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NC State Stands Up to RIAA 180

Posted by kdawson
from the don't-mess-with-the-wolfpack dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The Technician Online at North Carolina State University reports that its Director of Student Legal Services, Pam Gerace, has advised students to remain anonymous, and has indicated her office's willingness to challenge the RIAA's subpoenas. What's more, the newspaper urges students to take Ms. Gerace up on her offer. The fighting spirit of Jimmy Valvano lives on."
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NC State Stands Up to RIAA

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  • by maharg (182366) on Monday April 16, 2007 @08:01AM (#18748845) Homepage Journal
    ok, I take it back, not slashdotted, just v.slow.

    "They said it could be $750 per song. The letter said, though, that they could just pay $3,000, which would not be based on the number of songs."
    $3,000 == unlimited downloads.. hmm, not a bad deal... might be cheaper than 79 cents a track...
    • Re:then again.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, 2007 @08:13AM (#18748937)
      $3,000 == unlimited downloads.. hmm, not a bad deal... might be cheaper than 79 cents a track...

      Maybe, until you realize that they could sue you for $3000 over and over again. Then it doesn't seem too good.
      • Also (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Belial6 (794905) on Monday April 16, 2007 @10:09AM (#18749937)
        You had better also read the agreement carefully. When DirectTV was pulling this stunt, they were including a blurb where you admitted to having committed copyright violation. Given that there are now criminal penalties on the books for copyright violation, you could very well be paying $3000 for a nice vacation to 'pound you in the ass prison'.
  • by macpulse (823760)
    STICK IT TO THE RIAA!!

    We need more groups officially banding together like this - the RIAA's bully tactic days are numbered!

    • by daeg (828071) on Monday April 16, 2007 @08:32AM (#18749043)
      Unfortunately, those days are probably numbered higher than you or I would like.
    • Just don't buy RIAA music. It's not that hard. I'd put my usual links to a dozen sites where you can find great independent/free music, but you guys can probably find them yourselves.

      'Course I can never resist linking RIAA radar:
      http://www.riaaradar.com/ [riaaradar.com]
  • by 280Z28 (896335) on Monday April 16, 2007 @08:02AM (#18748859) Homepage

    It looks like people are finally starting to get it. Big fish can't be allowed to attack the little fish without facing risk.

    Now, if only the general public realized they bring this on themselves by continuing to fund the **AAs with their purchases, maybe it'd actually make a difference...

    • by frdmfghtr (603968) on Monday April 16, 2007 @09:12AM (#18749357)

      Now, if only the general public realized they bring this on themselves by continuing to fund the **AAs with their purchases, maybe it'd actually make a difference...

      Now, if only the general public realized they bring this on themselves by continuing to violate copyright (remember all you GPL fans, these are the same copyright laws that give the GPL substance*), maybe it'd actually make a difference...

      You want to make a difference? Simply voting with your wallet by not purchasing tracks isn't enough. That's only part one.

      Part two is STOP VIOLATING COPYRIGHT by downloading the tracks. The RIAA and record labels are after your money. First they try to get your money via sales of tracks (physical CDs or downloads from online resellers). If you don't buy the tracks but download from p2p networks, they will try to get your money via lawsuit. Either way, they get your money.

      Once sales drop AND p2p downloads ALSO drop, the labels will get the idea that the product they push is crap and need to change in order to make it worthwhile. They would have to, since both revenue streams (via sales and litigation) would dry up.

      * I'm not implying that GPL fans are also p2p downloaders; I'm pointing out that laws that protect your rights are the same laws that protect others' rights, and cannot be applied selectively.
      • by castoridae (453809) on Monday April 16, 2007 @10:04AM (#18749859)
        Once sales drop AND p2p downloads ALSO drop, the labels will get the idea that the product they push is crap and need to change in order to make it worthwhile.

        Problem is, most people disagree with your assertion that it's crap. Whether through critical thinking about the music/video or just because they've been indundated with commercial pop culture & ads, this stuff is top shelf by virtue of being what everyone wants.

        Your solution means people have to dig up their own (indie) music; they can't just buy the catchy song they heard on the radio, and they can't grab a copy of that movie that had such an exciting preview. And truth be told, most people aren't really equipped to select the good music from the bad, except with the simple gut reaction that they already have to hearing a song on the radio and deciding to buy this mainstream album instead of that one.

