Dear RIAA: It's Not 'Working Together As A Team' When It's Under Threat Of Regulation

from the do-these-guys-ever-make-sense dept

I've been trying not to respond to every RIAA blog post these days, but it's hard to let certain things go when they so rarely make any sense. For example, RIAA President Cary Sherman recently talked up the new regulations that force colleges and universities to "take proactive steps" to stop file sharing. He goes on to make it sound like universities decided to do this in the spirit of "teamwork" with the RIAA, rather than because they risked serious financial consequences under the law for not complying. He also leaves out the fact that tons of colleges and universities are pissed off and complaining about how much time, effort and money they're wasting on this just because Sherman and his friends still don't seem able to embrace modern music business models. Colleges and universities have enough to worry about without the government forcing them to act as the RIAA's police force. If it were truly about teamwork, Cary, you wouldn't have had to spend so much time getting Congress to pass a law to force them to do this.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Poster, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 9:22am

    Anyone else notice that there's no way to comment on the RIAA blog?

    Anyone else unsurprised?

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

  2. icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 9:38am


    Not even a little bit.
    If ever there were a sign they desire no feedback on their horrid ideas or atrocious actions...

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

  3. icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 10:03am

    Whats funny is ....

    from the Stanford Universtiy residential computing page

    "This growth has diverted a full-time staff position at Information Security Office just to process all of the complaints. Creation of a new full-time position for turning on and off connections may not be far in the future."

    RIAA has just taken in excess of 100,000 USD from the university budget .... why isnt RIAA thinking of the children!!

    Did a little reasearch through Stanford, UC Berkeley, Bowling Green State University, InfoSec (Information Security Office) web sites and network policy sites. Heres what I found VPN software is either allowed specifically or not disallowed, the bandwidth utilization on these networks is continuing to grow. Students at these university are blogging about using web sites like for movies and similar sites for mp3's. VPN is also a topic of discussion .....

    ... and so the evolution continues ... where oh where will it end ....

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

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 10:14am

    What, didn't you know that the RIAA was "working together as a team" with the people it sued to support the artists?

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

  5. icon
    Matthew Cruse (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 10:16am

    RIAA Website

    So, I just got through reading over some stuff on the RIAA website. Under the section labeled For Students Doing Reports the list of lies, half truths and debunked numbers is staggering. I cannot believe that they get away with passing this stuff off as the truth. A few examples:
    1. When you go online and download songs without permission, you are stealing; 2. One credible analysis by the Institute for Policy Innovation concludes that global music piracy causes $12.5 billion of economic losses every year, 71,060 U.S. jobs lost, a loss of $2.7 billion in workers' earnings, and a loss of $422 million in tax revenues, $291 million in personal income tax and $131 million in lost corporate income and production taxes; 3. the record industry was able to discontinue its broad-based end user litigation program. ; 4. Q: What would the RIAA like people to know about the lawsuit program now that it has ended? A:The program was designed to educate fans about the law, the consequences of breaking the law, and raise awareness about all the great legal sites in the music marketplace.; 5. Q: Is it still illegal to download music on P2P sites like LimeWire, BitTorrent and Ares? A:Absolutely; 6. Q: How is downloading music different from copying a personal CD? A:Record companies have never objected to someone making a copy of a CD for their own personal use.; 7. Q: Should devices such as CD burners be outlawed since they are an easy way of making illegal copies of others creative efforts? A: Devices and technology are not the problem. It’s when people use technology to break the law that we take issue. Again and again, we have embraced the technological advances that have allowed millions upon millions of people around the world to enjoy the music we create.
    1. It's not theft, it's infringement, not the same thing
    2. Bogus numbers as has been debunked on techdirt many times
    3. no, it hasn't stopped, as debunked on techdirt
    4. Was not designed for "education" it was designed as a scare tactic (which I guess in a twisted way you could call education, so OK I'll give them that one back)
    5. No there are plenty of free and legal music downloads available via P2P, so just because some music is illegal to download, not all of it is as implied in the statement
    6. Yes, they have. both the RIAA and the MPAA have fought for years to hamstring / break recording technology
    7. I agree with the first sentence, however the second statement is an outright lie. If they could figure out a way to stay back in the cassete deck (non-recordable) or better yet vinyl album days and make money they would. They have vehemently opposed every new technology that came along until overwhelming consumer demand forced them to adapt.

