AfterDawn: Tech news

Next target: the individuals

Written by Jari Ketola @ 03 Jul 2002 12:24 User comments (15)

After suing the centralized song-swapping services such as Napster, rather successfully might I add, the music companies are now preparing an attack on the users of peer-to-peer sharing networks.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is planning on filing copyright lawsuits against the people sharing the most songs on song swapping services, such as KaZaA. The lawsuits would be a part of a larger scale campaign, which would include a public campaign encouraging music fans to respect the copyright laws.

So far the entertainment industry has avoided suing individuals -- mostly because of the negative publicity associated with giant corporations suing individual Internet users.

At the time of writing this there was over two million users on the KaZaA network. Finding and identifying the biggest filesharers from this haystack might prove out to be a bit more laborious than RIAA expects.

The Wall Street Journal

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15 user comments

13.7.2002 13:43

They don't need to find the biggest one. The first big one they'll see will fit their needs. I don't know if they'll do it (and if so, why they didn't do it before), but this announcment itself could reduce the amount of file sharing.


23.7.2002 19:03

As well as that the US are planning new laws to outlaw the P2P usage in it's current state. Has the P2P stuff as we know it time come? Details (Sorry it is about a week old news and might have missed it if posted before :) )

33.7.2002 23:12

How could officials posibly track down P2P-users? Though I wouldnt be surprised if Kazaa came bundled with some sort of tracking application.

44.7.2002 2:27

The Roman Empire is crumbling. The Free Lunch is over. The long-standing MONOPOLY is shuddering at it's foundations. In MHO, the global mega-5 Recording Institutions will never again realize and reap the Windfall Lucrative Profits they have become accustomed to all these years. Death is the great equalizer for you & I. The Internet is the great equalizer for the Huge Recording Companies. They are fiercely and desperatly grasping at straws now. They'll Never stop P to P. And they know it too. Worldwide music distribution has forever changed, and I couldn't be happier. Witness the feeble, half-assed attempts of to woo consumers into their music "subscription" (streaming) "services". Their offerings are weak, poor consumer value, fiercely restricted, and insult the intelligence of those they continue to seek control of. Way too little, and far too late if you ask me. People have damned little respect or sympathy for those who have screwed them around for decades. Suing individuals is simply going to drive home the coffin nails that the recording companies have had coming for years. Rigor mortis is gripping these already dead souls. Via the Internet, the Grim Reaper has arrived. Rest in Peace BMG, Sony, et all. Forget your half-baked attempts at copy-protected music cds. Forget your streaming/listening services. Forget your lawsuits. Forget your proprietary audio formats and software players. You're a fish out of water, and you bloody well know it too. You are fried. (My 2c worth). P.S. Hey! What's happening, Jari ??? :-) (Mike) The Klingon.

54.7.2002 4:04

OK, this is all very well and although there is lots of money in movies, there wouldn't be any (movies) if there wasn't at least some money in them. I think the internet can be beneficial to the movie and audio industry, if it were used properly, but they are just too damned scared. The problem for the public (consumer is such an ingratiating term, just think about it!!) is that it is not all that easy to copy movies in a distributable form (and even if some of you find it easy, it is time consuming) maybe we should be spending our time earning enough money to afford to buy those DVDs!!! (albeit at a more realistic price) Well, that day will never happen, so in the meantime, long live afterdawn et al. Sorry to sound like a capitalist, but there has to be some compensation/reason for providing music/video/software, even is the current system stinks/sucks/(insert rude word here) P.

64.7.2002 5:13

Hi, ....'loaded'. Pleased to meet ya. I'm really sorry, and I'd like to respond, but I'm unsure of your meaning. You see, I believe that it is the musical *artists* -- the musicians -- who should be paid, and not the recording companies who feel they 'own' them. Without the musicians/songwriters, the record labels are 'squat' (without the musicians the Record Labels don't exist - it's a pity that few people seems to realize that) -- and in the motion picture arena, without the wonderful talents and gifts of the actors/actresses/screenwriters, even HOLLYWOOD doesn't exist. (How's that for an outrageous opinion? I swear to god, loaded, (what a name) - musicians don't need record labels. Musicians need *us*, and by damn, we need *them*! Big Time! They contribute SO very much to our well-being; quality-of-life, etc., and I would FAR rather pay *them* for their wonderful magic than some record label who delights in nothing more than fleecing us both. The Internet is going to make that possible, loaded, just you wait 'n see..... -- Mike --

74.7.2002 5:36

Hello Mike! Sorry you don't like my nick! :-) Are you really telling me that as soon as record companies stop recording music and musicians sell it directly to the public, everyone on the internet is going to stop copying music and video! I agree with your utopian idea, but if Sony was really scared, they would stop making CDRs, MP3 players, DVD/RW drives...........

