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Who Runs RIAA's Settlement Information Center? 172

Posted by kdawson
from the detecive-work-cuts-both-ways dept.
eatonwood writes "Who is behind the RIAA's collections efforts? This comment at CallFerret says it is a company called PSC and lists a bunch of websites and contact information for them, but the connection to RIAA is still not completely clear (aside from the presence of a couple of clearly RIAA sites on the same server as PSC's). Anyone know anything more about who is doing RIAA's dirty work?"
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Who Runs RIAA's Settlement Information Center?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2008 @04:24AM (#23221288)
    Someone should really setup a time to do a mass prank call attack. Could be quite hilarious.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by jimmypw (895344)
      Would slashdotting a telephone number work? Would it be a world first for slashdot to melt a telephone system.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2008 @05:37AM (#23221600)
      Hi,

      I'm calling from Nigeria, and I downloaded around 1500 of your songs. Now I'm willing to pay your fee, but in order to do so I must first secure my payments. So I need about $50000, to be deposited on bank account BIC415.201.25521.33. And then I will be happy to pay you the millions of dollars you claim I owe you.
    • by CRCulver (715279)

      Someone should really setup a time to do a mass prank call attack. Could be quite hilarious.

      That would be appropriate, since the first album by the band that has brought independent digital releases to world attention, Radiohead's Pablo Honey [amazon.com] , took its title from a hilarious Jerky Boys bit.

      Is there any statement from the Jerky Boys themselves about how they view the RIAA? I'd imagine such a free-spirited team to be sympathetic to the new world of independent digital distribution, and I'm sure we'd all

  • I have no idea.

    But based on their litigious behavior to date publishing any details about them might bring down some legal wrath on your head.

    So... what exactly is covered by freedom of speech or right to know?
    - links to their website?
    - phone numbers?
    - photos of their HQ from public places?
    - whistle blower documentation?
    • Re:hmmm. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by jimicus (737525) on Monday April 28, 2008 @05:01AM (#23221434)
      Purely out of curiosity, does the US have any equivalent to UK Companies House?

      If they were a UK company, you could get a list of directors of both the SIC and various RIAA member companies and their home addresses through Companies House. All you need to do then is see if any names match up.

      Obviously this doesn't help if the company has been set up as a totally separate entity with a totally separate list of directors, but it would tell you pretty quickly if Mr. Bloggs (who lives at 9 Acacia Avenue) runs company A and Mrs. Bloggs (who also lives at 9 Acacia Avenue) runs company B.
      • by sm62704 (957197)
        If they were a UK company

        They are an organization that represents the music recording companies, all od which are multinational corporations like Sony with offices all over the world. I'm sure all the record companies have offices in the UK.
        • by jimicus (737525)
          The UK offices will almost certainly be subsidiaries, which may or may not share some of the directorships with their US parent companies.

          UK Companies House will know that they're a subsidiary of a US company, but probably not much more than that.
          • by sm62704 (957197)
            Sony has no American parent company. Its HQ is Japanese. IINM Universal is French. That's two of the "big four".
      • Of course, there's no reason that Mr. Bloggs would have to register the same house for each company; he could register one company for each of his homes... and maybe even throw in the summer cottage, a dropbox in Delaware and a few other locations.

        In the US, the places to check are IRS records and the credit bureau.
  • by gyepi (891047) on Monday April 28, 2008 @04:38AM (#23221346) Homepage
    The Devil?
  • I'm gonna go with retarded monkeys.
  • by Manip (656104) on Monday April 28, 2008 @04:46AM (#23221384)
    ... Satin himself...
  • I honestly don't understand peoples absolute preoccupation with the RIAA. Let me ask you something...

    You're artist, designer, or coder. You make things. Doesn't matter what it is as long as it's easily copyable on the internet (music, images, web pages, software). You do this for a living. One day someone sets up a web page that gives what you sell for a living away to others for free. What would you do? How would you handle it? Would you just tolerate it? What if you began to notice you were no lo
    • by Jugalator (259273) on Monday April 28, 2008 @05:00AM (#23221430) Journal
      Well, I think I'd at least start collecting evidence that would hold up in court rather than trying to send people scary letters and cross my fingers that would do. RIAA's consistent abuse of the legal system is what I think stings me the most. Organizations set up to protect a business can and do survive without succumbing to such strategies.

