Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Music Piracy Your Rights Online

RIAA Now Blames Journalists For Its Piracy Trouble 367

adeelarshad82 writes "RIAA executives have written a letter to PCMag expressing 'deep disappointment' for publishing an article on Limewire Alternatives. While the article includes a disclaimer from PCMag that it does not condone the download of copyrighted or illegal material, RIAA executives believe that 'PCMag is slyly encouraging people to steal more music.' The letter goes on to ask PCMag to retract the article from their website. PCMag's Editor in Chief has responded to the letter by stating that music industry's charges remain groundless and that it reeks of desperation. He points out that PCMag covers all aspects of technology, which includes the products, services and activities that some groups and individuals might deem objectionable. He defends publishing the article by saying 'We covered these Limewire alternatives because we knew they would be of interest to our readers. We understand that some might use them to illegally download content. We cannot encourage that action, but also cannot stop it. Reporting on the existence of these services does neither.' PCMag has also refused to retract the article."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

RIAA Now Blames Journalists For Its Piracy Trouble

Comments Filter:
  • by DemonicMember ( 1557097 ) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:26PM (#34339260)
    In this day and age if your still using limewire or its alternatives for the majority of your music your doing it wrong.
    • by Moochman ( 54872 ) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @12:45AM (#34339670)
      Actually LimeWire is great for downloading obscure individual mp3s. This is possible because of the fact that not only the file-sharing itself, but also the search, is peer-to-peer. IMHO this means it is still a better "Napster replacement" than Bittorrent, in the sense that it allows you to explore music rather than simply download it en masse.
      • by Pax681 ( 1002592 )
        i cannot believe they missed soulseek!

        i have heard it said :P [] it's great for finding those obscure, hard to find single tracks and albums
      • by jav1231 ( 539129 )
        Limewire's great if you haven't been infected by a computer virus lately. Why use these things? Get with your friends, combine your music on an external drive that you pass around to other friends. If you're going to pirate, pirate with people you trust.
    • not just proclaiming our geek cred by poopooing poor p2p client choices

      therefore, we need slashdot wisdom on THE filesharing client to use, for those reading this who are not in the know, and to generally get to know what everyone else is doing


      1. eMule for hard to get and nonessential downloads

      2. bittorrent for easy pop stuff. use the Opera internet browser as a bittorrent client

      disagree with what i just wrote?

      then respond, with your own pointers to expand on our group wisdom

      • 2. bittorrent for easy pop stuff.

        I purposely put some indie stuff on BitTorrent (as well as obscure/alternate releases from major-label artists); this kind of behavior would work towards addressing the "can't find $obscure_stuff on BitTorrent" problem this comment of yours refers to.

  • PCMag (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Baseclass ( 785652 ) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:27PM (#34339270)
    I'll have to check out PCMag and see if it's worth subscribing to.
  • What's Next? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SilverHatHacker ( 1381259 ) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:30PM (#34339284)
    Heaven forbid someone should use radio waves for transmitting illegal information! Or, even worse, terrorists might call each other! Let's forbid the very mention of phones and radios too!
  • by VinylRecords ( 1292374 ) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:32PM (#34339290)

    Shouldn't the RIAA be going after them for reviewing CD burners that can burn copied files? Or for reviewing software that rips .mp3 files or .wav files from audio CDs? Shouldn't PC Mag and all other publications be restricted from writing about anything that could potentially assist in copying music?

    • by bsDaemon ( 87307 ) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:37PM (#34339312)

      Yes. They should also be prohibited from reviewing Garage Band, CakeWalk, or any other music production software. After all, if a bunch of hippies can make "demo tapes" that rival professionally produced records in production quality, then bands might just start recording their own music, releasing it directly to fans via the internet, marking it themselves via social networks, and promoting their own concerts. Then what would all of the untalented people do to get their cut? What would the radio DJs do for money without their payola? WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE PARASITES?!

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        What would the radio DJs do for money without their payola?

        IAARDJ (I am a radio DJ)...

