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UK Record Industry Starts Suing Filesharers 459

An anonymous reader writes "The BBC has the story that the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) has started a first set of lawsuits against UK file sharers. 23 people paid £50,000 to settle out of court. This is the first time people in the UK have been fined, and probably won't be the last. From the article: "We are determined to find people who illegally distribute music, whichever peer-to-peer network they use, and to make them compensate the artists and labels they are stealing from."
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UK Record Industry Starts Suing Filesharers

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  • MPAA is on its way (Score:5, Insightful)

    by moofdaddy ( 570503 ) * on Friday March 04, 2005 @04:17PM (#11847268) Homepage
    This is just the start of the trends which have become somewhat commonn place in the states making the hop over the Atlantic. I think read on Drudge yesterday that the MPAA is considering a similar manuever in the UK. Insiders say that they plan on going after people who are sharing 10 movies or more. For now they are only planning on targeting those who offer up movies which have yet to be released but I would imagine they will be widening that net before too long.
    • Its so simple! [popealien.com]

      of course wave upon wave of lawsuits will probably help to slow down sharing as well.
    • People sharing files is just like people copying a movie or tv show for a friend. Lets also remember that an MP3 is NOT an exact copy. So for the record producers to say that is stealing is wrong.

      Lets also look at new censorship rules being pushed by politicians in the US.

      The internet is hated by TV, Music and film companies.

      How long will it be before we have boxes installed on all computers checking for anything that might be copyrighted or anything that is deemed 'indecent'.

      We might be seeing it alrea
  • Ouch (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Frogmum ( 778954 ) on Friday March 04, 2005 @04:18PM (#11847270) Journal
    Seriously, 50,000 pounds for some music? They're so extreme with the amounts.
    • Perhaps you are unacquainted with copyright law.

      The penalties are stiff.

      Very stiff.

      That you and so many others perceive copyright infringement as a "victimless crime" doesn't change that.

      Or do you think that doing 140 in a 60 zone at 4AM when there's nobody else on the road anyways should somehow be less of a cause for the police to impound your vehicle when they pull you over?

      • Re:Ouch (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Perhaps you are unacquainted with copyright law.

        So, if he thinks the punishment is not appropriate, he's 100% wrong no questions asked? Nice to see the Sheeple out in force today. Do you agree with every law because it's a law? Are there no laws you think the punishment for is unjust? Dissent is really tiresome to you, isn't it?

        That fact that you think copyright infringement is such a terrible thing makes me think you've been living in a box your whole life and have never experienced real crime. If
        • Re:Ouch (Score:3, Interesting)

          by mark-t ( 151149 )
          Ad hominem arguments aside...

          I do agree with copyright law as it currently stands (or rather, as it stood before certain ammendments were put into it in recent years, such as the DMCA and the stupid Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act).

          And by the way, just because I happen to advocate copyright infringement laws so strongly doesn't mean I'm ignorant to the fact that there are crimes that are orders of magnitude worse. But instead of trying to create a perfect world, let's just deal with the problems we

      • Re:Ouch (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Rei ( 128717 ) on Friday March 04, 2005 @05:18PM (#11848033) Homepage
        Could you please point out, if you would and just for the sake of argument, who the victim is in the case between a person downloading a song illegally and listening to it, vs. not listening to it at all? I.e., the general case of file sharing, as most of the people wouldn't have bought the music if they couldn't dl it...
        • Re:Ouch (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Angostura ( 703910 )
          The weasel word in your post there is 'most'. As in "most of the people wouldn't have bought the music".

          I presume by most you didn't mean 51%, let's assume 0.5% shall we? (Too high? well, let's assume that filesharers only compete with online legal downloads (clearly falacious) and that the iTunes store is the only legal download site).

          Apple's daily sales are about 1.39m tracks. Which works out at a daily loss of revenue of around $7,000.

          That alone is probably worth paying a lawyer for, no? Just to make
    • Re:Ouch (Score:5, Informative)

      by a16 ( 783096 ) on Friday March 04, 2005 @04:35PM (#11847522)
      This isn't £50,000 each - it's £50,000 total. To quote TFA:

      The average compensation payment was £2,200 each, with one person paying £4,500.
      • You know that actually sounds about reasonable. They say 9000 songs total, so that works out just over £5 a song. 5-6x the cost as a bit of compensation is what I would have argued for. Well done, British legal system.
  • wi fi (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Virtual Karma ( 862416 ) on Friday March 04, 2005 @04:18PM (#11847271) Homepage
    I had a doubt. If my neighbour uses my wireless network (which I have kept open as a social service) to download copyrighted stuff, can I be sued????
    • Re:wi fi (Score:3, Interesting)

      by wdd1040 ( 640641 )
      If you knowingly keep your network open, you should be held accountable for all traffic on said network.

