RIAA Boss Tries To Defend SOPA & PIPA To The NY Times

from the and-fails dept

With the NY Times coming out against SOPA & PIPA, the RIAA apparently felt it needed to open its mouth... and stick another foot in it. RIAA boss Cary Sherman sent a letter to the NY Times defending the bills with some claims that don't hold up to much scrutiny.
we don’t agree that the proposed bills in Congress could “stymie legitimate speech.” To the contrary, the bills are specifically designed to focus on the worst of the worst sites whose model is predicated on theft.
Tell that to Dajaz1, which was censored for over a year, blocking tons of legitimate speech under similar laws. The bills are not at all focused on just "the worst of the worst." If that were the case, then the RIAA would be happy with the alternative proposal from Wyden and Issa, which actually does try to limit it to the "worst of the worst."
Moreover, there is extensive due process afforded to accused sites under the bills. They require the attorney general to extensively document why a site meets the bills’ tight standards — pulled from existing law and Supreme Court cases — and a federal judge must approve any order.
The same "due process" that Dajaz1 got? In which the domain got seized with no notice, and there was no ability to get into court to have the site owner's side of the story for over a year before the government finally admitted it was mistaken (based, I might add, on questionable claims from the RIAA itself). After all, that involved a "federal judge" too, but no adversarial hearing. The fact that this would go on for over a year is a travesty. The RIAA should be apologizing, not pushing for even greater censorship powers.
Similarly, if companies serving pirate sites choose not to take action voluntarily, copyright owners must state their case and persuade a federal judge to issue a court order before payment processors or ad networks can be compelled to stop servicing the site.
Notice the big "if" that Sherman tries to brush pass quickly here. In Section 103 of SOPA, the law says that companies "shall" take action, meaning they don't really have the option of "not" taking action. In fact, under section 103, not taking action can be seen as evidence of being dedicated to theft of US property -- so it's pretty unlikely that the won't choose to take action. And that's a pretty big concern, because all of the incentives are for companies to pre-emptively take action to censor to avoid the risk of the RIAA dragging them to court. Gee, I wonder why Sherman rushed through that point by hiding it all behind a single "if."
There may be different ways to craft a sensible bill, and we’re all for finding the best way, but one thing is clear: the status quo isn’t working. These illicit sites are among the culprits behind the music industry’s more than 50 percent decline in revenues during the last decade, resulting in 15,000 layoffs and fewer resources to invest in new bands.
Sherman should know better than to make blatantly false statements in the pages of the NY Times. The record labels may have had a 50% decline in revenues, but the wider music industry remains up over that same period. The fact that the companies he represents have been unwilling to adapt while most of the rest of the market has is no reason to rush through bad laws. Instead, it seems like a pretty good reason to suggest that the RIAA and the various labels are in desperate need of more enlightened leadership.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    vegetaman (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 4:54am

    ...

    "we don’t agree that the proposed bills in Congress could “stymie legitimate speech.” To the contrary, the bills are specifically designed to focus on the worst of the worst sites whose model is predicated on theft."

    [citation needed]

     

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  2.  
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    Call me Al, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 5:11am

    "These illicit sites are among the culprits behind the music industry’s more than 50 percent decline in revenues during the last decade, resulting in 15,000 layoffs and fewer resources to invest in new bands."

    These are the statements that annoy me most. That claim is false and yet he can say it without repurcussions and many who read it will believe him. It happens all the time and is incredibly frustrating. I wish I could take things at face value again, it was so much more peaceful.

     

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  3.  
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    btrussell (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 5:16am

    "...sites whose model is predicated on theft."

    How can a web site "steal" something?

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 5:20am

    Quote:
    Moreover, there is extensive due process afforded to accused sites under the bills. They require the attorney general to extensively document why a site meets the bills’ tight standards — pulled from existing law and Supreme Court cases — and a federal judge must approve any order.


    Extensive LoL

    I want to see any judge confronted with a list with thousands of entries go through each and everyone to see if there is any impropriety in there.

    If you were a judge on friday afternoon being shown a list bigger than your both legs, what would you do?