        The vast majority of us don't give a rat's ass about payola. We're not the ones who determine what goes into rotation. That's done by the program director, and in many small to mid-market stations, they simply follow the charts to determine what gets airplay. The operating budget for our stations comes solely from advertisers who we write/record/produce spots for. Only the biggest of the big-market stations are in any

    • by JoelWink ( 1846354 ) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @12:04AM (#34339464)
      The Sony music division should sue the Sony computer division for putting CD/DVD burners on their Vaio laptops. Sony Music should also sue the Sony media division for selling blank CD-Rs and DVD-Rs.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      It's all about how your present the product you are advertising or reviewing. For example it is legal to sell smoking equipment in the US which is largely used to smoke illegal substances. However if a customer even hints that they are going to use it for an illegal purpose then it is illegal to sell the equipment to them. Same goes here, this article did not list ways of distributing Linux distros. It listed alternatives to Limewire. And let's be honest, Limewire is obviously designed with Piracy in mind
  • by Christian Marks ( 1932350 ) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:36PM (#34339302)
    PCMag is as much motivated by economic considerations as the RIAA. The difference is that PCMag is informing its readership and generating publicity for itself, while the RIAA is advertising its rent-seeking behavior and ignorance of the Internet. There is no way the article could be "unpublished" even if PCMag were to comply with these notorious intellectual monopolists.
  • Wrong channel (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zlel ( 736107 ) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:36PM (#34339308) Homepage
    PCMag is not a music magazine. If it were, there would be ground for such contention; blaming PCMag is saying that a medical journal is pornographic. But then again, the "music industry" isn't at all about music and is not as much concerned about delivering music as it is about owning all the content that exists out there.
  • by AnonymousClown ( 1788472 ) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:43PM (#34339350)
    When I read PCMag's article, I wanted to illegally download music. Then, as I was reading the other links, I got to the RIAA's letter. Now, instead of wanting to illegally download music, I want to become a douchebag that bullies average people into paying money that they don't owe.

    Speaking of which, I am hereby putting everyone on notice who has ever mod'ed me down, that they have cause me emotional distress and based upon the mathematical formulas that the RIAA uses, I will be suing you for

    One hundred billion dollars for each moderation. But, we can settle now for just $50,000.

    • One hundred billion dollars for each moderation.

      Generally, it's best to use non-existent units. That way, you can make anyone owe you anything you want. For example, "One hundred gazillion dollars for each moderation." If anyone asks what a gazillion is, you tell them it's a legal term for "every penny you will ever earn so long as you and your family lives, and after that if there's anything left in your estate when we get through with it."

  • by mbone ( 558574 )

    Southpark got it correct. They might as well blame Canada.

  • PCMag has also refused to retract the article.

    +5 Doing the Right Thing

  • Be Fair (Score:3, Insightful)

    by brit74 ( 831798 ) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:50PM (#34339388)
    To be fair, the summary doesn't claim that "RIAA Now Blames Journalists For Its Piracy Trouble". Rather, the RIAA is merely saying "you aren't helping". To use an analogy, if a magazine published an article on how to get past airport security with a bomb, that doesn't mean anyone would say "we blame [magazine X] for our terrorism problem" (as if it's the one and only reason for terrorism on airplanes), but you could certainly see how they aren't helping things.

    I wish Slashdot was a little more objective in reporting the news, instead of just spinning the story in a sensationalist way to confirm what people want to hear.
    • Re:Be Fair (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) * on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:56PM (#34339418)

      To be fair, the summary doesn't claim that "RIAA Now Blames Journalists For Its Piracy Trouble".

      When it comes to organizations like the RIAA, fighting fair with fair just gets you burned. In this case, PC Mag is helping matters, so far as the general public is concerned, by getting a few facts out. The simple fact that the RIAA disagrees with them is sufficient indication that PC Mag is doing the right thing here. Kinda like the old saw, "When the competition threatens a lawsuit, you must be doing something right."

