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Leaked MediaDefender Emails Show Student P2P Traffic Down 197

Posted by Zonk
from the they-are-tending-not-to-copy-that-floppy dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The MPAA and the RIAA have been targeting universities in a fury claiming that college students are causing them huge losses. However, some leaked MediaDefender emails show that may be a huge exaggeration. 'I also want to state that I am not for the illegal sharing of files. I am absolutely against it. I just want to make sure that the numbers presented in the media are fair numbers. I have a feeling they aren't fair at all. '"
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Leaked MediaDefender Emails Show Student P2P Traffic Down

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  • Actually... (Score:5, Informative)

    by adona1 (1078711) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @08:04PM (#21635635)
    They don't show that student P2P traffic is down, just that the methods that the MAFIAA use to give numbers of students using P2P are flawed and the numbers are probably lower than they say. Given their sterling track record with manipulating numbers, it's hardly surprising. Plus, it really only deals with the Gnutella network, whereas most of the traffic nowadays would probably be using Bittorrent.
    • Just get all the nation's leading universities to drop their backbone connections in favor of Comcast cable. I promise you, you'll see a huge reduction in network utilization, and BitTorrent connections won't trouble your admins any longer.

      • Re:Problem solved. (Score:4, Informative)

        by Brian Gordon (987471) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @09:31PM (#21636325)
        This guy is an idiot

        I realize some of the EDU IP addresses may be from a private NAT (Network Address Translation) which enables multiple hosts on a private network to access the Internet using a single public IP address. It is safe to say the numbers are probably a bit higher than the data shows but I wouldn't imagine it would be significantly higher.
        My 10000 student school has only a few dozen IPs. Yeah, a "bit higher".
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by blast3r (911514)
          "This guy is an idiot

          I realize some of the EDU IP addresses may be from a private NAT (Network Address Translation) which enables multiple hosts on a private network to access the Internet using a single public IP address. It is safe to say the numbers are probably a bit higher than the data shows but I wouldn't imagine it would be significantly higher.
          My 10000 student school has only a few dozen IPs. Yeah, a "bit higher"."

          This is the point I was making. I know it is higher but how much higher? Do you hav
        • by Fozzyuw (950608)

          This guy is an idiot

          That and there's plenty of mis-leading information. Not to say I'm for the MPAA or RIAA (I'm not, I believe piracy is a response to excessive prices in attempt of the market to correct itself), but here's another stupid comment he seems to be listening to...

          since less than 20 percent of college students live on campus and use the residence hall networks, this means that less than 4 percent of the infringers are using campus networks,

          Er... 20% living on campus isn't a 1:1 correlation

    • by VirusEqualsVeryYes (981719) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @08:27PM (#21635833)

      just that the methods that the MAFIAA use to give numbers of students using P2P are flawed and the numbers are probably lower than they say.


      RIAA fudges numbers, exaggerates case, claims huge losses; no plans to reimburse the artists in question. News at 11.
      • ... no plans to reimburse the artists in question.

        And why should they? The artists in question sold their souls and their copyrights when they signed on with a record label. Unless they refused to sign over their copyrights, they have no stake in this. Whoever holds the rights now is entitled to any revenue (presumably the various labels), so that's not really the issue.

        The problem is the fundamental hypocrisy of the RIAA's stance, which is that they're vigorously defending artist's rights, when in fa
        • by jotok (728554)
          Sure, the artists get paid regardless. We don't support them by buying CDs and we don't hurt them by "stealing."

          I wonder if the *AA are using "piracy" as an excuse to negotiate lower payments for artists, though. Are they just passing the "loss" on to the artists? That would be a problem for me.
      • RIAA fudges numbers, exaggerates case, claims huge losses; no plans to reimburse the artists in question. News at 11.

        Gah. It's just yet another remake of a classic. Hollywood only recycles idea these days.

        BTW, are the writers still on strike? Would explain it.
    • by Tatarize (682683) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @09:09PM (#21636143) Homepage
      There's a number of P2P sites, and P2P programs which don't allow connections to MediaDefender or other such P2P sites. Personally I've seen their IPs end up in the blocked list of Peer Guardian more than a few times.

