Correcting A Few 'Facts' From The RIAA... For Which We Feel We Deserve Payment

from the we're-waiting-for-the-check... dept

After the Jammie Thomas ruling, the RIAA kept its typical gloating to a minimum, recognizing the PR disaster that the nearly $2 million judgment presented for its already widely disliked members. A few mistakes slipped through, but for the most part, the RIAA kept pretty quiet hoping that Thomas would settle rather than appeal (that didn't work). However, with the Joel Tenenbaum ruling, it appears the RIAA is going in a slightly different direction, posting a snarky blog post about Joel supposedly under the guise of "facts." Now, I've been clear that I think Tenenbaum never should have gone to trial and should have settled a while back. As more facts became clear in his case, it made little sense for him to fight against the RIAA. He broke the law and admitted it. You're not going to get very far fighting in court on that front. I think he's a bad test case (and had terrible legal representation).

So I can see where some of the opening comments from the RIAA's Cara Duckworth come from (basically trying to tear down Joel). But, for the life of me, I can't figure out what good the post does for the RIAA. It's a rather typical tone-deaf pronouncement from a group that's been about as tone deaf as it could possibly be to consumer desire for over a decade. To the people who already support Joel, it comes across as yet another attack. To people who already support the RIAA, it adds nothing new. To people in the middle... it just looks mean to attack this guy. Yes, Joel broke the law. But he was fined $675,000 for 30 songs (and, yes, the RIAA tries to point out that he downloaded/shared much more, but if that's their point, they should have sued him for that as well). Plenty of people see that punishment as totally out of line with any sense of reality. There's a tremendous amount of evidence that file sharing has not been a problem for the music industry -- it was a failure of the labels, often at the urging of the RIAA itself, to embrace new technologies and new business models.

And rather than recognize that, it now wants to smack around a guy they may have just sentenced to a life in poverty? That'll win over supporters...

I can't believe it needs to be said again, but you DON'T win customers by suing the biggest fans of your product. You DON'T win customers by doing everything you can to hold back innovation unless its under your terms. You DON'T win customers by exacting a massive pound of flesh and overvaluing your contribution over everyone else's.

As for the specifics of the RIAA's "facts" they get a bunch wrong. For example:
FACT: As much as he wants to make this into one, this is not a crusade against the RIAA or the laws that protect creators. This is not about us. It's about Joel Tenenbaum and his egregious illegal behavior which robs artists and music creators of the right to be paid for their work, and robs record companies of the ability to invest in new artists and bring new music to the public.
That's not a "fact." That's very much an opinion, and the second part of it is flat-out wrong. It's not a fact, it's a lie. Tenenbaum's actions robbed no one. No one has a "right to be paid for their work." You have a right to try to convince people to buy, and the RIAA and its labels FAILED in convincing Tenenbaum to do that. But that's the market at work. Today for lunch I may pick the deli rather than the pizza shop next door. Based on the RIAA's logic here, I have just "robbed" the pizza place of its "right to be paid" for its work. There is no right to be paid. Only a right to try to convince people to buy. As for "robbing the ability to invest," again, please explain how people choosing not to buy your product is the fault of the people not buying? If you simply put in place business models that work (which we point to all the time, showing artists who embrace file sharing and make more money because of it), there would be plenty of money to "invest in new artists."

And, of course, the woe-is-us routine is bogus as well. As we've seen in two recent studies (the latter from the music industry itself), the music ecosystem is thriving. More money is going into music and music-related goods than ever before. It's just that less and less of it is filtering through the RIAA's labels who (oops!) have a nasty history of not actually paying their artists money they owe them. The idea that not giving money to the RIAA somehow means less music will be brought to the public is laughable. It's not a fact, it's pure propaganda. Thanks to these same new technologies that the RIAA has tried to kill off, it's easier than ever for bands to create, promote and distribute music. And because of that, there's more new music out there than ever before.

Hey, let's agree on the fact that Joel broke the law and it was silly for him to go through with this lawsuit. Done and done. But don't spew a line of pure bull that this was ever about investing in artists.
FACT: Mr. Tenenbaum has put forth the defense that "his generation" has grown up learning that file-sharing isn't wrong. This is a bogus argument. I'm a member of Tenenbaum's generation. I was taught I shouldn't take what doesn't belong to me without permission.
Funny, then, can you explain all the lawsuits that artists have filed against major record labels asking where the money owed to them has gone? Why is it the RIAA's biggest name members seem to have no problem "taking what doesn't belong to them without permission"? And can you explain why the RIAA has been fighting for a new tax on radio stations? Isn't that just "taking what doesn't belong to you" as well? The RIAA has no problem taking what doesn't belong to them (though, usually it works hard behind the scenes to get politicians to pass laws to give it the appearance of legality).
FACT: The best anti-piracy strategy is a thriving legal marketplace that gives music fans a wide variety of innovative options where they can get their favorite music in affordable, hassle-free ways.
Which is why your members, under your legal direction and strategic input have sued a significant number of those services and tried to make the MP3 player itself illegal? Uh-huh.
Because there are some people like Mr. Tenenbaum who believe music should be free, we've had to enforce our rights to protect all those hard-working individuals who create the music.
There's a bit of a problematic logic train here... Because someone doesn't want to buy from us, we have to sue, to get money for the people we work so hard to not give money to. Hmm. Can Cara Duckworth and the RIAA share with us some details on how the "settlement fees" from all the folks threatened by the RIAA has been distributed to artists? The RIAA has no requirement to enforce its rights. As we've seen time and time again, artists who purposely chose not to enforce those rights, but to instead provide something of real value to consumers have found that they can make more money than they ever got from an RIAA member. There's no such thing as that you "had to enforce" your rights. Instead, you could have innovated. You chose not to.
FACT: We do not want to be in court. We'd rather be investing in new artists and bringing great music to the public's collective ears.
If we're dealing in "facts" here, we should get one straight. If a plaintiff doesn't want to be in court, then he or she doesn't sue. It's that simple. Making this out like the RIAA was somehow forced to go to court is ridiculous. Edgar Bronfman Jr. announced nearly a decade ago that he was sending an army of lawyers to sue file sharers. You made the conscious decision to declare war on your best customers. You weren't forced into it at all.
But artists, musicians, music companies, and all the working-class folks who rely on the legitimate sale of music to make a living deserve to be paid for their work.
There we are with the "deserve to be paid." Hell, I "deserve to be paid" for my work too. But, the world doesn't work that way. Deserving to be paid for your work and a nickel gets you five damn cents. You earn money by offering something in the marketplace that people want to buy. You didn't do that. You failed at business 101 and you started suing people because of it.
FACT: We remain willing to settle this case, but Tenenbaum is so far insisting on filing more motions and appeals in order to continue to pursue his misguided mission to get music for free.
You could drop the case. You've already declared (somewhat misleadingly) that you were giving up this strategy of suing music fans. Why continue to tarnish the RIAA's reputation by bankrupting a kid for listening to music?
Nobody can argue that people don't deserve to be paid for their hard work. But through all his illegal actions, Tenenbaum has argued exactly that.
Indeed. No one is likely to argue that people don't deserve to be paid for their hard work, but out here in the real world, deserving to be paid is meaningless. Cara, since I spent so much time correcting your errors, half-truths and misdirections, I feel that I deserve to be paid for this hard work I have done for you. Based on your logic, I should see a check in the mail from you shortly, yes? Clearly, if you don't pay up, we can only assume that you are arguing that I don't deserve to be paid for my hard work. So which is it?

No matter how clearly Tenenbaum broke the law, it doesn't change the only real fact: the RIAA has failed to embrace new business models when they appear, has attacked and held back new technologies and innovations at nearly every opportunity until dragged kicking-and-screaming into the new era (which it still refuses to fully embrace), and has created a PR nightmare for itself that isn't helped by lying to the public in the name of a bunch of bogus "FACTS."


Reader Comments (rss)

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    identicon
    No the Anti Mike, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 1:14pm

    This from a guy who uses "us" and "we" instead of "me" and "I".

    Riiight.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 1:30pm

      Re:

      As pointed out before, the founder and CEO of a company is perfectly welcome and allowed to use 'we' well talking about the views of his company.

      Get it through your head, there is nothing wrong with it, CEOs, founders, and other leaders do it all the time, whether they are the leaders of five people or five million.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 1:41pm

        Re: Re:

        The problem is that Mike tends to use "we" as if he is referring to the readers, the people who are smart enough to "get it". In another article today, he refers to Reuters moving in a "smarter direction", but really, how does he know for certain it is a smarter direction, and isn't that opinion his own?

        It's the basic rules of writing opinion pieces with your name attached. When you express an opinion, it is your own. So most of the "fact" checking in this article isn't replacing lies with "facts", just replacing RIAA opinion with Mike opinion.

         

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          Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 1:45pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          And in AC's opinion, suing your clientele into oblivion is a smarter path than embracing new ideas.

          Hay, hows this for a "fact": most trolls, when losing an argument, resort to picking apart grammar and spelling, assuming that one little writing mistake (or a mistake in the troll's opinion) makes the rest of the arguments invalid.

           

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          Ryan, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 1:50pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          You are maddening. You are like a whiny little kid bitching about dropping his lollipop. Did your parents drop you on your head when you were younger, or are you just legally retarded? It says "by Mike Masnick" right there at the top. He owns Techdirt, whom he is obviously speaking for. Nobody with half a brain cell thinks he is speaking for every possible reader that may see the post. And evaluating something as "smart" is, of course, always subjective. Unless you personally talked to God himself or developed a proven mathematical formula that quantifies the "smartness" of a strategy given initial conditions, this is BLATANTLY OBVIOUS.

          I actually enjoy reading these articles and commenters here often contribute to the discussion. Normally trolls can just be ignored, but you are constantly posting completely asinine whinings and you actually seem to believe it. Can you please just shut up and go get a life somewhere else?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 1:56pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            One of the funniest things on a site like this is watching the incredible circling of the wagons. It's almost comical.

            My comments are only that replacing "non facts" you don't like with "non facts" you do like doesn't make them into facts. Mike is expressing his opinion, I appreciate that he does, I wish he would be more direct about it at timesm rather than couching his posts in weasel words and mixing his own comments with others in a less than clear manner.

            Basically, "Correcting A Few 'Facts' From The RIAA" would suggest that the corrections are truth, but they are for the most part opinions. Maybe you believe them deeply, but opinion is still just opinion.

            "Unless you personally talked to God himself or developed a proven mathematical formula that quantifies the "smartness" of a strategy given initial conditions, this is BLATANTLY OBVIOUS."

            It's blatantly obvious, so why would it be stated as fact, when it isn't? Do you see the trend?

             

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              PaulT (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 2:04pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Sorry, could you point us to the "facts" you've submitted? I only see other opinions, not anywhere near as well argued as the original article.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 2:10pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I didn't show up to correct "facts", just to point generally at the ones that aren't facts.

