This Isn't The New Business Model We Were Hoping The RIAA Would Adopt

from the how-nice-of-them dept

As was leaked earlier this month, the RIAA is now offering "discounted settlements" to those it accuses of file sharing, if they agree to pay up before the RIAA actually takes them to court. As we explained when this deal first came out, this is a total scam. The RIAA had tried to do this in the past, but given the flimsy evidence it has, the courts found that it made more sense to argue these cases in court, rather than by letting the RIAA pressure people into settling early. This is nothing short of extortion. It's trying to scare people into paying up without giving them a real chance to defend themselves against what is usually very weak (and all too often, incorrect) evidence. Plenty of people probably will be scared into paying -- but if this is the RIAA's idea of a new business model, they're simply asking for trouble. Of course, it's no wonder that this comes out the same day that the RIAA announces it opposes Rep. Boucher's FAIR USE bill. Expanding fair use (even though the bill is pretty weak) would only cut down on the number of people they could extort this way.


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  1.  
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    rijit (profile), Feb 28th, 2007 @ 3:01pm

    The bill may be pretty weak but it is better than what we have now.

     

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  2.  
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    misanthropic humanist, Feb 28th, 2007 @ 3:03pm

    violence and response to violence

    Calling it a "scam" is a little weak isn't it. It is extorting money by menaces as plain as the nose on your face. I 've learned my lesson here once today assuming I know American law by thinking it must be based in any kind of sanity, but here in Europe that is illegal. Do you not have laws against extortion?

    Perhaps somebody more familiar with US law can comment, but wouldn't sending one penny by registered mail amount to a settlement?

    The problem seems to be that your civil and criminal justice systems are totally disjoint. On the one hand large organisations can use the threat of violence (if you don't pay you will go to prison - ergo state sanctioned violence against the person) to intimidate and extort, but the individual does not have that power, in theory but not in practice.

    Unfortunately the correct and moral solution to extortion, which is a robust self defence, is illegal in a civilised society. In the old days you'd just invite them to send round a representative to your home. Upon arrival decapitate them and send back the head and entrails in a large sack. This ensures you won't be hearing from them in the future.

    These days you need to be more thoughtful. Using the system against itself, would it not be possible for a group of, say 100, 000 American citizens to sue the MAFIAA, what do you call that, a "class action" ? Take them face on for 1 Trillion dollars for massive public intimidation and psychological harm or something?
    Perhaps you could use the same approach on your government next time they blow up a building full of people to frighten you?

    Just ideas.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2007 @ 3:11pm

    1st post

    oops sorry - only the third one....

     

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    Bill W, Feb 28th, 2007 @ 3:27pm

    Laws

    "civil and criminal justice systems are totally disjoint"

    Couldn't have said it better myself ...

     

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  5.  
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    Bolt-Thrower, Feb 28th, 2007 @ 4:17pm

    Nice work, MH

    "...the correct and moral solution to extortion ...is a robust self defence,..."

    I like that a lot. I may steal it for sigs on future board posts. I will credit Misanthropic Humanist fully if I do.
    Which doesn't really count as stealing, then does it? I will use that same defense if Lars Ulrich ever sends his sissy riaa lawyers after me for listening to napster versions of his songs. His old songs. The new stuff (Since the black album) is complete crap.

    But I digress - MH, I seek your permission to quote you in future signatures - I ask because I respect and agree with what you have written. I wouldn't give lars or the riaa the same courtesy, however.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2007 @ 6:06pm

    I'm just surprised these scumbags haven't been charged under RICO yet. How is this different than organized crime shaking down people for protection money?

     

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  7.  
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    Boost, Feb 28th, 2007 @ 6:29pm

    RIAA=MAFIA

    Well, I think the difference between the RIAA and organized crime is that the RIAA is maniupluating the legal system to make themselves some money. You see, the RIAA is no longer in the business of selling music to college students. I think we all know that college students spend the same amount or more on music now than they would if they coudln't download music for free. The RIAA knows this too. So if they can't make money by selling music to college students, they'll make money by suing college students. It's obviously lucrititve and a pretty good idea. It's legal bullying. I mean, why invest money to make a product that people actually want to pay for, when you can just write a few letters and more or less take their lunch money...or in this case, beer money.

     

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  8.  
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    Nobody Special, Feb 28th, 2007 @ 8:02pm

    new oportunity?

    Perhaps RIAA will make a huge error and send one of their letters to someone with real resources. And then they will preemptively sue RIAA.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2007 @ 8:32pm

    so, knowing that if you format your harddrive after being served with a lawsuit the judge can find you guilty of destroying evidence, can you format your harddrive upon receipt of one of these letters since the lawsuit hasn't been filed yet?

    This sounds like a good move on th RIAA's part.... give em some warning so that they can have a change of heart and destroy all the evid... I mean, um, all the evil pirated content and uninstall the evil P2P program.

    just a thought

     

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  10.  
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    misanthropic humanist, Feb 28th, 2007 @ 8:45pm

    Re: Nice work, MH

    I "stole" it from a poster on Slashdot (who probably put it far more eloquently than I did anyway) :)

     

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  11.  
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    bMan, Feb 28th, 2007 @ 10:06pm

    Hey you! Yes you! You know who you are! You broke some unspecificed rule/law/guideline at some point in the past, and now is the time to finally pay up before I call the cops on you! So send me $500 cash and tell me your name, address, and confirm what rule/law/guideline you broke (I already know all about it...) and we'll call it even. Bastard.

     

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  12.  
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    |333173|3|_||3, Mar 1st, 2007 @ 12:56am

    Pay up

    If you could find some little country where traditional money (like fruit or sea-shells) are legal tender, you could try paying the RIAA in forgien money. Then, if it was properly coordinated, tehy would ahve the problem of waht to do with tons if rotten frit or broken seashells.

    A varuiation on this would be to write out cheques for $.01 on cabbage leaves. It would take a long time, but be worht it for getting on the news.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2007 @ 6:46am

    Re: violence and response to violence

    "Perhaps you could use the same approach on your government next time they blow up a building full of people to frighten you?"

    Go crawl back into your hole in that fourth world country you live in, and straighten your tinfoil hat, its slipping off.

     

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


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