      I think perhaps they are experiencing a little bit of Heisenberg's at the macrolevel: By observing it, they are changing it. Send enough annoying letters saying X had Y media on X's computer on a P2P site as discovered by this IP address: Z, well, you're going to get programs cropping up to prevent any connections to Z.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      The bit in the article that made me laugh: "Well, I couldn't feel comfortable downloading anything from Gnutella that's more than 4mb, so I'm just searching and searching. Then I start to think, if I'm on there researching, maybe that's what other people are on there doing." and uses that as one extrapolation as to how the numbers are inaccurate, when in reality, I think the numbers of connections that are on Gnutella "just to research what's there to download, and who's downloading, but not actually downlo
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by alphaseven (540122)

      Plus, it really only deals with the Gnutella network, whereas most of the traffic nowadays would probably be using Bittorrent.
      I think we're also seeing a shift away from P2P and towards file hosting sites like Megaupload/Badongo/Zshare/Rapidshare etc, especially for newer albums.
    • Re:Actually... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by garcia (6573) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @11:20PM (#21637117) Homepage
      02/01/07 342854 8398 2.40% 2.45
      04/12/07 291001 7175 2.50% 2.47
      06/14/07 265504 2475 0.93% 0.93
      07/14/07 199333 1303 0.65% 0.65


      Most colleges, on semesters, empty out in early May (1st or 2nd week). I want to see the data for 5/07 and then every month up through 12/07 when it lets out again.

      This blogger might have found the cycle of enrollment flow and nothing more -- as much as I don't like to admit it ;)
  • Bogus (Score:5, Insightful)

    by neokushan (932374) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @08:04PM (#21635643)
    The MPAA and the RIAA have been targeting universities in a fury claiming that college students are causing them huge losses.

    This is a bogus claim anyway, everyone knows college kids (aka Students) are piss poor and couldn't afford to buy the music even if they didn't download it.
    Now they're just piss poor and bored.
    • by xtracto (837672)
      Now they're just piss poor and bored.

      Pissed, poor, bored, depressed and worried because they are just wating to be sued for some songs they downloaded in 2000.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by iminplaya (723125)
      Instead of getting bored, they should be getting pissed. They are throwing away an opportunity to overcome a great challenge. Later, they'll be raising their families and not care about such silliness anymore, and of course keep reelecting the same politicians who brought all this upon them because they were promised "foreclosure relief" or victory in Iraq, or they'll either ban or mandate gay marriage, drugs, flag burning, bla bla bla. And the next generation will say something naughty...*sigh* Now I'm bor
    • Re:Bogus (Score:5, Insightful)

      by p0tat03 (985078) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @09:49PM (#21636475)

      I call bullshit wishful thinking.

      I am in college, and I've been to the campuses of MANY others, for one reason or another, and while it's true that you've got some college students eking by on savings and loans, being very judicious in their spending, the vast majority are supported by middle-class parents, and have plenty of disposable income.

      No, indeed, while I am no fan of the MAFIAA, there IS a very real problem with our young people and their perceptions on copyright. The general consensus is that if they didn't have to filch if off a store shelf, it's morally a-ok, and this mentality pervades every college campus I've ever been to. I'll leave the psychological analysis of the why to people better qualified than I, but it is undeniable that the average college student thinks nothing wrong with piracy. It's perceived as a victimless crime.

      Seriously, if you can spend thousands boozing yourself up each year, you can't make the excuse that you're too poor to buy DVDs.

      • Re:Bogus (Score:5, Insightful)

        by LordLucless (582312) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @10:49PM (#21636937)
        No, indeed, while I am no fan of the MAFIAA, there IS a very real problem with our young people and their perceptions on copyright.

        Either that, or there is a real problem with our copyright law.
        • by s4m7 (519684)

          Either that, or there is a real problem with our copyright law.

          Because it's just not possible that both are true.

          Seriously, you're right, in that copyright law has become fairly draconian in the U.S. at least, but this is at least partially due to the perception that people view acquiring music (that you used to have to pay for) without paying for it as perfectly ok. Most artists wish to be remunerated for their work, and while the de facto model of distribution maybe isn't completely fair to them, it worked pretty well until the paradigm shift occurred.