85.7.2002 6:43

I'm not a musician and I don't have all the answers, loaded, but I can't help but feel a little pleased at the 'shakedown' the huge record companies are going through. Yes, there are several, small, dedicated (mostly audiophile or specialty) labels who genuinely care about their artists, and treat their music as more than just "product" or a "commody" like toothpaste or tee-shirts. And too, the recording companies have extensive recording facilities that most struggling musicians can't afford. And I'll even admit that the larger ones have distribution networks and lots of money to do artist promotion. But over the years I think they have gone way too far. These benefits come at a huge price to the musician - it seems there is little recourse for smaller (but superb) bands *outside* the internet because the Large Recording Companies (the big 5) want *turnover*, profit, sales. It seems that with, say, EMI or Sony or Warner Brothers (WEA) or Polygram (BMG) that their artists are either HUGE international (read: "lucrative") artists, or else they want nothing to do with them. They have little patience for diversity or quasi-esoteric consumers' tastes. Everything to them is laid down by a strict Policy - a policy that restricts, hamstrings, strangles, and controls the artists. They don't even own the rights to their own songs. Their songs get released by the labels when and IF the companies see fit. I know it is a harsh analogy, but it almost seems as though the recording companies are 'pimps' controlling to the nth-degree any new and capable group or musician. You either play by their rules.....or you're on your own. I say, let the people decide what is good music, not necessarily only what the Recording Companies can push out the door for this month by the truckload. (No offense, but there are also 'artists' who make me cringe; whose music does absolutely *nothing* for me), but that is simply personal taste. As you know, many artists have their own tracks-downloadable websites, and I think that's a *terrific* first step. Many smaller sites, and not even record-labels as such, offer new musicians distribution services. (Like, but the landscape seems to change daily) I know all of this stuff is just a re-hash and I'm probably stating the freekin' obvious, and that I'm looking at things from an outsider's (non-musician's) perspective. You know what I'd like to see? (To some extent this may already be happening). I would like (love) to see some of the larger, established, already well-known & successful groups and musicians, offer *exclusive* track ONLY through their web sites, and beyond the grip/control of the Large Recording chains. Songs that *they* still own the rights to and have not signed away. As you can see, even the largest international recording concerns are slowly coming around, albeit in their normal, quirky, always-insisting-on-retaining-control way. (Listen.Com comes to mind). Their HAS to be something in it for the consumer (music lover) too! At, for *Selected* categories that *offer* permission, you can have a grand total of *ten* music tracks per-month *maximum* for burning to permanent cdr. Anything else is strictly a 'streaming' affair. Yes, they have a huge repository of the most-desirable tracks and albums of years gone by, but you will not be able to acquire these for your own off-line (read: *normal*) use, either easily or cheaply, or anytime soon. They're bringing in far too many dollars as back-catalogue material. Rather than scrounge the record stores, I would very much like the ability to purchase & download, via a secure website, a complete album or selected track for a reasonable fee, in a High-quality *non-restrictive* format. Certainly my selection choice would be far greater than any single, record store could stock on their shelves. I would *prefer* that the artists concerned would receive the bulk of the profits. Maybe I'm looking at this wrongly, but I'd rather support deserving artist directly rather than pay the international conglomerates for sponsoring them. Have NO fears that you won't have access to all the new and wonderful music yet to come - from either established or new musicians. You don't really need BMG for that, all you need is the Web. That's what the big recording chains need too, as they are reluctantly beginning to realize. As I say, the MONOPOLY is fizzing out, the traditional music foundations, if not actually crumbling, are being forever reshaped. You may not agree, and I hope I'm not mumbling. Best Regards, -- KlingonAgent --

95.7.2002 9:09

I concur with Sir Klingon about the shakeout the whole industry has coming. Could the biggies survive it? Only if they really wanted to adapt to change. I have been doing some reading about the history of ASCAP and other licensing/recording entities and it's really quite appalling. They have no vested interest in developing too many new and different artists. All royalties go to the chosen few, with token payments to a few 'losers' to keep it legal. If someone comes along who has some real talent and threatens one of their big sellers, they sign them to a longterm, multi-record contract, withold major promotion of their product, and place them on the shelf to get them out of the way, until (and only if) they conclude them worthy of raking in the platinum sales. It seems to me that the industry's real concern with file swapping and webradio is less about loss of legitimate sales of swapped songs (they refuse to admit that file-sharing actually helps sell some CD's) and more about the rampant promotion of lesser acts to the detriment of sales of their name acts...britney, justin, <insert famous popcorn artist here> thanks for letting me rant! Oh, one more thing, if all CD's were priced at $6.50 a pop, both mainstream as well as online record stores carried a wider array of artists, and radio programming was opened up beyond the 'top 40'...I believe most people would find it hardly worth seeking and burning mp3's off the net and sales would stabilize to maintain a healthy (if somewhat downsized) industry for all.