      But then again... Maybe I would on the other hand want to be a successful lawyer enough to fall for these things, I'm not saying I'm perfect. If I were a lawyer, I'd want to be successful, and it's obviously a reasonably successful strategy for them, or else they wouldn't keep doing it. It depends on how much of a jerk I'd be willing to become.
    • by DingerX (847589) on Monday April 28, 2008 @05:03AM (#23221446) Journal
      I'm against shoplifting, but I don't think that gives storeowners the right to summarily execute anyone they suspect of the crime.

      That's really the point. For music, we all believe that artists should get remunerated for their work. Want makes the RIAA evil is that (A) they don't work in the interests of the artists, and (B) their approach to their customers is insulting, intimidating, disdainful and invasive. Some would use stronger words.

      The RIAA right now is waging a campaign against music fans, in the name of artists (many of whom do not support their name being so used), and gee, if the people's rights, liberties and freedoms are caught in the crossfire, so be it. Hey, we can even reduce those too!
      • I'm against shoplifting, but I don't think that gives storeowners the right to summarily execute anyone they suspect of the crime.

        Silly analogy....they don't execute suspected file sharers. Um....well, not yet they don't. (Let's not give them any ideas, hmmm?)

        • by Tuoqui (1091447)
          Financial Execution is still Execution.

          The person only has the recourse to file Chapter 11 (which may or may not absolve them of the debt to the RIAA). Or fake their own death and get a new identity in good standing. Thankfully the latter is still technically feasible until they start fingerprinting and DNA testing everyone which is what they want to do.

          And they wonder why they dont want human cloning? It'd kill their #1 investigative tool, DNA. Then they'll have to go back to good old fashioned police work
      • by RobBebop (947356)

        if the people's rights, liberties and freedoms are caught in the crossfire, so be it

        The artists signed their rights away when they signed the non-lucrative contracts with the RIAA member companies. The customers pay for an individual license to listen to tracks on a well-defined set of devices.

        Let's not confuse things... the music industry is not in the business of taking away rights. They have never given any rights which they can take away at this point.

        (A) they don't work in the interests of the artists, and (B) their approach to their customers is insulting, intimidating, disdainful and invasive.

        Good summary! That's a business plan that shouldn't have succeeded in the first place.

        • by sconeu (64226)
          The customers pay for an individual license to listen to tracks on a well-defined set of devices.

          Really? Show me how that's true.

          I have paid for a plastic disc with digital information on it. As long as I don't redistribute that information in violation of the law (note, Fair Use is part of the law), I am free to do whatever I want with that disc and that information.
    • by Nursie (632944)
      No, you're a fool for believing that the actions taken by the RIAA are in any way appropriate to the situation they're in.

      Gather efvidence, get people prosecuted in a secure, legal way. You don't start sending threatening letters, suing people on spurious grounds and generally being a complete asshat.

      "I'll admit, what I do know of the RIAA is they are extremely heavy handed, so much so that it's entirely possible that innocents are wrapped up in their vendetta."

      That's completely unnacceptable. Ruining other
      • ... Ruining other lives because you're on a mission for some sort of revenge is never a good thing, never....
        Why not? It's been good for the Bush administration...
    • by Gordonjcp (186804) on Monday April 28, 2008 @05:15AM (#23221504) Homepage
      What if you began to notice you were no longer making $40,000 a year and ended up making only $20,000 a year? Would you give up the art that you love?

      I'd probably give it up when I realised I was paying $39,000 a year "protection money" to the RIAA.

      The RIAA do *not* have the artists' interests at heart, except in so far as that if the artists aren't making money, the RIAA can't extort it from them.
    • by Manip (656104)
      I think a lot of people are upset with the music/movie/TV industries in general. We want DRM free, fairly priced, content that we can use on any mobile device.

      The only thing we seem to get are DRM-ed up pieces of content that only run on Windows, only on certain devices (e.g. iPod), and which cost MORE than buying physical content in the shops.

      As a random example I can either pay $10 to buy a DVD with special features in Blockbuster. Or I can pay $14.99 on iTunes. Naturally the iTunes one only works on Wind
    • but as pointed out many times before here of slashdot, charging the kind of money that is being charged for music is an untenable business practice in the light of the capabilities of the technology that we have. Either one can try to criminalize all sorts of sharing (even the stuff people *want* shared like your favorite Ubuntu iso) or give it up. Copying stuff is easier than ever and a certain level of "piracy" (I suppose a level that won't be convenient to you) will always be there.

