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Filesharing Up 10% After RIAA Threatens Users 750

Moldy-Rutabaga writes "Technews says filesharing has gone up 10% on some sites such as Grokster since the Recording Industry Association of America's announcement on June 25 that it will start tracking down and suing users of file-sharing programs. Wayne Rosso, president of Grokster, commented 'even genocidal litigation can't stop file sharers'."
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Filesharing Up 10% After RIAA Threatens Users

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  • by afreniere ( 611999 ) * on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:04PM (#6377251) Homepage
    I was speaking to a lay-person friend of mine last weekend, and he mentioned to me that he had heard about the threat of lawsuits, and decided to quickly install Bearshare, download all the songs he wanted and then uninstall it. Apparently at least some people are spooked.
    • by Fletch ( 6903 ) * <> on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:06PM (#6377264) Homepage
      he had heard about the threat of lawsuits, and decided to quickly install Bearshare, download all the songs he wanted and then uninstall it.
      Was that before or after he ran out and bought all the lottery tickets he could afford, because he heard someone was going to win it?
    • by cervo ( 626632 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:14PM (#6377310) Journal
      Actually the fact that hearing the threat of lawsuits he still decided to install Bearshare certainly says something about human psychology. If you tell a person that they cannot do something, they are almost certainly going to try to do it.

      It was true with Napster. I know I didn't care for it at first, but after hearing about the legal issues and such and that you were not supposed to be using napster suddenly I couldn't resist. And it is true that all the legal problems of Napster actually increased the user base.

      So Microsoft, whatever you do, do NOT fix all of the bugs in windows!!!
      • by compwiz3688 ( 98919 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:53PM (#6377498)
        Sounds just like the "Do not click on this link!" found on my prof's course webpage []. (And yes, I did click on the link.)

        If you tell a person that they cannot do something, they are almost certainly going to try to do it.
        I think it might have something to do with "It's not gonna happen to me".
        • I totally did NOT click on the link. I have no idea what it said...probably some mumbo jumbo about Adam and Eve and an Apple or something... I didn't know Macs existed in Biblical times. :)

          Again, I categorically deny ever clicking on the link.

        • by Jonavin ( 71006 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @02:08PM (#6377932) Homepage
          Is that the same as "Do not mod me +5 Funny" on slashdot?
        • by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @09:04PM (#6380072) Homepage Journal
          "Sounds just like the "Do not click on this link!" found on my prof's course webpage. (And yes, I did click on the link.)"

          His testing of his hypothesis is flawed. He claims that clicking that link has to do with people wanting to open every door and see everything that is concealed from them. Though his hypothesis may well be right and may even be true in a lot of cases, he's still getting polluted data. I didn't click on the link because it said "do not click on this link", I clicked on it because every time I've seen "do not click on this link" it was because somebody was trying to use reverse psychology to get more attention. Frankly, I wouldn't have clicked on it if had said "members only". I wouldn't have even cared, that that would have flown right in the fac eof his hypothesis.

          I'm not sure if I'm communicating my idea too clearly or not. So here's a test that I think would help filter out the noise: password protect the next page and watch how hard people try to figure out the password.

          Now, as for the RIAA (gotta drag myself back on topic here), I do not believe the growth is due in part to people feeling like they're 'bad-boys' about it. Rather, I believe it is a mixture of reasons. Two pop into mind. 1.) Lots of people flipping off the RIAA and saying "no, if you're going to be like this, then I'll hurt you in the way that I know best." and 2.) I better get what I can while I can.

          As for Napster's growth (I realize it was the parent poster and not you that said this), I think that had more to do with people being made aware of it than anything else.

          In any case, I'm a little off-topic. Sorry about that. The RIAA has been way off in understanding the psychology of its customers, and yes that includes file swappers too. Suing individual users will only cause music trading to evolve and resist. Sooner or later, it'll be impossible to know who's downloading what.

          The funny thing is that I think this movement can outlive the RIAA's abilities to sue it. I can't remebmer the last time I've thought that about the little guy.
      • by KevMar ( 471257 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @03:35PM (#6378446) Homepage Journal
        the RIAA just keeps shooting themselves in the foot. Every major lawsuit just leads to more public attention.

        I remember when mp3's were only found on IRC or FTP server or crappy porn filled mp3 warez sites or college network shares. the Dimond RIO suit put mp3 in the spotlight and the napster lawsuit made mp3 a household name. They may will according to the law, but thats all they are winning.
    • by AndroidCat ( 229562 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:16PM (#6377323) Homepage
      Okay, so he's installed Bearshare, he's downloading all the songs he wanted. Let us know when he finally uninstalls it, m'kay?
    • by macdaddy357 ( 582412 ) <> on Sunday July 06, 2003 @02:03PM (#6377907)
      From the article: Weiss said he's also seen a surge of postings on Morpheus message boards from users who are ticked off at being in the RIAA's cross hairs. "People are just outraged at the actions of the recording industry," he said. "I've got people saying they want to organize groups to boycott buying CDs now."

      Some groups like that have been around for a long time, since the first "copy protected" CDs that won't play in a computer came out, such as Don't Buy CDs. [] and Boycott RIAA. [] An industry that presupposes that its customers are freeloaders and thieves doesn't deserve to have any customers.

