RIAA Wants To Put People In Jail For Sharing Their Music Subscription Login With Friends

from the criminalizing-sharing dept

Ah, the RIAA. Just as you're paying attention to some ridiculously bad law with awful unintended consequences they're pushing in one place, they pop up with a different law they've already (quietly) convinced politicians to pass somewhere else. Today's entry is a new law that has been approved by the legislature in Tennessee at the urging of the RIAA, which will make it a criminal offense to share your "entertainment subscription" login info with anyone else. You're a college student, and you decide to go halfsies on a Netflix or Rhapsody subscription with a friend? Watch out, you may face a year in jail and thousands of dollars in fines. If law enforcement decides that the "value" of the content you watched is high enough, you could be charged with felony charges, and face much larger fines and longer jail sentences.

The way the law works is to add the "entertainment subscription" phrase to an existing law concerning unauthorized access to cable or satellite TV services. Not surprisingly, Mitch Glazier (a man famous for selling out all musicians by allegedly sneaking a clause into a bill in the middle of the night that took away the rights of musicians to reclaim their copyrights... just months before taking a high paying RIAA job which he still holds today) is insisting this law is necessary to protect the music industry:
Mitch Glazier, executive vice president of public policy for the RIAA, said the bill is a necessary protective measure as digital technology evolves. The music industry has seen its domestic revenue plunge by more than half in 10 years, from $15 billion to $7 billion, he said.
Either Glazier is lying here or the reporter is quoting him way out of context. It may be true that revenue for the record labels that Glazier represents has declined. But the revenue of the music industry -- which includes things like concerts, merchandise, publishing and other areas has actually done pretty well. Besides, the idea that Glazier has any interest in protecting "music" is pretty laughable. His job is to protect labels, often at the expense of musicians.

And this particular piece of legislation is particularly stupid and shortsighted on the part of the RIAA. For the most part, if people are buying one of these subscriptions with the intent to share, at least they're still buying a subscription and paying money to the industry. In the absence of that, it seems quite likely that they'll just go straight to full on infringement. Furthermore, the ability to share a single login with a few family members or friends is often seen as a part of the value. That is, a family may decide that it's worth it to buy such a subscription, because they can split it among a few different people. But, make that a crime and you've just massively decreased the incentive for people to buy such subscriptions.

The bill still needs to be signed by the governor, but it sounds like he's buying the bogus claims of Glazier and the RIAA on this one, saying that "I don’t know enough about that legislation, but if it's combating that issue [infringement], I would be in favor of it." Update: Annnnnnnd... signed. Of course.

And, of course, this is just a foot in the door sort of move. Once the RIAA has this in Tennessee, expect to see similar, if not identical legislation popping up in lots of other states as well.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 9:50am

    So if I am a member of AAA and my buddy's car has broken down and needs a tow, are you saying that it's OK to give him my account number to hand to the tow truck driver so he can bill AAA for it?

    How about if I have dental insurance and my friend has a cavity that needs attention. Is it OK for him to take my insurance card and obtain a service for himself and let my insurer pay for it?

    This is pretty fucking weak even for you Masnick.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 9:54am

    What do the terms of the voluntary agreement between the service and the subscriber say about exclusivity?

     

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  3.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 9:55am

    Shouldn't the rules about account sharing be outlined in the terms of the entertainment service? And if the RIAA feels those rules are inadequately written or enforced, shouldn't they be taking it up with the service providers under the terms of whatever licensing deal they agreed upon? And if users are circumventing that enforcement, aren't there existing laws to deal with that?

    I fail to see how this "problem" (if I actually believed it were a problem) requires new legislation, or how legislation will even be helpful. Ridiculous.

     

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  4.  
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    aldestrawk (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 9:55am

    already illegal

    This is already illegal under federal law, CFAA. Your friend, that you gave the password to, has accessed a server without, (the company's) authorization. That's one count, probably misdemeanor, with a max penalty of one year in the slammer. A second count would be that it was done with the intent to defraud the company. I can imagine that you, the sharer, can be charged with exceeding authority to access a computer by allowing your friend to log on as well.
    Now that Bin Laden is dead, let's get the FBI's priorities right and have them focus on subscription sharing.

     

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  5.  
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    TDR, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 9:56am

    Rich coming from someone who won't even give his name, AC. Why don't you start smelling what you're shoveling?

     

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  6.  
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    John Doe, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 9:56am

    Soon we will all be criminals

    Soon, most of the population will be criminals and much of them convicted criminals. Can't wait for them to start putting grandma in the slammer for felonious sharing of her Netflix account. This country will be an economic powerhouse once we get the middle class in jail. Oh wait, isn't the middle class the ones paying for this country in the first place?

     

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  7.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 9:58am

    Re:

    The terms of service already tell you the rules about sharing accounts. Defying these terms can get you booted from the system. Circumventing this enforcement technologically, or by misrepresenting your identity, would make you guilty of hacking or fraud. Why the hell is a new and specific law needed?

     

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  8.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 9:58am

    Re:

    In response to both your comments. Pay attention damn it. They're trying to make it a criminal matter, not a contract dispute. If Netflix or AAA wants to cancel your account due to a violation of the TOS, then that's their business. Having the police arrest you and throw your ass in jail for violating a TOS is something completely different.