          Now, I'll

        • No, I'm pretty sure the GP was right. It's not exactly helpful having people grow up thinking they have some right to something they didn't buy, create, or acquire legally for free. Also, it's not helpful to have a large group of people with little to no understanding of economics take an economics law into their own hands.
          • On the other hand, I'm not sure it's exactly helpful to have it believed that the first person to hum a tune can control everything done with it from now until the end of time. Just because neither extreme is useful doesn't mean there isn't a practical solution somewhere in the middle.
            • It's nothing to do with the extremes. It's to do with the fact that one extreme is ignoring the law and just going ahead with their plans. The other extreme is right to prosecute them, and try to curb that behaviour. We can ignore or respond to the **AA on equal terms, but if we ignore students who pirate, they get exactly what they want at the detriment of everyone else.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by acherusia (995492)
        No, indeed, while I am no fan of the MAFIAA, there IS a very real problem with our young people and their perceptions on copyright. The general consensus is that if they didn't have to filch if off a store shelf, it's morally a-ok, and this mentality pervades every college campus I've ever been to. I'd have to agree with that, but it's also very easy to see why. One party has unilaterally declared a position that everyone can agree is downright absurd (and if you don't think that $15 dollar CDs, a copyrig
        • by p0tat03 (985078)

          Oh come on. You can roll out an online music store that charges a quarter per track with zero DRM, and you still wouldn't make so much as a dent in music piracy. You can also create a fast, instantly-streaming download service for movies at, say, $5 per movie, and you still wouldn't make a dent on BitTorrent traffic. Most people aren't pirating as some form of protest for draconian anti-consumer policies, they pirate because it beats paying money for it.

          The vast majority of the world, when it comes to pir

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Grakun (706100)

            Most people aren't pirating as some form of protest for draconian anti-consumer policies, they pirate because it beats paying money for it.

            You're trying to simplify it into something very narrow. There are more things that influence people's behavior than it simply saving money. Otherwise, these people who don't want to waste money would not be listening to nearly as much music, and certainly wouldn't be running out to buy albums they've never heard from bands they've never heard. I know people who like listening to their music through their high end stereo system, or on their computer while they work, that have wasted $15-20 on a new album o

            • by p0tat03 (985078)

              Something seems fishy here. A cheap bastard who pays $2,000 for a laptop from one of the limited number of companies that sells it without a Windows license, then pirates Windows because he can't afford it?

              No, in this case I'm referring to the guy who paid $2K for his laptop, but a year down the line is impressed by the glitziness of Vista, but instead of paying the $100 or so to buy a copy, just chooses to download it.

              I do agree that copyright law as it stands has a lot of problems that require fixing. But I do not agree that copyright as a concept is fundamentally broken. If content can be copied and redistributed at will, there will be little purpose for creators to keep on creating. For music you can

      • Uh.... Who's the victim?

        If I have to pay then I simply wont watch it. Movie quality is absolute shit these days.
        If I pirate it then they may get lucky and I will tell others to watch it.

        Most movies arent even worth the bandwidth required to pirate them.
        If they started making some actually decent original movies then sure I'd pay.

        And yes I do buy all the movies I really enjoyed. My DVD collection consists of a whopping 4 DVDs.
      • It's a mix of many things.

        First of all, it's that "when I can get it for free, why bother buying" attitude. We're getting told time and again that we're stupid if we pay too much for the goods we want, because we can SAVE, SAVE, SAVE. It's not what you pay, it's what you pay LESS. And the ultimate saving is to not spend a buck at all.

        Then there's the ease of use. It isn't hard to do it. Fire up that P2P program and go ahead.

        Then there's the lack of risk. If you get caught, you get caught way after the act.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kamapuaa (555446)
      This is a bogus claim anyway, everyone knows college kids (aka Students) are piss poor and couldn't afford to buy the music even if they didn't download it.

      When I was in college plenty students had large CD collections - that was when Napster was just getting on the scene, though. Have you ever been to college?

      Anyway, being poor doesn't give a right to pirate/steal.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by neokushan (932374)
        Perhaps it's different in America, but here in the UK there's no financial block to becoming a student. If your family isn't moderately well-off, middle class or whatever, then the government pretty much pays all of your tuition fees for you and gives you just enough money to live on. Just enough.
        I know this because I am, in fact, one of these students from a poor background and I know that on multiple occasions I was literally counting the pennies to try and make it through to the next loan instalment. An
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 09, 2007 @08:05PM (#21635649)
    It's not down at my school....
    Just yesterday someone was talking about how they have 6000 illegal downloads. Someone else said "Only 6000?!"

    Not kidding.
    • is it only in USA the MAFIAA is threatning schools and universities or is it happening in other places? I have not heard of any thing here in sweden, the only thing is one time a BSA rep came to my brothers school and had a 1 hour talk.
  • Tongue in Cheek? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by explosivejared (1186049) <hagan.jaredNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday December 09, 2007 @08:08PM (#21635667)
    Of course I don't want to download anything that would be considered illegal You're apparently a college student who doesn't pirate stuff? Are we supposed to take you seriously? You might as well tell us you're the son of God come back to earth to end world hunger and put an end to war, as that would be just as believable. What do you take slashdot for?