      I would rather not go
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by CmdrGravy (645153)
        Bang on, technology provided the means for this whole business to thrive in the first place and now technology has changed and can take it all away again.

        There has always been music, humans like music and it's never going to go away so if 'artists' can't make money using current technology then they need to stop trying, the world doesn't owe them a living, and do something else. Other music will come in to fill the gap and match up with the new technology. In short music is important, 'artists' or particula
    • I'll admit, what I do know of the RIAA is they are extremely heavy handed, so much so that it's entirely possible that innocents are wrapped up in their vendetta. They are sloppy, thuggish, and an out right bully. What can they do? What would you do, just start giving away that which you make your living on? Is that the answer? Is that what everyone wants?

      I don't pirate music either - that's not the issue.

      You've pretty much summed it up yourself. It's not just the fact they're going after music piracy - the problem is they're going after people with sketchy 'evidence', trying to manipulate the legal system to their advantage.

      They use their legal might to bully people into settling out of court [who may not have even pirated anything!] This is extortion, plain and simple.

      Even in cases where piracy is legitimately happening, the fine is often far higher than

    • by Skapare (16644)

      I'll admit, what I do know of the RIAA is they are extremely heavy handed, so much so that it's entirely possible that innocents are wrapped up in their vendetta. They are sloppy, thuggish, and an out right bully. What can they do? What would you do, just start giving away that which you make your living on? Is that the answer? Is that what everyone wants?

      Maybe what they should do in the few cases where it becomes obvious that they made a mistake and sued the wrong person is to stop the lawsuit and offer to pay all the costs incurred by the victim. That wouldn't be enough, but it would be damn good start. Or at least, just stop the lawsuit? No, these guys just press on. That is the same tactic used by some debt collectors even when faced with proof that they are collecting invalid debts or collecting from the wrong person.

      Wanting to collect from peopl

    • What would you do, just start giving away that which you make your living on?

      Yes, that is exactly what I would do - it is exactly what I do now.

      I get paid for writing bespoke software. The programs are customised to my employer's requirements. Anyone can have a copy of the software, because that isn't where the value is. The value is that I configured it just for them; I changed bits or wrote entirely new bits that fit them exactly. I wrote a new module to work with their esoteric payments system. I changed
      • by evilandi (2800) <andrew@aoakley.com> on Monday April 28, 2008 @05:39AM (#23221610) Homepage
        To put it another way:

        Imagine if bricklayers had to be paid by every person who visited a house they built several years ago.

        That would be almost impossible to police.

        But it is even more difficult to keep track of people who listen to music or watch video. That's even more difficult to police.

        Instead, bricklayers get paid for making new buildings, and not for buildings they've already finished. Equally, artists should get paid for making new art, not art they've already finished.
        • by Culture20 (968837) on Monday April 28, 2008 @05:53AM (#23221678)
          Those analogies have nothing to do with cars.
          • by CmdrGravy (645153)
            Perhaps it might be easier for you to use this analogy.

            In the Christian belief system it is believed that our Saviour The Lord God Jesus Christ is the creator of everything and a divine being with a deep love of each and every one of us. Other, heretical, religions have different, wrong, gods and some even split up the many tasks The Lord Jesus Christ is capable of performing into seperate deities. But ultimately, if it helps the heretics come into christs fold you could imagine that all these different bel
        • by Yetihehe (971185)

          Imagine if bricklayers had to be paid by every person who visited a house they built several years ago.
          Like entering a museum?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by damienl451 (841528)

          To put it another way: Imagine if bricklayers had to be paid by every person who visited a house they built several years ago. That would be almost impossible to police. But it is even more difficult to keep track of people who listen to music or watch video. That's even more difficult to police. Instead, bricklayers get paid for making new buildings, and not for buildings they've already finished. Equally, artists should get paid for making new art, not art they've already finished.

          Those analogies are usually unhelpful. Bricklayers don't need to be paid by everyone who visits the house because a) they have never been granted ownership of any part of the house b) they agreed to be paid a finite sum of money upon completion of the job.

          However, if I *own* the house, I am entitled to charge everyone who wants to visit it.

          What I profoundly dislike about anti-copyright activists is their desire to force their views upon everyone else. At present, nothing prevents artists from doing w

          • What I profoundly dislike about anti-copyright activists is their desire to force their views upon everyone else. At present, nothing prevents artists from doing what you have suggested above. It's up to the artists to decide whether they want to charge everyone who listens to what they have created, or simply want to give their work away for free.

