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Comparing the RIAA To "The Sopranos" 193

Posted by Zonk
from the riaa-would-make-terrible-television-though dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "According to commentator Therese Polletti at Dow Jones MarketWatch, 'the RIAA's tactics are nearly as bad as the actions of mobsters, real or fictional. The analogy comes up easily and frequently in any discussion of the RIAA's maneuvers.' Among other things she cites the extortionate nature of their 'settlement negotiations' pointed out by Prof. Bob Talbot of the University of San Francisco School of Law IP Law Clinic. His student attorneys are helping private practitioners fight the RIAA, and the the illegality of the RIAA's use of unlicensed investigators. She goes on to cite the fact that the RIAA thinks nothing of jeopardizing a student's college education in order to make their point, as support for the MAFIAA/Mafia analogy."
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Comparing the RIAA To "The Sopranos"

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  • by tgd (2822) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @12:41PM (#22807900)
    Can we at least hope the RIAA and MPAA will end the same way?

    • by hostyle (773991) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @12:44PM (#22807956)
      Um. Suddenly and unexpectedly at the last minute, with everyone left wondering what really happened, and secretly wondering if there will be an unannounced comeback at some non-fixed point in the future?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by imamac (1083405)
      If everyone counter-sued the heck of them. And won. Maybe.
      • by aurispector (530273) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @01:02PM (#22808224)
        An interesting article on Ars Technica regarding copyrighted games:

        http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080320-pc-game-developer-has-radical-message-ignore-the-pirates.html [arstechnica.com]

        Basically the message is that pirates were never customers and can therefore be ignored. I would take it one step further and say that piracy is a form of free advertising. More than once I've bought cd's based on mp3's I heard. The music and movie industry suits are a bunch of whining dinosaurs; all they need to do is make the disks worth buying by offering additional content liek posters, stickers, etc..
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          Basically the message is that pirates were never customers and can therefore be ignored. I would take it one step further and say that piracy is a form of free advertising. More than once I've bought cd's based on mp3's I heard. The music and movie industry suits are a bunch of whining dinosaurs; all they need to do is make the disks worth buying by offering additional content liek posters, stickers, etc..

          This seems to ignore the fact that it is VASTLY cheaper to download an mp3 or an album than it is to

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward
            Just imagine the amount of money they could save by not hiring people to astroturf, too!

            CAPTCHA: "funded". Figures.
          • by aurispector (530273) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @02:46PM (#22809746)
            It's technically illegal but laws can be changed to reflect reality. The industries fantasy is that they should get paid for every time someone plays a song. The reality is that with unlimited supply with virtually zero production costs the value of an mp3 is basically zero. The fact is, you get more VALUE from a CD, but cd's have been massively overpriced for years.
            Additionally, the music industry existed for promotion and distribution. Now that distribution is basically free, their only function is promotions. This puts the artists in the curious postition of being popular not due to their hype but their talent. Artists were never the ones getting paid from album sales anyway; the labels made the bulk of the money. Cut out the middleman by having bands sell mps'3 directly from a website and the money goes where it should-to the artists.

            Artist may have to resort to actually PERFORMING in order to make money. Damn shame.

            The industry ought to adjust to the reality on the ground: mp3's are advertising & thats all.
            • by Myopic (18616)
              I basically agree with you, but what about bands that aren't as good at playing live shows as making good recordings? Not everyone likes to play in front of a live audience.

              Still, those bands should sell their own discs and keep 90% of the money, instead of using a middleman, and only keeping 1% of the money.
              • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                by SpiderClan (1195655)
                We can't all be rock stars. The bands who can't create something that people are willing to pay for will either fade away, or do it because they want to, which is the way it should be, anyway.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            mp3 downloading almost certainly *could* kill CD sales in 5-10 years.

            So what? People don't exist to support business, people choose the businesses they wish to support on the basis of which ones provide what they want at a price they're willing to pay. Businesses that can't do that receive no support and, well, go out of business. After all, do you buy milk just to support the dairy industry? I doubt it. If bands still make music and people still have a means to access it then why should anybody care whet

        • by cromar (1103585) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @01:44PM (#22808824)
          Exactly. If you pirate something, like it, and can afford to buy it, do it. It's the moral thing to do. Ergo, anything you pirate and don't buy should be something you wouldn't or couldn't pay for. Most "pirates" I know or have spoken with operate this way. And so yes, it is basically free advertising.
        • by Ahnteis (746045)
          >I would take it one step further and say that piracy is a form of free advertising.

