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RIAA Admits SOPA Wouldn't Have Stopped Piracy 153

Posted by samzenpus
from the lost-cause dept.
jfruh writes "One of the arguments against the now-dormant SOPA legislation was that, in addition to eroding Internet freedom, it would also be ineffective in stopping music piracy. Well, according to a leaked report, the RIAA agrees with the latter argument. The proposed laws would 'not likely to have been an effective tool for music,' according to the report. Another interesting revelation is that, despite the buzz and outrage over P2P sharing, most digital music piracy takes place via sneakernet, with music moving among young people on hard drives and ripped CDs."
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RIAA Admits SOPA Wouldn't Have Stopped Piracy

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  • ...duh?
  • by HornWumpus (783565) on Monday July 30, 2012 @12:35PM (#40819191)

    I almost feel guilty every time I make a copy for someone. Almost.

    Gotta upgrade to USB3. Copies take days.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 30, 2012 @12:42PM (#40819287)

      Don't.

      Make the labels feel guilty for making such a system possible by not upgrading their ways.

      They are the ones who actually came out and straight-up said they don't give a damn about the digital age and won't support it, and will do anything in their power to destroy it.
      Megaupload was the most successful thing they have ever had against such a digital service.
      Of course, now the evidence is piling up that the entire case was illegal to begin with and not a single shred of evidence was in their favor in the slightest.

      Just keep spreading around that the labels are corrupt, make as much noise as possible and let the artists themselves know about it.
      They are the ones who need the most help.
      They are the ones who are duped in to thinking the labels are even needed anymore. It was true over a decade ago, not so much now.
      The labels job as-is is completely useless for any artist. You could take them out and artists, choreographers, singers, bands, CG modellers, stores, printing companies and so on could still find each other pretty damn easily.

      Maybe one day we will have a world where creative content is free of these restrictions and it is loyalty that is rewarded.

      • by characterZer0 (138196) on Monday July 30, 2012 @12:53PM (#40819399)

        The labels are not needed for the artists, but they are needed for the entertainers. Do you really think Justin Beiber would have gotten anywhere without a billion dollar marketing machine? With independent artists, music would be about the music and people would find the music they like. The marketed entertainment industry dwarfs the music industry, and that is what they are fighting for.

        • by cfulton (543949) on Monday July 30, 2012 @01:11PM (#40819637)
          Once again the "Free Market" prevails. We have Justin Beiber instead of good music. Thank God! Who would want a world in which talented creative people are well rewarded for their work and untalented teen age boys were simply teen age boys instead of semi-iconic sex idols for prepubescent girls. I for one happily bow to the marketing overlords.
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by DNS-and-BIND (461968)
            And yet, if marketroids were geeks, they'd be hailed as successful culture hackers. But they're not part of Us, so they are reviled among Polite Company[tm]

            Here's another thought: maybe some people out there are different from you, and prefer different forms of entertainment. Nah, crazy idea. We all love NPR, don't we? Every last one of us. I mean, if you don't love Peruvian hick music...I mean folk music...then you're hardly a person, eh?

            • And yet, if marketroids were geeks, they'd be hailed as successful culture hackers.

              Only if they actually hacked the culture in a fun and interesting way.

              Based on their past and current performance, I don't see that happening anytime soon.

            • If marketroids were 'successful culture hackers' they would pick on adults.

              All they do is sell junk to dumb children. Southpark nailed it. Don't mess with Mr. Mouse.

        • by Baloroth (2370816) on Monday July 30, 2012 @01:45PM (#40820027)

          Justin Beiber wouldn't be popular unless a lot of people actually liked his music, as hard as that is to believe. A result of marketing he may be, but they are marketing something people clearly want. The fundamental problem is most people have terrible taste in music. The labels are just pandering to that.

          • by characterZer0 (138196) on Monday July 30, 2012 @01:52PM (#40820129)

            People do not want good music. People want to be popular. Entertainment marketing is about convincing people they will be popular if they like (and purchase) a particular kind of entertainment. The trick is producing entertainment watered down enough that you can get a large number of people to not hate it.