            This stuff could easily be turned on its head. Pro-copyright people are using guns (in the hands of the police) to force people to follow their idea of how people should behave.

            I'll also note that my personal view of this is that I'm in favor of shorter copyrights and more obligations for the copyright holder (e.g, having to release source code when the copyright term is up), not no copyrights.

            Eivind.

          • What I profoundly dislike about anti-copyright activists is their desire to force their views upon everyone else. At present, nothing prevents artists from doing what you have suggested above. It's up to the artists to decide whether they want to charge everyone who listens to what they have created, or simply want to give their work away for free.

            Are you insane? At present, nothing prevents me from giving someone a copy of something except the copyright restrictions that are forced on the populace at th
            • Are you insane? At present, nothing prevents me from giving someone a copy of something except the copyright restrictions that are forced on the populace at the threat of violence.

              No, it's the fact that it's not your work to copy. The fact that it has to be backed by law simply reflects the basic greed and misplaced entitlement of, among others, the Slashdot audience. At some point, you will simply have to grow up and accept that paying $10 for a CD does not give you ownership of the work itself any more than buying one movie ticket gives you ownership of the theater building or buying a single soda makes you an owner of Coca-Cola.

              Copyright itself is a view forced on everyone else!

              Copyright isn't forced on you. You're free to re

              • You, the customer, don't have any rights until you buy them.

                I have a fundamental right to freedom of expression. The first ammendment makes no statements on how original that expression must be. On it's face that means I can express myself using the exact same words you do if I want to. However, in the interest or encouraging the arts and sciences we the people have agreed to limit these inherent rights.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by mr_matticus (928346)
          Let's try something that's actually parallel.

          Imagine you're a bricklayer building houses and the concept of credit doesn't exist, and everybody simply has to pay up front in cash for the whole price of the house. Suddenly you go from working on 100 buildings a year to one because 99% of people can't afford to buy a whole house with cash.

          Or imagine you've got a $100 million building full of historical artifacts. Now, you could sell it to a private owner for a rich guy's playground. You could sell it to a
          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by dkone (457398)
            OK Mr. Analogy man, lets see if you can clear up this one. Let's say you are a bricklayer who also writes music AND built a brick house for a famous musician that you also co-recorded a top ten hit with. Let's also say for the sake of clarity that the house is filled with old barber shop memorabilia. Now who gets paid and how much?

            DK
            • the house is filled with old barber shop memorabilia. Now who gets paid and how much?

              Answer: the person with the cutthroat razor from the barber shop.

            • Actually, all of this raises a good point:

              The analogy should be that the artist is the bricklayer -- both get paid to do their job.

              The RIAA are the homeowners... and they're getting upset that everyone is peeping through their windows looking at their architecture without paying them the full price of admission.

              They then refuse to pay the bricklayer his wages because the bricklayer agreed to the job on being paid a percentage of the profits that were to be made from those tours.

              They also sue all the people
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cliffski (65094)
        "People should be paid for doing, not paid for something they have done."

        as a matter of interest, what is your view of inheritance tax?
        Surly it should be 100% right?
        23% of the richest 1,000 people in the UK did NOTHING to get the money but be born with rich parents. They are paid for doing nothing, and never have contributed anything whatsoever.
        Surely if your principle holds, it should be illegal for your parents to leave you anything in their will right?
        If not, explain to me the difference.
        • by Fëanáro (130986)

          Surely if your principle holds, it should be illegal for your parents to leave you anything in their will right?
          If not, explain to me the difference.

          The difference is that inheritance is not payment for anything, and never was intended as such.
          This is quite obvious, after all your children do not have an inherent right to the money: you are free to spend it all before you die. (althought your laws may retrict you totally disowning them of what is left AFTER you died)

          Inheritance is a donation. Therefore children are of course not "paid", and it does not matter whether they did anything to earn it.

          Just as you are free to donate any amount you want to an

    • by cliffski (65094)
      You are not a fool at all, you are an honest person who values the work others do. Thankfully, you are still just about in the majority, because if you were not, we literally would have nobody making music, games, movies or TV shows. (cue some idiot suggesting that youtube is an equivalent to Hollywood - if free content is so good, why is it in no torrent sites top 10?).
      It *is* scary how much the prevailing groupthink of slashdot is that "teh copyright owners are teh Satan" and that man is born with a god g
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by CRCulver (715279)

        Thankfully, you are still just about in the majority, because if you were not, we literally would have nobody making music, games, movies or TV shows.