          You missed the point of the article. You don't advertise to people who aren't potential customers.
          • by aurispector (530273) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @05:11PM (#22811956)
            No, I didn't. You even quote me stating that "I would take it one step further...", i.e., *beyond* the points made in TFA.

            Anyone who listens to the mp3's are potential customers. Share it and another potential customer hears the song. Repeat several thousand times and you have bona fide "buzz". Someone will buy the disk, go to the show, whatever. Money is made.

            How about this: If I distribute mp3's over the internet, the record companies should pay ME for helping to advertise and distribute their content. How's that?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by operagost (62405)
      There won't be any Journey songs playing, however-- because the illegal pirate downloaders STOLE THEM ALL!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 20, 2008 @12:42PM (#22807930)
    the Mafia has morals and a culture of respect
  • by kpainter (901021) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @12:55PM (#22808094)
    The RIAA doesn't have a cool theme song. And they wouldn't have to pay royalties if they did.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 20, 2008 @01:14PM (#22808408)
      The RIAA doesn't have a cool theme song.

      No surprise. Where are they gonna find good music?
    • by jimicus (737525)
      The RIAA doesn't have a cool theme song. And they wouldn't have to pay royalties if they did.

      I don't know about the theme, but Journey's "Don't stop Believin'" at the end of the final episode of the Sopranos is from an album on the Columbia label - and Columbia are part of Sony BMG.
  • Wait a minute... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by OldFish (1229566)
    The RIAA has the law on their side so aren't they more like "The Untouchables" ???
    • by snl2587 (1177409)

      Law on their side or not, I wouldn't exactly say they're "good guys". So "The Untouchables" is out.

    • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @04:10PM (#22811070)

      The RIAA is well within their rights to pursue people they think have infringed on their copyrights. But they have to follow court procedures and the law when pursuing their rights. They have to file separate lawsuits for each defendant. They have to make sure that the person they are suing is the correct person. When they make mistakes, they should be diligent about dismissing. It seems apparent that they don't care.

      That is why Tanya Andersen is seeking class action status. She was innocent. She tried reasoning with the and offered them her computer to inspect. Even when they inspected her computer and found nothing, they still tried to push her to pay and hinted that they might pursue her 9 year old daughter. It wasn't until 2 years after the start of the suit when they had to produce evidence to the judge did they finally dismiss:

      Copyright holders generally, and these plaintiffs specifically, should be deterred from prosecuting infringement claims as plaintiffs did in this case. Plaintiffs exerted a significant amount of control over the course of discovery, repeatedly and successfully seeking the court's assistance through an unusually extended and contentious period of discovery disputes. Nonetheless, after ample opportunity to develop their claims, they dismissed them at the point they were required to produce evidence for the court's consideration of the merits.
      --Hon. Donald C. Ashmanskas, Atlantic v. Andersen
  • Any ordinary trust (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Hojima (1228978)
    Nearly as bad doesn't cut it. As much as I agree that they're bastards, these guys don't kill for profit (probably because it's not worth the hassle anyways), sell harmful products, torture people, etc. Handling mobsters and handling major trust figures have some differences and similarities. One thing they have in common is that you can fix the problem quite efficiently by catching them in some horrid act and successfully convict them. But given that they are a trust, treat them like Microsoft and split th
    • by rozthepimp (638319) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @12:59PM (#22808162)
      "these guys don't.... sell harmful products, torture people, etc." You forgot about Rap.
    • sell harmful products...

      Have you listened to some of that stuff?
    • by RulerOf (975607) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @01:27PM (#22808588)

      these guys don't kill for profit (probably because it's not worth the hassle anyways), sell harmful products, torture people, etc.