  • How? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tuffnut ( 618438 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:06PM (#6377268)
    I'm just curious..

    How exactly do they go about finding these people? It's not like they openly give out their names on things like KaZaa?
    • Re:How? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by usotsuki ( 530037 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:08PM (#6377274) Homepage
      They sue an IP address (no, I'm not kidding).

    • Re:How? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Alien Being ( 18488 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:09PM (#6377286)
      I can just see some poor bastard trying to serve papers to Heywood Jablome.
    • Re:How? (Score:5, Informative)

      by gilesjuk ( 604902 ) <giles.jones@zen.[ ]uk ['co.' in gap]> on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:11PM (#6377295)
      1. Initiate a download.
      2. Do a netstat.
      3. Write down IP address and date/time.
      4. Contact ISP and request user information after providing IP address.
      • Re:How? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by C_To ( 628122 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:48PM (#6377473)
        What happens if the invididual sharing the files in question is out of jurstidiction of the United States? As far as I know ISPs in Canada, Australia, England, won't give out user information without a court order. Since the DMCA or whatever law it is that allows the RIAA to get information from ISPs does not exist in these countries, these users don't have to worry (at least in theory).

        And even worse, what about those who have filenames that are similar but not exactly the same as commerical music? They're going to have to download every song they can to verify it, otherwise it will be tossed out of court (and on 56K, that can be hours if not days).
        • Re:How? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by reallocate ( 142797 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @01:29PM (#6377731)
          I don't think the RIAA is after every bloke who has ever downloaded an MP3. They're after people who are, in effect, wholesale providers. If they can successfully close down a few of those, they expect to see a ripple effect.

          People copying a few CD's here and there are probably just noise to them, akin to passing around cassette tapes not so many years ago. But, when someone starts distributing most of a company's catalog, that's a different matter.
          • Re:How? (Score:3, Insightful)

            I remember reading about how something like 90% of the content on P2P networks is provided by only 10% of the users (I don't remember the exact figures). Those people are certainly the RIAA's biggest targets.
        • In the UK (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Alan Cox ( 27532 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @03:52PM (#6378581) Homepage
          In the UK case they can go to an ISP to get the information having gathered enough evidence to get a magistrate to ok it (which isnt a huge barrier when you can show the time, the data, the files, a video of the download, the music playing and a signed testimony you own the copyright). Data protection law is not a right to do illegal things anonymously. In fact an ISP is permitted to give such data to the police without them even asking if it has good reason to believe a crime is being committed.

          I'd expect people in the UK to be dealt with by UK law, just as large scale UK video pirates were. Large scale video piracy was stopped by basically targetting the big pirates and giving them nowhere to advertise their wares either. Now its a hand to hand market or dodgy street market stalls and that keep the volume of piracy under control

          As regards file names - given a few downloads that are verified as pirate and the relevant paperwork done and affidavits filed I suspect the rest would be resolved by seizing the equipment in question and seeing what else is on it.

          I approve of the RIAA approach this time, its the first sane thing they've done for a long time. Go after the bigger copiers, instead of harassing everyone, screwing up the law and building unusable systems actually go after the criminals for once.

          What should be the real limits on "fair use" is another debate, but it will be a lot easier to have when large scale copying of copyright works is under control, and also may actually go back to the old ways - as video has where small scale copying/lending isnt a threat, helps everyone and the law is conveniently ignored by all parties .
      • Re:How? (Score:5, Funny)

        by Tingler ( 56229 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @01:17PM (#6377662)
        Time to install a wireless NIC card into my laptop. I can download some cool songs & send my neighbors up the river at the same time! Once they are all sent to prison, I'll get a much better parking spot next to my house.
      • Re:How? (Score:4, Funny)

        by Gta-Klue ( 643989 ) <> on Sunday July 06, 2003 @01:30PM (#6377735) Journal
        1. Initiate a download.
        2. Do a netstat.
        3. Write down IP address and date/time.
        4. Contact ISP and request user information after providing IP address

        You forgot:
        5. Sue offending user
        6. ???
        7. PROFIT!

        ;) hehehe
      • Re:How? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by koko775 ( 617640 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @02:18PM (#6377985)
        Get Peerguardian (windows program). It blocks IPs from RIAA, MPAA, and other IP ranges. It might not totally solve it, but I find that without fail, my IP is checked day after day, several times, by either or both the RIAA and the MPAA. I feel violated.
    • Re:How? (Score:3, Informative)

      Get an IP address

      Look up Address with whois

      Send a letter tot he required contact field citing the DMCA demanding all the info for who was logged in on IP address at date/time

      Receive responce file suit to owner of the account. Or collect and wait you have time to file after all.

      It's a pretty straight forward the DCMA abusing the right to due proccess. Yea having to go to civil court to get a supena for the info wasent much harder but at least it was another step. Oh yea I can do this as I own copyrigh
  • by drquizas ( 681020 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:07PM (#6377271)
    96% or so (+/- a couple due to frequency distribution) of file-swapping system users realizing that their last names do not start with 'A'
  • by wo1verin3 ( 473094 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:08PM (#6377275) Homepage
    they decided to print out the article and come have a serious talk, and how I should realize filesharing is wrong.

    you know when your non-technical parents get it on the action, one of two things:

    1) my parents are androids from the future sent by the evil RIAA
    2) this is more of a marketing campaign then anything...