      At least that's how the court would look at it.
      • So verizon/time-warner/adelphia/speakeasy should be held accountable for all traffic of their networks too? How would I be liable if they aren't?
    • .. if they will sue the dead [theregister.co.uk] I'm sure they'd be willing to go after you as well.
    • You can be sued for no reason (see SCO-IBM), but sane people and organisations (and that includes the *AA's) will only start suing when they think they have a case.

      In most European countries downloading music and movies for private use is allowed; offering music and movies for download is seen as publication and illegal. "Sharing" is illegal in the US too, I am not sure about downloading. You will run some risks when your neighbour is running a file sharing program over your WAP.
      If you can proof that your

      • Re:wi fi (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Laur ( 673497 )
        sane people and organisations (and that includes the *AA's) will only start suing when they think they have a case.

        Actually, since none of the cases have gotten anywhere near a courtroom the stregth of the *AA's cases has not been determined. In several cases it has been shown that the case is actually pretty laughable (suing Mac-using grandmothers, suing the dead, etc.). Truth is that the *AA's can sue with impunity because of the vast difference in resources between the *AA's and a private individual

      • Re:wi fi (Score:4, Informative)

        by cpt kangarooski ( 3773 ) on Friday March 04, 2005 @05:29PM (#11848153) Homepage
        "Sharing" is illegal in the US too, I am not sure about downloading.

        Downloading copyrighted works without authorization or an applicable exception is illegal in the US per 17 USC 501 and 106(1).
    • Yes, because the account thats downloading said illegal music is owned by you, and paid for by you. To all intent and purpose, they can trace the illegal activities back to you, and you will have to prove in the courts that someone used your open wifi to conduct said activities. Its a possible and unproven defence, not a block on someone suing you.

      Why not try the surefire method of avoiding being sued? Pay for legal music or go without. Remember, you arent entitled to it.
    • I am thinking that it is the same as saying, "If I kill someone on somebody else's property then they can be sued or arrested." Though I don't recommend trying it I would guess that only the killer is liable. Common carrier status, or does that only apply to rich people who can lobby laws or afford lawyers?
      • Common carrier only applies to those industries that have specifically been GRANTED such status - it doesnt apply automatically and it certainly wouldnt apply in this case.

        You can be held liable and responsable for actions undertaken by others on your property or using your equipment - why do you think businesses in the UK have to limit your access to the net? Its because they can be held liable if you download child porn, or if you download something that offends someone else in your office. I dont se
    • In the US, probably. The TOS for RoadRunner, for instance, specifically says that any usage of your connection is your responsibility.
    • Re:wi fi (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt@NoSPaM.nerdflat.com> on Friday March 04, 2005 @04:41PM (#11847600) Journal
      Downloading in and of itself isn't illegal.

      Making a copy of copyrighted material without permission is what is illegal. Period. Encrypted or not. Protected or not. If it's copyrighted, and you do not have permission to copy it, and you go ahead and copy it, then you've broken the law.

      Notwithstanding, there are allowances to make copies, even without explicit permission, under the jurisdictions of personal and fair use.

      If the circumstances do not fit within those allowances, however, then the person who made the copy has violated copyright law.

      Strictly speaking, this makes anyone who fileshares a work without permission a copyright infringer even before anyone else actually downloads it, since they have made a copy of the work (which exists on their hard disk), but that copy transcends allowable boundaries for personal/fair use, since that copy is being made available for public viewing, use, or copying, and so is in violation of copyright.

      • Strictly speaking, this makes anyone who fileshares a work without permission a copyright infringer even before anyone else actually downloads it, since they have made a copy of the work (which exists on their hard disk), but that copy transcends allowable boundaries for personal/fair use, since that copy is being made available for public viewing, use, or copying, and so is in violation of copyright.

        I don't see how. Fair Use lets me make a copy on my hard drive. Windows, by default, shares out the HD w
    • Yes.