      No, they don't. RIAA is much less forgiving. Rather than shooting you in the back of the head for something you probably knew you had coming to you, they'd rather hit you with a life-destroying $222,000 settlement [wikipedia.org] for something you were capable of doing, and watch your life fall apart around you.

      At least the classic mafia deserves respect.
      • by Atlantis-Rising (857278) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @01:31PM (#22808640) Homepage
        I'll point out it was a jury who returned that verdict, and jurors in the case have repeatedly pointed out that the reason they ruled the way they did was because they felt the defendant was lying to them and the Court in her own defense.

        • I'll point out it was a jury who returned that verdict, and jurors in the case have repeatedly pointed out that the reason they ruled the way they did was because they felt the defendant was lying to them and the Court in her own defense.

          Actually, the jury ruled that way because the judge instructed them that capability was all that was required for a guilty verdict. Just as the GP said...
          • Members of the jury, in interviews, specifically stated they were punishing her for lying and apparently destroying evidence.

            "She's a liar," remember?
    • by Bombula (670389) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @01:30PM (#22808620)
      these guys don't kill for profit

      Well it depends on how you define "kill for profit." If you mean kill with a GLOC or a piano wire, then no, most monopolized industries don't kill for profit. But if you account for deaths that the company (or group of companies) could have prevented either through action or inaction but didn't expressly for the purpose of profit then I think you're actually out on very thin ice here. The monolithic pharmaceutical and health insurance companies knowingly "kill" thousands of people each year for profit. The manufacturers of cigarettes knowingly "kill" millions of people each year for profit. If you brought these charges up in court, it'd be 'wrongful death' instead of 'murder', but killing is killing and dead is dead as far as most people are concerned.

    • by owlnation (858981) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @01:37PM (#22808742)

      As much as I agree that they're bastards, these guys don't kill for profit (probably because it's not worth the hassle anyways)
      Not so sure that's exactly true:
      1. Rock and roll is full of suicides and accidental deaths -- the Record companies have an indirect role in some of those.
      2. The sweatshops where CDs are made, or where tapes were once made, or where records were once made - ill health and poverty surely killed a few in those.
      3. Sony BMG. BMG is Bertelsmann. Bertelsmann were Nazis. They banned unGerman music, they used death camp labor in Auschwitz and other camps. BMG tried to cover this up for DECADES. It was only in the past few years or so that it came out.
      4. The whole Godfather/Sinatra thing.
      5. Finally, the music business is big money. They have proven time and time again to have no morals whatsoever. Do you really, honestly, doubt that a few people haven't been "disappeared" who got in their way?
    • Nearly as bad doesn't cut it
      don't worry, the same people that will argue endlessly that it's not fair to even try to compare downloading free music to stealing or that it's dishonest to call them pirates will surely pipe right up and point out that the RIAA never shot anyone
    • by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Thursday March 20, 2008 @02:05PM (#22809078) Journal

      Actually, they do torture people. Mental torture. It's harsh having your dream of graduating from college being held hostage over allegations of what is really a petty infraction-- allegations that don't need to be substantiated to a high standard because the crime is too petty. The punishments are what's totally out of whack, and opened the door for all this. I'm not talking just being forced to drop out for lack of money after having to pay some exorbitant fine, I'm talking punitive expulsion for allegedly violating the law. Being railroaded. I don't know for sure but this is what I'm guessing expulsion means: You're finished at the university level. You lose all credit for all coursework you've completed. If you can get back in at all, which is doubtful with a black mark like that on your record, you'll be starting over. Colleges don't like to admit or keep the sort of people who've been caught at things such as plagiarism, cheating on exams, and the like. If you decide to try to get on with life, you'll have a rough time getting jobs with only a high school diploma, and a record that is effectively criminal. Employers don't want to hire dishonest people. The MAFIAA wants its victims to be sweating over all those possibilities. Mental torture. Paying a $3000 settlement, even if the money has to be borrowed from a loan shark, begins to look like a real good idea when faced with all those alternatives. None of this is in the cards over a speeding ticket, which is arguably a more serious crime as that can put people in danger.

    • by Dan541 (1032000)

      Nearly as bad doesn't cut it. As much as I agree that they're bastards, these guys don't kill for profit
      Wait till they start lobbying for the death penalty!