    I would also like to add that I have no intention of getting a second Netflix account and logging out of my roommate's and into mine every single damn time I want to use the Google TV.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 9:58am

    Re:

    The current solution would be similar to any other TOS violation, that would be termination of service, and perhaps the filing of a civil suit that would drag in the courts for years without resolution, finally getting resolved when it turns out that the defendant has no real money and any settlement will be meaningless.

    I think that the RIAA are right on this one: Sharing of login information is violation of copyright directly, and should be considered a criminal act because it is a full on give away of the content.

    Music locker services need regulation, this is a good step in the right direction.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 10:01am

    Re: Re:

    So I'm confused. Do you agree wit the concept and disagree that a new law is necessary. If you are for the concept and the new law simply clarifies it, what's the problem?

     

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  11.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 10:01am

    Re: Re:

    As Chrono said, how is making this a criminal offense rather than a contract dispute a step in the right direction? Do we REALLY not have enogh people in the prison system at this point?

     

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  12.  
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    John Doe, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 10:02am

    Re: Re:

    I think that the RIAA are right on this one: Sharing of login information is violation of copyright directly, and should be considered a criminal act because it is a full on give away of the content.

    But copyright violation, for the most part, is a civil matter not criminal. Criminalizing it will only put many hard working citizens into jail or financial hardship. How easy is it going to be to get a job with a felony conviction on your record? We already support enough deadbeats in this country, do you want to turn many hard working citizens into deadbeats because they can't get a job because they shared a Netflix account?

     

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  13.  
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    illmunkeys, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 10:02am

    Wheeeee!

    I'm wondering how anyone would begin to prove infringement.

    Wouldn't it just be easier for the RIAA/MPAA to require the providers to allow only one current log on ala Steam or pretty much every IM application out there?

     

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  14.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 10:07am

    Re: Re:

    The current solution would be similar to any other TOS violation, that would be termination of service, and perhaps the filing of a civil suit that would drag in the courts for years without resolution

    And damnit, the RIAA shouldn't have to conclusively prove infringement and demonstrate damages in a court of law! Those song-thieving bastards should pay thousands of dollars and go directly to jail for the mere act of sharing a password! We can't have password sharers freely roaming the streets!

    Sharing of login information is violation of copyright directly

    No it's not. That's a silly statement. I could share my login with you, and you could refuse to use it. Or you could only listen to songs I've made and own the copyright on and am giving you permission to listen to. There is nothing in the act of sharing a login that has anything to do with copyright.

    should be considered a criminal act because it is a full on give away of the content.

    "A full on give away" does not magically make infringement criminal.

     

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  15.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 10:10am

    Re: Re: Re:

    This law does not clarify it, it confuses it by making it about the ephemeral trapping of "sharing a login" instead of the actual, meaningful concept of "obeying terms you have agreed to". It is the government arbitrarily regulating how services can do business and what agreements they can make with other companies and with their users.

    Say, for example, a record label (a small one since the RIAA boys would never do this) agreed to supply material to a service that DID allow multiple users on a single account, and all parties involved were happy with this arrangement. Their users would be breaking the law. How does that make any sense?

     

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  16.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 10:13am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Because not everything rises to the level of a criminal offense.

    Or at least it didn't use to.

     

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  17.  
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    John Doe, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 10:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Say, for example, a record label (a small one since the RIAA boys would never do this) agreed to supply material to a service that DID allow multiple users on a single account, and all parties involved were happy with this arrangement. Their users would be breaking the law. How does that make any sense?

    From what I understand, Netflix TOS allows up to 4 streams at one time so I guess Netflix users will in TN will now be criminals even though Netflix allows them to do it.

     

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  18.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 10:19am

    Re: Wheeeee!

    Wouldn't be good enough for them. One could just download a song, use it offline, and allow another person to do the same just at a different time. The same could be said with services like Sirius or an online streaming service like it. Instead of paying for two accounts, the one account is shared between the two people while still only one is accessing it at a time. That's another 20¢ that they don't have.

     

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  19.  
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    chris (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 10:20am

    stallman warned us about this

    http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/right-to-read.html

    and it slowly comes to fruition.

     

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  20.  
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    Calvin (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 10:25am

    who owns the account ?

    My wife paid for my eMusic account with her credit card. Does that mean that only she ought to be able to listen to the tracks downloaded from there ?
    What about our Lovefilm account, again it's paid for with my wife's credit card. So does that mean I'm not allowed to watch the film's we rent ?

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Regarding 4 streams at once, here is the quote from Netflix tos:

    "Device Limitations and System Requirements. You may instantly watch on up to six unique authorized Netflix ready devices. For certain membership plans, you will be allowed to instantly watch simultaneously on more than one Netflix ready device within your household, up to total of four devices at a given time. "

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    BUT THE LAW!!!

     

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  23.  
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    Mr. LemurBoy (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 10:28am

    Re: Wheeeee!

    Why should the RIAA/MIAA get to dictate how new technology works?

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 10:28am

    The record/movie companies will NOT ever, ever see an increase in revenue due to ridiculous laws and private enforcement via Uncle Sam but they're still determined to go down with guns blazing.