        I guess my point is that mainstream music is mainstream for a reason, and saying "just don't buy it" is not realistic. It's like asking millions of Bud Light drinkers to start selecting small-batch German microbrews instead. Good luck.
        • by frdmfghtr (603968)
          Yeah, I strayed from the main point of the downloads violating copyright; I didn't mean to get into the "boycott the RIAA crap pushed out" because you're right, it IS in fact mainstream because people buy it/download it/demand it; it's a very subjective assertion that it's "crap."
        • by twistedsymphony (956982) on Monday April 16, 2007 @10:53AM (#18750485) Homepage
          You bring up another part of the problem... the fact that the RIAA controls so much of the industry that it becomes next to impossible for indy bands and labels to find their way into the ears of the average music consumer. With the RIAA paying radio stations across the country to play their music and only their music, paying the MPAA studios to feature RIAA artists in their movies, MTV only playing music backed with millions of dollars worth of video behind it, etc.

          I'm not saying that RIAA music is crap and indy is good, but without access to indy music most people don't even have the opportunity to make the comparison.

          Rather then trying to beat down the RIAA through boycots and banners. Why not work to help promote indy music. Why doesn't iTunes have an RIAA free section where people can demo songs and download them DRM free? Why isn't there a fund setup to help get indy bands on the radio along side the RIAA stuff?

          I think we'd do better to help get people off the RIAA koolade more by promoting the alternative rather then trying to tarnish what they're used to today.
        • Problem is, most people disagree with your assertion that it's crap.

          Definitely. The big lie about P2P and "I listen to stuff I can't get elsewhere. The labels shovel shit at us," is that on most torrent tracker sites, if you look at top downloads in music, guess what? It's that same crap that's top of the charts.

          With apologies to American Beauty, "Never underestimate the power of denial".

      • by prelelat (201821)
        I can see what your getting I think, and if your saying what I'm thinking I agree. The more we stop buying tracks and keep downloading them the more it looks like sales are dropping because of piracy. I always wondered if this boycott was worth its weight against the RIAA as their main argument is that they are loosing sales. Well they are but for other reasons as well as piracy(yeah I said it they do loose some sales to piracy just not the big number they believe). The biggest reason is that music on
      • by Kopretinka (97408)

        Once sales drop AND p2p downloads ALSO drop, the labels will get the idea that the product they push is crap and need to change in order to make it worthwhile. They would have to, since both revenue streams (via sales and litigation) would dry up.

        That's of course if you consider their product crap. I know I enjoy Metallica (as an example here). I'm certainly glad they (labels) do promotion because I don't value music that much as to try and find my favourites. I'm sure there are bands that I'd enjoy more

      • by iminplaya (723125)
        Part two is STOP VIOLATING COPYRIGHT...

        I have to say I agree. If everybody obeyed the law, the revenue stream from fines would dry up and many government offices and lawyers would suffer greatly, not to mention the prison industry and law enforcement would have to find new ways to make their money. Imagine, if you will, what would happen to many governments and the world's economies as a whole if everyone quit buying coke and grew their own weed. It would be pandemonium. The Bush Family and the CIA would go
      • by EzInKy (115248)

        STOP VIOLATING COPYRIGHT by downloading the tracks.


        How is it possible to tell for certain that a track is copyrighted before you download it?
      • Once sales drop AND p2p downloads ALSO drop, the labels will get the idea that the product they push is crap and need to change in order to make it worthwhile. They would have to, since both revenue streams (via sales and litigation) would dry up.

        What makes you so sure? The RIAA refuses utterly to acknowledge that the marketplace has been fundamentally altered by the emergence of new technologies AND they continue to lobby congress aggressively for more copyright powers, media taxes, technology bans, an
    • For universities, it could be easy to implement. Since paying is legally admitting having having commited the crime, even the football players could understand a sentence like "If you pay the RIAA, we will treat you like criminals and you can kiss your degree goodbye. If you receive a letter from them, please contact Mr. xxx"
      • by arminw (717974)
        .....If you pay the RIAA, we will treat you like criminals.......

