RIAA Still Not Allowed To Get Free Access To Scour Your Hard Drive

from the well,-how-about-that? dept

Last month, the RIAA tried to explain to a court why it would not accept a neutral independent examiner’s report on whether or not a particular hard drive from a woman accused of file sharing actually contained the files. Instead, they wanted their own expert to have full access to the hard drive. This seemed to be a surprising claim and difficult to justify. In fact, the last time they tried it, the judge flipped things around and told the defendant that she could hire her own expert and bill the RIAA. In the latest case, the judge has once again turned down the RIAA. The judge has ruled that an independent, neutral examiner should be able to look at the hard drive and report the findings. With the RIAA now getting shot down on this request multiple times, hopefully they’ll stop even trying. It’s hard to see how they could justify such a demand, and about the only reason to want their own expert to have full access is to better intimidate defendants to settle quietly instead of continuing to fight it out in court. Update: In the comments, lawyer Ray Beckerman, who pointed out this original decision, lets us know that the earlier case where the judge let the woman pick her own expert and bill the RIAA was later overturned so that the RIAA did get to bring in their own expert.

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Comments on “RIAA Still Not Allowed To Get Free Access To Scour Your Hard Drive”

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misanthropic humanist says:

Unbelievable tollerance of abuse.

I can’t imagine such a sorry state of affairs as to have non-governmental bodies with no legitimate authority be able to demand your private property merely to satisfy vague suspicionis. To live in a place like that would be no better than having bandits and kidnappers roaming your streets. Surely no moral, upright and patriotic citizen would ever submit to unreasonable search and siezure in the abscence of a criminal investigation. I think America also needs to work on a reasonable system of law and justice.

Come on you Yanks, I thought you were supposed to be all about freedom and the rule of law? Isn’t it about time you pulled your finger out , dismantled these rougue organisations and replaced your courts and judges with something that serves the people?

Yank #1 says:

Laugh now...

Go ahead and laugh and point fingers, but don’t you dare forget that this will wind up happening in your country as well. Not much to turn your nose up at now is there? Any capitalist society will attack those who steal from others. The RIAA also has quite a lot of pressure on your politicians as well! Just look at what’s going on in Russia and Sweden.

And don’t pretend to know about our laws. A judge must uphold the law, regardless of it making sense or not. It’s up to the PEOPLE to make the changes via petition or other means if they don’t agree with a law. Judges don’t make law. But please, by all means, feel free to blame the fat, lazy SOBs that constantly cry about loss of freedom, but aren’t likely to stumble their fat asses to the polls come voting day. I will give you that, hands down, because THAT is currently wrong with this country 🙂

misanthropic humanist says:

Re: Laugh now...

Nobodys laughing. It’s genuinely sad what happened to your country, but don’t make the mistake of thinking the rest of the world has any intention of following your catastrophic example. The talk on the streets of my country and elsewhere in Europe is isolation and distance from the USA. It has been for a couple of years now. It will probably take you a decade to recover from what your government has done.

I don’t pretend to understand your laws. But neither do you if you are honest. They are beyond understanding because they are arbitary and unwritten. They are nothing but the law of the jungle dressed up in pomp as far as I can discern.

What will change that and place the USA back in it’s glorious position as world leaders? To me it’s very simple, you must restore democracy and the rule of law. Then maybe eat some humble pie and apologise to a few people around the globe.

What makes the American a sad and pitiful character to an outsider is your distorted national self image. America “represents” freedom and democracy. Americans “believe” in, and believe that they have freedom and democracy. But the truth is rather different isn’t it?

Good luck to you all.

Charlie Potatoes (profile) says:

Re: Re: Laugh now...

Ah, the arrogance and smug self-satisfied attitude, almost holier than thou. ,
Fine words from, i am guessing here, a nation which would now be the smallest province in the Russian Empire had it not been for us.

we are free to sit here and debate the issue at least…free to say we think the government is composed of a bunch of lying thieves…free to say the leader is a moron and free to vote for change… i’ll dance with who brung me, thank you. and u can kiss my american ass. have a great day..

bigpicture says:

Re: Laugh now...