    The more I read on here the more convinced I become that the citizens of a country have zero chance against it's Government. Short of a revolt there's nothing we can do. The Govt. is far too corrupt and in far too deep with private interests for anything to change.

    It's only going to get worse, not better. So best prepare yourselves. Frankly, as someone in the tech field (music to be more precise), I'm already thinking of ways to get out of this decaying pathetic RIAA sponsored industry.

     

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  25.  
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    Scott (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 10:31am

    How is this enforced?

    I think thats the big question here. Is TN going to be spying on you to find out if you gave your password to a friend? What if you log on from a different machine or IP address. What if you are visiting relatives for the holidays and access your account? Do the RIAA-Police come get you and throw you in jail until you can prove otherwise (a disturbing trend in law enforcement these days...guilty until you proven innocence or just pay up)

     

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  26.  
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    Old Fool (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 10:35am

    Re:

    You're missing the point, It cost money to tow a truck, or fill a cavity.
    As a member of a music service I'm entitled to stream constantly, if someone else hears my music while I'm not present, it costs the streaming company nothing.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 10:37am

    Scott, there's zero way to enforce this. It'd be like signing a bill into law that prohibits you from humming to yourself when you're by yourself at your house. Unless they sent a police officer to every home how the fuck would they know?

    What are they going to do spend millions of tax payer dollars to figure out if it's me streaming netflix at my friends or my friend streaming it?

     

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  28.  
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    Brian Schroth (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 10:39am

    Thanks Techdirt!

    Thanks Techdirt for being on the forefront on this issue and implementing filtering software that hides our Netflix passwords, so that we can't inadvertently break the law. If I try to type my Netflix password here, it shows up to everyone as *******.

    *******

    See?

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 10:39am

    Shame on the governor too, what a dope. Perfect quote from the head of a state too.

    Why not disable the internet altogether? Surely that would "combat the issue" as well.

     

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  30.  
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    AzureDiamond, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 10:40am

    Re: Thanks Techdirt!

    Whoa, that's awesome! Let me try!

    hunter2

     

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  31.  
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    pbarker (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 10:46am

    Re:

    So, AC - For you, listening to music or watching a movie == having a cavity or needing car tow service?

    What kind of music and movies do you watch?

     

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  32.  
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    Spaceboy (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 10:47am

    Re:

    "So if I am a member of AAA and my buddy's car has broken down and needs a tow, are you saying that it's OK to give him my account number to hand to the tow truck driver so he can bill AAA for it? "

    I've shared my AAA membership with other people. But then again, I was in the vehicle at the times they needed the service. AAA doesn't care if it's your car or even if you were driving. Only that you are present when the tow truck arrives.

    "How about if I have dental insurance and my friend has a cavity that needs attention. Is it OK for him to take my insurance card and obtain a service for himself and let my insurer pay for it? "

    That's outright fraud and there are laws on the books already for this. Yet people still do it. The sharing login law is idiotic in the extreme.

    How much of a problem do you think this is in Tennessee that the RIAA lobbied to get this done?

     

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  33.  
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    Chaz A., Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 10:48am

    Sharing your "entertainment subscription"

    What will happen when I invite my friends over for pizza to watch an HBO series at my home? I shudder to think of the consequences!

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 10:51am

    Mitch Glazier,

    Your revenue is shrinking because of responsible consumers like myself that would not give a penny to a corrupt, greedy corporation like the R.I.A.A.

    Real Ignorant Asshats of America

     

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  35.  
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    wnyght (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 10:52am

    Re:

    "The more I read on here the more convinced I become that the citizens of a country have zero chance against it's Government. Short of a revolt there's nothing we can do. The Govt. is far too corrupt and in far too deep with private interests for anything to change."

    You are half correct. The Government is controlled my corporate America... To anyone that didn't HEAR ME...the GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICAN is CONTROLLED my the BIG BUSINESSES! Revolt against uncle Sam will do nothing, you want to make a change, attack the heart, attach big corporations in any and every way possible till this shit stops.

     

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  36.  
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    Jay (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 10:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Walk down the street, you're a criminal.
    Just thinking about the beat, you're a criminal.

    Hang with the wrong crowd, you're a criminal.
    For listening to music aloud, you're a criminal.

    Want to hear what's new, you're a criminal.
    For this I'm arrested, it's true, you're a criminal.

    Trying to take the train, you're a criminal.
    Want to get on the plane, you're a criminal.

    No freedom and no rights, you're a criminal.
    Can't even start to fight, you're a criminal.

    Just a bit absurd, you're a criminal.
    For giving away your password, you're a criminal.

     

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  37.  
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    dog owner (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 10:53am

    Re:

    Ummm AAA has advertised that very scenerio. I have used my AAA more for friend's than my car.

     

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  38.  
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    wnyght (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 10:53am

    Re: Re:

    *attack the heart, attack big corporations. EDIT option please?

     

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  39.  
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    aldestrawk (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 11:00am

    Re: Wheeeee!

