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  1. #1
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    File Sharing Verdict - Near a Quarter Million For 24 Songs!
    24 songs, $222,000 fine!

    http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/200...ury-finds.html

    So I take it she just downloaded the music for her own personal use?
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  2. #2
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    single mother of two
    . As if she is going to pay for that.
    The RIAA thinks she is living in a 20,000 sq foot mansion????

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    Awful awful awful.
    Jason Rosenbaum
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  4. #4
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    It's all about publicity and fear
    OK, I'd like to point out that we are NOT hearing the whole story from this article.

    The article does make clear that the suit is not based on the defendant "downloading" music, but instead based on the fact that she posted it online so that others could download it for free. The article also mentions that the RIAA found 1,702 "files" but only sued over 24; we don't know whether those "files" were music or copies of her kids' letters to Santa Claus.

    What is important is that the RIAA is NOT pursuing these cases to collect money; they are seeking publicity, to scare other consumers so that they don't download or share music that isn't properly licensed. And since it sounds so scary, and they are willing to go to extreme lengths to get that publicity, it's hard for the media to resist the opportunity.

    We need more ethical reporters and editors.

    In college (in the early 1980's), I wrote for the daily college newspaper, and during my tenure as associate news editor, we restored the "police blotter," which listed the arrests and incidents reported by the campus and town police departments. (It had been dropped a year or two earlier because the police changed the time that reporters could access the information, to a time when the reporter covering that "beat" was in class. For some reason, the police had now changed the time again, to a more convenient time for our staff.)

    A week or two after we restored that column, we noticed that every single day, there was a single arrest for "minor in possession of alcohol" (usually arresting students carrying a six-pack or case of beer from their car to a dorm). There were never two arrests on a single weekday or weekend (we published only Monday through Friday); there were exactly five arrests reported per week, one on the weekend and one each on Monday through Thrursday.

    After several weeks, we realized that the police, who had previously ignored underage drinking (unless there was some other issue involved), had decided to arrest one student per day, in order to have it reported. This was not an actual "crackdown" on underage drinking, but a deliberate strategy by police aimed at scaring students.

    We felt we were being manipulated by the police, and that our fellow students were paying the price (being arrested). Our staff made a decision to stop reporting in that column on cases that were "infractions or minor misdemeanors," which meant that we would no longer report "minor in possession of alcohol" arrests. Two days later, the police stopped arresting "minors in possession of alcohol" (except in those extreme cases where you'd expect them to).

    Note that the issue here was not that our newspaper staff believed that the drinking-age laws were unfair or wrong (sure we did), but that we recognized that the police were ONLY making these arrests in order to manipulate our coverage of underage drinking. We felt that we could not permit this type of manipulation, especially since the consequences was that each day we continued to report, one more student was arrested. Our judgment was validated whe the police stopped making these arrests.

    Note that we would never have suspended our reporting on minor-in-possession-of-alcohol arrests, if we hadn't believed that the arrests were made primarily for publicity. Our decision was not based on our personal views about that law, but because we realized we were being manipulated. The fact that police only arrested one student per weekend, and managed to arrest one per weekday, made us pretty certain of the "real" reason for the arrests; the fact that the arrests ended two days after we ceased reporting, made us more comfortable about our decision.

    Of course, the RIAA is engaged in a much larger "media manipulation," and the consequences on ordinary families are devastating, so I can't imagine that the news media could ever stop reporting. And the RIAA is quite happy to be the "villain" because its goal is not to make people like it, but to make people afraid to download unlicensed copies of music -- including legal copies of music that artists have authorized for free distribution.

  5. #5
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    The problem in their case is that's it's backfiring:

    "According to BigChampagne, an online measuring service, the number of peer-to-peer users unlawfully trading goods has nearly tripled since 2003, when the RIAA began legal onslaught targeting individuals."

    Because they're now looking like the big bad corp/association picking on the little guy. It's going to have the opposite effect of what they're looking for.

  6. #6
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    Trust, I disagree. The increase in P2P file sharing is much less than it would have been without the suits. When I was working as a substitute teacher, students were actually talking about the RIAA suits, and clearly were changing their conduct as a result. (They didn't stop sharing music. Instead, they copied files with each other on discs or electronically, not publicly with strangers.)

    One very specific strategy the RIAA used was to sue some PARENTS based on the conduct of their children -- in order to get more parents to "crack down" and discourage their children from sharing music. They were also quite thorough in seeking "diversity" in their litigation, hitting every demographic, age group, geographic area, and economic status.

    The key is to make everyone "aware" that the RIAA is taking action, even though its action is not reducing file-sharing. This is like the TSA barring liquids and gels from flights -- it has no meaningful effect on safety, but makes everyone aware that there is a terrorist threat, that the government "cares" and that the government is "acting" to protect them.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Sam Bay's Avatar
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    Would it make a difference if she had downloaded 222,000 songs?