          • by equex (747231) on Monday July 30, 2012 @01:56PM (#40820165) Homepage
            Justin Beiber is what people want, because it is marketed that way. People don't just have a terrible taste in music, they are also willing products of the marketing industry. (aka fashion)
          • by Anonymous Coward

            They are TELLING people what they want. The people are just too alarmingly retarded to tell the difference. Sad truth

          • by Genda (560240)

            And Pavlov was able to get dogs to drool when they heard a bell... your point is?

          • by CastrTroy (595695) on Monday July 30, 2012 @02:25PM (#40820433) Homepage
            Not only that, but Justin Beiber (going from info on his movie) actually had to go around the standard labels and get popular by putting videos up on YouTube and touring around the US doing concerts at highschools and county fairs as well as doing radio appearances. This is because the labels didn't think music from a 16 year old boy would sell, especially from a person that was previously unknown for anything. By the time he had an album released, he already had quite a following. There's a million examples of artists that are the result of the music industry marketing machine. Justin Beiber is probably one of the worst examples you could pick.
            • This is because the labels didn't think music from a 16 year old boy would sell, especially from a person that was previously unknown for anything.

              And this after how many decades of "boy bands"? One could argue that The Beatles are the original boy band, although they actually had some amount of talent. Certainly it wasn't much less than 20 years ago when boy bands really became popular.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            Justin Beiber wouldn't be popular unless a lot of people actually liked his music, as hard as that is to believe. A result of marketing he may be, but they are marketing something people clearly want. The fundamental problem is most people have terrible taste in music. The labels are just pandering to that.

            Exactly right. If you went to some English-speaking desert island where they've never heard of Justin Beiber and you played a teenage girl his music, and some 'indie' artist's music and you asked her

          • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Monday July 30, 2012 @03:36PM (#40821245)

            Justin Beiber wouldn't be popular unless a lot of people actually liked his music, as hard as that is to believe.

            No, I think most people dislike Justin Bieber. It just happens that the very specific demographic that likes his music is also a demographic that has nothing but disposable income, oodles of time to waste listening to bad music, immature musical tastes, and a greater need to follow the crowd than any other age group. Their customers are fools with nothing they're saving their money for. That makes it the most profitable sector of the music industry, and that's why they're the most influential.

            It has nothing to do with popularity among most people.

        • by jxander (2605655)
          I fail to see the downside.
        • Yes but the Beiber's of the world are grown by the record labels, for the record labels, instead of a garage band that moves up through the scene because they are good. So no, Beiber and the likes need the labels because no talent needs a lot of help and pimping to be be successful.
      • Exactly. It's better to feel guilty when you actually pay for stuff. That gives the MAFIAA money.

      • by mjwx (966435)

        Don't.

        Make the labels feel guilty for making such a system possible by not upgrading their ways.

        Labels, feel?

        Pull the other one.

        Right now in Australia there is an inquiry as to why the Australian prices are far higher than prices in other nations, Especially for digital goods. Publishers are still trying to claim tax, duties and wages. Most of which (especially tax and duties) is much lower than the UK yet prices are often twice (or more, some times as much as 4 times) what they are in the UK (Taxes get my goat, GST in AU is 10% whilst VAT in the UK is 20% how the fuck is that more?). Wages do n

  • by SJHillman (1966756) on Monday July 30, 2012 @12:36PM (#40819203)

    Next up: Legislation requiring all hard drives, thumb drives and other storage devices to be registered with the government. You will need to transfer ownership of all devices and must submit monthly logs of any device your storage medium has been connected to regardless of whether or not it was accessed or even powered on.

    Additional fees may apply for concealed carry SD cards.

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      Next stop: Wetware and stacking your brain.