105.7.2002 9:55

I agree, wholeheartedly with you both, in so far as you are 'right', however is has little to do with right. When artists such as Duran Duran get approached (just happened yesterday, I believe) with a 10,000,000 contract to do another album, which must (although it wasn't me I promise :-)) be because of public opinion, you must realise that it is the publics fault. Crappy rubbish sells (to quote Sam Goldwyn : 'Nobody ever went broke underestimating public taste'. We need to look no further than the top 10, or even top 40 to see that most of it I wouldn't use as a frisbee, let alone listen to it, but people ARE BUYING IT! This is called supply and demand. As long as there are crap eaters, there will be crap makers and unfortunately, Coca Cola outsells Montrachet, although I know which I would rather drink! I commend you for your taste, your liberalism, your vision, but not your realism. You sound like nice guys, I would rather sit with you and have a bottle of Montrachet (or coca cola if you prefer :-)) but we are spending time chatting on the net and will probably never see each other's faces. We will never see the faces of those at the top of the music industry, but I can tell you what we would see if we could. Lots of :-). I don't like Britney, I don't like many other 'artists' (cringe) but people out there do....lots of people out there....and in the face of that, what chance do we have of changing it? I guarantee you people will still rip tracks, copy them etc if the price went down, or the mightyl were to fall. Why? Because it is fun, risque, and it is human nature. It is nice to hear your opinions..... P. PS What is wrong with my nick?

117.7.2002 13:31

> How could officials posibly track down P2P-users? Once they have an IP adress, they just have to ask the ISP which one of their users is using this IP at this time. If the police is asking, the ISP can't hold the data.


128.7.2002 7:32

I'm only 'carrying on' with you, loaded, you have a fine nick. "I shink..(hik!)....I shink I'mma bit (hik!) loaded.....(hik!)...No wait! I am (hik!).. I am...(hik!) NOT 'loaded'.....who ish youze (hik!) callin' "loaded" (hik!) anyways? (hik!) You wanna punchh inna (hik!), inna nose?...(hik!)" I repeat, I'm just *joking* with you, loaded. Have you seen the latest news re: Michael Jackson lately? (Mr. 'Thriller' himself). He's in the media bitching and moaning about how Sony Music has 'abused' and taken advantage of him, as an artist, for years and years. He called their practices "devilish". I think he's seeking compensation. Which is really weird when you consider that Michael Jackson own the publishing rights to the entire mainstream BEATLES' catalogue! (What's wrong with this picture?) The remaing Beatles, arguably the most influential recording act *ever*, don't own the rights to their own songs, - to the songs that turned the world on its collective ear - Michael Jackson does! (I wonder what he had to pay EMI/Parlophone/Capitol/Apple for the privilege?) Every time a Beatle album gets sold (still plenty), Michael J. scoops up a royalty. Makes you wonder. -- Klingon(hik!)Agent --

1311.7.2002 11:45

It is nice to hear that Michael Jackson is angry at Sony, but he is only upset becase they did not promote his album enough. Apparently it is racist to not promote a crappy album....... Anyway, I am abroad at the moment, and this bloody computer I am using has its letter mixed up, so I will be brief. Loaded has nothing to don England anyway, with being drunk. It is to do with money, although I am not professing to have loads, I just like the sound of the word....

1412.7.2002 3:01

No problem, loaded, enjoy your trip - plenty of time for posting when you get back. Yeah, MJ is whining & bitching (and trying to scrounge up public support -- the poor lil' impoverished millionaire -- that Sony doesn't 'treat him right'. Sony says that Jackson owes *them* millions! (How did that come about? "Front" money?). Sony also says that MJ gets a *far* better deal from them than is standard in the industry with other established artists. According to the ET Television show, Sony normally pays their artists 12% of the wholesale price of each album sold, while Michael gets a *whopping* 50% (!!). The show said it costs an estimated $1 million per week just to maintain MJ's Funny-Farm...(er)... I mean his 'Fantasy Land' or whatever-it's name is. (Ever notice MJ's nose? If it gets any smaller, you won't be able to see it). I think he wears sunglasses even in dark rooms. But I'm getting offtopic.....(heh-heh) K.A.

1513.8.2002 13:47


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