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IFPI Threatens UK Academic For Linking To Article 182

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)
    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.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • Re:Their strategy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WrongSizeGlass ( 838941 ) on Monday June 18, 2007 @05:52AM (#19548443)

    "Maybe" /. is next.
    They won't care about /. for one very important reason ... few people on /. RTFA. ;-)
  • Re:Their strategy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sepluv ( 641107 ) <> 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 [] argumentum in terrorem [] (more commonly known on /. as FUD).

  • by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Monday June 18, 2007 @06:25AM (#19548605) Journal
    actually threats like this are very effective because most managment get frightened by this kind of thing through a lack of understanding and are likely to just cut you loose rather then think it through.

    But you can't just sack someone for expressing an opinion in Britain. But even in the US, a universtiy is certainly going to protect its employees right to freedom of expression.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • by gilgongo ( 57446 ) on Monday June 18, 2007 @07:35AM (#19548979) Homepage Journal
    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.

  • Re:Their strategy (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18, 2007 @08:06AM (#19549149)

    So how does a citizen constitute this "messing with the insane guy" activity?

    If they threaten you, you pay up. Think about it, they WILL continue with the case even if they have no evidence, even if you reason with them, even if it's obvious you didn't do it. They'll keep going after anyone. Children and grannies or even dead children and grannies. Maybe you'd win in court but they will force you to have to fight, you'll have to at minimum give up massive amounts of your time, probably have to spend a fortune too. Maybe they'll spend 1,000 times more but they'll do it even if they're going to lose, because they're insane. You think you stand a chance to reason with them? It's cheaper to just pay up.

    (That is how they want you to think. That is the point)
  • 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 Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Monday June 18, 2007 @08:17AM (#19549221)
    In other words, if your reputation is already down the loo, why bother trying to pretend you're the good guy.
  • by dhasenan ( 758719 ) on Monday June 18, 2007 @08:22AM (#19549259)
    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 -- he simply linked to a site featuring criticism.
  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ ( 559379 ) on Monday June 18, 2007 @08:57AM (#19549519) Journal
    When will these organizations learn that by trying to suppress this stuff that they only generate more publicity for it?
  • by PackRat Q. Winnebago ( 1116945 ) on Monday June 18, 2007 @09:06AM (#19549597)

    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.
  • It's amazing..... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Stanislav_J ( 947290 ) on Monday June 18, 2007 @09:24AM (#19549805)

    Every time I think these dinosaurs have reached an unsurpassable level of outrageousness and chutzpah [], 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 adapt or die. There's a whole generation of young people out there for whom file sharing, if it carries any "moral" weight at all, is looked upon as, at worst, a "sin" on a par with speeding or jaywalking. Rightly or wrongly, millions are growing up freely sharing their music as they see fit, and they scoff at being compared with hardened criminals for doing so. You're not getting this genie back in the bottle -- a "law" that is routinely and easily ignored by a significant proportion of the populace has no teeth.

  • by CorSci81 ( 1007499 ) on Monday June 18, 2007 @02:42PM (#19554517) Journal
    I suspect the real question is why the bar itself hasn't taken action against these lawyers. Surely it seems that if the same lawyers are continuously bringing meritless lawsuits on behalf of the RIAA and dismissing them when it becomes clear the defendant won't settle and the plaintiff's case is sorely lacking evidence that their professional conduct is at least questionable and worthy of investigation. It's my understanding the courts generally don't like to have their time wasted with nonsense where the plaintiff is clearly lacking a credible case and it's in the bar's interest to reprimand the lawyers involved in perpetuating this behavior.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982