Judge Tells RIAA: Irreparable Harm Doesn't Mean What You Think It Means

from the try-again,-folks dept

The recording industry loves to throw around the term "irreparable harm" in its various lawsuits -- as if someone hearing a song they didn't pay for will mortally wound the industry. While some say that this is just standard legalese and we shouldn't read too much into it, it looks like a judge in New Mexico disagrees. In denying the RIAA's request to have the University of New Mexico simply hand over info on someone using their network (without letting that individual fight back against the request for info), the judge notes: "While the Court does not dispute that infringement of a copyright results in harm, it requires a Coleridgian 'suspension of disbelief' to accept that the harm is irreparable, especially when monetary damages can cure any alleged violation." However, the judge argues, turning over someone's private info without giving them a chance to defend themselves and protest could cause irreparable harm: "the harm related to disclosure of confidential information in a student or faculty member's Internet files can be equally harmful." Nice to see the judge recognize that just because someone may have listened to a song without paying for it, it doesn't mean that they lose all other rights.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    GoblinJuice, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 3:24am

    Smart judge.

     

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  2.  
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    The infamous Joe, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 4:04am

    Ha.

    Inconceivable!

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Koala MeatPie, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 4:04am

    I like it when the RIAA takes it up the ass.

    It takes 50,000 downloads of ONE song to effect the sale of one CD.

    More and more people are Swtiching to ITunes and whatnot and actually buying mp3s.

    Sales are bound to go down.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    inc, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 4:04am

    Glad to see the judicial system wake up from its slumber for a bit.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 4:35am

    is it me or is there finally light at the end of the tunnel!!

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    The infamous Joe, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 5:04am

    Re:

    Chances are, that's a train.

    Have a great day! :)

     

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  7.  
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    edgar, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 5:34am

    irreparable harm

    For every song you download, God kills a kitten.

     

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  8.  
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    Paul, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 5:47am

    With iTunes Plus, things are really starting to look up. Yea, some people complain about the pricing, but when it comes down to it, we're finally getting the product we want. It's true CD quality audio (so those of you who complain its not good enough, then i'd like to know what is) and there's no copyright protection. The usual album cost is still $9.99 or a few bucks more for new releases and what not.

    Also, they let you upgrade your library without re-purchasing the songs. They inform you when a song you've purchased is available on itunes plus and then you only have to pay the difference (30 cents a song).

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 5:49am

    Re: irreparable harm

    Good. there are too many cats anyway

     

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  10.  
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    Jamie, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 5:50am

    Re: irreparable harm

    ROFL

     

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  11.  
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    Bruce, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 6:24am

    After 20 years in the music business,I see that the music companies are getting what they deserve after screwing the public,the artists and their employees all these years.

    I've been there!

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    glitch, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 6:31am

    iTunes sux as much as Microsoft

    I would have no problem paying for the music i like - want.

    But only with what I want

    Gates and Jobs are both the same and I chose m$, next Linux

    idiot tunes is still too restrictive

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Noah, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 7:16am

    University of Mexico?

    Great article, but I think it's University of New Mexico. No big deal, typos happen with everyone, including me.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Bob, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 7:17am

    And coleridgian means what ??

    Nice article, but I now need to Google: "Coleridgian" as I have no idea what that means.

    Am I the only one in that boat?

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Chris, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 7:36am

    Re:

    Really, there is nor copyright management?! Thats news to me. I suppose that is why I can only play my songs on itunes and an ipod...

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Chris, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 7:38am

    Re: University of Mexico?

    hmm, thats funny. I didn't catch that

    You get the watchdog cookie
    *hands you cookie*
    This cookie is awarded to totally random people who point out random mistakes. I'm sorry about the bite missing, I got hungry

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    James, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 7:54am

    Re:

    While I agree that the downloading of copyrighted material is overblown by the RIAA, as since the boom of filesharing began the profits of the RIAA have gone nowhere but up, I fail to see where you get your rediculous statistic of 50,000 to 1. If someone really really wants a CD and downloads it illegally instead of buying it, that has affected the sale of 1 CD.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Kubuntu Rules, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 7:58am

    I Tunes kills kittens

    First off Smart Judge
    Second groups like RIAA and MPAA will never adjust their business models unless they are forced to. As long as the Justice system protects their frivolous lawsuits they will keep doing what they have been doing. I really hope the rest of the American Judicial System starts ignoring them (also I dislike both these groups because they allowed Studios and Record Companies to pay Paris Hilton money to sing and act. And even worse then allowed them to release those products in stores).

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Chronno S. Trigger, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 8:07am

    Re: Re:

    iTunes PLUS. you need to pay more for the non-DRM stuff. It's in a past article on here.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Beefcake, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 8:26am

    Heinlein's Life Line

    Life Line is a short story in the serialized compilation The Man Who Sold the Moon (and quite probably elsewhere). This whole concept of technology outmoding certain industries is certainly not new, and Heinlein's protagonist offers some great arguments. Granted, it's just science fiction and hardly legally binding, but it's an excellent parallel to what we are seeing today.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Beefcake, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 8:27am

    Re: Heinlein's Life Line

    With apologies to Heinlein who I've read hated the term "science fiction". Allow me to correct-- it's "speculative" fiction.

     

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

  22.  
    identicon
    Beefcake, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 8:33am

    Re: Re: Heinlein's Life Line

    One last off-topic tidbit-- I've just read on Wiki (so the caveat "for what it's worth" applies) that Life Line was actually his debut work, first published 1939 in Astounding Science Fiction magazine.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    me, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 8:35am

    *New* Mexico

    "it looks like a judge in New Mexico disagrees. In denying the RIAA's request to have the University of Mexico..."

    University of *New* Mexico, por favor

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Bystander, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 8:45am

    Inigo Montoya said it best

    "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 9:39am

    Re: Smart judge.

    I wouldn't say he's any smarter than the others, maybe just a tad less corrupt.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 10:04am

    Heinlein Rules !

    He's so much more than just a science/speculative fiction author.

    Although his stories are "can't put them down" good, he also states ideas worthy of consideration.

    Here's one of his quotes:
    --------
    The phrase "we (I) (you) simply must..." designates something that need not be done. "That goes without saying" is a red warning. "Of course" means you had best check it yourself.
    These small-change cliches and others like them, when read correctly, are reliable channel markers.
    Robert Heinlein, from Time Enough for Love

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Felix the Cat, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 11:49am

    Re: Re: irreparable harm

    You're the sort of sadist who gives cat owners gifts of quicksand kitty litter.

    Glub!

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 5:11pm

    Re: And coleridgian means what ??

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    0d3N, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 9:49pm

    Re: Re:

    thats asuming that if he could not DL it they would have spent the money

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    mawst, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 5:52am

    Statistics

    The problem I have is with these so called statistics. I download everything I can get my hands on. On the other hand, I've never really been a music or movie shopper.

    It's not like if the internet didn't exist I would be buying these cds. No money can be lost when i's not actually COSTING the company to download them. That's another point. None of these companies know about me, or for that mater any accurate number of how much downloading actually occurs.

    for the sake of not implicating anyone, I'm not going to get into specifics, but the sheer amount of methods people acquire music is staggering, and impossible to calculate.

    How much do these money hungry bastards spend in lawsuits, suing fans?

    The whole thing is pathetic. Everyone knows you make your money off touring anyways.

    Go cry.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    jeremy, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 1:07pm

    finally

    I'm so glad to see a judge trying to get the RIAA to own up to it's crap. The way you use words means everything in court / politics / business, and it's all about money. This judge basically said that losing money doesn't mean someone is mortally wounded... Finally! Someone who makes sense in all this.

     

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