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RIAA Going After a 10-Year-Old Girl 510

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The latest target of the RIAA's ire is a 10-year-old girl in Oregon, who was 7 when the alleged infringement occurred, and whose disabled mother lives on Social Security. In Atlantic v. Andersen, an Oregon case that was widely reported in 2005 when the defendant counterclaimed against the RIAA under Oregon's RICO statute and other laws, the defendant's mother sought to limit the RIAA's deposition of the child to telephone or video-conference. The RIAA has refused, insisting on being able to grill the little girl in person. Here are court documents (PDF)."
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RIAA Going After a 10-Year-Old Girl

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  • Disturbing anyone? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by micpp ( 818596 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @06:00AM (#18477147) Homepage
    Hmm... they want to be able to meet with a ten-year-old girl in person. Now I may have been around the seedier sides of the internet a bit too much, but does that sound a little disturbing to you?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      What music do you like little girl? "well mista..umm britney spears"
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 25, 2007 @06:59AM (#18477389)
      Of course it is disturbing and the judge should make sure that everything possible is done to protect this child and make sure that the RIAA gets the bill for it after they lose the case. Let us see what measures might be necessary:

      Guardian Ad Litem perhaps?

      Child Protective Services?


      Each of the above could probably add others to the list, but really, why don't the judge just do as many others have done and have a semi-private chat with the girl after reading submissions from both sides and then making a decision on whether arguements should be heard on her testifying or if the RIAA should just take a flying leap. If either side brings in professional testimony as to the child's ability to testify it could take forever and add up to incredible sums of money.

      If anyone reading here is associated with or knows someone associated with an Oregon law school, please make sure they know about this case as some free legal research and Friends of the Court filings might be beneficial to the young lady. Wouldn't hurt to let the highest possible elected officials and press to know they should follow the case as well.

      Just in case it isn't obvious enough from my post, IANAL.
      • by kgskgs ( 938843 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @04:27PM (#18480977) Journal
        It's surprising to see so many people here falling for "must-protect-that-kid- from-that-big-bad-guy" syndrome.

        Explanation is clear and simple. Most of the people who do music piracy fall in early-teen age group. RIAA is making a statement by going after that girl. This is a business decision. That's it.

        They don't care if they look like bad evil guys. In fact that's the point.

        I am sure that they will make sure this news gets enough publicity, and then they will let that girl go with minimum trouble.

        If after reading a story, you have to believe that things took this course because somebody was inherently, incorrigibly evil, you are probably wrong. We live in a world where conflict of interest cannot be avoided even if everybody is good person.

    • by Mateo_LeFou ( 859634 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @07:15AM (#18477455) Homepage
      Everyone over 10 has realized that the RIAA is a decaying corpse and (I sincerely believe) would boycott them completely if it were made easy [].
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kestasjk ( 933987 ) *
      I don't get it though, there has to be another side to this. This is crooked-old-guy-with-an-eye-patch-stroking-a-cat-a nd-laughing-insanely-behind-his-desk-as-lightening -cracks-in-the-background Hollywood style evil.

      Is there anything we're not being told?
      • by packeteer ( 566398 ) <> on Sunday March 25, 2007 @08:05AM (#18477625)
        The other side is... most people listen to top 40 hits on the radiop and dont care. They are happy wage slaves only becuase they dont know any better. Its very nice and all to talk about the choices from our ivory tower but slashdot is fueled by sucessful career type people. Everyone else has no money or knowledge to do any different.
        • Or they actively don't care. I tried to get someone (a Linux user, even) to quit the RIAA habit yesterday... and they were like, "why bother?"
          • by Cylix ( 55374 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @08:54AM (#18477923) Homepage Journal
            The days just are not the same as the "dolphin safe tuna" days.

            At least now a days, they have the decency to lie about dolphin being in your tuna...

      • by briancnorton ( 586947 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @09:04AM (#18477977) Homepage
        Of course not, media outlets are known for their "fair and balanced" coverage of news stories giving all the angles. In fact, your questioning of the veracity of this article tells me that you are an RIAA agent here to astroturf a media campaign while your nazi cronies arrest and beat this 10 year old girl. This is slashdot, home of the holier-than-thou-hypocrite.

        Read the news, but make sure you keep your grain of salt with you at all times.

      • by twitter ( 104583 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @11:06AM (#18478749) Homepage Journal

        I don't get it though, there has to be another side to this. ... Is there anything we're not being told?

        What's the worst thing you could be told? That the mom is a dirty bad pirate, someone who had the nerve to download gangsta rap? Would that justify any of this? I don't think so. Don't stick your head in the sand!