  8. #8
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    I think all it does for people who want to do this, is find alternate methods that they can't catch. And the suits are more towards those that upload and share than those that download it looks like. I'm wondering if they could sue that much if say someone downloaded 4,000 songs. Since you can get those 4000 songs legally by paying let's say $1 a song = $4000.

  9. #9
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    Of course, Sam, everything makes a difference.

    Would it make a difference if she'd bought a $5,000 server and a T1 internet connection to share the songs? Would it make a difference if she asked for donations to pay expenses?

    Would it matter if she could prove that she only shared the sentimental song that was played at her husband's funeral? Would it make a difference if he was a police officer killed in the line of duty?

    The fact that she is identified as a "single mother" makes a difference in how we feel about the case; if we were told that she'd killed her husband, or that she'd had 20 affairs before her husband divorced her, that would change how we feel.

  10. #10
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    The lady claims she did not do it.

    Apparently, they traced her ISP number. Is it possible to make ones computer appear to have someone else's ISP? If so, then an unscrupulous person could find her ISP off another service she used and use the user name she used.

    Quarter of a million seems a bit steep, but as Mark points out, this is all for show.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  11. #11
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    Do you burn your own cds to your computer or burn a copy to use in your car etc. If you do, you're stealing according to head of litigation for BMG.

    "If you weren't aware, the first jury trial for copyright infringement via file-sharing, Capitol Records, et al v. Jammie Thomas, is currently underway with the RIAA and multiple labels seeking $1.2 million in damages against Thomas. The labels' first witness, Jennifer Pariser, head of litigation for Sony BMG, offered testimony that pretty much encapsulates everything wrong with the way the RIAA sees things. When asked if it was wrong for consumers to make a single copy of music they've purchased, she responded, "When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." Making "a copy" of a song you bought is "a nice way of saying 'steals just one copy.' "

    http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/riaa/son...ling-306835.php

  12. #12
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    Would it make a difference if she had downloaded 222,000 songs?
    222,000 * $9250 per song.. wait, let me pull up excel.
    I think it would be in the $2 billion dollar range. I think she was the scape goat...

    Makr, good point about complete reporting.

  13. #13
    Mama in Charge Anne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch
    Of course, Sam, everything makes a difference.

    Would it make a difference if she'd bought a $5,000 server and a T1 internet connection to share the songs? Would it make a difference if she asked for donations to pay expenses?

    Would it matter if she could prove that she only shared the sentimental song that was played at her husband's funeral? Would it make a difference if he was a police officer killed in the line of duty?

    The fact that she is identified as a "single mother" makes a difference in how we feel about the case; if we were told that she'd killed her husband, or that she'd had 20 affairs before her husband divorced her, that would change how we feel.
    That is the problem with this country, everyone is an exception to the law. That is why we have so many criminals ( gang members, sex offenders, theives, etc...) walking the streets, since everyone needs a second chance.

    In the essence of the law, it does NOT make a difference if she gave other people access to 10 songs or 10,000, she knowingly engaged in distributing songs she was not legally entitled to distribute. ( and apparently lied about it to boot).

    I sure hope if I get conviced of some big, or even little crime, i have you on my jury marketwelch, lol!

  14. #14
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Even though this is a "show case", what we are really talking about is the ability of musicians via the music producers to protect their rights to their artistic works. It is analogous to preventing folks from downloading pirated software free of charge or at a greatly reduced price from some rogue software distribution site and not paying the normal price of the software.

    Once a person legitimately purchases the software and makes copies for themselves or additional computers, that's a different matter, even though that may also be a copyright violation. It is far less damaging to the artistic author. There are different levels and degrees here. Like comparing speeding at 80MPH through a school zone vs. going 43MPH in a 35MPH zone - both are speeding but the law will usually turn a blind eye at the latter and heavily prosecute the former.
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    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  15. #15
    Affiliate Manager PetsWarehouse.com's Avatar
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    What may happen in a few months is the plaintiff will do an asset eval, take a lesser amount and settle on the QT.

    After all 222K isn't that much to the plaintiff.
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  16. #16
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    She is going to file bankruptcy I bet. If this amount can be dismissed by a bankruptcy. People file for less all the time. A complete waste, and a stupid case.

  17. #17
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    The real problem here is that record companies are suing their customers. It has been shown that people who share music actually spend more money on music as well. When an industry starts treating its best customers as criminals, they are in for a rough ride.
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  18. #18
    Full Member ske9963's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andbeyond
    She is going to file bankruptcy I bet. If this amount can be dismissed by a bankruptcy. People file for less all the time. A complete waste, and a stupid case.
    She is going to be a scape goat..

    I was listening to NPR and the person who was interview mentioned that it is More likely to be struck by a lightning then for them to sue you. Based on the # of files swapped every month
    Ma, where the beer? :escape:

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