Share/E-mail This Story

Email This



RIAA's New War: Shutting Down The Equivalent Of Internet VCRs

from the the-virtual-boston-strangler dept

The entertainment industry just won't quit trying to kill perfectly legal technologies with substantial non-infringing uses. Back during the big legal fight over Grokster, the RIAA insisted that it had absolutely no interest in stopping technologies people used to record things. In fact, Consumer Electronics Association CEO Gary Shapiro reminded them of this promise after the RIAA went after XM Radio's device to record broadcasts. It appears that the RIAA has no problem continuing to go against its word. Its latest move is to send a letter to CNET, asking it to remove tools from Download.com that can be used to record videos from YouTube. Of course, there a tons of legitimate uses for such tools. Just as you can legally record shows off of TV (thank you Supreme Court), you should be able to record stuff on YouTube (related: shame on Google for blocking such tools as well).

Of course, from the parts of the RIAA's request that have been made public by Greg Sandoval at CNET, it sounds like the RIAA isn't directly making a legal threat (which would be tough, given CNET's role as a fourth party service provider for third party tools which might be used to infringe), but rather appealing to its parent company, CBS, arguing that because such tools and their substantial non-infringing uses might also be used to record CBS content (again, just like the VCR), that they should want to put an end to them.. Thankfully, it sounds like CNET has no interest in complying.

However, given the RIAA's promises during the Grokster case that it had no interest in blocking such technologies, it seems that, once again, the RIAA has been shown as liars who have no compunction about blocking perfectly legal technologies, just because they haven't figured out how to adapt to modern times.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    el_segfaulto (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 10:27am

    See you guys...

    A few days ago my lovely girlfriend bought a piano which is now taking up a chunk of space in my living room. Now I've never been a musical genius so when I started messing around with it I didn't really see a problem. I had been getting a little better and managed to perform a piano version of a Metallica song.

    No sooner had I finished the last note then a team of leather clad RIAA ninjas broke down my front door and handcuffed me on the spot. My neighbors and their newborn were brought out at gunpoint for the audacity of broadcasting my performance over a Skype conversation with their relatives.

    Needless to say, I've quite my freetard ways. We're all in a re-education camp and have learned to leave music to the professionals, and that listening without permission is tantamount to stealing.

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 10:32am

    if they cant use it, then no one else should be able to use it either. typical selfish, self centered attitude of extremely small-minded, jealous person(s). i wonder how much harm they have actually got to do before those with the powers to stop them will actually do so. there's a vast difference between trying to protect your own business, whilst refusing to advance into the digital age and stopping everyone else from moving forward and developing their own business

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 10:35am

    I'm just glad I'm not one of the "new fatties" with an eidetic memory. To respect, we must forget and disavow all unlicensed use of our synapses. Bloody pirates.

     

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

  4.  
    icon
    Robert (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 10:41am

    $3.2 million down the toilet

    Cary Sherman's salary is truly a waste of money. The guy should be getting no more than $200k/yr to do what he does.

    The remaining $3 million should go into a fund to help artists who've been screwed over by the RIAA. Not the labels via bad contracts, I mean the artist whom had legitimate use of many products and services the RIAA has succeeded in shutting down.

    It may not be much when split across the large number of artists who've been hurt by the RIAA antics, but it's better than nothing (or ASCAP or SOCAN).

    Then take Barry Sookman's salary, cut that to $80k and give the rest to a fund to help those who have been wrongfully sued (don't ask for it if you were really sharing files only, if you were not).

    Finally, make it illegal to lobby government for laws via any financial means, direct or indirect. Any attempt to destroy products that have both good and bad uses (knives are OK, they are used to kill people or cut food - but they are not banned) as an attempt to maintain monopolistic control should result in extradition to Antarctica.

     

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

  5.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 10:52am

    Re: See you guys...

    I'm surprised they didn't stop you after the first three notes.

     

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

  6.  
    icon
    Josef Anvil (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:15am

    Re: Well to be fair...

    The RIAA was correct.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_Home_Recording_Act

    "The RIAA and music publishers, concerned that consumers' ability to make perfect digital copies of music would destroy the market for audio recordings..."

    They were 100% correct. Consumers' ability to acquire perfect digital copies of music did destroy the market for audio recordings.

    And the world did not fall into chaos.

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:18am

    Re: See you guys...

    Metallica on piano...Really? No wonder they came and got you.

     

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

  8.  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:28am

    Re: Re: Well to be fair...

    Uh...iTunes, anyone? Market has not been destroyed.

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:29am

    Hey, the RIAA can't be breaking their word if they never intended to keep it in the first place!