        What you are left with is the slimy reign of terror that Rogers and Beckerman describe. Thousands of people have been threatened this way. They face the loss of all their possesions, livelihoods and jailtime. Many if not all are innocent. They turn to next of kin when one victim escapes to promote further terror: we will get your kids next! The very tactic proves they don't know who really did what they accuse. It's ugly because extortion is always that way. It's horrifying because huge companies should not act like gangsters. The reality is so horrible that people want to reject it outright rather than believe they live in such an ugly and threatening world. That fearful denial is one of the greatest assets of any tyranny.

        The publishers behind these suits are not really interested in infringement, they want to control the internet itself and shut down all possible competition. The RIAA is a shell organization for the incumbent media companies, publishers, broadcasters and others dinosaurs that want to maintain their current monoply position. They want you to be afraid to share and they dream of charging you for every trivial enjoyment of your own culture. These lawsuits lay bare the true nature of non free publishing, perpetual copyrights, monoploy broadcasting and owned culture.

        It is time to make copyright reasonable again.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Courageous ( 228506 )
          It is time to make copyright reasonable again.

          While I cannot disagree with the overall sentiment of your post, I have a difficult time imagining what you're intended us to understand with this last sentence. The RIAA's techniques are plain and simple barratry -- abuse of process, really, an attempt to use the legal system as a system of threat and intimidation. I cannot conceive of any "reasonable" modification of copyright law that could pertain to this, however. Can you clarify?

          • by twitter ( 104583 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @02:59PM (#18480423) Homepage Journal

            I cannot conceive of any "reasonable" modification of copyright law that could pertain to this, however. Can you clarify?

            You will have to ask my favorite copyright lawyer, Lawrence Lessing [] for real advice. I don't mind sharing what I think because the law is supposed to reflect the moral sense of the governed. Right now, it reflects the best interests of a few powerful companies and that needs to change. The large list of changes required shows just how far into negative territory things have sunk.

            In short, my opinion is that:

            • Copyright violation is not a crime against the public and penalties should reflect the scale of real losses.
            • Copyright should only last 20 years.
            • It should be easy to tell if a work is copyrighted and who owns it.
            • Commercial reuse of material should be easy and cheap.
            • The entire concept may be outdated.

            Copyright is a created right that's supposed to encourage the spread of knowledge and entertainment. The creation clause of the US constitution was reasonable at the time and it's spirit offers good guidance today. Copyright is supposed to be temporary and government is not supposed to be a burden or anti-competitive tool. Works of merit should become public domain while they are still current and valuable to society. With electronic publication, it may be that the best way to encourage the spread of knowledge and entertainment is to eliminate copyright.

            Penalties for any violation are supposed to be proportional to the offense. Few members of the public believe that someone should lose their house and livelyhood because they shared their music and movie collection. Indeed, most people believe in public libraries and that sharing is good. Decades of industry propaganda have not and will not convince people that copyright violation is the moral equivalent of theft and murder, nor has it convince them that jailtime and $250,000 penalties are justified where physical equivalents carry no such penalty.

            As the jib jab fiasco proves [], copyright should not be nebulous. It is in the public interest to establish a database of copyrighted material and it's owners. Right now, it's difficult to share because the presumption is that everything is owned and the copyright owners say that you can't.

            Finally, recorded history needs to be liberated. It is outrageous that so much of the world's recorded history is owned by so few companies. A copyright database won't really facilitate use and reuse of commercial works if there's only one owner who can charge outrageous fees. Copyright extensions have robbed the public of what they rightly expected to own when the works were created. The owners have used the profits to strengthen their position and rob the public further. The DMCA must be abolished and digital restrictions should be abandoned because they extend copyright beyond the law in a way that deserves no public protection.

    • by nanojath ( 265940 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @11:51AM (#18479053) Homepage Journal
      Hmm... they want to be able to meet with a ten-year-old girl in person. Now I may have been around the seedier sides of the internet a bit too much, but does that sound a little disturbing to you?

      A nervous-looking man wearing a conservative suit and carrying a briefcase enters an ordinary suburban home. He hears the "ten year old" he's arranged to meet call that she will be down in a minute as soon as she fetches her MP3 player.

      He is startled when Chris Hansen [] enters the room...

      Honestly though, I'm starting to feel like some sort of devious anti-industry genius has infiltrated the RIAA and is brilliantly coordinating a devastating bad-publicity campaign.
    • by Simonetta ( 207550 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @12:15PM (#18479289)
      Someone could take advantage of the madness of the RIAA. First issue a press release that if elected, you will support the review of the copyright laws. Then watch closely for the the RIAA/MPAA to donate money to your opponent. Then come out swinging and don't stop: "My opponent takes money from people who want to put you (or your kids) in jail for moving songs from their CDs to their iPods." "My opponent takes money from organizations who sue 10-year-olds for hundreds of thousands of dollars!".
          Be a real pit bull. Have many copies of the affidavits, etc... ready to hand out at press meetings and political rallies. Keep on message: Sue the children! Imprison the teenagers! (don't forget to get those 18+ year olds registered to vote!)Sue the children! Imprison the teenagers! Sue the children! Imprison the teenagers!

