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RIAA to Sue Individual Users

Discussion in 'Channel Zero' started by EatMorGlue, Jun 25, 2003.

  1. EatMorGlue

    EatMorGlue Senior Member

    Joined: Dec 22, 2000 Messages: 1,919 Likes Received: 1

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A recording-industry trade group said on Wednesday it plans to sue hundreds of individuals who illegally distribute copyrighted songs over the Internet, expanding its anti-piracy fight into millions of homes.

    The Recording Industry Association of America said it hopes to curb illegal song downloading by tracking down the heaviest users of popular "peer to peer" services like Kazaa and suing them for thousands of dollars in damages.

    "We're going to begin taking names and preparing lawsuits against peer-to-peer network users who are illegally making available a substantial number of music files to millions of other computer users," RIAA President Cary Sherman said in a conference call.

    The RIAA believes the popular peer-to-peer services, which allow users to copy music, movies and other files from each others' hard drives, are partly responsible for a decline in CD sales, and has aggressively sought to shut them down.

    But until now the industry has shied away from directly suing users, opting instead to send them online warnings and clutter up the networks with dummy files.

    Some advocates have argued the networks provide a harmless way for music fans to discover new artists, but Sherman and other music-industry figures likened them to shoplifters who steal groceries and other tangible goods.

    A recent court ruling makes it easier to track down copyright violators through their Internet providers, and Sherman said investigators would begin to track down hundreds of users who make their digital-music collections available for copying. Lawsuits asking for statutory damages of $150,000 per count will likely be filed in six to eight weeks, he said.

    The industry will not initially target those who do not allow others to copy their music collections, he said. Music fans who wish to avoid legal action should change the settings on their peer-to-peer software to block access to their hard drives, or uninstall the software completely, he said.

    The RIAA has managed to shut down Napster Inc., the first peer-to-peer service, and several successors. But the trade group suffered a setback last month when a judge ruled that two other networks, Grokster and Morpheus, should not be shut down because they do not control what is traded on their systems.

    "The RIAA, in their infinite wisdom, has decided to not only alienate their own customers but attempt to drive them into bankruptcy through litigation. So therefore they probably won't be able to afford to buy any music even if they want to," said Grokster President Wayne Rosso, who added he does not support copyright infringement.

    Four college students agreed last month to pay between $12,000 and $17,500 each after the RIAA sued them for allegedly operating illegal song-swapping networks on campus.

    RIAA members include AOL Time Warner Inc (NYSE:AOL). Vivendi Universal (NYSE:V), Sony Corp (6758.T)., Bertelsmann AG (BERT.UL), and EMI Group Plc (EMI.L).


    The RIAA's take on it:


    WASHINGTON (June 25, 2003) -- Starting tomorrow, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) will begin gathering evidence and preparing lawsuits against individual computer users who are illegally offering to "share" substantial amounts of copyrighted music over peer-to-peer networks. In making the announcement, the music industry cited its multi-year effort to educate the public about the illegality of unauthorized downloading, and underscored the fact that major music companies have made vast catalogues of music available to dozens of services to help create legitimate, high quality and inexpensive alternatives to online piracy.

    "The law is clear and the message to those who are distributing substantial quantities of music online should be equally clear --- this activity is illegal, you are not anonymous when you do it, and engaging in it can have real consequences," said RIAA president Cary Sherman. "We'd much rather spend time making music then dealing with legal issues in courtrooms. But we cannot stand by while piracy takes a devastating toll on artists, musicians, songwriters, retailers and everyone in the music industry."

    The RIAA expects to use the data it collects as the basis for filing what could ultimately be thousands of lawsuits charging individual peer-to-peer music distributors with copyright infringement. The first round of suits could take place as early as mid-August.

    Over the past year, the industry has responded to consumer demand by making its music available to a wide range of authorized online subscription, streaming and download services that make it easier than ever for fans to get music legally and inexpensively on the Internet. Moreover, these services offer music reliably, in the highest sound quality, and without the risks of exposure to viruses or other undesirable material.

    Federal law and the federal courts have been quite clear on what is not legal. It is illegal to make available for download copyrighted works without permission of the copyright owner. Court decisions have affirmed this as well. In the recent Grokster decision, for example, the court confirmed that the users of that system were guilty of copyright infringement. And in last year's Aimster decision, the judge wrote that the idea that "ongoing, massive, and unauthorized distribution and copying of copyrighted works somehow constitutes 'personal use' is specious and unsupported."

    "Once we begin our evidence-gathering process, any individual
    computer user who continues to offer music illegally to millions of others will run the very real risk of facing legal action in the form of civil lawsuits that will cost violators thousands of dollars and potentially subject them to criminal prosecution," said Sherman.

