RIAA Tries To Make Deals With ISPs To Hound Customers Into Settling Earlier

from the how-nice-of-them dept

When the RIAA first kicked off its backwards-thinking plan to sue music fans who were engaged in unauthorized file sharing, it did so by just getting court clerks to send subpoenas to ISPs demanding info on who controlled specific IP addresses. There were concerns about whether or not it was fair for the RIAA to do so without filing a real lawsuit and having a judge approve the subpoenas. Eventually, Verizon went to court to fight the RIAA on this and won. If the RIAA still wanted info on users, it needed to file "John Doe" lawsuits and then subpoena the info. This is exactly what the RIAA has been doing -- but it's been expensive, and the number of mistake lawsuits is beginning to get costly. So it appears that the RIAA is now moving on to plan B. Ray Beckerman, a lawyer fighting against the RIAA on some of these lawsuits has received a leaked letter that some RIAA-associated lawyers have been sending to ISPs to try to get them to cooperate and get users to pay settlement fines before the RIAA files lawsuits.

The letter says that the RIAA will be starting a new program that will let ISP subscribers settle early (at reduced rates!) if the ISP agrees to hold onto its log files for at least 180 days. Many ISPs don't keep the data that long as there's no good business reason to do so (though, the US government may force them to before too long). Basically, this is just an attempt by the RIAA to get ISPs to hang onto more info for the RIAA's sake -- and to try to have ISPs put pressure on subscribers to just pay up, rather than go to court where it can be pointed out just how flimsy the evidence is. Oddly, it also seems to be blaming the ISPs for all of the embarrassing mistakes the RIAA has made in its lawsuits lately -- and asking that they please stop identifying the wrong customers. Of course, what many people don't remember is that this isn't the first time the RIAA has tried this. Back in 2004, soon after the RIAA lost to Verizon, it tried a similar tactic of getting ISPs to agree to hand over info on their subscribers without a subpoena -- but most ISPs realized that there was no good reason to do so. Hopefully, the past few years haven't changed the minds of ISP execs. If not, it seems like some ISPs are likely to get some bad publicity once it comes out that they've rolled over for the RIAA.
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  1. identicon
    Bumbling old fool, 13 Feb 2007 @ 1:37pm

    In Related news....

    The RIAA has offered a 100% discount on pre-suit settlements for customers of ISPs who start expiring IP leases every hour and discard all logs.

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

  2. identicon
    ., 13 Feb 2007 @ 2:24pm

    Sadly the idea of expiring leases and discarding all logs would allow spam to thrive, and ISPs with this policy would find themselves on every blacklist out there.

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

  3. identicon
    young junky, 13 Feb 2007 @ 3:08pm

    I agree with you #2, ya damn jebmeister

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

  4. identicon
    Bumbling old fool, 13 Feb 2007 @ 3:25pm


    Lies, lies all lies.

    That wouldn't have even the slightlest impact on spam.

    And go ahead and blacklist all the ISPs. Then your own customers would find themselves unable to communicate with those they desire to communicate with, and they would find an alternative that does not involve you.

    As per the long term viability of email... You do realize its not going to survive the next ten years in its current form right?

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

  5. identicon
    Cyryl, 13 Feb 2007 @ 4:00pm

    #4 is wrong.

    It would have a HUGE impact on spam. AS WELL AS any other application that would require specific routing parameters. Apparently you have no understanding of even the most basic of networking principles.

    The reason that spam WOULD thrive is because we (the IT industry...) use filters to BLOCK it. Many of these filters are created and built with the assumption that the IP's that we are either BLOCKING or PROTECTING are STATIC IP's. If those IP's are NOT static, then we would either NOT be able to protect those machines OR we would have to block entire RANGES of IP's or entire IP pools in order to protect those machines from the spam.

    In a DHCP environment, one can not safely assume that each machine is protected. It is INVARIABLE and INEVITABLE that spam will get through much more often when either the machine releases the IP or the lease on the IP expires. (In which the machine could very well obtain a NEW IP if the network is set up to issue a NEW one every time the lease expires.)

    It is common practice to make networks STATIC. (At least in the corporate world...) But there are still thousands upon thousands of networks that ARE DHCP. (Either because they are small office networks who don't concern themselves with advanced network...or because the IT staff are overpaid IDIOTS.)

    You need to think a wee bit harder before running your mouth about something that you obviously don't understand.

    As for the blacklisting of ISP's... He was saying that the customers WOULD blacklist the ISP's. This would only put EVERY ISP that exists under these circumstances between a rock and a hardspot. They would have to figure out who to please.

    The RIAA or the customer? Do we do as the RIAA asks and make our money off of them...therefore ignoring the security of EVERY ONE OF OUR CUSTOMERS BY EXPOSING THEM TO MORE UNWANTED CONTENT...or do we care about our customers and IGNORE the RIAA and it's silly, selfish request and give them the security (AND PRIVACY) that they deserve?

    Either way they will only most likely create more lawsuits for themselves. Sucks to be them in the middle of all of this right now. Best to please the MANY than the ONE. (It's really an easier-to-make decision than it sounds...)