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:34am

    This is probably going to start a flame war, but the last time I heard anything about CNet's Download.com site, it was for putting wrapper installers around software before distributing them. The whole Fyodor issue with NMAP to be precise. So how can they be fourth liability, if they are manipulating and hosting the files being distributed?

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:36am

    The tipping point is nigh.

    The closer their end the RIAA gets, the more we experience their lying, their faux anger, the utter absurdity of their mere existence and the more it becomes apparent that the RIAA is the real the enemy and the more despised they become to the general public they try to enslave.

    The tipping point is nigh.

    The RIAA and its ilk are like Hosni Mubarak (always much-hated and now on their way out with only crooked pseudo-government and expensive life-support keeps them from flat-lining completely).

    And like in Mubarak's case, everyone will celebrate by dancing on their graves when they're finally gone for good.

    And not a moment too soon at that.

     

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

  12.  
    icon
    average_joe (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:42am

    Just as you can legally record shows off of TV (thank you Supreme Court), you should be able to record stuff on YouTube (related: shame on Google for blocking such tools as well).

    Your reading of Sony is a bit of wishful thinking. It's not that simple. Even Prof. Goldman in the linked-to article says it's murky. I'll take his analysis over yours on that point.

     

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

  13.  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:45am

    Re:

    We can legally record shows that are on our TV. What about if one of us hooks up our computer to a TV (not a computer monitor, a TV). In fact, that's what I have right now, my machine is connected to a large TV as primary display (gaming, movies) and a secondary monitor to keep an eye on downloads/IRC chats/temps, things like that.
    Since its legal to record what's on TV, and Youtube is being shown on my TV...

     

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

  14.  
    icon
    Brent (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:46am

    Re: $3.2 million down the toilet

    lol - outlaw money used in lobbying.. same as outlawing lobbying (not that i'm opposed to that). but lobbyists would say "That's anti-democratic!?!" then bribe - sorry, lobby -everyone and their mothers to make sure that law doesn't get passed. weird how that's sort of a closed loop huh.

     

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

  15.  
    icon
    ahow628 (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:48am

    "related: shame on Google for blocking such tools as well"

    It's Google's API, so I suppose they could block it if the reason is legit (eg overuse). If they are blocking because the RIAA said so, then yes, shame on them.

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 12:01pm

    Anyone who ever believed that the RIAA would ever keep its word about anything deserves what they get. If the RIAA ever did keep its word about anything, then that would be worth writing a story about.

     

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

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Re: Well to be fair...

    Uhhhh... Those "perfect digital copies" are copies of audio recordings.

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 12:30pm

    Re: Re: $3.2 million down the toilet

    ... same as outlawing lobbying (not that i'm opposed to that).


    You want to propose some subsitute language? Instead of:

    Congress shall make no law . . . abridging . . . the right of the people . . . to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    Perhaps it should be amended to read, “Congress shall be empowered to prohibit people from suggesting legislation. Anybody who really annoys Congress with inopportune petitioning may be thrown in jail.”

     

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

  19.  
    icon
    average_joe (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 12:36pm

    Re: Re:

    Tell me this: Does this YouTubeDownloader program bypass encryption? My VCR doesn't do that.

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 12:38pm

    Re: See you guys...

    Were they from the same anti-terrorist force that illegally raided Kim Dotcom?

     

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

  21.  
    icon
    Liz (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Re: See you guys...

    Nothing else matters.

     

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

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Back again to fail, Joe boy? So, I download an MP4/FLV music video from Youtube then demux it to h.264/AAC. Where is the fucking encryption, moron?

     

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

  23.  
    icon
    average_joe (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 12:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You're boring.

     

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

  24.  
    identicon
    Emily Z, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 12:59pm

    Re:

    Yeah, if you download the videos from YouTube, Google doesn't make any advertising money on you anymore. I think it's reasonable for them to say you're only allowed to use their resources to stream, and not allowed to use their resources to fileshare videos.

    I think it would be better for them if they let everyone in your family download your niece's recital, as it would free up resources, but I think they should be allowed to disallow downloads.

     

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

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 1:06pm

    riaa, boogeyman, blah, blah, blah...

    Anyway,

    Mike Masnick gets described as a pig here by the interviewer:

    http://www.theawl.com/2012/06/david-lowery-chat

     

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

  26.  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    What encryption? I've never heard of any encryption on Youtube.

     

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

  27.  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Also...you're still using a VCR?

     

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

  28.  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    He's boring...for pointing out the flaw in your argument? Ya know what, I'm gonna keep this page bookmarked. Any time you come up with a nonsensical argument, I'll just link to this and show how nonsensical you are.

     

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

  29.  
    identicon
    trololol, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 1:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    adverage_joe" your boring.

    me: thats not what she said!

