AfterDawn: Tech news

The truth about RIAA lawsuits: A look at the Joel Tenenbaum case

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 24 Jan 2009 10:33 User comments (48)

The truth about RIAA lawsuits: A look at the Joel Tenenbaum case In 2007 Joel Tenenbaum joined tens of thousands of defendants accused by the RIAA of violating their members' copyrights by sharing files using a P2P file sharing service. But unlike the vast majority of the defendants in these cases he chose to fight rather than settle. Even more remarkably he opted to represent himself in court against an entire team of high priced lawyers.
Sometimes the best defense is a good offense, and ultimately that became Joel Tenenbaum's strategy. Of course that was after he was introduced to a tactic the RIAA has used repeatedly to punish those who dare to challenge them in court. They stalled. Then they stalled some more. Then they stalled even more. Eventually he decided to fight back and began filing counter claims.

Finally he reached the point where the case was too much to handle without more legal expertise. That was when a lawyer stepped up to help Mr. Tenenbaum out. That someone was Harvard Law School Professor Charles Nesson. Recently I talked to Professor Nesson to get a better understanding of the case's details.

Some have characterized Charles Nesson as a crusader against the RIAA. As far as I could tell that is not the case. He clearly does believe they are using the courts as an instrument of intimidation rather than justice. But he didn't go looking for a fight with the RIAA. In fact it was Judge Nancy Gertner who asked him to get involved.

Now that he is involved though, he's not pulling any punches. You may already be familiar with the frequently cited opinion that the RIAA's damage claims are unconstitutionally high. Professor Nesson goes a step farther to say the Federal statute authorizing more than $100,000 per song (or album) in damages is unconstitutional.

And why is that? Well it is actually simpler than you might think. To begin with he believes the damages, which are set to a minimum amount by law, are intended to punish offenders rather than paying for damages suffered by copyright holders. "It's all about deterrence," he says "and it has no business in civil court." He adds "It's the punitive nature of it rather than the methodology."

He also notes it is the government's job to determine who should be prosecuted in criminal cases. By contrast the RIAA gets to decide who should be sued under the current statute. "It's sort of like ceding the power of criminal prosecution to private industry to protect itself," says the professor.

In addition the protections many Americans take for granted under criminal law aren't available in civil cases. These include the right to a speedy trial and, perhaps most importantly, the right to representation by an attorney even if you can't afford one. He downplays this, saying "It's the punitive nature of it rather than the methodology." It is worth remembering, however, that in a criminal case Joel Tenenbaum would have been represented by a lawyer much sooner.

Clearly, if Professor Nesson is right, defendants are being denied legal protection the law is supposed to guarantee. But even if the court disagrees with his conclusion, the RIAA isn't out of the woods yet. Like others before him, most notably Ray Beckerman, the professor points out the damage award requested by RIAA lawyers is "so grossly out of proportion that it violates the due process clause."

If you look at prior case law you will find the record labels actually agree with his position, when it suits their purposes anyway. In fact they have made the same argument in in Federal Court when sued over the unauthorized use of music samples. In these cases the court has set a clear precedent that an award in excess of ten times actual damages is a due process violation. For Joel Tenenbaum that would mean paying less than $50 for all seven songs he's accused of distributing.

So why the disconnect between established case law and these lawsuits? That's actually another of Professor Nesson's points. The laws currently on the books were not written to punish file sharers. In fact these fines were last updated in 1999 when Napster was brand new and not even a blip on the radar for legislators. Penalties are set at a minimum of $750 per song ($150,000 for a "willful act") because lawmakers only wrote the relevant statute with commercial piracy in mind.

RIAA lawyers assert their previous arguments don't apply because they were arguing real damages and not a statutory minimum. Of course that is really just because the law was being used (as intended) to go after commercial infringers. In this case it seems like a clear question of whether the US Constitution trumps the Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright Damages Improvement Act of 1999.

Which brings us to the last few days where we find the RIAA fighting tooth and nail to stop the Berkman Center for Internet & Society from webcasting an upcoming hearing. They feel it is an inappropriate venue because of a bias against their case. And in fairness Professor Nesson even sympathizes with their position. On the other hand he says "[Judge Gertner] chose the best alternative that had been put before her."

He also points out "She suggested that it be open as well to the RIAA and we've put out an almost immediate announcement that there are other public sources - that it would be available to the public." A quick look at Judge Gertner's order shows what the professor is talking about.

