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IFPI Threatens UK Academic For Linking To Article 182

Posted by kdawson
from the we're-gonna-tell-on-you dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Apparently the RIAA is getting sensitive about counterclaims. When a British blog author linked to a recent article about a defendant's counterclaims for extortion and conspiracy by the RIAA in a Florida case, UMG v. Del Cid, a record company executive who sits on the board of the RIAA's UK counterpart, the IFPI, threatened the author if he did not take his link down."
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IFPI Threatens UK Academic For Linking To Article

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  • Their strategy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by saibot834 (1061528) on Monday June 18, 2007 @05:28AM (#19548309) Homepage
    Their strategy is not to win those cases in front of court. They just want to scare you by suing innocent people. They want you to think "if that innocent guy got sued, maybe I am next". It's a bit like terrorism.
    • by advocate_one (662832) on Monday June 18, 2007 @05:31AM (#19548313)
      see here [wikipedia.org]
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by rucs_hack (784150)
        so, If I get the RIAA to do this to my refrigerator, it will keep it chilled enough to mean I can turn off the power and save the environment? Sounds good.
    • by RuBLed (995686)
      "Maybe" /. is next. We had after all linked to the (not-so) recent article. (and linked to the blog, and to the notice and to an older /. article)

      Let's see if they would make a threat...
    • Re:Their strategy (Score:5, Interesting)

      by suv4x4 (956391) on Monday June 18, 2007 @05:43AM (#19548387)
      They just want to scare you by suing innocent people. They want you to think "if that innocent guy got sued, maybe I am next". It's a bit like terrorism.

      I'd buy that if they sued grown & guilty people (even if the guilt is about mere sharing).

      But they're frequently found suing kids, or people who never sat on a computer and don't know what an mp3 is.

      If you look at the chain up in RIAA and the organisations like it, you'll see the people carrying out those actions don't always directly have some well thought and sound long term strategy in mind.

      They just want to report that they're doing what "is necessary" to their superiors, and save their jobs for another day. It's like a drowning man who just wants another gulp of air *right now*, never mind looking for ships passing by or reaching the shore or whatever.. That's not as emergent as saving the next minute or so.

      As a counterclaim of the popular "they want to scare you by making examples" theory, I want to ask you: do you know people die every single day in car accidents? Do you drive a car? "It'll never happen to me", right?
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I'd buy that if they sued grown & guilty people (even if the guilt is about mere sharing).

        But they're frequently found suing kids, or people who never sat on a computer and don't know what an mp3 is.

        That's the whole point it's the "you don't want to mess with that guy; he's insane" effect. If someone doesn't seem to care if they get hurt or if they hurt random bystanders or whether any offence is real or imagined, then most people will avoid doing anything that might possibly upset them. It doesn't alwa

        • by suv4x4 (956391)
          That's the whole point it's the "you don't want to mess with that guy; he's insane" effect. If someone doesn't seem to care if they get hurt or if they hurt random bystanders or whether any offence is real or imagined, then most people will avoid doing anything that might possibly upset them.

          So how does a citizen constitute this "messing with the insane guy" activity? By living in USA? The "don't drink at the same bar where RIAA is standing" kinda doesn't work, they'll subpoena the ISP, get the name written
          • by Lockejaw (955650)

            The "don't drink at the same bar where RIAA is standing" kinda doesn't work, they'll subpoena the ISP, get the name written behind the IP and sue you. Just like that.
            Sure it does. They're not trying to say "only use the torrents we're not watching." They're saying "don't use any of them at all."
      • They just want to scare you by suing innocent people. They want you to think "if that innocent guy got sued, maybe I am next". It's a bit like terrorism.

        I'd buy that if they sued grown & guilty people (even if the guilt is about mere sharing).

        But they're frequently found suing kids,

        Well, kids also have media buying power these days. Just because the law draws a distinction between adult and child, doesn't mean that the business world does the same. In fact, there are lots of other examples proving th

      • by clickety6 (141178) on Monday June 18, 2007 @09:33AM (#19549889)
        do you know people die every single day in car accidents? Do you drive a car?

        I do - but now I always wear a seat belt. Same way that when downloading, I make sure I use proxies and encryption ;-)
      • by Phroggy (441)
        Something must be done! This is something, therefore it must be done!
    • Re:Their strategy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by vivaoporto (1064484) on Monday June 18, 2007 @05:43AM (#19548389)

      It's a bit like terrorism.
      No, it is not anything near terrorism. Extortion, racketeering, blackmailing, maybe. But terrorism is a completely different thing. It is because this kind of mislabeling, claiming anything that aims to scare people to be "terrorism", that is so easy for governments all over the world to take away everyone's rights with the excuse of combating it. RIAA blackmailing people is not like terrorism. People discussing ways to blow things up is not terrorism. Disguised people shooting at soldiers in the battlefield is not terrorism.

