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2006 @ 8:42pm

    it was probably a good thing that she did this, cause if they inspected the harddrive they probably owuldve found A LOT more than they bargained for, and had a MUCH larger lawsuit

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    recently inspired, Aug 24th, 2006 @ 8:51pm

    re: the reality

    Hey man, thanks for the heads up, I appreciate you sharing your discovery methods, and I intend to make use of them... I gotta figure out how to automate it since 180gigs of MP3s is a lot of metadata to obsfucate.
    very very little of which was DLed from this location...
    between than and the large fire we had a year ago that destroyed a lot of my posessions, most of my bases are covered..
    Thanks again man!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    recently inspired, Aug 24th, 2006 @ 8:53pm

    Re: re: the reality

    BTW, just joking..., though it is interesting to know what you guys look for.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    kantankerus, Aug 24th, 2006 @ 8:59pm

    even thought it is about diaRIAA, the law needs

    redone, rewritten..sumptin !

    i beleive that if a copyright holder in not actively producing, after, say 5 years, the music should become public domain. [just a start point]

    there is music i like that has never been released on to CD, actually, some 8 track tapes. and i like music from artists now dead.record companies wont produce it, nor allow it to be released.

    i know a widow of an artist who died in the late 80's. she would like to release some of his stuff, and there is a demand for it..yet the copyright holders, record companies, won't allow her to.

    i have other friends who are musicians. they would love to put some of my work to music. i have it all copyrighted and refuse to allow it. i would have to give up my work.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2006 @ 9:23pm

    Re: Re:

    I'm certain you're incorrect.

    The article states there was a court order demanding the defendant produce the evidence-in-question.

    Don't forget, in America you are still innocent until PROVEN guilty and the RIAA can't bring criminal charges (which is when a search warrent is a possibility), only civil. They can't claim that someone did something and then have the police run around busting down doors. What would stop them from simply declaring every Americian is guilty if that's all they had to do?

    I'm pretty sure you're way off in your understanding of our laws and your rights as an American to the privacy of your home.

    Now, if they were able to PROVE in court that you were a criminal then not only would you lose the civil case they brought against you but then the government could bring criminal charges - which would likely lead to a warrent to confiscate evidence.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Luci, Aug 24th, 2006 @ 9:36pm

    Re:

    Actually everyone that I know that has used filesharing does just that. They sample a new band or new album before purchasing. Just because you have one or two songs from them does not mean you are sated. Filesharing, in this manner, actually does the RIAA a lot more good because they sell more albums from groups that would not normally sell. On the other hand, they have annoyed enough people that there has been a rather large outpouring towards the artists and recording studios not affiliated with them

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Gingerbread Man, Aug 24th, 2006 @ 10:06pm

    hard drive in question

    I don't file share, but my computer is built to run from any one of four hard drives that I swap out using a removable bay (there is no traditionally-mounted internal drive). I have identical OS's on 3 of them, differing only in the applications loaded (one for gaming, one for graphics, and one for more general use -- all have internet access and email configured on them), and a Linux install on the fourth for learning more about the system.

    Should someone wish to examine my computer, there will only be one drive in it at any given time, and the others are securely put away in a place well away from the computer itself (both for security and for obscurity). With this arrangement, even if I were to have multitudes of illegally obtained files on one of the drives, there is no trace of any of that drive if it's not the one in the computer, and no way to prove that it even exists at all.

    Good luck to anyone who wants to find any evidence in a situation such as this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    DJ, Aug 24th, 2006 @ 10:23pm

    I Love Canada

    Thank god I live in Canada, where the courts have comapred the Xerox machine in the library, to p2p networks.... YAY!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    claire rand, Aug 25th, 2006 @ 12:20am

    Re: Re:

    I could just see em turning up here (ok I'm in the UK, but work with me here). warrent to take my pc away "for analysis", so in they march, not willing to listen to *anything* pick up the pc, my laptop and probably the telly (cuz it looks like a monitor) and off they go. happy in a job well done.

    of course later they discover the equipment won't quiet startup correctly, moaning about missing network drives etc.

    cuz they *didn't* take the file server I share with a neighbour located in my loft space, but owned by my neighbour. not that theres anything they would need to see on it (its basically a CVS machine along with a few shared directories, oh and its good with some games as well).

    but they didn't know that. and since its all locked down wifi, there was no wires to give it away.

    hence this sort of take everything attitude is somewhat flawed these days, of course if I just remote hosted this sort of stuff it gets even harder.

    but wiping a machine does look a tad guilty, though my main machine gets wiped every few months and restored. difference is i can probably prove it. say a number of internet posts claiming i do this, and the fun and games i have reactivating windows etc....

    sod em, no point making life easy for these low lifes..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2006 @ 12:40am

    What about 5th amendment rights? Why should a person have to hand over their hard drive?

