AfterDawn: Tech news

Recording industry goes lawsuit crazy: sues 8000

Written by Ben Reid @ 17 Oct 2006 14:44 User comments (80)

Recording industry goes lawsuit crazy: sues 8000 In a worldwide clampdown on internet piracy, the International Federation for the Phonograph Industry (IFPI) has issued a huge wave of lawsuits against peer-to-peer fileswappers. A total of 8,000 individuals in 17 countries are being sued, which includes the first cases to be filed in Brazil, Mexico and Poland.
The trade group, which represents the world's music companies, has said some 20 billion songs were illegally downloaded worldwide last year - 1 billion of those being in Brazil - the largest market in Latin America. The latest crackdown sees the total number of lawsuits soar to 31,000 worldwide, with 18,000 coming from the United States.

Those targeted for litigation were the "uploaders" -- those who put songs on filesharing networks without permission for others to download. File sharing networks targeted include BitTorrent, eDonkey, DirectConnect, Gnutella, Limewire, SoulSeek and WinMX, the IFPI said. Countries involved in the latest round of suits are Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Singapore and Switzerland.

"Around the world many people have already paid a heavy price for their illegal file-sharing. They all thought they were unlikely to be caught, but teachers, postal workers, IT managers, scientists and people in a host of other occupations, as well as parents, have ended up having to dig deeply into their pockets," said IFPI chairman John Kennedy.

In an interview with Reuters, Kennedy also noted that he was encouraged by the progress the IFPI has made, but conceded that the battle against online piracy would be an ongoing battle. "It's not getting easier but we are encouraged enough by the results to keep on going," he said via the telephone from a trip to Brazil. "It will never go away completely."

- Reuters
- Betanews

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80 user comments

117.10.2006 14:49

I wonder if suing their own customers has any bearing on lagging CD sales numbers and driving people to use P2P? Ya think?

217.10.2006 14:57

This makes my blood boil. People use P2P networks because the music industry isn't giving many consumers what they want. If I hear a song on the radio, regardless of genre or release date, I expect to be able to hear the song again if I pay the money. But, services such as iTunes just don't deliver. The variety is not big enough to please everybody, the quality is not good enough to please everybody, and the DRM is putting most people off. Using p2p avoids all the aforementioned problems, and that's why people use them. Not just because it's free, but because the industry has yet to better it!

317.10.2006 15:03

some more info

p2p file sharing is IN News:- Music lovers everywhere continue to look to the p2p networks for their music fixes and the number of people logged on may be stabilizing at around 9,000,000 for any given moment in any given day.

Warner Music, EMNI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG claim their sue 'em all lawsuits are driving victims to the corporate online 'services' and 'stores' backed and supplied by the industry and, asserts John Kennedy, the man who runs the Big Four's IFPI, the cases are, "proving a major deterrent to illegal p2p file-sharing".

However, in September, on average 9,044,010 people around the world were logged onto the p2p networks simultaneously at any one time, p2p market research company Big Champagne tells p2pnet.

In September last year, the number was 9,284,558, well up from the 6,784,574 in 2004 and 3,764,032 in 2003.

In fact, one might surmise the huge amount of propaganda and PR the Big Four Organized Music cartel continues to pump out is maintaining and perhaps even enhancing the online community's enthusiasm p2p file sharing, rather than dampening it.

417.10.2006 15:38

These lawsuits are adding popularity to torrents. They are "accidentally" giving publicity to the features of torrents. The numbers show that only a certain person use to did it. Now with this "crime" more individuals are looking to get something to hurt these money complaining execs.

517.10.2006 15:46


Legal p2p downloads coming soon?

Here's how Geist describes the system: "Once operational, it will enable 10 million Chinese university students to freely download music and movies with no technological restrictions. The service will be funded by a mandatory student fee (similar to a student activity fee), with 85 percent of the proceeds distributed to participating artists and content owners. Fisher estimates that the service will generate $200 million per year from these fees alone, with additional advertising revenue possibly doubling that figure."

Imagine how well such a system would flourish here. Students have not been thrilled with mandatory fees to fund music, but there's no reason the fee need be mandatory. Just market to college students: $200 a year for all you can download, no DRM, and it's legal. Such a system could well mark the end of iTunes.


617.10.2006 15:46

Countries involved in the latest round of suits are Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Singapore and Switzerland.
Hmmmm.... interesting. No mention of Canada? I wonder why. Might have something to do with Section 80 of the Canadian Copyright Act, I dunno. Nonetheless, I would take anything said by the IFPI or RIAA with a *heavy* dose of skepticism. You can "creatively" manipulate a bunch of numbers to make them appear to say anything you like, (i.e. to create Scare Tactics based in lies, deceit, trickery and balderdash), and frankly, despite the human misery these organizations cause, P2P is as common as a loaf of bread in this world, and it ain't going away anytime soon. And....... they know it too!

717.10.2006 15:51

i presume the united states is part of the lawsuits? may explain the men in suits running around my yard

817.10.2006 16:47

i THink this artic on piracy shows how people atart and continue to use piracy as the method to get what they need. it is extremely well though out and its a good short read

917.10.2006 17:12

blah blah blah blah......blah blah blah blah ....blah blah blah ........blah blah blah blah ....blah blah why dose the media mafiaa and politicians sound the same? cant quite make out what they are saying..they seem to be talking out their arse.