                 

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                  PaulT (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 3:21pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "I didn't show up to correct "facts", just to point generally at the ones that aren't facts."

                  Wasn't that what Mike was doing in the original article?

                  You're really going to attack him for providing opinion rather than fact, and you're doing this by... providing opinion rather than fact, and gladly admit it to boot. Does cognitive dissonance like this hurt much, or do the drugs dull the pain?

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 3:38pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Paul, read my comments more slowly, you are going to fast and missing most of the words.

                    When you correct something, you take it from wrong to right. Right is a "fact", no?

                    If Mike said "my opinions on what the RIAA considers facts", we might be okay, but by claiming to correct them, he is claiming to have the right answer.

                    How hard is simple english to understand? You may be able to type "cognitive dissonance" but apparently you have a problem with shorter words.

                     

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              Steve, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 3:09pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The title being " Correcting A Few 'Fact' From The RIAA" doesn't mean that he is going to provide facts. It seems to me that he was refuting whether the RIAA's 'Facts' were truly facts. The fact that these are opinions and Mike's opinions are different clearly demonstrates that the RIAA is trying to put forth opinions or falshoods as facts. To me that seems to be the point.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 3:15pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                last time I checked, correcting something would be to make it right, to replace an error with a correct answer. The correct answer would be a "fact", no?

                So he isn't correcting a few facts, but in fact "refuting a few facts" or "spewing on about things I don't agree with", right?

                 

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                  Luci, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 2:14am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  And yet you continue to blabber and blather without pointing out what is opinion and why. Why is this so difficult for you? Without a supporting argument, your opinion holds little sway.

                   

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          Alan Gerow (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 2:57pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          An organization can have an official opinion, where a representative speaks on behalf of the opinion of the organization as a collective. Whether or not each individual member believes in the collective opinion. And generally, when a representative speaks officially in collective terms, the READERS are not included unless other indicators imply it, which weren't present in this story.

          You assume inference of commenters in his use of pronouns. I don't. It's more a limitation of English where "we" can include or exclude "you". In this case, it does not include "us" as in the commenters, but "them" as in the organization members who post & work on the site behind-the-scenes.

           

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      Alan Gerow (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 2:50pm

      Re:

      Because he's speaking from the perspective of the TechDirt organization, not as an individual.

       

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      Leviathant (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 2:51pm

      Re:

      Don't feed the trolls.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 1:26pm

    "And rather than recognize that, it now wants to smack around a guy they may have just sentenced to a life in poverty? That'll win over supporters... "

    Kick a man when he's down.

     

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 1:27pm

    Haha Mike

    Heh, Mike, maybe that check they send you will be for 100 million. After all, you gave them a reason to buy =P

     

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    lavi d (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 1:32pm

    Yar!

    row, row, row
    fight the power!

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 1:36pm

    Facts?

    "FACT: The best anti-piracy strategy is a thriving legal marketplace that gives music fans a wide variety of innovative options where they can get their favorite music in affordable, hassle-free ways. Because there are some people like Mr. Tenenbaum who believe music should be free, we've had to enforce our rights to protect all those hard-working individuals who create the music."

    To me that fact says: To beat piracy one must provide a product better than the pirates can, but one can't provide a better product because pirates exist.

     

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      Ryan, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 1:43pm

      Re: Facts?

      The beatings will continue until morale improves...

       

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      PaulT (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 2:02pm

      Re: Facts?

      "To beat piracy one must provide a product better than the pirates can, but one can't provide a better product because pirates exist."

      Not true.

      The labels have exclusive access to original materials that have not been released to the public, ranging from the original compositions of music to the artists themselves. They also have a head start on any new material being created, especially on physcial merchandise that can't be shared through P2P. There's all sorts of ways to monetise that in ways that a "pirate" would find hard, if not impossible, to replicate.

      The big problem with the RIAA is that they're trying to compete using the easiest to "pirate" commodity there is - digital data. The reason why "piracy" is such a problem is that there's literally no barrier to entry like there is with a physical object, so nobody's trying to get paid. A kid can "pirate" every album ever made, and it wouldn't necessarily cost him a penny depending on what he's already paying for bandwidth.

      On top of that, the RIAA has historically offered a product that's actually INFERIOR to the product offered by pirates, for reasons ranging from DRM that can stop you using the product you legally bought to pointless region coding. Want a FLAC-encoded copy of an album that's not been officially released in your region? The RIAA will refuse to sell that to you, but the "pirates" are quite happy to give it to you for free.

      See the problem? If all they have to compete with the "pirates" is a crippled, inferior product, they have more problems than all the anti-consumer lawsuits in the world could fix.

       

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      Ben (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 5:30pm

      Re: Facts?

      or try to sue everyone you can, and hope most pay up and settle.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 1:37pm

    and the RIAA trolls come out. Do you guys get paid for this or is the RIAA stealing your time?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 1:47pm

    "But, for the life of me, I can't figure out what good the post does for the RIAA. It's a rather typical tone-deaf pronouncement from a group that's been about as tone deaf as it could possibly be to consumer desire for over a decade."

    You've been making insulting comments about the RIAA for the best part of the last decade and you still don't seem to understand that there is a lot their actions and strategy you have yet to understand. That's a shame since it means while your motivations maybe sympathetic to the consumer your "insights" remain pretty much worthless.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 1:55pm

      Re:

      "there is a lot their actions and strategy you have yet to understand."

      I understand there strategy, lobby the government and sue people. You can't compete in the free market so you resort to government rents. It's basic economics, not rocket science, I understand the strategy perfectly well.

       

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      PaulT (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 2:07pm

      Re:

      There's a difference between not understanding the strategy, and not understanding why they can't see how badly the strategy is failing.

      It's perfectly obvious what they *think* they're doing and what they wish to achieve. But, their actions are misguided and their strategies unworkable in the long term.

      A lot of people have been saying this for the last decade, and we're yet to be proven wrong on most points.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 2:34pm

        Re: Re:

        "....why they can't see how badly the strategy is failing."

        You believe it's failing just because that's what Masnick says ? he's been saying it for years and the RIAA keeps on winning :illegal downloading take serious hits, file sharing services shutting, and now even the torrent trackers ... how are you (and Mike) measuring fail ?

         

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          PaulT (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 2:52pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "illegal downloading take serious hits"

          Most figures I've seen state that P2P traffic has not really dropped, and in fact increased exponentially until very recently. Do you have a cite for data that proves otherwise?

          Meanwhile, how many people have been sued? How many people are sharing? I think the latter is much, much higher than the former, and that's even if you only count the "pirates" susceptible to US civil law.

          "file sharing services shutting, and now even the torrent trackers"

          How many of each of these are there? The RIAA's just playing a game of whack-a-mole. Shutting down Napster just drove people to Kazaa and Morpheus. Killing Kazaa just sent people to Limewire and The Pirate Bay. Plenty of other file sharing techniques and sites exist to take the users of these sites when they shut down.

          ...and on and on until someone "wins" against the "pirates". It ain't going to be the pirates - they'll exist as long as an untapped market exists for them, and even beyond that since most people "pirating" are just sharing files. Think you'll be able to shut down "sneakernet" systems with kids going around their colleges or neighbourhoods with personal 1.5Tb+ hard drives sharing music? Very, very doubtful.

          The only way to "win" is to make your product more valuable than the product being offered by "pirates". Suing the same people likely to want to buy it is not the answer. I know that I for one swore off RIAA labels for as long as they continue doing this kind of thing, they should be capitalising on the people still dumb enough to want their products, not sue them.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 3:30pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          ":illegal downloading take serious hits, file sharing services shutting, and now even the torrent trackers"
          what fileshares have shut? what torrents are gone? TPB is still there last I checked...
          how many new ones pop up every day?
          the RIAA is lost...

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 12:48pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          How are you measuring success? All these actions are serving to do is drive innovation in the file sharing community. Tracker gets taken down? Anonymize it using TOR. Decentralize it as well for good measure. The RIAA is failing because it is giving those who care about the P2P and have any knowledge of programming an incentive to pool their skills and create tools that the RIAA cannot match. These tools are easier to use, safer, and far more accessible than ever before, and only get better with each lawsuit-driven iteration. Meanwhile, the legal content gets locked up and made less useful and any sanctioned innovation is driven to stagnation through legal and economic channels.

          If this is not outright failure, it is most certainly not a plan for success in a technological arena driven by innovation.

           

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      Nick Dynice (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 8:12pm

      Re:

      "You've been making insulting comments about the RIAA for the best part of the last decade and you still don't seem to understand that there is a lot their actions and strategy you have yet to understand."

      Is that so? Please enlighten us. If you can't you have a problem and have proven your statement to be wrong.

       

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    CastorTroy-Libertarian, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 1:53pm

    Hmmm wouldnt it be cheaper

    for the RIAA to call off the "AC" crowd (RIAA Puppets) and just give Mike the 100 Million for a year off? Of course the rest of us will get screwed, but hey if Mike gets 100 Million maybe he can donate a few 100K for one of us to ghost write a new blogg :)...

     

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    Free Capitalist, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 1:54pm

    No way this is propaganda...

    From TFA:
    FACT: Mr. Tenenbaum is a hard-core, habitual and unrepentant p2p abuser who has caused harm to the music community.

    Holy crap, you can mainline this junk now?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 3:17pm

      Re: No way this is propaganda...

      FACT: Mr. Tenenbaum hard-core p2p user who has done something thats claimed to cause harm to the music community has yet been proven.

      fixed :D

       

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    Jeff (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 2:29pm

    I believe the 'facts' mentioned above are familiar to consistent readers of this site. Mike has continually linked to scholarly studies and case studies that debunk much of what the RIAA is trying to prove here. I.E. Amanda Palmer is enjoying a much more lucrative career on her own, outside the RIAA. I.E. the music business is actually growing, just not in ways that benefit the music industry.

    I don't feel it's implausible to make the leap from these documented instances to showing that the RIAA has a systematic history of misleading people via it's press releases/blogs/whatever

     

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    mcs, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 2:37pm

    Referrence please...

    "As we've seen time and time again, artists who purposely chose not to enforce those rights, but to instead provide something of real value to consumers have found that they can make more money than they ever got from an RIAA member."

    While I agree with most all of your opinion on this subject Mike, I would like to believe this statement as well. So if someone can provide the evidence, I will.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 2:38pm

    The best anti-piracy strategy is a thriving legal marketplace that gives music fans a wide variety of innovative options where they can get their favorite music in affordable, hassle-free ways.

    But what if I want to LISTEN to it in hassle free ways?

    If you want me to buy music, give me the ability to listen to it how I want, when I want, through whatever platform I want, be it an iPod, generic MP3 player, cd player, etc.

    Until you "let" me do this, I'm not buying a damn thing.

    Make it easier for me to listen to music when I want, how I want and on what device I want, and that would make it easier for me to justify paying for it.