The third of six conditions imposed by the judge reads "The Berkman Center for Internet and Society... will make the recording publicly available for all non-commercial uses via its website." The fifth states "The 'narrowcast' will be gavel-to-gavel, with no editing by CVN or the parties." In other words, if the RIAA wishes they may have access to the original footage and make it available on any website they desire. They could even use it in their own PR campaign. If they choose not to exercise this option it seems unfair to deny others the same opportunity.

And talking to Charles Nesson you get the feeling fairness is exactly what this case comes down to for him. The law isn't just about following a book of rules. Ultimately it's supposed to be about justice. Every right, including those granted by Coypright law, must be weighed against the rights of others. The right to free speech doesn't allow you to yell "fire" in a crowded theater. The right to assemble doesn't mean you can hold a rally in your neighbor's house without his permission.

Should copyright protection give you the right to ignore due process?

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48 user comments

124.1.2009 12:47

Quote:
Should copyright protection be a license to ignore due process?
It is and wit will be until they change the focus of it from distribution to profit... you go after a guy that's making money off it illicitly you most likely will win.

224.1.2009 12:52

Nice Article Afterdawn. Provides a great view into the legal tangle of this whole music situation. Can't wait to see how this one rolls out!

324.1.2009 15:30

Unreal how draconian the American system is getting. Im from the south but live in CA and lemme tell you..WORLDS of difference here in Canuckland. I can download whatever I want. No fear of getting sued to high heaven. Cant believe that my fellow americans down south are allowing the good ole U.S. of A to be turned into a POLICE STATE.

424.1.2009 15:57

If you think it's that bad, it's not. It's worse! Guilty until proven innocent is the way things are going. The corrupt rich and mighty are the only ones who have rights. Just look at all the bail out crap!

524.1.2009 16:17

Originally posted by Run4two:
If you think it's that bad, it's not. It's worse! Guilty until proven innocent is the way things are going. The corrupt rich and mighty are the only ones who have rights. Just look at all the bail out crap!
You're damn right!

Look at all of the high and mighty rich that have done more damage than any everyday uploader or downloader. Yet they are still sittin pretty with their golden parachutes. I believe there should be a national salary cap of around 1.5 mil. Just to knock these idiots down a few pegs.

624.1.2009 16:34
warriorp
Inactive

Originally posted by windsong:
Unreal how draconian the American system is getting. Im from the south but live in CA and lemme tell you..WORLDS of difference here in Canuckland. I can download whatever I want. No fear of getting sued to high heaven. Cant believe that my fellow americans down south are allowing the good ole U.S. of A to be turned into a POLICE STATE.
yep thats why im moving to california too. down south they are purposely staying behind times. with the exception of texas and northern georgia. louisiana.....tsk tsk. that state is poorly behind. bigots and edited for content everywhere and plus people are not business minded either. as long as i remain under the radar they cant touch me. people hold their head high at the local walmarts like they are really doing something. i tell them you are not at a corporate business in a high rise skyscraper. country edited for content walmart. lol.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 25 Jan 2009 @ 19:36

725.1.2009 5:55

Quote:
Originally posted by windsong:
Unreal how draconian the American system is getting. Im from the south but live in CA and lemme tell you..WORLDS of difference here in Canuckland. I can download whatever I want. No fear of getting sued to high heaven. Cant believe that my fellow americans down south are allowing the good ole U.S. of A to be turned into a POLICE STATE.
yep thats why im moving to california too. down south they are purposely staying behind times. with the exception of texas and northern georgia. louisiana.....tsk tsk. that state is poorly behind. bigots and assholes everywhere and plus people are not business minded either. as long as i remain under the radar they cant touch me. people hold their head high at the local walmarts like they are really doing something. i tell them you are not at a corporate business in a high rise skyscraper. country ass walmart. lol.
he is in CANADA not California... note the term CANUCKLAND
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 25 Jan 2009 @ 5:56

825.1.2009 11:47

to warriorp. I now live in the south. that would be the one YOU say is full of bigots and assholes. well, I spent 25 years in the service living all over the country. I chose to retire here BECAUSE the people here are more tolerant and LESS bigoted than anywhere else. You need to get away from sterotypes and movie potrayals. You say you are moving to California!!! You want to see bigots and edited for content? just wait til you get THERE. In LA they treat EVERYBODY like crap. of course there are bigots everywhere. of EVERY color and race. the people down south are real. they dont pretend to be better than everybody, just the same. having lived in new hampshire for two years I can tell you many people in the northeast think of southerners as rednecks and white trash. Based only on what they see on TV and movies. I saw people there who were VERY poor who were no different from poor people in the south. The only difference was there ACCENT. Now THAT is bigotry. you need to STOP being so BIGOTED and stop being such an edited for content.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 25 Jan 2009 @ 19:37

925.1.2009 11:51

LOL, trainmstr, your right.

