USATODAY: 41 more sued over music downloads | iLounge News

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USATODAY: 41 more sued over music downloads

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By Dennis Lloyd

Publisher, iLounge
Published: Wednesday, December 3, 2003
News Categories: Digital Media

“Despite bad press for turning on its customers, the recording industry said Wednesday that it would sue 41 more people, alleging they illegally downloaded music from the Internet. [...]

Nielsen/NetRatings says the average number of users on Kazaa, the top music and movie trading program, has dropped 53% since June — when the RIAA first warned of lawsuits.”

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Comments

21

The music industry needs us to buy music to make music.  That I agree with.  What I think people don’t agree with is that they don’t want to see Justin Timberlake, Britney spears, or Nelly buy another 5 million dollar house or another diamond something. The cost is not justified

Another small fact that the music industry and RIAA hates file sharing is that many small bands that would never get a contract can now put their music on the internet and hear their songs.  This is a plus in one way.  The sad part is that a lot of talented people are missed by the record industry.  Also musicians can now compose songs and have itunes distribute the songs.  Skipping the record companies, ‘can I hear an ouch’ Cut the middle man.         

It is simple: 

If you download music you are stealing. 

If you download music from i.e. Itunes you’re safe. 

I am not saying that ‘download forever’ or that the RIAA puts out no good music.  I am just saying that the people found a way out and used it.  Can you blame them? 

Posted by Jeff on December 4, 2003 at 4:16 PM (PDT)

22

It is legal in Canada… sort of.  Same with Germany, and others countries.  It is just England and Australia, USA, and some other countries that are having copyrighting problems. 

http://news.com.com/2008-1028-5097180.html http://www.martinsquest.com/personal/filesharing.htm


Okay so they take your whole computer and you can’t keep the music.  But how can they find these people and how do they know what music they bought and what they downloaded?  What if your hard drive has a password on it?  How can they have evidence?  And how do they get into your house, warrant I guess.  Sounds kind of made up to me.  I would like to see how they get these people.

Best Regards,

Jeff McKnight

Posted by Jeff on December 4, 2003 at 4:16 PM (PDT)

23

Yes, the Internet and confluence of technologies made it easy to basically steal music.  Tons of people took to it, but many people did so because they never thought they’d ever get caught and because it was cheaper and more convenient than buying cds.  In the end, it is still illegal and it still infringes on the rights of copyright owners, whether they be artists or labels. 

Posted by Albert on December 4, 2003 at 7:53 PM (PDT)

24

Jeff, I believe they track downloaders on kazaa using honeypot servers where they trace your ip address and they see what you have on your shared folder.  As long as you are sharing, you are breaking the law.  If your hd has a password, they can force you to provide the password or break in themselves.  Nothing about is “made up”.  It’s called law enforcement.

Posted by Albert on December 4, 2003 at 7:54 PM (PDT)

25

I, as I guess a lot of people, have music on vinyl - so I have already purchased the music.  The music industry changes formats from analogue to digital.  I either spend hours reformatting my analogue music to digital or buy music, already own (and have already paid my dues to RIAA), in a digital format.  The question is - If I download a song I already own is this theft?

Posted by YYWWVV on December 5, 2003 at 7:12 AM (PDT)

26

YYWWVV, good question.  I think most people would side with you, but I can see the counterargument too.  I do this with my cds too because sometimes it’s just easier/faster to dl than to rip.

Posted by Albert on December 5, 2003 at 10:52 AM (PDT)

27

it’s considered “fair-use” if you’ve already purchased a copy of the song/album

Posted by lo on December 5, 2003 at 10:55 AM (PDT)

28

“the people found a way out and used it. Can you blame them? “

—Props on that statement, and post…

totally agree.  I only download the songs i like… not entire albums… and if i do like the entire album… i buy the CD. Believe it or not. I fully support the artist(s) i like.

-But not if it’s only one friggin song.

it’s not worth it. Not 15 dollars… not “9.99”
it’s not!