          People really do hate the RIAA when the learn what this organization is actually doing. You have a good chance of winning the election by taking the anti-RIAA stand instead of just blindly supporting them.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I always think that this failed and corrupt representative of the recording industry criminal cartel can't sink any lower, but they always amaze me when they do. Today I have decided to write my local regulatory authorities about price fixing in the record industry. I urge others to do the same.
  • by asninn ( 1071320 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @06:12AM (#18477205)
    I'm always amazed that it's even possible to prosecute children in the USA at all. In Germany, for example, the age at which you start to have a limited legal liability for your actions is 14; if you're 13 or younger, you can't be prosecuted for anything you do, period. (Of course, your *parents* might, and you might end up in foster care or so, too, but you can't get put on trial or sent to prison or so yourself.) I'm not sure about other nations, but I imagine that it's similar elsewhere, too.

    (And it makes sense, too: when someone isn't old enough to vote, drive a car, drink a beer, smoke a cigarette or have sex with their girl-/boyfriend, why should they be old enough to be put on trial?)
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Nobody's prosecuting her and she hasn't been accused of any crimes (copyright infringement CAN be a criminal matter in some circumstances, but such has not been alleged here). She's just being sued, that's all. I can't see how it would make any sense to sue her parents instead. If the facts of the case all revolve around her actions then she would still need to be questioned to exactly the same degree, just with a different name on the court dockets.
    • by Carewolf ( 581105 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @06:30AM (#18477267) Homepage
      It's in the international human rights convention (I think, or an extension dealing with childrens rights).

      Of course USA is the only western country that hasn't signed the human rights convention.
      • by jrumney ( 197329 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @07:15AM (#18477459)

        Of course USA is the only western country that hasn't signed the human rights convention.

        The way you put that makes it sound like the US keeps good company with non-Western nations. Even that is not true. The only other country that hasn't ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is Somalia (the US did sign under Clinton, but Bush has failed to ratify almost every international treaty that Clinton signed up to). In Somalia's case, they don't have a government to sign it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Mr. McD ( 166893 )
          In Somalia's case, they don't have a government to sign it.

          One could argue that the US doesn't have a government competent enough to sign it ;)

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Lumpy ( 12016 )
            Hey it's not nice to pick on the mentally retarded. GW bush won our government special olympics twice.

            Problem is that that fact speaks volumes to the collective IQ of this country.

      • by SirGarlon ( 845873 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @07:20AM (#18477481)

        Of course USA is the only western country that hasn't signed the human rights convention.

        At the risk of drifting off-topic, there is a reason for the United States' lack of participation in international agreements of this sort, and the reason is not (usually) a casual indifference to human rights. It has to do with the autonomous legal systems of the individual states, which are protected under the U.S. Constitution. So even if the U.S. were to sign a (perfectly reasonable) treaty restricting how its courts could operate, one could argue that the federal government lacks the authority to tell the state courts how to operate.

        The counter-argument is that the Constitution does grant Congress the power to sign treaties and that should trump the state courts' sovereignty in certain situations. However neither argument is rock-solid; both sides have a point. So the way things usually pan out is that Congress doesn't ratify the treaties because the Congresspersons (who nominally represent the interests of their states, remember) don't want to sign anything that imposes a burden of treaty compliance on the state courts.

        As far as I know this issue has never been put to test in the U.S. Supreme Court, so the status quo is that no one really knows how far the federal government can go in telling state courts how to operate.

        • by 1u3hr ( 530656 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @07:42AM (#18477545)
          it has to do with the autonomous legal systems of the individual states, which are protected under the U.S. Constitution.

          The US is hardly unique in having a federal system. That's no real excuse.

          • by SirGarlon ( 845873 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @09:10AM (#18478001)

            That's no real excuse.

            Don't get me wrong; I don't support the state-sovereignty argument myself. I'm just trying to make the point that there are conflicting legal principles involved, and that U.S. voters are somewhat divided on whether local or international standards should take priority. That is, the reason the U.S. hesitates to commit to international treaties such as the convention on human rights cannot be entirely attributed to simple hypocrisy. Because of the conflicting interests of state and federal governments, there's a lack of political will to see the treaties ratified.

            Now, what's really inexcusable in my opinion is that on one hand my government can't commit to signing and ratifying the treaty, and on the other hand it seldom hesitates to condemn other countries' human-right records. They should put up or shut up.