    As for e-mail... *shakes head in disgust* E-mail is here to stay. Just because YOU may not find it useful does not mean that the majority of the population will agree with you. E-mail is still as heavily used as it ever was. Business use it. Families use it. Just because it's not REAL-TIME and IMMEDIATE like IM's or TM's are doesn't mean that people out there don't find it useful to just leave a message for their respondant to find at their leisure. There is (and always will be) content and data that is still BY FAR more efficiently/effectively transmitted by e-mail.

    Please don't comment any further. Your ignorance makes my head hurt.

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Feb 2007 @ 4:33pm

    Re: #5 is wrong.

    Wow! wtF are you smoking?

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

  7. identicon
    Bumbling old fool, 13 Feb 2007 @ 4:48pm

    Re: #4 is wrong.

    Hi Cyryl,

    Thanks for the humor. (you werent really serious were you? cause you scare me if you are)

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

  8. identicon
    Dosquatch, 13 Feb 2007 @ 6:19pm

    Re: #4 is wrong.

    It is common practice to make networks STATIC. (At least in the corporate world...)

    Yeah... wha? No. Really, just... no. What do they smoke on your planet? I've been working in IT for a long time. Corporate networks are dynamic. No sysadmin in his right mind is going to try to maintain static addressing on more than a couple dozen machines, much less an organization with hundreds or thousands of devices. And any devices that do need a static address, like a network printer, are typically assigned with a MAC reservation.

    Why? Why resort to manually looking up what address is free several hundred machines in when a server can do that for you? The reality is that you automate as much as you can. Virus updates, software deployments, addressing, filtering, backups, network inventory, not because we are "overpaid idiots", but because there simply aren't enough hours in the day otherwise.

    And that's even after we show up before you do, are still there after you're gone, are in on major holidays to do the BIG upgrades while you're choking down turkey with the kinfolk, are on emergency call at 2AM because my server detected an alarm condition and is smart enough to call me automatically so as not to inconvenience you when you stroll in at 8:30, and so on and so forth.

    And, in amongst the 60 and 70 hour workweeks, we still manage to read trade rags and take extended education or recert courses to stay abreast of what's new and interesting on the horizon, or vile and threatening to the present.

    Not that anybody appreciates such things that go on to make their job run smooth.

    So when you stroll up to his desk and it looks like he hasn't had more than two hours sleep, it's because he hasn't. And if it looks like he's holding on to his coffee mug like it's life itself, it's because it is. And if it looks like he's wearing the same thing as he was yesterday, there's a good possibility that he never went home because he was rebuilding the enterprise database that somebody helpfully cold rebooted because their report wasn't running fast enough. And when, after all of this, he seems just a little too persnickety when you tell him you've forgotten your password for the 3rd time this month, tell him that you think he's an overpaid idiot.

    Just know he thinks pretty much the same of you.

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

  9. identicon
    Vaximily, 13 Feb 2007 @ 7:04pm

    Re: Re: #4 is wrong.

    Oh thank GOD, someone with a brain.

    The comment about "major corporate networks use Static IP addressing schemes" put me on the floor laughing. What in the HELL was this guy smoking?

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

  10. identicon
    Dirty Balls, 13 Feb 2007 @ 7:43pm

    #6 has shit stains

    intellectual sexual....no more porn for you.
    boo hoo

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

  11. identicon
    loupgarou, 13 Feb 2007 @ 7:56pm

    erm, major corporations use static IP addressing schemens for their WAN, blacklists do not care about dhcp on the intranet (which uses the private address block).

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

  12. identicon
    moe, 13 Feb 2007 @ 11:10pm

    Re: #11

    Somone finally got it right - it only took #6-#10 to make the same mistake in logic before someone who understood what Cyryl was talking about. IP addressing is static where it counts (the WAN), and that's where alot of the filtering is done.

    Now to the topic at hand: I actually see RIAA trying to use this to scare people into paying. "You can settle now for $XXX, or we can go to court and we'll subpeona the last 6 months worth of information about your internet connection."


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

  13. identicon
    Sandy, 14 Feb 2007 @ 5:38am

    b-bye RIAA!

    The RIAA's days are numbered! People are starting to switch to encrypted file-sharing solutions such as GigaTribe ( http://www.gigatribe.com ), which hide all exchanges and downloads. Once everyone starts using these types of software applications, they won't be able to sue anyone anymore!

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

  14. identicon
    Chris, 14 Feb 2007 @ 12:34pm

    Re: b-bye RIAA!

    And encrypted browsers, like torpark

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

  15. identicon
    |333173|3|_||3, 14 Feb 2007 @ 6:21pm

    Home users have dynamic IPs too, stupids, especially if they are on ADSL(2+), to save the ISPs money. THis means that thier IP addresses change everytime they reboot thier modem, which, if they use mostly one computer, is likely to be every day, when they swith off the powerboard with all thier pieferals on. Remember that spammers use things like botnets and IP spoofing to protect themselves.


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

  16. identicon
    ScytheNoire, 15 Feb 2007 @ 2:31am


    GigaNews lets me download via usenet using SSL. that's a Giga that my ISP can't see the info I'm downloading and is fast as hell and works.

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

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