    You do that and I hang my pirate hat up. Until then? YARRRRR.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 2:51pm

      Re:

      "If you want me to buy music, give me the ability to listen to it how I want, when I want, through whatever platform I want, be it an iPod, generic MP3 player, cd player, etc."

      Shouldn't happen. That would be like, well .... supermarkets selling milk for less that cost. Then allowing you to make milkshakes, pudding, cookies and other things and not buying them from the stores.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 3:18pm

        Re: Re:

        Eh, where I live, milk prices are regulated by law.

        But I see your sarcasm and salute you for it.

        If I buy a CD, I want to be able to rip it and listen to it on my ipod or mp3 player or whatever. If I buy a song from iTunes, I want the same freedom of use.

        I should not have to buy 2 or more copies of the same thing just to be able to listen to it on my personal devices.

        I don't have to buy 2 sweaters if I want to wear one in the car and one in the kitchen.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 3:34pm

        Re: Re:

        What we have now is like the supermarket selling milk at 99 cents per ounce no matter how much you buy. On top of that the milk can only be consumed in its liquid form from a tall glass - if you put the milk in a different container or use it in a recipe then you are breaking the law and you will be sued into a life of poverty.

        People want to pay a resonable price for milk and then use it however they see fit. Get it?

        When the RIAA starts offering fans what they want then those fans will be more than happy to pay. Music fans do not want an over-priced, low quality and DRM laden product. Music fans want a high quality, reasonably-priced product that has the same availability world-wide.

         

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        Nick Dynice (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 8:20pm

        Re: Re: let me make milkshakes, pudding, cookies for free

        This is the dumbest comment I have ever seen here.
        1. We already know what these taste like. No need to sample them. New music on the other hand is always differnt and needs to be tasted before purchase.
        2. Food is scares resources with fixed marginal cost.

        Go away RIAA shill.

         

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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 2:40pm

    Just me.

    I don't know about anyone else, but whenever a large company prints the word "FACT:" I'm confident whatever follows it will be, at best, a half-truth and more likely an outright lie.

    They are so out of touch with reality it's no longer funny.

    Worse yet, there's nothing more pathetic than a group of multi-million dollar record labels bringing the legal hammer down on one private citizen, and then gloat about it. They should be ashamed of themselves, every last cog in their machine needs to call up their mother and explain to her that they financially ruined a young man's life for no better reason than they could-- and then had the soullessness to *gloat* about it. And for what? Because he told other people how to arrange ones and zeros on their computer to mimic sounds that were at some point in the past played by someone else. How can no one see how asinine that is?!

    The world we live in has become a parody.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 3:00pm

      Re: Just me.

      "I don't know about anyone else, but whenever a large company prints the word "FACT:" I'm confident whatever follows it will be, at best, a half-truth and more likely an outright lie."

      ...and how does that differ when Techdirt decides to "correct some facts" which implies they know the facts. To quote you, "I'm confident whatever follows it will be, at best, a half-truth and more likely an outright lie."

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 2:32am

        Re: Re: Just me.

        Every time you open your mouth, we can hear the raspy mouth-breathing that presages a bit of witlessness from the RIAA.

         

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    Dan, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 2:54pm

    This circle jerk will continue until the musicians conclude that dealing with the big media companies and RIAA are counter productive and hurt their bottom line. At that point big media will plummet and burn like an expired satellite on reentry. You can enhance or impede this process based on your point of view. Personally I am watching from the sideline and its a hell of a show.

     

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    LostSailor (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 3:15pm

    Correcting the "Corrections"

    It's a target-rich environment. Let's just pick a few:

    And rather than recognize that, it now wants to smack around a guy they may have just sentenced to a life in poverty?

    Neither the RIAA or the labels that where the plaintiffs in the case "sentenced" Joel to anything. Trade groups and plaintiffs don't do any sentencing. And neither does a civil court. Only a criminal court can impose a sentence. Joel admitted his guilt on the stand. The jury decided on the damages. And Joel could still settle that for a fraction of the damage award if he wanted.

    No one has a "right to be paid for their work." You have a right to try to convince people to buy, and the RIAA and its labels FAILED in convincing Tenenbaum to do that....Today for lunch I may pick the deli rather than the pizza shop next door. Based on the RIAA's logic here, I have just "robbed" the pizza place of its "right to be paid" for its work. There is no right to be paid.

    Sure there's a "right to be paid" if you use someone's work or a product they've offered for sale. You haven't "robbed" the pizza place by going to the deli because you had a sandwich and not a slice of pizza from the pizza place. You only have to pay for the goods and services you use. The labels didn't fail to convince Tenenbaum to obtain their product and use it, they were obviously successful because he did just that. It was Tenenbaum who decided that he didn't want to pay for the product he used and instead chose to obtain it and use it in violation of the law.

    Funny, then, can you explain all the lawsuits that artists have filed against major record labels asking where the money owed to them has gone? ... And can you explain why the RIAA has been fighting for a new tax on radio stations? Isn't that just "taking what doesn't belong to you" as well? The RIAA has no problem taking what doesn't belong to them (though, usually it works hard behind the scenes to get politicians to pass laws to give it the appearance of legality).

    So, Tenenbaum's illegal action should be excused because some record labels sometimes use shady accounting practices? That an opinion on morality, not a "fact" or even a good reading of the law. If the RIAA convinces Congress to extend royatlies dues for radio play that isn't "taking what doesn't belong to you" and it isn't the "appearance of legality." If Congress passes the law (assuming it's not challenged and overturned) then the activity is the definition of legality and the collections aren't "taking," they're a legal right.

    You've accused me elsewhere of making "moral" arguments where only economic arguments should apply. This seems a highly emotional "moral" argument rather than a legal one.

    Can Cara Duckworth and the RIAA share with us some details on how the "settlement fees" from all the folks threatened by the RIAA has been distributed to artists?

    You assume that the RIAA receives those settlement funds. I don't believe that's correct. I believe whatever money is left after expenses goes to the labels. The RIAA may get some of that in fees or membership dues, but not directly from the settlements. The RIAA therefore has no obligation to distribute any money to artists. That's not it's job. As for what money might be owed the artists, that would depend on their contracts with their labels.

    The RIAA has no requirement to enforce its rights.... There's no such thing as that you "had to enforce" your rights.

    I'll give you a half point here. There is no requirement to enforce their rights. But though you may disagree vehemently with them, there are valid reasons to do so. Such as their members asked them to.

    There we are with the "deserve to be paid." Hell, I "deserve to be paid" for my work too.

    You deserve to be paid for the work you do that other people make use of and that you are offering for sale. If you can't get paid for your work, might I suggest a better business model?

    You could drop the case. You've already declared (somewhat misleadingly) that you were giving up this strategy of suing music fans. Why continue to tarnish the RIAA's reputation by bankrupting a kid for listening to music?

    Let's not misrepresent what they said about not suing anymore: they said they would not file any new cases, but would pursue the ones that had already been filed, including the "doe" cases. And the labels didn't sue Tenenbaum for listing to music, they sued because he obtained, and redistributed, that music in violation of the law.

    Cara, since I spent so much time correcting your errors, half-truths and misdirections, I feel that I deserve to be paid for this hard work I have done for you. Based on your logic, I should see a check in the mail from you shortly, yes? Clearly, if you don't pay up, we can only assume that you are arguing that I don't deserve to be paid for my hard work. So which is it?

    If Ms. Duckworth asked you to "correct" her "mistakes" and you had agreed on a fee, then you certainly would deserve to be paid. But you chose to do this on your own, on spec. So I wouldn't hold my breath looking for a check. And, since you've chosen to freely give away your work posted here, there is not reason you should feel you "deserve" to be paid. You made your choice already, you never offered your hard work for sale. Even if you had, if no one wanted it or made use of it, there is no expectation of payment.

    And even if you did think you deserved to be paid, given the specious nature of your arguments here--especially this last one, I doubt you would deserve much.

    No matter how clearly Tenenbaum broke the law, it doesn't change the only real fact: the RIAA has failed to embrace new business models when they appear

    It's not the RIAA's job to embrace new business models, unless you're referring to new business models for trade associations. No matter how clearly the record labels have failed to embrace new business models, it doesn't change the only real fact: Tenenbaum broke the law, was found guilty in court, and a jury found him liable for damages.

    I'll certainly agree with you that RIAA would have been better served by keeping quite, or putting out much more moderate PR, but as others have noted, quite a lot of this post isn't correcting facts, it's substituting opinion for facts.

     

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      fartknocker, Dec 7th, 2009 @ 2:59pm

      Re: Correcting the "Corrections"

      stop starting your sentences with "and"

      you are seriously ripping the author for writing:
      "
      And rather than recognize that, it now wants to smack around a guy they may have just sentenced to a life in poverty?
      "

      based on his improper (in a legally technical sense only) of the word sentenced? Grow up, get a life, etc. This sounds like the legal argument of a 4 year old -- get to the merits.

      What he said was true. The RIAA has lobbied hard and been rewarded for its hard work by congress granting it outlandishly large damage awards in the copyright act. This is not arguable. See Patry on Copyright. Thus, as soon as the RIAA brings a lawsuit for only 30 songs downloaded, they are potentially "sentencing" anyone except a millionaire to a life of poverty. You seem to think that this was somehow unexpected, or not the RIAA's doing because they didn't "sentence" him to a life in poverty, the court merely took the jury at face value and held him liable for the preposterous award. If that's what you'd like to believe, that's fine. It's not difficult to blind oneself, but it's generally pretty unsatisfying.

      You make arguments like you understand poverty, or that by skirting the issue the fact that a person was sentenced to less than the basic necessities of life will go away. It won't. Until you realize the harm that the RIAA causes, and that which you attempt to excuse, you just won't get it. I highly doubt these statements will open your eyes, but it was satisfying for me to put down my thoughts and realize that the issues here are quite real, quite concrete, and destructive. You may now return to ignoring the purpose of the copyright act.

      **hint: it's increasing enhancing public learning. period.

       

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    ioxon (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 3:29pm

    Isn't it obvious that artists badly need more money than they're currently getting? I mean, what inhumane creatures we are to ignore a starving artist who can no longer spend any more than a mere $1000 on a purse. *PUKE*, *COUGH* ... sorry, I'll go on...

    Come on everyone - it's clear that we're missing the RIAA's point. How dare we even begin to think for a minute that we can somehow have any musical entertainment without having to spend our last hard-earned dollar to get it - just to find out the $15 - $20 CD we just bought only has 2 decent songs out of the 12 - 15 songs provided - the rest, CRAP! It's our fate to be the artists' (the RIAA more-so now) only source of income so they can work for 10% (if that) of their lives and then jack off, party for days, and eat like kings/queens for the other 90%. All those long spent hours of fun and stupidity then ends up in the celebrity "dirt" magazines and shows they expect us to spend more of that money we now don't have.

    How HORRIBLE we are!!