        How about students or anybody saying to the University or the ISPs: "If you give my name to the **IAA or anybody else, I'll sue you for breach of privacy. Please erase any personal use info from your system." What do Universities, which are really an ISP and other ISPs have to gain by keeping logs of who uses what internet address when? In for pay ISPs, they might identifiable user data it for a month or two and then they should erase all such
  • Get some sense? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aladrin (926209) on Monday April 16, 2007 @08:08AM (#18748887)
    I wonder if the RIAA will ever stop and realize that if they'd just fought this war fairly, most people would have been understanding with them. That if they'd did all the legal work they should have, and caught people with fair tactics, that jurors and the general public would be on their side. Because it IS against the law to download Intellectual Property you don't have rights to.

    But instead, they decide the law doesn't apply to them anymore and use as many underhanded and illegal tactics as they can. Now it doesn't matter if the RIAA is right, nobody in their right mind could possibly side with them.

    This is completely disregarding the entire concept of following the advances in technology instead of trying to fight them. If they'd simply tried to embrace technology and make it easy and quick to buy music, instead of doing everything they can to make it painful and slow... Maybe they'd actually be making more money than ever.

    Instead, they've now got entire countries talking about legislature to make the copying of intellectual property legal.
    • Re:Get some sense? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by durin (72931) on Monday April 16, 2007 @08:30AM (#18749027)
      Because it IS against the law to download Intellectual Property you don't have rights to.

      Really? I thought that it was only against the law to distribute IP you don't hold the rights to. I don't have much knowledge about laws in the USA (which I assume is what you mean) OTOH, so I may be wrong.
      • Re:Get some sense? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by morgan_greywolf (835522) * on Monday April 16, 2007 @08:47AM (#18749171) Homepage Journal

        I thought that it was only against the law to distribute IP you don't hold the rights to


        No. And most laws in European and other countries that have signed onto WIPO are basically uniform. A copyright holder has exclusive rights. These include:

        (1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords;

        (2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;

        (3) to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;

        (4) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works, to perform the copyrighted work publicly;

        (5) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly; and

        (6) in the case of sound recordings, to perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.


        In other words, if we look at (1), then it becomes obvious: to download is to make a 'reproduce the copyrighted work in copies'. Literally, it seems, copyright is the 'right to copy'. Downloading a copyrighted work is against the law.

        Now, there is a difference between willful infringement and non-willful infringement. Willful infringement means that you know you're making a copy of a copyrighted work, and non-willful means that you don't know what you're copying is copyrighted or not. It could be argued that because downloads don't carry a notice, that the downloader has no idea whether or not what he's downloading is copyrighted and not licensed for download or if it is licensed for free download, or public domain or what.

        It's somewhat of a specious argument -- you'd almost have to be half stupid to think that a song labeled, say, 'Smashing Pumpkins - 1979' (what I happen to be listening to ;) is not copyrighted or is licensed for free download, since Smashing Pumpkins CDs are sold in stores and carry a copyright notice and the RIAA has been reminding us all for sometime that downloading their studios' music is illegal.

        But -- I've seen stranger things being believed by courts and juries.

        IANALBIPOOGL

        (I am not a lawyer, but I play one on GrokLaw)

        • When you do the downloading, the server copies the bits and sends it over to the internet. When it has arrived on your system then you are simply saving it into a file. If you went into the ridiculous definition of ram copies, then you could not even play your Media on a computer. Those are just incidental copies.

          So rule (1) does not apply on the downloader. Yes, RIAA could still make it stick, if they found a judge who doesn't know computers (the vast majority out there and so a near certainty).
          • by radish (98371) on Monday April 16, 2007 @09:27AM (#18749485) Homepage
            The argument I've seen used (successfully) in the past against this kind of point is that whilst the remote server is physically making the copy, the downloader is the one who caused the copy to be made (by starting the download process). That makes the downloader the only human responsible, seeing as you can't sue or prosecute a server. An analogy would be that if I shot you, I could argue that I didn't kill you - the gun did. In reality though, I caused the gun to fire, so it's my responsibility.
            • That argument has always sucked -- the data comes over the wire somehow (doesn't matter really) and when it gets to your computer, you do what with it? You write a copy to disk. Oops, Copyright violation.

              Having the data sent to you over the wire may or may not be a legal problem, but as soon as you commit that data to disk, you've created a copy of the materials in question. Of course, this also means that every web browser on the planet breaks Copyright law by caching web pages, but that's another issue
              • So by that logic... (Score:4, Interesting)

                by Junta (36770) on Monday April 16, 2007 @10:08AM (#18749907)
                DVRs/VCRs are illegal because you are copying data from somewhere onto media?