1025.1.2009 13:42

Interesting how we have managed to move the debate from the question of real damages caused to a record company (or its representative organisation)as opposed to the actual damage suffered which in most courts would be subject to strict proof, to which US state has the most bigots. Can we focus on the issue here?

1125.1.2009 14:21

Why don't the RIAA campaign to stop all production of and have all recording devices and recordable media destroyed "just to be on the safe side" if they're so bloody keen to stamp out so-called "piracy".

What a crock of edited for content.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 25 Jan 2009 @ 19:37

1225.1.2009 14:50
warriorp
Inactive

whoops my mistake. was reading too fast. but anyways we have more things to worry about. why is obama printing and putting out money we dont have? im telling you....after this last stimulus package....that would be the nail in the coffin for the u.s. and all of the world are laughing because most of our people dont see what he is doing. need to be trying to pay china back too. rumors have it...if obama succeeds with the north american union shit the constitution will be no more and martial law is called to confiscate all the guns from our people. i believe we will have another civil war very soon. all we can do is spread the news before it is too late to open up peoples eyes. i cant believe how blind most the american people can be. other countries are just fucking laughing.

1325.1.2009 15:20

Wooah there boyo.... The rest of the world is NOT laughing at Obama, We are on our knees thanking every god we can think of that the American people have at last managed to elect themselves a real president not another numpty muppet. After two Bush's and an actor (we'll ignore clever dick clinton) it makes a nice change to see some genuine humanity in power. Obama has the potential to make America great again. to put it back on the world stage as a BIG player not just a nation of retarded numpties. You should be thankful he is now in power. He has the capacity to make all Americans lives better if you would only sit back and listen to what he says and look at what he stands for. Truth...Justice....and the American Way.
coat/hat/g'nite

1425.1.2009 15:30

Let's try to avoid turning this into a discussion of unrelated political issues.


Rich Fiscus
@Vurbal on Twitter
AfterDawn Staff Writer

1525.1.2009 16:10

vurbal, politics does have some relivents here since Obama may herald a new police state. He has appointed a RIAA lawyer to his justice staff. RIAA as realized the litigation is worthless and costly. The real way to slow down P2P is to change the laws. Make P2P a federal crime and have the FBI hacking computers and raiding house holds.

1625.1.2009 16:15

Originally posted by Mez:
vurbal, politics does have some relivents here since Obama may herald a new police state. He has appointed a RIAA lawyer to his justice staff. RIAA as realized the litigation is worthless and costly. The real way to slow down P2P is to change the laws. Make P2P a federal crime and have the FBI hacking computers and raiding house holds.

I have no problem with the discussion of relevant political topics. Whether the rest of the world is laughing at the US for electing Barack Obama and bailing out banks doesn't happen to be one of them.

1725.1.2009 16:16

I am a Canadian, and yes our copy write laws are different. Basically we can copy any movies and music files as long as we do not sell them.
Royalties are paid to artists from sales of their copy written property, and if we don't sell our copies there is no profit. The last time I checked Sony sells a dvd recorder and dvd recordable discs. Remember Sony's legal challenge over VCR recordings of movies. They lost! Why don't they start suing studios for failure to pay artist of the past, with well deserved royalties. Perhaps they should create a web site so we could make donations to these artists or their estates.Studios losing money,I doubt it.Profits of billions of dollars from movie and record sales,stars making 100's of millions salary, blu-ray movies vastly over priced. I make copies of movies I already own and download copies to see if I like them, when they become aviliable I buy them. I can't see the harm.

1825.1.2009 16:22

P2P should not be a crime in any sense since it is not actually infringing on any copyright laws. I can use the software on my computer to record digitally anything that I can hear and convert it to any format I like. then share it with whomever I like. p2p is no different.

1925.1.2009 16:30

Originally posted by s1vrbllt6:
P2P should not be a crime in any sense since it is not actually infringing on any copyright laws. I can use the software on my computer to record digitally anything that I can hear and convert it to any format I like. then share it with whomever I like. p2p is no different.
You can convert it all you want but distributing it to others is a no no. :P

2025.1.2009 16:30
gerbs
Inactive

Just a couple of points from me-- This story is about a hero who fought for all of our rights--without a gun just passion, and a love for justice. Now will the Universities stop expelling their students for file sharing and realize they have no right to exact punishment for the recording industry. They have ruined thousands of lives of students while doing the dirty work for this industry. The fight continues until all are free!