        • by gravesb ( 967413 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @08:02AM (#18477607) Homepage
          Actually, the Supreme Court addressed it in Missouri v. Holland, 252 US 416 (1920). Its pretty clear law that Congress can ratify a treaty, and it has the rule of law as long as it does not explicitly violate the Constitution, for instance by infringing on free speech. Infringing on States' rights are perfectly acceptable.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jimicus ( 737525 )
            Infringing on States' rights are perfectly acceptable.

            There would be little point in having a federal government if it didn't have the power under some set of circumstances to tell the individual states that they will do as they are damn well told.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Dunbal ( 464142 )
          there is a reason for the United States' lack of participation in international agreements of this sort, and the reason is not (usually) a casual indifference to human rights. It has to do with the autonomous legal systems of the individual states, which are protected under the U.S. Constitution. So even if the U.S. were to sign a (perfectly reasonable) treaty restricting how its courts could operate, one could argue that the federal government lacks the authority to tell the state courts how to operate.
      • by dreamchaser ( 49529 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @07:48AM (#18477569) Homepage Journal
        3. These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

        I would not sign on to that either. In other words it says, "And if people decide that they don't like where the UN is going, tough shit, your rights and freedoms mean nothing in that case."
      • 1) RIAA lawsuits are civil suits, not criminal, and therefore not prosecutions. Prosecutions of children for crimes or misdemeanors is severely limited with special rules and courts.

        2) Even in civil suits, minors are legally incompetent to be parties to lawsuits. I'm sure that if you look a little closer, if the RIAA is suing a minor directly, then it can only be because they did not know the person's age. They will either have their case dismissed, or will amend their complaint to sue the child's parent
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Adriax ( 746043 )
          And how exactly do we know it's a 10 year old yet they have no clue?
          Firing off a lawsuit before even doing a simple age check, that just screams competence to me...
    • by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @06:32AM (#18477279)
      I have to disagree, some children know exactly what they are doing at a young age (talking about malicious acts here). That there are little consequences for them does not improve matters.

      I agree that children under 14 should and can be prosecuted for certain crimes - albeit with a lighter sentence with a nod to maturity, maliciousness and other factors. Now, I am talking about murder, arson, etcetera with direct harm to other people.

      Copyright Infringement is an abstract matter with a real but indefinite (but limited) financial harm involve. It should be accepted downloading music may have deprived the copyright holder of about $.99 for a single track or $15-20 for a CD. Let the punishment fit the crime - it should involve a slap on the wrist. It should not involve bankrupting parents or dragging them through endless court proceedings.

      It should be accepted that by having the court involved that this sort of thing is costing society more than it is worth - that these cases should simply not be accepted. Go to small claims court to get back small claims. Do not claim 100K in fantasy damages to make one person the example to hold up to others. That is not justice.

      That, imo, is a greater violence to the children. Just imagine some father or mother, having lost everything, taking it out on the children - physically or emotionally, after such an event. It doesn't even have to be intentional, just in the background. Or the knowledge that you caused your parents financial ruin growing up as a kid. The way this crap the RIAA pulls can destroy lives is criminal.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by HUADPE ( 903765 )
      This is not a prosecution. This is a civil suit. The most the court can order is a monetary payment and a cessation of action or an action to make up for what was done. The kid cannot be sent to jail. Anyone can sue anyone else, but only a prosecutor can bring someone to trial where prison is a possibility.
    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      I seem to recall something about children even getting executed in the USA - is that actually true or did the state wait until they reached 18 or 21?
      • I seem to recall something about children even getting executed in the USA - is that actually true

        I think the USA will execute an adult for an offence they comitted as a child.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gordo3000 ( 785698 )
        not quite. an offense committed while a minor (18 yrs) can still lead to you being prosecuted as an adult. as such , if the crime was bad enough, you could be sentenced to death. But to my knowledge, most of these cases involved multiple murders being commited by someone in their late teens. while it may strike your sensibilities as to someone at 17 being as culpable as someone at 18, I think it makes sense for serious crimes of someone on that for the defendant to first be judged mentally mature enough
    • In America they call you a minor until age 18. The word minor reflects your rights.
    • by iminplaya ( 723125 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @06:50AM (#18477349) Journal
      And it makes sense, too: when someone isn't old enough to vote, drive a car, drink a beer, smoke a cigarette or have sex with their girl-/boyfriend, why should they be old enough to be put on trial?