     

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    Luke Stackwalker, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 3:49pm

    My analysis of your analysis...

    I don't know where the begin (but I will) on the statement "No one has a right to be paid for the work". Why would anyone work if they didn't expect to be paid. Note how communism hasn't taken over the world since the reward there does not match the effort. I'm not going to debate absolute vs conditional rights (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rights) here but I think it's pretty pedantic to say that efforts should not expect to be rewarded.

    The "robbed a pizza place" analogy does not make sense. Joel took pizza and shared it with his friends. He didn't think about pizza then have a deli sandwich. Big difference.

    You never addressed the "his generation" fact. You go on about how the RIAA does this and that. You could have at least said that it was an opinion. But the fact stands that "Mr Tanenbaum has put forth...".

    Ditto for the anti piracy fact. You never addressed it. Why include it if you cannot make a strong statement as to why this is not a fact. It just comes as an attack for RIAA supporters, and to the people who support Joel it adds nothing new. See where this came from?

    For the logic train, I think you have derailed too. The goods here are unique. I cannot buy Jimmy Buffet music from Alan Jackson, much as the two of them may like each other. So if I want to hear JB, then I must obtain JB's music. See comment above about expectations for being paid. Why would an artist (or scientist or anyone for that matter) do something except to get currency to buy the things they need to live? Your argument says that if an individual doesn't want to pay then that is OK. But if the free market (funny how that sounds here) IS willing to pay, then tough for those who don't want to pay for the goods.

    Sometimes you have to do what you have to do, even if you don't want to. I may not want to go to work but I have to, so I do. I think the derailment of your analysis just went further off track:)

    Ah, but some (many) people DID pay for the songs that Joel downloaded and shared. People WANTED it and were willing to pay for it. So Joel has to pay the going rate. Otherwise, it is called stealing. It's that free market thing again! My analogy: I only want to pay $1 for a gallon of gas so that should be the price. NO! Everyone else will pay $3 per gallon so I must pay that too. It's what the world will pay, not what just one person wants to pay, that determines the value of something.

    Deserving to be paid is NOT meaningless. But deserving means "rightfully earned" (see http://www.thefreedictionary.com/deserved). If I offer something for sale and someone else pays me for the something then have I not deserved the payment? Again, I think that this leads to a very pedantic (Characterized by a narrow, often ostentatious concern for book learning and formal rules: See http://www.thefreedictionary.com/pedantic) discussion.

    I offer this not in hopes of getting paid but in the spirit of friendly debate. Had I wanted to get paid for it, then I would have opened up my own blog, sought advertising, and tried to make a few bucks. Oh, that's right, that is what you do. So you do (did/will) get paid for commenting on Cara's article.

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 4:23pm

      Re: My analysis of your analysis...

      "No one has a right to be paid for the work". Why would anyone work if they didn't expect to be paid.

      Two responses to that:

      (1) You just did. You responded here (work) without expecting to get paid. Thus, proving the point.

      (2) The question is misleading and incorrect. Lots of people work expecting to get paid. But that's different than having a *right* to get paid. No one has a RIGHT to get paid. You only have a right to try to get paid.

      But that's not what the RIAA is claiming. They're claiming that even though Joel chose not to give them money, they still deserve it -- or actually have a right to it. That's false.

      I think it's pretty pedantic to say that efforts should not expect to be rewarded.

      I said NO such thing. I've spent years highlighting alternative business models, that show how artists can get rewarded. In fact I highlighted that in this very post. The point is that you get rewarded by putting in place a good business model.

      The RIAA and its members did not.

      No where have I ever said they should work without reward. All I'm saying is that to get the reward they should put in place a business model that works.

      The "robbed a pizza place" analogy does not make sense. Joel took pizza and shared it with his friends. He didn't think about pizza then have a deli sandwich. Big difference.

      No difference at all. Joel had options. He could get the music online for free. Or he could get it through some other means. He chose the free option, because the record labels failed to give him good reasons to purchase something.

      Why would an artist (or scientist or anyone for that matter) do something except to get currency to buy the things they need to live?

      Explained above.

      Ah, but some (many) people DID pay for the songs that Joel downloaded and shared. People WANTED it and were willing to pay for it. So Joel has to pay the going rate

      Joel does not HAVE to pay the going rate. He could simply choose not to buy -- which is what he did. He then went further and got copies, which we agree broke the law. But to claim he "Has" to pay is simply incorrect.

      Otherwise, it is called stealing.

      Nope. It's called infringement.

      It's that free market thing again!

      Please explain what kind of free market it is that's backed up by a gov't monopoly providing artificial scarcity on an abundant resource?

      My analogy: I only want to pay $1 for a gallon of gas so that should be the price. NO! Everyone else will pay $3 per gallon so I must pay that too. It's what the world will pay, not what just one person wants to pay, that determines the value of something.

      Yikes. Talk about analogies that make no sense. You are confusing issues here.

      Let's separate out two separate things. First, price is established by supply and demand. When supply is infinite price gets pushed to zero. That's simple economics. You may not like it, but it is what it is. So, no price is not determined by what people want to pay.

      Second, no one is saying that the price of music should be whatever Joel wants. We're saying that the record labels did not provide Joel a good enough reason to buy their music. That's separate from his decision to then infringe.

      Again, I think that this leads to a very pedantic

      Is there anything more pedantic that linking to dictionary definitions of commonly understood phrases?

      Had I wanted to get paid for it, then I would have opened up my own blog, sought advertising, and tried to make a few bucks. Oh, that's right, that is what you do. So you do (did/will) get paid for commenting on Cara's article.

      EXACTLY. You figured out my point... (while apparently missing it entirely). I (unlike the RIAA) put in place a business model THAT WORKS. It's not by demanding payment or claiming I deserve payment, but by creating a business model where two sides agree to a transaction that makes them both happy.

      The RIAA and its labels did not do that.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 4:34pm

        Re: Re: My analysis of your analysis...

        "We're saying that the record labels did not provide Joel a good enough reason to buy their music."

        Seems to me the music producers must have been doing something significant enough for Tenenbaum to want a copy.

         

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 4:37pm

          Re: Re: Re: My analysis of your analysis...

          Seems to me the music producers must have been doing something significant enough for Tenenbaum to want a copy.

          Wanting a copy is quite different than a reason to buy. For example, you clearly want a copy of this blog on your computer. You visited it. Yet you have opportunities to pay us and choose not to.

          At the same time, you want air to breathe, but I don't see you paying for it.

          Wanting something and giving a reason to buy are two totally separate issues.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 4:47pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: My analysis of your analysis...

            "At the same time, you want air to breathe, but I don't see you paying for it."

            I pay for the air I breathe every day. The EPA makes sure of this. I can hardly wait to learn what more I will be paying once Cap and Trade kicks in.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 4:51pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: My analysis of your analysis...

            You only make payment to visit this blog option (and likely only paid by the kool aid lovers of america). The music wasn't put out there with an option, it was "if you want it, pay for it, and if you don't want to pay, you don't get it".

            It's pretty simple. Tenenbaum is acting like he has a *right* to the music, which he does not. It's optional.

            If you produce something and decide to sell it, you have the right to get paid for your work. It is a pretty basic thing. The obligation to pay is part of the process. Failure to pay is "infringing" or stealing, depending on circumstance. The artist (and reps) have the right to charge money for their product. Tenebaum didn't have any rights to obtain it for free or give that purloined copy to others.

            "reason to buy" is meaningless here. If you want it enough, pay for it. If you don't want it that much, then you don't get it. How hard is that basic concept to understand?

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 5:00pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: My analysis of your analysis...

              "How hard is that basic concept to understand?"

              Apparently is is a very hard concept to understand by many people who would rather "unlawfully take" than "lawfully pay".

               

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              Nelson Cruz (profile), Aug 7th, 2009 @ 5:41am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: My analysis of your analysis...

              "If you produce something and decide to sell it, you have the right to get paid for your work. It is a pretty basic thing. [...] If you want it enough, pay for it. If you don't want it that much, then you don't get it."

              So if I start selling oxygen, should I then expect you to pay me or stop breathing? Sure you wont be breathing the oxygen I made (unless I release it into the atmosphere... then you could be) but an exact copy. According to RIAA logic, if you get for free what I'm selling, then you are "stealing" from me, right?

              That is what Tenenbaum did. He obtained and distributed for free, (inferior) copies of what RIAA members where selling. He didn't steal anything, and didn't even profit from it.

              Let me put it another way. No one affiliated with the RIAA produced the copies that Tenenbaum distributed. He made them! Copies of MP3 that the labels probably weren't even selling. Tenenbaum distributed sequences of 1s and 0s, that were actually quite different than the sequences found on the CDs the labels sold. When properly interpreted by the right software they produce a result close to the original, but they are not even exact copies. They are kinda like Pepsy is to Coke (something engineered to taste similar, but not quite the same).

              Sure, the artists and the labels can demand payment and set whatever price they want on the copies they sell. They made them, and they control the transaction. But if somebody makes a copy and distributes it, the artist or the label are not involved in making those copies or those transactions. If we were talking about pizzas and most other tangible goods there would be no discussion about whether the labels have any right to be payed for copies made by others. Copies of tangible goods can be restricted via patents but, like copyright, that is the government interfering in the free market, and that restriction lasts 17-20 years, not 50 or life + 70.

              Remove the government granted monopolies and copies, and what remains is basic economic principles and free market rules. If people are not buying your product and are getting it cheaper or for free somewhere else, either you are selling it at to high a price or you are selling it WRONG (ie not providing good reasons to buy). The labels, etc, have been insulated from market rules for so long they have forgotten basic salesmanship. Every company has to constantly rethink about how best to sell their products. Only the content companies get to go cry on the courts when they fail!

               

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            phoenix, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 7:15pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: My analysis of your analysis...

            "Wanting a copy is quite different than a reason to buy."

            Correct. Just as wanting something is not a reason for it to be free just because you can help yourself. Should buffets in restaurants be free because I'm hungry and I can help myself?

            It is up to the consumer to drive the business model by deciding to purchase or not purchase. It is not up to the consumer to decide that the business model is screwed up and therefore it is ok to break the law.

            "At the same time, you want air to breathe, but I don't see you paying for it."

            Nobody has ownership, patent rights, or copyright over air and nobody did anything to create it. BAD example, Mike. You can do better.

             

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        phoenix, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 7:51pm

        Re: Re: My analysis of your analysis...

        Mike, respectfully, your comments here are full of holes, in my never humble opinion.

        People have a right to charge for things that belong to them if others want a copy. If people don't see the value, they don't have to pay but they have NO right to just take what they want for free because they think something is over priced.

        Joel took something that had a clear price attached to it so he is on the hook for that value whether he agrees with it or not. If I shoplift and am caught, the value of goods that I am charged with taking is based on the price, not on what I think the stuff is worth.