2125.1.2009 16:31
warriorp
Inactive

Originally posted by ericb:
Wooah there boyo.... The rest of the world is NOT laughing at Obama, We are on our knees thanking every god we can think of that the American people have at last managed to elect themselves a real president not another numpty muppet. After two Bush's and an actor (we'll ignore clever dick clinton) it makes a nice change to see some genuine humanity in power. Obama has the potential to make America great again. to put it back on the world stage as a BIG player not just a nation of retarded numpties. You should be thankful he is now in power. He has the capacity to make all Americans lives better if you would only sit back and listen to what he says and look at what he stands for. Truth...Justice....and the American Way.
coat/hat/g'nite
idk but time will tell. we will know before 2012. if i dont see any progress by the late summer time....you already know where we are headed. so are you saying you dont believe in the north american union or do you want it to happen?

2225.1.2009 16:42
DPensee
Inactive

The point is that the RIAA has for years now been using litigation as a profit center in an to attempt to make up for perceived lost profits in the the sale of physical media. It is the foundational principle upon which their cases are built that is fundamentally unethical, and so should be thrown out of court. It is now well-documented that those whose interests they are supposed to be serving, i.e., the "artists" or "content creators", are not seeing any of the proceeds from these cases or settlements.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 25 Jan 2009 @ 16:44

2325.1.2009 16:46

Originally posted by windsong:
Unreal how draconian the American system is getting. Im from the south but live in CA and lemme tell you..WORLDS of difference here in Canuckland. I can download whatever I want. No fear of getting sued to high heaven. Cant believe that my fellow americans down south are allowing the good ole U.S. of A to be turned into a POLICE STATE.

but what you cant do in canada is download most video content like on xbox, roku, or netflix as soon as the ip address shows up as being from canuckland you are done and the reason for this is the lack of enforcment in copy protection.also have you see the tax on blank media? you pay more in tax then i pay for just the blank media.i love canada but the usa is no police state in comparrison we both have limits on our fredom just in different areas. eh

2425.1.2009 18:42

Well down here in Australia the Record industry idiots want the goverment to bring in one of two laws.

(1) All ISP's to charge $10 a month to all users to cover illegal downloads.."Not fair on the people who dont download"

(2) All ISP's to block music or movie downloads unless from a paid site.."Even more stupid..censorship at its best"

It wont happen the ISP's know what side their breads buttered on.
What really gets me is you have a movie company that makes a big movie. On the first week of release it makes 4 times the production cost. Then after a few months it goes to DVD for which we pay $24/$30 here in Australia. Now apart from being a year old by the time it hits the shelf here, why would I pay $30 just to watch a picture one time? If I go to hire it, it still costs $7.00 for a new release where I live. Music CD's sell for $25.00 here as well.

Yet I can download a movie from the net "For my own viewing pleasure" before it even gets to the cinema here in Aus for only the cost of my internet conection.

Do I feel sorry for the actors who are not getting my money? NO!
Do I feel sorry for all the middle men who are not getting my money?..NO!
Why? Because they are overpriced..Sell DVD's for $10.00 and Music CD's for $5.00 and I may start buying them again.

Cheers

2525.1.2009 18:53
hugolove
Inactive

Originally posted in another anti-RIAA thread...

"This is all empty discussion - you all know for a fact that they are never going to stop until all freedoms have been stripped from us, leaving us to choose between only those options they allow us.

You cannot advise using the law to get out of this - the law can and has been changed on many occasions to suit the needs of big business. This is no different. Those in charge wish to remain in charge, and will scratch each other's backs endlessly to make sure this occurs.

It is not that they will not listen to the voice and decisions of the common people - it is that they hold that voice of such people in complete disregard. They want only to control you, your minds, your actions, and harness you to the wheel of their industry.

They stupify you with "their" culture - Pop Idol, Gladiators, celebrity marriages and breakups, compelling you to work in their sweatshops in order to earn their valueless currency.

Even your home, the roof over your head, the most basic necessity of human survival, must be bought at such a high cost that we cannot afford it without taking out an immense loan, repayable over 25 years, keeping us in bonded slavery as long as it exists.

The economy is a lie - just whom exactly do we and our American and European brethren owe our national debt too? Why, the very same super-rich elite who, it is claimed, have engineered this whole situation. These, my friends, are our enemies.

Direct not the brunt of your anger at our politicians or police, for they too are mere pawns. Some indeed have no clue whatsoever how this state of affairs came into being, and are merely pig-headed fools. Others are weak men who have allowed themselves to be bought with promises of wealth or power to come, and should be pitied as much as they are despised.

