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Catholic Universities Hand Over Students To RIAA

from the here-you-go dept

theodp writes “Complying promptly with RIAA subpoenas, DePaul University and Loyola University have turned over the names of students who allegedly shared music. By targeting religious universities this time around, it appears the RIAA may have found a more sympathetic ear for their cause. “It’s a Catholic university,” Rev. Richard Salmi of Loyola said. “What you’re trying to help students to understand is that there are ethical uses of the Internet and there are unethical [uses of the Internet]. This is serious stuff depriving people of their livelihood.” Education officials say that universities have no legal obligation to protect student privacy if copyright infringement is suspected, thanks to provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. “ This, of course, follows yesterday’s announcement that the subpoenas were on their way. Also, I wish the person quoted above could demonstrate exactly how file sharing actually “deprives” anyone of their “livelihood”. It’s more about people making economic choices of what to do with their dollars, and choosing not to spend it on music.

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Comments on “Catholic Universities Hand Over Students To RIAA”

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petej (user link) says:

No Subject Given

“It’s more about people making economic choices of what to do with their dollars, and choosing not to spend it on music.”

How can you possibly say this with a straight face?

Like it or not, file sharing is a criminal activity. It is not a right. It is not a choice. These people are not making economic choices, they are making the choice to be become criminals.

I agree that the RIAA should get with the picture, and offer up good, legal alternatives, but that doesn’t make it okay to share music. This whole thing has been turned into a big “movement” mentality, and it’s BS. If we’re being gouged and pilfered, theft is not a road to redemption.

If you want to make an economic choice, listen to internet radio.

reprobate (user link) says:

Re: No Subject Given

criminal? you’re one fuct up individual, dude.
It’s copyright infringement, for crying out loud,
not rape or murder. Also, anything that’s
downloaded and burned onto CD in Canada is already
paid for, thanks to the CPCC levy that was
instituted years ago and which still affects
anybody who uses CD-R media for purposes
other than music (ie, about 80% of the population).
The RIAA lobbied for that bloody levy
for years, and has no qualms about dipping into
my pockets or ANYbody else’s, so why should we
care about them? Oh, and GET A FORKING CLUE,
dingbat! Copyright infringement is NOT a criminal offence.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: No Subject Given

How can you possibly say this with a straight face?

Because I was being completely serious.

Read my comments carefully. I did not say that file sharing was a right.

I was just saying the decision NOT to buy music was an economic choice – and not depriving someone of their livelihood.

Let’s say I went out and spent all my dispoable income on pizza and didn’t spend a dime on music. Essentially, that’s what file sharers end up doing. They spend their money on something else… Now, let’s say I didn’t download any music, but spent all my money on pizza. By the music industry’s argument, I’ve “deprived an artist of their livelihood” because I did not spend it on them.

Newob says:

No Subject Given

petej writes:
“Like it or not, file sharing is a criminal activity. It is not a right. It is not a choice.”

Is copyright infringement technically a criminal or a civil offense? (I.e. If somebody reprinted a book I wrote without my permission, or plagiarized from me, would I take them to criminal or civil court?)

Regardless, file-sharing is not equivalent to copyright infringement. It’s entirely possible to download files that are not copyrighted, or files the content of which I have already legally purchased by other means. Neither is making files available over P2P networks equivalent to copyright infringement, as I have not made copies of them by doing so. Additionally, I am legally permitted to make backup copies of copyrighted material, so that I don’t need to risk damaging my original copy. If I have a vast library of music, it is much more convenient to obtain my backup copies over P2P networks than encoding all the MP3s personally. A vast online library of freely accessible copyrighted material is a boon to artists and enthusiasts, as it virtually guarantees that none of it will ever be lost. Manufacturing a false deficeit in the supply of copyrighted works by imposing an economic hardship in obtaining them, harms those who have little resources by limiting their access to culture, while reinforcing the undue association of money with knowledge, and also unfairly restricting the audience for artists, especially fringe artists who may not have a wide audience among the monied population. Free libraries were specifically designed to assuage this problem.

Copyright was designed to give a creator the exclusive right to distribute his or her own works, for a limited time (originally 14 years, now 75 years, and perhaps virtually forever). This is a good idea. But the US Constitution was written when distributing works was far more difficult than today, plagiarism was harder to detect, and cheap redistribution was a bigger threat. For some art forms, distribution is still difficult, but not for music anymore. Music that is already released cannot be prevented from redistribution. But free redistribution dramatically reduces the threat of third parties making money that is due to a work’s creator. And the ease of digital distribution gives creators more leverage in making money from new works. People will pay for definitive editions of works, released by their creators exclusively, and by necessity there is a lag between the release of artwork and its free redistribution by people who have already paid for it. People are even willing to contribute money when they don’t even really need to. Some artists may even value the ability to release their work for free themselves, to virtually the whole world all at once. This was impossible at the time that copyright in the United States was originally conceived.

petej continues:
“I agree that the RIAA should get with the picture, and offer up good, legal alternatives, but that doesn’t make it okay to share music.”

This is ridiculous. It isn’t okay to share? What do you think fair use law is supposed to represent? It isn’t okay to hear music you haven’t paid for? What do you think free libraries are meant for? Access to libraries hasn’t killed the book market; it makes knowledge more accessible to the masses, and assists in education, which creates a bigger market for books and book creators.

Copyright law needs to be fixed. Currently it is being used to harm creativity, when it was originally intended to encourage it.

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