                At first I thought downloading would cut and dry be against copyright law, but now I'm not so sure. I don't think the obligation to determine if the source is a legitimate distribution system should fall upon the user. By 'common sense', currently most P2P networks today with obviously copyrighted materials is a legally questionably thing to do (since you are definitely becoming the source), but what happens when a source with an air of legitimacy starts up a P2P based service that turns out to be illegal? Should users be penalized just because they were frauded and allowed their upstream bandwidth to be use by the company to commit copyright violation without their knowledge?

                From a legal perspective, I'm actually finding myself thinking the only sane entity to chase would be the one who initially injects the content into the P2P network (i.e., the person who posts a torrent to a tracker). The second logical place would be the tracker itself if they have a demonstrated history of ignoring copyright notices, but the users, it's hard to say. Forget the technicality of whether the protocol borrows some of their upload, their action isn't really as different from using a DVR as one might think.
          • When you do the downloading, the server copies the bits and sends it over to the internet. When it has arrived on your system then you are simply saving it into a file.

            But, but, officer, I wasn't speeding, my car was! You're splitting hairs. If I cause the copy to be made, by downloading, then I'm responsible for making the copy, no matter which piece of equipment actually did the copying. No, it doesn't matter that I don't own it, either - "but, officer, not only wasn't I speeding, it's not even my ca

            • by VE3MTM (635378)
              Bad analogy. Even if you car was speeding, you were going the same speed as the car and were therefore speeding also.
              • That's silly. There's no law that says a person is unable to travel at excess of posted limits. The infringement is due to the vehicle traveling in excess of said speed. You get the ticket because you were in control of the vehicle. Just like you get hit because you issued the commands, directly or indirectly, to up/download the file in question.
        • by radish (98371)
          It could be argued that because downloads don't carry a notice, that the downloader has no idea whether or not what he's downloading is copyrighted

          Assuming you're operating within a country with standard copyright laws, in general everything is automatically copyrighted. So any reasonable person should assume that everything they download is copyrighted by someone.

          and not licensed for download or if it is licensed for free download, or public domain or what.

          This is the same as when developers want to use so
        • by EzInKy (115248)

          Downloading a copyrighted work is against the law.


          The catch being that there is no certain way to determine if a work is copyrighted until it is downloaded.

        • > Downloading a copyrighted work is against the law.

          Not necessarily. (1) says downloading *without a copyright holder's permission* is against the law. There's a big difference, and one that plays right into the RIAA's hands. Many artists *want* there songs copied since they are free advertising for their live concerts (where they make the real money). Look at YouTube and examine the number of videos that have been put on by the original artists if you want evidence of how even mainstream non-indie artis
        • by yar (170650)
          ... and to continue this train of thought, it's *very* important to remember the copyright exceptions whenever you talk about copyrights.

          Those copyrights are not absolute. That is, it is *not* the case that every time a copy is made, including when it is downloaded, it is an illegal act.

          Copyrights are exclusive and limited rights. The limits are in the term of protection and those exceptions. Those exceptions include

          -fair use (107), which has included personal uses including copies for friends and family
          -li
      • by GooberToo (74388)
        Really? I thought that it was only against the law to distribute IP you don't hold the rights to.

        In the US, that is where fair use comes into play. Of course, that's why they created the DCMA which effectively makes using your right of fair use illegal. That's why they want every song or movie to be encrypted in some form. In order to decrypt it, you would have to violate the DCMA unless you are using an officially supported player.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      I wonder if the RIAA will ever stop and realize that if they'd just fought this war fairly, most people would have been understanding with them. That if they'd did all the legal work they should have, and caught people with fair tactics, that jurors and the general public would be on their side. Because it IS against the law to download Intellectual Property you don't have rights to.

      I'm not sure that they could have attacked it straightforward. They have no real means of doing good police work against people sharing files, unless you know of some other means to legally and accurately collect:

      • A list of copyrighted files being shared
      • The IP address of each file sharer
      • The real name and address of each file sharer
      • Evidence that conclusively proves each point

      Sure, they could have been much more deliberate in their searching and verified each file downloaded, but they knew this woul

    • by WCMI92 (592436)
      "But instead, they decide the law doesn't apply to them anymore and use as many underhanded and illegal tactics as they can. Now it doesn't matter if the RIAA is right, nobody in their right mind could possibly side with them.