      Helping the RIAA, from any reasonable perspective, serves no legitimate purpose.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by brit74 ( 831798 )
        "The simple fact that the RIAA disagrees with them is sufficient indication that PC Mag is doing the right thing here."

        Kinda sounds like a variation on "Hitler was wrong about everything, therefore always do the opposite and you'll be right" fallacy. Did you know that Hitler was a vegetarian? That's a reason not to be a vegetarian, right?
        • Re:Be Fair (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) * on Thursday November 25, 2010 @12:18AM (#34339532)

          "The simple fact that the RIAA disagrees with them is sufficient indication that PC Mag is doing the right thing here." Kinda sounds like a variation on "Hitler was wrong about everything, therefore always do the opposite and you'll be right" fallacy. Did you know that Hitler was a vegetarian? That's a reason not to be a vegetarian, right?

          Yes, but the reason that Hitler is universally hated isn't because of his dietary choices, it's because was a warmongering, empire-building, genocidal maniac. Generalizing beyond that is, I agree, ridiculous.

          Which I wasn't doing. Given the history and predictability of the RIAA on these issues, you can pretty much be sure that doing the opposite of anything they suggest is, if nothing else, probably ethical.

    • From the Article:

      "The harm done to the creative community when people are encouraged to steal our music is immeasurable. Disclaimer or no, when you offer a list of alternative P2P sites to LimeWire – and include more of the serial offenders -- PC Magazine is slyly encouraging people to steal more music” - [emphasis added]

      And now the analysis by Epic Fail Records executive Brit74:

      "To be fair, the summary doesn't claim that "RIAA Now Blames Journalists For Its Piracy Trouble". Rather, the RIAA is

    • Re:Be Fair (Score:5, Insightful)

      by aqui ( 472334 ) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @12:26AM (#34339576)

      Bad example. If a magazine published an article on how to get a bomb past airport security they would improve security. Why? How?
      Simple their exposure of an obvious "security gap" would force the airport security to be improved.

      Not knowing about a security hole and not telling anyone about it is not security.
      It's a kin to someone writing about a hole in the airport fence that's hidden behind a bush.

      Security through obscurity is not true security.

      Similarly PCMags discussion of lime wire alternatives is simply pointing at the airport and telling you there are other holes in the fence that would need to be fixed (or in this cant be fixed).

      The truth is that for the past 50 years the technology to distribute music to a large audience was not financially accessible to musicians and artists except through record labels. The technology has changed and the artificial lock that record labels had on artists is gone forever.

      It's called disruptive innovation. Any business that does not innovate or compete through innovation will eventually experience it from a competitor (eg. Death of the walkman, the end of photographic film, horse and carriage, steam engines etc...) and if they don't have another way to make money they will go out of business.

      So sad too bad... one more middle man cut out of the equation.

    • There helping by focusing on technologies that will be part of the future while the music industry is not helping or contributing to the process.

  • ORLY? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kikuchi ( 1709032 ) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:54PM (#34339400)
    So writing an article about P2P programs is encouraging the stealing of music?

    I guess, by the same logic, that automobile magazines encourage drunk driving and gun magazines encourage murder.
  • by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @12:03AM (#34339458)
    From the TFA: We wanted to send a direct response to the letter writers, but they failed to include a return address.
  • by Arancaytar ( 966377 ) <> on Thursday November 25, 2010 @12:05AM (#34339466) Homepage

    The RIAA is acting like a toddler throwing a tantrum.

    • Glad to see they're growing up a bit. I was starting to think they'd be sucking their mother's tits forever at this rate.
    • Kind of like North Korea, wouldn't you say?

      Not that I'm saying the RIAA is on the same level as those whackjobs (at least they haven't killed anyone yet... right?)

    • US, imma only tell you dis once: You is stupid! (derp d'oh dat dat d'oh)
      And for ya money I'm grabbin like I'm Keith Rupert! (Murdoch dat dat ho!)
      Give me cash for my CDs
      and aac's and crap mp3's
      You're like a candy store
      And I'm a toddlor
      You got me suing more and mo- mo- more
      For your dough, your dough etc.