    VISIT for the hillarious adventures of the napster kittyhead!
    • by tinrobot ( 314936 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:36PM (#6377423)
      Your parents have a lot more to lose, like their house. If you get caught while using their internet connection, they're the ones who are going to pay the price.

      It is marketing, but the RIAA knows the people who scare easiest are the ones with the most to lose.

      Eighteen year old kids can afford to lose their life savings, because they can get it back in a week or two.
    • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @04:59PM (#6378955) Homepage Journal
      "This is the Central Scrutinizer. It is my responsibility to enforce all the laws which haven't been passed yet. It is also my responsibility to alert each and every one of you to the potential consequences of various ordinary everyday activities you might be performing, which could eventually lead to... The Death Penalty. Or affect your parents credit rating. Our criminal institutions are full of little creeps like you, who do... Wrong Things."

      Amazing how a guy who's been dead for 10 years can still be on topic...

  • They're considering suing normal people, people who for the most part don't shoplift, don't deal drugs, don't kill people etc..

    You need to understand your market if you are to sell your product to it. With the Internet the market has changed, selling a song to the 'net generation is a lot more complex than a flashy video and radio play. This is the X factor that the recording industry hasn't really bothered to look into and I find it very interesting that one of the most successful online music sites is part of a computer company (Apple).

    In summary the record labels need to send their marketing and product development guys off to college, study the success of e-commerce and redesign their business model cus CD is after all only a storage medium.
    • by ejaw5 ( 570071 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:33PM (#6377401)
      I think there's another part of the market, the Compact Disc. Its a very durable and long-lasting medium that reproduces sound well. In the past, I'd say the RIAA profited from people repurchasing music on cassette tapes when upgrading from LP, and the same with CDs from cassette. Also have to consider the "replacement" purchases made when an LP or cassette wore out. CDs last a very long time (if not infinite life) if you take care of them. --CDs from the mid 80's in my collection still sound the same when played today. A new and improved medium could be introduced, but since the current CD is 'good enough', it probably won't catch on. In addition, If you ask music listeners today, the music pumped out today probably isn't worth buying again if the medium did change.
      • by DannyO152 ( 544940 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @04:16PM (#6378721)
        A new medium has appeared. It's called (approximately) a hard-drive. More efficient in storage space, it continues the clear progression of convenience that began when the LP replaced the 78.

        The full implications of this new medium are still being worked out with many approaches being tested. Perhaps the most successful approach for exploitation and profit has not been precisely conceived yet. My point of view is that using litigation to lawyer it away misses the meaning of the sea change, and looks like an expensive way to sell less product. I also think that recording artists and/or their management and lawyers who insist on a buy it all or nothing approach are also likely to be left behind.

        The more I've thought about this over the past few weeks, the more I feel we could be on the verge of a pop explosion centered around, as the great pop explosions of the past, the single. It is so much easier to be brilliant for 3:35 than for 65:13.
    • You need to understand your market if you are to sell your product to it.


      They want kids to act irresponsibly, but only in ways that help their bottom line.

      Oh well, what goes around comes around.

  • Pointless Statistic (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jolyonr ( 560227 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:08PM (#6377278) Homepage
    What a pointless statistic. I bet you would find a month-on-month increase in P2P usage as more non-techy people out there discover how ridiculously easy it is.

  • A good thing? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tinfoil ( 109794 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:08PM (#6377280) Homepage Journal
    While I am a little suprised to see the numbers up 10%, I can't say that it wasn't expected. More and more people seem to want to taunt the recording industry, they want the RIAA to come after them it seems.

    All the money they are spending on their lawyers should rather be dumped into iTunes or Rhapsodey like services. How much proof is needed that that is the way to go?

    The industry needs to face facts. The full-format physical media isn't going to sustain their business model. With todays need for instant gratification, people want to buy only what they want and they want it now.

    Removing dependance on full-length physical media will do a couple of good things. First it will force the industry and artists to put out more quality tracks instead of relying on a couple radio tracks to sell a disc made mostly of filler. Second, the consumer will no longer get stuck with a lousy disc.
    • Re:A good thing? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Our Man In Redmond ( 63094 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:27PM (#6377381)
      You forgot (or didn't mention) the third beneficial effect, namely, no more waiting three years for an album from your favorite band. They get the sound they want, put out the word, and 24 hours later fans are enjoying the track.

      In fact eventually "track" may become a carryover from an earlier time, sort of like "album." Has anyone younger than me ever seen a real album, with half-a-dozen sleeves, each of which contains a 10" 78 RPM record?
    • Re:A good thing? (Score:3, Interesting)

      ... a couple of good things. First it will force the industry and artists to put out more quality tracks instead of relying on a couple radio tracks to sell a disc made mostly of filler. Second, the consumer will no longer get stuck with a lousy disc.