No, my friends, these are not our true enemies. They are merely the least amongst us.

The rich. Or, more accurately, the super-rich. In all manner of criminal investigations, one looks to see who benefits from the crime in order to find the purpetrator. Where, my friends, does the money go? From whose stained and scaly chin are we stealing the breadcrumbs of Piracy?

For it is mere breadcrumbs we remove from the plate of the great purveyors of music - indeed there is evidence to suggest that piracy has in fact increased record sales in recent years, due to the explosive proliferation of musical availability Piracy has engendered. These breadcrumbs, therefore, cannot be said to be the reason for the immense legal upheaval we are currently experiencing.

No, my friends, the issue is control. We have dared to buck our oppressor, to show him we have a will of our own, and now he would crush that will. To remain silent is to submit yourself to his dominance; to attempt to use his own system against him will only result in that system being ammended to his satisfaction. We have only one recourse...

REVOLUTION!

I was recently reminded that Anarchy does not mean chaos, it means "no leaders". I, my friends, am an Anarchist, and I invite you to join my cause in any way you see fit.

I thank you for reading...

M"

Pass it on

2625.1.2009 19:25
gerbs
Inactive

Well, I must admit that most of what you say about or society is true. However, I do not believe that humanity has evolved to the point where anarchism will succeed. Same problem as communism. The forces of greed are too strong and until this is purged there will always be struggle. Revolution-YES! Viva Che!

2725.1.2009 19:44

Vurbal is right here people. This topic and others may have SOME form of political tie in but keep it clean and not OPINIONATED in it's base about something directly (if understood in it's meaning). Just read rule #15 if you have any questions

Quote:
This has been stated many, many times, but lets repeat it in a sticky, so no more people will get banned for not understanding.

15. Political threads, as long as they don't relate to digital multimedia or legislation related to the IT world, are not allowed on this forum. The world is full of political forums where you can vent your opinions, we don't want them here. I rather prefer that this is a forum where a person from country X can ask a question and get an answer to it from a person from country Y, whether the country X and Y are in war or not.


2825.1.2009 19:51

Originally posted by gerbs:
Well, I must admit that most of what you say about or society is true. However, I do not believe that humanity has evolved to the point where anarchism will succeed. Same problem as communism. The forces of greed are too strong and until this is purged there will always be struggle. Revolution-YES! Viva Che!

Anarchism is just a mid point between standardized points of society, communism will never work in large scale settings because it always falls into authoritative states that tend to be abusive and stagnate.

Capitalism merely uses the masses own ignorance,arrogance and own self interest to further noble classes once humanity matures more we will have a more egalitarian society based on skill first and foremost who owns the most secondly.

Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Lets renegotiate them.

---
Check out my crappy creations
http://zippydsmlee.deviantart.com/

2925.1.2009 19:53

Originally posted by conebob:
Well down here in Australia the Record industry idiots want the goverment to bring in one of two laws.

(1) All ISP's to charge $10 a month to all users to cover illegal downloads.."Not fair on the people who dont download"

(2) All ISP's to block music or movie downloads unless from a paid site.."Even more stupid..censorship at its best"

It wont happen the ISP's know what side their breads buttered on.
What really gets me is you have a movie company that makes a big movie. On the first week of release it makes 4 times the production cost. Then after a few months it goes to DVD for which we pay $24/$30 here in Australia. Now apart from being a year old by the time it hits the shelf here, why would I pay $30 just to watch a picture one time? If I go to hire it, it still costs $7.00 for a new release where I live. Music CD's sell for $25.00 here as well.

Yet I can download a movie from the net "For my own viewing pleasure" before it even gets to the cinema here in Aus for only the cost of my internet conection.

Do I feel sorry for the actors who are not getting my money? NO!
Do I feel sorry for all the middle men who are not getting my money?..NO!
Why? Because they are overpriced..Sell DVD's for $10.00 and Music CD's for $5.00 and I may start buying them again.

Cheers
Especially when CD's & DVD blanks are as cheap as chips ie 50c - $1.00AUD and the big companies produce copies in such large volumes the cost would be nowhere near $30.00 each for a DVD Movie unless the people with the Movie rights are extorting royalties from the big manufacturers of these DVD's - CD's, so who is reaping the rewards because we know who is paying.

3025.1.2009 20:00

Originally posted by subyroo:
Originally posted by conebob:
Well down here in Australia the Record industry idiots want the goverment to bring in one of two laws.