        In Hong Kong, no one buys legitimate copies. Yet, there is a steady stream of new art because the market adapted to changing conditions there and found a new way to be profitable.

        Auteur filmmakers from Ingmar Bergman to Emir Kusturica and beyond have been unsure of the profitability of their ventures. Nonetheless, they still realized their visions thanks t

        • by cliffski (65094)
          Is this a joke?

          patronage...

          Ok cool, so we will have the music and the movies that the government and the wealthy would like yes?

          Kiss goodbye the grand theft auto
          Kiss goodbye to punk music
          Kiss goodbye to pretty much anything that criticises the war on terror or inequality.

          Its amazing what crap people will cling to if it lets them feel good about ripping off musicians...
          • by CRCulver (715279)

            European arts ministries provide a good example that state-funded arts do not, in fact, produce only what the state wants. I doubt more than a handful of people in the French government have anything good to say about, say, the music produced by IRCAM, but it is already in its third decade of generous state funding. Similarly, few in the Finnish government listen to obscure comtemporary composers e.g. Kaija Saariaho, Magnus Lindberg, or Kimmo Hakola, but the commissions keep rolling in and the orchestras' m

            • by FreeUser (11483)

              Kiss goodbye to punk music

              Great, I can only see that as a good thing. I'd rather listen to music whose performers seek greater musical abilities, not shirk them off.

              There was plenty of punk made outside of the recording industry's purvue. Some of the best stuff never made it to Vinyl, and only made it to CD when home studios became popular. Indeed, much of it would have probably vanished had it not been shared outside of the boundries the music industry would impose on us. Some of it with the Artists' blessing, some of it without.

              Kiss goodbye to pretty much anything that criticises the war on terror or inequality.

              Yeah, cuz no one will criticise the government, its foreigh policy, or the politicians that populate it unless they're paid cold, hard cash.

              Not.

              As an author I support author's rights, and that includes artists and musicians who make the films, musc, paintings, etc. we all enjoy. However, government monopoly entitlements are, in the best of circumstances, a highly ineffecient and imperfect way to implement artistic rights. They empower the middlemen, publishers and industry cartels, while simultaneously disempowering artists and their audiences. To characterise anyone who criticises the current monoply regime as theives, or imply they believe artists shouldn't get paid, is rediculous and intellectually dishonest. To attack those who decry the heavy handed and flagrantly unjust methods employed by those cartels against the innocent and minorly guilty ($250,000 for pirating a dozen $1 songs? Please) goes well beyond intellectual dishonesty.

          • by CRCulver (715279)

            Its amazing what crap people will cling to if it lets them feel good about ripping off musicians...

            I should add that the new music I seek out is that produced by the alternative funding methods I mentioned. I'm not making apologies for "ripping off musicians" at all. I'm simply saying that the arts will continue to exist even after the demise of copyright-based revenue streams. It might not be the crap music and videos games you like, but nonetheless there will continue to be human artistic endeavours ju

            • by cliffski (65094)
              "It might not be the crap music and videos games you like"

              be careful buddy, you let your holier-than-thou snobbishness leak out a little there.
              if mere peasants like me and 95% of the population are happy to buy our 'crappy music and video games' why the fuck do we need arrogant elitist pricks like you to dictate what we are allowed to enjoy?

              • by CRCulver (715279)
                I'm not dictating what you should enjoy. However, it seems a possibility that what you enjoy might find it increasingly more difficult to stay profitable (although, sadly, Hong Kong shows that might not be the case) and there would be less of it out there. I for one wouldn't find a problem one bit. You seem to be panicking about a coming crash of the media you hold dear, but not everyone cares and many would actually rejoice.
          • I followed you right up to your examples... and could think of reasons for patrons to support every one of those. Patrons aren't all white conservative US politicians you know.
    • by rolfc (842110)
      The same thing happened to the weavers in Coventry, UK in the 18th Century. As it was obvious that their technology was obsolete, and everyone had to loose from supporting them, no one did.

      I find it strange that people were smarter then than they are today.
    • by Casualposter (572489) on Monday April 28, 2008 @06:10AM (#23221768) Journal
      The RIAA represents a group of companies whose primary business model for the last 30 years has been to repackage the same product and sell it to the same customers, over and over. The big boom in music sales was the CD as customers moved away from the fragile vinyl albums of yore. Once the majority of folks realized that CD's were very expensive, and just as fragile as vinyl, they were disappointed. New music, such as it is, has not been selling very well, as over prices songs compete with other forms of entertainment. For the most part, music is used to enhance some other activity, not as the primary entertainment.