      Whoah, cowboy! You're talking about benefits *to the consumer*. When was that ever the issue? If it was then CDs would cost $3.99 and there wouldn't be such an incentive to waste time on KaZaA.

      You've got to put in terms of benefit to the recording industry

    • Re:A bad thing? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Music To Eat ( 594768 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @01:40PM (#6377793)
      Removing dependance on full-length physical media will do a couple of good things. First it will force the industry and artists to put out more quality tracks instead of relying on a couple radio tracks to sell a disc made mostly of filler. Second, the consumer will no longer get stuck with a lousy disc.

      Some bad things:

      1) Instead of having one or two radio friendly songs to get you to buy the album, so you can then hear the more innovative stuff they really want to do, record companies may force bands to only release "radio" friendly music, since that's what sells. Leaving a lack of innovative music.

      2) Selling individual songs on the internet could lead to bands being pressured to shorten their songs. If you get 99 cents a song, record companies would rather a 3 minute 3 Meg song to a 10 minute 10 meg song.

      3) The death of the "concept" album. If each song has to stand or fall on it's own, what incentive does a band have to release something with a larger scope? No more Darksides, Quadrophenias, Red Headed Strangers, Kind of Blues, etc.

      Buying music by the song may be the future of bubblegum pop, but I hope it'll never be the future of truly creative music.
    • Re:A good thing? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Mac Degger ( 576336 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @02:23PM (#6378024) Journal
      What's always surprised me is this: their justification for the high price of cd's around the world was always 'distribution costs are so high'.
      The fact that they then don't immediately take up a new, cheap distribution method (over the net) means that they're
      a) criminaly negligent towards their shareholders for not implementing something which would give their shareholders more money, or
      b) scamming us, and have been for years, 'cause that 'distribution' line is total crap and they don't need a new distribution model.

      I'd say they can get sued either way :)
    • Most people I've know that do P2P, not counting the computer geeks, don't even know what the RIAA is. Nor do they care that the RIAA is ripping people off. They just know that they can download a song they like for FREE. They don't understand or care that it is stealing or if they do they figure it is a victimless crime because they don't have to faceoff a shopkeeper while trying to shove a CD down their pant leg.
  • by kenthorvath ( 225950 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:09PM (#6377282)
    Seriously, if enough people blatanly disobey copyright laws, if there is enough civil disobedience, it almost HAS to force a change in the law. The question, though, is how much is "enough" and do we REALLY need to go through all of the heavy handed law enforcement attempts before this happens? Can't the law makers see for once, that this is what the PEOPLE want and step up to the plate to do their job? Rant over.
    • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:17PM (#6377328)

      > Seriously, if enough people blatanly disobey copyright laws, if there is enough civil disobedience, it almost HAS to force a change in the law. The question, though, is how much is "enough" and do we REALLY need to go through all of the heavy handed law enforcement attempts before this happens?

      How many people do you suppose are in prison right now for smoking pot, and how long has that enforcement been going on?

      > Can't the law makers see for once, that this is what the PEOPLE want and step up to the plate to do their job?

      Most of them will take an interest exactly when they think the number of votes the current arrangement costs them will hurt worse than the number of lobbying dollars an alternative tack would cost them.

      Welcome to the lobbyocracy.

    • by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:19PM (#6377338)
      Uhh, prohibition on alcohol is over with but drug prohibition is not.

      We spend millions and millions of dollars on the "Drug War" and millions and millions more on holding people in jail because they do/sell drugs...

      How many people smoke pot? How many states have made it a minor offense to smoke it? How many people are still being busted for it, having their cars and houses seized for buying a dime bag?

      And you think that filesharing is going to continue because people do it? Get real.
    • by carpe_noctem ( 457178 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:22PM (#6377354) Homepage Journal
      I think that the difference here is that civil disobedience can change -laws-, but we're not fighting laws here. We're fighting money.
    • The problem is that this could lead to the abolition of copyright altogether.

      This would affect songs, movies, software, books,... anything that is copyrighted.

      The net cost to publishers would rise because they would not be able to reliably recover as much of their costs, so the publication of works would become increasingly rarer. Although any material may be freely shared, not all of it would necessarily be easy to find. Fans of artists or authors of obscure works would be entirely out of luck.

  • Not it! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Davak ( 526912 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:09PM (#6377287) Homepage

    Weiss said the recording industry should lobby for special taxes on CD burners and Internet access as a way to recoup losses incurred from file sharing, an idea that Grokster's Rosso also supports. Rosso was in Washington recently to talk to lobbyists about forming a coalition of file-sharing firms.

    We don't mind the RIAA making money... just make them get it from somebody except us

    AKA, the "not it!" theory.

  • by bajo77 ( 632115 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:09PM (#6377288)
    People generally don't respond very much to possible consequences. There is a high chance of getting a speeding ticket, yet almost everyone goes above the speed limit, often ignoring the safety of themselves and others. There's not likely much the RIAA can do to make even a slight decrease in file-sharing.
  • by pgrote ( 68235 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:12PM (#6377300) Homepage
    And from the "they keep shooting themselves in the head" department, Metallica says no iTunes do to principles. [] :
    "Artists hold out on iTunes on principle
    Reuters News Service

    LOS ANGELES -- The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Metallica are refusing to make their music available as individual downloads on Apple Computer's iTunes online music store.