1017.10.2006 20:12

my personal message to Mr. John Kennedy: I hope you put a file sharer in jail, and a murderer is released in his/her place. And that murderer puts a .40 bullet between your eyes. Cold hard steel in return for your evil upon us. Sincerely, xhardc0re

In war, there are not rules. So you have begun your war, your enemies will use all possible options against you...

1117.10.2006 20:17

@ireland: one problem with a system for college students, is anyone with a student ID or a friend/family member/ son/daughter would use the service. I think you'd find there were millions more college students on that site then actually in school ;) the M.A.F.I.A.A. is interested in as much $$$ as it can get. Their tactics increase. They spit more fire. They give no compassion for the average person, for as long as that person trades files they are a "criminal". There are companies that sell legal software to college students @20-80% discount in the U.S. Companies don't like these academic versions being used for commercial purposes, but they have little means to stop it. The movie/recording industry would make everyone happy with a file sharing system, but they are greedy. If they lose $1 they will file a $10,000 lawsuit to recover it. And so goes the true war on terrorists...

1217.10.2006 20:27

xhardc0re Not for the lack of trying the music mafiaa has tried a few times to ban the selling of used cds and tapes yet again have gored their eyes out despite themselves they could chose a patch of survival and make a nice living off it yet they stil try and undermine rights and laws so they can stay in absolute power.....all directorships end and end in a bad mess. Why can they not do this for the net itself,has anyone ever hit a ISPs fap? they are quite annoying and imposable to escape,with the help of ISPs a system could be put into place where you pay 10-30 more a month in order to download IP/CP stuff for free leep the basic stuff like kidy porn and selling of stuff on media illisct ,in this way the mafiaa can get money and 60-80% of net users will be paying for it thats not on a downland plan will have a daily MB and KBS limit.

1317.10.2006 21:43

If we stand aside for a second and look the situation, I think there are two observations you might understand. 1. All this activity on both sides of the issue is leading up to something that is going to explode. If not explode, it will be big news to both the information technology world as well as the entertainment and social culture of the greater portion of the connected realms. Both the P2P and the Digital Media Entertainment realms are building steam and momentum in their reactions and as one fuels the other we will see a definite change result of this, as the culture of P2P and digital accessibility/ease is too entrenched in our younger, and young adult generation's culture. 2. I believe a large majority of the P2P population consists of college networks, at least in the United States and their vast access to digital resources and funding, allowing for such a growth in the widespread assimilation of the P2P culture. P2P is generally more congruent with college student's lives as the fact that even if they have student fee access to television/entertainment media that is via some broadcasted media (tv, internet webcast, news streaming online, radio, etc.) it is not accustomed to their schedules and lifestyles, being constantly immersed in their greatly different time schedules and social/academic/political/cultural lives. It is much easier for a college student to download the latest episode of lost or grey's anatomy, or any of the network hits and store it until the have an lifestyle appropriate time to enjoy their 'entertainmeent.' I think, (without properly supported evidence) that this culture/tendency has leaked into a generation of a new digital era, one in which people use their access to information technology resources and digital media because it is easier, more convenient, and if not the previous reasons, P2P is more familiar if anything. It is something they know by the back of their hands in a sociocultural sense, and by attemtping to shut off a familiar resource, we can sense the silent tree that falls in the woods, even if we cannot hear it. When is this going to explode?

1417.10.2006 21:44

A_Klingon - Keep in mind though that Those targeted for litigation were the "uploaders" and under Section 80.(02) it says (b) distributing, whether or not for the purpose of trade Meaning one of 2 thing 1 This is a scare tactic 2 They are lying about going after Uploaders

1517.10.2006 21:47

Sorry missed a few words in last post **Limitations to the No Copyright Infringement are:** (b) distributing, whether or not for the purpose of trade

1617.10.2006 22:01

ChubbyInc : Thank you for that. I am going to have to do some research on this. (Section 80.02). I am a Canadian, and in ALL of the hulabaloo, I cannot really recall reading about any Canadian P2P lawsuits. 'Fair Use' laws here in Canada are a LOT more user-friendly than in (obviously), say, the USA, but that may or may not always be the case. And oh yes - they are indeed going primarily after the uploaders, those who make/allow their files available to others. I have some research to do ........

1717.10.2006 22:16

Well ! THIS really sucks. :-( The Act is here: What I'm particularly looking at is this... ------- (2) Subsection (1) does not apply if the act described in that subsection is done for the purpose of doing any of the following in relation to any of the things referred to in paragraphs (1)(a) to (c): (a) selling or renting out, or by way of trade exposing or offering for sale or rental; (b) distributing, whether or not for the purpose of trade; (c) communicating to the public by telecommunication; or (d) performing, or causing to be performed, in public. ---------------- It is items (b) and (c) that concern me the most. This would appear to include "P2P" networks. Worrisome, very worrisome. :-(

1817.10.2006 22:27

A_Klingon its funny the US had D and yet no one has been draged off to wait a few schools have been for doing palys based of movies and such...... OMG there talking about a movie in public toss them in jail!!! there comes a point when the corporations are protected a weeeeee bit to much.... Its inresting aobut the whole rental thing I ebt the new law quash ma and pa rental bissness because they are a small bissness bah soon thinking without a corperate liesence will be the next big thing to be baned 0-o

1917.10.2006 22:49

Well, I'll tell you, Zippy, I'll never pay for another DRM-inhibited music file again. (I've bought my fair share). They can keep 'em.