      • Nah we should cut off everybody's tongue as a preemptive measure in case they decide to sing a song they do not have a license for.
        • by Genda (560240)

          No, the parent has it right, they want to stack you brain. Any time you have a thought, think of a song, remember a movie, or a passage from a book, a small bit of money is deducted from your account. Since you account will be completely empty within about 4 minutes of your receiving a pay check, and since you'll still be having thoughts, the powers that be will inform you that you are now a ward of the state (a wholly owned subsidiary of the folks who stacked your brain.) You will do as you are told, or th

    • by daem0n1x (748565)
      And you are not allowed to memorise any song or film. Your memory must be erased after exposure, or else you might commit piracy by singing the song or telling the plot to someone.
      • by jd2112 (1535857)

        And you are not allowed to memorise any song or film. Your memory must be erased after exposure, or else you might commit piracy by singing the song or telling the plot to someone.

        Didn't they try that with 'Men In Black'? They even had the tagline 'See it again for the fist time". It worked better for "Men In Black II". The movie simply wasn't as memorable.

    • I just can't wait for the legislation sponsered by the RIAA that simply allows the labels to send armed gaurds to anyone's home and hold them up for wallet cash and loose change at any time.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      If you go on to read the original article as linked from the IT world article http://torrentfreak.com/leaked-riaa-report-sopapipa-ineffective-tool-against-music-piracy-120727/ [torrentfreak.com] It appears they currently just plan to go through with some 6 strikes think for p2p.
    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      Nah, no need for any of that. Just bully manufacturers into building a backdoor into their products, include something in the EULA that states that the big 5 media companies can access your device at any time for any reason. No need to spend all that money on lobbyists or deal with that pesky publicity.

    • Outlaw young people, round them all up and put them in work camps. That will teach them and get them of my lawn too!

      On a more serious note, Brein (dutch RIAA) knows its block on the piratebay is meaningless. It is just the first small baby step to get politicians to swallow the poisoned pill. They know what they want to achieve in the end, a completely locked down society where every bit of content is payed for repeatedly and all creation belongs to the 1% no matter who created it or when it was created or

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Piracy only happens because hardware permits it...

        We must out law sneakers.

  • The real 'sneakernet' is flash drives embedded in tennis shoes
  • No? No! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Sasayaki (1096761) on Monday July 30, 2012 @12:43PM (#40819299)

    Of course not. The point was NOT to endlessly funnel more money towards the RIAA, the MPAA and their respective legal teams, but to take the modest and humble earnings from lawsuits and return all of it to the artistssshhhahahahahaHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaa.

    Man I crack myself up sometimes.

  • by diversiform (1085477) on Monday July 30, 2012 @12:44PM (#40819315)
    I get most of my music via free, legal downloads from artists and labels that offer them for promotional reasons. But I don't see this on the chart at all. Am I unusual, or was this deliberately left out of the RIAA's calculations?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      That's how I find new stuff, free promotional downloads (samplers on Amazon, creative commons DLs on artists' sites). Then I try to buy direct from the bands I like at performances (cash for CD, direct) if they perform nearby. If not, I'll purchase through CDBaby, Amazon, etc. Hoping to see more Humble Music Bundles [slashdot.org], too!

  • "SOPA wouldn't have stopped piracy... It wasn't powerful enough! We'd need legislature that takes away even more internet freedom! The new bill we're going to be lobbying for will allow us to stop piracy once and for all. In addition, it'll stimulate the economy, create new jobs, and combat terrorism."
    • by jd2112 (1535857)

      "SOPA wouldn't have stopped piracy... It wasn't powerful enough! We'd need legislature that takes away even more internet freedom! The new bill we're going to be lobbying for will allow us to stop piracy once and for all. In addition, it'll stimulate the economy, create new jobs, and combat terrorism."

      Outlaw this pesky internet thingy. And all forms of writable media including paper.

    • by Pieroxy (222434)

      Does it provide unlimited orgasms to those that submit to it?