      If you are the one signed up with your name on the agreement/lease/whatever, the onus is upon you to prevent misuse of the service you've agreed to.
  • by dmf415 ( 218827 ) * on Friday March 04, 2005 @04:18PM (#11847273)
    When will the record companies learn, if they price there product in an affordable price range, people will buy.

    Apple has sold approximately 85 million songs in the first two months of 2005, surpassing Piper Jaffray's initial estimates for the entire March quarter. Based on Apple's earlier announcement of 300 million total tracks sold, Senior Research Analyst Gene Munster says that iTunes sales could account for $83.2 million in revenue in the March quarter--or about $35 million more than the firm has been estimating. The firm also believes average daily sales rate has been 1.35 million per day since late January, which very similar to the 1.43 million daily run rate (i.e., sales of songs) in the weeks following the holidays. "We had been anticipating a more significant drop off in iTunes sales from the levels seen in the weeks following the holidays."

    In addition to driving iPod sales, the firm says that Apple's iTunes Music Store will also contribute significantly to the company earnings: while it estimtates that the current operating margin on iTunes is in the low single digits, Piper Jaffray says it believes iTunes profitability will begin to increase throughout 2005, with operating margins reaching 5% to 10% in 2006.

    http://www.macnn.com/articles/05/03/02/itunes.gr ow ing.fast/
    • I hate these arguments so much. Who cares what they price the music at? It is not your music, you did not make it, you did not go into contract with them and give them rights to it, you did not spend millions of dollars advertising it.

      You do not have the right to just distribute or download it without paying, end of story. There is no "well if they only made it cheaper" because that is not your right to say. If you don't want to pay the price they are asking then you make the decision to not get that
      • Assume that we all know filesharing is illegal, immoral and makes you fat.

        Now take a look around you and see that not many people care and are doing it anyway.

        You want to stop them doing it, considering the moral argument doesn't work?
        Ask why they do it.
        Then take that reason away from them.

        If they continue to share, that wasn't really their reason.

        The popularity of iTunes says that people are willing for pay for downloaded music.

        I would suggest that the reason for this is that you can get the so
      • I hate these arguments so much.

        Why? Because they are accurate? He isn't saying he does it for that reason, he's saying many people claim that as the reason.

        Who cares what they price the music at?

        Everyone that buys or wants to buy music, which is pretty close to 100% of the population.

        It is not your music, you did not make it, you did not go into contract with them and give them rights to it, you did not spend millions of dollars advertising it.

        You are right, I didn't. They put it in the public
      • Who cares what they price the music at?

        I don't. That's why I don't buy CDs anymore! Either I download some free stuff on the internet (legatorrents... just google for it) or I listen and donate to Shoutcast radio stations.

        They want me to buy something? Maybe they should consider lowering the price of their CDs. CDs are almost twice as expensive as it was ten years ago, is there a reason for it? The price should lower by itself with time but instead it's going up. Now I can buy two DVDs for the price of
    • Who said nobody's buying? Many music companies recorded recorded profits last year. SOMEONE is buying that music, at the prices they dictate. If anything, it sounds like everyone is buying except for a small minority, but because they (the non-payers) are being dicks about it (sharing), it encourages other people to look into it. If it's free and no one's getting sued, what's the real discentive besides ethics (which people like the ones who are getting sued are throwing to the curb)?

      If a person wants
  • Hmm... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Living WTF ( 838448 ) on Friday March 04, 2005 @04:18PM (#11847279)
    How many of these 23 people were under 10 or over 80 years old? And did at least half of them own a computer?
    • More important than that were any of them dead?

      Just curious. And no, I haven't RTFA. I'm just not interested in the story enough to bother and besides, I already know everything I need to know about the music/labels/P2P wars already. I read the comments on Slashdot!
  • The music companies are totally right in doing this. It IS their property, and people don't have the right to use it for free. Go use Napster or iTunes if you don't want to buy cds.
    • by dj_tsd ( 548135 ) on Friday March 04, 2005 @04:27PM (#11847412) Homepage
      The problem is that it IS NOT their property. The RIAA is NOT a rightsholder. Therefore, by US law, their lawsuits are frivolous. They are suing on the behalf of others, who are mistaken if they expect money from the RIAA. The RIAA should go back to worrying about who gets gold records.
    • So, if you write a book and I "steal" a copy of it and redistribute it.... Let's say you would have made $50,000 off of it. I distribute it to 4 people, who distribute it for 4 more people. All 17 of us get sued and told to pay $10,000 in damages. They are totally right in doing it, but they should at least have more acceptible fines than these insane ones.
    • Go to Napster if you [want to legally purchase music].