(1) All ISP's to charge $10 a month to all users to cover illegal downloads.."Not fair on the people who dont download"

(2) All ISP's to block music or movie downloads unless from a paid site.."Even more stupid..censorship at its best"

It wont happen the ISP's know what side their breads buttered on.
What really gets me is you have a movie company that makes a big movie. On the first week of release it makes 4 times the production cost. Then after a few months it goes to DVD for which we pay $24/$30 here in Australia. Now apart from being a year old by the time it hits the shelf here, why would I pay $30 just to watch a picture one time? If I go to hire it, it still costs $7.00 for a new release where I live. Music CD's sell for $25.00 here as well.

Yet I can download a movie from the net "For my own viewing pleasure" before it even gets to the cinema here in Aus for only the cost of my internet conection.

Do I feel sorry for the actors who are not getting my money? NO!
Do I feel sorry for all the middle men who are not getting my money?..NO!
Why? Because they are overpriced..Sell DVD's for $10.00 and Music CD's for $5.00 and I may start buying them again.

Cheers
Especially when CD's & DVD blanks are as cheap as chips ie 50c - $1.00AUD and the big companies produce copies in such large volumes the cost would be nowhere near $30.00 each for a DVD Movie unless the people with the Movie rights are extorting royalties from the big manufacturers of these DVD's - CD's, so who is reaping the rewards because we know who is paying.
All the more reason for the media mafia to focus on profits and let retailers and the end seller sale not the physical medium but the data, by running a simple license system that gets X amount of the sale price they could roll in the money via volume sales by focusing on the sale of the data. Unfortunately the media mafia dose not like change or innovation.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 25 Jan 2009 @ 20:07

Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Lets renegotiate them.

---
Check out my crappy creations
http://zippydsmlee.deviantart.com/

3125.1.2009 21:50

“The media mafia dose not like change or innovation”.
Why would they, it is better for to intimidate all us in to a totalitarian regiment in there be half.
By using the law and claiming that they are right with no justification to any one but them selfs.
Like I said in the past, I stop buying media when they started enforcing there so call rights.
How many artist are being payed so called royalties like lets say Janis Joplin, or Carly Simon or Bob Seger, moody blues, and so on.
it is like in this country they claim that when you open a place or bar that you have to pay for royalty rights when you have music playing on a radio or from your personal disk collection, they come every month to charge there doose, and it just happen that we invited to old friends who where composer and they where autographing some album for the customers, and there music was playing at that time well they almost closed the doors of the establishment, because I said well this is a benefit for them.
Because you have not payed them in more them 17 years royalties.
We had to pay fine, it never when to court or a hearing, and the what happen to the so called royalties, well that was 10 years ago.
They are still waiting for those so called royalties.
And to top it off one of them passed away, it was news on the TV lots of people came to the funeral and his widow could not pay for the funeral.
People and I mean his fans payed for the funeral and what was left over was given to the widow.
“Where was the the so called royalties”.
I know some of the artist that I have listed are dead, but even if they are alive they do not get dose so call royalties.

3225.1.2009 22:04

Please help me to understand something please? If I went to Walmart and stole a cd, why would I not be charged $150,000. I don't get it one bit??? Never again will I buy a commercial cd. But I am too scared to download as well. They ruined the record business in more than one way.

3325.1.2009 22:27
davidrose
Inactive

This is the RIAA we're talking about, after all. The past few days has seen a sudden influx of blogs getting shut down after the RIAA harasses their hosting providers. Are blogs the next target for the RIAA lawyerbots? Is there a logical reason for them to be doing this? There's been a kind of unspoken truce between the RIAA and bloggers for a long time, one that says that as long as you only post one or two songs and are writing about the artists, it's OK. Why the sudden change of heart? What, suing students doesn't make you seem like big enough dicks, so you've decided to go after the biggest fans of your music? Keep it up dudes, there are still more stupid moves you can make to further alienate potential customers.