      This is completely disregarding the entire concept of following the advances in technology instead of trying to fight them. If they'd simply tried to embrace technology and make it easy and quick to buy music, instead of doing everything they can to make it painful and slow... Maybe th
      • by Aladrin (926209)
        I'm not saying your choice of music sucks, it's just that there are TONS of people out there that do like it, and this is all directed at them.

        I applaud your choice not to download illegal music, even if only because there's none you like.

        Unless you're saying that you DO download music, it just isn't the reason you don't pay for it. In that case, you are deluding yourself because you obviously like the music enough to listen to it, so you are breaking the law and lying to yourself.

        I don't really care what
    • by Billosaur (927319) *

      But instead, they decide the law doesn't apply to them anymore and use as many underhanded and illegal tactics as they can. Now it doesn't matter if the RIAA is right, nobody in their right mind could possibly side with them.

      Sounds an awful lot like a divorce. And in this case, I'm sure the majority of Americans would appreciate being divorced from the RIAA.

    • by gad_zuki! (70830)
      >If they'd simply tried to embrace technology and make it easy and quick to buy music

      iTunes Music Store is both quick and easy. I really am tired of hearing justifications for violating copyright. Its like everyone thinks they have a right to corporate media. I can't decide whose worse the RIAA or the RIAA junkies.
      • by Aladrin (926209)
        I don't OWN an iPod. Tell me again how it's easy for me?

        There are no 'justifications' for breaking the law. There are only reasons. Reasons are enough for most people.
        • by gad_zuki! (70830)
          You dont need an ipod. If you have a windows or osx machine you can play the songs through itunes or just burn them to a standard CD. Grandmas can do it. There are no more excuses anymore.
          • by Aladrin (926209)
            So to play it on my Sansa, I have to reboot into Windows (Linux is my main platform), download via iTunes, burn a disc (probably a rewriteable, so save cost, so I need to erase it first) and then rip it to MP3.

            Nice. That's SO convenient. I can't believe I've been blind all these years. You've helped me so much.
            • by gad_zuki! (70830)
              If your biggest complaint is that linux, a marginalized OS that the mainstream doesnt use, isnt supported than that just shows youre just a childish whiner. Some of the most technophobic people I know can use itunes (and other online stores). Justifying breaking copyright because one of the least used desktop OSs isnt supported is just being purposely disengenious.

              The argument that online sales arent easy, thus people pirate, is just BS. Nowdays, its much easier for the average person to pay for music th
    • The RIAA has never been about making sense or playing "fair". NEVER in 100+ years. Long before personal copying became possible, the RIAA members have been writing the most egregious contracts with artists. Robber baron-esque. Industrial feudalism wherein workers get wages counted up from minimum, and employers get most of the value-added. Milking their distribution oligopoly. Not even really capitalism. Listen to some performers talk about their labels. Not all are simply sour grapes.

      Then in the 19

      • by Aladrin (926209)
        I never said they were about 'fair'. In fact, I'm pretty sure the majority of slashdot knows their entire history.

        I said I wondered if they'd ever realize their mistake.
        • by redelm (54142)
          I do not think the RIAA is capable of seeing their policy of "vigorous enforcement" is any kind of mistake. It is what their organization has lived on for 100+ years. Old, successful organizations almost never change.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    According to the RIAA spokesperson, of the 400 students who the RIAA sent settlement letters to nationally, 198 of them agreed to it.
    198 too many! This proves that the MAFIAA extortion is working all too well.
  • I work for NC State (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RaigetheFury (1000827) on Monday April 16, 2007 @08:12AM (#18748921)
    I love NC State's policy toward the RIAA's stalin like tactics. While they do punish students on their own accord the entire legal department is against the RIAA's method of approaching students. I am very proud to work for a university that values copyrights while at the same time education it's students about their rights and current law.

    On top of that then steps up and practices what it preaches.
    • Apropos of anything else, at what point did a University arbitrarily become the punisher for copyright violations? Smells rather like vigilanteism to me.