    To gather evidence against P2P users who make illegal downloading possible, the RIAA will be using software that scans the public directories available to any user of a peer-to-peer network. These directories, which allow users to find the material they are looking for, list all the files that other users of the network are currently offering to distribute. When the software finds a user who is offering to distribute copyrighted music files, it downloads some of the infringing files, along with the date and time it accessed the files.

    Additional information that is publicly available from these systems allows the RIAA to then identify their Internet Service Provider (ISP). The RIAA can then serve a subpoena on the ISP requesting the name and address of the individual whose account was being used to distribute copyrighted music. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), ISPs must provide copyright holders with such information when there is reason to believe copyrights are being infringed. Almost all ISPs disclose this obligation in the User's Terms of Service.

    Music industry leaders, along with an unprecedented coalition of other groups like the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), the Country Music Association, the Gospel Music Association, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), American Federation of Musicians, songwriters, recording artists, retailers, and record companies have been educating music fans that the epidemic of illegal file sharing not only robs songwriters and recording artists of their livelihoods, it also undermines the future of music itself by depriving the industry of the resources it needs to find and develop new talent. In addition, it threatens the jobs of tens of thousands of less celebrated people in the music industry, from engineers and technicians to warehouse workers and record store clerks.

    This message has been conveyed to the public in a series of print and broadcast ads featuring top recording artists. And, in the past two months, millions of Instant Messages were sent directly to infringers on the Kazaa and Grokster peer-to-peer file-sharing networks.


    and that's followed by a mess of propoganda from artists whining about not getting their money. and they even say that every time a file is shared, a new artist won't get heard. what a load of bull.

    how bout this guys: if your music sucks, maybe you shouldn't be getting paid.

    and if you are a company in an oligopoly who artificially inflates product prices, maybe it's the public's right to try to undermine you if they have the means to do so.

    i dunno... just food for thought while i sit in my bunker and wait for the sky to fall. :rolleyes:
  2. Intangible

    Intangible 12oz Legend

    Joined: Jul 9, 2001 Messages: 17,479 Likes Received: 7
    I thought they would have given up already?
  3. Poop Man Bob

    Poop Man Bob Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Nov 16, 2000 Messages: 10,259 Likes Received: 18
  4. -Rage-

    -Rage- 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: Apr 12, 2001 Messages: 11,276 Likes Received: 71
    Whiny bitches.

    Why don't we just ban music all together while we're at it.
  5. ctrl+alt+del

    ctrl+alt+del Guest

    fuck the RIAA, they got me banned from napster back in the day, haha.
    i dont use kazaa much anymore
    from what i read, it sounds like they are only going after users who have lots of files.
  6. Intangible

    Intangible 12oz Legend

    Joined: Jul 9, 2001 Messages: 17,479 Likes Received: 7
    if you take everything out of your share folders youll be safe...just dont tell everyone that it defeats the purpose..
  7. --zeSto--

    --zeSto-- Veteran Member

    Joined: Jul 12, 2000 Messages: 6,979 Likes Received: 2
    all it will do is make more asshats refuse to share their files.
  8. nomadawhat

    nomadawhat Veteran Member

    Joined: Aug 24, 2001 Messages: 5,001 Likes Received: 2

    mission accomplished for the asshats at riaa.....:(
  9. crave

    crave Veteran Member

    Joined: Jan 20, 2002 Messages: 6,728 Likes Received: 10
  10. skaterzoot

    skaterzoot Member

    Joined: Oct 15, 2002 Messages: 501 Likes Received: 0
    what do they consider a lot of music?:confused:
  11. podrido

    podrido Veteran Member

    Joined: Apr 14, 2001 Messages: 9,182 Likes Received: 28
    looks like im gonna have a download frenzy right about now
  12. Æ°

    Æ° Senior Member

    Joined: May 12, 2002 Messages: 1,974 Likes Received: 6
    How are they going to prove I was the one that double clicked the mouse button or even listened to the "illegal" data. I suppose if you own the computer it's your fault, eh?

    Where would "American Rock and Roll" be if it weren't for people getting ripped off?

    Can't we kill a few of these motherfuckers?
  13. The RIAA legal team's intelligence and common sense level has dipped below neanderthal levels. Absolutely insane.

    That said, I do wish I saw more people doing their part to avoid abusing p2p and illegal music trading. Thank God for the iTunes Music Store.
  14. Harpo Marx

    Harpo Marx Senior Member

    Joined: Feb 7, 2001 Messages: 1,525 Likes Received: 3
  15. One_in_Ten

    One_in_Ten New Jack

    Joined: Mar 11, 2002 Messages: 2 Likes Received: 0

    free trade-

    Or soon your buddies wont even be able to play music in the car unless all the riders have payed some one for the listening rights.

    what about dejays like k-slay, green lantern, geta clue, funkysmellin flex. they make millions collectivley by playing copy written material. this all re-dick-u-more