    "No person shall be ... compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself..."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    chaos777b, Aug 25th, 2006 @ 1:33am

    The court noted that this "wiping" irreparably prejudiced the RIAA because the only evidence it had without the hard drive was "scant and piecemeal".
    I would think that this would also cause a bit of discussion

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    cippalippa, Aug 25th, 2006 @ 2:00am

    Encrypt and feel safe

    On my Apple computer:

    System Preferences
    Security
    Enable File Vault, choose a 15 chars password

    Let them have fun in decrypting your data.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    elaine, Aug 25th, 2006 @ 3:13am

    how about if your hard drive was really destroyed? Would this be counted against you?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Bryan, Aug 25th, 2006 @ 3:57am

    He/she?

    Hehe, on slashdot, he's a she. (Defendant is referred to as 'her')

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Search Engine WEB, Aug 25th, 2006 @ 4:16am

    USB Flash Memory - as an option

    Perhaps the new trend will be to use USB Flash Memory instead of Hard Drives for anything that could be used against you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    claire rand., Aug 25th, 2006 @ 4:59am

    Re: discovery process - the reality

    oh i agree, if you have a scheduled wipe etc, and *don't* cancel it _once you have been ordered to turn it over_ your a nitwit. before your told to hand it over is another matter.

    at which point i'd say the other side have to do more work arguing it was done to hide evidence.

    and if a warrent was served on me saying to turn over all my hard drives i would. but unless asked about equipment belonging to anyone else i'd see no need to point that out.

    i'd see the data question as a 'pairing' thing, you have the ISP logs, and the machines ahrd drive, if they agree yes that machine downloaded it. theres still the little matter of proving who was sat in front of it at the time, but thats a smaller issue in most cases since the number of people who have access is generally small.

    the 'ask to see a cd collection and match then up' well that could work, but you need a reason to ask, just because someones IP points to possible downloading... is a court actually going to order an inventory of my cd collection because of that? and when it all adds up (it will) who do i present the bill for my time to?

    if the RIAA/BPI etc all will actually pay for the cost of gathering the evidence they need to 'prove beyond reasonable doubt' thats one thing, if they just plan to fire these things out to everyone and expect people to caough up to make them go away thats another.

    though in my case an expert such as yourself would prove my innocence.. could I bill the other side for your time along with my other legal costs? cus thats where the turning point is. once these crooks have to pay the other sides costs when they loose. well thats when the number ofc ases brought will go down. but maybe, just maybe the number of successful ones will go up a bit as resources are directed a bit more to actually gathering evidence and less towards issuing threats.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    discojohnson, Aug 25th, 2006 @ 5:48am

    Re: Re: Re:

    of course later they discover the equipment won't quiet startup correctly, moaning about missing network drives etc

    they don't actually boot your machine, because they don't know what safeguards you may have in place to destroy the data if, say, you didn't hit alt-shift-g while booting. also, they want to detect the data written under the data currently written. generally they unplug your hdd and connect it to a mirroring device and sift through the data

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Sebastian, Aug 25th, 2006 @ 5:58am

    Re: discovery process - the reality

    Well, I still don't understand how one can tell' that I wiped copyrighted files.

    After wiping some files, You can't tell whether the files were copyrighted or not.

    And I do have the right to wipe me material (maybe pictures of my wife), do I?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2006 @ 6:17am

    @ 6. by Anonymous Coward

    Please go back to school and pay attention in English class.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2006 @ 6:42am

    Re: encryption

    http://www.truecrypt.org/
    creates an invisible volume inside a decoy file ;)~

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2006 @ 7:09am

    Lesser of two evils

    He didn't want his child pr0n stash to be found. Paying the RIAA beats being knifed to death in state prison.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Wizard Prang, Aug 25th, 2006 @ 7:29am

    Then the RIAA says...