    I only kid. I do however think this is less than noteworthy. I'm pretty sure it's been widely known that the RIAA types have inflated their statistics for some time now, what with their formula of x number of pirated copies = x number of sales lost and then x sales lost * y unreasonable charge == z unrealistic losses.
    • I'm pretty sure it's been widely known that the RIAA types have inflated their statistics for some time now, what with their formula of x number of pirated copies = x number of sales lost and then x sales lost * y unreasonable charge == z unrealistic losses.

      That's the formula they use for PR to make them look sheepish. The formula they use in court is z unrealistic losses + c counts of infringement * s statutory damage = d claimed damage. However, since z / d is very close to 0, you can consider the actua

  • by Arabani (1127547) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @08:08PM (#21635673)
    ... numbers distort the RIAA! But seriously, I doubt any of us are surprised that the RIAA's lying through its teeth. It's been suspected since, oh, just about forever. It's nice to have some supporting documentation, though.
  • So if this new data becomes widely published and accepted, how will the RIAA/MPAA react? Do they say "Our anti-piracy methods and DRM are working, and here's the proof"? That would be exactly what we don't want to see happen.

    Hopefully more data can be gathered and published showing not only what the real numbers are, but how the RIAA/MPAA get their numbers. If the EDUs of the world understand that piracy isn't as prevalent as claimed, we can hopefully see fewer DMCA letters and more advances in the fair
    • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Sunday December 09, 2007 @09:29PM (#21636295) Journal
      If the numbers went down, the MAFIAA will claim that their anti-piracy efforts are working. This means that not only will those anti-piracy efforts not go away, but people are much more likely to take them seriously with their next claim.

      If the numbers didn't go down, the MAFIAA will claim that piracy is rampant, and use that as an excuse to do even more DRM, and get even more laws passed for them.

      It's called spin. Let me try some of my own:

      If the numbers went down, I claim that this proves that piracy isn't as much of a threat to their profits as they thought, and therefore, DRM should end.

      If the numbers didn't go down, I claim that this proves that people are so sick and tired of the MAFIAA's bullshit on their legitimate products that they're willing to turn to piracy.

      Here's my trump card, though: If we really can't tell who's right, the default position should be consumer freedom.
      • by Kjella (173770)

        Here's my trump card, though: If we really can't tell who's right, the default position should be consumer freedom.

        Have you tried taking back a freedom you gave someone? It's a lot harder than not giving it in the first place. There's a reason pretty much all the consumer rights have come through law - if it was up to the corporations they wouldn't let you do anything except the perscribed use. Anything and everything could be a potential revenue stream, so why give away something for "free" at all? And DRM does a wonderful job of making sure people have to pay for everything they do. There's a reason it's not copyrigh

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Lifyre (960576)
        What if piracy AND sales go down?

        Can we just assume that no one wants their shitty products and move on? There are literally only three bands I have bought the CD's for in the past 7 years and one of them is from Europe. As for DVD's except for the LOTR extended box and Disney (I'm an addict I need help) I haven't bought a single new dvd in the same time.

        Seriously the only thing I've even thought about pirating recently is porn and a couple computer games cause in Iraq if it isn't digital delivery it's a pa
      • If the numbers went down, the MAFIAA will claim that their anti-piracy efforts are working. This means that not only will those anti-piracy efforts not go away, but people are much more likely to take them seriously with their next claim.

        I predict that it would take a year or two of piracy falling before the **AA would start backing down. After that, I would expect more and more DRM-free downloads to become available, but I would doubt the DMCA would be redacted. We would certainly see less CBDTPAs [wikipedia.org] being pu

  • by compumike (454538) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @08:13PM (#21635711) Homepage
    Just take a look at this recent opinion piece to MIT's newspaper [mit.edu]. Here's a student who believes that "the free flow of information" (as he says twice) is the ultimate good. Lots of students still don't understand why copyright exists. In fact, some will even try to explain that physical property is the only kind that should have value. It's totally mind-boggling, even when these students are the ones who will be going out and making the next generation of intellectual works.