    That move comes in response to Apple's decision to allow users to buy single tracks and is intended to protect the future of the long-playing album, said Mark Reiter of Q Prime Management Co., which manages the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica and several other artists.

    Green Day and Linkin Park, according to a source familiar with the situation, have also refused to make their songs available as individual downloads on the Apple service, which has sold over 5 million songs. "

    -- Hey .. I have a great idea. Let's tick off our customers. They want this, but let's not give it to them. In fact, let's prosecute them. Works for me.

    • Not stupid, greedy. Of course this is probably going to bite them in the ass anyhow. I'm also very surprised to see Green Day doing this, considering when "Dookie" was new you could get it for $10 at a record store here.

      I could give a shit about Linkin Park, they don't even write thier own music.

      • by DamEEZ ( 129572 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @01:39PM (#6377782)
        I have to say that I am partial to the long-playing album. The iTunes style of music distributionoffers a lot of freedom to the consumer to purchase as much or little content as he or she would like, but could this threaten the existence of the long-playing album? What insentive does the artist/music industry have to create albums when the model has changed so drastically? It seems like artists and labels would now want to get each track out as quickly as possible.

        I was a little distressed at this idea at first, because I really think that the album can have some holistic worth that is not present in the tracks individually. This is most obviously true in the genre of progressive rock where concept albums are popular. Concept albums are albums in which the songs are tied together by a theme or plot that operates within the lyrics and often also within the music itself as themes are reprised and re-orchestrated in a manner that allows them to be expressive through their relationship to each other as well as their own intrinsic expression. And there are many other non-concept albums out there that stand as complete pictures that would not at all be the same were the tracks to be separated.

        As the musical medium has progressed from live to vinyl to magnetic recording to compact discs and now to the intanbible realm of bits, I do feel that we are losing as much as we gain. Im only 19, but I know that back in the days when the Beatles were releasing vinyl, you would buy the album not just for the music, but for the art and other goodies that came along with it, and, perhaps most importantly, because you wanted to support the group and teh ideas they represented. Nowadays music seems to be as disposable as all of our other goods have become. Im horified by the idea that music could become as stripped down as it now is.

        However, I fully support the new way that music distribution is going, not because I think that disembodies mp3s are better than vinyl or even compact discs, but because I think that it may challenge artists to create something worthy of our ownership.

        I've really been nauseated over and over by the crap that is being pumped out of the music industry lately. From the boy band thing to linkin park and rap rock, music has gone from a medium of expression to a formulaic and mindless medium of moneymaking. This is not entirely true of music, but of most of the junk that teh RIAA is representing in its rampage.

        As an artist myself, I look at an album as more than some sort of physical medium for the noise I make. Seeing the album as an arbitrary medium for music is analogous to the functionalist school of AI. The way we are demmanding our music to be served to us shows that we dont see the medium thorugh which we hear or acquire it as important to the music itself. while I do subscribe to a certain brand of functionalism when it comes to AI, I actually believe that the medium is very important when it comes to music. Music is art, and the musical release - the album - should be a work of art. The graphic art and words that come along with a physical album ought to contribute to the music, and the music itself must merit the words and grapgic art that accompany it.

        so I am not protesting our lack of concern about how we acquire our music. Rather, I am hoping that the music industry might now be driven to create music that deserves to be embodied and owned in something more corporeal than a digital file.

        I guess Im done ranting, but inconclusion, if Metallica and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are going to refuse to let peopel download their music because the want to protect the long-playing album, they had better get started creating an album that is not translatable into digital files as easily as they are now. Im talking abotu a different kind of copy-protection here. when more mainstream artists begin releasing albums that are worth more than the sum of their tracks, more people will shell out the bucks to own a piece of art. I'll still have my ipod loaded with music, but I will also have the albums of my favorite artists at home so that I can appreciate them as a whole.
    • by Cruciform ( 42896 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:21PM (#6377348) Homepage
      Say that an album has 12 tracks. Usually only 2 or 3 of those tracks are the reason people buy the cd, since the rest is filler (in some cases good filler, in other cases crap).

      Now if you pay full price for the CD, they make more money than if you just bought the two or three good songs off iTunes.

      It makes perfect sense to them.

      The thing they need to realize is now that the option is there, people will prefer to spend 3 or 4 bucks getting the songs they want off an album rather than pay 15 for castoff songs. And if they don't learn to embrace the internet, they will be left behind by it.
  • New P2P (Score:5, Informative)

    by Pros_n_Cons ( 535669 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:14PM (#6377312)
    Has anyone tried Earthstation5 []?

    supports SSL, Proxys, tunneling of UDP though port 80 and some other goodies to hide from ISP's, RIAA, etc?

    I've downloaded and tried it and was quite happy with it. You take a speed hit for your privacy but when the RIAA is screaming bloody murder it might be the only alternitive. Now all we have to do is e-mail them like made to get it ported to other OS's!