    ..."but your honor, the fact of file sharing means that (a large number picked out of the air) copies of each song were shared. Each of those is a lost sale - and we want to nail this miscreant for every one of those. At full price. Plus the aforementioned (they love words like that) treble damages."

    It ain't realistic, but since when is the RIAA concerned with reality?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Vegetable Man, Aug 25th, 2006 @ 9:30am

    The real issues

    This debate is getting old. People on either side chose to ignore the facts and spout the same worn-out "proof" that they are right. "Filesharing actually helps artists because it gives them exposure/publicity" or "filesharing is taking profits away from artists".

    The fact is, file sharing is stealing. Is it okay to go into a store and grab a candy bar that you've never tried, just to see if you like it? That's what, a 50 cent piece of candy, who does it hurt? And hey, if you like it, maybe you'll buy some in the future. But everyone agrees, taking that was theft. Why is intelectual property any different? Don't try to make yourself feel less guilty by saying you're helping artists.

    Yet at the same time, is it really necessary for the RIAA to go around suing everyone for downloading MP3's? Wouldn't all that time and money be better spent finding ways to increase publicity and sales? For instance, when a song is released to radio, making said song legally available on the 'net? Or packaging albums as collectibles, so you pay for something that cannot physically be obtained via internet? Or making your product attractive to potential buyers instead of feeding us the same uninspired crap over and over again?

    Who knows, maybe i'm wrong. But this whole debate just seems idiotic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2006 @ 9:35am

    Re:

    I'm sure that the order would specifiy that you needed to hand over ALL of your hard drives, no matter how inconvenient and ridiculous the entire process is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    superduperfun, Aug 25th, 2006 @ 9:58am

    Re: encryption

    You could turn over the decryption key, but it may still require a passphrase which would be in your brain. You still have the right to remain silent (via the 5th admendment).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    PhilTR, Aug 25th, 2006 @ 10:00am

    I've sold all my old computers at yard sales that I've held over the years. My last yard sale was several months ago earlier this spring. Although I did try to delete the hard drives before sale, I guess someone could un-delete them with the proper DOS program. Now if the RIAA should decide that they want to come after me I'd sure have a hard time trying to establish where these old computer are. My current system has two fresh HD's running Linux but, there are no song on it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    user, Aug 25th, 2006 @ 10:20am

    - Although corps do lose revenue in the digital age, they also raped people with artificially high cd prices for quite some time (remember that lawsuit they lost?).
    - Although they do lose some profit (out of their huge profit margins), they ridiculously quote figures as if nearly EVERY download would have been a sale. Trust me people who download would not be buying many cd or dvds a year. The reasons the download numbers are so high is because they are "free"
    - I hesitate to call things 'free' though, because although not buying outright, the cost per year of a high performance computer, high speed internet connection, digital cable/hi-def cable TV service + box rental, and perhaps paying off a HD tv is alot of money per year to invest in the entertainment industry's products -- without the ability to copy the content you are paying so much for even to back up your own DVR (without the content being downgraded terribly) for example. They are trying to put big brother in your living room and take away your digital freedom on content you already bought.
    - Further detailing the last comment: a good cable internet package averages $40 x 12 mo is $480 /yr alone, digital cable/satellite + dvr box maybe $75 x 12 mo. ~ $900. Other considerations are perhaps a HD dvd player of some sort and larger harddrives for your computer in order to archive the content you already bought, and perhaps a HDTV , ipod, etc.
    - I hope people wake up and perhaps make some sort of boycott at some point until these fat-cats get back in their place and out of my living room.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2006 @ 11:02am

    Sounds like being forced to testify against yourself. Use an encrypted folder for your downloads.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2006 @ 11:48am

    Re: The real issues

    "The fact is, file sharing is stealing. Is it okay to go into a store and grab a candy bar that you've never tried, just to see if you like it? That's what, a 50 cent piece of candy, who does it hurt? And hey, if you like it, maybe you'll buy some in the future. But everyone agrees, taking that was theft. Why is intelectual property any different?"