      For the simple reason that there's money to be made. You're not looking for any moral basis, are you?
    • by gordo3000 ( 785698 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @06:56AM (#18477375)
      um.... read at least a single document from the case. the defendent is the mother of the child. They have the right to request deposition of the child. A deposition is just taking someone's testimony (I believe under oath).

      of course, with respect to the lunacy of your last line, its very simple why they should be old enough to be put on trial: The moral obligations of a person in most societies is taught and understood at a much younger age than anything you mentioned. The mental maturity to consume alcohol in a manner that does not molest or harm others is generally lacking even in people older than 21 in the US, but more pervasively lacking in children. Cigarette smoke has been shown to be detrimental to development of the human body and laws regulating its use are generally in place to attempt to remove smoking completely as it creates a large financial burden on society. Sex with a girl/boyfriend is not illegal if the age difference is small enough. too large, it becomes statutory rape.

      on the other hand, do not steal or hurt someone else are ideas that are taught at very young ages and are internalized at a very young age and even at the age of 12, the willful breaking of these laws is seen as disregard for known laws, not ignorance of a more subtle connection with society.

      keep in mind I did not refer to copyright infringement. For a 7 year old, its hard to explain why its illegal to borrow a friend's video game and put it on their computer(or download music in this case) and as such, should be relegated to seeing a 9 year old driving a car: an unfortunate incident of a parent not being able to control every minor thing their child does, followed by a punishment in line with the damages(in the case of the car, a bit of a scolding from the officer that sees it, in the case of copy right infringement, maybe 2$ per track downloaded(assuming a 10 track, 20 dollar cd which is way over priced). the parent can then easily discipline the child by making them work this money off.

      Now, the way these cases are being handled is actually , I think, an artifact of it being a civil matter and not a criminal one.

      I feel in some ways our criminal system is becoming flawed with 14 year olds treated as complete adults, but then again, the crimes are generally not of a complex nature. Killing someone is wrong and if you are trying to argue that someone shouldn't' be tried for murder just because they haven't quite made it to 18, you'd have to defend to me why such a blanket exoneration should be given (as compared to the current method in the US where it is taken case by case and the mental state of the child is first determined before a judge orders the type of trial to be held).
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by killjoe ( 766577 )
      The US has the best legal system money can buy. If you have money you can buy any result you like.

      In this case the RIAA has a lot of money so no judge in the country is going to smack them down for suing children. In fact the judges are going to rule against the child in a summary decision because the kid can't afford a lawyer and will not show up in court because nobody gave them a ride.

      Remember SCO v IBM? Yea, just like that.
    • by SirGarlon ( 845873 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @07:08AM (#18477431)
      This case (Atlantic vs. Andersen) is a civil case, not a criminal one. So strictly speaking, the child isn't being prosecuted; she's being called to testify. IANAL but I do know that children under a certain age (which I believe varies from state to state) can't be sued in the U.S.. However their parents can be held liable for their actions, which is what appears to be the case here. The U.S. does have a system whereby children can be prosecuted for crimes but it's done in special juvenile courts.
    • by CristalShandaLear ( 762536 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @08:03AM (#18477613) Homepage Journal
      Not only do we tolerate our children being prosecuted but we allow them to be handcuffed at five [] and tasered at six. [] This 10-year-old doesn't stand a chance.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Chrisje ( 471362 )
        Now I read both FA's, and both cases cannot be attributed to a horrible justice system or a bad police force. God, if I pulled shit like that, my mom would have given me one over that makes tasering look like a walk in the park. Rightfully so, too.

        Absentee parents and a lack of discipline will induce this kind of behaviour, and having the cops solve it is just a cop-out. Then turning around and trying to blame the cops for mis-handling it... well, I have nothing to say.
  • Addie Loggins lives!
  • These stories... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by junglee_iitk ( 651040 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @06:18AM (#18477227)
    Does anyone NOT wonder when such outrageous stories come up? I for one do not!

    This is exactly what RIAA wants, to instil a belief that they are evil and they will sue anyone, and they will win, because they are right. That they didn't care when it was granny or a child. PR does the later part of the job.

    There is only one way to fight this: in court we win.

    Or "democracy" but somehow I have lost faith in it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Soko ( 17987 )
      Or "democracy" but some how I have lost faith in it.

      Then you have lost faith in yourself. I think that's what they're after.

      Always remeber faith and religion are not the same thing.

    • Re:PR Campaign (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Technician ( 215283 )
      This is exactly what RIAA wants, to instil a belief that they are evil and they will sue anyone, and they will win, because they are right. That they didn't care when it was granny or a child. PR does the later part of the job.

      Is being right worth the cost of the PR problems of being an unreasonable bully? Have they measured the growing movement to boycott anything major label? Have they done anything to respond to claims of being a cartel with fixed high prices?

      I hope they have their PR campaign funded a
  • by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @06:18AM (#18477231)
    Okay, first off, let us stop pretending the RIAA cares about it's image - it doesn't. For their current strategy - it's actually beneficial to be despised, hopefully feared. It's the front man for several big music companies and as long as their names (Sony, BMG, etc) are out of the headlines, it is doing its job.

    I just wonder if it will ever backfire - in that the Politicians stand up to them. But under what circumstances? Enough bad publicity? Who haven't they paid off? I'm cynical enough to believe it isn't happening. No matter what regime - political parties themselves are machines of corruption. Always have been, always will be.