2017.10.2006 22:59

A_Klingon they can also keep their overpriced sht,I'll buy used when I can and when I cant I'll get it from the net,if the great unnoble lords want me dead for stealing their apples and wild game let them :P

2117.10.2006 23:24

the lagging album sales are from the shit music they release nowadays NOT internet piracy . if there were better bands out there releasing good music this wouldn't be that big of a problem in the first place

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 18 Oct 2006 @ 23:07

2217.10.2006 23:27

aabbccdd I thoguht sales where ding ok they are just whining they are lagging because they are no longer making a killing....

2317.10.2006 23:58

well if they would lower the CDs prices to 9.99 or even 10.99 for a everyday price instead of 15.99 or 16.99 for a damn CD which is crazy that might help sale also

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 18 Oct 2006 @ 23:07

2418.10.2006 0:03

aabbccdd that would be streamlining and changing prices witch of coarse they wont do they are a monopoly not a business :3

2518.10.2006 0:36

People will continue to download pirated music and movies until the industry just stop making media or technology slows or prevents those from downloading. It is so funny to hear how people say that the industry is driving people to illegally download. No people download because they can. Wait till more people get high speed internet and learn more about torrents and then see the numbers truly jump.

2618.10.2006 0:39

novicebb th industry is not helping itself by raseing prices and suing kids and dead people.

2718.10.2006 1:02

WHHEEEEE. That was a close one. I didn't see Australia on the list!

2818.10.2006 3:22

I dont see why they keep trying to stop p2p. They waited to late to stop it. P2P is so popular is sad. Most album sales for artist have decreased and now music and its stores are closing in many countries.

2918.10.2006 5:11


the lagging album sales are from the shit music they release nowadays NOT internet piracy . if there were better bands out there releasing good music this wouldn't be that big of a problem in the first place
There are plenty of bands over here releasing quality music: Razorlight, Arctic Monkeys, Killers, The Kooks etc, but still wouldnt make me want to buy it.

3018.10.2006 6:43

if they spent half the time and money they spend in sueing kids into something more prductive like idk embracing P2P. they would find that they could make a killing by releasing a cd with P2P software and how to use it everyone would buy thier cd's and if the only way to update it was to buy the next one hey geuss what people would buy. i mean id be glad to pay 16$ for a cd with more than just 10-14 songs. i want a cd that can show the music videos and maybe some pop up trivia. they dont do it cus it costs to much (arent they spending like 2.something billion dollars sueing kids, teacher (im sure glad they got that darn P2P sharing teacher out of my kids class i dont want that teacher teaching my kids usefull things like math {0+2.6 billion = 2.6 wasted in law suits)postal workers (ok postal workers they helped us there) ok my point is they keep making the important people like teachers and professors broke who will teach our kids they dont get paid enough as it is and now people who have 2.6bill to throw around and wave like a weapon are aiming and shooting everyone in thier path it just dont feel right) if i had 2.6 billion dollars to sue people with im sure i could make 6.2 billion like they are but i dont wanna make the world broke so i can have (more) more money then i can think of what to do with. it may be american but its not humainly

3118.10.2006 8:03

vvvvvv REALLY IMPORTANT NEWS vvvvvvvvvvv yesterday when this story broke when all the lawsuits were filed they had a side article on the drudge report, it was about all the people who claimed they were wrongly sued by the RIAA. one dude, who was from america, simply formaly requested all the evidence the RIAA had regaurding his case and the RIAA dropped his lawsuit compleetly. so if you are reading this and holding a letter from the RIAA saying your suied then consider getting a lawyer and requesting evidence. as long as the lawyer costs less than 3 grand its worth it. also, in certain states its illegal for your isp to give out your corisonding info for your used ips, even if you are being sued. that means if the RIAA wants to sue a certain ip addy they saw uploading mad songs, they would need a warrent for your identity. warrents are way diferent than suits, it means the police are invlonved and you are facing criminal charges. its way less likly they would do this to you, unless you were uploading a REALLY large amount of crap. if your isp gave away your addy without your knoledge you might want to consider what your local laws are regaurding that, cause you may have your own lawsuit to file. i think in PA where my isp is located (even though im in jersey) it is illegal to give out that info without warrent, as a result i have gotten 2 letters from my isp saying that i have been observed by third parties to be uploading copywrited material (the material in question was the first episode of the XXXXXXXXXX season 6 and XXXXXXXXXX, back when it just came out in theiters, and both of them i aquired from bit torrent, hence the reason i got cought for 'uploading'). they also sent me the original letters to my isp from the third party, in both they request that my isp give over my name and addy. both times all my isp did was warn me, my isp has a polocy that if you get two of these warnings they ban you, but they still dont give away your addy, that requires a court order. so my question is, how are they suing all thsese people if they cant legaly get thier real names and real addys? is the law simply diferent in other states? has anyone reading this who uses prolog threw service electric in eastern PA ever gotten sued, NOT just the warning letter?

3218.10.2006 8:22

i play it safe now though, no bit torrent. i only use irc and gnutella2 now, i feel bad for being a total leech, but then i remember how nice it is to still have that 3 grand in my pocket.

3318.10.2006 9:22

"A_Klingon - Keep in mind though that Those targeted for litigation were the 'uploaders'" Those targeted for 'litigation' were the uploaders but the entire economic purpose for uploaders is for those that download. The intent and purpose of the litigation is to stop the downloading and the uploading, with the uploading being the perpetuative process and the downloading the initiative process. Without folks leeching or sharing a small amount, where is the need for folks to distribute? So perhaps it was both, because both are direct factors in the expansion or maintenance of the P2P world. So you're right, it is a scare tactic and yes they are lying about going after uploaders.