      -- RIAA

  • by Joe The Dragon ( 967727 ) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @12:11AM (#34339504)

    Why not blame Google for makeing it easy for people to find info on how to download music.

    • Why not blame Google for makeing it easy for people to find info on how to download music.

      Google has the power to make the bands your label is promoting effectively "disappear" from the web by removing them from indexing. They could also ban your label from adwords, crippling your marketing efforts severely. No, it is best not to anger Google if you are in the music business (or indeed any business that relies upon Google services to connect with customers).

  • Evidently one can become a recording industry executive in an English-speaking country without understanding the meaning of a simple word like "steal".

  • I'm pretty sure that it introduced me to internet porn back around 1994/1995. My dad was a subscriber to the magazine, and while flipping through an issue I saw an article about recommended porn sites. Interestingly the one that caught my eye was actually amateur erotic fiction. Anyway, at the time it never occurred to me that it might be strange to see an endorsement for a porn site in a mainstream computer magazine. Thus, I can't find myself entirely surprised at an article about file-sharing networks

  • Yeah, that'll get you good press. Insult the media. Brilliant!

    Or is that...


  • Dishonesty (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Andy Smith ( 55346 )

    Oh how I hate dishonesty. I believe that the people behind this magazine published the article with the sole intention of pointing their readers to other sources of pirated material. Now when challenged, they play coy. Cowards. They should at least defend their action for what it was, rather than tucking their tails between their legs and pleading innocence. Journalists have died to defend the freedom of the press, and now these charlatans abuse that freedom by hiding their duplicitous actions behind the go

  • by Skapare ( 16644 ) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @01:04AM (#34339758) Homepage

    I'd like to provide my feedback to both parties in this. I found the email addresses of a couple people at PCMAG that I could write to an express my views. So far, I have found NO email addresses of ANY of the executives who wrote that letter to PCMAG (as seen on Billboard).

    My conclusion is clear. PCMAG has at least some interest in what its readers, and the general public, think about this. But the music industry executives clearly have no interest in what people think. They have their heads in the sand. They have some idea of what product they want to deliver, and all they want is to push it so hard that people will just accept it.

    I really just wanted to ask them ... personally ... and that means NOT some secretary answering ... I want to hear directly from these executives themselves since they think their names are so important ... just where I can BUY music that will work for me (beyond what Magnatune [] has). Do they even consider me to be part of their target market? I have some serious doubts. And I bet a lot of people do, now.

  • by bradley13 ( 1118935 ) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @05:30AM (#34341052) Homepage

    Who says downloading, or making copies for private use is illegal? It depends on where you are.

    In many countries, people are forced to pay fees on blank CDs, on printers, on copy machines, even on the memory in MP3 players. Why? The justification for these fees is that people do, in fact, make copies of copyrighted media. Irritating: whatever happened to the presumption of innocence? More irritating: extraordinarily little of this money actually makes it to the artists.

    A very few countries got it right: "if our consumers must pay these fees, because you assume they are copying, then they have paid for the right to copy, and this must then be legal". Two countries that I am aware of: Switzerland and Italy. As I understand the law in these two countries (IANAL), uploading is illegal, as is making copies for sale. However, making copies for private use is legal, and this includes both downloading and also making individual copies for friends. The claim that downloading is illegal is therefore disingenuous. The MAFIAA would like for it to be illegal, but it depends on your jurisdiction.

    Does anyone know of other countries where downloading is legal? Or have more specific information on the situation in Switzerland and Italy?

  • by ewhenn ( 647989 ) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @09:54AM (#34342228)
    Apparently the RIAA is upset that we aren't using the far more encompassing MPAA piracy list instead. []

    Yes, it's real, and right off of the MPAA site, lol! Skip to page 3 for the list. There's honestly some stuff in there I didn't know about, like

"For a male and female to live continuously together is... biologically speaking, an extremely unnatural condition." -- Robert Briffault