Posted by Chris on December 6, 2003 at 1:24 AM (PDT)

29

It ISN’T simple.

The RIAA has obviously succeeded in their campaign to equate downloading with stealing.

Sorry, but it ain’t the same thing and never will be.

Stealing involves - and always involves - 1:1 deprivation:gain.  A purse thief gains a purse, the purse thief victim loses that purse.

When you download a song, you aren’t removing the song from the artists’/RIAA’s possession.  You’re making an unauthorized duplication - not “stealing”.

The RIAA doesn’t want you to realize this because then the question becomes, “Why am I not authorized to copy this?”

When you research the answer you’ll find that it’s only because of recently-enacted laws, all of which were sponsored by legislators who have, in the public record, accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from guess who.

The first sale provision of copyright used to give a purchaser total control over what happened to the product he purchased after the sale.  This is how video rental places used to rent videos (despite frantic objections from MPAA that it was stealing - no, seriously) without breaking the law. 

Nowadays, of course, the video stores have
consolidated and are mostly owned by the same parent companys that own the studios and record labels, so there isn’t a problem.

Before you blindly defend the RIAA’s position in the future, ask yourself “How have I benefitted from the laws they’ve had sponsored in the past?”  Then ask yourself, “Are these laws in keeping with the spirit of copy rights as the Founding Fathers intended?”  Then ask yourself “What are copy rights, and from whence do they derive?”

I don’t think it’s possible for anyone to answer all of those thoroughly and honestly, and still believe that illicit copying is somehow stealing.

This is fundamentally an issue of what copyright is and what it isn’t.  You can check opensecrets.org for yourself to see that RIAA and MPAA really do contribute enormous amounts to legislators that do their bidding.  You can search for AHRA, NET, DMCA, etc. and read them for yourself to see exactly how these cartels have changed the meaning of copyrights to entrench their distribution monopoly.

I just can’t understand how anyone not working for one of the cartels could buy into their point of view.  I understand that they are doing a lot of moralizing in public these days, but that doesn’t mean you have to swallow it hook, line and sinker.

Posted by george on December 6, 2003 at 5:05 AM (PDT)

30

george, very well written. 

Posted by lo on December 6, 2003 at 9:06 AM (PDT)

31

Legislation or not, if I spent a lot of time and energy producing a book, movie or song, and I would like to charge people for enjoying the fruits of my labor, I’d have no luck if people were just copying it instead of paying me for it.  Sure, I’d still have my original copies, but who would want to pay if if they already have perfect copies?  And why would I ever quit my day job to devote myself to my art if I could never support myself with it? 

How many movies have you watched only once?  How many books have you read only once?  Songs are a different because they can be enjoyed over and over again, but these products in the end are consumable goods. 

Posted by Albert on December 6, 2003 at 1:27 PM (PDT)

32

Songs are a form of art or a method of communication, and not necessarily a consumable good.  Stories and history have long been passed down from generation to generation (especially before the printing press and archival storage) through song and other forms of perfomance art that was never “priced” out by a distributor.  You can argue that songs and music have been “commodities” for quite some time but that only holds true for the performance of the song or piece of music (i.e. traveling musicians for hire).  It wasn’t until performances were recorded that song/music really become a material good that could be consumed. 

Music has been so commercialized in today’s society of mass media consumption to the extent that a “copyright” has become a sort of derivative of music - call it an “option” (like in Economics).  You can set a price for the option (which the “music industry” has done) but the true market value (read: demand/popularity) of the underlying security (the song) remains dynamic based on audience/consumers desire for it.  Performance relative to the competition must also be taken into account.  In today’s society, with the advent of the Internet and technology as a distribution channel, the brokers of said “options” (read:  the big 5 and the RIAA) have been shown to be an unecessary step and overbearing force in the transaction of song and music from artist to listener.  We’re just challenging the inefficiences of the biased capitalism of this country - it’s what “the people” are supposed to do.  Look how online trading of equities effected the financial industry.  Firms needed to find a way to incentivize the customer to continue paying them to manage his/her money - they needed to prove that the “middle-man” was still necessary.  Now it’s come down to expertise and performance. 

