RIAA Files More Lawsuits, Happily Getting The Wrong Message Out

from the incorrect-education dept

No surprise at all, but the RIAA has now launched their third set of lawsuits against those they accuse of copyright infringement for distributing works without the copyright owners permission via various file sharing services. The more interesting part of the article, though, is that the RIAA claims they're convincing people that downloading is illegal. They mention a recent study "showing 64 percent of Americans understand it is illegal to download music." That's nice... except for the fact that it isn't actually illegal to download music. It is most likely illegal to download certain pieces of music, but there's plenty of music out there that musicians want you to download and share. Of course, those musicians generally aren't supported by RIAA-member labels, so the RIAA couldn't care any less about them. Update: Also, according to this other article, among those who had a lawsuit filed against them in the last batch was a 79-year-old retiree who does not own a computer - who had to send a hand written note to the judge explaining that there must be some mistake.

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  • identicon
    Brian M Oldham, 3 Dec 2003 @ 2:14pm

    (IL)Legal Downloads

    Mike Said:
    "...but there's plenty of music out there that musicians want you to download and share. Of course, those musicians generally aren't supported by RIAA-member labels, so the RIAA couldn't care any less about them."
    True.
    Like many independent musicians, I encourage downloading and trading of my material, and allow for derivative works:
    http://homepage.mac.com/sfpanda/index.html#cnu
    A local celtic band, Fiddler's Fancy, has what they call a 'Virtual Demo Tape' on their site. They know that the downloads help create awareness about the band, and get the gigs or help to pack gigs:
    http://cattaylor.com/ffancy.htm
    And their are projects like iRate, that have downloads exclusively from artists that are offering their songs, so no infringing files like on most p2p networks.
    http://irate.sourceforge.net/
    Sigh.
    It frustrates me that people confuse the technologies with the laws - p2p networks and downloading files are not inherently illegal, and their are artists that encourage their works being shared.
    First Side Note - I stopped buying CDs from RIAA artists a while back when this got just too damned surreal for me. The RIAA understands money, so vote with your dollars - don't buy their um, product. Instead, spend those bones on local artists. You'll get more for your money that way, anyhow.
    Second Side Note - I wonder sometimes if the copyright laws are too restrictive, and if they favor big business too much. The thought came to me recently after finding a site called Star Wars Fanworks.
    http://www.starwarsfanworks.com/
    And then I went looking for a similar site that does Star Trek stuff. Couldn't find one, because Paramount has a habit of sicking their lawyers on any fan who dares to do fan art of any kind and put it on their web site, etc; but Lucasfilm lets the fans do not for profit derivative works, so there is a HUGE amount of Star Wars fan audio and film.
    B

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  • identicon
    v0x, 4 Dec 2003 @ 6:52am

    Fair Use Sharing Idea

    Now, IANAL, but what if there was a P2P media sharing app that only shared 30 second clips from your library? With the number of users Kazaa has, and each user sharing a different portion of the song which is then pieced back together... No one would be sharing an entire song file. I believe it may be a legal way to share your files. Any thoughts?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Dec 2003 @ 7:05am

    No Subject Given

    Sorry Mike, the message may be wrong but it's getting the desired results. Until you/they/someone proposes a working solution for both the media companies and the users, the floggings will continue.

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

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 4 Dec 2003 @ 7:51am

      Re: No Subject Given

      The desired results? According to Big Champagne there was more file sharing in November than any other month in history.

      Besides, you're wrong. The solution doesn't have to be for the media companies. Media companies can go out of business if the users don't buy into their vision. The solution only has to work for the users. Then, the smart businesses will come along and figure out a way to make money.

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

  • identicon
    Sad, 4 Dec 2003 @ 4:13pm

    It's sad...

    In the article you linked (in the update) the wife of the 79 year old man was quoted: "There's a mistake in this case," Dorothy Brenot said. "We're innocent in all of this, but I don't know how we're going to prove it." It's really sad that the RIAA can make someone believe that they're guilty until proven innocent.

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

  • identicon
    John Delphia, 9 Dec 2003 @ 4:58pm

    I vote with my dollar$

    I've basically stopped purchasing music for the last 3-4 years. Not that I wouldn't mind purchasing a cd for something like $6-$9 - I feel the music's worth purchasing at that price point.

    My feeling now is to get the music I'll listen to from the source of where I learn of it:

    Now mostly through college radio stations. This is where I hear all the stuff I've desperately tried to buy (and most often failed to find).

    My main problem with the recordings off of the radio is the inability of setting the recordings to go off during the correct time when I'm at work - like the time-shifting capabilities of a vcr.

    There's the sound quality, too of course... But these stations usually let me know the Author-Title of the music so I could purchase it, given I can find the right spelling.

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


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