It’s about the inherent corruption in the actual system itself that needs to be fixed. Who contributes to and funds the election campaigns? So then whose pockets does the politicians end up in?

So then they don’t really represent the interests of “the people”, but end up representing the interests of big business. It’s about a two party political system where the politicians spend more energy trying to thwart the other party, than rationally discussing the issues and coming up with legislation to benefit “the people”.

It’s all about hiding their dirty laundry from the scrutiny and personal attack of the opposition. It is about time this all got fixed, with a “no” party candidate system, and the whoever can spend the most campaign money wins, scenario. There really is no “left” and “right” except in politicians polarized imaginations, there is just what is fair and just, and good for “the people” and society in general.

Fair and just, or the lack of it, is always part of the character of the individual, and it can only be stated as a desirable goal. It’s actualization cannot be realized by any legislation. In the end it is actually embodied, or not, in human intent and behavior.

Matt says:

“Come on you Yanks, I thought you were supposed to be all about freedom and the rule of law? Isn’t it about time you pulled your finger out , dismantled these rougue organisations and replaced your courts and judges with something that serves the people?”

You’ve not been watching our government lately, have you?

The shitty thing here is that there is no outrage left in this country. That most of the people are too unwilling or unable to pay attention to things like that is just another day in America. “Hm. How are my stocks doing. Oh, the Dow’s up past 10K? Good.” “What preservative-laden, high-sodium box of dinner are we going to have for dinner tonight?”

The point is that nobody cares about anything, as long as it doesn’t affect their bottom line. By the people, for the people? Not for a long, long time.

There’s no pulling the finger out now; it’d just take too many people to turn off “Survivor” and get up off of the couch.

The RIAA, MPAA and their ilk all KNOW this. They also know that if they keep trying, that they will eventually land this in front of a sympathetic judge that will rule in their favor.

Roll over and go back to sleep, my fellow Americans.

misanthropic humanist says:

Re: Re:

“The shitty thing here is that there is no outrage left in this country.”

I think there is. But I think its unfocussed. Or worse it’s focussed inwards. Look at the disparaging comments so many Americans make about your own people and country.

I do watch your governmnet, very closely because I rather liked America and believe it once stood for what is right in life. But it makes me very sad now.

I think there was outrage after 911, and I think that now the deception has begun to sink in even the not so smart Americans are beginning to question the boogieman terrorist nonsense and realise you’ve all been had. I think that just leaves the American feeling bewildered and confused, unable to sift truth from lies or good from bad anymore. That is what fear and terror do to you, they confuse.
And being lied to and manipulated undermines trust and self belief.

Maybe you can start to make a change this November.

speexoft says:

Re: Unbelievable Tolerance of Abuse...

Thanks, Matt (& thanks, too, Jimi Spier / below post). Took words out of my head, words I’ve been saying for a long time yet I see ppl are so busy working themselves to death, hatching far more babies that they can keep up with, buying things they can’t afford, living at a frenzied, feverish pace, obsessing about which technological wonder will they purchase next, & how soon should botox be started.

Yes, and rushing home thru gridlock traffic in their 1-person-per-SUV, just praying to make it to the end of this day…. to have time to nuke a good ol’ fashioned artificial prefabbed meal (oh don’t go reading the labels now!). “Food” that never looks like the picture on the carton & yet tastes much like the carton itself — So maybe just maybe they’ll get home in time to plop down on the sofa with supper on lap, in time to catch the beginning of tonite’s episode of “Lost.” Aaahhh heaven…

So with all that racing around one’s mind, multiplied by so many like-minded privileged Americans living a similar dream—How can anyone reasonably expect such good consumer-savvy citizens to CARE about what happens “out there” in the World beyond one’s front door? Let’s be reasonable here… Priorities are bound to suffer.