    The easiest way is if two or more devices are found to have overlapping sessions for a single account. If the server won't allow that, even the attempt to log on while another session was active should be enough to indicate a violation. Another way is to fingerprint a fixed set of devices during registration and only allow those devices to log on. This works best with just one device, but I think you would have to allow at least one fixed device and one mobile one. This is not foolproof and works better as a discussion between you and the company, with the threat of losing service, rather than in a court of law.
    How do you fingerprint a device? Most service is going to involve a browser and that can be fingerprinted with information from the HTTP headers (user agent etc.). A separate application, plug-in for the browser, or script running within the browser may have access to further information from the computer account. Acceptable IP addresses or range of IP addresses can also added to this fingerprint. Software can flag a deviation much like that used in flagging credit card fraud.
    Tech savvy people could always find a way to get around this. A company doesn't need a foolproof system and there is always going to be some sort of sharing allowed (e.g. within a single household).
    In a court of law, LEO would have to locate and seize the devices involved and through forensic analysis and other evidence, prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person other than you was using the account on said device. This is no harder than proving a particular person actually downloaded child porn but sure is a lot of effort to go through for sharing subscriptions. If Tennessee needs to fill their jails they can take some from California's overflowing gulag.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 11:03am

    Re: Re:

    I agree. If you want to stop the greedy corporations, DON'T BUY THEIR PRODUCTS, SERVICES ETC. It is called being a responsible consumer.

    Boycotting...

    AT&T
    COMCAST
    Sony ( Playstation, Music and Movies, Video Games that contain "SECUROM", Anything BlueRay as this is also Sony technology )
    R.I.A.A./M.P.A.A.

     

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  41.  
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    Jeff A (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 11:06am

    Opportunity, Not Threat

    Sounds like a great opportunity to show our gratitude!

    It would be nice to see folks bailing on the video and audio distraction and moving toward the creation and consumption of original content. The video and audio distraction (and to a lesser degree of litigiousness the written distraction) industries get most of their plots and lyrics from us, and are in business to sell them back to us.

    Perhaps the industries could save money on their litigation and lobbying expenses and switch sending us on guilt trips by showing us "Save the Actor/Musician" commercials. "This young actor is forced to dumpster dive because of the movies you download illegally. And this famous singer/songwriter is now homeless because he couldn't afford his house payment because you found his album on Limewire." Heck, the commercials could go viral and end up bringing in more money than the movies and songs would have!

    Yeah, right. Still, those of use that actually pay for the content are paying more for lawyers and lobbyists, than fresh new content. It's a good thing for them that bad PR is better than none at all!

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 11:07am

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

    Doesn't matter, the login subscription is still for one person. There is no such thing as a "family account."

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 11:12am

    With every move the entertainment industries do like this, the less I like them. I've already reached the point I don't buy movies anymore nor music. It's called boycott.

    Obviously it will take a grassroots movement of 'play it yourself' and a refusal of buying by the rest to end this insanity. It's gotten completely out of hand. Special interests appear to rule the day. Like many other things, you pull the money out if it, it sets up a whole 'nother attitude. One that is overdue I might add.

     

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  44.  
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    ChrisB (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 11:20am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Come on. Seriously? You think AT&T is where all your money is going? You think Sony controls the government?

    40% of government spending is on defense, which goes to high-tech weapons manufactures, most you've never heard of. How about boycotting war?

     

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  45.  
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    Kevin (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 11:23am

    Re: Re: Thanks Techdirt!

    "Can't tell if trolling, or just really stupid"

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 11:24am

    Boycotting war? Yeah, there's a lot we can do about that...other than not pay your taxes we're fucked when it comes to boycotting war. Or we can convince hundreds of thousands of soldiers to resign and forgo a paycheck.

     

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  47.  
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    Kevin (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 11:27am

    Re: Sharing your "entertainment subscription"

    how many friends? If its over 5 then its SWAT time. Expect tear gas, tasers, nylon cuffs, and a job working construction clean up cause its the only thing you will be able to get with a felony conviction on your record. Best part is that after all of this you won't even be able to vote in order to remove the actual criminals in office who are actually to blame for all of this.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 11:28am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Dark, it's the Anonymous Coward who takes pro-industry stances every single time, no matter how damned stupid they are...... just ignore him, he is insane to be blunt.

     

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  49.  
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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 11:29am

    Re:

    Next time try a reasonable or even fairly close analogy - these two simply don't cut it...

    My towing service is explicit in its terms that the towing will be taken care of if I'm present whether I'm driving or not. The auto insurance industry is 30 years ahead of the content industry in knowing how and what people want and need. They also had no problem supplying this on the terms the customer desired at a somewhat reasonable price with several options.

    The dentist scenario is fraud - we have those laws already on the books.

    That's pretty effing weak, even for a troll.

    FTFY - now back under the bridge, the sun is out!

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 11:29am

    Brito stressed the importance of prosecutorial discretion. "The targets of this law should only really be the worst offenders who are selling passwords to many people," he said, not a 16-year-old who gives his girlfriend his password. "The fact that this is a tweak to an existing law gives me hope" that prosecutors will behave sensibly, he said.



    What a fucking joke, the whole point of this is it can be used however they want to use it. If they don't want 16 yr olds to be prosecuted for sharing it to their girlfriend then that should have been DEFINED in the law. So we're basically now saying that we "hope" the law isn't abused even though time and time again the authorities have proven they will abuse legislation at all costs, and even classify their own interpretation of laws.