    That alone should raise red flags everywhere, but there is more, there is no adversary hearing, there is very little and in practice judging but what happened in recent cases one can assume really nothing one can do about any wrong doing. There is not even punishment for trying to mislead the courts or restitute wrong doing against others. The price of trying to fight this on the legal system is probably too much for many people to bother and so much more.

    Quote:
    Similarly, if companies serving pirate sites choose not to take action voluntarily, copyright owners must state their case and persuade a federal judge to issue a court order before payment processors or ad networks can be compelled to stop servicing the site.


    That is just marvelous since every website on the internet is a servicing pirate site for them.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 5:22am

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Dec 14th, 2011 @ 5:20am

    Like the RIAA.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 5:28am

    50 percent decline?

    It couldn't possibly be that people overwhelmingly purchase individual songs these days instead of entire albums, could it? Perhaps it is really Apple and iTunes that is to blame.

     

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  7.  
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    gorehound (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 5:32am

    RIAA & MPAA has declared war on the Internet World so let them reap what they sew.
    I boycott all big content.and I have no intention of ever spending a dime on anything RIAA or MPAA.
    I have better things to do than feed their greed and evil ways.
    Chris Dodd you are a fraqkken schmuck !!!

     

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  8.  
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    Violated (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 5:33am

    I think they are insane.

    You don't have to look far around the Internet to see how much DMCA law has been misused and abuse by such pro-copyright groups. Used to censor what they do not like. Then that whole deal about companies falsely claiming ownership to public domain works.

    These are simply not people you can trust and I directly know they have been lying to us for years.

    Yes the RIAA's problem is that musicians these days are quite capable of making music at home and then selling it on the Internet. Considering how many times musicians have been screwed by the record labels then where in all this should fall this bunch of RIAA "box shifters" taking their cut?

    Move out of the way RIAA when the future is passing you by.

    And no we won't give you a massive SOPA bomb to devastate the lawful online music business like you recently did with Dajaz1. Take down a lawful site for over a year and not even a "sorry".

     

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  9.  
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    anonymous, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 5:36am

    when are people going to learn? as long as it's someone from the entertainment industries who's spouting a load of lies, it is believed. especially when the lies are to politicians. maybe the reason for that is because politicians are such out and out liars themselves, they find it much easier to believe more lies, or maybe they just cant handle the truth. whichever is the reason, facts not only wont enter into anything, they wont be allowed to enter into anything. anything sensible, that is.

     

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  10.  
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    abc gum, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 5:37am

    "the RIAA apparently felt it needed to open its mouth... and stick another foot in it"

    Mmmmmm - toes

     

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  11.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 5:38am

    Re: 50 percent decline?

    That's certainly one factor, though the blame there would still be with the labels. After all, if most pop albums didn't consist of a few decent songs and a bunch of filler, wouldn't people still want to buy the full album?

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 5:46am

    Re: 50 percent decline?

    Record sales plummeted as soon as Napster showed up; before iTunes or digital singles ever existed, and continued afterward.

    Quit pretending people don't rip off music thus canniblizing sales. It just makes you look dishonest.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 5:50am

    Re: Re: 50 percent decline?

    "Record sales plummeted as soon as Napster showed up"

    Did they?

    Could you please back that up? Or are you one of those dishonest people I keep hearing about?

     

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  14.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 5:54am

    Re: Re: Re: 50 percent decline?

    If I remember the chart correctly, record sales did drop after Napster showed up. It was just four or five years after. But, oddly, it was just after the RIAA started their "education campaign" on the evils of downloading. Hmm, I think I see a better correlation on the drop in sales.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 6:03am

    Sounds like you real problem is with existing law and the rules of civil procedure.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 6:04am

    Re: Re: 50 percent decline?

    Record sales plummeted as soon as RIAA showed up; before iTunes or digital singles ever existed, and continued afterward.

    Quit pretending RIAA don't rip off music thus canniblizing sales. It just makes you look dishonest.

    FTFY, :D

     

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  17.  
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    Planespotter (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 6:18am

    Re: Re: 50 percent decline?

    Record sales were already plummeting as Napster showed up. FTFY.

    Look at all those lovely artists now earning money directly from their fans rather than a few cents on a track or a dollar on an album... look at the increased revenue from artists performing live! It's the middle men, the old style gatekeepers who are living in the 1980's early 90's when they used to peddle shiny silver discs who are losing money, everyone else seems to be doing alright!