      Oh, how times have changed... :)

    • by Kaa ( 21510 ) on Friday March 04, 2005 @04:56PM (#11847785) Homepage
      The music companies are totally right in doing this.

      They do have LEGAL RIGHTS to do this, yes.

      Whether they are MORALLY RIGHT is up to your particular morality, and there's a wide variety out there :-)

      Yet another question is whether this is a RIGHT THING TO DO from a business viewpoint. Or from a public-good viewpoint. Again, answers vary.
  • by Kimos ( 859729 ) <kimos,slashdot&gmail,com> on Friday March 04, 2005 @04:19PM (#11847302) Homepage
    Some parents have been genuinely shocked to discover what their children have been up to

    If that's all your kids have been up to on the internet when you're not watching, you're in OK shape...
  • whoa... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Cryptnotic ( 154382 ) * on Friday March 04, 2005 @04:20PM (#11847307)
    I need more sleep. I just read that as 'British Pornographic Industry'.

    • I was going to make two points here...but of course you'll probably be modded into oblivion so nobody will read my other point...but I'll make it anyway.

      £50,000 to settle

      Who the hell has fifty thousand pounds sitting around to settle and still won't buy a freaking CD?

      50,000 pounds is almost (US) $100,000. If you can afford a $100,000 settlement, just buy the freaking music.
  • by moofdaddy ( 570503 ) * on Friday March 04, 2005 @04:20PM (#11847309) Homepage
    50,000 pounds for music? Things have sure gone up when I was a kid. Bubble gum used to cost a quarter too!
  • follow the money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrLint ( 519792 ) on Friday March 04, 2005 @04:20PM (#11847318) Journal
    "...make them compensate the artists and labels they are stealing from."

    Don't most artists make only a pittance on their album sales anyway, even after they have paid back the label for their 'generous' promotional contract?

    Call me cynical, but claiming that the settlement money is going to go to artists seems disingenuous. Of course claiming 'lost' profits by the labels on file sharing is moreso.
    • ...but claiming that the settlement money is going to go to artists seems disingenuous.

      You're missing the key point of the statement. restate it so you can get what they're really trying to say: "...make them compensate the [snip] labels they are stealing from."

      There. That's better.
  • by Rude Turnip ( 49495 ) <valuation&gmail,com> on Friday March 04, 2005 @04:21PM (#11847326)
    Quick Vyvyan! Eat the hard drive!
  • you know... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by opposume ( 600667 ) on Friday March 04, 2005 @04:23PM (#11847358) Homepage
    why don't they just sue for the ammount of $ they have stolen (i.e. the average cost of a CD) instead of charging these OUTRAGEOUS fees? Any body?
    • Re:you know... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by moofdaddy ( 570503 ) *
      why don't they just sue for the ammount of $ they have stolen (i.e. the average cost of a CD) instead of charging these OUTRAGEOUS fees? Any body?

      Because they are going after people for distributing. If you share a song to 100 people then you are liable for that song getting out there and all the damage to the company it causes.
    • "why don't they just sue for the ammount of $ they have stolen (i.e. the average cost of a CD) instead of charging these OUTRAGEOUS fees? Any body?"

      Two reasons -- one is to punish (and therefore deter such behavior in the future), the second is to recoup legal fees and other expenses.

      If you get caught shoplifting, do you just have to pay for the item you took? No, you have to pay a fine as well (that's the punishment part). I don't know about the UK, but in many U.S. states, a retailer who catches a sho
    • by Larmal ( 691516 )
      because their OUTRAGEOUS fines are totally in line with their OUTRAGEOUS pricing structure, and they're trying to maintain consistency.
  • by subreality ( 157447 ) * on Friday March 04, 2005 @04:23PM (#11847362)
    So, way back in the day, everyone was outraged that the music industry was trying to fight piracy by litigating away P2P technology, instead of going after the people who were actually breaking the law.

    Now they're going after the people who actually break the law, instead of trying to end P2P.