        PLEASE stop being pedantic and arguing 'stealing' versus 'infringement'. That's weak. Stealing is both a legal and a linguistic term. Why don't we just equate stealing to mean 'taking something that you have no right to take'

        Mike, your crusade against the RIAA and the broken business models for the music industry is bang on. Your vision of a better business equation is creative and worth spending time on. Your arguments justifying 'taking something that you have no right to take' significantly detract from the broader cause.

        Joel is a punk thief who is admittedly guilty. We can argue what his punishment should be, but that doesn't change the fact that he is guilty and deserves to be punished.

         

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          Luci, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 2:52am

          Re: Re: Re: My analysis of your analysis...

          Mike, respectfully, your comments here are full of holes, in my never humble opinion.

          People have a right to charge for things that belong to them if others want a copy. If people don't see the value, they don't have to pay but they have NO right to just take what they want for free because they think something is over priced.


          No one is arguing this.

          Joel took something that had a clear price attached to it so he is on the hook for that value whether he agrees with it or not. If I shoplift and am caught, the value of goods that I am charged with taking is based on the price, not on what I think the stuff is worth.

          Bad analogy, since this isn't theft. It's infringement, and apparently infringement costs how many HUNDREDS of times more for what was copied than theft of a physical album would cost?

          PLEASE stop being pedantic and arguing 'stealing' versus 'infringement'. That's weak. Stealing is both a legal and a linguistic term. Why don't we just equate stealing to mean 'taking something that you have no right to take'

          Please stop using the word 'pedantic'. It's bothersome. Also, 'infringement' is the proper LEGAL term, as set down by the courts. Sorry you don't like it, but arguing it does not make you right.

          Mike, your crusade against the RIAA and the broken business models for the music industry is bang on. Your vision of a better business equation is creative and worth spending time on. Your arguments justifying 'taking something that you have no right to take' significantly detract from the broader cause.

          Joel is a punk thief who is admittedly guilty. We can argue what his punishment should be, but that doesn't change the fact that he is guilty and deserves to be punished.


          By the definitions of the law, again, he isn't a thief. Theft is a criminal offense. Infringement is a civil offense. Thus why it is constantly being corrected to people such as you.

          I'm terribly sorry that you don't agree, but all the whining in the world, all the gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair, is not going to change that.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 4:26pm

    Fact: Another critique of something associated with the RIAA and its members.

    Opinion: Another illogical, snarky, silly, senseless, and disingenuous critique of something associated with the RIAA and its members.

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 4:32pm

      Re:

      Opinion: Another illogical, snarky, silly, senseless, and disingenuous critique of something associated with the RIAA and its members.

      I assume you're referring to Cara's blog post on the RIAA, for which I agree. It was illogical, snarky, silly, senseless and disingenuous.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 4:47pm

    "Joel took pizza and shared it with his friends."

    Joel didn't "took pizza" or "take pizza". He made his own pizza, and he made it look exactly like a pizza at the shop. Then, he shared the pizza HE MADE with his friends.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 5:04pm

      Re:

      yeah, but here is the thing, if he made his own pizza, he paid for the dough, and paid for everything else, and didn't deny the pizza place anything (except his patronage).

      Mike's point (which is completely off the mark) is that by going to the deli, the claim is that he stole from the pizza place. That just isn't true, it is meaningless. The transactions aren't of the same type at all.

      If the deli is stealing pizza from the pizza place and giving it away to their clients, perhaps you might have something here. But the deli is buying it's own materials and reselling them, and money is still spent. It isn't a question of the deli making money by stealing from the pizza place, the guy had a choice and instead of spending $5 for pizza, he spent his $5 on a sub. Nothing was used without permission, nothing was stolen, and there is no loss anywhere.

      It is a meaningless comparison, a trick to try to make something look like what it isn't. If Joel has deli, Joel doesn't have pizza. In the music world, Joel can have both, but only pay for one. That is hugely different.

      Mike is trying hard, but the comparison is laughable.

       

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    Michial Thompson, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 5:31pm

    You tend to overlook a small fact

    You repeat the statement that noone DESERVES to be paid for their work, they only DESERVED the right to try to convince someone to pay for their work.

    This is a very accurate statement. BUT leaves out the fact that by choosing not to agree to pay for someone's work does not entitle you to have enjoy the benefits of that work.

    BOTH parties have an obligation to each other. If you do not give the seller what he wants for his product then the seller has no obligation to you to give you that product.

    Taking that product without permission is THEFT plain and simple. Just because the product is digital does not change the fact that the owner expected payment, and you took the benefit without providing payment.

    So now that I have corrected your missguided logic please forward my share of the payment you receive....

     

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      Luke Stackwalker, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 9:40pm

      Re: You tend to overlook a small fact

      Yeah, that's what I meant! Thanks for saying what I tried to convey!

       

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 10:27pm

      Re: You tend to overlook a small fact


      This is a very accurate statement. BUT leaves out the fact that by choosing not to agree to pay for someone's work does not entitle you to have enjoy the benefits of that work.


      Right. Um, which part of "let's agree on the fact that Joel broke the law and it was silly for him to go through with this lawsuit" did you not read? I did not leave out that fact at all.

      The point is that the RIAA's lawsuits don't fix anything. They don't help anything. All they've done is make it that much harder to have a real business model.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 7:26am

      Re: You tend to overlook a small fact

      Technically, no, Joel didn't take it from the owner who expected payment. Even leaving aside the theft/infringment argument, Joel got the music from some other pirate who didn't expect payment. And that pirate got it from another pirate, who got it from another pirate, all the way back to SOMEONE who either DID take it from the owner and either paid for it (customer who bought a CD, etc) or didn't (industry insider who stole masters or whatever). Regardless, that SOMEONE wasn't Joel.

      If you're selling a recipe for $100, and you competitor steals that recipe and sells it to Joel for $10, I'll agree that a crime was committed but it wasn't committed by Joel.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 5:48pm

    One thing to keep in mind is that it is impossible to enforce paying for music on all fronts. If I have a friend who's family members each have an account on a different music site (one has an account on iTunes, another on eMusic, and so on), and they share accounts between them, there is a loss of revenue equal to three quarters assuming the same amount of songs has been downloaded from each site.

    I can take those songs, burn them to a CD, rip the CD to mp3 or ogg format, and now I would have a full collection of music. Coupled with the fact that I could buy four 1TB hard drives and store all of this music on a file server. Then I can turn around and run it as an FTP for all my family members out of state for them to download... or all my friends... yada yada. I don't do any of this, mind you. It's merely an idea to show that enforcing copyrights on electrical data signals jumbled together in a certain order.

    And it's not even the electrical signals that's copyrightable, it's actually the 'order' in which those signals are put together, and that order has to be interpreted by an application. Opening a copyrighted song renamed to 'openme.doc' would have Word stating the file is corrupted. I can't put a copyright on the sequence 10110101 and enforce the copyright on every program that it appears in (1GB OS might have 10000 instances of that sequence), but I can copyright an entire string in a certain order?

    Static electricity and stored electrical impulses commonly occur in nature. Running your feet across a rug builds a charge, technically turning the human body into a digital '1'. If someone is next to you and hasn't traveled across the floor, then they would be a digital '0'. So if stored electrical impulses occur in nature, how can that be copyrighted or patentable?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 6:03pm

      Re:

      "Static electricity and stored electrical impulses commonly occur in nature. Running your feet across a rug builds a charge, technically turning the human body into a digital '1'. If someone is next to you and hasn't traveled across the floor, then they would be a digital '0'. So if stored electrical impulses occur in nature, how can that be copyrighted or patentable?"

      Once again, because they aren't copyrighting the 1s and 0s, they are copyrighting what they represent digitally.

      Put it another way - a song encoded at 96khz and a lossless version would be digitally different, but that difference isn't relevant for copyright. It is the song, not the encoded bits. In trading encoded bits, you are trading the song, and that is the issue.

      "can take those songs, burn them to a CD, rip the CD to mp3 or ogg format, and now I would have a full collection of music. Coupled with the fact that I could buy four 1TB hard drives and store all of this music on a file server. Then I can turn around and run it as an FTP for all my family members out of state for them to download... or all my friends... yada yada. I don't do any of this, mind you. It's merely an idea to show that enforcing copyrights on electrical data signals jumbled together in a certain order."

      As soon as you start sharing, you are in trouble. Doesn't matter really with who. There is some tolerance in the system for small time sharing (call it "household" sharing), but once you fire up an FTP server, you have pretty much crossed the line.

      Nice try, but again, you need to understand the laws before you go wandering like this.

       

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        Luci, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 2:56am

        Re: Re:

        Legally prove the existence and contents of the server. Any such server would be password protected, and breaking into it is a much graver offense. In fact, it's actually criminal, unlike filesharing.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 6:16pm

    Once again, because they aren't copyrighting the 1s and 0s, they are copyrighting what they represent digitally.

    Put it another way - a song encoded at 96khz and a lossless version would be digitally different, but that difference isn't relevant for copyright. It is the song, not the encoded bits. In trading encoded bits, you are trading the song, and that is the issue.


    So, in a hypothetical situation, if I create an mp3 file of a copyrighted song, and the combination of bits is identical (given, the chances of that are astronomical) to a file that's copyrighted by another company under a different name (so renaming an .mp3 file to .exe makes it run and perform some action), then who owns the copyright of the file?

    Does the recording industry own the .mp3 version and the hypothetical company own the .exe version? How do they share? And how would they enforce that one file? Together? Would they sue each other or just everyone else?

    I'm not trying to justify legally sharing. I wouldn't want someone taking my hard work without me getting paid for it (not that I'd be 'entitled' to that money, mind you). I just want to understand how it works at more of a logical, physical level.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 6:42pm

      Re:

      "So, in a hypothetical situation, if I create an mp3 file of a copyrighted song, and the combination of bits is identical (given, the chances of that are astronomical) to a file that's copyrighted by another company under a different name (so renaming an .mp3 file to .exe makes it run and perform some action), then who owns the copyright of the file?"

      Umm, that digital file would only be one thing, the music. An exact copy would still be the music. Now, if that exact copy was a representation of some other data, they would hold the copyright of the data.

      Again, the 1s and 0s ain't the important part, it's what they represent.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 7:54am

      Re:

      So, in a hypothetical situation, if I create an mp3 file of a copyrighted song, and the combination of bits is identical (given, the chances of that are astronomical) to a file that's copyrighted by another company under a different name (so renaming an .mp3 file to .exe makes it run and perform some action), then who owns the copyright of the file?

      Yeah, don't do this. "MSPaint" by Microsoft sounds aweful... And plays for bloody ever.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 6:54pm

    I'm a musician, and I have to say that the RIAA is about as obsolete as dial-up. People may still use it and like it, but it's disappearing fast.

    I release my music for free through the same channels I get it from, that's how it is and that's how it's gonna be.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 7:16pm

      Re:

      Just out of curiosity, what would be your reaction if a major label like Sony said it was prepared to give you a "mucho dinero" contract? Would you say "No, thank you. I prefer to go it alone."?