And big corporations, the “ConglomCo’s”—you’re right, they count on this dynamic. Scary to ponder, but they’ll keep on trying. And trying. Till they can pay off the right judge. Aren’t the ConglomCo’s what’s running the country anyway, not the puppets in the White House? (hint: they’re not that bright;-). Corporations play the Circle Game… manipulate lawmakers who manipulate the public into supporting corporations as they do whatever they deem “right.” And what’s right is, coincidentally, what brings in the highest dollars for them & their stockholders. Right?

And as Jimi Spier adds, so the rest of the world is seeing how F’d-up we’ve become (to which I sadly add): narcisstic, basically lazy, apathetic, self-absorbed, never satisfied but, hey, let others who have time & energy make the important decisions….a nation of babies….grown-ups who know more about celebs boob-jobs than anything that actually matters.

And maybe that only constitutes 200- of the 300-million? ‘Cuz some of us DO care, DO act, DO believe it’s our personal responsibility to track down facts & to make choices based on that, not the daily diet being spoonfed to us, reaching from the tube to the sofa.
Film at 11;-)

It’s no secret, lotsa folks won’t want to hear any of this nonsense (a li’l guilt, eyy?). Thanx for listenin’.


Anonymous Coward says:

It’s funny how everyone’s up in arms about the RIAA possibly overstepping the law and completely ignoring the fact that the people they’re investigating have broken the law. Where’s the sneering scorn for *those* lawbreakers??? (And yes, I’m well aware of a verrrrry tiny handful of cases where the person they went after turned out to be innocent. But innocent people get accused of things all the time– some are even in jail– so the RIAA isn’t the only one that makes mistakes.) I’m not saying this excuses the RIAA from anything, but come on, let’s be fair and equal in our anger at lawbreakers.

MadJo (profile) says:

Re: Re:

It’s funny how everyone’s up in arms about the RIAA possibly overstepping the law and completely ignoring the fact that the people they’re investigating have broken the law.

Where’s the proof?
The way I see it, you are innocent until proven guilty!
The moment you start reversing that, that’s the moment you will have no rights anymore, only duties to perform, pay taxes and bend over for the large companies to scr#w you over…

The only thing that the RIAA has, is a suspicion, nothing more! And you can’t convict people based merely on suspicion. You have to have actual and factual proof. And preferably only proof delivered by an impartial person!

Itsumishi says:

Re: Anonymous Coward

I’m sick and tired of hearing this sort of ignorant stupid response.

It may be ‘the law’ currently. But honestly why do you think that is. I’ll tell you why 4 MAJOR RECORDING COMPANIES HAVE A S### LOAD OF MONEY.

They use this money to buy law.

Downloads don’t infringe on cd sales. EVERY SINGLE YEAR CD SALES GO UP!!! Not down. PROFITS GO UP!! Not down.

And do you honestly believe artists get any real percentage of money from cd sales? They certainly don’t! Artists will make money if either they sell MILLIONS of CDs. At which point the recording companies have already made a F###ing fortune. Or if they do lots of sucsessful gigs. Gigs give artists decent cuts. Merch sold at gigs the same.

Do you think these law suits in which the RIAA sue the s### out of people for downloading 2 measily crappy albums give any money to artists? NO the record companies take all the money from these cases and artists get squat.

To sum up. You’re ignorant and an idiot.

Marshall Brown (user link) says:

Let's quit atatcking each other and look at the pr

Everyone is making a valid point. But we are attacking one another and drifting off the point, pointing fingers at our political differences. What for? There’s nothing worth defending there. Let’s get back on the whole point of the article, concerning the rights of the RIAA to access our hard drives. I am satisfied with the court rulings that steadfastly uphold privacy laws and thwart efforts by the RIAA to be allowed to search our hard drives for whatever they might find. This would be a dangerous precedent if reversed. However, we can’t rest easy; the RIAA will not quit until they exhaust every resource to try to reclaim the slice of the economy it once had. The comment by Jack Turner is a very good point in which he refocuses on an often overlkooked aspect of the wider issue: that music has simply become too expensive for the average person to purchase easily anymore, while the tempatation to use P2P to acquire the same music for free is greater than ever. Who would choose to spend $300-$500 USD per month for CDs when anyone can acquire the same music and much more with ease, simply by downloading it with the net? The entertainment industry has evolved over the last 60 years to such an extreme that they have come to feel they are entitled to the highest and unjustified incomes imaginable. All that the entire recording industy provides us with is music, some of it very good, some not so good. But hardly worth our collectively handing over billions of dollars every year to those that sing, play guitar, drum, hit the right keys, write the music, record the music or otherwsie support the recording industry. I agree with Jack that $8 to $10 USD per music CD is more reasonable than twice that for each CD. Most people want to be honest, but let’s face it: listening to newly released and even older or collectable CDs has become very expensive. However, there are many good and legal alternatives: listening to radio, listening to net radio, subscribing to satellite radio, subscribing to net music like Rhapsody, or purchasing legitimate used CD’s online from other private parties.

Count Porkula says:

Right on posters 1 & 3

You guys have hit it right on the head. I was starting to think there was nobody left here who could see the huge mess we’ve gotten ourselves into.

As previously stated, I think things are too far gone to fix them – at least without a revolution. Hopefully one day people will wake up. But until then, this is *anything* but the land of the free.

Robert Atkinson (user link) says:

Other gorillas do the same thing

While I can’t name the company who did so (it wasn’t the RIAA), this is a normal tactic. In my case, they wanted the entire computer.

Thankfully the legal system is not full of ignorant judges, I think they realize that evidence in a hard drive is very plantable.

In my court case, the judge said that too many years had passed, it was my personal computer, and that I had said all files were given to court. Motion denied.

(800 pound gorilla had to spend the night in the ICU)

Ray Beckerman (user link) says:

Tanya Andersen

If the older case you’re referring to is the Tanya Andersen case, it should be pointed out that the original April 2006 order (PDF) providing for examination by a neutral expert was superseded by a July order (PDF) giving the RIAA essentially what it wanted in this case. So the Arellanes case may be what the RIAA says it is… the first instance of a judge not letting them have the hard drive.

Anonymous Coward says:

Making CD’s less expensive will do absolutely 100% NOTHING to stem the tide of illegal downloading, and it shows a severel lack of thinking to assume otherwise. There are plenty of CD’s in that price range that are readily available online illegally. It’s not about price folks, it’s about people wanting things free. People complained that $4 or so was too expensive for a single, so they decided to get them illegally. Then companies showed up with downloadable singles for $1 or less. Guess what? The illegal downloads are still just as big. If CD’s were $1, which I think we all agree would be very cheap, there would still be just as much illegal downloading.

Now before you all say “No way! I’d buy CD’s if they were that cheap!” let me say that yes, some people would buy them– I’m not saying that no one would– but it wouldn’t be enough people to justify doing (it would take 10 times more buyers to make up the difference). And each of those people who bought would be replaced pretty quickly with more people downloading.

Things are the same in the software industry. I personally know of several programs that were in the $1000+ range and people said they got cracked versions because they were too expensive, and that if the price came down drastically, like to a few hundred dollars, people wouldn’t use cracked versions. Well guess what? The prices came down and it had zero effect on the cracked users. Again, yes, it did matter to a handful of people and they bought the software, but that was a drop in the bucket.

Face it people, it’s not about price. It’s really not. It’s about free vs. ANY amount of money. And free will always win. The RIAA, MPAA and software association knows this, and that’s why they’re fighting. Yes, I fully agree that they sometimes overstep their bounds and/or make crazy statements, but if there wasn’t a problem with illegal downloads it wouldn’t be an issue. And there IS a problem with illegal downloads. The internet just makes it way too easy for people and it’s too hard to resist. Let’s be angry at those people just as much as we’re angry at the RIAA (etc.).