      Isn't punishment a role for the designated authorities, not an arbitrary body?

      I wouldn't be entirely proud.

  • by rlp (11898) on Monday April 16, 2007 @08:17AM (#18748951)
    I'm surprised students are not rallying to deal with the RIAA. Traditionally, college students have been one of the largest markets for recorded music. And the RIAA is directly attacking their traditional best customer with law suits. I would have expected campus rallys to fight the RIAA. Students obtaining pledges to boycott RIAA labels and distribution of lists of labels to boycott. Just surprised that theres no organized effort on the part of students to counter this.
    • by lilomar (1072448) <lilomar2525@gmail.com> on Monday April 16, 2007 @08:30AM (#18749029) Homepage
      See, that's the problem. What incites teenagers and young adults to be rebellious and makes them want to "Stick it to the Man"? Rock and Roll. or if you want to trace it back further, music in general. Jazz, Big Band, everything right back to the first cave-teen who banged two rocks together has been celebrating his/her independence from all things authority. Now, what is popular today? That's right, pop/psudo-rap/hiphop crap, produced and approved by...dun, dun, dun... THE RIAA. The Man wins. Until the teenagers and would-be activists start listening to anything other than the bullcrap produced, approved of, and shoved down their throats by the very corporation they should be fighting, Rock Is Dead.
    • by CowTipperGore (1081903) on Monday April 16, 2007 @08:54AM (#18749217)

      I'm surprised students are not rallying to deal with the RIAA. Traditionally, college students have been one of the largest markets for recorded music. And the RIAA is directly attacking their traditional best customer with law suits. I would have expected campus rallys to fight the RIAA. Students obtaining pledges to boycott RIAA labels and distribution of lists of labels to boycott. Just surprised that theres no organized effort on the part of students to counter this.
      You're a generation late. Today's students are too caught up with Paris Hilton, American Idol, and beating Gears of War to protest anything of significance. They will riot (and burn couches in Morgantown, WV) over a football game but you can't get more than 20 or 30 to show up for a rally against an illegal war, grotesque violations of privacy, or any other more fundamental causes. Sadly, boycotting the major labels would require more sacrifice than these kids are willing to make.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by c_forq (924234)
        If they protest correctly it is a lot easier to get people to join in. There was recently an "anti-war" demonstration across the street from my apartment (I live on a university campus). I say "anti-war" for while the majority of people there were against the war there were also significant amounts of gay-rights and other causes protesting. Why the organizers allowed this I can not figure out, as it alienates some people who would otherwise join in. The other thing that made it have a very low turn out
        • by EzInKy (115248)

          I say "anti-war" for while the majority of people there were against the war there were also significant amounts of gay-rights and other causes protesting.


          Are you saying that gay-rights and other causes activists aren't good enough to protest the war with you?
          • Don't be disingenuous. It was obvious he was referring to "protesting myriad other causes", diluting the desired effect.
      • by couchslug (175151)
        "Sadly, boycotting the major labels would require more sacrifice than these kids are willing to make."

        People unwilling to fight for freedom do not deserve it.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          People unwilling to fight for freedom do not deserve it.
          And, we are losing it at an alarming rate. Unfortunately, that large segment of lazy/ignorant/apathetic Americans are contributing to the loss of freedom for those that do care.
  • by redelm (54142) on Monday April 16, 2007 @08:33AM (#18749059) Homepage
    This looks like a very nice stand by a mid-level adminstrator. People in universities usually get a lot of freedom, a carryover from acedemic freedom (allowed to teachers, not students!).

    Unfortunately, if the university's adminsitration isn't behind her (and they might well be, viz acedemic freedom), she could get reversed and reprimanded. Worse since the Regents ulimately report to the NC Legislature. Still, acedemics _can_ be cantankerous. And are expected to be or tenure would not be granted.

  • by BeeBeard (999187) on Monday April 16, 2007 @08:50AM (#18749195)
    I used to live both on and off the campus, connected to the university's blindingly fast network. The wholesale violations of copyright law that I committed, that my dorm mates and fraternity brothers committed, that everyone within my entire social sphere committed were about on par with what you would suspect from a major state university. I could snag most full-length films in 20 minutes or less, and most full mp3 albums in a few minutes tops. Stealing went on then, and it probably goes on even now.