       

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      Phoenix, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 7:19pm

      Re:

      That works for you because nobody would want to pay for your music so the only way to get it out there is to make it free.

      One business model doesn't necessarily meet all needs.

       

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    herodotus (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 7:24pm

    "This is a very accurate statement. BUT leaves out the fact that by choosing not to agree to pay for someone's work does not entitle you to have enjoy the benefits of that work."

    Why do I bother? I don't know, but.....


    Let's concede that people who do the evil filesharing thing with copyrighted music are bad, bad, bad. They are evil and deserve censure and ridicule.

    What do we do about them?

    If anyone believes that what the RIAA is doing with these lawsuits is going to deter filesharing, I have to ask: how can it work when the federal government, with resources that dwarf those of the RIAA, has been putting people in jail for marijuana possession for many years with absolutely no effect on the availability of said substance?

    So, if filesharing can't be stopped, what should be done about it (other than bitching about it anonymously on someone else's website)?

    Seriously, WHAT??

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 8:01pm

      Re:

      That is sort of like saying "since shoplifting can't be stopped, you should just give up".

      The first thing is that you have to accept that there is no perfect solution. There has always been some sharing of music / movies, and there will continue to be. So nobody is looking for the perfect solution.

      The real solution is in the change of mentality. With prosecutions and significant financial penalties, the people who are thinking about it might not do it. The guy considering opening a torrent tracker or running a file share site might not do it.

      Further, the more the results come in for "the industry", the closer they get to being able to get search engines to drop stuff more quickly. The whole idea is to get the public somewhat less interested, and get it out of their faces. Remove the easy ability to download, and most of the non-technical types are done.

      So if 30% of all users download now, and you move that number down to 15%, it makes all the difference in the world.

       

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        TheOV, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 3:01am

        Re: Re:

        "The real solution is in the change of mentality. With prosecutions and significant financial penalties, the people who are thinking about it might not do it. The guy considering opening a torrent tracker or running a file share site might not do it."

        There'll always be places that don't have such stringent laws on filesharing (or the resources or willpower to prosecute these "criminals"), e.g. Asia, Europe, etc. If it starts getting really bad in North America, people will just move their servers and services elsewhere, which in turn will hurt the economy. I know personally that if anything happened in the States and I was forced to shut down anything I'm currently running from there, I could easily move it elsewhere at the drop of a hat (which would also move all the money I'm putting into their economy via bandwidth, hosting, etc., OUT of the US economy, which at some point hurts the music industry anyway.)


        "So if 30% of all users download now, and you move that number down to 15%, it makes all the difference in the world."

        Um, this seems to be assuming that filesharers don't buy music? There have been studies that show that filesharers buy at least as much music (or even more) than non-filesharers. So that's just another bogus point.

         

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        Luci, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 3:02am

        Re: Re:

        Name one 'prosecution' in the US for sharing a song.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 8:12pm

    R.I.A.A.

    Real Ignorant Asshats of American't

     

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    herodotus (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 8:13pm

    "Stealing is both a legal and a linguistic term"

    I wouldn't want to be pedantic, so I won't jump on your misuse of the word 'linguistic', but when one is talking about people being sued in court, the legal definitions of the terms used is rather important, no?

    And no one has ever said that what this guy did isn't illegal. Mike has said time and again that he was an foolish for not settling this case. Mike has never ever tried to justify such things.

    But again, let us say that this guy is indeed a 'punk thief'. Let us say that Mike himself has joined in the chorus of those who say, over and over again, 'Filesharers are punk thieves'. What does that help? How does that stop the millions of other 'punk thieves'?

    Every single person under the age of 20 that I have asked (and I have asked dozens of them, from all walks of life) thinks that filesharing is a perfectly acceptable thing to do. Without exception. This attitude is becoming the ethical norm.

    Condemn it all you want, but these condemnations won't stop it. They won't even slow it down.

     

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    herodotus (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 8:45pm

    That is sort of like saying "since shoplifting can't be stopped, you should just give up".

    No.

    It is not remotely like it.

    There has never been anything like widespread acceptance of shoplifting.

    Sharing songs illegally has been the norm since it became possible with cassette tapes. It used to be called making a mix tape. Mix tapes became a huge part of American culture overnight. And the RIAA fought it every bit as hard as they are fighting filesharing.

    But the really big difference is that shoplifting is stoppable. It takes place in public, and there are many very old and mundane security techniques for dealing with it.

    Even if you stop or slow down filesharing, which I sincerely doubt anyone can do, how are you going to stop people from burning cds? How are you going to stop kids from getting together and trading mp3s?

    How the fuck would anyone even know if their filesharing prevention techniques were working?

    You've lost. Deal with it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 8:57pm

    The argument of stealing a physical object cannot really be compared to stealing a virtual (or ethereal) object. A physical object can't be duplicated like a file made up of electrical bits.

    For the sake of argument, if you could duplicate a physical object perfectly, and make multiple duplications in your garage (trying not to make any Star Trek references here :), then I can see the point. But when a restaurant makes a pizza (or any item), it requires raw materials. Dough, salt, water, etc. Those are physical materials to make another physical item. If someone could simply push a button and create ten thousand pizzas an hour simply by duplication, the value of the pizza has not changed. Only the ease of manufacturing has changed. If someone has the ability to duplicate any physical item in their garage, would it necessarily spell the doom of a capitalistic society? Energy would obviously become the new medium as that is required to duplicate.

    Creating a duplicate of a file takes only energy, and the means to do so is so readily available, there is no possible way to control duplication. Therefore, the argument must come down to giving those duplications to others (those who cannot or do not wish to take the time to copy the file themselves). If every person in the world has a particular file that is pirated, who would buy the song? What else is there? Since music is now an uncontrolled medium as it can be easily duplicated, control is impractical.

    I can see the argument on both sides, but the fields have obviously changed. Value of an object is what one is willing to pay for it, not what is charged by the creator. There are many songs out there that I don't like, therefore it has no value to me. The industry can charge $1 or $100, I still won't pay for it if I don't like it. If there is a band that doesn't play the type of music I like, I won't support them.

    I certainly like different genres, but if the only way to decide if I'm going to like a particular group is a 10 second clip of the song then I won't bother supporting the group. I've been burned by that before. As I get older, I don't go to concerts anymore or even have a need to support a band that I only listen to off and on. So why would I bother paying for a membership to get special discounts on concert tickets or gain 'special' attention from the band?

    If all music was free, and I had the capability of listening to any song I wanted to at any time, I would be more apt to choose a band or bands to support by buying different items through their website.

    Right now, I certainly wouldn't buy a song from a website if I run the risk of losing that song. If a website offered a $1 song for $3 (1 for the song, and 2 for 'insurance' of being able to download it again in case I lose my hard drive), I might consider it. But the only way for me to choose the music I might like and support is to hear it. If all songs are locked up and I have to pay for them, that's far too much time and money for me to sample every song.

    I guess in all honesty and in my best opinion, I'd like to see bands get money for their work, but I love the fact that I could 'connect' with band members and develop a supply/demand relationship with them. I'd much prefer that than going back to buying CDs and 'hoping' I'll like them and losing money on bad ones.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 10:52pm

    "Today for lunch I may pick the deli rather than the pizza shop next door. Based on the RIAA's logic here, I have just "robbed" the pizza place of its "right to be paid" for its work."

    That is an astoundingly moronic analogy.

    "No difference at all. Joel had options. He could get the music online for free. Or he could get it through some other means. He chose the free option, because the record labels failed to give him good reasons to purchase something."

    ...With an equally moronic explanation.

    It would seem that in Mike's World ™, every act of thievery throughout history was nothing more than a symptom of innumerable failed business models.

    "I don't have to buy 2 sweaters if I want to wear one in the car and one in the kitchen."

    YEAH! And like, I don't have to buy 2 sweaters if I want to wear one and my friend does to, and his friends and their friends, I just buy one sweater and it covers us all! And when the sweater wears out, what does LL Bean do? They send me a replacement free of charge! I don't even have to pay shipping! Why can't the entertainment companies be more like LL Bean?

    Oh wait...

    "I release my music for free through the same channels I get it from, that's how it is and that's how it's gonna be."

    Pirating a copy of Fruity Loops earlier this morning does not make you an musician. And speaking preemptively, neither does making fart sounds on a didgeridoo between bong hits.

    When you're a nobody that makes music no one wants to listen to, the decision to give it away for free becomes an easy one. Hilarity arises when you try to pretend like that decision was arrived at via some altruistic higher principle and becomes something akin to a guy who can't get laid telling everyone he's not promiscuous like them and is proudly waiting for marriage.

    Be sure to let the denizens of TechDirt know when you sell enough T-shirts, widgets, and minigolf playdates to quit your day job and be the globe trotting Didgeridoo Superstar™ you were born to be...

    Anyone that thinks this article was well-argued must be wearing some pretty thick Masnick-Edition Kool-Aid Goggles™ (now available in several limited-time colors at http://www.techdirt.com/rtb.php)

     

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    t0m5k1 (profile), Aug 7th, 2009 @ 3:36am

    wouldn't it be good if some independent record labels began to run their own bitorrent trackers then we would have ethical/legal filesharing or maybe one run within RIAA HQ by some lil geek in a broom cupboard with only a monitor for light!

    One thing above all over that seems to get forgotten is that humans SHARE .

    Almost everything we do is centered around sharing either experiences or knowledge.
    Even when we were cavemen & we discovered the DRUM what did we do?
    went back to our colony and SHOWED OFF OUR NEW SKILL!
    there by SHARING the experience so that OTHERS CAN DO IT TOO this then progressed to groups of humans gathering in one place and joining in with the drumming patterns they have learn with this new fancy object.
    Now in the 21st century when we share music we run the risk of the people in control(the dictators!) saying that if we share new music with our friends and anyone else that it is wrong & illegal and we will be taken to court!

    which is the same as one tribal chief going to a neighboring tribe and taking all their food on the premise that they took/stole a drum pattern without permission
    if this had occurred back at that time we would probably not have the wide variety of music available today.

    RIAA back off and work out a new damn business model based on ethics and sharing which seem to me to be the two most important qualities which you guy's seem to ignore because humans are sharing animal by nature.

    BUT WAIT A MINUTE lets go to the other extreme and imagine a world where you have enforcers paroling everywhere looking for illegally shared music!
    They strut about as if all music is theirs and make criminal out of those busker's on street corners who sing & play a guitar SO THEY CAN SHARE THEIR PERSONAL FAVORITE SONG, then what's that oh no some has company in his/her living room & they are listening to her/his music THATS SHARING which is illegal

    piss off RIAA
    why don't you go do something less boring instead!

     

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    R. Miles (profile), Aug 7th, 2009 @ 3:59am

    Need to correct (freely) Techdirt's reply.

