File Sharing At Work Scaring Employers
from the stop-it-all-now dept
More and more companies are cracking down on employees who use file sharing apps while at work. Some are afraid of exposing internal documents to the outside world, or some other type of security breach that the sharing products might allow. Others are simply worried about the liability issues of their employees trading music. The RIAA, of course, would like companies to be scared to death that they might come knocking on your door to take away your employees MP3s and fine you millions of dollars (as they’ve done once before). Does anyone else think this article reads like a script from a PR campaign from the RIAA designed just to scare some companies?
Comments on “File Sharing At Work Scaring Employers”
No, I think it sounds reasonable...
in the sense that it’s pointing out that companies may want to avoid the liabilities incurred from allowing employees to use their equipment to steal music and software, not to mention the lost productivity and bandwidth issues from legions of Napster fans screwing around during work hours.
However, I doubt that this argument will be taken seriously by Mike, who seems to feel that copyrighted content should be free of the fetters and obstructions that companies might like to put in place to protect their IP and stay in business. Face it, folks: online piracy IS a problem, and innovation and creative will eventually begin to suffer if the file-sharing bonanza is allowed to continue.
Re: No, I think it sounds reasonable...
Actually, you really shouldn’t make assumptions. I have no problems with companies blocking the usage of such programs. They can do what they want.
I think things like forcing a company to pay a fine because they had an *internal* mp3 server is a little silly.
As for your last point, that really has nothing to do with the argument at hand, but there’s pretty much zero evidence that what you claim would actually happen. In fact, most musicians I know still get excited that anyone out there gets to hear their music at all. They do seem to like to do it for the music – and not necessarily for the big bucks that they’ll add to the record company coffers.
Re: Re: typical argument
Ah, here we go, the argument that always seems to predominate in these discussions! “The record/software companies and studios are rich, therefore it’s OK to steal music/software/movies online.” And if a company has an “internal” MP3 server that houses copyrighted music files, does that make it legal? Oh, I know: The company with the illegal mp3 server is actually *helping* the industry by exposing its employees to new music, which causes them to go out an by *more* CDs. Right?
Re: Re: Re: typical argument
Or maybe what Mike is saying is that having an internal mp3 server isn’t that much different than bringing in a bunch of CDs to work and letting co-workers borrow them. In fact its way more efficient, no more people coming by the cubicle asking to borrow the new Britney Spears disc. Just point them to the server and get on with your work.
Re: Re: Re:2 typical argument
yeah, that would seem to make sense. But the legal issues are clear: If the company is using one of its machines to host mp3 files, and the *only* one who downloads those files from it is the original CD owner, then it’s legal. But come on now, we all know that’s rarely the case. Whether it happens within a small group, internally — or on peer-to-peer services on the external Net — sharing of copyrighted files is ILLEGAL under current law. Not saying the law is right, but that’s the way it it. If you don’t like it, lobby to have the law changed. But don’t provide empty arguments to justify digital theft.
Re: Re: Re:3 typical argument
Other than the ‘screwing around at work’ point, which is valid, having an internal server is a non-issue. In the first place, nobody outside the work group is ever going to see it. But my main point is that it doesn’t constitute prima facie evidence of copyright violation anyway. On an internal company network, I can see many, many shared drives, some containing copyrighted software. It’s not a copyright violation unless I make an unauthorized copy.
Re: Re: Re:3 typical argument
Actually, tragically, the legal issues aren’t that clear. It’s completely arguable that these are fair use uses.
Anyway, you keep claiming my arguments are “empty” or simply insulting me… and yet, you provide very little to back up your arguments.
Do you happen to work for a record label?
My point from the beginning of all this has simply been that the music labels themselves are being incredibly shortsighted in going after people like this. All they are doing is pissing off their own users. I’ve said it a million times. That’s a bad and very dangerous business model. Obviously, you disagree. I hope you work in a business that makes it’s money by pissing off it’s customers.
Re: Re: Re: typical argument
Think of the last 3 CDs you bought… did you hear at least one of the songs before you bought the CD or did you just randomly choose those CDs? Hearing the song(s) first helps sell CDs. This is way record companies release songs to radio stations BEFORE the album hits the store. It helps build up an interest in the album. Same holds true with mp3s. You hear the song and if you like it you can go out an buy the CD. It doesn’t mean you will. Some people are happy to just copy the mp3 or the CD. Others are looking for new music and are collectors. I was listening to The Crystal Method, Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim and Mark Farina long before they became popular (Mark hasn’t quite made it yet…). I credit mp3s and internet radio for their introduction. Top 40 radio wasn’t big on playing Crystal Method back in 1997. It took about about 2 years before “Busy Child” caught on.
Re: No, I think it sounds reasonable...
> in the sense that it’s pointing out that companies may want to avoid the liabilities incurred from allowing employees to use their equipment to steal music and software, not to mention the lost productivity and bandwidth issues from legions of Napster fans screwing around during work hours.
True enough. I think most companies greatest concern would be loss of productivity and disclosure of sensitive information. For this reason alone I’d understand blocking file sharing services.
>However, I doubt that this argument will be taken seriously by Mike, who seems to feel that copyrighted content should be free of the fetters and obstructions that companies might like to put in place to protect their IP and stay in business.
Mike doesn’t say in this article that corporations shouldn’t block access. He simply says it’s happening and states that he feels RIAA is going about things the wrong way.
>Face it, folks: online piracy IS a problem, and innovation and creative will eventually begin to suffer if the file-sharing bonanza is allowed to continue.
My TV and my newspaper continue to tell me it’s a problem but I’m still not seeing the problem. I was collecting MP2’s back in ’95. I hear how each year the recording instudry is making more and more money over the previous year. I’m hearing that sales records are being broken left and right. From 1995 to 2000 (I don’t know about 2001 or 2002) music sales continuously increased. Now that we’ve hit a recession the industry complains that p2p networks are the cause for their sales slump. I think the high unemployment rate might have something to do with it. Business does not always expand without a contraction here and there. How does RIAA know I’d buy the album that contains the song I just downloaded anyhow? How do they know I don’t already have the album but I’ve chosen to download it because the album is not with me or I don’t know how to make an MP3?
As for software… They used to tell us that the reason software was so expensive was because they factored in the cost of piracy. If piracy wasn’t taking place the cost would come down. Where’s the problem here? Is the BSA so concerned about my wallet that they’ve mobilized the software heavyweights to help me? I don’t think so. They’ve already covered their losses with their prices.
I don’t know how many times I’ve said this but I’ll say it again… How is file sharing (application or music) different than the library? I can go to my local library and borrow the NY Times best sellers and read them for free. When I’m done I return them. If I feel the need to read them again I can borrow them once again… for free. The library didn’t put an end to writing or storytelling or the creativity behind the stories.
Face it… online piracy is not the problem it’s made out to be. True innovation and creativity will continue regardless of sharing (by any means) or wealth. After all… how else can you explain Linux.
Where's it all going ?
The screwing around point is valid, but an internal MP3 server would be a great service to CD sharing coworkers wasting time looking for their CCR CD when they lose it.
And where is it all going to go ? Is it illegal for me to buy a CD and listen to it with my friend in the car ? Obviously he didnt pay any money but gets to enjoy the CD free of charge.
Plus your point about how there is going to be real problems if this “file trading bonanza” is allowed to continue is null. File Trading has exsisted for years and years and I have never read one report of a record or software company going out of business as a direct result of piracy.
The genie is so far out of the bottle he wouldnt even be able to spell bottle if you asked him. Nature’s highest law is adapt or die and companies need to start exploring this avenue.