    Even the GPL and all copyleft mechanisms rely on copyright laws. If people want their wishes as content creators to be respected (whether that is to allow some forms of redistribution, like CC-NC, or not, like "All rights reserved"), they need to respect copyright law and not subvert it.

    --
    Educational microcontroller kits for the digital generation. [nerdkits.com]
    • Even the GPL and all copyleft mechanisms rely on copyright laws.
      Which is why, in the spirit of *truly* free software, many young professional software devleopers, such as myself, prefer the BSD-style licenses.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Millenniumman (924859)
        Which still rely on copyright.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ricebowl (999467)

      If people want their wishes as content creators to be respected (whether that is to allow some forms of redistribution, like CC-NC, or not, like "All rights reserved"), they need to respect copyright law and not subvert it.

      You say 'subvert,' I suggest 'revise.' If a large portion of a community disregards the copyright laws as currently written, does that imply that a large portion of a community needs to be punished/made to pay, or that the copyright laws need to be re-written?

      • Well, are we talking just a "large proportion" or do we mean "vast majority"? I think it's the latter myself.
      • the popularity of breaking a particular law should not be the basis of rewriting that law. Laws should be rewritten to better serve society while minimizing any negative impact on the individual. In the case of copyright law, it *does* need a complete reworking but not because of the number of people breaking said laws. It's because they do more to hinder creative works than protecting them.
        • by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Sunday December 09, 2007 @09:14PM (#21636189)
          Actually, the popularity of a law is its /very basis/ for legitimacy, at least in a democratic society. Who gets to decide what policy can "better service society" except the very members of that society? The law should reflect common morality, not some notion three guys in a room decided was best.

          Every time the law has been used as a club to force the public to accept a minority moral position, it's failed to have the desired effect. Remember learning about the prohibition?
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            Every time the law has been used as a club to force the public to accept a minority moral position, it's failed to have the desired effect. Remember learning about the prohibition?

            Prohibition, otherwise known as the Eighteenth Amendment, required 2/3rds of both houses of Congress, and 3/4ths of the states to pass it(Rhode Island was the only state to reject it). It was hardly the minority moral position. That said, it was subverted by the minority position, but not before we got the wonderfully powerful FBI to fight them. It was ultimately repealed with the Twenty First Amendment after twenty some years as citizens grew tired of the racketeering and other problems it was causing.

          • yeah good thing the majority has never been wrong before...

            Actually, the popularity of a law is its /very basis/ for legitimacy, at least in a democratic society.
            holy s--- batman! Laws should never ever be written solely because of mob rule, there should be an actual logical reason for them to exist!
          • by Kjella (173770)
            On the other hand, the majority is also capable of taking away, taxing or regulating a minority's property or livelyhood for their own benefit which isn't morality but rather self-enrichment. Just because a small minority are content producers (with commercial value to speak of, I know my school esseys are copyrighted) and everyone else would benefit from taking money from them doesn't imply that it's right or even wise. Sure, some forms of culture like music, books, theater and youtube would remain. But as
          • Actually, the popularity of a law is its /very basis/ for legitimacy, at least in a democratic society.

            Agreed. One would hope though that the smarter people would make compelling arguments, and the even smarter people tear those arguments to shreds, and the smarter still people... etc, etc. That's the way the fairytale works. Unfortunately, it's relatively easy to make beneficial laws that infringe on perceived rights look bad in an age of sound bites and slogans. How are you meant to explain the subtle bri

      • by CodeBuster (516420) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @11:30PM (#21637171)
        Yes, most of us do not disagree completely with notion of copyright as a concept, but rather the particularly onerous and unbalanced implementation which has emerged in the first world in general and the United States in particular from about 1975 onward. Copyright is supposed to strike a balance between producers and consumers but how is it balanced to say that all of the works copyrighted in a single human lifetime will not be enjoyed by that same person in the public domain in his lifetime? In fact the balance has tilted so far in favor of the copyright holders that people in general, and college students in particular, are in open rebellion against a system which they perceive is no longer fair. They choose to act outside they system because the laws are so broken and the deck so stacked against them with regard to having those laws changed.
      • Well, considering that the vast majority of the "community" is rather consumer than producer of content, I'd say it's a no-brainer that they want the laws to be rewritten into something less strict.

    • by martin-boundary (547041) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @09:14PM (#21636185)

      Lots of students still don't understand why copyright exists.
      It's easy to understand _why_ copyright exists, but that doesn't mean that copyright is a good idea in the first place.