3418.10.2006 11:28

If they're so convinced about going after those that pirate and those that enable pirating then lets see them go after the manufacturers of every copying machine and software out there.

You won't and they won't.

This is all about destroying a bunch of little guys to scare other little guys.

They really are a gang of the lowest bullying scumbags.

3518.10.2006 14:54

so theyve finally started catching people eh? so they only target the uploaders...they dont give a shit about all the downloaders? i dont get it...ah well this isnt stopping me i tell ya theres no way youre going to stop people using P2P so they might as well just drop it...i mean as long as you have to pay like 20 bux for a cd, people are definately going to take the easier, and cheaper way out.

3618.10.2006 14:57

and another thing the way theyre catching you is through your ip addy or your isp so as long as you use a GOOD firewall or antivirus program youre good...keep yourself in "invisible" mode and no one can see your ip addy...just a tip for major uploaders just in case ;)

3718.10.2006 20:43

@omarr333 For your average hacker you may be invisible but the RIAA use software that's way beyond what most here seem to realise,best way to put it is think along the lines of "government big brother" as soon as you up or download your on their radar As for not going after downloaders well if that was the case everything you do on the net requires downloading from pictures to whatever site you visit even when you read the news it's all copyrighted

3818.10.2006 20:59

aabbccdd said:

the lagging album sales are from the shit music they release nowadays NOT internet piracy . if there were better bands out there releasing good music this wouldn't be that big of a problem in the first place.

I stopped listening to most commercial music about 5-6 yrs ago. now i only listen to electronica/rave/ techno/dance music. Good artists like Tiesto, Oakenfold, Corsten, DJ Icey, Carl Cox, John Digweed, Sasha....f*ck all these DRM-enabled albums. so far, not a single electronica artist has signed with a major record label. It's all about the music. not a $20 million record deal & tour
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 18 Oct 2006 @ 21:00

if you're a college student, do NOT settle with the RIAA

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3918.10.2006 22:19

dude I would just do like that dude mentioned earlier and ask for their evidence. scorpNZ even if I do pop up on their radar, if I Maintain an unsecured wireless network, I would demand that they prove that any computer owned or housed in my home did anything, as I would argue that it is possible that anyone within range could have accessed my network without authorization, and missused my hardware. I would welcome them to prove any of my machinse did anything. Granted, they may be good at what they do, but to access my hardware to prove anything they would need to either hack my system or get a court order to examine my systems. and even then its damn near impossible to say for sure how many computers I have. and yes I may be a lil crazy.

4018.10.2006 23:39

I found this article on sensible file sharing and copyright a few minutes ago. Make sure to forward it to your local member of the M.A.F.I.A.A. They might enjoy it :(

4118.10.2006 23:43

good read xhardc0re

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 19 Oct 2006 @ 1:07

4219.10.2006 0:56

If the cd's weren't loaded with garbage and overpriced (9.99 is a reasonable price) not everybody would stop downloading but a lot of people would.

Until then for me at least I'll be getting my cd's through amazon if I want it bad enough otherwise the radio will suit me fine.

Spellcheck is a nice invention.
Using BitVomit hurts the swarm your in, get a decent client.

4321.10.2006 17:26

Since the early 1980's to the 90's even the music was worth purchasing regardless of the price now its not soo. I find most music is crapp and i may like the music but hate the lyrics or the other way around. If recording companies start bringing good artists with good music and songs out again maybe then its worth it. Or even they can let the public have a tast of a few free downloads of an upcommon album a few tracks say 3 max and then the consumer can make up their mind if they want to buy or not.

4421.10.2006 22:28

borhan9 even with the crappy artists theya re turnign a profit jsut think if they streamlined some and created a way for poepl to buy music online cheaply? they would make more money and more still off better artists,and they say monopolies don't stagnate and drag the industry down. LOL

4521.10.2006 23:44

This is just crazy if they try to stop p2p there are many things done on p2p other than music that is all legite,anyway cd's are way to expensive especially if you download with no case,no graphics ect,the next step is get 10+ mates buy 1 cd each (different of course)give everyone a copy of your cd and you have 10 for the price of 1.

4621.10.2006 23:48 newer than 4 years,software...ya...its alll legeit....*rolls eyes*

4722.10.2006 0:10

Artist or band groups are going to have to resort to the old way of making there millions. There going to have to go on tour and entertain there fans to earn it..

4822.10.2006 0:32

yeah thats where most bands make there money touring NOT record sales. but it takes talent to have a successful tour which is pretty thin nowadays

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 22 Oct 2006 @ 0:38

4922.10.2006 7:30

Someone should make a filesharing site that is like NETFLIX. Pay per month for unlimited downloads with some kind of license dlm crap attached to it. That would stop the lawsuits, and if we remove the protection and copy them in our own home it is our own business.