    Welcome to the digital era, adapt or die...

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 6:19am

    "Tell that to Dajaz1, which was censored for over a year, blocking tons of legitimate speech under similar laws."

    Which law is similar to SOPA?

     

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  19.  
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    Vincent Clement (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 6:20am

    Re: Re: 50 percent decline?

    Actually, album sales increased when Napster showed up. When album sales began to fall, video sales began to increase. Could it be that people chose movies over music? You mean that music had competition from other entertainment options?

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 6:25am

    Re:

    Some people will always attempt to apply laws in ways their authors did not consider or support. RICO act has been used over the years in various ways to achieve things that was never really intended.

    The misuses of DMCA (rare but highlighted, spotlighted, and raised on a pedestal here on Techdirt) are not really enough to justify getting rid of it. It does what it is suppose to do.

    The true misuse of the DMCA is the safe harbor provisions, which have been turned, abused, and bent over from behind to allow business models that would not be legal without DMCA existing. Most "user content" sites exist because DMCA's safe harbor removed every last iota of responsiblity for website owners. However, it tipped the balance too far, taking rights away from copyright holders in a fashion that isn't tolerable.

    SOPA is an attempt to stop some of the biggest abuses of the system, to deal with the issue of "offshoring" of illegal websites to avoid US law, while the sites continue to market to and serve US customers.

    SOPA will not devaste the lawful online music business. It will however completely fuck up the day of pirate sites and those who make their livings predicated on violating copyright.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 6:29am

    Re: Re:

    "The true misuse of the DMCA is the safe harbor provisions..."

    Rare but highlighted, spotlighted, and raised on a pedestal here on Techdirt, BY TROLLS!

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 6:50am

    Re:

    Even if the claims were true, the statement is still meaningless. Let's look at a few points:

    "music industry’s more than 50 percent decline in revenues during the last decade"

    I, personally, have seen about a 50% decline in revenue/income in the past decade. I know a good 2 dozen or so people who have seen equal declines in income/revenue. Less money for us means we have less money to spend on them.

    "resulting in 15,000 layoffs"

    OK, so? The unemployment rate is up to 8.6% from 4.7% in 2001. The company I worked for several years ago had about 2,000 employees and had about a 20% layoff (around 400 people) alone. Considering the number of people the industry like to claim they employ, 15,000 people seems like a pretty small percentage.

    "These illicit sites are among the culprits"

    The key word there, of course, is AMONG. Clearly there are other culprits, as I have just named several. The problem here is the industry has failed to show (beyond a bunch of easily debunked "studies"), repeatedly, that illicit sites are a significant culprit, much less the major culprit.

    The simple truth is that the biggest culprit the RIAA faces is their own bad business relations. Even if they could completely stamp out piracy 100%. Even if the economy did a complete 180, and everyone I know doubled or tripled their incomes by this time next year, the RIAA still would not see a significant increase in revenue. Myself and many of the people I know simply refuse to spend our money on their products (in fact, there is a growing group of us - that accounts for tens of thousands of dollars spent on music each month - that spend a fair amount of time searching/discovering non RIAA artists and passing them around to others).

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 6:53am

    Re: Re:

    "It will however completely fuck up the day of pirate sites and those who make their livings predicated on violating copyright."

    Really? People like that don't just go home. They find a way to work around stuff like this. The only peoples whose day will be fucked up, are people who get caught in the crossfire. A site like YouTube, or Facebook, where it could be used for infringement, but tries to be legitimate, is going to pay the price for this legislation.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 6:54am

    I view the Wyden et al. proposal with a jaundiced eye. ITC involvement is a disingenuous ploy. ITC judges are not Article 3 judges, and this is problematic since the full range of federal rules governing Article 3 courts are not binding on the commission. Moreover, the remedies that may be granted by the ITC are so constrained that in the case of websites it is essentially a toothless tiger.

    Counsel for the websites that were seized are not being entirely forthcoming. When a site is seized (or anything else for that matter), the property owner is entitled by law to promptly file a motion with the court for return of the property. This is by definition an adversarial proceeding.