    CD sales are down, but that could be due to people buying the single digital tracks they want instead of entire albums. Other than that, the demograhic with the time and money to waste on music - teens and 20 somethings - just don't care. Now, I'm talking about your typical person there - not all of them. The reason is the majority of people like to believe they will never get caught. Like speeding tickets.

    Artists - this will probably be the only weak point but that means they jump from one master to another, like iTunes. Still, some have rocked the boat, I hope others join in.

    I believe nothing will change for a long time though I hope otherwise. I won't shed tears when the racket dies, but don't forsee the internet killing them off for a good long while.
    • Enough bad publicity?

      Nope... Here is more.. 005.html []
      "For the first time since Thomas Alva Eddison began selling wax cylinders, the music industry is having to deal with an informed customer (NOT consumer) base whose constituents can, and do, communicate with each other via blogs, emails, IM, chats, text messaging, and so on.

      And what they're saying is: We have a choice, and we're exercising it.

      If the record labels think their persecution of online customers
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by DarkOx ( 621550 )
      s the front man for several big music companies and as long as their names (Sony, BMG, etc) are out of the headlines, it is doing its job.

      Which is why we need to start putting these names in print! We need to start makeing the RIAA's image one and the same with its member organizations. If you want to restrict how they can behave that is the way. Obviously you should try and list the member owning the media the the suit is over but these articals should always mention the RIAA something like this.

      The RIA
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by QuantumG ( 50515 )

      The reason is the majority of people like to believe they will never get caught. Like speeding tickets.

      Uhh.. no. The reason is that they feel they have the right to copy whatever the hell they feel like with their own copying equipment and to hell with people who say they can't. Most everyone I know has burnt something onto a CD or DVD that copyright law says they cannot and none of them feel they have done anything wrong. Young, old, 20 something, 50 something.. Copyright law is fundamentally distant from the social intuition of fairness.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    In their minds, I think they're trying to scare the parents of kids, but the net effect is to make the record companies look ever dumber and greedier, which is quite a trick.

    They don't get that in virtually anyone's eyes, a 7 year old is an innocent. They really can't do stuff wrong.

    And most decent human beings will come to the aid of a 7 year old when they're being attacked by a big bully.

    The record companies should have just dropped this with a "warning letter" and moved on. They're really idiots.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I have personally witnessed the sorry end to a scene where a seven year old boy was pounding a kitten to death with a wrench. Please describe in terms of "They really can't do stuff wrong".

      Anyone who has raised kids or lived around them knows your view is naive at best, but plain wrong, period.

      I agree with your last sentence.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Dunbal ( 464142 )
        have personally witnessed the sorry end to a scene where a seven year old boy was pounding a kitten to death with a wrench.

              Surely that kitten deserved to die!

              So, how did you stop the boy? Did you beat the crap out of him? Or did you ask him how he thought the kitten must feel as the wrench penetrated its skull?
  • Strange ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jopet ( 538074 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @06:42AM (#18477307) Journal
    What I find strange about the whole music marked situation is that despite the evilness of the RIAA, despite the high CD prices, despite the fact that there is still no user friendly way to buy music cheap and effective without getting locked in to some vendor and/or deprived of even the most minimal rights -- despite all this, people are NOT turning to alternatives. There is practically no significant market that would show how to make it better. There is no significant number of users who would simply ignore the RIAA and go for artists who directly sell their music or other channels. Except piracy.

    In my opinion that says more about the customers than about the RIAA. If people are too dumb to exploit the weakness of the traditional music market -- both as customers or as startup companies -- they deserve exactly this RIAA.

    That is not much different from people in a democracy deserving their Bush or Berlusconi. I never quite understand why all the people then go and blame Bush or Berlusconi instead of the idiots who voted for them.

    So -- why blame the RIAA instead of all the people who keep them in power by STILL buying their stuff and abide by their rules?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Tom ( 822 )

      despite all this, people are NOT turning to alternatives.
      But they are. The most popular alternative is bittorrent.

      The system itself is broken - there is no free market where you could choose another vendor - so what we're seing is a big civil disobedience movement. Mostly unconcious, but that's what it is.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jopet ( 538074 )
        What I meant are alternatives that are not piracy or illegal.
        I do not see why or how the system would prevent artists from selling their music through other channels, or prevent investors from creating an alternative infrastructure for marketing and selling music. Or prevent customers from using those alternatives.

        My suspicion is that people just take the stolen music and run and any alternative that would require people to buy instead of steal music would not be that much more attractive than the tradition
  • RIAA Crackers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 25, 2007 @07:17AM (#18477469)
    Frankly, just the fact that the RIAA hired some company to crack into her computer should be enough to get this case thrown out and charges filed for illegal wiretapping on the RIAA and their paid crackers. Once the crackers had access there is no way to prove they did not do the downloading themselves. Her ISP should file for theft of services too, after all the cracker used the defendant's connection to download their software.