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 10:26am

    Rock and roll, man. Punk. Breaking the law. That rock star's in rehab again. Badass. This other rock star says copyright infringement is cool. Hold the phone!

    Copyright infringement is never cool, or badass, or rock and roll. Don't break the law kids, even if your idols do.

    Stay in school.

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

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 10:37am

    yeah .. stay in school

    that is if your college can still afford it

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

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 10:40am



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

  9. icon
    wnyght (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 10:57am

    Re: Re:


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

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 10:58am


    Oddly, my university used to have this ridiculous propaganda page for students about file sharing that looked like a press release from the RIAA.

    I just noticed that it has been replaced by a still slightly silly, but overall much less absurd, version. I wonder if they just got fed up by being an industry's mouthpiece.

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

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 11:16am

    Please feel free to point out any errors in my understanding of the provisions contained in the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 and the regulations promulgated about a week ago by the Department of Education, but it appears to me as if this is an effort to avoid the formalities and expenses associated with the DMCA.

    It seems to me that this is an improvement to the current system, and not a step backward.

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

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 11:21am


    Yeah, making schools do the RIAA's job for them is not an improvement.

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

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 11:27am

    Re: Re:

    Very well then, stay with the current system that costs much more money to follow and do not whine when your tuition goes up to cover the higher costs than what would be associated with the regulatory provisions.

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

  14. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 11:42am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I see, so we should be grateful that the thugs are making a deal with our landlord that the landlord beats us up instead of them, but only hits us 4/5ths as hard?

    There's nothing wrong with rightly pointing out that it's agencies like RIAA that forced through the egregious abomination that is the DMCA in the first place. The solution is not to to make the schools into RIAA's police force, the solution is to get rid of the DMCA or, barring that, at least fix the worst aspects of it.

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

  15. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 11:44am

    Slippery Slope

    If I rent an apartment in a complex or a hotel room that supplies internet access and I download music from one of forbidden sites, isn't this similar to college students who rent dorm rooms in complex that supplies internet access? If so, one would think that the RIAA could start asking places like these to police their renters. Where will it end?

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

  16. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 11:54am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Please explain how turning universities into the copyright police is LESS EXPENSIVE.

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

  17. identicon
    Steve, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 12:02pm

    Funny thing is that the Universities won't band together to stand up to this bullshit. Between them, they've got MORE than enough money to bury the RIAA in court.

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

  18. identicon
    batch, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Also, explain why you're so special that the school has to create a position for your sake that You don't pay for? Its your problem, you want to play copyright cop, you pay the salary of a person who gets to sit around doing please-someone-shoot-me-in-the-head work all day? Cause that job, its gotta be boring!

    int eth 45
    wr me

    What a fun thing to do all day!

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

  19. identicon
    AngryStudent, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 10:09pm

    I also fail to understand why the schools must do the heavy lifting here, too. They should be spending money of educating. Higher ed is expensive enough as it is, and any money that can go into making it easier for students to get in and stay in should be used for that.

    What I personally have a problem with is that I can get in trouble for file sharing at my uni even if the files I share are perfectly legal and non-copyrighted. The policy tends to be "shoot first, ask questions later" so while it would get cleared up eventually, I'd rather not have to bother with it in the first place. Why do they have this sort of policy? Why, laws like this of course. Best play it safe, after all (which coincidentally is what I was told when I asked "but isn't sharing files legally ok?").

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

  20. identicon
    david, May 7th, 2010 @ 7:45am

    I agree with you on this issue

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

  21. identicon
    Watchville, Dec 4th, 2010 @ 3:39pm

    I definitely agree with you guys! That's so ridiculuous... It's worse than inception

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

  22. identicon
    Tech n Stuffs, Aug 19th, 2011 @ 1:38am


    this one is definitely true. I completey agree on this one.

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

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