      ~Dan

  • Laws (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Wowsers (1151731)
    The difference between the mafia and RIAA is that the RIAA (and MPAA) have had laws passed for their benefit to screw the public (for example, you're not supposed to reverse engineer / break DRM etc.).
    • Re:Laws (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Scrameustache (459504) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @01:06PM (#22808294) Homepage Journal

      The difference between the mafia and RIAA is that the RIAA (and MPAA) have had laws passed for their benefit to screw the public (for example, you're not supposed to reverse engineer / break DRM etc.).
      A black market needs laws to keep stuff illegal so it can run...
      Gambling, prostitution, drugs, those profitable activities are controlled by organized crime.
  • Ooooohh ... (Score:3, Funny)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @12:59PM (#22808160) Homepage
    They're so gonna bust his knee-caps over this. Maybe send Pauly Walnuts to knock him around. :-P

    Cheers
  • that is, that punishing a crime, real or perceived, with a punishment that is worse than the crime is not actually justice or morality

    upload a song, owe thousands may not be as awful as steal some bread, have your hand chopped off, or commit adultery, get stoned to death, but the riaa's tactics shares with religious fundamentalist notions of justice this same disproportionate massive punishment for comparatively mild crimes

    it's very simple: you don't teach anyone to respect morality with fear and terror. you just teach them that fear and terror are more important than morality

    they need to learn that lesson in rural yemen as much as they do in riaa headquarters

    a truly just society is one that metes out punishments that are milder than the actual crimes being punished (but not too mild, just milder). in such a way does a society provide stability and a respect for justice. if the punishments are too severe or too mild in comparison to the crimes, then justice is disrespected, not served, and society is destabilized and impoverished as a result

    the impoverishments under religious fundamentalism are apparent. the impoverishments unde rriaa tactics are simply less cultural riches for us all

    • by llamalad (12917)
      > a truly just society is one that metes out punishments that are milder than the actual crimes being punished (but not too mild, just milder).

      That's ridiculous.

      Steal $100, so a just society fines you $95?

      Congratulations, it's now profitable to steal even if caught in this just society of yours.
      • steal $100, go to jail

        what about the $100?

        the $100 was never yours in the first place, so it is never taken back from you. it is returned to the rightful owner completely. it was never yours, ever, to ever be considered as something taken back from you. the way you are thinking about the situation is simply not the moral way to think about the situation

        the $100 doesn't even figure into the punishment calculation. the act of stealing does. get it?

        do you understand what morality is? apparently not based on ho
      • by rudeboy1 (516023)
        I don't think that's what he means. Using your scenario, let's say you got caught stealing $100. The punishment would not be a fine less than the amount you stole. That's just ridiculous. A milder punishment would START with making you give back the money you stole, but that's not really a punishment, since you're giving back what you took, and to leave it at that would make it as though it never happened. The actual punishment would depend on how you stole the money. If you mugged a 10 year old at th
    • by mojotooth (53330)
      Congratulations, you just turned a thread about music sharing into an anti-Islamic rant. Perhaps we should invent a new version of Godwin's law just for you.
      • i have nothing against islam

        christian fundamentalists are just as wrong as muslim fundamentalists

        but it doesn't take a genius to see that currently the muslim world has a bigger problem with fundamentalist assholes destroying muslim societies than the christian world does

        when the christian world was busy clubbing each other in the dark ages, the muslim world was making advances in algebra, alchemy, alcohol, algorithms... notice a trend in those words?

        the christian world was once as dogmatic and fascist reli
    • by mapkinase (958129)
      "as awful as steal some bread, have your hand chopped off,"

      This is a popular misunderstanding of how Islamic punishment for stealing works. A person stealing out of hunger is not punished by cutting his hand off.