    The right analogy would be going into a store, grabbing a candy bar, copying the candy bar, and then trying the copied candy bar to see if you like it.

    ... and yeah, also allowing others to copy and try your copied candy bar.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Vegetable Man, Aug 25th, 2006 @ 12:36pm

    Re: Re: The real issues

    So, if i *copy* a check from your checking account and use it to purchas something, that's not stealing either then right? 'caus i didn't physically take anything of yours. I just made a copy of your document. and if i shared your bank information with my friends, that's just sharing your copied information. ;) can i borrow your checkbook for a minute?

    and on the above post about how mp3's are not really free...yeah you're paying your ISP for your internet, and your computer, and so forth. I could be wrong but don't think any of that money goes to the music industry. I pay a ton for gasoline and insurance and my car, so can i take a radio to go with it because i've already paid for everything else? *shrug*

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Aug 25th, 2006 @ 1:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: The real issues

    So, if i *copy* a check from your checking account and use it to purchas something, that's not stealing either then right? 'caus i didn't physically take anything of yours. I just made a copy of your document. and if i shared your bank information with my friends, that's just sharing your copied information. ;) can i borrow your checkbook for a minute?

    Hmm. You seem to not understand the difference between an item with limited supply and limitless supply. Try again.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    user, Aug 25th, 2006 @ 7:02pm

    I did mention the cost of entertainment hardware in total but the data/entertainment provider content was included as the major budget for entertainment per year. In that example the HD cable content + cable internet entertainment cost to the user alone was almost $1400/yr.
    Included in the point was that you can pay for the same content multiple times, and not be able to use it to your liking. In the case of HD-TV packages you are paying a premium to the provider (commercials included), and perhaps renting a DVR box at extra cost. Your entertaiinment budget per year might also include buying some cds, mp3s, dvds and perhaps a season of a show, and renting some dvds. That money goes to the entertainment industry.
    Your content is becoming digitally tagged. They don't want you to be able to pay for content once and be able to use it on your pc, ipod/ipodvideo, psp handheld, laptop, and back it up, etc. They want you to pay each time (ok in some cases you get 5 location-copies big deal). In fact I'm sure if they could get away with it every type of media in existence would priced per view/per listening - on demand with commericals included.
    I'm not saying you shouldn't buy content, but I am trying to show the other ugly side of the coin. I'm saying they are trying to take away your freedoms with content you already paid, and often paid for in more ways than one, and are overcharging for the content in the first place. They are also in many cases greatly overexaggerating download numbers vs. lost revenue as if the majority of downloads would have been purchases.

    Entertainment and communications companies are a few of the largest lobbies (political bribers) in the country. They write bills in their own greedy interest and drop them on congressmen's desks to be sponsored. They also have virtual monopolies and/or are in collusion with their competitors in certain major provider markets. In additon the communications segment is trying to put tariffs on the internet ontop of bandwidth costs .. the only country's corporations in the world to be sleazy enough to suggest such a thing as far as I know.

    I don't like car, highway, or bank comparisons. Digital entertainment and communications is its own unique technology. I don't want to take a radio just because I bought a car -- but if I pay for satellite radio every month and have an integrated ipod or laptop in my car I want to be able to record and copy the satellite radio content for my personal use. I don't want to copy a corporation's checks but if I subscribe to a monthly book club (or for example digital/e-book club if there is such a thing)and for some reason want to scan a book I own into my computer or copy an ebook to be viewed personally on whatever device I decide to use, I think I should be able to. I feel the same about mp3s. I have numerous digital devices and format and upgrade computers as I please. I want to copy (and back up) mp3s that I bought as many times as I feel like it for my own use, to as many of my own devices as I want.

    Another gripe I have is that I've already paid a premium for content why should I have to let the provider "steal" my time and attention forcing me to watch or listen to so much commercial content, or at the very least the aggravation of trying to get around watching such content? This lately includes commercials in movie theatres,about a half-hour of coming attractions in theatres (and on dvds), tons of commercials on private television networks -- and now commercials (including video footage of people in addition to the network 'icons' and text scrolling) on screen during the shows/movies.