5022.10.2006 8:37

In addition to asking for their evidence, the old "I didn't know it was illegal" will still work. I suspect this is why they claim they were targeting uploaders, because it's easier to prove intent and prior knowledge that it was illegal. If it's available for download on the internet, why should anyone automatically think it's illegal? Freeware sites don't blatantly say, "NOTICE: THESE DOWNLOADS ARE COMPLETELY LEGAL, SO DON'T WORRY ABOUT DOWNLOADING THIS STUFF!" and I can guarantee you that the torrents and warez sites don't say, "NOTICE: THESE DOWNLOADS ARE ILLEGAL, SO DON'T DOWNLOAD THEM!" Even porno sites simply state the minimum warning required to protect themselves from lawsuits regarding minors viewing the dirty pictures/videos. They just have you "promise with a click" that you're 18. Well, heck, what horny teen isn't going to just click right through that "warning"? The fact is that all their lawsuits against downloaders are flimsy at best and depend highly on lack of legal knowledge and fear tactics. I mean, in the end, what's wrong with just flat out looking at a judge and saying, "I don't know what you're talking about. I don't even use the internet other than getting recipes off of and getting email from friends and family." It's up to your ISP to provide solid evidence to the contrary, and even that can easily be refuted by simply stating, "They must've gotten their records mixed up. I don't go to those sites." I'm a career network engineer, and my ISP's record keeping sucks. Every large company I've ever worked for keeps suckwad records of this type of stuff. Good luck bringing that against me in a court of law. The ISP would be quickly hung out to dry. As for downloading music off the internet....why? Get a $9.95 XM or Sirius radio subscription, the cheapest receiver and a home kit. Record all the music you want to your computer, seperate out the songs in to individual MP3s, and Eventually, if you record a lot, these will become free downloads, especially if you consider the satellite radio subscription to be a given because you want that in your car or house anyway. There are much better things to download that are worth the risk than a few stupid songs that you'll be bored with next week anyway. I mean, if you're going to be an internet "criminal" at least be an intelligent one.

5122.10.2006 11:07

Its definitely true that the evidence in these cases are not quite solid by statute. But we should remember that the recording industry associates are going to slam these suits with all the force they got, sticking whatever lawyer you get with tons of paperwork, playing ruthlessly to make it so that by the time the suit is over and you prove yourself innocent, you'll have saved more money settling with them than going through with the lawsuit. That's one of the bad loopholes in our court system is that those with the money have a lot more power in lawyership and can make it more economically correct to settle and say that you are guilty, even if you aren't, than not settling and fighting for your innocence. The best reaction one has against this loophole is with NGO's and Law Caucus' that provide their services free of charge for the cases that do require the defense of an individual being abused by the court system. Of course you have to ask yourself the question, what respectable Law Caucus or NGO is going to defend P2P? Even the guy who fought for his innocence and won had to pay for his lawyer fees. I don't think the public organizations are going to jump on this one until something more egregious than a misdirected lawsuit is initiated by the RIAA or other trade organizations. Imagine how it is in the UK where when you lose you pay the winner's lawyer's fees. I would think that turning this issue over in the same manner would be even harder with public help organizations. Where's the explosion?

5222.10.2006 12:04

"File sharing networks targeted include BitTorrent, eDonkey, DirectConnect, Gnutella, Limewire, SoulSeek and WinMX..." When they start hitting IRC then I'll go paranoid. LOL

5322.10.2006 12:10

hermes_vb once they bushy to call IRC a terrorist chat network then the RIAA can go after all the evil fail shares 0-o

5422.10.2006 12:12

errr..get bushy >> *L* why have they not fixed the edit button in the comment sections yet! *L*

5522.10.2006 14:12

I suspect that most of these lawsuits will result in work for lawyers and comparatively little in returned revenue. In some cases it may be completely negative in result. I also have to ask in these days of increasing Global Warming whether John Kennedy could not have used online conferencing rather than a carbon intensive flight to Brazil. Sorry to tell you guys in the record industry, but there are some thinkgs much more important than people swapping tunes without permission. Next time John, ask yourself, Is your journey really necessary?"

5622.10.2006 16:07

P2P in trouble again? wow, who would have figured. The RIAA will only pursue those sharing and only whats in your desiganted "shared files". technically, yes, if they really wanted to, they could veiw your entire HD, but they can only prosecute against what you designate as a shared file. they will take a screenshot of your shared files and usually accompany that with the subpoena. The whole purpose is, you scare enough people away from uploading on P2P, there will be nothing to download, solving the problem at the root. You sure dont hear about any lawsuits aimed at newsgroup users. hmmm...maybe there could be something to that.

5722.10.2006 19:34

You do not have to hire an attorney for this type of BS case. All you have to do is write a letter to whatever attorney served the suit, demanding copies of the "evidence" against you. If it makes it to court, just show up by yourself. It doesn't take a Johnny Cochran to defend cases like this with such weak, easily refuttable "evidence". Otherwise, if you hire an attorney, you're playing right into their hands with the money game where you're going to end up paying a blood-sucking lawyer $20k, just to tell a judge that their evidence is weak. You can tell him that yourself: "Your honor, this evidence is weak and a mistake, and I don't know what they're talking about." Let them get your IP number, let them take a "snapshot" of your hard drive, including the serial number, etc. Who cares? Any of that stuff can be easily falsified or corrupted. I would simply write my own app that used their same reporting format. I would then ask the court for permission to plug my memory stick into the plaintiff's attorney's computer, or maybe the court stenographers, run the app, and then show on the overhead computer display that child porn was being shared over wi-fi on this laptop that's in this court of law. The report clearly shows it, so it must be true. Weak. The whole thing is weak, and like others have said, all this is doing is giving mediocre and lazy lawyers (both defense and plantiff) money via scare tactics. The law process really isn't that complicated, and the internet and associated ISPs is a completely unreliable place to find credible, unchallengeable evidence.