     

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  51.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 11:30am

    Re: Re: Fixed it for ya

    Wrong: what kind of music and movies do you watch?

    Right: what kind of music and movies do you produce?

     

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  52.  
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    pixelpusher220 (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 11:35am

    Re: Re:

    No but if 2 people are streaming a movie or music 'at the same time', it costs them twice as much in bandwidth.

    Sharing of a finite resource, i.e. the bandwidth, is not acceptable though criminalizing it is ridiculous.

     

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  53.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 11:37am

    Re: Re:

    > Music locker services need regulation


    Hypothetical.

    I have a physical locker with combination lock.

    I keep my CD's in there, also my cassettes, 8-track, vinyl, recorded wax music cylinders, and player piano rolls.

    I share the combination (eg, password) with my best friend.

    Should this be illegal in Tennessee?

    After all, it is "a full on give away of the content".

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 11:37am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It isn't just a contract dispute, and that is the problem.

    Using someone else's password to access and server with the intent of obtaining or download information from that server would be a criminal trespass. What the RIAA is looking to do is to make sure that the providing of that password is treated in an equal manner.

    Making it a criminal matter would not diminish civil liability. It would however certainly raise the price of poker, making it significantly more risky to engage in this illegal activity.

    When civil actions are no longer enough to control widespread illegal activities, it isn't very surprising to see a move to criminalize them.

    The number of people in the prison system doesn't give pirates a walk, sorry.

     

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  55.  
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    pixelpusher220 (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 11:38am

    Re: Re:

    In this case the 'bandwidth' is the issue since it is streaming, not the movie itself.

    The bandwidth is a finite 'good' here so the infinite argument doesn't apply.

     

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  56.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 11:43am

    Re:

    You point out the problem with all their custom designed laws that congress rubber stamps for them.

    They want the law to be vague.

     

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  57.  
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    pixelpusher220 (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "sing someone else's password to access and server with the intent of obtaining or download information from that server would be a criminal trespass."

    No, it's criminal only if you don't have permission - which in the case of 'sharing' an account, you do have permission from the account holder.

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 11:47am

    Re: Wheeeee!

    Wouldn't it just be easier if the RIAA/MPAA were dead?

     

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  59.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 11:48am

    Who's going to pay state taxes after most of the population of Tennessee is put in jail by the RIAA? Who's going to pay the billions of dollars required to keep all these people in jail? The murderers and rapists they let out early to make room for the infringers?

     

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  60.  
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    Doug B (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 11:53am

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

    Ahh, OK. So you're saying that my wife, my 8yo son and my 6yo daughter all must buy separate accounts instead of just using mine? If my daughter wants to watch shaun the sheep in the morning she has to log off of my account and log in to hers else she's committing a felony, amirite? Makes perfect sense.

     

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  61.  
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    MrWilson, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 11:54am

    Re: Re:

    Once again, this thinking assumes that all content being viewed/heard on these services is RIAA or MPAA content. I use two different music subscription services. I've uploaded non-RIAA cc-licensed music to these and am free to share the music with whomever I choose. So if I share my username and password with someone else, I'm not by that act infringing copyright. Therefore, a blanket solution like this is overreaching. If the service has a problem with that act, they can end my ability to use that service. Sharing non-infringing music via sharing a password should not end with me in jail just because some suit assumed that all music content are belong to his corporate overlords.

     

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  62.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Should this be illegal in Tennessee?

    Yes, of course it should. You know what they say, there aren't stupid questions just really stupid questions.

     

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  63.  
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    pixelpusher220 (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 12:01pm

    Re: already illegal

    I believe the 'authorization' is between you and the password holder, not the service provider.

    The service provider would have a contract issue with the password holder, but not you since you didn't sign any contract and used a valid logon 'with' permission to do so from the person assigned that logon.

     

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  64.  
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    MrWilson, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 12:09pm

    Re: Soon we will all be criminals

    I'm seeing a good dystopian story setting here.

    Everyone will be a criminal to the point that non-violent criminals will be subject to house arrest instead of incarceration. They'll be allowed to leave their houses when they need to go to work to earn money or to go shopping to spend that money on stuff that the corporations are offering for sale. Sentences will be commuted in lieu of large fines which will take the form of debt, since no one will be able to afford the fines. Debt will only be dischargeable upon death, and maybe not even then. Corporations will buy the debt from the government. That way, we'll all live in debt to the company store.

    Somebody has probably already written this. OMG, I'm probably infringing on their ideas! Oh, wait. Ideas are subject to IP protection... At least, not until this scenario becomes true.

     

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  65.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 12:25pm

    This is nothing more than what is recognized in many, if not most, states as "theft of services".

    It is a garden variety criminal statute that has been around for many years, so why the angst here escapes me.

     

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  66.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 12:28pm

    The Right to Read

    Dan resolved the dilemma by doing something even more unthinkable—he lent her the computer, and told her his password. This way, if Lissa read his books, Central Licensing would think he was reading them. It was still a crime, but the SPA would not automatically find out about it. They would only find out if Lissa reported him.


    From the classic The Right to Read.