      Lawmakers often write lofty goals such as "to promote the progress of science and useful arts", but merely writing this doesn't make it so.

      For example, if somebody wrote that we must subsidise deep underground gold mining operations "to promote the progress of technology to fly to mars", it would be obvious that they are full of shit.

      The fact is that "promoting the progress of science and useful arts" is not verifiably helped by copyright law, there's no evidence: nada. zip. zilch.

      Instead, copyright is simply one of the arbitrary economic rules we live under and that we inherited from our ancestors. Some people like it, because they have lucrative property contracts based upon it. Other people don't like it, as they don't have lucrative contracts.

      What's changed in the 21st century is that those who don't like it are finding it easier to simply ignore copyright, and those who like it are whining about it.

      • by mpe (36238)
        It's easy to understand _why_ copyright exists, but that doesn't mean that copyright is a good idea in the first place.

        Even if it was a good idea in the "first place", that dosn't mean that it is a good idea now. There are plenty of things which were good ideas 2-300 years ago, which would be considered otherwise now.

        The fact is that "promoting the progress of science and useful arts" is not verifiably helped by copyright law, there's no evidence: nada. zip. zilch.

        Thus the question needs to be asked "
      • Oh, copyright was a splendid idea when it came into existance. It allowed a great composer to work and create his art without having to find some nobility to sponsor him first. That's why you have near zero "commoner" stories, plays and art pieces before the advent of copyright, the highborns didn't really want to hear about that.

        Copyright finally allowed to create art that the "common man" enjoys without going piss poor in the process. Before copyright came into existance, you had to have one filthy rich p
        • by mpe (36238)
          Oh, copyright was a splendid idea when it came into existance. It allowed a great composer to work and create his art without having to find some nobility to sponsor him first. That's why you have near zero "commoner" stories, plays and art pieces before the advent of copyright, the highborns didn't really want to hear about that.

          Or it could mean that a noble patron has been replaced by a publishing corporation.

          Copyright finally allowed to create art that the "common man" enjoys without going piss poor
    • by Xenographic (557057) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @10:02PM (#21636571) Homepage Journal
      Just take a look at this recent opinion piece to MIT's newspaper. Here's a student who believes that "the free flow of information" (as he says twice) is the ultimate good. Lots of students still don't understand why copyright exists.

      Oh, some of us understand just fine. It's the part where people don't agree with how the law is written or enforced that get you into problem territory.

      In fact, some will even try to explain that physical property is the only kind that should have value. It's totally mind-boggling, even when these students are the ones who will be going out and making the next generation of intellectual works.

      No, they usually say that IP isn't really property because it's not truly rivalrous. Sure, the law creates rights that are in rivalrous in an artificial way, but you can have two people listen to the same tune whereas two people can't eat the same grape. You may have heard people refer to IP as "imaginary property" recently. It's not because they don't know what IP is supposed to stand for, but because they don't agree with it.

      It's totally mind-boggling, even when these students are the ones who will be going out and making the next generation of intellectual works.

      Mind-boggling? That sounds more like a statement of ignorance to me. I don't have any trouble understanding why they'd think that, nor do I have trouble understanding those with views like yours. When I hear that something is "mind-boggling" I usually find out that people are trying to ascribe intelligence to something (or someone) that lacks it, or that they haven't thought something through. In this case, it would appear to be the latter.

      Even the GPL and all copyleft mechanisms rely on copyright laws. If people want their wishes as content creators to be respected (whether that is to allow some forms of redistribution, like CC-NC, or not, like "All rights reserved"), they need to respect copyright law and not subvert it.

      The GPL IS a subversion of copyright law after a fashion. RMS wrote against that notion that we need copyright because it's used to enforce the GPL quite specifically in one of his essays [gnu.org] (yes, you can't enforce the GPL without copyright law, but you don't really need it, either). You might want to talk to the man who wrote it before you make claims like that. I did. [1]

      Anyhow, to get back on topic, I don't see how you can say that not supporting copyright law makes them an infringer. I also don't think that that essay you linked to was written out of ignorance. It's written because people are fed up with this crap.

      Perhaps you haven't yet realized this, but the more laws we make, the more criminals there are. Obviously, the more we criminalize the things people are already doing, the more people who are going to break them. And you can't have fewer than zero people breaking a law, so adding to the laws will certainly never create fewer criminals. The point isn't the ridiculous notion that we could just abolish all laws and have "zero" criminals. Some things, after all, are worth the cost of criminalizing them. But it's a mistake to think that laws are without cost. And here, a reasonable person can make the case that we're simply better off if we don't criminalize something, whether or not we like or agree with it.