    It might be useful to prattle on about how draconian and unjust copyright laws may be--to decry business models as antiquated and unrealistic and so on. But it would be a jury argument, not a legal one. The fact remains that these students probably *DID* do what they were accused of doing. And they probably *DID* know they weren't supposed to, and did it anyway. To couch wanton lawbreaking as political speech, as many of the more articulate "fuck the RIAA" folks tend to do, is just intellectually dishonest.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MMC Monster (602931)
      True. I can't believe that people here are actually condoning breaking the law. Many people at colleges are downloading songs illegally. The number is up for debate.

      What should be done is change the law and boycott the RIAA/MPAA. Why aren't we seeing more demonstrations on college campuses?
      • by wes33 (698200) on Monday April 16, 2007 @10:03AM (#18749845)

        I can't believe that people here are actually condoning breaking the law
        You mean, you *don't* condone breaking a bad law?

        Your nation (assuming you are American) has many beautiful stories about this: Davy Crockett saying "make sure you're right, then go ahead", or Thoreau, imprisoned for breaking a bad law (as he saw it) who was visited by his friend Emerson who said: "Thoreau, what are you doing in jail??!". Thoreau replied: "Emerson, what are you doing out of jail?".

        So do you really find it hard to condone breaking a law? Or are you a status quo copyright law defender? (out with it man! :) )

        My own view (FWIW) is that it's ok to break a bad law, but you are going to have to face the consequences if caught. But I *don't* think you have to try and get caught unless you want to make a special civil disobedience point. And others do not have to help the defenders of a bad law catch those who break it either. So, it's ok to break copyright law if it's a bad law, and I happen to think current copyright law is bad.
        • I'm okay with breaking a bad law or two (or even a good law, given my recent speeding ticket...). I'm just stating that since we are talking about colleges here: these are the places where people used to demonstrate to stand up for what they believe in, not just break laws in private. Where are the demonstrations against the RIAA/MPAA?
        • Playing Devil's Advocate, because a group of people believe something is a bad law, it does not a bad law make.

          Your spin, which ignores the fact that you have no right to determine, for another person, what is and is not a "bad law", is utterly leading anyway.

          "What, you mean you don't condone breaking a bad law?"
          "Oh, so you agree it is a bad law!"

          Tsk tsk. By the way, have you stopped beating your wife yet?

    • Copyright Infringement went on then, and it probably goes on even now.

      There, fixed it for you.

  • by Chineseyes (691744) on Monday April 16, 2007 @08:53AM (#18749211)
    Not to rain on the submitters parade but Jimmy Valvano was fighting for his life from cancer these guys are only fighting suspected copyright infringement.
  • by rfunches (800928) <{thefunch} {at} {gmail.com}> on Monday April 16, 2007 @09:09AM (#18749331) Homepage
    And the first ad right below the summary is...

    Report Software Piracy
    Earn up to $200,000 for Reporting Pirated Software - All Confidential
    bsa.org/reportpiracy
  • (she was a girl am i right ?)

    well. in any case i wonder what we can do as /. to support this stand.

    our support and even interest in the matter might encourage college administration to back her decision, given that many youngsters who interested in technology and going to get enrolled in colleges will be following /., even through their friends, if not directly. heck, many non-techie people follow /. from what i understand even.

    this can be a major chance for that university for going into spotlight
  • I'm tellin' you, I just loved that movie. A whole raft of city vs. country stereotypes, hot grits, and who could forget Alyssa Milano (note how I mentioned Milano and hot grits in the same sentence!)... ...oh, that was My Cousin Vinny? ... er... uh...

    Well, then who the fsck is Jimmy Valvano? I mean, hooray for stickin' it to the RIAA, but was this Jimmy dude even a nerd? I've got this nagging dread that he's a jock. That's pretty much a given when someone is elevated to mythic status for getting sick.
  • Correction (Score:5, Informative)

    by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <rayNO@SPAMbeckermanlegal.com> on Monday April 16, 2007 @11:03AM (#18750609) Homepage Journal
    This morning I received an email from Ms. Gerace directly, and it appears that the Technician Online article is not 100% accurate. In fact, the Office of Legal Services is not able to represent students in federal court, and the students will need to use outside counsel for the actual litigation. See correction [blogspot.com] on my blog.

In specifications, Murphy's Law supersedes Ohm's.

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