     

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  67.  
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    Krusty, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 12:33pm

    Re: already illegal

    Not to mention making room in are already overcrowded jails by releasing the mere rapist and murders for the truly hardcore criminal subscription sharers. I feel safer already…

     

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  68.  
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    anothermike, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 12:57pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The bandwidth isn't a finite good that they are selling. It's an overhead cost like lights or air conditioning. If the shopkeeper can't afford to turn on the lights in his store, that's a problem for the shopkeeper not the customer.

     

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  69.  
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    anothermike, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 12:58pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The bandwidth isn't a finite good that they are selling. It's an overhead cost like lights or air conditioning. If the shopkeeper can't afford to turn on the lights in his store, that's a problem for the shopkeeper not the customer.

     

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  70.  
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    charliebrown (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 12:58pm

    Music "Industry"?

    Mike highlights once again how some RIAA official has confused "the music industry" with "the recording industry" and, from a purely grammatical sense, he is entirely correct.

    However, I believe "the recording industry" is correct in calling themselves "the music industry" because most artists don't consider themselves an industrial commodity. They consider themselves musicians or singers or song writers. They are not an industry. The recording industry just likes to treat them like an industrial commodity. There is a difference.

     

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  71.  
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    antimatter3009 (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 1:01pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    This has nothing to do with bandwidth. That bandwidth isn't coming from the *AA, it's coming from the service. If the service doesn't want a user to double up on their bandwidth they can easily limit the number of simultaneous streams per user to one.

     

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  72.  
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    V, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 1:02pm

    Is this how it will be?

    My TV can stream Netflix and other services. All of my information is programmed in.

    If my brother stops by my house and watches something on Netflix... he is suddenly a criminal?

    Seriously... look down... notice that something is missing between your legs.... then GROW A SET and stand up for your rights!

     

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  73.  
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    Kevin (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Is this how it will be?

    No Sir, You have it wrong. You BOTH are criminals.

     

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  74.  
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    Brian Schroth (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Thanks Techdirt!

     

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  75.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 1:28pm

    Re:

    Talk about stretching the example...
    Your examples are fallacious.
    1) AAA would check your car license number, or you must be present, they check your license.
    2) Insurance company will check your ID before giving you services, no matter if you have an insurance card.
    3) These companies have controls in place that restricts simultanious logins. Netflix, for example, gives me 3 logins. If I was not supposed to share the login, why offer that as a product?

    So, where is the need for this law? Is the need to restrict usage to improve on profitability for the public good? Since all online entertainment companies restrict, or have the ability to restrict usage, what's the point?

    I believe that this is one of many laws being passed right now that moves civil actions like this (if you are sharing your Netflix with 30 people and taking payments, they can sue you for loss of profits), into Criminal.
    Once there is a criminal statute, now the plaintiff no longer needs to be the copyright holder - now the governement is the prosecution, and takes up the cost of going after these individuals. I don't think they want to send their customers to jail, or at least not very many of them - what they get out of this is the taxpayer funding of protecting a corporation's profits.

    Pretty ingenious, if you ask me. They only have to "advise" the government lawyers, and now the US Govt. is invested in stopping copyright infringements.

     

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  76.  
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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 1:42pm

    Re:

    I know... The two are exactly the same. In both cases, you have a dedicated professional who attends to your friend's needs at the exclusion of actual members expending significant resources and tying up expensive equipment.

    Wait, the bandwidth to carry a movie is practically free? Given that those services face this as a fact of life they have already baked those expenses into the service's pricing? Well I'll be damned...

     

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  77.  
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    \r (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 1:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You forgot stupid people stupid person

     

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  78.  
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    Richard (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 2:15pm

    Re:

    So if I am a member of AAA and my buddy's car has broken down and needs a tow, are you saying that it's OK to give him my account number to hand to the tow truck driver so he can bill AAA for it?

    Depends on the terms of service of the organisation involved.
    Some cover the car, others the driver and some any occupant of the car (as in the British AA). In the latter case it is of course OK. Most organisations have sufficient checks in place to make sure that your hypothetical scenario is not actually possible. That is the right way to solve the problem. Making stupid catch all laws that unnecessarily criminalise people is the wrong way.

    As you say - your comment is pretty weak ...

     

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  79.  
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    Greevar (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 2:18pm

    Typical.

    They're just asking people to find another way to get their content. When you remove all legal means, all that is left are the illegal means. So keep chipping away at your reputation big content. You'll be left with nothing but your own grave.

     

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  80.  
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    Richard (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 2:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Using someone else's password to access and server with the intent of obtaining or download information from that server would be a criminal trespass.
    Criminal trespass is an almost non-existent concept - even in the real world - trespass is almost always a civil matter.

    When civil actions are no longer enough to control widespread illegal activities, it isn't very surprising to see a move to criminalize them.
    What you are asking here is for the taxpayer to pick up the cost of defending your indefensible business model. Sorry - that shouldn't happen. Just like the people who bought houses near the sea on the English east coast are finding out you can't always expect the state to pay whatever it costs to defend your property. Sometimes the smart thing to do is to move on.

     

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  81.  
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    Kevin (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 3:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Techdirt!