    • Re:New P2P (Score:5, Funny)

      by carpe_noctem ( 457178 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:33PM (#6377404) Homepage Journal
      I would, but I can't see anything on their webpage, because apparently, they believe that flash is a suitable substitute for HTML and content.
  • by shadowbearer ( 554144 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:15PM (#6377316) Homepage Journal
    With the RIAA being in the news so much recently, is it possible that this is simply more people all of a sudden discovering that they *can* share files?

    "What? We can do that? Cool. Look, there's links in the article to this software..."

  • by Lelon ( 443322 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:16PM (#6377321) Homepage Journal

    It should be noted that this contradicts what has been reported in the main stream news, with one cable news channel reporting a 15% drop in file sharing.

    (off topic, when I'm posting a new comment to an article, slashdot should include the article on the page where I'm responding so I can reference it)
  • Personal Take (Score:4, Informative)

    by Catiline ( 186878 ) <> on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:17PM (#6377324) Homepage Journal
    My Gnutella node was loaded down with Linux ISOs, Cygwin software, and free ebooks (mainly PG texts). I say was because when this announcement came out, I decided getting caught in the crossfire was too high a risk (even if my offerings are 100% legitimate) and removed myself from the P2P scene. Given the RIAA's violent thrashings here -- for example, suing the college students for running mere indexing services -- I'm standing as far back as I can to watch the dinosaur's death throes. I'm sure I am not alone in that attitude, and the P2P traffic went up 10% anyway. I'm sure when you start seeing the stories entitled such things as "10,000 file traders arrested" we'll start seeing the boycott movement start in earnest.
  • by GammaTau ( 636807 ) <> on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:17PM (#6377325) Homepage Journal

    This is free market in action. The artificial scarcity created by government regulation (copyright) is way out of touch with the reality so the free market, even when it has to operate as a black market, will take care of the customer demand.

    What needs to happen is serious consideration of how the supply can be kept running under these circumstances. One solution would be to allow unlimited music distribution as long as you don't charge any money for it. If the commercial exploitation of copyrighted material would still be an exclusive right of the copyright holder, I believe there is a big market where the copyright holder can make good profit. This would pretty much legalize the current practise where individual people can trade music online freely while the commercial distributors (e.g. CD sales) would have to pay.

    • by angle_slam ( 623817 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:38PM (#6377429)
      The artificial scarcity created by government regulation (copyright) is way out of touch with the reality so the free market, even when it has to operate as a black market, will take care of the customer demand.

      What 'artificial scarcity' are you talking about? There is nothing 'scarce' about music. You can go to any number of internet sites and buy CDs. Try [].

      The free market is in action. It's just that people would rather pay $0.00 for music rather than anything more than $0.00.

  • bitTorrent (Score:4, Informative)

    by bstadil ( 7110 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:21PM (#6377350) Homepage
    Why use this old system when your are perfectly safe using Bit-torrent?

    Lot's of search sites []has emerged so you can pick and choose what you want, and leaving a few uploads open all the time as quid pro quo.

    You can even rate the stuff out there.

    • Re:bitTorrent (Score:5, Informative)

      by elohim ( 512193 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:25PM (#6377374)

      Interesting stuff. I'll be using PeerGuardian from now on.
    • Re:bitTorrent (Score:5, Informative)

      by Yosho ( 135835 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:26PM (#6377378)
      How does BitTorrent make you any more safe than any other filesharing system? In fact, I think it would be trivial for someone working with law enforcement to go through search sites like the one you just listed with a client such as this one [] and grab the IPs of everybody downloading the file.
    • Why use this old system when your are perfectly safe using Bit-torrent?

      Why are you safe using BitTorrent? Last time I grabbed an ISO using BitTorrent I was able to click on the 'advanced' button and see a list of the IP addresses of the other peers and seeds. It would be a simple matter to note them down and forward them to a legal department.

      Actually, BitTorrent is possibly less safe than something like Kazaa, since Kazaa is closed source, requiring a small amount of reverse engineering to be able t

  • Lazy RIAA (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cervo ( 626632 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:22PM (#6377353) Journal
    "Weiss said the recording industry should lobby for special taxes on CD burners and Internet access as a way to recoup losses incurred from file sharing, an idea that Grokster's Rosso also supports."

    Yeah right, so you can't properly secure your own cd's or whatever, so go ahead and put a tax on internet access and cd burner's to make up losses because of your own incompetence. And as we all know, no one uses CD Burners for say....backups, or transferring legitimate files from one person to another. No one uses the internet to do do legitament things like research. So of course everyone should Pay the RIAA and help them. Never mind that if they really want to stop piracy they should be better protecting their own media.

    The worst thing is that the RIAA probably has enough influence in Washington to pull something like this off!! What's next, Microsoft builds an internet monitoring meter into windows to send usage statistics to the government so they can bill you monthly. Then Linux is outlawed for not having the US government metering package?
  • by droopus ( 33472 ) * on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:24PM (#6377364)
    The RIAA does not own the copyrights to anything. According to the DMCA [] only the owner of the copyright can sue for infringement. The owner first must communicate in writing to the user's ISP, demanding that they take action.