    You made the conscious decision to declare war on your best customers.
    We're not customers. Ever. We see this group as doing nothing more than inflating the costs of music to line their pockets. They've been responsible for $16 CD prices, $1 per song prices, restricting our ability to buy music, and worst of all, restricting our ability to play music.

    I haven't purchased music in over 10 years and I will never do so again while this organization exists to steal my money to line their pockets to ruin everything I want from enjoying music.

    File sharers aren't doing this because they *want* to. They're doing it because there are no alternatives elsewhere which doesn't gouge their wallets.

    This is the organization responsible for increasing songs to $1.30 on iTunes while promising $0.69 offerings and balking on the promise.

    Cara,
    I'm the person you dread waking up to every day. I'm the one who teaches people how to share without getting caught. I'm the person who will never buy your songs under the draconian bullshit your organization controls over each and every one.

    If you want me to buy, here's some advice:
    *** Quit charging $1 per song. Give me 10 for $1. I'd support this model. Don't ever raise the price of the "10-for-1" model ever.

    *** Stop suing. Tell Joel and Jammie "We're sorry" even though they did wrong. Drop the cases. Cover their legal expense. Then, move on by turning them from downloaders into customers. First step: ASK THEM WHY THEY DID IT. Work from there.

    *** Stop telling people music is dying due to piracy. That's simply not true. CD sales are dropping. Deal with it and let the damn system die already.

    *** Innovate so companies like Napster don't put your panties in a bunch when they try to do so themselves. With all those damn millions, one would think the RIAA would have developed Napster. So where *** DOES *** that money go? To the artist? We know better than that.

    *** Finally, allow people to copy their music because forcing them to pay $1 per song for their MP3 player and $1 for the CD copy for the car is ludicrous. Not everyone owns an iPod or a vehicle equipped to "dock" one. Get a damn clue about this already.

    *** View the ad Microsoft has regarding the cost of filling an iPod. Then go review the average income of a US worker. Notice something (shocking)?
    The damn iTunes library would cost more than many cars one can purchase in the US. This should send shivers down your spine, Cara, to think any consumer would pay that much money for all the music the device could carry.
    And more importantly, it should tell you *** WHY *** people are downloading rather than paying.

    Since the RIAA isn't going to change, then neither shall I.

    See you on the internet.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 5:05am

      Re: Need to correct (freely) Techdirt's reply.

      "Stop suing. Tell Joel and Jammie "We're sorry" even though they did wrong. Drop the cases. Cover their legal expense. Then, move on by turning them from downloaders into customers. First step: ASK THEM WHY THEY DID IT. Work from there."

      Please. When you run a business and people are shoplifting your stuff, or worse, giving away copies of your product right outside your door all day and all night, then you can talk about it.

      Jammie, Joel, and thousands upon thousands of people are ripping the music business and the artists off massively, not because they are too poor to pay for the music, but because they can get it for free, and can give it away for free. It isn't a great act of civil disobedience, it's just getting stuff for nothing.

      "Finally, allow people to copy their music because forcing them to pay $1 per song for their MP3 player and $1 for the CD copy for the car is ludicrous. Not everyone owns an iPod or a vehicle equipped to "dock" one. Get a damn clue about this already."

      Copy your MP3 to a CD and have a nice freaking day. Why do you go on and on about something that is no an issue?

       

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      •  
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        R. Miles (profile), Aug 7th, 2009 @ 6:59am

        Re: Re: Need to correct (freely) Techdirt's reply.

        Please. When you run a business and people are shoplifting your stuff, or worse, giving away copies of your product right outside your door all day and all night, then you can talk about it.
        Well, you're obviously no moron in a hurry. You're worse.
        It's impossible to steal an infinite good and it's also not feasible to charge $1 for it, genius. Only ignorant people believe copying is stealing and think economics is wrong to believe an infinite source should have a $0 (or near $0) cost.

        NO ONE is stating music should be "free". But $1 per song? Get a damn clue. This amount isn't paid to those who make the music, now is it?

        Copy your MP3 to a CD and have a nice freaking day. Why do you go on and on about something that is no an issue?
        You ass. That's illegal and is clearly the problem of RIAA. Do you not comprehend what you read from this organization?

        You can make a legal backup, but you can't USE that backup unless the original is destroyed.

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 7:32am

          Re: Re: Re: Need to correct (freely) Techdirt's reply.

          In an earlier post you noted:

          "...to line their pockets..."

          In this post you noted:

          "This amount isn't paid to those who make the music, now is it?"

          Why is it that you and others who excoriate record labels keep referring to them in a manner suggesting that they are comprised only of "suits", a word most associated with business executives? They are companies that employ many, many persons who most certainly are not "suits", and the $1 you keep referring to is for the most part spread out to pay the salaries of their employees and cover other business expenses.

           

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          •  
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            R. Miles (profile), Aug 7th, 2009 @ 10:47am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Need to correct (freely) Techdirt's reply.

            Why is it that you and others who excoriate record labels keep referring to them in a manner suggesting that they are comprised only of "suits", a word most associated with business executives?
            The RIAA isn't a musical group nor a record label. They don't write, perform, or create music. They don't distribute music.

            All they are is an organization who take and destroy under the guise of the best interest of performers. Go read their propaganda and see for yourself.

            Thus, they are only suits.

            Because no musician would ever do what this organization does to its fans.

            Well, except for Lars Ulrich and look where that got him and his group Metallica.

             

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    •  
      identicon
      Tobyas, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 5:30am

      Re: Need to correct (freely) Techdirt's reply.

      Amen.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 5:36am

      Re: Need to correct (freely) Techdirt's reply.

      oh yeah, if you filled a ipod, how long would it take you to listen to all the music once?

       

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    •  
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      Killer_Tofu (profile), Aug 7th, 2009 @ 6:09am

      Re: Need to correct (freely) Techdirt's reply.

      Very well said Miles.
      Although, I did buy one CD that was from an RIAA owned label about three years ago. It makes me sad to admit it. But other than that, for the past six years I do still buy music, just not from anything that is on an RIAA or subsidiary label.

       

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    identicon
    Another AC, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 5:10am

    Stop mentioning the RIAA!

    Instead of the RIAA you should list the Members involved in a particular lawsuit, if you are reffering to all of the RIAA, copy and paste the list of the members into the article.

    I think the record companies have been hiding behind the "RIAA" for far too long.

    I talk to people that do not even realize that the RIAA is backed by the big music labels, I talk to other people that assume they all are.

    Maybe if it is pounded into everyones head that it is the actual labels that are doing this things might change.

    I know I am much less likely to purchase overpriced Sony products now, even though I have been a long time fan.

    Just a thought.

     

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    identicon
    Yeah, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 6:03am

    Someone here stole 100 millions and got a year in jail, downloading 30 songs gets you 600k$ of penalty man.

    The guys should have just made a Ponzi in Canada get a year and live happily in the Bahamas for the rest of his life.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 7th, 2009 @ 6:14am

    A simple request of the RIAA ....

    "FACT: Tenenbaum admitted during his testimony that he lied about his illegal behavior in sworn depositions and other statements, a felony under federal law."

    My request is simple, please have Joel Tenenbaum arrested for his violation of federal law.

     

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    identicon
    facebone, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 6:31am

    pizza

    I love the pizza place/"Joel had options" analogy but it only make sense if you consider all the options. Joel could have:

    1. Bought the crappy Limp Bizkit music legitimately (pizza from the pizza place).
    2. Obtained the crappy Limp Bizkit music illegitimately (stolen pizza out the back door of the pizza place)
    3. Bought different or better music not owned by RIAA but owned by someone else legitimately (bought a sandwich next door)
    4. Stolen or different or better music not owned by RIAA but owned by someone else(stole a sandwich)
    5. Found different or better music for free (gotten free food at a soup kitchen down the block)

    Each of these "options" had consequences
    1. If he bought overpriced RIAA music, he may have felt ripped off for paying too much, he may have decided he didn't like the music and feel like a jerk because he paid for something he didn't like.

    2. If he stole the RIAA music (the "option" he chose), he could (and did) get sued for far more than it would have cost him to buy it.

    If he stole non-RIAA music he might not have been sued as other copyright owners don't have the resources to sue. If he bought non-RIAA music, he may have been more satisfied (or not).

    But the point is he had options both legitimate and illegitimate and, for whatever reason (convenience, arrogance, economics, social protest, etc etc) he chose the one where the music cost him nothing on the front end but he had a some risk on the back end (a small chance of getting sued, but a potentially big damage award if he did get sued).

    Even after that, he had options, he could pay a few thousand dollars and get out of it (limiting the risk) or he could take it to trial (which would result either in eliminating the risk[winning] or maximizing it [losing]). For whatever reason (he's incredibly a)principled, b)self-destructive c)stupid, d)arrogant, e) ill advised etc etc), Joel is the kind of guy who doesn't mind all this drama and risk.

    So you can quibble with all the RIAA spin and whether what they are saying on their website is "fact" or not (doesn't seem worth the time-- the RIAA is going to do what it does and everyone should take what they say for what it is), but Duckworth is right about one thing: this is about Joel and his choices, not about whatever spin they put on it.

    If the pizza place wants to charge too much for crappy pizza, that may encourage people to shop elsewhere or even steal it. If you do the former, then the pizza place may go belly up. If you do the latter, the pizza parlour owner may pull out the aluminum bat behind the counter and beat the crap out of you. You can then argue that was a inappropriate response, that the pizza parlour owner has violated the law and so on, but you've still had your head bashed in. That may be a choice some people are willing to make, but they have to live with the consequences.

     

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      icon
      nelsoncruz (profile), Aug 7th, 2009 @ 9:39pm

      Re: pizza

      facebone, except what Tenenbaum did is nothing like stealing "pizza out the back door of the pizza place". It's more like he copied the recipe, made pizzas at home and gave them away to his friends. Tenenbaum didn't steal CDs from a store! He made copies of the songs; that's it. No additional cost was imparted on the labels for each of those copies. The only "loss" is a potential (but not certain) decrease in the opportunity to sell the CDs.

      You can say its a kind of unfair competition, as Tenenbaum didn't pay for the creation of the music he was distributing, but it's definitely not stealing. He infringed on a government granted monopoly right, designed to regulate commercial transactions in support of a particular business model. The problem is that this regulation is now being applied to private individuals and private non-commercial transactions, with the senseless consequences we see here.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 6:33am

    here a fact about the RIAA. They SUCK!

     

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  •  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 7th, 2009 @ 6:36am

    Now for a comment ..

    "FACT: The best anti-piracy strategy is a thriving legal marketplace that gives music fans a wide variety of innovative options where they can get their favorite music in affordable, hassle-free ways."

    I agree with your statement, but how is a "thriving legal marketplace" going to happen if the record industry sues every new music site, partners with new music sites and contractually ties their hands, financially bankrupts them with excessive fees, forces them to change how they do business instead of adapting to the sites methods, etc.