     

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  82.  
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    DV Henkel-Wallace (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 4:03pm

    Interesting hardware implication

    I don't see how this can work. A device such as a Roku system only HAS one account in it. If you buy one, and more than one person in your house looks at it, you are violating this law.

    In fact, more than one person watching cable TV violates this law.

     

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  83.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 4:20pm

    Wow, Tennessee. Great governor you've got there. "I dunno what this thing says, but some lobbyists said it's good, so I'm all for it."
    I'd tell you to elect a politician that thinks for himself and actually does his job, but I think Earth's fresh out of those.

     

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  84.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 4:23pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's just another useless law that's designed both to give politicians the ability to grandstand for the cameras and appear to be "doing something", and to further add to the criminalization of the populace. (It's been estimated that the average person unknowingly violates around 15 criminal laws every day. If that doesn't scare you nothing will.)

    And it's a useless law because it's completely unenforceable. You don't have to share your password to share a Netflix account. Your roommate or your wife or your kids can just tell you what movies to add to your queue and then you can let them watch the discs as they come in.

     

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  85.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 4:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Poker Price

    > Making it a criminal matter would not diminish
    > civil liability. It would however certainly
    > raise the price of poker, making it significantly
    > more risky to engage in this illegal activity.

    No, it wouldn't, because it's virtually unenforceable.

    If my college roommate and I decide to share a Netflix account, how the hell is anyone going to prove who was doing the logging in and use of the computer at any given time behind closed doors in our own home?

    All you have to do is set your browser to always remember you and there isn't even *any* logging in and out. You just go to the Netflix bookmark and up comes the queue-- the computer itself remains logged on forever.

    So now the cops have to somehow prove that the individual movies listed in the queue were put there by my roommate rather than me and that the discs that arrived in the mail were viewed by my roommate rather than me-- all of which takes place completely behind the cloak of privacy in our home, which can't be pierced or spied on by the government without a warrant supported by probable cause.

    So why would I suddenly feel like the price of poker has gone up, again?

     

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  86.  
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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 4:44pm

    Re: Re:

    I think what he says is a bit stronger:
    listening to music or watching a movie is having a cavity or needing car tow service

     

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  87.  
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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 4:45pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Stupid comment system messing up my indent and therefore my joke!!!!!!!!

     

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  88.  
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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 4:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's not really accurate. The lights being on is a fixed cost for the store to remain open. The air conditioning is much more accurate. If an extra person enters the store, they will emit body heat that will make the air conditioning have to work harder and thereby consume more electricity which will result in a higher electric bill than had that customer not come in. For those of you who think this is a ridiculously insignificant cost, I will point you to the fact that this cost is 100s of times higher than the cost of an extra stream in terms of bandwidth and server load. (Probably mostly IO ops) So, you see: walking in a store and benefiting from air conditioning without buying is tantamount to mass murder.

     

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  89.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 5:11pm

    You already are

    Take a look at the laws on the books today. It's likely that a huge percentage of the populace is a law breaker and doesn't know it.

     

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  90.  
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    Chris in Utah (profile), Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 6:24pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    or smoking a joint.

     

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  91.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 7:33pm

    Re: Music "Industry"?

    The recording industry *is* the music industry. Things like concerts, merch etc. don't even come close to the money spent on recorded music.

    Recorded music is what people want. The shows and t-shirts? eh, they can take it or leave it.

    Recorded music is where the money is. It's what is most valued by the consumer.

    That will never change. Ever.

     

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  92.  
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    abc gum, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 8:35pm

    Re: Re: Music "Industry"?

    not

     

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  93.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 9:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Not in the slightest. What they are saying is that civil process is not appropriate to deal with the situation, does not give enough relief, nor does it encourage the results intended by the law. So at a point, legislation is required to make the risks higher than the reward for the people who choose to break the law.

     

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  94.  
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    TooLazyToSign, Jun 3rd, 2011 @ 3:55am

    cable?

    You know, someone raised an interesting point above:

    You have a house renting to 4 college students. They split rent and bills. One of them agrees to take the cable bill (the others take electric, phone/net and etc, a common arrangement). So the cable contract and bill is in one guy's name. He's the subscriber. He signed.

    So, would this make it illegal for all 4 roommates to sit and watch cable programming? Would all 4 of them be criminals then (3 for "infringing" and one for "providing")?

    No matter how I turn it around in my mind, it seems like a logical conclusion...

     

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  95.  
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    Jeni (profile), Jun 3rd, 2011 @ 5:12am

    Re:

    That is the stupidest attempt at an argument I've seen in a long time.

    First, how on earth can you compare a physical object to an online subscription - that's like trying to mix oil and water.

    To use your logic, one could also then say when a man and woman marry they become one, therefore both should be able to use the same "entertainment subscription".

    Or that no one should ever invite anyone over to watch a copy of a DVD. Instead everyone who joins a get together should bring their own copy even though only one will be played. That's dumb. Are we all supposed to police our company now and make sure they OWN a copy of every song, every movie, every book etc., that we do simply because they may be on the same premises where a copy is? Good grief!!!

    This is crazy. Unless I'm misunderstanding something here (never had an "entertainment subscription - trolls like Darryl entertain me for free) couldn't several college "roomies" just subscribe and all be sure to use one computer and one log in?