    As I read Section 103, while the statute uses "shall" in relation to ad and financial service providers, if they fail to act the sole right arising from same is that the notice provider is authorized to proceed against the site owner and two other class of entities that do not include the foregoing providers.

    If I have misspoken, please feel free to correct me.

     

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  25.  
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    Meso Happy, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 6:56am

    I think John Lyden said it all with "Burn Hollywood Burn..."

    Technology is going to make them obsolete. We are steps away from having programs that can make movies based on user input data. What are they going to do then?

     

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  26.  
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    Paul (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 6:58am

    Re: Re:

    "SOPA will not devaste the lawful online music business. It will however completely fuck up the day of pirate sites and those who make their livings predicated on violating copyright."

    Pretty funny. You do know that the most famous video claiming you wouldn't steal a car, so you shouldn't download and steal a song... That was set to music, a song stolen from the artist?

    Obviously the lesson here is that nobody should make "their livings predicated on violating copyright" unless you are a big media company.

     

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  27.  
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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 7:03am

    Re:

    Counsel for the websites that were seized are not being entirely forthcoming. When a site is seized (or anything else for that matter), the property owner is entitled by law to promptly file a motion with the court for return of the property. This is by definition an adversarial proceeding.

    Yet, we learn from the experience of Dajaz1.com that such proceedings won't happen. They will be blocked from seeing any docket information. They will be given the run around for a full year before anything concrete happens.

    Under SOPA, that will simply get worse.

     

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  28.  
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    Paul (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 7:03am

    Re:

    And "you real problem" is grammar.

    Exactly what "existing law" are you talking about when the topic is SOPA and PROTECT IP, neither of which are law yet?

    And what problems with "rules of civil procedure" have the opponents of SOPA and PROTECT IP demonstrated as they attempt to use the proscribed process dictated by our form of government (petitioning their representatives) to oppose these proposed bills?

    You seriously just don't make any sense, and not just because of your grammatical typo.

     

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  29.  
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    techflaws.org (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 7:06am

    Re: Re:

    It will however completely fuck up the day of pirate sites and those who make their livings predicated on violating copyright.

    You keep telling yourself that.

     

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  30.  
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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 7:07am

    Re: Re:

    The misuses of DMCA (rare but highlighted, spotlighted, and raised on a pedestal here on Techdirt) are not really enough to justify getting rid of it. It does what it is suppose to do.

    We highlight them to expose the unnecessary harm that is done to legitimate speech. If the DMCA were never abused, we would never mention such abuses. We will continue to highlight such abuse until the laws that allow for the abuse are repealed or changed.

    The true misuse of the DMCA is the safe harbor provisions, which have been turned, abused, and bent over from behind to allow business models that would not be legal without DMCA existing.

    These "misuses" of safe harbors are no such thing. The safe harbors are working exactly as intended. They are there to protect service providers from liability for the actions of third parties. Holding a third party accountable for the actions of someone else is not conducive to justice in this nation.

    We don't hold car manufacturers and dealers responsible for the actions of drivers. Neither do we hold gun manufacturers responsible for the actions of guns. Why should we hold online tool developers responsible for the actions of their users? It makes absolutely no sense.

    Since when is personal responsibility something that must be avoided at all costs?

     

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  31.  
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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 7:10am

    Re: Re:

    Sorry, thought I was done.

    SOPA is an attempt to stop some of the biggest abuses of the system, to deal with the issue of "offshoring" of illegal websites to avoid US law, while the sites continue to market to and serve US customers.

    No. SOPA is an attempt by legacy gatekeepers to prevent them from having to compete and innovate for another few years. This will do nothing to stop piracy and the supporters of the bill know this. However, it will give these legacy gatekeepers the ability to decide what web services are allowed to survive and which ones are not.

     

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  32.  
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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 7:12am

    Re:

    Of course there are problems with current law and civil procedure. When a site like Dajaz1.com is given the run around for a year and never charged of any crime and having its domain name seized for that time, that is a problem.

    SOPA will make all that worse.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 7:33am

    Re: Re:

    "The simple truth is that the biggest culprit the RIAA faces is their own bad business relations."

    You can keep blaming the victim. Why not blame the pirates for a change?