    Why spend so much money on protection/spying/tagging and litigation? I think they are going about it the wrong way. Why not give people more for their money, making downloading less attractive, and stop overcharging for content. Greed is why, and far greedier and more corrupt than the little internet downloader.
    If things do not change - I hope more people get fed up with the entertainment industry's "take it or leave it", "big brother" and progressively invasive approaches. They are taking advantage of people who buy their content. Maybe they will continue to overstep their bounds until the public gives them the collective 'finger' and shows them how much revenue they could really be losing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Cyryl, Aug 25th, 2006 @ 10:30pm

    Re:

    The PROBLEM, Mr. GerenM...

    ...is that they want WAY TO MOTHER FUCKING MUCH MONEY for the SHIT they sell.

    The PROBLEM, Mr. IGNORANT...

    ...is that they're MOTHER FUCKING GREEDY-ASS PIECES OF SHIT.

    Let's take this 'problem' identification to the REAL source once in a while, why don't we?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Maurene Caplan Grey, Aug 26th, 2006 @ 4:08am

    Spoiliation

    Once in a lawsuit, destroying evidence is known as spoilation and is against the law. Doesn't matter if the data is paper that is shredded or data on a hard drive that is wiped clean.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    identicon
    nope, Wrong..., Aug 26th, 2006 @ 2:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:


    also, they want to detect the data written under the data currently written.


    Nope sorry,
    You can't do that without removing the platters from the drive.
    Destruction of property is not something you can get away with in a CIVIL case.
    Let's all try to remember that these are CIVIL CASES folks...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    identicon
    Rush fan, Aug 26th, 2006 @ 10:08pm

    Re: discovery process - the reality

    I believe that a judge can ask an ISP to hand over traffic data, only for criminal cases. For civil cases, such practice would be a violation of privacy, I think.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    Rush fan, Aug 26th, 2006 @ 10:49pm

    Re: discovery process - the reality

    Something interesting I found elsewhere seems to indicate I was right with my previous statement. This is regarding the "RIAA vs Verizon case".

    *****
    The court began its analysis with the text of § 512(h). Noting that § 512(h) requires the fulfillment of § 512(c)(3)(A) as a condition precedent to issuing a subpoena, the court examined the provisions of § 512(c)(3)(A). Observing that § 512(c)(3)(A)(iii) requires a subpoena requestor to identify material “to be removed or access to which is to be disabled,” a requirement that is impossible to meet if the ISP does not store infringing material or if the material is stored in the user’s computers, the appeals court determined that § 512(h) is inapplicable to an ISP who acts as a mere conduit of information exchange. As for the RIAA’s contention that the ISP could disable the infringing material by disconnecting the user to the internet, the court rejected it stating that Congress likely did not intend such a remedy in this situation because Congress had established the remedy of disconnecting access to the Internet in other sections of the Act. Similarly, the court dismissed RIAA’s argument that the notification requirement of § 512(c)(3)(A) is met if it includes “substantially” the required information. The court reasoned that since in the legislative history “substantially” only indicates that technical errors do not render the notification requirement ineffective, lack of information was not what Congress had in mind when it added the term “substantially.” The court also rejected RIAA’s final argument that the definition of an ISP in § 512(k)(1)(B) renders § 512(h) applicable to an ISP regardless of the ISP’s action concerning the infringing activity. Stating that the argument “borders upon the silly” the court maintained that applicability of § 512(h) depends upon the fulfillment of the § 512(c)(3)(A) requirements.
    *****

    Thus, they can't subpoena your ISP to add more substance to their claims. Unless you store your warez on their servers

    They can however seize your equipement, but that's another issue that has nothing to do with the previously meantioned ruling.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    identicon
    Matt, Aug 27th, 2006 @ 5:40am

    RIAA should most certainly be limited to the amount they can expect in damages. They must prove just how many copies of their albums where sent, IN FULL, from the offending PC. Partial uploads shouldn't count. I think for every RIAA album found on such offending hard drives should be priced at 50% of it's high street shop price AND after the suit, the information on the hard drive is LEFT untouched. If you're forced to pay for it you might as well keep it.

    In response to anyone arguing against filesharing, I have this to say: It is illegal for me to have copyrighted material without the owner of the copyrights permission? How do I go about that? Do I write a letter to them and arrange a meeting of when we can discuss me using this material and what lenghs I may or may not enjoy it? How long I must keep it for. How much I must pay? No I don't get any of that. I go to the shop, pick up the CD, take it to the counter and pay the retailer for it. The retailer pays the wholesaler who generally buys direct from the record company. The record company has already paid the band or musician for their work. So my CD money doesn't even technically make it to the artist.