Bank robbers and swindlers have made banking more difficult (you need tons of ID, you have to wait for all sorts of verifications, you have to come up with a zillion passwords, etc.), software pirates have made using software difficult by making companies start using clunky software protection (dongles, license keys, etc.), and illegal downloaders are forcing all of us to have to put up with DRM and other hassles. Don’t blame the “evil” corporations entirely, don’t forget to put some blame on the people who forced the issue. And don’t give me that “it’s not a big issue like the RIAA says,” because illegal downloading is huge. And no, I’m not saying that EVERY download (movie, music, software, etc.) represents a missed sale. But even if only 1% is a missed sale, that’s a ton of money.

Guy says:

Re: Re:

I agree with you i myself download movies shows and some games for the computer…..i also download music but i do that legaly though Itunes b/c 99c is a reasonable price for one song that i like but if i download a game for example the new game battlefeild 2142 you might have heard of it…… i downloaded the whole entire game found i loved it and i went out and bought it for myself the problom i have with just buying a computer game is i have over 100 titles for the pc about 20 of them i never play b/c it’s a bad game periodwhen i spend 60.00 on a game that i think might be good and it turns out to be bad but if i download the game and i like it enough i will go buy it i download alot of movies most of them i have already some i dont b/c it’s do damn exspensive to go to the movies

Anonymous Coward says:

Don’t matter what the hell the RIAA does – don’t matter if I get any music or not, until they die, I refuse to pay for any music.

Cable’s got plenty of digital music, and I got most all the music I’m interested in anyway. I’ve already ripped my CD’s to MP3 and as I don’t use them, they should last a lifetime now.

Up yours RIAA

Anonymous Coward says:

re: MadJo

MadJo wrote: “Where’s the proof? The way I see it, you are innocent until proven guilty!”

The concept of “Innocent until proven guilty” refers to “in the eyes of the law.” I am not the law. I am free to think that these people are guilty. I know they haven’t been proven guilty. But I also know that in reality, they are. The people here seem to have no problem saying the RIAA is guilty of a lot of things, why is it wrong to say the downloaders are guilty too?

But anyway, as I said, in the eyes of the lawy you are right that these defendants are innocent until proven guilty. And the RIAA is getting the proof they need. Regardless, I was just generalizing. Illegal downloading is HUGE. The vast majority of people do it, have done it, or will do it. Yet all I ever hear is how awful the RIAA (or MPAA,etc.) is. As I said, I’m not the police and I’m not a court; we all know that with the ultra-super rare exception, these people are guilty. Could I officially charge them? No, and I’m not. And come on, you can’t seriously honestly think they’re all innocent can you? They may be innocent in the eyes of the law but that’s not what I meant. If it makes it any easier, forget about these specific people and just look at it in general: the people doing illegal downloading should be hated right along with the RIAA. And they’re ruining it for all of us. By forcing the studios to create a huge number of hoops for us to go through to get and watch music and movies the way we want to.

Of course, if you have a better way to structure the entire entertainment and software industry I’m perfectly willing to hear it. Just make sure it’s completely thought out and can be susteained, not just “hey, illegal downloading is free publicity,” because, on the whole, that’s just stupid. And “CD’s cost too much” is also no answer. That’s like those stupid “War Is Not The Answer” bumper stickers. OK, fine, war is not the answer. Care to enlighten us as to what is? And don’t say “peace,” because we were at peace when we got attacked. (Sorry for that bit of OT.)

Verum says:


The problem we have with downloading is that it’s insane to pay $20 for a cd that’s free in MP3 format. Capitalism is about competition, and unfortunately there was no competition when dealing with CD’s until the internet came along. With the advent of peer to peer file sharing the people have shown the record companies that they want their art for free. I think the only thing that could save them is by providing more content on a CD, or scouring the underground daily for some new bands to sign that aren’t all over the internet yet. Maybe that’s it, they need to constantly discover new talent and extort it, instead of focusing on a group for years.