    Now lets look at the line .... "get their favorite music in affordable, hassle-free ways" .... LOL ... affordable ... hassle-free .... nuff said

    Most of the "Fact"s that the Cara Duckworth posted seem to be contradictory based on the RIAA's and the record labels past actions.

     

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    herodotus (profile), Aug 7th, 2009 @ 6:49am

    "When you're a nobody that makes music no one wants to listen to, the decision to give it away for free becomes an easy one. Hilarity arises when you try to pretend like that decision was arrived at via some altruistic higher principle and becomes something akin to a guy who can't get laid telling everyone he's not promiscuous like them and is proudly waiting for marriage."

    When you are a nobody that rants on and on about stuff no one wants to listen to, the decision not to have your own blog is an easy one. Hilarity arises when you try to pretend that the decision was arrived at via some altruistic higher principle (like, say, "defending artists' right to be paid") and becomes akin to a guy who can't get laid telling everyone that he's not promiscuous because all of those freeloading hippie chicks 'just want stuff for free'.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 8:52am

    "Copy your MP3 to a CD and have a nice freaking day. Why do you go on and on about something that is no an issue?

    You ass. That's illegal and is clearly the problem of RIAA. Do you not comprehend what you read from this organization?"
    ----------------------------------

    "Burning a copy onto a CD-R or transferring a copy onto a computer hard drive or portable music player won’t usually raise concerns so long as the copy is made from an authorized original CD that you legitimately own and the copy is just for your personal use." -- RIAA President Cary Sherman

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Captain Obvious, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 9:13am

    DOWNLOADING IS INFRINGEMENT, NOT THEFT.
    DOWNLOADING IS INFRINGEMENT, NOT THEFT.
    DOWNLOADING IS INFRINGEMENT, NOT THEFT.
    DOWNLOADING IS INFRINGEMENT, NOT THEFT.
    DOWNLOADING IS INFRINGEMENT, NOT THEFT.
    DOWNLOADING IS INFRINGEMENT, NOT THEFT.
    DOWNLOADING IS INFRINGEMENT, NOT THEFT.
    DOWNLOADING IS INFRINGEMENT, NOT THEFT.
    DOWNLOADING IS INFRINGEMENT, NOT THEFT.
    DOWNLOADING IS INFRINGEMENT, NOT THEFT.

    As clearly stated in US law. And here's another one:

    INFINITE SUPPLY + NO REPRODUCTION COST = NATURAL PRICE OF $0.
    INFINITE SUPPLY + NO REPRODUCTION COST = NATURAL PRICE OF $0.
    INFINITE SUPPLY + NO REPRODUCTION COST = NATURAL PRICE OF $0.
    INFINITE SUPPLY + NO REPRODUCTION COST = NATURAL PRICE OF $0.
    INFINITE SUPPLY + NO REPRODUCTION COST = NATURAL PRICE OF $0.
    INFINITE SUPPLY + NO REPRODUCTION COST = NATURAL PRICE OF $0.
    INFINITE SUPPLY + NO REPRODUCTION COST = NATURAL PRICE OF $0.
    INFINITE SUPPLY + NO REPRODUCTION COST = NATURAL PRICE OF $0.
    INFINITE SUPPLY + NO REPRODUCTION COST = NATURAL PRICE OF $0.
    INFINITE SUPPLY + NO REPRODUCTION COST = NATURAL PRICE OF $0.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 9:14am

    I buy the CD, I own the CD. If there's no disclaimer on the outside of the package that I can read before buying, then I didn't agree to it. When I buy a song or CD, *I* say what I can do with it. Nothing else! Period. I don't care who you are, what you say, where you go. If I buy a car, I can do what I want with it. I buy a desk, I say where it goes. I buy a CD, I do what I want with it.

    Fortunately, all I want is to listen to them. I don't want to share them online or make illegal copies. I keep it all for myself. But I do what I want with it. If they don't like it, they don't sell it.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 10:57am

    Well, except for Lars Ulrich and look where that got him and his group Metallica.

    Who's that?

     

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    icon
    another mike (profile), Aug 7th, 2009 @ 11:16am

    i deserve to be paid too

    It's called my salary. I deserve to be paid more so I picked up some outside gigs.
    When the thrift shop wanted Ethernet installed, they solicited bids and I put in a proposal. If they agree that I deserve to be paid, they'll hire me and not Dork Squad. When the work is done and the check clears, I'm done getting paid. I won't get paid more for each transaction they run because that's not in the contract.
    And that's a very important point. The contract says how I'll be paid. If I want to be paid differently, I need to sign a different contract.

     

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    identicon
    kevin, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 3:34pm

    Thank you LostSailor. It's disappointing to me the lengths people will go to justify stealing. Lots of artists hated the record companies, but at the end of the day they are a necessary evil within the music industry. Without them everyone in the music business suffers, from musicians, songwriters, arrangers, studio employees, producers, engineers, graphic artists, tour managers, equipment makers, etc etc etc. By taking the revenue stream out of recorded music, you take away the careers of hard working people, and not just the industry fat cats you like to point at. Those of you that pirate music don't have a moral leg to stand on, just a false sense of entitlement.

     

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    •  
      icon
      LostSailor (profile), Aug 10th, 2009 @ 8:25am

      Re:

      Kevin:

      Don't misunderstand me. The entertainment industry in all sectors is facing a huge challenge, and is going to have (and in many ways is already) change to meet that challenge.

      I would support changes to copyright law to reduce the length of term of copyright, expand fair use, and deal with the issue of "orphan works" whose copyright owner can no longer be found.

      But I comment here when Mike confuses opinions with facts or misstates or exaggerates to make his point...and sometimes when he goes over the line in snarky condescension of those who support copyright. Such polarizing rhetoric does nothing to advance the debate and more likely hinders it.

      If Mike can't find at least some common ground with someone like me who sees that change is necessary, but so is copyright, then he's just preaching to the choir. Hyperbole make make for good blog reading, but it can also get in the way of reasoned discussion or debate.

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2009 @ 7:57am

    "musicians, songwriters, arrangers, studio employees, producers, engineers, graphic artists, tour managers, equipment makers"

    And how many of those are actually necessary?

    *Bands can write, arrange, and play their own music...if they can't do all three, they aren't good enough to be heard.

    *You can rent time and record in a private studio. Bands can do their own producing; every independent band does it.

    *A band can mix/record its own music with simple to use computer software and tune their instruments and mikes with relative ease, so engineers aren't necessary.

    *Freelance graphic artists can be hired to make CD covers and posters, for less than the major label would deduct from the upfront they pay you to give to their own in-house graphic artists. Better still, just take some personal photographs and diddle around in Photoshop.

    *Bands can handle their own touring and score their own venues...that's part of learning how to be their own producer.

    *"Equipment makers" are not employed by record labels.

    Face it. The recording industry is no longer relevant. That's their biggest problem. Music can be recorded cheaply and distributed online...no middleman required.

     

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    identicon
    JKP, Aug 13th, 2009 @ 12:12am

    Regarding the real property (pizza) versus virtual property issue, there are a few things to consider that haven't come up yet. First, there was the example of being able to create perfect copies of pizza with minimal cost in terms of energy and resources. That's called the end of world hunger, and it would be hailed as just maybe the greatest thing that ever happened on the planet.

    Yes, there would be costs; overpopulation would be one, and a lot of people whose livelihoods depended on the old way of doing things would need to adapt. The solution would not be to try to protect the old way of doing things by suing anyone who gave away the near-free pizzas. There would be fewer pizza restaurants, the ones that remained in business would need to deliver something different and better than the near-free pizza, but society as a whole would be vastly better off.

    Second, when you deal with copying physical goods (I didn't shoplift your pizza, but I reverse engineered your secret recipe and now I don't have to pay you anymore) there's an issue of patent infringement. It's curious that the term of patents in the United States is 20 years, but the term of copyright is basically perpetual, as we're likely to see in a few years when works created in 1923 would otherwise end up in the public domain. Copyright law was created to serve a world where the cutting edge of information technology was the printing press. Perhaps if copyright law were modernized so that it makes a modicum of sense in light of the technology we have now, this would be less of an issue.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    me, Aug 14th, 2009 @ 8:10am

    response to previous comment

    Aug 6th, 2009 @ 2:40pm
    Just me.
    by icon The Infamous Joe

    "They are so out of touch with reality it's no longer funny."

    I submit to you infamous joe that they know well that they dont pay artists what artists are due, if they did not how would they become rich off the work and toil of others? simple clerical mistakes, thats laughable

    PR (public relations or Propaganda) people are hired for their ability to both understand what the company has been doing (read 'doing wrong to those they do business with among others(joel)) and lie in a way that somewhat convinces stupid people of their position, or at least of their moral high ground, just consider that the riaa has nothing to do with the creation of music and then consider that they make lots of money (for doing what exactly?)

    fact: einstein said very clearly that "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."

    you riaa trolls are the mediocre minds, examine the fact that artists are not paid what they are owed

    who robbed them? Joel tenembaum or the riaa?
    joel never entered into an agreement with artists to pay them for their work- he simply enjoyed it

    the riaa entered into contracts with artists it failed to properly pay out in accordance with

    the artist has a better argument against the riaa than the riaa has against tenebaum
    although i would point out that the riaa has better connected and more well payed attorneys than an artist
    so who is more likely to squeeze juice (read blood) out whoose turnip
    is the artist more likely to get his money owed him from the riaa OR is the riaa more likely to squeeze juice out of joel tenembaum
    i guarantee you the artist is fighting an uphill battle against his label, including the riaa
    and the downhill rolling shitball that covered joel is just evidence how correct this is

    no one who is dumping toxic waste in your nearby river, lake, stream, or other water source will admit what they are doing, and they usually have some pretty young girl to tell you the opposite is true, "we are cleaning up the environment"

    here is a link to cara duckworth: http://www.flickr.com/photos/saitor/2869757210/
    check her out, do you understand the effect of attractive women on the minds of the masses, if you do then you know why some old rich guy isn't telling us how bad joel is, but some young half-blonde-ish woman

    besides for all you stupid people out there, go to twitters website and check out zicam's little page, they will tell you how the stories about people losing ther ability to smell are actually because of a cold, does that make you want to take zicam? if it does your dumb

    brother, i have had a cold in my life, and i still can smell

    i would mention though that I have never used zicam to quell my cold, possibly why i can still smell

     

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    identicon
    me, again, Aug 14th, 2009 @ 8:18am

    the russians have a page detailing one cara duckworth

    http://forum.xakep.ru/m_1529375/tm.htm

    check it out, but dont ask me what they said about her

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Greblamin, Aug 15th, 2009 @ 5:49am

    Bleh

    I'm glad I live in Norway.
    I can make a digital copy of all of my albums and share this digital copy with all of my friends and family.
    In other words, I can personally "own" that is legally have a copy of all the music my friends and family has ever bought.

    Beat that with your weird American rules... :P

     

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


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