5822.10.2006 23:44

NewerThnU So you ask " Now how is it that you bipassed my routers fire wall, my computers firewall and accessed my private computer/electronic domain to aquire your screen shots..." you follow that up with "what is it called when some one bypasses computer security protocols to access information without a court ordered warant?" continue with a few other questions that will force them to admit that they had to do something other than Legal to get their "evidence". I think its something like fruit of the poison tree, evidence collected thru illegal means is not addmissable in court. One doesn't really have to even worry about talking to a RIAA Lawyer for more than a few moments, all one does is ask for their evidence, even if they offer up Screen shots of what you have on your hard drive follow up with the questions above. If you are still being sued make sure all the identities of all those who "aquired" their information for them, spam their name all over the net, and allow everyone to know who that person is, someone more vindictive than you will more than likely do something unsavary to that person, electronicly I mean. Not that I would try to suggest that anyone find those peoples names and other information, and say wrecking their credit or something to that effect, cause that would be wrong, and I would never suggest that. ;)

5923.10.2006 4:34

Downloaded songs have NO quality in comparison to CDs or DVD-A, im my opinion its not worth taking that risk for a song that isnt even close to the quality of the CD.

6023.10.2006 7:54

Music sales are down not because of piracy in my opinion. The greedy robber barons have not yet caught onto the simple fact that MP3 players have taken over the music market and CD's are yesterday's technology. Fix your rotten product, catch up to technology and make a reasonable attempt to market a product people still want to buy. That won't cut out all piracy but it would be a real step in the right direction. People stopped buying as many candles when the electric light bulb was invented. Go figure.

6123.10.2006 11:57

What this looks like to me is that the IFPI caught onto the scam the RIAA and MPAA were running, and wanted a piece of the action for themselves. It is only a matter of time before even more orgs pop up and do the same. What few people realize is that the RIAA and MPAA are self-funding...that is, the recording companies DON'T pay them. This was their sales pitch..."We can increase your sales by reducing piracy, and it won't cost you a thing. All you have to do is join our organization." Anything these companies get goes to lining their own pockets, or to lobbying efforts. The actual media companies don't see a cent from the lawsuits. Get the picture? The article doesn't say how the IFPI is doing the lawsuits, but the RIAA and MPAA use a collection agency to demand money for about $4000 or so as an offer to make an out-of-court settlement. If you don't pay, the lawsuit begins, and this claim starts at $50,000-$100,000. If you lose, you also pay their atty expenses...another $50,000. Most people choose to pay the $4000 because they don't want to risk losing everything they own, or will ever own over the next 14 to 20 years of their life. (Since the suit is fraud-related, bankruptcy won't wipe out the judgment...which will go away after 14 to 20 years depending upon the laws where you live.) If it goes to lawsuit, they will move for Summary Judgment. This is a paperwork process prior to any actual trial. If you don't get an atty, and don't know how to defend against it, they win by default. This ain't Judge Judy, and you may never get the chance to actually see a judge or jury. What it comes down to is pay the $4000, or hire an attorney for $50,000...and you still might lose. Since there are no damages possible against them, no atty will accept your case on a contingency you will need the $50k lawyer fees up front. This is why most bite the bullet and pay the $4000. Also, they don't accept monthly payments, so you better be able to take out a loan, etc. to come up with the cash all at once. This is how it works with the RIAA and MPAA, and it sucks. In the USA, there are a few congressmen trying to do something about this scam...but they are a small voice in the wilderness.

6223.10.2006 13:04

Concerning the screenshots which show the mp3 files: There has yet to be a case where one of these files was downloaded and checked to see if it was really what it says it is. So, discovery of their evidence should begin with "Can you prove this mp3 file is really the song you claim it is?" There is, however, confusion over civil and criminal law going on here. These lawsuits are civil, and criminal rules of evidence don't necessarily apply. In most cases, they can break the law to get the evidence they need, and it CAN be used in civil court. "Fruit of the poisonous tree" is for criminal proceedings. They do risk being arrested for various computer crimes, but they know this isn't going to happen. This is because in the US this is the responsibility of the FBI, who is also responsible for copyright infringment! See the conflict? It is similar in other countries. The fact is, these media groups make life easier for the FBI, and so the FBI unofficially supports their activities. Also, with civil lawsuits, in most countries (and USA) only the majority of the jury needs to decide that you most likely committed the offense. In a criminal case, the entire jury must decide you committed the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. So, if they can convince more than half the jurors you most likely up/downloaded even 1 copyrighted mp3 file, you will lose. So they really don't have to prove anything to win. And, if you have ever been around civil cases, there is an unspoken assumption of a defendant's guilt whereby you have to prove yourself innocent to actually win. This is wrong, but it is real life. Unfortunately, as rotten as this situation is, the odds are against a person when accused of internet copyright infringement in a civil lawsuit. It would be much harder proving a criminal case for a lot of the evidence reasons mentioned by others above, and this is why you have yet to see the FBI go after a single person criminally. They tend to go after companies selling the physical media because that is a much easier crime to prove.

6323.10.2006 13:33

Doc409 by the time they burrie you in paper work and hope you fold from it and loss of money they think they can win on that alone.