      Of course, you seem to find that "mind-boggling" :] I suggest you think it through a little more. The notion was not formed without the use of rational thought, so an intelligent person like you should be able to understand it... right?

      [1] To prove it, I'll point out that I also read the confusing words manifesto. Whereas RMS would like us all to stop using the word, I have chosen to subvert it with the term "Imaginary Property" not unlike how RMS chose to subvert copyright with the GPL rather than hoping to abolish it. RMS disagrees with me about that term, BTW, in that it still lumps together at least three disparate areas of law, but you'd have a hard time finding someone with whom he agrees about everything :]
      • by mpe (36238)
        The GPL IS a subversion of copyright law after a fashion.

        Actually you could easily argue that it is a "back to basics" revision.

        Perhaps you haven't yet realized this, but the more laws we make, the more criminals there are. Obviously, the more we criminalize the things people are already doing, the more people who are going to break them. And you can't have fewer than zero people breaking a law, so adding to the laws will certainly never create fewer criminals. The point isn't the ridiculous notion that
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bzipitidoo (647217)

      You're thinking too narrowly. You see us as working against our own best interests, undermining the very thing, copyright, that will empower us to make a living. But copyright is only a means, and a poor one at that. We need a better means. We aren't going to get a better means as long as we keep fighting over the impossible task of how to enforce copyright rather than hash out and try other ways. Another way, much older than copyright, and with plenty of its own problems, is patronage. Mozart didn't

      • Patronage has another problem. You have to create what your patron wants to hear. In other words, we'd only get "rich man art" that way. Art that some rich guy who can afford having an artist wants to hear.

        Now, while this might mean the end of rap music and "gangsta rap" especially, it also has its downsides. Whether it's worse than getting the "mainstream crap" we have today as music is debatable, but you can rest assured that the charts would be filled with praise songs about government and Bill Gates.
    • Yes but people should be paid TO CREATE information not paid FOR INFORMATION THEY ARE RESTRICTING FROM PUBLIC USE.

      It's pretty simple really.
    • by ceoyoyo (59147)
      Perhaps lots of students understand quite well why copyright exists, but disagree that it should be perpetual and assignable to a cartel of corporations that have little to no intention of reimbursing the content creators?
    • Actually, the GPL has to rely on copyright because copyright exists in the first place.

      What would happen to OSS without copyright? Well, the biggest threat, i.e. someone taking GPL'ed code and claim it as his own, to be used by him and only him, cannot happen, due to a lack of copyright. The other problem, that someone takes OSS code, uses it and doesn't rerelease the source, is minimal compared to that. So it's not open. If it's good enough, either someone will create an OSS clone or simply reverse the CSS
  • by petes_PoV (912422) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @08:15PM (#21635729)
    • students have found ways to not be discovered
    • the students have got all the stuff they want
    • there's nothing much worth downloading at present
    • (my favourite) The RIAA are getting tired of the "war" so they're engineering a victory. Look! our stats say we've won - we can stop now.
    • possibly the stats are over the summer, when the colleges were empty
    Just like house prices, you can't draw any real conclusions from a single data point. Give it a year and see if there's still a downward trend or if this was just a blip
    • by Hemogoblin (982564) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @08:38PM (#21635925)
      Well the guy's data [mediadefen...enders.com] is from July, so it seems you're right on that last point.
    • Let me add another point to your list:
      • The majority of college students[1] don't live in dorms which are on the university's network

        I'd bet that the vast majority of college students who don't live in dorms still have broadband internet access via Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon, AT&T, local ISPs, whoever. I certainly did when I lived off-campus during college.

        [1] http://www.alternet.org/rights/70021/ [alternet.org] - tracing this quote back a couple of articles: "since less than 20 percent of college students live

    • by GraZZ (9716)

      students have found ways to not be discovered

      I would argue that this is the largest reason.

      On my campus, p2p traffic is traffic shaped for residence subnets, and everyone that cares at all about filesharing is on the campus DC++ node (or the super, 100GB+ shared node). Why use p2p when you can grab things at full 100mbit speeds locally? Plus, the people that have cable internet in their rooms are pulling all the latest TV episodes in for you, doing the work of hunting for good files for you.