    I think that the idea of fair use ought to be extended, but am I supposed to be outraged that this is happening? They're actually going after people who are breaking the law, instead of trying to end technologies with legitimate uses.

    Isn't this exactly what we asked for?
    • ---Isn't this exactly what we asked for?---

      Pretty much, and under the law, it's a reasonable approach. But in the long run, it's a futile one, and a foolish one.

      First, the massive quantity of US lawsuits has caused no slowdown in p2p filesharing. So it's not an effective means of stopping copyright infringement.

      Next, it's bad PR, and is turning off more and more consumers and artists from doing business with the major label cartels. It's also interesting that they continue to sett

    • It is exactly what people here wanetd way back when, but people often ask for something they really don't want. Like you, I think that the idea of fair use ought to be extended. Thats what people should have been demanding since the begining.

      I really don't care though. I don't use p2p servies. I use iTunes.
    • Isn't this exactly what we asked for?

      Who's that "we"?

      I have no idea what YOU asked for -- if you asked for these lawsuits, well, , you got what you asked for.

      For my part, I was asking for RIAA and MPAA to be busted up as corrupt criminal organizations and prosecuted under RICO. I'm still waiting... :-)

    • Yeah, except the fines seem a bit excessive. Something like 5x the cost of a cd version would seem reasonable.
  • Just wait until this trend spreads across all countries and continents...be afraid of the Antartic Recording Industry (ARI)....I mean, imagine being sued in a currency that doesnt exist!
    Or just paying your debt with penguins.
  • by eboot ( 697478 ) on Friday March 04, 2005 @04:29PM (#11847454)
    Hmm... How many people do you think they will sue? 10? 20? 1000? You know I don't know anybody who bothers to use p2p to pirate music anymore. There are easier ways to get old or indie albums by borrowing off of friends and everything new or mainstream is crap. My friends and I share music perfectly easy without P2P, in fact one of the first things I do with new friends is share our music collections with each other. The genie of digital copying is out of the bottle and it's going to take a lot of restriction to get it back in again. Enough restriction to destroy the music industry itself. Record sales aren't going to improve until the BPI or the RIAA stop stuffing crap down our throats, stop suing us and stop treating us like criminals, even if from their perspective we are. Society has changed, forever.
    • You're missing the point. I was trading MP3s back in 1997 when it was almost exclusively done on IRC, and even then it was a side deal for all the software we moved after Georgia Tech did the cracking.

      The record companies didn't care then, and didn't really give a shit at all until Napster came along and made it EASY to do so. IRC has a barrier to entry. Finding the genres and tracks you want on IRC requires social engineering or a close friend group that can get it and share it amongst themselves, kind of
    • In my opinion, they should totally automate it (use their P2P tracking tools to send out subpoenas as well) and sue *everyone* sharing their files. The hell with 100, try 1,000,000. Not only would it be much more efficient, it would show how broken our law system has become, and perhaps then people would try to get things changed. As it stands now, it's just something in the back of people's minds that they try to forget when downloading.
  • Uh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dachannien ( 617929 ) on Friday March 04, 2005 @04:32PM (#11847485)
    make them compensate the artists

    Bahahahahahahaha hahahaha hahahahaha hahaha haha whew.

    Sorry about that.

  • by yodaj007 ( 775974 ) on Friday March 04, 2005 @04:35PM (#11847531)
    I mean, really, I don't want to pay what I consider outrageous prices for crap. I'm not downloading anything either. If you want some good music, go down to your local coffee house and listen to a good live band and buy their CD if you like their music. For the price of a coffee, I can listen to a small live concert for several hours while I do homework. You mean you can try before you buy? Amazing! The CD's I get from the local artists (and other independent artists that come through my area on tour) are much cheaper than the record-label CD's and the quality of music is sooo worth it. While the ethics of downloading the label's music is disputed, one thing I think we can all agree on is that the labels would have no ammo if people would just boycott them instead of refusing to purchase their crap and downloading music. Boycotts do work. And boycotts 'steal' nothing from the artists.
  • my prediction: $0.00

    all of it goes to the labels.

    artists get nothing except % of sales and residuals, they dont get anything from legal judgements.
  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Friday March 04, 2005 @04:40PM (#11847591) Homepage Journal
    They're determined to find anyone who distributes music who isn't them, PERIOD. They're a starving, wounded beast, cornered by its own fear and ignorance. All they know how to do is threaten people who exchange music, whether they've got a right to or not. Why can't I let a friend listen to a stream of a song that's otherwise idle on my HD, when I can loan them the CD? Why can't a few of my friends tune into my stream, when I can bring the CD to a party? Because they never had enough lawyers to force you to pay them for those fair uses. But on the Internet, these music biz weasels can finally insert themselves into every music transaction as tolltakers. Or so they think - any smart people running the biz have run *from* the biz already. So the dumb beast makes its last stand, taking down as many victims as it can.
    • Why can't I let a friend listen to a stream of a song that's otherwise idle on my HD, when I can loan them the CD?