    The above of course is just from a relatively ignorant AC, any network security professionals here care to add some facts or ideas? Just in case the defendant's technical advisor(s) happens to read here, heck Ray might even find it fun reading even if he sees nothing new to him in it.
  • Warner Music Group (Score:5, Interesting)

    by IMustBeNewHere ( 899319 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @08:07AM (#18477635) Journal

    Everyone is rallying against RIAA as a whole, but there is only a single RIAA member behind this lawsuit: Warner Music Group, which owns Atlantic Records.

    Warner is the very same company that gave the children of late Mr Scantlebury 60 days to grieve before they would be sued. (Warner v. Scantlebury) They only dropped the suit after it got media attention.

    Warner also owns Elektra Records that is suing a woman with multiple sclerosis. (Elektra v. Schwartz) MS is a disorder that can worsen rapidly if the sufferer is put under stress.

    And, apparently it did: In a March 2 letter [] to the judge, her lawyer basically writes that she is now so sick that she can no longer defend herself. Guilty or not, Warner Music has shortened her life just the same. I guess "compassion" is a foreign concept to them.

    • by DaMattster ( 977781 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @08:43AM (#18477845)
      Wow, this is very disconcerting. Did you know that Warner was founded as a company to protect and provide employment for Jewish actors, cartoonists, and musicians in an era rampant with discrimination? In the 20s and 30s, Jewish cartoonists were refused work at Disney. I am Jewish and the actions of Warner against Schwartz and Scantlebury are unconscionable. It seems like humanity is constantly condemned to repeat history it has never learned. Jews have a specific duty, as I see it, to protect the downtrodden; especially after what we as a people have been through. The two lawsuits mentioned are an absolute abomination. Although, there may be another angle, albeit improbable, that the RIAA applied considerable pressure to bring these lawsuits and Warner capitulated.
    • by supersat ( 639745 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @08:48AM (#18477883)
      There's actually several plaintiffs in this lawsuit, as mentioned in the legal documents linked to from the summary:
      • Atlantic Records (owned by Warner Music Group)
      • Priority Records (owned by EMI)
      • Capitol Records (owned by EMI)
      • Universal Music Group
      • Bertelsmann Music Group
      So, the big four [] are all part of this lawsuit.
  • Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by spiritraveller ( 641174 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @09:11AM (#18478005)
    A judgment against a child can't normally be used against the parent. At 10 years old, she's not going to have any income or assets.

    By the time she reaches 18, it will no longer be reported by credit bureaus, and I suspect the judgment will expire by then.

    So why would they even bother deposing the child? Maybe they want to see if the mother is just using her to get out of the case.
  • by SirGarlon ( 845873 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @09:49AM (#18478217)

    In the midst of all the outrage over the RIAA's choice to drag a 10-year-old girl onto the witness stand, I think we're overlooking the extent to which the legal system is working to the benefit of the defense (the girl's mother, Ms. Andersen).

    The defense is entitled to a trial by jury. The defendant is also counter-suing claiming (among other things) that the RIAA's case is based on evidence that was obtained through unlawful computer intrusion.

    It gets better: in the U.S. we have a concept called "punitive damages," which means the court can award additional damages (money) if the party who was in the wrong behaved "outrageously." When I sat on a jury and the subject of punitive damages came up (in Middlesex County Superior Court in Cambridge, Massachusetts), the judge said to consider punitive damages separately, and that the amount should be chosen large enough to deter future outrageous behavior. That is, when it comes to punitive damages, the amount of award is set by how much of a financial penalty would really, really hurt. :-)

    So the RIAA is insisting on hauling a 10-year-old girl onto the witness stand to testify against her own disabled mother. How stupid can they get? I doubt that will play well with a jury. Also, if the RIAA loses their case, they're subject to punitive damages for committing computer crimes in order to obtain their evidence.

    Yes, it's rotten that the RIAA is abusing its right to force the 10-year-old to take the stand, but the defense is making full use of its own rights in this case. If you read the list of complaints Ms. Andersen is making in retaliation, it sure looks as if the RIAA has a lot more to lose in this case than it stands to gain.

    IANAL but I can't imagine why the RIAA's attorneys would take the dire risk of bullying a ten-year-old in a jury trial.