6423.10.2006 14:04

drathor i didnt ask any of that crap. you really dont need to bypass firewalls to view another users list of shared files. anyone can do it. the legalities of the RIAA searching the rest of your HD is another question all together. and representing yourself in court with some lame defense line you heard off the internet is the dumbest thing you could do for yourself. far-fetched scenarios where an attorney or stenographer will let you touch their computer to make an example also will not happen, thats more something off my cousin vinny.

6523.10.2006 14:20

NewerThnU true but you can get them to to show how they got that info if that info is the least bit posined it will get tossed. But surviving until they are forced to show their cards can be tricky they after al have the best lawyers money can buy.

6623.10.2006 14:39

its not illegal for them to present evidence of shared files that you decided to make public over P2P. copyright infringement is not less illegal than child porn or a lethal computer virus created by some bored 13 yr old in Bangladesh. its all traceable, and when your ISP is surved with a subpoena because you have been observed sharing, your ISP will not put you in some sort of internet whitness protection program, they will give you up in a heartbeat.

6723.10.2006 14:49

NewerThnU In some cases like thos that disspaer in a heartbeat once the accused get them to produce all the eveidance against them to be shown,I am saying theres a good 40% chance they cocked up and will not contenuie the case.

6823.10.2006 14:53

i see your point but i believe "a good 40% chance" is an oxymoron.

6923.10.2006 14:57

NewerThnU MMM 10% chance failing for any reason 20% chance of you winning 30% chance of them winning 40% chance of them cocking up its almost 50/50 win/lose they should rain in their laywers and only go after cases they can easily win instead of using fear tactics to scare their consumer base sooner or later the goverment will step in and then no one will be happy after that.

7023.10.2006 18:49

NewerThnU said: "...and representing yourself in court with some lame defense line you heard off the internet is the dumbest thing you could do for yourself. far-fetched scenarios where an attorney or stenographer will let you touch their computer to make an example also will not happen, thats more something off my cousin vinny." Yeah, it's thanks to people like NewerThnU who think this way that results in 99% of people being wrongly sued by the RIAA and other groups affiliated the League of Extraordinary Extortionists to completely and immediately cave to their extortionistic "settlement" offer that rivals a Mafia "protection" scam. It is VERY easy to defend yourself in a court of law, as most of the information, forms, example letters, and precedence reseach is available online and for free. I've been directly involved in lawsuits three different times, all regarding construction -- twice I was being sued and once I was doing the suing. I was royally screwed by a bad lawyer when I was doing the suing, and ended up just dropping the case because of all the loopholes my attorney did not see (or likely just didn't warn me about), but didn't have a problem taking my money even though I was the one who discovered the loopholes and brought them to his attention. The two cases where I was being sued ended up with me eventually firing my attorneys for each case and representing myself to the conclusion of the case. Neither case ever saw the inside of a courtroom, and I was able to fend off ridiculous requests for discovery, depositions, and even motions for summary judgement, and even negotiate a MUCH better settlement than my stupid lawyers. Everyone needs to understand this as fact: Lawyers are all in this together. Sure, you can find a couple of bleeding heart, sympathetic lawyers, willing to buck the system and the Good ol' Boys Club to take a crusade for someone, but they're very rare and seldom stay that way for long. It's a frickin' game -- every single court case. Most of these lawyers all know each other, they are not the rivals that you see in the courtoom TV shows. They're actually drinking buddies who do most of their casual negotiating over a steak dinner at a local Hooters. It's all a game to them, they don't care about your case, they haven't take up a crusade or cause -- it's a game with the winner getting to notch his belt buckle and lay in a bed full of money. And the loser isn't crying into his scotch at night, he's simply thinking, "Bummer, lost that one. Ya got me that time!" They don't think anything more of that than losing a game of darts or billiards that they had money on. Oh, well. As for the My Cousin Vinny movie reference, you obviously don't spend much time in legal circles or have any lawyer/judge friends. I have a few lawyer friends (that I keep at an arms distance), and have a very good friend who is a seated judge. The stories they tell about court cases are actually more crazy and funny than any legal related movie I've ever seen. No, none of the crazy stuff all happens in one case, but where do you think they get the script for movies like My Cousin Vinnie? Bar (no pun intended) stories from lawyers all combined into one storyline/fictional case. Y'know...crazy stuff like using the plaintiff's briefcase in a defence scenario and then not returning it until a day later, or using the judge's gaval to show how a hammer could've been used in the crime. Kind of like using the plaintiff or court's computers in a testimonial demonstration. It is not difficult to defend yourself. Yes, there will be things that you don't understand, etc., but just search the net or your local library for it, and you'll figure it out. If you can do your own taxes, you can easily defend yourself in court. I would not settle and I would not pay a lawyer to defend me, and I strongly believe that my chances to win would be high.

7123.10.2006 19:13

@Doc409: A motion for summary judgement is actually one of the easiest motions to defend by an unknowledgeable attorney or someone defending themselves, and it is a motion that is usually automatically denied by a judge because it prevents people from having their day in court. Your guilt would have to be pretty obvious. At least according to Florida Law and filing a motion for summary judgement: "The moving party must show that there is a complete absence of any issue of material fact." I don't understand why the RIAA or any plaintiff would ever actually file a motion for summary judgement, since it's to their benefit for the case to go on as long as possible in order to cause the greatest financial damage to the defendent, and causing all attorneys fees to go through the roof. Plus, in most states, a motion for summary judgement will be immediately denied if all motions for discovery have not been met. What is the first thing that was advised for you to do? Demand to see the evidence against you -- that's called discovery. All you would have to do to defend a motion for summary judgement is to write a letter in response that says you have not received all (or even any) discovery requested from the plaintiffs. In most situations, it's the defendents that file a motion for summary judgement along with a motion to dismiss the case. Coming from the defendent this mostion has a higher success rate because a judge is likely to assume that the plaintiffs have all the discovery they need or they wouldn't have brought the case in the first place.