      During the time that most people were switching to the CD, the record companies, members of the RIAA, colluded to illegally fix prices, and frankly the artists saw none of that money.

      Now, the with the customer able to obtain in a fast, easy, and durable form, the music that they want, for as little as 89 cents a track, the record companies are finding that their "buy the same stuff in a different format" business model, isn't working. Rather than attempt to adapt to the new market, arguably difficult and risky, they formed a different plan: litigation.

      The cost of filing a suit is trivial. The fear of being ruined in a lawsuit is tremendous, and most people will spend 4-5K dollars to make it go away rather than risk a lifetime of ruin trying to dig out from under a multi-million dollar debt. The fact that RIAA does not gather enough evidence to go to court, and that the evidence gathered is probably wrong as often as 20% of the time, is significant.

      The RIAA set up a call center based upon the the techniques of debt collectors, with out the restraint of actually having to be debt collectors. These settlements, as we have seen, are little more than the promise that the RIAA won't sue you again. BUT having admitted that you did violate the copyright, the victim has been set up for a second bite, once the music writers sue for infringement, and then the performers can sue again. So it appears that the business model of suing for millions based upon listening to music will be with us for a long time.

      Using the legal system to extort money from people is wrong. Making it a business, is particularly evil.

    • by rohan972 (880586)

      One day someone sets up a web page that gives what you sell for a living away to others for free. What would you do?

      Why don't you ask Metallica? http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/04/27/1458228 [slashdot.org]

      Views on copyright-type issues have always been influenced by the level of technology. It doesn't seem to have been much of an issue before the printing press. As the technology has changed with computers and the internet, so has people's view of copyright. It's only to be expected. There are people who th

      • by CRCulver (715279)

        Views on copyright-type issues have always been influenced by the level of technology. It doesn't seem to have been much of an issue before the printing press.

        In fact, mass copying goes back to ancient Rome. When poets gave recitals, there was always someone transcribing the poetry, handing it off to a team of literate slaves, and having it copied and sold for profit. As the poets already had a secure source of funding, private patronage, they had no objections to this practice. The only time a poet seem

    • by bhima (46039) *
      What can they do?

      They can pursue their legal actions with honesty & dignity, while complying with rules of law. They could have kept up with technology. They can recognize that their business model is antiquated. They can stop pimping crappy formulaic music and over sexualized mouthpieces. They can stop the loudness arms race. They can produce a product worth buying, in a form worth buying. They can replace my damaged media for a nominal and fair price.

      Oh fuck it.. who am I fooling. As long as th
    • by johannesg (664142)
      Although "everyone" is not a person and thus does not have a meaning, I think the majority of people would be happy to see a balance here: the artists get paid, and their customers get the type of access they desire. Ask around: I wager almost everyone here is happy to pay for content that they like, even if they have already downloaded it earlier.

      And in return for paying for that content, those customers want certain freedoms to deal with it in their own way. That means transferring it to another device, s
    • by CmdrGravy (645153)
      That is one point of view but there are others which could be considered when talking about the RIAA and their ilk.

      You're a hard working man and in the evenings you like a drink at your local. A couple of evenings a week some travelling musicians might come in and play you a few songs, some old classics and maybe one or two of their own and if you like it you might throw some money in their hat, since you can play a fiddle and your mate can play the tambourine you and your mates might have your own sing son
      • by BLKMGK (34057)
        I find it odd you weren't modded up for this - a shame I have no mod points today. You've actually raised some interesting points - these folks are all so happy to take ideas until the shoe is on the other foot :-)
    • by MrNaz (730548) *
      You've missed the point.

      The anger toward the RIAA is not because we (the Slashdot community) would prefer to get the product of artistic expression for free, but rather because they are attempting to collect huge sums of money on art that they had zero input in creating. We hate the fact that we are being persecuted by a bunch of people who have usurped the art work of others, and are using artificial mechanisms to monopolise others' enjoyment of that art. They are illegitimately standing between creators a
    • I honestly don't understand peoples absolute preoccupation with the RIAA. Let me ask you something...