Anonymous Coward says:

I don’t know where you guys are getting these $20 CD’s. You need to go to different stores. Besides, cost does not excuse stealing. Period.

Verum: How do you propose the recotrd companies pay for all of this new talent? How will they pay for the studio time, advertising, distributing, etc.? They do it now from the profits they make. Take that away and you take the companies away entirely. And are you saying they should dump the bands after a certain amount of time? Wow, that’s a real incentive to start a new band.

As for providing extra content on the CD, well, that costs more money and ultimately it ends up online too. There’s no incentive for the record companies to provide bonus features on CDs. Anyway, all it would do is piss off the illegal downloaders even more, because then they’d complain that the CDs cost so much because the record companies put all that crap on there that no one even wants. “I just want the songs, not all of that crap! If they didn’t put that crap on it they could charge less!” See, there’s just no arguing with someone who doesn’t feel that illegal downloading is wrong, or that it doesn’t hurt anyone, or that the record companies are evil greedy bastards.

Here’s my plan: Teach kids that illegal downloading is WRONG. Teach them that it’s stealing. We teach kids a lot of things when they’re young, this can be just one more. But right now the parents don’t see it as wrong except “sort of, technically, but it’s not *really* bad.” No amount of DRM is going to do the trick. I think everyone knows that. But let’s start getting our kids on the right path (I mean from a very young age) and hopefully soon, as they grow up, they’ll do the right thing.

What every one of the “SCREW THE RIAA” people needs to understand is that all of the fat cats at the record companies are still drawing big salaries whether you download or not. The people it hurts are the artists themselves. Honestly.

Wifiguy says:


I am a pirate. I am not ashamed to admit it. The fact of the matter for me is that when I pay for something, I want to be able to do what I want with it, whenever I want to. When I fork over any dollar amount for a CD, I have no rights to anything with it. I can play the CD in a cd player, but I cannot make a backup of said CD. I cannot sell said CD, I cannot even borrow said CD to a friend, as all of these things violate the RIAA’s terms of use.

Fair use is all I’m asking for, and until they can grant me that small demand, I’m not giving them another cent.

To further add disrespect to the consumer on the RIAA’s part, they treat all of us like criminals. I’m sorry, but whatever happened to the days of the customer is always right? You can’t expect your customer base to remain solid when you’re suing them all the time. I can’t buy from something I distrust, especially when half the time the DRM on these purchases can totally cripple my computer (Sony DRM, anyone?)

A lot of things need to change, and the RIAA’s business plan is one of these things in dire need of a change. If they can reverse a lot of the mistrust they themselves have brought upon them, than they just might have a chance at reversing the trend.

Yes, free is always going to win, but in the same token there are a lot of honest consumers out there. I started off using P2P to preview my music and decide if it was worth investing in. Before the whole Napster fiasco, I bought almost everything I downloaded.

Anonymous Coward says:

re: Wifiguy

“I am a pirate.” “… they treat all of us like criminals.” Notice a problem there? And now that I think of it, exactly HOW are they treating “all of us” like criminals? By having copy protection? Excuse me, but that’s pretty lame if that’s what you mean. Banks treat us like criminals too– not trusting us without proper ID. Do you hate them for that?

And let’s get something straight: The RIAA didn’t start this. The situation never would have arisen if people– insanely vast amounts of people– didn’t force the issue by flocking to illegal downloading sites. No one would even know who or what the RIAA was if people didn’t decide to violate the existing laws. (Before Napster, how many people had heard of the RIAA?) Now, because of illegal downloaders, the laws are getting tougher. If you want to blame someone, look in the mirror, not at the RIAA.