    The ISP is bound by law to inform the user, who has the right, under penalty of perjury, to deny that he/she is offering infringing material.

    Now it gets interesting.

    If the user denies that he/she has been sharing, the ISP must inform the copyright owner, and that copyright owner has a limited amount of time during which it MUST bring suit against the alleged infringer, or the ISP MUST restore access.

    So, someone please tell me how the RIAA has the right to sue, since they own no copyrights?

    Also, if every person sued denies they are sharing, forcing the actual copyright holder to bring suit, wouldn't the sheer weight of litigation costs make this a really bad strategy?
    • So, someone please tell me how the RIAA has the right to sue, since they own no copyrights

      Artists own the copyrights, but they assign the legal authority to protect the copyrights to the record companies, who, in turn, band together under the guise of the RIAA.

      Kinda like a pyramid scheme...
  • by panurge ( 573432 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:24PM (#6377367)
    The answer is NOT to have a compensation charge per CD or per CD burner. Quite apart from the fact that some of us use CD writers to produce backups of work, the entire principle that there should be specific legislation in favor of a commercial organisation creating a tax which goes to fund its revenue is wrong. Literally, it is fascism (a form of government in which big business is in direct league with the government).

    The example of Prohibition shows that if enough people regard a law as a bad one, it will eventually fall. If enough people believe that there is a de facto monopoly in the music business which results in the product being hugely over-priced and managers being over-rewarded, and they choose to circumvent that over-pricing, the effect is no different from if they simply stop buying the product altogether, which is legal.

    I can't resist a plug at this point for Terry Pratchett's book Soul Music which manages to make some of the issues amusing.

  • by Daimaou ( 97573 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:32PM (#6377396)
    I view the sharing of music now days as a form of political protesting.

    Regarding the music industry, there is a lot to protest about in my opinion. Prices are too high, quality is questionable, and the RIAA are out of control. What better place to protest and get your points across than downloading music from the internet?
  • Why, why, why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by themaddone ( 180841 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:35PM (#6377414)
    RIAA threatens to sue dozens, hundreds, or thousands of file-shares. File-sharing increases, and we brag about it? "Woohoo! Look at us! You can't get me RIAA! Your threats and lawyers and lawsuits don't bother me at all!"

    Look, I'm all for giving the RIAA whatfor, just on principle, but STOP TELLING THEM YOU'RE INFRINGING THEIR COPYRIGHTS (not stealing, as we all know... right?) AND QUIT FLAUNTING THAT YOU'RE NOT AFRAID.

    Because they are going to drop the hammer. And they are going to sue some poor college kids and high school kids and ruin their savings and credit and quite possibily their future. This isn't funny. People should be switching to anonymous technologies ASAP. It's like a burgular going back to the same house after having a long conversation with the owner in a coffee shop about how he previously stole from the owner, and he didn't care that the owner now has some nasty looking guard dogs, a moat, and a team of lawyers ready to defend him when he shoots the burgular in "self-defense."

    So shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. It's for your own good.

  • by CySurflex ( 564206 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:42PM (#6377450)
    reminds me of my mom - I told her that Chillean Sea Bass is an endangered species and that restaurants that do serve it are breaking the law. Since then it's the only thing she orders whenever it's available...
  • by lambadomy ( 160559 ) <lambadomy AT diediedie DOT com> on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:52PM (#6377492)
    While this article is total fluff, It made me wonder what kind of effect this news might have had on anyone. So I did an informal poll of people here at work, only about 15 people of varying tech knowledge and general-informedness but all of whom I knew used filesharing programs. What I found was:

    6/15 knew what the RIAA was.

    1/15 knew about any RIAA lawsuits.

    7/15 became/at least acted concerned when told about the lawsuits, and the potential for themselves to be sued.

    The numbers are way too low to really mean anything, but it seems to follow that just MAYBE people don't act like they care because they really don't know. We'll see what happens when the RIAA actually gets a file sharer in court.
  • Philippines (Score:4, Insightful)