  • RIAA dropped the SOPA?
  • Either they had really short hindsight, or they knew all along. Either way, these guys are asses.
  • What assholes! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Xtense (1075847)

    So we knew RIAA were assholes, but up until now i always thought they were just deluded idiots who bought research that supported their imagination. After seeing the percentage slide from that ITWorld article, I'm still brimming with viking rage.

    Assholes, every one of them - they just lost my one last excuse to at least feel a tinge of sympathy for them. Sympathy for their illness, mind, but sympathy nonetheless.

  • That just means they'll try harder next time.
  • by Jason Levine (196982) on Monday July 30, 2012 @12:58PM (#40819459)

    From what I've heard, it was the MPAA that really pushed SOPA. The RIAA didn't think it would help them much, but, of course, weren't going to say no if given SOPA-powers. (Yes, I notice that looks like "super-powers." Does this make the MPAA a "SOPA-villain?")

    Don't think for a second that the RIAA has gone all cuddly and pro-sharing, however. With SOPA defeated, the RIAA is making themselves busy pushing laws that they think would benefit them at the expense of customers.

    • That's _PRECISELY_ what they want. They would prefer you don't "own" anything, but instead have to pay every time you access their media. As for those pesky "silver discs"...If the only media you have is DRM encumbered, they can force you to rebuy every few years by simply shutting down the existing validation servers (for some lame reason). THAT is big media's wet dream.
  • But in 2004-2005, a friend of mine and I discovered that you could mount the iPod Classic as a hard drive and bring the files over from Terminal.app or a Linux equivalent despite Apple's attempts to make it hard to access. Since the files all had ID3 tags, their attempts to obfuscate the file names were pointless if we wanted to share our collections.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Just plug your iPod into a computer... you can drag and drop apple's files and if needed, convert them to an mp3.

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        that's how they learnt their lesson with iphone/touch ipods.
        no standard moving of data around or 3rd parties uploading music without itunes.

        seriously, itunes sucked soooo much for setting up 160gb classics..

        • I imagine Apple deliberatly made the iPod a write-only device in order to maintain a better relationship with the labels.
  • So 1990s ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 30, 2012 @01:07PM (#40819597)

    The RIAA wants us to repurchase our media collection every few years to change formats so they can include DRM. It was bad enough that my 500+ cassette tape collection needed to be repurchased as CD audio. I was pissed, but the difference in audio quality really did matter to me for most of them. OTOH, my Judas Priest tapes weren't repurchased.

    Around 1996, I converted my thousands of music CDs bought during the years of BMC Music club membership into MP3 files. It took me over a year doing about 5 CDs every day to finish. Usually 2 before work and 1-3 in the evenings. Computers were much slower back then, so doing a rip/lame was about 45 minutes per CD. It was like eating an elephant one bite at a time.

    Every few years, I need to move those files to new storage media. Of course, they are backed up too - there's no chance that I'll be redoing all that time and effort again. When I need to move the data, I don't use a sneaker net. I have a real network, thank you.

    I was unhappy with some of the prices of those CDs, but at least I "own" it. Clearly I was confused. I'm unhappy with current pricing for electronic music and don't believe I "own" anything afterwards. It isn't exactly "property". It feels imaginary. At least the question whether a music file will play on my systems today or in 50 yrs from now has finally been answered - no DRM.

    SONY's attempt with a rootkit convinced me to never put a music CD into a mainstream OS again AND it proved to me never to trust big content companies AND never to buy software or hardware that is required to support their business failing DRM models.

    I've tried a few different DRM-encumbered music files over the years through free samples.
    The "Plays-for-Sure" stuff never played.
    The Apple stuff never played.
    Those failures convinced me to never buy music electronicly.

    RIAA - "You've Got Another Thing Comin'"
    I'm not "breaking the law" here.