      {snipe}

      I'll admit, what I do know of the RIAA is they are extremely heavy handed, so much so that it's entirely possible that innocents are wrapped up in their vendetta.

      entirely POSSIBLE? well, there is an answer to your first question. You might understand once you realize that it isn't that innocent people MIGHT get sued, harassed, and badly treated, it because they ARE being harassed, sued, and badly treated. And when it turns out that an innocent was caught up in thier shotgun litigation and decides to defend themselves, they cut and run, doing everything they can (until now successfully, for the most part) to cover the legal costs of those they targeted.

      Mu

    • by sm62704 (957197)
      You've bought into their lies. What if you were a popular author [wikipedia.org] who wanted to set out to prove that people wouldn't pay for books if they could get them online for free and promised that he would put his next book online, chapter by chapter, until people stopped paying.

      Here's what happened: people didn't stop paying. However, the author stioo stopped writing the book. Who is wrong here? I was most amazed that people who had actually paid the asshat defended his actions. If I'd paid for some of those chapte
    • by dogzilla (83896)
      First - I also pay for all my music. Mainly because iTunes purchases are incredibly friction-free and I value my time more at more than the $0.99/song or @$11/album they charge me.

      Having said that, there's a few flaws in your argument. You're conflating the major labels and their proxy the RIAA with artists. The majors have effectively based their entire business models on ripping off artists. Do some research if you don't believe me - there are many many many easily-found stories by artists covering just t
    • The majority would probably agree with you.

      A small minority think it is okay to take your stuff without compensation, period.

      However, a large majority would say that you do not have a right to make money off of those creations as is currently legal. Corporations have twisted copyright to the point that you are losing support for it short term. The fact is that by the original reasonable laws, any songs or movies made prior to 1980 would now be in the public domain.

      Every time they pass a law extending the
    • You're artist, designer, or coder. You make things.

      You had me as far as "things". Unless you are referring to an act of cranking out physical objects based on your design, you are not making any "things". You are however transmitting information, your brain being the source of the transmission. "Things" and "information" however are wholly separate entities in this Universe and obey a completely incompatible sets of rules, information specifically not behaving in a way in which it is possible to assign it

    • by AK Marc (707885)
      One day someone sets up a web page that gives what you sell for a living away to others for free. What would you do?

      And what if you were Ford and Toyota started the "free car for all" campaign? Would that impact your business plan? If noticed that Toyota dropped the warranty on the free cars and was trying to make money on the repairs and also charged for upgrades, wouldn't that cause you to re-think your marketing strategy? Or would you just file suit against them and claim dumping?

      What can they do?
    • by drfireman (101623)
      You're not a fool for seeing value in the things you love and wanting to reward artists for their dedication. You're a fool for thinking the RIAA somehow promotes this process. On the whole, the RIAA is deeply harmful to artists and consumers alike. If you really cared about the arts, beyond picking up the occasional Britney Spears album, then you would despise the RIAA too.
    • You're artist, designer, or coder. You make things. Doesn't matter what it is as long as it's easily copyable on the internet (music, images, web pages, software). You do this for a living. One day someone sets up a web page that gives what you sell for a living away to others for free. What would you do? How would you handle it? Would you just tolerate it? What if you began to notice you were no longer making $40,000 a year and ended up making only $20,000 a year? Would you give up the art that you love?
  • ... then they would leave a message, or send you a letter, or sue you.

  • Master Blaster runs RIAA Settlement Center.
  • "Anyone know anything more about who is doing RIAA's dirty work?"

    As much as they don't want you to think it is them, the artists are the cause of the RIAA. If they refused en mass to continue creating/releasing their art until the RIAA disappeared, it would cease to exist.

    I don't care how many say the RIAA doesn't represent them, as long as it is funded and allowed to represent the "recording industry association" then it does represent them.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by sickspeed6 (1057634)
      This is only slightly true. As it turns out, i was recently graced with the excellent opportunity to attend a Q&A with Mitch Glazier the Executive Vice President of Government and Industry Relations and Jonathan Lamy the Senior Vice President of Communications. Right now the RIAA is funding its campaign, in large part, by the money it makes off of the pre-settlement letters and lawsuits that they win. now, if the artist simply said, we take away your rights to all future music, eventually, the RIAA w
  • The answer is demons. Demons are helping the RIAA.
  • The orginal story to this. there it is said to be MediaDefender.

    I browsed somewhat through it (did a mgrep on slashdot and such things) and saw that they talked about changeing IP's on a regular basis. So download the mbox and start reading.
  • just not nasty enough for the RIAA.

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