Could the RIAA have handled things better? Sure. But that doesn’t excuse piracy. That’s like a bank robber blaming the bank for not having better security. Besides, don’t forget that the RIAA didn’t jump onto these lawsuits as a first response. They tried the nice way. But people have such a deep rooted hatred/jealousy for successful businesses that they decided to ignore that and keep on doing what they were doing. They thumbed their nose at the IRA, gave them the finger and laughed. And now they’re complaining that the RIAA is too much of a bully. Well boo hoo for you. You have no inherent right to get the music how you want, when you want. If you don’t like how music is distributed, too bad. You don’t get to steal just because you don’t like it. And you certainly can’t go complaining about the results of that stealing. Well, you CAN complain, it’s a free country, but you can’t expect anyone to have an ounce of respect for you.

Wifiguy says:

Re: re: Wifiguy

They treat EVERY CONSUMER like a criminal with the shoot first and ask questions later technique. People without internet access or life cannot pirate music, so obviously their detection routines are quite flawed.

I don’t know too many people that sue without adequate evidence as well. So back on task – how many banks do you know demand the bank robber’s computer, plans, etc because they don’t have enough evidence to convict the robber in the first place? Now I’m not talking about what they do to a prime suspect, because lets face it – if they have a suspect they have to have some sort of proof to accuse the person in the first place. A dynamically assigned IP is not proof to me.

It’s for those reasons I consider them the criminals. I’m not saying pirating is right, because we all know that is not the case, but the way they’re handling it right either.

And don’t get me wrong – DRM isn’t a bad thing because everyone has a right to protect their intellectual property – but let’s be responsible about it and not try to destroy the devices the IP is used on.

lucas says:


Maybe you can’t compete with free, despite the claims of a lot of articles on this site.
Maybe record companies are on the way out, because if you can’t compete with free, they have nothing to sell.
Ultimately, who cares?
Yes, downloading copyrighted material is illegal, despite whatever justification you (we?) may have for it. Is that going to stop it happening? No.
A big point the guys at Techdirt are trying to make is that if they can’t compete by selling music, maybe they should start selling something else, using the music as a loss leader.
Record companies: quit complaining that you can’t sell things without suing people, and get on with selling something else. You won’t make piracy go away by litigating. Quit trying. There’s no point. Just get on with finding a better way of making money. I betcha it’ll be easier than squeezing money out of all those criminal customers.

Anonymous Coward says:

re: Lucas

Lucas, you make some good points. But when a law has valid reasons to exist you don’t just give up on it because it’s too hard to enforce. If I want to make music and sell it for money (assuming that people want my music) I shouldn’t be forced to have an additional occupation and use my music as a loss leader merely because the government has given up on enforcing the laws.

We can change the attitude towards illegal downloading if we start by including illegal downloading as one of the things we tell young kids not to do. That will take time though but it works. Thirty or forty years ago we (the US) decided to have the next generation be raised without racial prejudice and with a better understanding of equal rights for men and women. And now we have a workforce with a huge number of women– and women aren’t looked down upon or thought to be strange for wanting a career. And while racial problems aren’t perfect they’re certainly a hell of a lot better than they were before 1970. If you don’t raise a kid to be racist or chauvanistic he probably won’t be when he grows up. Likewise, if kids are rasied to know that illegal downloading is bad, maybe a large part of the problem will go away. The trick is seeing if the labels can survive that long.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: re: Lucas

But when a law has valid reasons to exist you don’t just give up on it because it’s too hard to enforce.

But does it have valid reasons to exist? Increasingly it’s becoming clear that it does not.

If I want to make music and sell it for money (assuming that people want my music) I shouldn’t be forced to have an additional occupation and use my music as a loss leader merely because the government has given up on enforcing the laws.

If the market isn’t willing to pay you for it, then you’ll have to find another way to make money anyway. That’s what Lucas is saying. The world is coming to expect content to be free. That’s the nature of the market, and musicians needs to understand that.

We can change the attitude towards illegal downloading if we start by including illegal downloading as one of the things we tell young kids not to do.

