AfterDawn: Tech news

P2P vs. RIAA debate

Written by Jari Ketola @ 07 Jul 2003 15:09 User comments (4) has published an interesting e-mail debate between Ian Clarke, the inventor of Freenet, and Matt Oppenheim, the senior vice president of business and legal affairs at RIAA.
Freenet is a peer-to-peer network utilizing both heavy encryption and decentralized structure, which is, by nature, very difficult to censor or monitor. The debate circles around the question of privacy -- is a user, who knowingly and willingly shares files on the Internet be entitled to maintain anonymity.

When asked about the possibility for a technology to guarantee anonymous online activity for a user Mr. Clarke replies: " It is a cost-benefit decision. One must make the cost of circumventing someone's anonymity significantly higher than the benefit of doing so. Freenet is designed to achieve this in environments such as China and Saudi Arabia and easily achieves this in environments such as the United States."

Mr. Oppenheim refers to the Madster ruling in which the Court of Appeals stated that trying to cover the identity of a copyright infringer by means of technology is the same as engaging directly in copyright infringement. So even though Oppenheim sees that no technology is going to stop them from finding infringers, he doesn't feel it's even an issue.

Clarke begs to differ by stating, using one of Oppenheim's analogies, "Manufacturers of a mask used in a bank robbery are certainly not responsible for the criminal behavior of the bank robbers."

The whole debate is very interesting reading. Definitely worth checking out!

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4 user comments

17.7.2003 21:30

yes that's some very good reading material there. I especially like this quote from mat oppenheim from the RIAA - "Or, I have heard that the Bible gets distributed on these networks. Apart from the fact that we can all get that from the motel we most recently visited, there are plenty of legitimate sites that distribute the Bible online." - Is this man saying that it's ok to steal the bible from the hotel? I bought my mom a bible a few years ago for xmas and it was $100, so if i go to one of these sites that distribute the bible freely, am i stealing from the people that sell bibles? Just seems strange that it's ok to steal from god but not pink floyd. So lets all go steal every bible we can find, because the RIAA says it's ok. - friend of the forums, great guitar player
#afterdawn (well i have no idea where it is anymore)

27.7.2003 22:48

Ian Clarke has gotten the message correctly. And so has the RIAA, but you can bet your bottom discretionary-spending dollar, they'll never admit it to anyone. In terms of new music, the RIAA's traditional iron-fisted monopolistic hold on the rights of the musician's work, (without whom the RIAA would not exist) and the RIAA's model of the music industry in general, will fade into obscurity unless they smarten up pretty damned quickly. The RIAA's major - and as far as I can see, only asset, is the legal copyright ownership they hold on earlier back-catalogue material, and the legal rights to whatever new material they have managed to co-erce (pry) from the hands of today's musicians. DO today's musicians really need the RIAA? Certainly, it is an option, but I believe musicians are increasingly finding that there are other far-less draconian ways to do business than to sleep in the devil's bed. That's what really concerns the RIAA I think. Their role in the music industry is declining. Musicians no longer have to sign their souls over to a legally-binding contract that even Egyptian cryptology experts would have difficulty deciphering. Contracts that weigh heavily in favour of the RIAA's benefit in every aspect. Artist and musician Janis Ian recently remarked that after a virtual lifetime in the recording business, she rarely received a royalty check in where the music label said she didn't owe them money! P2P will not be the deathbell of the RIAA, it is just one modern example of new and better technologies replacing the old. The enemy is not P2P, it is the greed of the RIAA itself. Greed that has been fostered over too many years and gone unchallenged. Until Now. :-) -- Klingeroo --

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 Jul 2003 @ 22:55

329.10.2004 11:58

The printing press was invented for the purpose of copying bibles, and God gifted rather than sold the Bible. Likewise, I give you a book of all sound, which is the death of RIAA. If you can calculate the googolplexth digit of Pi, you will know how to play Champernowne's constant. Play it loud, without a copy! It's a sin to sing copyrighted songs in church! Matthew 21:12!

429.10.2004 12:16

Following up: I have natural talent as an artist and a musician and a programmer, and I've done all these things all my life and not become rich. The RIAA and myself do not work for each other. Furthermore, regarding music, the universe is full of music, the birds aren't paid to sing, nor sued for mimicking a melody (RIAA sued Girl Scouts for singing Happy Birthday?). The number I mentioned which is the sum of everything is in keeping with the discoveries of Pythagoras many thousands of years ago, that music is made of numbers; and also some numbers contain all numbers, such as 0.12345678910111213... "I'd like to be in that NUMBER when the saints go marching in." But not this one:666, which "they" have subliminalized ubiquitously.

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