      If you had a mechanism for ensuring that 1) only one "friend" borrowed your file at a time, and 2) you yourself are locked out from doing listening to it while they do, I'm not so sure you DON'T have the legal right to do that as of now. The lockout mechanisms are key to get around both piracy abd broadcasting restrictions.

      If you can't, I agree, you should be able to.

  • I think It's important to note that it is generally only the uploaders who are being fined for their activities. A joe bloggs day to day downloader has nothing to worry about: "The UK internet users, ranging from a student to a local councillor, have admitted putting up to 9,000 songs each on the web for other fans to download."
  • If a bunch of people get together and mail each other, and strangers as well, CD's can it be illegal? If not then "fileshare" that way. If so then how can mailing them be bad? What about mailign books so they can be copied? Or records? Or even just handing them personally but copying them when you have it? Can giving it, not lending, to strangers be illicet?
  • The BPI said some were parents and it was "highly likely" they settled on behalf of their children.

    In the UK is this normal practice? - If you cannot crack the bat over the head of a minor, go looking for a parent.

    If this had gone to court and the courts sided with the BPI, what sort of punishment would have been dished out, and who would be punished? - the minor, or the parent, or both?

    Specifically, if the parent didn't know a crime was going on (meaning they genuinely didn't know their child was do

  • It is 50k in total not 50k each as the blurb suggests. RTFA!
  • Lemonade (Score:3, Informative)

    by wwonka74 ( 861731 ) on Friday March 04, 2005 @04:52PM (#11847734)
    Probably everyone has played a version of the lemonade stand game that teaches simple economic sense or for those more into other things the drug game w/ the same basis.
    I'm not an economist or even a leader in the corporation I work for but that game taught me that people are willing to pay what they feel is a decent price for the product they receive and will not purchase any lemonade that is $5.00 a cup even on a 99degree farenheit day with no clouds in the sky.
    /em sends a copy of the lemonade stand game to MPAA, RIAA and now BPI.
  • by soliptic ( 665417 ) on Friday March 04, 2005 @05:06PM (#11847904) Journal
    ... which p2p networks are they monitoring? :o
  • I have an idea (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jtheletter ( 686279 ) on Friday March 04, 2005 @05:21PM (#11848062)
    Let's just have all fines go directly to compensating the artists and production engineers, and only them, since they're the ones with the puppy-dog eyes that the music labels are telling us are starvng to death.

    I guarantee all lawsuits would stop within a month once the soul-sucking corporations stopped getting their infinite percent cut.

    It's a rant people, don't reply like this was a thesis statement, but seriously, when are we going to make them give up the "for the artists (children)" argument? I think if the court is going to rule in their favor it should also require them to publicly announce their true actions. Which are using the legal systems to prop up an outmoded business model and integrate profit margins that they otherwise would never have earned anyway.

  • by gelfling ( 6534 ) on Friday March 04, 2005 @05:23PM (#11848087) Homepage Journal
    I bought a CD recently of 50 year old recordings. It hadn't been remastered or cleaned up in any way. I didn't special order order it but when I saw it I figured I'd never see it again. At any rate I'm the fool because I spent USD$23.95 + tax for a single CD. I'm left wondering though how many more fools like me are still around and what the fuck the record companies think the real world notion of value is? I mean, seriously - an old recording repressed to a CD with no post production, probably was sitting in the bins for 10 years and every 'artist' involved is probably dead by now. D'ya think the suits made their money on it, yet? Perhaps the only response we as consumers have is to try to press the copywrite owners into a patent-like situation where they get exclusive rights for a few years and then they lose all rights to the recording and we can do with it whatever we wish.
  • hmm scary (Score:5, Informative)

    by real_smiff ( 611054 ) on Friday March 04, 2005 @05:25PM (#11848116)
    Fifteen of the 23 used the Kazaa peer-to-peer network, four used Imesh, two used Grokster, one used WinMix and one was on BearShare.
    First observations: no ed2k, no soulseek there. these are still fairly mainstream/'newbie'/old networks. all of these allow you to see a list of someone's shares? i wonder where else they're monitoring/know about - there's a lag in their learning about the newest trading methods, but there's also a lag in this sort of news getting out, so it's tricky to know.