      I'm as much against RIAA tactics as everyone else. Also, I'm against terrorism and every kind of organized violence. But let's call a spade a spade, all right? Everytime someone misuse the word "terrorism", god kills a kitten and the terrorists win.
      • by suv4x4 (956391) on Monday June 18, 2007 @05:48AM (#19548427)
        Everytime someone misuse the word "terrorism", god kills a kitten and the terrorists win.

        Damn, god's a terrorist.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Joebert (946227)
          That explains the missing WMD.
        • Re:Their strategy (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Opportunist (166417) on Monday June 18, 2007 @06:44AM (#19548691)
          Damn, god's a terrorist.

          Hmm... let's see... giving out vague threats that bad things happen to you if you don't comply with his requests, conducts a worldwide network of followers who would religiously do whatever he requests or allegedly requests, kills people (or makes his followers thinks he wants them to kill people) who he deems enemies, promises eternal bliss to those that die in his name and for his cause...

          Yup, I'd say you're right.
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward
            For all we know, god couldn't give a damn about worship. I wouldn't be surprised at all upon arriving in heaven to learn that god never wanted or intended that we worship him, or anything else for that matter -- that he simply wanted us to respect each other like the human beings we are.

            Requiring worship is the ultimate form of arrogance, and arrogance is clearly a human quality -- certainly god would be above that, right?
            • Well, he did "make us in his image" apparently. Surely that means that he's as human as us?
      • Re:Their strategy (Score:4, Insightful)

        by sepluv (641107) <blakesleyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday June 18, 2007 @06:10AM (#19548517)

        They didn't say it was "terrorism" just that it is like it. It is you who seems unclear about the definition as you say "People discussing ways to blow things up is not terrorism" but then refer to terrorism as meaning "organised violence".

        Clue: At least in its original sense, terrorism doesn't refer to violent behaviour or killing people (that's murder) but threatening to use violence or suggesting that others will cause violence against someone unless that someone does what you want (e.g.: relinquishes their liberty). So, the Bin Laden video tapes are terrorism (incidentally, whether or not they were really by Bin Laden or Al-Qaeda) and the "war on terror" statements of George W. Bush are mostly terrorism, but someone who kills people without issuing a statement before hand is not a terrorist. In fact, for terrorism to be effective, actual killing is best kept to a minimum (although an occasional bit probably helps).

        It can also refer to other things as well as violence (so I'd say that the post you criticize wasn't far off the mark). Basically terrorism roughly means an argumentum ad baculum [wikipedia.org] argumentum in terrorem [wikipedia.org] (more commonly known on /. as FUD).

        • Re:Their strategy (Score:4, Interesting)

          by vivaoporto (1064484) on Monday June 18, 2007 @06:43AM (#19548685)

          They didn't say it was "terrorism" just that it is like it. It is you who seems unclear about the definition as you say "People discussing ways to blow things up is not terrorism" but then refer to terrorism as meaning "organised violence".
          I'm not unclear about the definition, and I didn't referred to terrorism as "organized violence". I said "I'm against terrorism and every kind of organized violence" as a disclaimer to dispel any interpretation that I could be endorsing or condoning violence when I mention that "disguised people shooting at soldiers in the battlefield is not terrorism". Notice that anywhere in my post I attempted to define terrorism or attribute a meaning to it. I only mentioned what terrorism is not.

          That being, most of your post is nothing but a weakly constructed straw man [wikipedia.org].

          I stand by what I said. There is not "original meaning" for terrorism that includes use of minor threats (like lawsuits, ground up misbehaving kids, whatever) to intimidate a person (our group of people) in order to achieve an objective. Check the etymology [etymonline.com] of the world, to understand that terrorism must both be systematic and, as the root of the word implies, terrifying.
          • Re:Their strategy (Score:5, Insightful)

            by jabuzz (182671) on Monday June 18, 2007 @07:23AM (#19548911) Homepage
            Since when was being sued by a multi million pound corporation for a huge sum of money that would potentially bankrupt yourself as a private individual for something you did not do *not* terrifying?

            Given that the RIAA are doing this systematically and a large number of people would classify it as terrifying then by your definition it is terrorism.