      1. The theft must not have been the product of hunger, necessity, or duress. [wikipedia.org]

      2. According to the Qur'an, any punishment should fit the crime. The Qur'an says: [aol.com]

      (5:45) And We prescribed for them therein: The life for the life, and the eye for the eye, and the nose for the nose, and the ear for the ear,

      • then explain rulings in northern nigeria, saudi arabia, iran, wazuristan, baluchistan, etc., that propose punishments completely out of proportion to the crimes. in the name of sharia law. dozens of times. in recent years
        • by mapkinase (958129)
          The problem is that you have a correct understanding of the seriousness of punishment, but your understanding of the seriousness of crime is not correct. More problematic is that you assume that your understanding of seriousness of crime of adultery or theft is some kind of universal.
    • by mapkinase (958129)
      "a truly just society is one that metes out punishments that are milder than the actual crimes being punished (but not too mild, just milder). in such a way does a society provide stability and a respect for justice. if the punishments are too severe or too mild in comparison to the crimes, then justice is disrespected, not served, and society is destabilized and impoverished as a result"

      Is it a scientific fact or your cultural definition?
    • by mapkinase (958129)
      "the impoverishments under religious fundamentalism are apparent."

      There is no scientific evidence of the cause-effect relation between level of religion in the society (cause) and poverty (effect). In fact, there is a lot of evidence of opposite relation: poor people or people under any kind of duress tend to be more religious.

      One can measure correlations only.

      • as a rule, religious fundamentalism asserts that human nature must be confined to narrow bands of behavior. so therefore logically ones life is constrained. so i am referring to a poverty of life experience, range of thoughts, not just financial impoverishment

        however, one can prove that a financially rich society is built upon innovation and novel inventions which uproot the status quo. and that more of these accumulate in a society that encourages a mind to wander rather than a society that insists a mind
  • ...are more like that cable reality show, "The Biggest Loser"? After all, the **AA put people through a gruelling ordeal where they can't afford to eat properly, and at the end of it, the ones that survive all have to tighten their belts.
  • I don't know (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pembo13 (770295) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @01:03PM (#22808230) Homepage
    The Soprano family seemed pretty human to me. Aside from the greed factor, I don't see that much humanity seeping from the RIAA.
  • RIAA... (Score:5, Funny)

    by xtracto (837672) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @01:03PM (#22808244) Journal
    Since 1999, making you an offer you can't refuse.

  • MAFIAA Acronym (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ndrw (205863)
    So it's the Music and Film Industry Asociation of America?

    While I agree that their tactics are ridiculous, to compare them to a criminal organization whose actions include murder, drug dealing, burglary, kidnapping, arson, and other felonious crimes is ridiculous - it doesn't advance the debate, it distracts from it!
    • by lubricated (49106)
      now, who's being naive?
    • Re:MAFIAA Acronym (Score:4, Insightful)

      by zappepcs (820751) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @01:51PM (#22808918) Journal
      Nice thought, but you missed the turn off back in the alphabet somewhere around CIA/FBI. The MaFIAA might have the law on their side as opposed to the real mafia not having the law on their side, but the law (represented here today by the FBI/CIA) are no better than the mafia you describe. Can you say drugs for guns Contra scandal? Can you say hyperlink entrapment http://pedowar.com/view/755#1 [pedowar.com], swat team arrests for non-violent criminals, tasers, and plenty of other examples of the 'good guys' acting like bad guys 'because they can' and because the MaFIAA need/want them to. Why are federal agents involved in civil lawsuit arrests? http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&output=googleabout&btnG=Search+our+site&q=federal%20agents%20RIAA%20arrests [google.com] There are those here that can say "oh, the **AA are not doing anything illegal" and I will reply back "show me how they are doing anything legal or moral with regard to copyright infringement?"

      You make fine distinctions about what is good/right and what is not. Technically, you might be right. Morally, you are wrong. They use non-criminal organizations to do their dirty work and ruin plenty of lives. They use organizations that support and partake in the crimes you condemn. Guilt by association? Yes. Bad laws are worse than no laws, and those that enforce bad laws are worse than those who break them. Long before "We the people" stand up together and say NO more, there will have to be those of us who say it first.