      This campus hub has only been around for about 3 years, and

  • I wonder. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by palegray.net (1195047) <philip DOT paradis AT palegray DOT net> on Sunday December 09, 2007 @08:22PM (#21635797) Homepage Journal
    I wonder how many students at technical colleges and universities are using BitTorrent to download Linux ISOs, free software packages, etc...

    I know that's what I use it for (no, I'm not kidding).

    • by Gazzonyx (982402)
      As a software development major and intern admin/developer, I can say that I've used about ~100 GB ( big B == Bytes ;) ) since this summer solely using bittorrent for Linux ISOs since this summer.
  • by AlphaLop (930759) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @08:23PM (#21635803)
    That so many of you would even insinuate that those benevolent guardians of the artist known as the R.I.A.A. and the M.P.A.A. would ever be less then truthful. Shocking, just plain shocking.

    I gotta go shower now, for some reason I feel so dirty....

  • so the bottom line is that an industry whose sales are dropping are not only out of touch with their market, they are out of touch with reality as well.

    someone wake me from this dream.
  • Business plan (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PPH (736903) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @08:39PM (#21635939)
    1. Find a bunch of corporate PHBs who fear new technology will disrupt their market share.
    2. Put together statistics showing them how much money is slipping away.
    3. Collect fees from them for a service that will reduce these losses.
    4. Put together new statistics showing the reduction in losses, thanks to their generous contributions.
    5. ????
    6. Profit!
  • I have been downloading using the Gnutella network, newsgroups, usenet, and torrents since early highschool.. but I am an exception; being a computer science major.

    Gnutella market became huge when I was in highschool.. which was Napster... that is when most students learned and starting using this tool. It has really been the last few years that most people I know are using other means of downloading besides Gnutella network; but still a majority do that are not computer literate. I have taught several pe
    • by unity100 (970058)

      The only real way to combat this generation of downloading is to partner with the ISP's because only they can really throttle the connections and stop this.

      which would be isps that noone would ever choose.

      i personally wouldnt choose no college that would be 'throttling' my activity on the net for whatever reason, and as an adult i would definitely not choose any failed isp that tries to 'throttle' its users for whatever reason.

      its free market against mercantilism my friends. spanish have tried it in 16th century, as well as all other nations, it failed. putting a stranglehold on market by forceful or legal means and then selling overpriced goods never s

    • The sad thing is, I think the RIAA may be really hurting itself by driving people to torrents. Back when I used Kazaa (some time ago), a download session would be a song or two. While I could try to get large sets of music (IE, an album) completing a set was an extreme amount of work, and frequently impossible. Getting quality encode rates was just as hard too. Which meant I was left with plenty of music to buy, and both I and my brother frequently bought music from bands we also pirated from.

      This gives
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 09, 2007 @09:06PM (#21636121)
    Shocking! The numbers quoted in the articles show a steep drop in June and July, having reached a peak in midwinter.
  • Would someone care to explain the significance of the /. article and the blog linked therein? I initially expected that the quote was from one of the leaked e-mails, but no, it's from some guy I've never heard of doing some very basic and inconclusive analysis of some data he doesn't actually link to.

    While I suspect that his suspicions are correct, pretty much anybody could say the same thing and post it to their weblog. Why is it notable in this context? Could someone tell me how the last five minutes o
  • by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @11:33PM (#21637193) Journal
    People use iPods like hard drives and vice versa. An 80 gig drive costs what - $50 these days? Plenty big for lots of tunes. You bring a drive over to a friend's dorm room and look it over and copy what you want and vice versa. USB2 and / or firewire 800 blow internet connectivity to bits. Why spend hours DLing stuff, especially at school - their routers get saturated and everything slows down anyway. It's faster and easier to find out who has what you want or has interesting tastes and interests, and then just copy from drive to drive.

    Silly MAFIAA - trix are for kids!

    And the kidz will always be three steps ahead of you. Face it. Your business model is done. Go figure out some other way to make a living.

    RS

    • by p0tat03 (985078)
      Or you do it like every self-respecting university up here in Canada does - I'm sure many of our American brethren do the same. You set up an intranet-only DC++ server. Bam, not accessible (and thus not monitorable) from the outside, and you have insane, insane speeds due to the fact that you're all on the same LAN! A few thousand students in a few thousand dorm rooms and you've got yourself a library of every imaginable file.
  • Then let me say in public that I am positively and overwhelmingly in favor of the widespread and illegal copyright-infringing sharing of culture and knowledge. It is an enormously positive force to society.

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