     

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  34.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 7:36am

    Doesn't the entertainment industry employ over 4 million people? So isn't 15,000 layoffs way less than the national unemployment rate?

     

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  35.  
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    rupert, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 7:39am

    Re: Re: Re: 50 percent decline?

    How do you figure that the RIAA led to decline in sales. Please, explain that one to me.

    Its really funny how people try to rationalize and excuse piracy as if it weren't stealing. While I don't agree with SOPA, and I have over 11,000 tracks downloaded illegally, I don't go around pretending that its right.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 7:41am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "You can keep blaming the victim. Why not blame the pirates for a change?"

    Are "pirates" shutting down innocent sites?
    Did I miss something?

    The RIAA members are no more "victims" than con men who throw themselves in front of moving cars than claim injury.

     

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  37.  
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    rupert, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 7:42am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You act as if they knowingly and purposefully did that. They didn't.

     

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  38.  
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    Pixelation, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 7:43am

    Legitimate?

    "stymie legitimate speech."

    I see, it's okay to censor speech you don't like. Just call it illegitimate.

    Oh man, I love that one!

     

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  39.  
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    Killercool (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 7:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But... There is no such thing as innocent infringement...

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 7:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    so what you are saying is that "i didn't do it purposefully" a valid defense for someone accused of infringement?

     

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  41.  
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    Jason, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 7:58am

    Re: Boycott forever??

    I am so pissed off by SOPA. I'm seriously considering never, ever, going to a movie in a theatre again if this passes.

    I've boycotted companies forever for doing much much less than ruining the entire internet.

     

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  42.  
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    The eejit (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 8:04am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Moist vin Lipwig was a victim of circumstance. The character is a satire of modern "business practice".

     

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  43.  
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    The eejit (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 8:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: 50 percent decline?

    Because they have this irritating tendency to piss off their customers by calling them thieves all the time.

    They sound like a broken record industry.

     

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  44.  
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    The eejit (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 8:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So you're saying I'm legally entitled to break the law in this regard for shits and giggles?

    If you do something for a good reason, you'll do it for a bad reason.

     

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  45.  
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    The eejit (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 8:10am

    Re:

    "Well, there isn't opne yet, because we haven't passed it - but we'll assume that we have and just seize it anyway under the pretense of criminal copyright infringement, which has a much higher burden of proof, because AMERICA! FUCK YEAH!"

    ICE, DoJ, RIAA.

     

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  46.  
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    el_segfaulto (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 8:22am

    Re:

    I always suspected the RIAA had a foot fetish...

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 8:39am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You wouldn't hold the RIAA responsible for the actions of one of their musicians, would you? Should the labels be held responsible when one of their signed acts breaks the law? How about when the label is directly responsible for providing or locating the illicit goods used by the star? It would make them think twice before doing some of the things they do (like providing the blow, hookers, and hotel rooms...).

    You wouldn't hold the MPAA responsible for the actions of one of their actors, would you? Should the studio be held responsible for Charlie Sheen's actions, since they basically 'aided and abetted' him by providing him with a contract with no morals clause... due to their actions (or lack there of) they are directly responsible for not stopping his behavior (I mean they 'just should have known' what happens when you don't include a morals clause with someone like Charlie...), so they should be held responsible for all of his actions, right?

    So if these are not valid 'third party liability' claims, where the third party has direct and intimate knowledge of the actions they are facilitating, why should youtube be held responsible for what users post when they have no direct knowledge of it?

    If we want to push all liability onto third parties, that works for me, but lets not stop at IP, it should apply to everything... Car manufacturers should be held responsible when one of their cars is used to commit a crime. Gun manufacturers should be held responsible when one of their guns is used to commit a crime. Web site developers should be held responsible when one of their websites is used to commit a crime. Teachers should be held responsible when one of their students commits a crime. Bosses should be held responsible when one of their employees commits a crime. Judges should be held responsible when one of their jurors commits a crime (or tweats from court... the judge should be disbarred for not being able to police his court room properly, am I right?)

    Lets not let this liability stuff stop where it belongs, we need to keep pushing it all the way back up as far as we can go, I mean that's where all the money is at, and that's really what it's all about anyway.....