  • by $pace6host ( 865145 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @10:03AM (#18478311) Journal
    Lets stop opening with "RIAA" -- hardly anyone outside of /. seems to have any clue who that really is. Instead, name the actual RIAA members that are responsible, and list a few of their high-profile artists. People should know who to boycott if they're outraged. When "average joe" sees a story about the RIAA suing a kid, he thinks "those bastards!" and then he picks up a CD at the FYE in the mall. To "average joe", there's little connection. Make the title something like "Matchbox Twenty's Label Sues 10-yr Old". In the article, clearly explain that Atlantic Records, the label representing artists like "Matchbox Twenty" (list a few more from their website), in conjunction with their RIAA partners is engaged in a lawsuit against a 10-yr old girl. Explain that by purchasing music by these artists, one is supporting this kind of behavior, even though the artists themselves may not direct the actions. Encourage the artists to speak out against their label and its dubious tactics, suspect methods, and arguably coercive behavior. Help "average joe" understand what continued support of these labels through their artists enables. Don't let them wear one face in the mall and a different one in the courtroom. Let the artists feel the negative side of having the RIAA represent them. Maybe some day in the future artists will stand up and reject the RIAA because its tactics hurt their image. Maybe some day the RIAA labels will have trouble signing new artists because association with the RIAA will hurt their career prospects. That day will never come if people don't associate the artists with the behavior of the RIAA.
    • Very interesting point, $space6host. I hope the /. moderators realize the worth of your thinking and mod it up there to +5.

      It's really 4 big record companies, Universal, Warner, SONY, and EMI, who are doing this whole RIAA thing.

      I have absolutely no conceptual problem with your idea.

      Off the top of my head, some logistical problems present themselves to me:
      -there are also a number of other plaintiffs who are labels owned by those 4,
      -oftentimes the list would include 6,7,8, or more plaintiffs,
      -Slashdot allows very little space for headlines
      -the list would make boring reading to most.

      But you make a very valid point. I should try to make sure that people do know which labels are behind each case, so they can know which labels not to buy from. And which artists need to fight on behalf of their fans.

      Perhaps the answer is to name the first one in the headline. And to provide a list of labels at the end of each story.

      Hmmmm.... you've really given me something to think about. Thanks.

    • You are right. The record labels who are demanding to take the deposition of a 10-year-old girl are identified in the answer and counterclaims []. They are
      -Atlantic Recording
      -Priority Records
      -Capitol Records
      -UMG Music and
      -BMG Music.

      Everyone out there, please boycott those labels.

      And if you know of any recording artists on those labels, write to them and let them know what is going on.

      Thank you.

  • by Arcturax ( 454188 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @10:03AM (#18478319)
    And this is what happens when you sue people at random. You are likely to get grandmothers, little girls and even dead people. None of which is good press at all. Worse, it is only a matter of time before the RIAA picks on the wrong guy, like some psycho who will find one of their offices or affiliated law firms, march in with a rifle and have at it. Or worse.

    Given their "win" record so far, which is mostly people who have settled, they are obviously not making any money compared to the cost of sending lawyers to every corner of the US to sue people at random. If I were a shareholder for the companies who fund and back the RIAA, I would be wondering why they are gambling with my money. Eventually they are going to come up snake eyes and there will be a big incident. And then they may start finding it hard to find lawyers willing to take on random cases for fear they will target the next nut.
  • where is Dateline? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by WeeBit ( 961530 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @12:56PM (#18479637) Homepage
    I wonder where Dateline is during all of this? I mean Dateline likes going after predators, and the RIAA is one due to their actions. You would think Dateline would be all over a story like this one.
  • by rtrifts ( 61627 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @03:20PM (#18480553) Homepage
    I have purchased one CD - count em - ONE in the past six years. And that one purchase was one I struggled with as I really don't want to support this business anymore because of this nonsense.

    This was an offensive litigation strategy when it started - and it's loonier still years later. I simply will not buy this cartel's product. I want them to fail and all of their shareholders to lose every single nickel they have. My bet? I will live to see that day.

    And maybe not too far off, either.
  • by shaitand ( 626655 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @06:41PM (#18481887) Journal
    The RIAA sues 7-10yr old girls. Due to the extraordinary debt they owe for the rest of their lives these girls can't get loans for educations or achieve any success of their own in life. What does all this mean?

    Simple my friend. It means in 10 years there will be a blanket lowering of the bar for how much cash you must have to get a quality piece of ass. I used to be against the RIAA because the laws like the DMCA they push for affect technology and software development and since that impacts every industry and form of production used in industrialized nations those laws literally set mankind back by decades.

    Now? Who gives a fsck how soon we colonize the moon; cure aids; develop a way to join a global mental collective, bring on that easy and quality next generation ass!

  • Time to be Ashamed (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @07:09PM (#18482087)
    If I were the artist of any of the specific songs they're accused of distributing, I'd be ashamed. Truly ashamed, at this.
  • by Blackknight ( 25168 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @10:20PM (#18483325) Homepage
    I wish that somebody they sue would blow up their building.

In the realm of scientific observation, luck is granted only to those who are prepared. - Louis Pasteur