    by minairia ( 608427 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:53PM (#6377499)
    The basic issue is that music and DVDs are not worth 20+ dollars anymore when everyone know that blank CD's cost less than a couple of cents, if that. In the Philippines, file sharing is not that popular because it is actually cheaper and more convenient to buy the excellently pirated and reproduced media (complete with liner notes, etc.) from the old women in the market than to deal with Kazaa, etc. (bandwidth isn't really an issue, for people who can afford PCs, affording broad band is not a problem.) If the record and movie industry's were to sell there product at the same price as the pirates (or a little more with the guarantee of quality) they would beat the inconvenience of file sharing very easily. They just can not accept that the days of overcharging consumers are over. Every Filipino gets with a CD player has all the Brittany, Madonna, CDs etc. he or she wants. (sorry, that's what they're into ...) You can already get perfect DVDs of Terminator 3 Charlie's Angels on the street, not badly done copies made by some guy with a camera but real copies. Friends of mine send me these everynow and then (no ... I won't sell them here. Jail isn't fun.) My point is that the record industry should learn from this example, that millions of people are willing to pay money for CDs and DVDs instead of downloading when the prices are reasonable. Likely, the won't learn though. Now, every few months, the record industry pressures the State Department to enforce copy protection laws in the Philippines. The local authorities dutifully bulldozer some CDs from the market place. What isn't mentioned is that the same authorities worked it out with the merchants the night before, saying that they have to put a show on for some stupid Americans at such and such a time and place and could the merchants have some old, defective or otherwise unsellable stuff ready for smashing on the evening news...
  • by U6H! ( 549238 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @12:58PM (#6377524)
    Not to give the bastards ideas, but it's only a matter of time before they start doing high profile random prosecutions. Right now people feel safe because they think, I'm not sharing a ton of files, they'll go after the big dogs and leave me alone. But if the RIAA starts doing random prosecutions then people will really get spooked. My recommendation, boycott RIAA affiliated products. Buy from indy labels. Right to your favorite bands letting them know why you are boycotting and try to persuade them to leave the label and/or speak out in favor of sane legislation. I think the last idea might be the most effective. If we can get the stars to back a balance between public domain and IP, we can declaw the RIAA and MPAA. This will require some meeting in the middle. Artists are very protective of the work. We must not come out saying everything should be free, but rather that both IP rights and public domain are both very important and need to be preserved. The other part of the problem, the punishment far outwaying the crime. This is harder to fix. Perhaps we need find ways to prosecute companies, congressman, branches of government and judges under the DMCA.
  • by draziw ( 7737 ) * on Sunday July 06, 2003 @01:01PM (#6377549) Journal
    It used to be that if I heard a song on the radio (or in a movie, TV show, etc) I liked, or that a friend would mention, I'd go download a few from the group. If I liked them, I'd buy the CD, if not, I wouldn't. I bought _more_ CDs after the start of music sharing (eg: via Napster, usenet news (newscene rocks), and winmx, than I had before. The more BS RIAA speaks, the fewer CDs I buy - now I haven't bought one in almost a year.

    Price CDs at $6-10, and I'll think about buying. Remember - they said CD prices would drop lower than tape.

    +1 Karma Bonus due to RIAA love and low user ID.
  • by andr0meda ( 167375 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @01:02PM (#6377555) Journal

    I dunno if somebody knows about e-Mule, but this exellent P2P proggy allows one to leech blocks from different sources, even when a source itself does not have the complete file yet. So these sources are in effect not necessarily sharing media, just parts of it.

    The only thing e-Mule now needs is a tedency to distribute complete files over different parts of the network, so that very few access points share the complete file. Once the file is downloaded, e-Mule then just shares parts of it, but never the complete file. Depending on the required parts, the shared parts may even vary over time.

    Seems like the perfect nightmare for any DMCA groupie-lawyer to me.

  • by thgreatoz ( 623808 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @01:10PM (#6377610)
    I really hate it when different "groups" start lobbying for a new tax to solve all their woes. I will be outraged if I have to start paying a special tax on a new cd burner or internet access to offset the RIAA's losses. It's not MY fault they have an antiquated business model. And not everyone has internet access solely for the purpose of filesharing...hell, I bet nearly NO ONE does. Why am I going to pay the RIAA so I can read slashdot and backup my harddrive? This has all been said before, so mod me down if you will, but come even the filesharing companies, who are supposed to be on "our" side, are showing their true's all about the benjamins.
  • by millette ( 56354 ) <> on Sunday July 06, 2003 @02:04PM (#6377912) Homepage Journal

    According to the logs I keep of kazaa's traffic [], usage has declined by something like 2%... Maybe I'm not getting the whole picture. The way I sample the data to make the pretty plot is simply by reading from my kazaalite client's status bar, and logging those numbers (users, files, GiB) to a text file which I massage with php+gd every once in a while.

    Let me know if you need more data, I have over a years worth.

  • Genocidal? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stinky wizzleteats ( 552063 ) on Sunday July 06, 2003 @02:04PM (#6377913) Homepage Journal

    even genocidal litigation can't stop file sharers

    Although I'm not familiar with the case, I don't remember extermination camps being discussed as part of a remedy. The RIAA's efforts are punitive, vengeful, and certainly suicidal, but not genocidal.

    I am very much against the RIAA in this affair, but ridiculous exaggeration like this severely damages our ability to make the case to Joe Sixpack.

  • by visionsofmcskill ( 556169 ) <vision AT getmp DOT com> on Sunday July 06, 2003 @03:34PM (#6378443) Homepage Journal

    If the RIAA gets it's way... which is a distinct possibility.... we will see 2 things happen amongst traders.

    First will come the file-trading encrupted and distribiuted networking solutions... such as freenet.... where communications will be inherently anonymous and highly hidden... where the data will be spread across the network in a simlar fashion to RAID... keeping them availble and at the same time not dependant upon one users machine.... imagine if everyone simply gave 40 megs of space to a netowkr of millions of users to be shared out RAID style....

    the second thing we'll see is the advent and return of sneaker-net... with so many small and highly portable devices that store data on nearly everyone.... the ease of getting songs at your buddies house or work or in the park will become more and more prevelant. Although not easy with the iPod right now.... i have a distinct feeling it will be shortly.

"You can have my Unix system when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers." -- Cal Keegan