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 8:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    To be more accurate, the judge shouldn't be disbarred, but all his communications should be shut off (domain seized basically) and all his earnings (investments, salary, retirement, etc) pay should be indefinitely suspended (payment provider cutoff).

    Now he should have the option to appeal this, but there is no requirement that anything be turned back on even if the appeal finds that the judge did nothing wrong....

     

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

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 8:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Twat.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 8:49am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You can keep blaming the pirates, why not blame the business inept for a change?

     

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

  51.  
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    The eejit (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 8:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I would love this to apply to all PACs and SuperPACs.

     

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

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 9:40am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Victim? Sorry, but anyone who earns $84 million is NOT a victim. Anyone who earns $84 million and complains his "employees" are starving is NOT a victim.

    I don't blame the "pirates" for one reason. Of the hundreds of people I personally know, most of them either can't buy a lot of music, or, like me, simply refuse to purchase from the major labels. The ONLY people I personally know who spend significant amounts of money on RIAA/major label artists are the handful of people I know who regularly use the Pirate Bay and BitTorrent like 24/7.

    A group of friends I know, most of whom don't even have interent, have buried two of their own in the last year because both lost their jobs, and the seizure medications they need were too costly and prohibitive to afford without a job and insurance. As one of them put it a few weeks ago, "I give less than a rat's ass about someone who whines they can't make 110K every year for a book they wrote ten years ago".

    But wait, I know a lot of musicians, too. Surely I hear all the time from them about how badly "piracy" is hurting them. Nope. The complaint I hear most often? They can't get their music played because all the stations that supported them shut down? Why? Not because of piracy, but because of SoundExchange. As one of my friends said a while back "So SOundExchange gets to collect money in our name, whether we want them to or not, they get to keep a percentage of that money, and then we have to pay them a fee to get the rest of it? Isn't THAT what copyright is suppose to protect us against?"

     

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  53.  
    icon
    MAJikMARCer (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 9:41am

    Re: Re: Boycott forever??

    And be sure to vote out for house/senate reps when they are up for election if they vote for this. It just indicates they've sold out and need to be removed before they do any further harm to the PEOPLE of the US

     

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  54.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 10:02am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Hmmm...let's see now.

    We couldn't mention making product no one wants could we? And demanding that people accept said product rather than investigating ways to adapt to the market?

    Even without the Internet, even without the lies about how much piracy affects the RIAA, sales would have dropped in the past decade. Significantly.

    The reason is simple enough, it's that Boomers have moved out of the record market en masse due to age, as much as anything and the generations coming up behind us are much smaller. Even if they had the disposable income we did, which they don't, they can't replace the boomers.

    Most of the product is crap. This is as true now as it was in the 90s, which is what gave rise to things like Napster to begin with. When entire CDs are stuffed with filler the consumer isn't interested in the entire CD the are interested in one song, perhaps, from it. Unless they're diehard fans of the artist or band. The recording industry is certainly capable of providing this in consumer friendly ways but they absolutely refuse to. Things like Amazon and iTunes don't count because they had to be dragged kicking and screaming into those.

    The reality is that when recording industry execs decide to control what will be recorded and what they'll release and when that the music itself suffers. That's a given which is proven over and over and over again.

    On the other hand studies have indicated that piracy, such as it is, actually INCREASES sales.

    So we're back to bad business practices and blame the customer attitudes. Worse, now, let's get the law changed to something so draconian that even if passed may not actually be enforceable, will be tied up for years just to determine constitutionality and many other unintended consequences that we can't see yet and is opposed by just about everyone but the recording and motion picture industries.

    Lemme see. Refusal to acknowledge that the market itself is shrinking, producing poor product in forms people don't want and wouldn't buy anyway, a refusal to adapt in order to keep and perhaps expand their market to current marketplace realities, accusing their customers and potential customers of theft and various and sundry other bits of nastiness while praying for a return to the market conditions that allowed the industry itself to shrink to four or five conglomerates/labels when history has shown that the customers are better served by many small labels and better and more adventurous music results not to mention lower price points.

    Great way to do business! I'm not defending piracy as such but it's hard to see any other solution that the market based one where people started sharing what they WERE and are interested in (singles) and to hell with the recording industry. But the market has spoken and loudly. Solution? Welfare for a pair of industries that can't or won't adapt to a changing market. Whoopie!