            The problem is that you are equating being terrified with physical violence.
          • Sorry, but you don't seem very consistent in your claim to understand the word terrorism yourself, though. You first said:

            It is because this kind of mislabeling, claiming anything that aims to scare people to be "terrorism", that is so easy for governments all over the world to take away everyone's rights with the excuse of combating it.

            With those words, you're claiming that there is more to terrorism than merely aiming to scare people for some goal. However, now you also s

            • Re:Their strategy (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Gordonjcp (186804) on Monday June 18, 2007 @08:07AM (#19549159) Homepage
              Of course, the United Kingdom's definition is also quite useful in arguments, since subsection (1)(b) states

              We've had a lot more terrorism to deal with than the US. We've had decades more experience...
              • by Adhemar (679794)

                We've had a lot more terrorism to deal with than the US. We've had decades more experience...

                The way the British authorities used to treat Northern-Irish catholic suspects, improsoning without probable cause and due process, torturing until they agreed to sign false confessions, etc. was every bit as outrageous then as the current US authorities' conduct now. Two differences:

                • The US seems to have scaled things up a bit.
                • The British did all the torturing themselves. The US outsources this practices more an
            • by bloobloo (957543)
              What on earth makes you think that "the public" excludes non-British people? Moreover subsection 1b is not necessary whenever firearms or explosives are involved.
            • Of course, the United Kingdom's definition is also quite useful in arguments, since subsection (1)(b) states

              the use or threat is designed to influence the government or to intimidate the public or a section of the public, and

              which implies that nothing is terrorism unless it is specifically directed at the UK government or some segment of the UK public.

              I think that in order to support that assertion, you need the word "British" in front of the words "government" and "public".

      • Do as they do... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by PontifexPrimus (576159) on Monday June 18, 2007 @07:08AM (#19548817)
        ...and use emotionally charged words. "Piracy" does sound so much better than "copyright infringement" even though it has nothing to do with rape, pillage and plunder on the high seas; so why not call their tactics "terrorism"? All right, it would mean lowering ourselves to their level - but as long as they are allowed to do this with impunity, why shouldn't we?
        • by top_down (137496)
          The copyright industry can finance media campaigns etc to impress their lingo upon you and make it mainstream. You cannot. So when you use the term "terrorism" for their tactics you might be qualifying their actions, but mostly you are disqualifying yourself as a serious person. You will be merely a radical that can be ignored. Hell, members of the copyright industry might even quote you just as to show how insane the "opponents of copyrights" have become.

           
          • The copyright industry can finance media campaigns etc to impress their lingo upon you and make it mainstream. You cannot. So when you use the term "terrorism" for their tactics you might be qualifying their actions, but mostly you are disqualifying yourself as a serious person. You will be merely a radical that can be ignored. Hell, members of the copyright industry might even quote you just as to show how insane the "opponents of copyrights" have become.

            Ever heard of the Internet?

            If enough bloggers sta

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          All right, it would mean lowering ourselves to their level - but as long as they are allowed to do this with impunity, why shouldn't we?
          Because then we forfeit any right we have to be disgusted by their tactics.
      • Hey... here's an idea: every time corporations misuse the word "Pirate", the people can misuse the word "Terrorist".

        When everyone's a Pirate, only Pirates will fight the Terrorists :)

        I mean hey... Pirates kill people and steal physical objects. Terrorists kill people and create FUD about conducting legitimate activities. Copyright infringers don't kill people, and neither do entertainment conglomerates (well, for the most part in both cases). So, remove the obvious lie, and if copyright infringers ar

    • by mpe (36238)
      Their strategy is not to win those cases in front of court.

      People who actually have a good case have no reason to make a lot of fuss. Those who make a lot of noise probably have weak cases, which they probably weaken by the fuss they make about them. e.g. even if they made it to court the judge might dismiss the case on the basis of the plaintiff's behaviour.

      They just want to scare you by suing innocent people. They want you to think "if that innocent guy got sued, maybe I am next". It's a bit like terr
    • by Divebus (860563)
      Their strategy is censorship.
    • by olddotter (638430)
      Isn't it more like extortion?
  • Obligatory ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by siddesu (698447) on Monday June 18, 2007 @05:39AM (#19548355)
    .... and half seriously ...