    Some questions i'd like answered:
    What kind of music (artists, genres, labels) were they sharing?
    Why were they singled out (uh, awful pun)- sharing >x000 songs on a fixed IP for > x days?
    Are the IPs of these british organistions listed in anti-anti-P2P blocking lists? i can bet these people weren't using any blocking, but would it have helped is another question.. proper anonymous music trading networks anyone?

    "Some parents have been genuinely shocked to discover what their children have been up to
    yeah, there's always a quote like this. trying to make it sound so righteous. What about the parents who said "wtf, you're extorting 5 grand out of us for what?" they never get quoted.

    "we have attempted to reach fair settlements where we can".
    What attempt. It's pay a huge fine*, or go to court and risk paying a really huge fine. It can't be a deterrent and be fair. So admit it: it's not fair to the people caught, but you're desperate to scare people. I trust the next BPI press release will show how much the artists got from this (yes, sarcasm).
    *and admit you've been naughty and promise not to do it again, of course. whatever that means.

    "28 IP addresses and it was later discovered that two people accounted for four IP addresses on their list"

    interesting, the fact that two people out of such a small pool were caught *twice* suggests they are looking for something very specific, like a particular list of songs (e.g. counting the matches, then taking the IPs of those with the most?). i'm guessing that these were people with dynamic IPs, rather than those sharing e.g. at home and at work.

    Well i've been expecting this to happen in the UK - really, i'm amazed its taken until 2005 - and i always said "fuck it, safety in numbers" but i have to admit it is slightly scary to know you could get caught... i guess carrry on with the indie music, people! (and you know, buy some; just don't support the pigopolists, either by buying their music, or getting caught and really funding their lawyers.

    btw, do they actually have to listen to your songs to see if they are the material as named? if so, maybe having a max-uploads-per-IP in the client would help you not get into trouble, as well as being fairer, spreading things around?

  • my solution (Score:4, Insightful)

    i haven't bought a single cd since 1999 when i started using napster

    many iterations of file sharing tools later, i'm on emule, and i have a simple solution to beating the riaa, et al:

    i embrace world music, i let my mind wander

    currently, i'm into filipino music (i live in new york city)

    the thing to do is is to expand your musical interests to things beyond the usual pop crap, and you are also therefore using the new file sharing technology to its greatest benefit: connecting with resources that otherwise would be beyond your grasp in the pre-interent universe

    embrace world music, screw the pop crap, and you win two ways:

    1. you won't be on the riaa's radar

    2. you'll grow new brain cells as you develop an awareness of a world beyond your nation's borders

    there really is a lot of good stuff out there that isn't the usual robbie williams or britney spears crap

    free your mind and give the bastards who want to market you sugar water the finger in the process
  • by xoboots ( 683791 ) on Friday March 04, 2005 @06:01PM (#11848459) Journal
    "We are determined to find people who illegally distribute music, whichever peer-to-peer network they use, and to make them compensate the artists and labels they are stealing from."

    If anything, it is the labels / artists who should have to pay fines everytime they rattle off phrases like that. I bet they don't use that sort of language in court. No one is stealing anything from anyone. There is no property that is being exchanged, nor has anyone's actions resulted in someone somehow losing any material item. They make it sound like every d/l song is a lost sale and that a lost sale should be counted as an asset. Maybe at Enron, but that's completely bogus.

    What is happening is that people are illegally infringing on the labels / artists right to distribute (ie. copy) said material. That is not stealing. If someone goes into a library and photocopies an entire copyrighted book, they are infringing on the copyright owner's right to issue copies; however, that does not compare to the person who goes into a bookstore and removes from the bookstore, without paying, the same book. THAT is stealing! Both are committing an illegal activity but they are exceptionally different in character.

    Besides, copyright is a stupid law to begin with.

egrep -n '^[a-z].*\(' $ | sort -t':' +2.0