    So I've downloaded the new Isis album. It is pretty good. I'm struck by dilemma. Do I venture off into town and spend a good day looking for a shop that sells one of my favourite musicians? No, because I'd be there all fucking day and I'd come home with no CD. Why is that? Because Isis aren't on a huge label, therefore don't get a place on the shelves.

    Artists don't own copyrights to most of their music. The Beatles certainly don't. So how bad should I feel at downloading their stuff? Oh boo hoo the artist isn't going to get money. Newsflash, half the Beatles are dead but the remaining few are loaded and to top it off, the people who took the copyrights to the songs are even richer! Capitalism at it's best!

    Copyrights piss me off. As someone said a bit further up the page "I am sure if you worked hard on something and expected to profit from that work you would not want people stealing it. " If you work so hard on something you are a greedy greedy twat to expect to profit so much from it, or at all. Good people do things for love. A REAL musician makes music because they love it and can't escape record companies hassling them to record for them. A real creative mind witha passion for what they do does it for free. If you think that sounds stupid, you're a capitalist faggot. I refer to Matt Stone and Trey Parker, of whom couldn't give a toss who pays for and doesn't pay for South Park. They love it, we love it, they appreciate that and want us to love as much of it as we can.

    Done.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    identicon
    Mike, Aug 27th, 2006 @ 9:32am

    Re:

    Well, Matt, love is only part of the answer. You better believe if Matt Stone and Trey Parker had their incomes cut in half or a quarter, or taken away altogether, doing "what they do for free" they would be seriously pissed off. There is nothing wrong with making money. You need to feed yourself, put a roof over your head, support a family. I mean, this is a basic fact of life, I'm sorry you missed that.
    People are not "greedy" when they work hard to acheive something, and hope for a return on their work... The dictionary definition of greed according to http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=greed&x=0&y=0
    is "an excessive desire to acquire or possess more than one needs or deserves, especially with respect to material wealth"
    The key point here is "excessive desire." Is it bad to want to be rich? Is that greedy? Nope. Greed comes when the desire itself is excessive. If you want to be rich to the point where it affects negatively your relationships with people, your priorities, moral standards, etc., I would say that is when you become greedy.
    Not all rich people are greedy. That being said, there are many lower and middle class people who are. And there is nothing wrong with or greedy about working for a paycheck. It's called "self interest" which is a completely different thing than greed. Working for money to support yourself and your family is there in the same self interest boat as taking a shower every day, brushing your teeth regularly, or changing your baby's diapers.
    All of that being said, I am dissapointed in the RIAA and the way they have handled file sharing, with their close-mindedness, lawsuits that reek of extortion, and obvious signs of greed. To make it in the marketplace you have to be flexible and adjust to the market. Otherwise you will lose your customers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    identicon
    Kevo, Aug 28th, 2006 @ 9:11am

    What one?

    I currently have 9 hard drives in my computer, yes 9. What one do they want? Or maybe that was 8 hard drives... yes thats it.. I now have 8 hard drives in my computer, and I can't find any mp3's anywhere on my system.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Wizard Prang, Aug 28th, 2006 @ 10:34am

    All of them

    In fact, they'll take the whole computer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    identicon
    Wizard Prang, Aug 28th, 2006 @ 10:36am

    It's called "Fair Use"...

    ...and the content industry HATES it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    identicon
    giskard, Aug 28th, 2006 @ 2:50pm

    Re: The real issues

    youve been fooled by all the adds my friend. in no court of law is copyright violation considered theft. copyright is not property, it is the right to control the use of a peice of content. it is not a criminal offence to breach this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    Mike, Aug 29th, 2006 @ 12:24am

    Re: What one?

    Hey man, what kind of a power supply do you need to run when you have 9 hard drives? And are they SCSI drives?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    identicon
    Marc Freedman, Sep 6th, 2006 @ 1:22pm

    MORE How Not To Defend Yourself Against a RIAA Law

    I have a whole list of stupid human tricks and how NOT to defend yourself against RIAA lawsuits.