    IFPI, the more legal squeeze you put on the people with your ridiculous propaganda and bribed-for legislation, the more will slip through your loopholes ...

    until the day when everyone realises that "intellectual property" thing is itself an excuse that allows you to profit where you should not.
  • protection money (Score:4, Informative)

    by timmarhy (659436) on Monday June 18, 2007 @05:41AM (#19548373)
    protection rackets operated in the exact same way. heavy guy comes in and gives you notice that unless you payup he'll make you suffer. and don't go to the cops ( or in this case, fight back in court ) he'll make it worse for you and everyone else.
    • by sepluv (641107)
      Threatening a law suit isn't a protection racket (although I see the analogy). The reason the RIAA and IFPI qualify as protection rackets is their threats against artists and recording labels (as well as their customers) that don't employ them (or don't follow the party line).
  • So... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Greyfox (87712) on Monday June 18, 2007 @05:42AM (#19548383) Homepage Journal
    When do the RICO investigations begin?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by rucs_hack (784150)
      When do the RICO investigations begin?
      Rico can't help, he's busy leading the Roughnecks, don't you know anything?
    • by gstoddart (321705)

      When do the RICO investigations begin?

      Never. It happened in Britain. They may have their own statutes, but RICO isn't applicable.

      Cheers
  • Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Evets (629327) * on Monday June 18, 2007 @05:52AM (#19548441) Homepage Journal
    I'm all for hating the RIAA, but this article is terrible. Looks like slashdot is getting gamed.

    In only a few months the Net has gone from being a place of freedom were anybody, anywhere regardless of race or creed, colour, sexual persuasion, physical ability or disability, or anything else, had a home.


    1. Gone from to ?
    2. were? or where?
    3. Sexual persuasion? WTF does that have to do with this topic?

    are subject to hate mail as a consequence of hubcap

    hubcaps are causing hate mail?

    How does an article this incomprehensible make the front page?
  • The E-mail Exchange (Score:2, Informative)

    by jellie (949898)
    It looks like his servers are taking a hit, so here's a copy of the e-mail exchange [p2pnet.net] between Andrew Dubber (the academic) and Paul Birch (the music executive). (Stupid lameness filter... I would have posted the text instead.)

    Interestingly, Birch posted a comment in response to another person's question about creating backups:

    Andrew

    Thank you for clarifying these are my personal views not those of the IFPI, RIAA, BPI or others.

    In response to Mark I actually think there is nothing wrong with making a copy for your own use, in a sense side-loading to an iPod or similar is an extension of that use. Under current copyright legislation there is a need for customers to be allowed that facility but without it giving rise to them then making multiple copies for sale. The very specific instrument that allows the one and not the other is the difficulty in drafting any amendment.

    Paul

    Revolver Records

    So he supports fair-use and time-shifting, but not linking to sites on the web. Yay for stupid opinions!

  • I may be wrong ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by DaveCar (189300) on Monday June 18, 2007 @06:18AM (#19548557)
    the RIAA's UK counterpart, the IFPI

    But isn't the IFPI the International Federation of Phonographic Industries?

    I think the UK equivalent of the RIAA is the The MCPS-PRS Alliance [mcps-prs-alliance.co.uk]?
  • I don't get it... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Monday June 18, 2007 @06:50AM (#19548713)
    1. Complain about a blog that makes you look bad and make it known to more readers than it would ever have had.
    2. ???
    3. Profit.

    Now, I don't really claim I understand every move of the mafiaa. More often than not, I do not. But I somehow don't get just how this is in any way beneficial for them. If anything, this information will get spread now. Did you know about that blog before it hit /.? I didn't.

    Now it's on /., probably on digg and probably on even more pages. Listed, and most likely soon copied and spread too. If anything, the takedown notice served as free publicity for the blogger, and even if he should take it down, that story will circulate for months to come.

    It's just like every time. Trying to hush something up is the surefire way to spread it on the 'net. Because nothing is interesting before it's supposedly "forbidden" to know it. Because then, you have to learn it NOW before it vanishes.
    • by Petrushka (815171)

      Now, I don't really claim I understand every move of the mafiaa. More often than not, I do not. But I somehow don't get just how this is in any way beneficial for them.

      A climate of unreasoning fear is beneficial for them. Fear encourages people to settle rather than countersue.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Opportunist (166417)
        In other words, if your reputation is already down the loo, why bother trying to pretend you're the good guy.
    • Can we PLEASE stop using this inappropriately?

      1. Complain about a blog that makes you look bad and make it known to more readers than it would ever have had.
      2. ???
      3. Profit.