3426.1.2009 4:53

Let's just put this whole thing into perspective, both the music industry and in the main, the record companies and the film studios have for many years run their businesses on the basis that they enjoyed a virtual monopoly, this enabled vast sums of money to be made without any real need to pay too much attention to their customers' needs, they called the shots and they charged what they liked and put out what they deemed to be appropriate product, save for the fear of persecution during the McCarthy era and the might of companies with large advertising budgets who could influence what was played on radio and television, they were pretty free to act as they wished. The effect of all this was to allow them to run their businesses without the skill and efficiency that would have been necessary had they not had their monopolies, as a result there do not seem to be many case studies on an academic level which show how well these businesses have been run, for the simple reason that they have been run as virtual monopolies, you either had to come to them or you didn't get the films and music you required.
Most industries would have been able to forsee the digital revolution and the implications it would have on their respective industries, particularly if they would have been run by skilled and efficient management.
What we now have is a bunch of guys running around like headless chickens not knowing how to deal with a situation that many people saw coming.
The response has been predictable, threats litigation, underhand manipulation of the legal system, all the last resort of poor management and a complete lack of foresight.
By downloading films and music people have the opportunity to say to these companies that have been percieved to have been ripping them off for years, it's our turn, why do we have to pay you when we can get this stuff for nothing, there are so many of us doing this that you simply do not have the resources both in terms of time and money to go after us all.
Instead of dealing with the situation sensibly they still try to rip the public off.
In the days when you had video tapes and vinyl records and even when CD duplication technology was in its infancy ( therefore expensive equipment was needed to be able to reproduce these media) you still had to buy a tape or a record or a CD to be able to duplicate the content.
In those days the costs could at least be justified by showing the need to A, record the material, B, reproduce copies, C, Store the copies, D, distribute the copies, E, market and advertise the product all of which added huge cost to the process.
With downloads none of these costs have to be borne, save for the initial creation of the material, yet the amounts charged by legal download sites equate to the same price as buying the content in its original form, that is why so many people illegally download this sort of material. If the tracks were available from the legal sites at a price that reflected the true cost, then most people would prefer to stay on the right side of the law, if music tracks cost 10c and films cost a dollar or two, most people would take that option and the film and record companies would see a huge rise in income, which they are currently losing. They must act quickly or it will be too late to even use this strategy and heavy-handed threats will only alienate their whole market.
Adopt a proper business approach in line with the market AS IT NOW IS or lose out permanently!
The question really is whether the management in these industries is capable of running businesses now that there is a way for millions of consumers to circumvent their virtual monopolies. Only time and their share prices will tell, the recession of course only adds impetus to the situation.

3526.1.2009 7:31

Now that is a sensible and worthwhile post! thankyou!

3626.1.2009 8:02

I agree 100% wingco.

3726.1.2009 8:26

Hugolove, you have it kinda wrong. If politicians were honest and did not take bribes things would be different. I blame them more than the persons doing the bribing.

davidrose, interesting, I did not know they stooped so low but I am not surprised, they are truly evil.

Wingco, those are my sentiments exactly. A $1 a tune is an insult to intelligence. They are like serial murderers. They have raped the public for so long that is the only why they like it now. Selling music for a fair price probably revolts them. However, their evil schemes will not give them as much profits as selling for a fair price.

s1vrbllt6, P2P isn't a crime in most countries but that will change when they change the laws. Note I stated when they change the laws not if they change the laws.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 26 Jan 2009 @ 8:28

3826.1.2009 10:34

lost most control of my fingers & eyes water/spasm 24/7,so pleaqe bear with me, it hurts like hell 2 type.

this is great discussion another reason i love freedom & Democracy there are some very intelligent folks posting nd i'm proud of tem andthis site!

thank u everyone

3926.1.2009 14:53

How ironic that the 'students' who were fervently in favor of Obama now have to live with his choice for asst att general who is RIAA associate lawyer. I smile every time I read it. A wolf in sheep skin.

4026.1.2009 14:58

Originally posted by housebrke:
How ironic that the 'students' who were fervently in favor of Obama now have to live with his choice for asst att general who is RIAA associate lawyer. I smile every time I read it. A wolf in sheep skin.
So Obama is a lawyer? McCain was a old foggy with no clue of stuff outside of army stuff and a couple other things...they both are a step up from Bush.co...

4126.1.2009 19:39

Hot Damn Zippy, did you hit the nail on the head with that one lol.

4226.1.2009 20:17

What the Music/Movie/Software industries need to understand is that if they produce a product that can be easily uploaded/downloaded from the internet with vertualy no additional software needed by the end user to copy or use the said product, It is their fault.

We (You/Me) can not be held responsible for buying a computer and using it to its full extent, thats what we do!

They will never be able to stop people sharing Files/Data.
They can only change or encode their products so they can not be copied or shared. Until they do that they are pushing @#$% up hill.

Cheers

4326.1.2009 22:09

Originally posted by FredBun:
Hot Damn Zippy, did you hit the nail on the head with that one lol.
I mean lets face it Obama at least has half a brain weather it fully works or not we shall see... I mean he is still a politician, He is at least a basic intellectual and that's never a bad thing considering we had the complete opposite in there for the last 8.... but frankly boil it down the new king is the same as the old kind, long live the king and all that jive hes pretty much a status quo type as are 90% of our leaders.