    Meanwhile, as Mike and others have pointed out, the rest of the broader music industry is thriving. Disconnect?

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 10:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 50 percent decline?

    It's because they are thieves.

    Saying they aren't is just using legalisms and weasel words.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 10:16am

    Re: Re:

    The government did nothing wrong in the dajaz case.

    They got extensions on pursuing a case against a site that had thousands of links to infringing material- thus negating any DMCA safe harbor they might have enjoyed. The government could have filed a civil case against dajaz any time they wanted. And they would have won. The decision to drop the case has not been addressed, but it could have been as simple as the department's current caseload didn't merit it.

    I know Mike Masnick enjoys lying about this issue, but the government has never made any statement that the site was innocent or wasn't guilty of breaking copyright law.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 10:38am

    Re: Re: Re:

    But they have. By not being found guilty in a court of law, and the presumption of innocence in this country they are presumed innocent. By not perusing this case, they have made an affirmative statement that the presumption of innocence shall stand.

     

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

  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 10:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 50 percent decline?

    Then they should stop marketing to thieves. If all of a companies customers are thieves, then I think we should investigate that company for its connection to the crimes.

     

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

  59.  
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    wvhillbilly (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 11:13am

    Same old same old

    If the RIAA is only interested in going after the worst of the worst, why in the world do they bother going after small potatoes like Jammie Thomas-Rasset, pile-driving her with a $2 million judgment for downloading a couple of dozen songs? This is using a wrecking ball to swat a fly. Why don't they go after the big-time criminal operations that produce counterfeit CDs by the truckload? Is it because the little guys are an easy mark? Just pick people at random and sue them for $millions? Don't they realize all the ill will they're producing for themselves? And then they wonder why their sales are tanking.

    Go figure!

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    you know copy trolls, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 11:47am

    for people who think that your right you sure have to bribe alot of people to get things done.

     

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  61.  
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    Violated (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 11:56am

    On the fence

    I must admit that the pro-copyright people including some artists coming here and reading these postings can certainly be left rather depressed. I guess to read here often means they enjoy a debate rather to just listen to the dogma of the "everyone here loves SOPA/PIPA" forums.

    Well I thought for one posting I would take a step back from my usual "I hate what the copyright monopoly does to society" rants and to instead hit the middle ground.

    Pirates do offer content owners two saving graces. First is that no one here believes that other people should profit from your creation. Then second is that file sharing can make a good promotional tool when these are just people wanting to be entertained. A good example is the movie Avatar when this is both the largest pirated movie in history and the best selling movie in history. It would be very hard to claim that piracy hurt sales here when clearly the infringement that happened was simply part of the phenomenon to make this movie as popular as it was. This goes on to highlight that people will often buy what they value when it is only the bad media that does suffer. And why should we reward bad creation?

    We in the anti-copyright group do have many legitimate concerns with what is happening on the Internet where for now I will only use YouTube as an example.

    YouTube is clearly a service that has corrupted DMCA law when the law says one thing but YouTube has rewrote the law, using technical means, for the benefit of the big media companies.

    One clear reflection of this is that YouTube in their dispute process does not even recognise that Public Domain works exist. They can't plead "fair use" (which is an option YouTube largely ignore) when fair use is lawful infringement under copyright law and where Public Domain media does not apply to copyright.

    Their system is so messed up that the larger media companies often claim ownership to other people's media. This is nothing more than a media grab to obtain the advertising revenue. I can certainly show you a list of almost every big media company around claiming false ownership to public domain works created from tax dollars by the US Government.

    People cannot obtain ownership of their media back without taking the matter to court. YouTube took DMCA law and flipped it over to remove their pre-court protection. Many people of course cannot afford court action against a large media company. So your average home user is exploited.

    This in all goes to highlight that when the copyright side are given control then this granted power will only be misused and abused.

    And this is our main concern with SOPA/PIPA when they won't just use this law to attack the pirates but to also attack their business rivals, for the goal of profit, and to censor that what they do not want the public to see.

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Brainthief, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:42pm

    Re:

    We are obviously stealing the artists brains containing all their delicious ideas!