(CONT. BELOW)

Posted by lo on December 6, 2003 at 9:41 PM (PDT)

33

If someone sings a song from memory, it’s not a commodity but a concept.  Now song/music is a form of intellectual property.  Our current laws weren’t conceived to accomodate for mass distribution of intellectual property.  You can’t choose to disseminate your idea broadly and expect to keep complete control over it, who uses it and what it becomes. 

Song/music is not “a consumable good” but a form of art and communication.  It’s the commodification of music that is at the epicenter of the current situation. 

If musicians and artists want to continue putting a price on the DISTRIBUTION of their music, they need to take control of the industry and find other methods and specifically pricing structures/business models. 

The demand for song/music will always be there.  Creating a system where profitability is possible is the challenge because the current system is flawed.  Holes in the big 5/RIAA’s business model will continue to be exploited until a threshold is reached when both artists and the listener/consumer/audience/fan agree on a “fair price” to charge for “owning” a song.  If the commerical music industry doesn’t find a solution to this problem, society will - it’s inevitable.  File sharing/p2p/the internet is just the catalyst to this end. 

Posted by lo on December 6, 2003 at 9:41 PM (PDT)

34

So many good points made by others,so little time.
1.What I find incredibly amusing is that the RIAA were fully aware of the “digital frontier”,before it really took off,but they chose to ignore it.Then they decided to get really,really,really greedy and try to force everyone to buy CD’s that they weren’t too keen on to get certain songs. They even went so far as to attach royalties on blank CD’s to ensure they got a piece of the pie.To top it all off,they are so giddy to blame the consumer and downloading that they refuse to acknowledge that they created a sinking ship of their own making. They also ensured that a whole generation of the music buying public wouldn’t purchase music because they priced it out of the reach of the young music buying public. Factor in the non-availability of singles…
2.As far as the RIAA is concerned,even if you already bought the music,if you d/l from the P2P networks,it is still considered stealing. They went after one woman who d/l’ed the same stuff she already bought.
Also,what really cracks me up is that the majors are now tracking activity on sites like Kazaa to figure out what to market. It’s a dirty little secret that they don’t want anyone to know about,but it’s true.
3.So now,people are gravitating towards the pay sites(i.e.ITunes),which is cool. However,the problem with these sites is that they offer the same stuff as all the other sites,and heaven help you if you want to pay to d/l a song,but you can’t because they don’t make it available.Or if you have tastes that fall outside of the norm of what they offer. Or partial albums. If you happen to be one of these people,you’re screwed.  If you also happen to be someone who prefers to buy songs,or CD’s of more “cutting edge” or “niche” music,but can’t because the majors refuse to make them available commercially,you’re well and truly screwed.At that point,sites like Kazaa begin looking really attractive. And then the RIAA and the majors sit and frantically scratch their collective heads about why sales are down…
  All of this to say that if the RIAA is hell-bent on digging its own grave, causing further alienation and inviting full scale rebellion of the record buying public,what the hell…let ‘em.
 

Posted by Christianiconv.2 on December 7, 2003 at 1:21 AM (PDT)

35

P.S.George-Thanks,I’ve been making the same points to others as well. You nailed it.

Posted by Christianicononev.2 on December 7, 2003 at 4:52 AM (PDT)

36

Heres to the Music revolution.

Cheers

Posted by Jeff on December 7, 2003 at 10:35 AM (PDT)

37

Another problem the RIAA has is that songs are out sooner than they wish.  In the past new songs played on the radio were not out on cd yet or even in stores.  You had to wait to for the cd to be released.  But now that is gone with file sharing.  I have many songs before the radio stations which i find kinda funny.

Jeff  

Posted by Jeff on December 7, 2003 at 11:51 PM (PDT)

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