7224.10.2006 17:42

GernBlan...what you say about summary judgment is correct...if you know what you are doing. A sufficent challenge to the facts presented is enough. In US courts a person must first deny the complaint's allegations, and then challenge the SJ in a manner that conforms to court rule 56. A general denial is not enough...the facts have to be factually disputed...such as claiming a wireless network got hacked into, or, that it is not a screen shot of my computer. And yes, if a person is representing themselves (pro se), the media group will try to prevail at the earliest (summary judgment) to minimize their costs. Simply writing a letter saying you didn't get the discovery you requested will only postpone summary judgment...if the court chooses to accept the letter as a motion. If the letter is not in the form of a "motion to compel discovery" to the court, you will be lucky if the court accepts it. Rule 7 covers motions, and every state's court rules I have ever seen requires all court action to be in the form of motions. It's how due process is guaranteed. If you don't follow these rules, you lose. Concerning appeal, you can't appeal something that wasn't raised in the trial court procedings...which means if you don't do the summary judgment right, you have nothing to appeal. Therefore the media companies will try to trip one up at the earliest.

7325.10.2006 11:39

I'm glad I'm getting a good education but I have to take some law courses...

7425.10.2006 14:16

In reference to the post that said "just because a file is named as an mp3 doesn't mean that's what it is"... I received an email from my ISP regarding a complaint from Sony pictures containing proof I had downloaded a file "Superior - The DaVinci Code.avi" from the Gnutella network. I was given 48 Hrs to reply. Sure I DID download that file... and promptly invited my ISP to upload it from me and view the contents of it. It was a documentary about the Da Vinci Code... aired on SKY TV in the UK. I told them basically that this file was freely available to be recorded from SKY TV since the person who I got it from had recorded it on his SKY Digital Box. I heard no more about it... I have now changed ISP. The scary thing is that SONY endangered my being disconnected from my ISP for the downloading of "the Da Vinci Code movie of which copywrite was owned by Sony" Although I had turned off the option to allow users to browse my hard drive... they had obviously registered as users to the Gnutella network and watched me download this file. They had my IP address, and without first verifying the CONTENTS of the file, reported me for illegal downloading. I then obviously told my ISP that all avi's I had downloaded were either trailers or documentaries, or "the making of the movie". as I said to be on the safe side I moved to a new ISP. But this shows that they are on dodgy ground when accusing people... and don't verify the contents of what you are SUPPOSED to have uploaded or downloaded.

7526.10.2006 7:35

Dynochem...very interesting experience you describe, and it shows why the file name and contents should be challenged. The US legal system has its roots in English common law, and we would do well to adopt the system you have where one could explain things before it costs an innocent person a lot of money. While your ISP connection was put at risk, if you had been in the US the first notice you received would be a demand for $4000...and if you don't pay, you will be sued for several thousand $$'s. These media companies have even sued people that never had an internet connection!!! As you can see, this is all very heavy-handed. I would add that a US Federal court has ruled that an ISP MUST turn over the identity tied to an IP address when they get a subpoena for this info...or be in contempt of court. Any attorney can issue one. The court does not have to approve it. And, the ISP may or may not choose to notify the user.

7626.10.2006 13:24

There is little doubt that what the recording industry is doing is wrong with all these lawsuits. I came across a case where a person being sued by the RIAA has countersued, alleging RICO (racketeering) violtions. I don't know where this is right in litigation, but they seem to present a very good case against the RIAA's illegal activities:

7726.10.2006 14:31

I read the 10 page pdf document with great interest. The counterclaim seems to be very well founded, the main complaint being that of "racketeering" by the record company. In their many lawsuits they use "the U.S. Mail as a vehicle to extort funds induced by wrongful use of action or threatened force violence or fear". They also say "your liability under the copyright act is clear". These wordings are use to create maximum panic and make the "guilty" party feel he has already been found guilty, and going to court would be a waste of time. They then also issue an enormous fine themselves!!! This surely is suggesting that when a large company "finds you guilty" they can then bypass the entire legal system and meter out their own punishment. It is a valid point... I feel that you're better off going to court, defending yourself, explaining at the outset you have no legal knowledge and and playing "David v. Goliath". At worst, the sympathy vote would surely mean a fine of a lesser value than the thousands being claimed. The main legal point here is they have virtually told you they are judge and jury in this case. Some judges won't like that one little bit...

7827.10.2006 10:42

recording a song off the radio is legal. So copying a song off the internet radio should be legal too. File Sharing is just another way of copying, but made easier. But now the internet is full of radio stations that send out crystal clear songs. Anyone with half a brain can wait for the song they want and copy it using Window's sound recorder. There is no law against that.

7927.10.2006 12:57

shhh, if we explain to the music industry that they are idiots, they may start suing ppl for just owning a computer... lol

8027.10.2006 14:45

TazmanYo...the music people interpret one part of federal copyright law as saying that recording a song off the radio is illegal...while another part says it is legal. For them to prove you recorded online music is another thing. Most certainly, if you do record off the radio, be careful how you decide to share it online.

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