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:43pm

    Trying to stop piracy by blocking websites is the biggest joke ever. Piracy has been around a long time and will still be here when your rotting in your grave.

    This bill is just another example of why the US Congress needs major reform. The two congressional staffers who are now Lobbyists for this bill at the MPAA and RIAA need to be thrown in jail(Link below). These two organizations and their leaders also need to be investigated. Any government official or law enforcement agency that has worked with these organizations need to be investigated. Dajaz1.com ring a bell?

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111209/10151917022/shockingly-unshocking-two-congression al-staffers-who-helped-write-sopapipa-become-entertainment-industry-lobbyists.shtml

     

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

  64.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "The simple truth is that the biggest culprit the RIAA faces is their own bad business relations."

    You can keep blaming the victim. Why not blame the pirates for a change?


    Because that would be a lie.

    Actually the "culprit" is neither the pirates nor the RIAA. The RIAA are not the vicitims of piracy - they are the victims of technological change. When a sector switches technology the incumbent businesses usually see a decline. This is the inevitable result of progress.

    When the marginal cost of making your product (and remember - the record companies primary expertise is in making copies - not making music) drops to zero you are not going to be able to carry on as before.

    The "lost" money has gone to legitimate businesses like Apple - not to the "pirates".

     

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  65.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:01pm

    Re:

    Counsel for the websites that were seized are not being entirely forthcoming. When a site is seized (or anything else for that matter), the property owner is entitled by law to promptly file a motion with the court for return of the property. This is by definition an adversarial proceeding.

    Um. THEY DID FILE A MOTION for return of property, and heard NOTHING for a year.

    That's an adversarial proceeding? In what fantasy world?

     

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

  66.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:35pm

    Re:

    "...sites whose model is predicated on theft."

    These people should be worried then...

     

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

  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: 50 percent decline?

    Its really funny how people try to rationalize and excuse piracy as if it weren't stealing.

    Piracy is an act of theft and violence on the seas.

    Copyright infringement is an act of copying and sharing among friends.

    Only one of these has been defined by the Supreme Court. Guess which one?

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:53pm

    Re: Re:

    Some people will always attempt to apply laws in ways their authors did not consider or support. RICO act has been used over the years in various ways to achieve things that was never really intended.

    So you're saying SOPA will be abused, even though you are saying that it won't?

    The true misuse of the DMCA is the safe harbor provisions, which have been turned, abused, and bent over from behind to allow business models that would not be legal without DMCA existing.

    The safe harbors are under constant attack, and constantly being diminished, by people such as yourself. You want to blame the business owner for the actions of the customer. Do you not realize just how insane you look?

    SOPA is an attempt to stop some of the biggest abuses of the system, to deal with the issue of "offshoring" of illegal websites to avoid US law, while the sites continue to market to and serve US customers.

    SOPA is not about stopping piracy, it is about control, pure and simple. Just as the taxes levied against the colonists in the 18th century were about control. In the same vain, much of the current legislation being pushed these days is going to have the same result.

     

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

  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 6:08pm

    "...Dajaz1, which was censored for over a year..."

    It seems appropriate to mention that the site could have filed a motion with the court within hours/days after the seizure to have its domain name returned. If things stayed in limbo for over a year and its counsel was "kept in the dark", then perhaps the site's owner(s) should look for another attorney.

     

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

  70.  
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    Xenobyte (profile), Dec 15th, 2011 @ 5:22am

    Re:

    ...not to mention that illegal file sharing is copyright infringement, not theft. No matter how many times they repeat it, it won't become true.

    But maybe if we repeat it often enough, they'll get it?

    One more time: Theft involves an unauthorized transfer of goods while illegal file sharing involves unauthorized duplication of goods. It is fundamentally two completely different things with only the word "unauthorized" in common.

     

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

  71.  
    identicon
    A Crossland, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 1:01am

    RIAA's "job loss'" claim . . .

    As it's said, "patriotism's the last refuge of the scoundrel." When the RIAA begins to cite "job losses" in support of censorship, I get afraid. Whom's it kidding? SOPA/PIPA isn't about Americans losing their jobs but the studious losing their profits.

     

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


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