      War criminals are told that 'following orders' is not an excuse for doing bad things. The grueling financial and moral beating that defendants are taking from the good guys on behalf of the **AA is immoral. Following orders is not an excuse. The bad guys have always taken advantage of the legal system whenever possible. Someone mentioned the Untouchables earlier. They made their name by nabbing gangsters for things like tax evasion rather than the crimes they were really wanted for. Yes, the bad guys DO abuse the system and use it against good people. It is not ridiculous to think of the **AA's tactics as mafia like or to liken them to the mafia. The mafia does not kill everyone they come in contact with, nor do they sell drugs to everyone that they see. Extortion is one of their businesses, they are famous for it. So it **IS** a fair comparison and your statements otherwise are what distracts from the debate.

      You might have a stronger case if the **AA had disbursed some of the money they won through extortion like pre-litigation back to the artists. It's been 6 years plus and not a dime has gone to any artist. Even the artists are shouting they want to sue the **AA. [google it]

      There is at this point, not one reason to feel sorry for the **AA or support them. They have already spent all their good will and continue to use mafia like tactics to push the law onto their side so they can oppressively enforce their business model on the population of the world, not just one country. It takes government collusion to force it on such a large part of the world. With the obviousness of that, how you can think of the **AA as anything different from the real mafia is beyond me. Different tactics don't make them better, just slightly different.
  • by ahabswhale (1189519) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @01:11PM (#22808356)
    I have an uncle who has a sizable fortune and decided after he retired that he might want to get into producing music. To his dismay, he found the industry laden with actual mob men. He ended up quitting the business and this is a guy who doesn't quit anything when it comes to business stuff unless he's damn good and ready. Granted, this was 15 years ago but I doubt those people all just packed up their bags and left such a lucrative industry. So, it's no surprise to me that the RIAA uses the exact same tactics the mob uses because the industry is littered with those people.
  • by Rary (566291) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @01:15PM (#22808412)

    The mob is just a business like any other. Every business-person makes their own decision regarding how immoral/illegal they're willing to act in order to make a profit. Some stop just past shady insider trading practices, others go all the way past fraudulent accounting, while others still go all the way to violent crimes, either explicitly or implicitly.

    The RIAA and MPAA fall somewhere between Enron (and their ilk) and the diamond industry (probably leaning closer to the Enron side), but certainly with a number of mob-style tactics thrown in, without going all the way to actual violence.

    • by SoulRider (148285)
      The diamond industry? Damn thats a pretty wide gap, just about everyone falls in between that range. Of course unless the RIAA is kidnapping artists and enslaving them so they can produce music cheaper, but I havent heard about that, yet.
    • sorry about the repost, for some reason it didnt take under my login name and was posted as AC. Every business-person makes their own decision regarding how immoral/illegal they're willing to act in order to make a profit.

      Unfortunately, Im dealing with one of these 'business people' now. I was supposed to do some work for a company who later ended up folding because of 'bad management', and I was left holding the bag on the domain I purchased at their instruction(they didnt want to buy it, I dont know?)

      T

  • by Skapare (16644) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @01:24PM (#22808526) Homepage

    Lamy of the RIAA said peer-to-peer traffic is "essentially flat."

    That's because so much of the traffic is moving to methods that evade the ability for the RIAA to see what is going on. More and more P2P is taking place within smaller groups that are harder to join (you have to be nominated and voted in to get access). That traffic is also encrypted, so no one along the sidelines can even see what it is. One group I heard of has rented a dedicated server of their own (so I guess they have dues to be a member to pay for it) and they access it via SSH and store files in a big "world" writable directory. If I were going to do that, I'd also keep the files therein encrypted just to be safe from the ISP. It wouldn't take more than about 20 people to get a big server at $5 a month each. They don't even need a domain name. What they do need is a few people that are also members of other such groups to provide a linkage. There have been porn trading groups like this for years. So I guess the P2P crowd is finally catching on to what the porn people learned a long time ago.

  • by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <rayNO@SPAMbeckermanlegal.com> on Thursday March 20, 2008 @01:43PM (#22808816) Homepage Journal
    by Ohio University. Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, was the number one target of the RIAA. Until, that is, it paid $60,000 plus $16,000 a year [blogspot.com] for the 'filtering' software its expert witness's company was peddling -- then suddenly the subpoenas stopped. Not a single subpoena since Ohio University started paying off the mob.
    • by xtracto (837672)
      It might not be as bad as it seems. If the RIAA know that certain University is taking measures that they find acceptable to fight copyright violation, then they might think of saving time and money by not going against people in such University...