Good luck with that plan. The problem is that kids today understand that it’s not a moral issue, but an economic one.

shableep says:

the RIAA should probably give up and go into advertising. distribution is practically free these days.

if people want to support me for writing music and send me donations for my efforts, or go to my concerts and be a fan, then that’s great.

but if people want to just listen to my music and not support me, not go to my concerts, and generally not care, then that’s cool to. i can’t stop them from doing that. that’s just the reality of it.

i don’t wanna say to someone, “screw you for not having expendable income. you can’t listen to my music”.

stealing music isn’t like robbing a bank. since when is music directly equal to the value of the dollar? since when can you xerox money and spend it somewhere?

look, the RIAA was a necessary part of previous technology. not anymore.

AndrewG (profile) says:

There is no problem here.

The RIAA has been complaining for years but if you look at their over-hyped numbers you would see they’re just blowing steam in order to regulate the market they already own 80% of. I mean, what if other companies owned our US radiostations instead of Clearchannel dictating what’s popular music? I would certainly buy more CDs but they likely wouldn’t be from the giant labels that the RIAA gets all their money from.

The following quote is true for pretty much all of my internet and music savvy friends as well as myself. I mean do you seriously think I would buy 20gb of music that is on the radio everyday? I don’t even think they have enough variety to last me a week without being sick of the same old songs.

“Nor do downloaded mp3 files replace CD buys.

“While downloads occur on a vast scale, most users are likely individuals who would not have bought the album even in the absence of file sharing,” stated Oberholzer and Strumpf.”

(scroll haflway down for the actual facts)

Somewhat older but it shows the start of what it still currently going on. Of course the RIAA still denies it’s from their crappy selection of music…

Monarch says:

The Anonymous Coward posts are so ignorant I believe he is an RIAA Shill.
First off, downloading music or anything is NOT STEALING!!! It is COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT!!!
Second, teaching kids it is stealling is wrong, as you are teaching them an untruth.
Third, studies have shown that the majority of people who purchase the music legally are also the MAJORITY of those who download the music, which brings me to the last point.
Downloading music is technically NOT illegal, nor is it stealling. What is illegal is distributing the music. That is where the copyright infringement is coming from. So in other words, if you download something, you are not stealling, you are just downloading, the infringer would be the one uploading the music illegally!!!
Now, breaking DRM, either by a crack or false key IS illegal via the DMCA.

Beggin From the Man says:

O come on

Independence is the only way here. And that is if it is indeed illegal – a point that Monarch rightly challenges.

I think in the spirit of the law it is stealing. You are getting something for free that was not intended to be free.

But having the plantiff search your hard drive? Come on! The least that could be done for a lawsuit is to have an independent organization search it. Kinda like the fox in the hen house, right?

I also agree with the article – the intent is to have you settle and to keep down costs so that the plantiff can bring even more lawsuits based on an “infringing IP”.

And don’t downplay the innocent. The innocent should have their rights protected. Any downplay of that puts you and your granny taking care of your teenagers at risk with no recourse other that ponying up a couple of grand to a lawyer to defend herself.

This is a power play by the immensely powerful RIAA. Make no mistakes, and have no illusions about it. They have much more power than some small town lawyer defending granny. We should be thoughtful about that EVEN if it means airing on the side of “allowing such terrible behavior”.

The judicial system needs to protect the rights of the innocent. And as it stands – it simply doesn’t. Granny WILL pay to settle. Granny will have to deal with some legal implications even if some drive by hacker used her IP to upload songs after you set her wireless access up with no password because you didn’t know what the hell you were doing ( ironically this is also the reason your teenagers were with her in the first place).

IP addressing is imperfect as a means of selecting who is responsible. So whats it gonna be – air on the side of your granny? Or rightfully and dutifully protect the rights of INDUSTRY – and F Granny?

Anonymous Coward says:

i bet the people who say “tell little kids downloading music is illegal” are also the ones who believe “just say no” to drugs, smoking, alcohol or sex really works as well.

hummm…how many kids are hooked on smoking? have had sex/teen pregnancies/stds? how many kids get hooked on pot? see telling the young won’t do any good.

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