McCain is different than bush.co and if he did not let the neo cons run his campaign I could have voted for him but frankly the neo cons sucked out whatever life/charm the reapers had, now the dims get to replace Nero fiddling on the roof with soemone who can at least fool you into believe the fire is not hot....if just a bit...and frankly I like to half believe what the fork toung politicians say...it beats complete dismissing them and making fun of them not being able to talk/say words correctly....

I only have 1 real hope with Obama who I voted for because there were no other options(would have voted for Ron Paul if they dared ran him), I only hope we as a collective herd are fcked with less by our leaders...but looking at how the left is shaping up to be more hardcore fascists than the right ever could was I have my doubts.

Moving slightly more back to topic both are going to support what the industry wants some less some more, we all know the media mafia's current ways are incompatible with the future and since our leaders are like a dinos brain its going to take awhile before they wake up and realize they can not continue to support their racket without giving them the powers of the FBI.....

In order big content to survive the government is going to have to say the only thing they can legally whine about is for profit distribution.

4426.1.2009 23:00

Now I've had a bit of a chance to think on this and it does bother me that Obama has given such a top job to such a guy.

Oh, I know lawyers will get into bed with anyone and idealists are far and few between in that profession, but Obama is meant to be a professor of constitutional law himself.

Shouldn't it have been obvious to him that this business was unconstitutional in a punitive sense? Surely there are other precedents?

If it's a push to make this stuff actually criminal rather than civil...? (Think of the public money wasted in the pursuit of citizens? Think marijuana related laws- I'm not arguing that pot is harmless just on par with alcohol at the most.)

Ok. in Australia there is a benighted push to prevent P2P etc. all in the name of stopping kiddy porn, although really to stop file sharing in general. If they can get away with it it will be exported globally. Just another example imho.

4526.1.2009 23:03

Jemborg
It could be a good thing having soemone that once worked with the RIAA to know thier mindsets to be able to find a better common ground with the industry and the consumer, a pipe dream I know but stranger things have happened.

4627.1.2009 4:08

Quote:
For Joel Tenenbaum that would mean paying less than $50 for all seven songs he's accused of distributing.
What i cant belive is the fact that all this case against this guy is only for 7 songs. What a joke.

but reading this article shows me that how complicated and well full of loop holes it is. What i do like is the fact that some one actually took the initative to use their brain and the law against the riaa. Which goes to show you how important being educated is.

Alot of people and friends i know have issues and get stuck in red tape is due to the fact that they are not well informed about the legal system and only takes in what the TV portrays.

To all young people still in school education is the key to your future.

4727.1.2009 7:17

@borhan9 – Good point and what a joke it is. As to being informed, most people do believe what they see on TV or even the lies our government feeds them, there must be comfort in this because I don’t understand it myself. What is even more funny is that most people acknowledge the media lies to them or misrepresents things to them but they still watch and believe what they see. It reminds me of some of my friends who love professional wrestling and say they know it is fake but when it really comes down to it they fully believe it is real, WOW. If you can control information you can control the masses.

Unfortunately the Joel Tenenbaum’s of the world won’t matter in the long term as we have found with previous cases that are similar. The RIAA has plenty of power and money to continue their crusade until they get the legal system in their favor. Why is it that they can loose the same type of case many times over, like this one, but once they have won this type of case it becomes a president in law, what a legal system we have.

4827.1.2009 8:46

Housebroke, students are always extremely naive. Obama has to reward those that got him into office. He out spent McCain massively so he has plenty of ‘debt’.

I bet Obama sees ‘music stealing’ as not good for the economy. It is moronic to believe just because you voted for him he is not going to hurt you in some way. His job is to make things right as he sees it. In fact he promised to create hardships so in his acceptance speech. He worded it as helping the US. I laughed at the morons who felt honored to help us dig out. They will scream betrayal when he raises taxes. What did they think he was talking about enviting them to the White House to get their opinion.

I agree with the other moderates. Obama can’t do worse than Bush. He and his team see many of the problems facing the US as I do. I can’t believe Bush stopped CA from enacting a law that would have demanded better fuel economy than the US car makers wanted. Hell, those morons were creating Hummers and perfecting gas guzzlers while the rest of the world here perfecting fuel efficient cars. Now, they are bawling like babies wanting the tax payers to bail them out. Still they want to continue with the gas guzzlers. They really need to clean out the top 5 layers on management before they get any tax payers money.

Just because he was charged with 7 tunes does not mean Tenenbaum wasn’t sharing thousands. The RIAA wants the public to feel uneasy with sharing 7 files.

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