      In slightly different things, I found quite interesting the info you have in your page about OurStage [ourstage.com]. I know several people here know about emusic and other places but I have never heard about OurStage and I think it is good to let people in slashdot know about i
  • In Hong Kong, we would already be dead.

  • Everybody should know that when you kill a big dangerous animal, after it has received the bane-wound, you stay away as it rages and fights, and hits everything it can reach. When this is a big dinosaur, this precaution is extra important.

    All you can do is to help it die fast. This is good for both the dying animal, and you. Don't give it any first aid, and in the case of RIAA, don't give them any money.

    Just stay away, and let it die.
  • by LittleGuy (267282) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @02:33PM (#22809546)
    Last shot of the series finale had Tony looking up before it went to black.

    Happens to be an RIAA enforcer handing a summons for unauthorized downloads of Journey songs.
  • As a low-ranking mobster [slashdot.org] I very much resent the comparison.

  • by mapkinase (958129) on Thursday March 20, 2008 @03:04PM (#22810060) Homepage Journal
    I am still seeing people seriously discussing "mafiaa" association skymodded. I guess I am in the minority then.

    Why is this association (RIAA - organized crime, criminals, etc.) stupid? I feel really stupid seriously considering this myself, but I guess I have to:

    1. Organized crime deals mostly with illegitimate business, RIAA deals with a legit business.
    2. Organized crime kills and maimes people, RIAA sues them for vast sums of money.
    3. This association with its stupid accent on emotionality drives away from the real problems with RIAA. It is bloody not working!

    The real problem is:

    Why are you keep buying and listening to the stuff written by the people who are enslaved by RIAA? It is like buying sweatshop sweaters, except that in this case it's not sweatshops, but sweetshops - every artists dreams of being signed by the major label.

    Why are you so addicted to this stuff anyway? Why do you have to listen every day to a new single or watch new movie? Have a life! The real reason why this thing is so bloated is stupid inability of recent consumer generation to act creatively and to entertain themselves. Buy a Guitar Hero and play yourself. Make music yourself, make videos yourself, make movies yourself. Listen and watch what other people like you did on youtube or in any other free, unlimited way... Why do you have to go down to the rock bottom of coach-potato entertainment where you do absolutely nothing and only consume entertaining stuff? This is not good for you, do you realize it?

    Get on with your lives. Entertain yourself actively. Create yourself. You do not have to watch latest terminator movie ahead of time on torrents in order to create your own stuff.

    It is more difficult but much more rewarding when you get appreciation of your family, of your friends, of your peers, of your social network, when you see your 5-digit number of views on youtube.com /rant
  • An RIAA/IFPI agent (iMesh) is actually pirating a GPL'd project on their behalf by threats and extortion.
    Check the ongoing Shareaza P2P travesty, http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/08/02/26/102239.shtml [slashdot.org]

    iMesh represents the record companies' interests in P2P and has been building a 'marketplace' monopoly using RIAA lawsuits to 'kill' the competition. The chairman Robet Summer was RIAA president, IFPI board member for 'piracy,' and head of Sony 'Rootkit' Records. He got $30 million (and a convenient RIAA suit)
  • Until the RIAA and MPAA start teaming up with the Psyentologists. Then there will be a real mafia.
  • Comparing the RIAA To "The Sopranos"

    We had a neighbor who made his friends by giving away stuff that fell off a truck. He isn't with us anymore.

    The geek reminds me not a little of our late governor, Eliot Spitzer.

    The difference is only that the geek derives his sense of entitlement from his technical skills and not his bank account. Not that he isn't living rather well.

    60% of American households don't have a broadband connection.

    These are the households who have to buy or rent the video, borrow a copy

  • She goes on to cite the fact that the RIAA thinks nothing of jeopardizing a student's college education in order to make their point, as support for the MAFIAA/Mafia analogy.


    Of course, it's also true that college students think nothing of violating a copyright holder's rights either. Why should the RIAA respect this attitude?

"The vast majority of successful major crimes against property are perpetrated by individuals abusing positions of trust." -- Lawrence Dalzell

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