    See http://RIAAScorecard.com

    Marc @
    The P2P Insider's Weblog http://p2p-weblog.com
    DiaRIAA http://DiaRIAA.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    identicon
    disabled vet, Nov 12th, 2006 @ 9:49pm

    riaa

    wonder how riaa veiws radio/ oh no its next. few years back i was getting weird phone pranks even threats police on base had my phone calls traced and timed found out who was making calls but couldnt do any thing couse couldnt prove who in that household was making calls

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    identicon
    rethink, Nov 12th, 2006 @ 10:22pm

    riaa

    am i wrong if someone using a p2p places copy righted material online p2p offering it to ppl to down load and they download it you have the right to sue them.... stating that they have copy rights to it and you down loaded it....from them or some one they paid to trace the IP of the content they baited to you by offering to share... any one else ever turned sharing off and had a p2p virus turn it back on sharing files without your consent wonder why?ever dounload a file and it not be what it said it was?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    identicon
    george, Nov 12th, 2006 @ 10:42pm

    riaa

    civil case vs. criminal please help me is every one telling me in a civil case a judge can order me to turn over something that might incrimanate me or lead to criminal charges is turned over to police or to riaa to add or use parts of hd even if their not sure its got any thing on it via use of 10 gig thumb drives meaning a ip address ensures i have something of theirs on it isnt that alot like being in a five man line up and the witness says it looked alot like number one and alot like number four im sure its one of them so were sueing number four no crimial charges were just suein coz were not shure 100% its you but we thank both were there but whitness isnt sure

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    identicon
    Scott, Feb 28th, 2007 @ 12:37pm

    Late to the party

    Quite a thread. I'm still searching for a record of a successful RIAA suit against a person who downloaded a handful of songs. Are there any?

    A suit in the civil arena is way different than criminal prosecution. If you were accused of having kiddy porn on your hard drive, thats a felony crime, and the cops can get a search warrant, kick down your door, take all your computers and arrest you if you try and stop them. In a civil action like an RIAA suit, they demand you to turn over the hard drive (or the whole computer) and if you don't, they ask the judge to order you to do it. And I would imagine if while they were examining your hard drive for MP3 files they come across some kiddy porn... you'll have some explaining to do to the police.

    I have read that there have been some challenges to the RIAA's blanket figure of $750 per song... but I haven't seen any end results.

    Bottom line... collectively we have the power to kill these blood sucking leeches. If we all boycotted the music industry for even just a year... they would see where the power really lies. Don't by any CD's (unless from a pawn shop), don't go to any concerts... I think the RIAA would shut the hell up pretty quick.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    identicon
    dauerbach, May 15th, 2007 @ 8:15am

    Re: Saving hard drive

    I received a pre-lawsuit letter about one week AFTER my hard drive died. What effect will this have on the RIAA's case. And yes, I can prove that the hard drive died prior to the authoring of the RIAA's letter.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    identicon
    Kevin, Aug 26th, 2007 @ 2:51pm

    My music in on my external hard drive and it tipped over...-_-

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    identicon
    Jack, Jul 20th, 2008 @ 9:03am

    Hi I have seven pc's on my home network, most have atleast 3-4 hard drives. some with multiple operating systems. a shed with 10 more not online and stacks of old and still usable hard drives. a wireless network that neighbors might have shared.I also repair PCs so some are other peoples I temparaly hook up to the internet to update and test. when I boot some sometime they have P2P programs that auto start. I usally stop most start up programs because it hinder what Im trying to fix. so if the RIAA sent Me such a letter. How in Gods name would I know what dive they wanted and witch one I was not suppose to destroy. Or who say I didnt destroy it B4 I got the letter? And if the think there touching My $6000.00 Liquid cooled Monster. They better bring more then a letter.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    identicon
    Jack, Jul 20th, 2008 @ 9:16am

    I have more to say. I bought the Album Kiss "Love Gun" on vynal, then I had to buy it on 8-Track then on Cassette, now on CD. at what point do I own the right to play or recopy these songs? changeing technology has filled the record companys pockets over the years.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    identicon
    Confused, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 9:00pm

    How can they complain of loses when that money is unrealized and would never have been realized since people who do download, download because they can't afford?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This