     

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  96.  
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    abc gum, Jun 3rd, 2011 @ 5:15am

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

    "What they are saying is that civil process is not appropriate to deal with the situation"

    They are wrong, the civil process is adequate and appropriate.


    "does not give enough relief"

    There is plenty of relief.


    "nor does it encourage the results intended by the law"

    ... according to their interpretation.

     

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    Jeni (profile), Jun 3rd, 2011 @ 5:19am

    Re: Soon we will all be criminals

    LOL - look out granny, especially if granny allows the grand-kiddies to watch a Disney flick. Double trouble!

     

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  98.  
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    Jeni (profile), Jun 3rd, 2011 @ 5:29am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Agree totally, although in a way the big nasty gov't of today is helping me boycott all big business by stealing all my money via taxation so I have nothing left to buy anything with.

    It's crumbling. Slowly, systematically, step by step - and I literally pray every day we have the last laugh.

    Sometimes I, too wonder if a total revolution would be the only way to fix all the horrible wrongs, IDK... .

    These perps - RIAA/MPAA - they can't get enough and don't know how or where to stop the insanity. The people may just be bullied into stopping it themselves. Just sayin'.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Jun 3rd, 2011 @ 7:33am

    Re:

    You can tow your buddy's car if you're with them. The service is for the individual, not the car, so no matter what car you're in AAA will help you.

    And yeah, if you give your buddy the card, they'll probably help him too.

     

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  100.  
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    Greevar (profile), Jun 3rd, 2011 @ 8:32am

    Re:

    We're still operating at a deficit.

     

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  101.  
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    Philly Bob (profile), Jun 3rd, 2011 @ 4:46pm

    This is what it's coming to....

    So this is how it would go down eventually... We have cable TV. The account is in my name. I have 4 boxes. According to the new law, I would be the only one allowed to watch TV and only on one box at a time. Anyone watching with me OR on any other box without having their own account makes us felons and we'd be tossed into the pokey? So, if I'm watching one box and my daughter is watching something else on a different box or even if she watches with me, she's a criminal if she doesn't have her own cable account and box? Cool! I really like that! Idiots! I'd go to court and ask the judge: 1 - Do you have cable? Who's name is the account in? 3- How many boxes? 4 - Are you the only one who watches? If you can't answer: yes, mine, one and yes... I'd place him / her under arrest right in the courtroom (along with anyone else who fits the above.) Wouldn't THAT be a blast!!! Listen to the radio on the way in? Your radio? Have someone in the car with you?? PAY UP YOU FELONS!!! Oh yeah... this is gonna work REAL WELL!! Oh yeah... while we're all in jail... you know that TV playing in the background for all of us?? :)

     

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    Speedy Babe, Jun 4th, 2011 @ 5:05pm

    RIAA

    Let's say for arguments sake I have a Netflix account. I order a movie online, and receive it a few days later. The whole neighborhood comes over to watch the movie. Is this wrong? Let's say Manny Pacquiao is set to fight on Pay Per View. I order the fight, and the whole neighborhood comes over to watch the fight. Is this wrong? The RIAA is no different than union thugs; they are less interested in the people they represent, than the money they collect to pad their coffers. If the RIAA is correct in their assessments of what constitutes immoral sharing of copyrighted material, than all tape recorders, CD recorders, DVD recorders, and Tivo boxes should be deemed illegal.

     

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  103.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2011 @ 8:24pm

    Re: RIAA

    Depends what comprises your "neighborhood". A few friends comprising a relatively normal, modest social circle is not a problem. A social circle that includes everyone in a 300 home subdivision will generally not qualify for obvious reasons. The former has the hallmarks of a private performance, whereas the latter seems closer to what one expect as an audience in a movie theater.

     

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  104.  
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    Brooke, Jun 4th, 2011 @ 8:45pm

    Can someone explain to me exactly how the RIAA is arguing that they're losing money due to Rhapsody users sharing accounts? My understanding is that Rhapsody pays a flat fee to license the music so the record label is going to get the same amount whether there are 100,000 users with individual accounts or 1000 users sharing 100 accounts.

    Furthermore, given the restrictions placed on simultaneous streaming and activating devices, is bulk password selling really a big issue?

     

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  105.  
    icon
    rudie32 (profile), Jun 5th, 2011 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Civil matter = the riaa, mpaa, etc must do all the dirty work. aka, bring you to court, hire lawyers. Criminal = The police do all that work. They just want to have it where they don't need to do anything other than call the local sheriff and let them do all the dirty work. Save's a lot of money!

     

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

  106.  
    identicon
    Jason, Jun 7th, 2011 @ 12:36pm

    Re:

    Actually AAA has always told me that if I'm a passenger in the car needing roadside service, then it's elligible for service under my account.

     

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

  107.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2011 @ 2:39pm

    Re:

    No, your argument is pretty weak... should I be the only person to be able to watch TV in my house? Please don;t use my phone or internet because I am the only one who paid for it...

     

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

  108.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2011 @ 12:43am

    LOL AAA specifically allows you to tow your frieds car

    I hate ignorant jerks who thinks breaking the smallest rule should land you in jail. I hope you land in court someday loser

     

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


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