    • Around 1996, I converted my thousands of music CDs bought during the years of BMC Music club membership into MP3 files. It took me over a year doing about 5 CDs every day to finish. Usually 2 before work and 1-3 in the evenings. Computers were much slower back then, so doing a rip/lame was about 45 minutes per CD. It was like eating an elephant one bite at a time.

      Every few years, I need to move those files to new storage media. Of course, they are backed up too - there's no chance that I'll be redoing all that time and effort again.

      1996? Either you're off by a few years, or you were a very early adopter...and at an average of 50MB per CD, you would've needed at least 100GB for "thousands" of CDs (i.e. 2000 CDs minimum). Hard drives that large weren't commonly available for another five years.

      Plus I'd imagine those encodings sound dramatically worse than what you could get five years later at the same bitrate. Moreover, 128k was the custom at the time (onion on belt, etc.), and the old 128k files I have from the late '90s sound tr

      • Uh I think I was using MP2 in 1996. I remember playing MP3 files in a Pentium (i586) computer so it should have certainly been possible to play the files in 1996. I do not remember which was my first MP3 encoder but I remember it was not LAME.
        • Oh, MP3 (and MP2) were certainly around in 1996, as well as a couple competitors that never went anywhere (anyone remember VQF?). But I don't remember MP3 taking off until the late 1990s, and I certainly don't remember anyone with consumer-grade HDs big enough to store the equivalent of thousands of CDs, even at 128kbps, until at least 2000. In 1996, a 2 GB hard drive was still a big deal.

          And like I said, encodings from 1996-1998 are likely to sound terrible by today's standards, and I'd be inclined to

      • by Anonymous Coward

        You may be correct. Perhaps it was 1998?

        I know that I started ripping around 1996 ... I was at a specific job that year and other guy showed me how. I may not have ripped everything in a systematic way for a few more years.

        Initially, my MP3 player was a audio/data CDROM device from iRiver, so every 5-10 ripped CDs were burned to a data CDROM. As HDDs sizes increased, I made more and more of the audio files "live" on the network. BTW, I still use those same CDROMs in my 2001 vehicle to listen for hours at

        • Oh and "thousands" in my marketing class taught me that is 1001 or more. ;) Anything over 1000.00000 is "thousands."

          Ha! :) Thanks for your detailed and good-natured reply. I think 1998 would make more sense, as it started to become more feasible then. Still, you were definitely ahead of the curve!

    • It's much easier to rip now with modern amenities like batch rippers (dbpoweramp), online tag databases and USB where you easily support 6-10 drives per box.

      It may even be worth it if you are fussy enough to want essentially error free rips.

    • by laffer1 (701823)

      I had a pentium 100 in 1996 and it took me much longer than 45 minutes to encode a CD's worth of music. First I had to dump it to WAV files which back then dumped at near regular playback speed. Then i setup a batch script to run the command line client to convert the wav to an mp3. Due to limited disk space, I couldn't queue up too many at a time. My PC only had an 850MB HDD and it was only 5400RPM. That was before I had winamp too.. playing back an MP3 used like 25% of my CPU in stereo. For disk rea

    • I would never, ever, ever pay a buck for a downloaded song. I used to say that once the RIAA backed companies that would sell the songs at Russian rates, i.e. 10-20 cents per song, that I would support them.

      That was a couple of years ago. Now, i hate these greedy bastards so much that i would pay more for music just to bypass them.

      Fortunately, as long as i can access mp3million.com, it's a non-issue.

    • by Svartalf (2997)

      RIAA (To us...): "Bend over...here it comes AGAIN!!"

      In truth, they (RIAA and MPAA members...) have very, very little I've any interest in anymore. I've not bought anything for years from those bastards and I've pretty much quit seeing movies over the last 3-4 years because it's tripe in the large and buying into it just simply fuels/powers them taking rights away from you and I.