     

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

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I dunno. Prof. Goldman suggests the anti-circumvention statutes might be applicable here.

     

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

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 1:39pm

    Re:

     

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

  32.  
    icon
    Ophelia Millais (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 1:42pm

    Re:

    Offering a download button exposes streaming, user-uploaded content services to potential contributory or vicarious liability for copyright infringement when the button is used to make an unauthorized copy.

    Additionally, service providers and software makers who provide a means of bypassing technological measures designed to prevent unauthorized copying (streaming tech is likely such a measure) may be liable under DMCA section 1201(b) for $200 to $2,500 "per act of circumvention, device, product, component, offer, or performance of service."

    To the extent that the RIAA had a hand in crafting the DMCA and litigating cases which support these interpretations of U.S. copyright law, Google could be said to be blocking downloads because the RIAA said so.

     

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

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 1:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    LOL! No. I have SageTV distributed throughout my house. Five tuners and eight terabytes of storage. Plus Roku boxes with Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus. Also do 3-disc plan with Netflix, as well as an avid user of the Blockbuster DVD kiosk that's down the street. Plus have large collection of DVDs that I've bought. No VCRs though.

     

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

  34.  
    icon
    Ophelia Millais (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 1:59pm

    Re:

    Sorry to nitpick, but the word used was "bovine," which means cow-like, not pig-like. It wasn't in reference to Masnick himself, but to what Maria Bustillos characterizes as Masnick's "willingness to lie down in front of the corporate bulldozer" when Masnick implies everyone should accept the reality that people pirate en masse (and thus bulldoze the pro-copyright corporations, if I understand the belabored metaphor) instead of railing against it.

    Still, you're right, it's just ad hominem and hyperbole. Yes, we're "lying down in front of the piratical bulldozers" because we're "like cows". Yawn.

     

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

  35.  
    icon
    A Guy (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 2:15pm

    Those aren't even very good tools. Well, by the time they find the good ones, someone else will have a better method.

     

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

  36.  
    identicon
    mikey4001, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 2:39pm

    Re: Re:

    I actually read that to mean sort of the opposite. It seemed to me that the author was trying to say that the "corporate bulldozer" was a megalithic structure made up of operations like Google, Apple, Verizon, Comcast, and MegaUpload that make billions of dollars by ignoring copyright and facilitating massive content theft (his ideas, not mine). I thought the implication was that Masnick was just a cow laying down helplessly to be overrun by the untamed forces of the Evil Copyleft. I don't think the guy that wrote that has ever actually read Techdirt, or even tried to digest the last 20 years of technological possibilities in any meaningful way whatsoever.

     

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

  37.  
    identicon
    Digitari, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 3:11pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    youtube who? and they have videos??

     

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

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 3:58pm

    Re: Re:

    Google data mines you like crazy and you think that streaming is the *only* thing they owe you in return?

     

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

  39.  
    icon
    Maria Bustillos (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 4:35pm

    Correct.

    Hi, Maria Bustillos here (author of the piece in question; thanks for reading it.) Just for reference my first commercial website went live in 1998, so I am a dinosaur. Always happy to be schooled, also.

    Whatever the public demands can be had. It will require some work to ensure that our cultural commons isn't ruined by the circumstances in which we find ourselves. We need copyright reform, and we need better and fairer venues that will deny monopolies to Google and Amazon, and that will provide fair compensation to artists, musicians and authors.

    I apologize to Mr. Masnick for the harsh characterization. It just steams me that someone in a position to advocate for fairness, as he is, should instead lend his support to the corpocrats who are getting rich off other peoples' work and not sharing the proceeds with artists, just because (for the moment) they can get away with that. We don't have to accept the status quo.

     

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

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 5:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: $3.2 million down the toilet

    It should be amended to read: "Congress shall make no law ... abridging... the right of natural persons and shall be hesitant to make any law abridging the rights of legal persons ... to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

     

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

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:44pm

    Re:

    Aw, did the googlypants not get his daily ration of licked-someone-else's-feet? C'mon, you've got so many sleeping giant artist friends I'm sure you can find someone that'll let you lick their feet, Mr. I-can't-stand-labels-but-I'll-fight-to-the-death-to-defend-them...

     

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

  42.  
    identicon
    Sunny D, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 10:35pm

    riaa

    so i can download a document on how to make a bomb, but not a spongebob video?

     

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

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 1:36pm

    If the RIAA doesn't want me to have it, time to go download it

     

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

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2012 @ 1:05am

    Re: Re:

    You already make a local copy somewhere anyway, that's how the internet works.

     

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

  45.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Jul 4th, 2012 @ 6:42am

    Re:

    That's like holding the person who makes a holster for a gun liable for what the gun is used for!

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This