      This is only appropriate when talking about ridiculous business models. For instance, an appropriate use would be:

      1. Sue customers for downloading music
      2. ???
      3. Profit

      This story seems to be about public relations and not a particular business strategy.

      • So you consider the business model sensible where you try to make your enemies hush up but instead offer them free advertisment?
    • It's just like every time. Trying to hush something up is the surefire way to spread it on the 'net. Because nothing is interesting before it's supposedly "forbidden" to know it.

      Hey, Alanis, THIS is ironic.
  • by gilgongo (57446) on Monday June 18, 2007 @07:35AM (#19548979) Homepage Journal
    Is anyone else flabbergasted by the BPI chief's statement [newmusicstrategies.com] that "allowing indiscriminate criticism of the RIAA is inappropriate for a Government funded institution"?

    Surely in terms of editorial integrity at least, it should be case that it would be wholly appropriate - if not actually desirable - to criticise a private company if you are being funded by the government?

    Paul Birch of Revolver Records is probably not alone in seeing the government as being simply a tool of corporate influence. This just shows how bad things have got - that people like him now need to make no secret of the fact that they expect governments to work exclusively for commercial interests. I mean, we know that the military industrial complex is now one and the same as democratically elected government in the West, but to flaunt is like this is just staggering I think.

    • Is anyone else flabbergasted by the BPI chief's statement that "allowing indiscriminate criticism of the RIAA is inappropriate for a Government funded institution"? Surely in terms of editorial integrity at least, it should be case that it would be wholly appropriate - if not actually desirable - to criticise a private company if you are being funded by the government? Paul Birch of Revolver Records is probably not alone in seeing the government as being simply a tool of corporate influence. This just shows how bad things have got - that people like him now need to make no secret of the fact that they expect governments to work exclusively for commercial interests. I mean, we know that the military industrial complex is now one and the same as democratically elected government in the West, but to flaunt is like this is just staggering I think.

      Yes I was totally shocked by it. And offended. And outraged. These are some evil people.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dhasenan (758719)
      I'm not sure what 'indiscriminate criticism' is. It sounds like libel or slander -- if there's a valid reason to criticize an entity, then such criticism is not indiscriminate. Or perhaps it's simply criticizing an entity without doing any fact checking.

      In that case, it's wholly appropriate for a government funded institution to be forbidden from indiscriminate criticism of any entity.

      The issue is that I don't see how the professor in question exercised indiscriminate criticism, or actually any criticism --
  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) on Monday June 18, 2007 @08:57AM (#19549519) Homepage Journal
    When will these organizations learn that by trying to suppress this stuff that they only generate more publicity for it?
    • by laffer1 (701823)
      Does it? We see it on slashdot and in blogs. I don't remember seeing it on CNN. The media could change the RIAA by airing stories about what they do and how they accomplish it. If my grandmother saw something on the evening news about the RIAA falsly accusing little girls and grandmothers for CI, I bet she'd start bitching. My grandmother refuses to own technology for fear of identity theft. I blame the media for that. If she knew the RIAA goes after people WITHOUT Internet access, I bet she'd want t
    • by olddotter (638430)
      Some would say generating the hype is their goal. The only defense is if enough counter claims result in damage awards to make a financially painful impact to the companies backing the agencies.
  • It's amazing..... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Stanislav_J (947290)

    Every time I think these dinosaurs have reached an unsurpassable level of outrageousness and chutzpah [slashdot.org], they keep topping themselves. Do they not realize that every time they open their yaps, they lose more and more credibility and probably make downloaders and file sharers even more determined to persevere?

    You know, you can argue about copyright law and the industry's legal tactics until you're blue in the face, but the fact is that the world has changed and these suits are going to have to eventually ada

  • From this article [newmusicstrategies.com],

    As an example you probably saw the case earlier in the week of a Chinese Laundry in the United States being sued for $54M for loosing a pair of trousers, belonging to a lawyer.
    Obviously, it is not only slashdotters who are loosing their minds...
  • Bing's Rule: Don't try to stem the tide -- move the beach.

    Got this fortune cookie from the Slashdot Magical Mystery Slashdot Fortune Cookie Machine for this article. Could there have been anything more appropriate today?

  • ...a Government funded institution

    Seems to me that if there was ever a government funded institution, it's the RIAA member companies themselves, with their ever lengthening monopoly rights over artist created media, and continuing erosion of Fair Use rights.

  • that the RIAA is a USA organisztion so has no power overseas, and that in the UK free speech actually means what is says, unlike the USA where free speech means free until someone with power doesn't like it.

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