  • as we all know by now SOPA wasnt the legislation we needed. it would never pass because under analysis by our patrio-tastic legislators it didnt work, so therefore we at the RIAA havent failed in our mission. We've merely come to appreciate the system of checks and balances that our freely elected government sees fit to impose to ensure whats just, right, and proper is applied to society.

    this upcoming legislation however is correct and will prevent download piracy, a form of terrorism used by iranian
  • Maybe not the point (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday July 30, 2012 @01:20PM (#40819759) Homepage

    Call me paranoid, but sometimes I think that some of the anti-piracy proposals are not about stopping piracy. SOPA, for example, could have made it impossible for a site like YouTube to exist, which in turn would make it difficult to share user-generated content. Because it made it dangerous to host user content and content from independent sources, it would risk forcing sites to only allow content being distributed from major corporate sources who could be verified to own the content.

    It's not certain, but it could have been viewed as pushing us back towards broadcast networks where ISPs and large media companies act as gatekeepers on what information and entertainment you have access to.

    • As an internet giant, youtube would be safe. It's smaller sites that would be shut down. If SOPA had been around back when youtube was a new startup, it'd have been crushed then. One big effect of SOPA would be to make it easy for larger companies to shut down smaller competitors, ensuring that control of the internet remained in the hands of a select wealthy few.
      • I don't know if that's true. Apparently one of the complaints that SOPA was meant to address was that people were posting content on Youtube and Google wasn't necessarily taking it down until the copyright holder requested a takedown. One of the big parts of the bill was that it took the legal responsibility from the copyright holder to seek out and police violations of their property, and instead placed it on the web host to be policing their sites for violations of other people's copyrights.

        So essentia

    • It's clear that these groups just don't like the nature of the open internet at all, and they won't be happy until it's reduced to the likes of pay TV, where we're all just spectators.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Call me paranoid, but sometimes I think that some of the anti-piracy proposals are not about stopping piracy.

      Paranoid? You're delusional if you think some of the anti-piracy proposals ARE about stopping piracy. The media industry associations want to have full control over production, distribution, and promotion of the content in their industry so the barrier to entry is too high for any competition to enter. They want everyone consuming their content on approved devices from verified sources so everyone gets used to being a passive consumer who happily pays and pays without thinking of whether they're getting an

    • by jxander (2605655)
      Even more alarming, SOPA would have made it impossible for a site like Wikipedia to exist, and I've got a term paper due in a month. How would I write it without Wikipedia?? I'm pretty sure over 75% of all college students would crash and burn the instant Wikipedia went away.
  • It is a much much bigger problem as artists / musicians don't get paid and US Taxpayers are being cheated.
    • Check out Steve Albini's often-quoted piece on recording contracts and tell me otherwise...
      At this point albums are promotional materials for concert tours, where most bands make their money.
      At least until Ticketmaster and Live Nation get bought up, at which point musicians may as well go back to flipping burgers....
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Is it really piracy if you copy music from friends? Isn't copying between friends and family members completely legal in most jurisdictions?

    • please tell me you are not serious.
      • please tell me you are not serious.

        Serious? In Finland one's rights go even further: it is legal to copy [hyvitysmaksu.fi] any published material for private consumption, even if it's material obtained from the public library. We already pay a levy on blank writable CD/DVD disks and on all sorts of external media (SD/CF/USB drives, media players, etc.). This levy is distributed to rights holders in lieu of copyright fees or attempts at extortion through the legal system.

        In my case, the levy is more than generous enough, considering that my SDHC cards are f

  • I wonder if when the RIAA or any other organisation that goes against the people and they win millions or some cash..do they really give it back to the artist like it's logically suppose too or they keep it ?
  • Yeah... right. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zontar The Mindless (9002) <plasticfish@info.gmail@com> on Monday July 30, 2012 @02:23PM (#40820415)

    And if SOPA had passed, we'd be hearing from the MAFIAA all about how it was a decisive, history-making victory for artists.

  • by Wakko Warner (324) on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @02:31AM (#40825833) Homepage Journal

    My theory is that the US Government was using the RIAA/MPAA as a proxy to get this rammed through.

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