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Thread: Pirated Music - The music industry vs the internet

  1. #1

    Default Pirated Music - The music industry vs the internet

    Well, if any of you on this site download Mp3s or any other form of music from the internet, be careful. Look at this:

    WASHINGTON — The music industry has won at least 871 federal subpoenas against computer users suspected of illegally sharing music files (search) on the Internet, with roughly 75 new subpoenas being approved each day, U.S. court officials said Friday.

    The effort represents early steps in the music industry's contentious plan to file civil lawsuits aimed at crippling online piracy.

    Subpoenas reviewed by The Associated Press show the industry compelling some of the largest Internet providers, such as Verizon Communications Inc. and Comcast Cable Communications Inc., and some universities to identify names and mailing addresses for users on their networks known online by nicknames such as "fox3j," "soccerdog33," "clover77" or "indepunk74."

    The Recording Industry Association of America (search) has said it expects to file at least several hundred lawsuits seeking financial damages within the next eight weeks. U.S. copyright laws (search) allow for damages of $750 to $150,000 for each song offered illegally on a person's computer, but the RIAA has said it would be open to settlement proposals from defendants.

    The campaign comes just weeks after U.S. appeals court rulings requiring Internet providers to readily identify subscribers suspected of illegally sharing music and movie files. The 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act permits music companies to force Internet providers to turn over the names of suspected music pirates upon subpoena from any U.S. District Court clerk's office, without a judge's signature required.

    In some cases, subpoenas cite as few as five songs as "representative recordings" of music files available for downloading from these users. The trade group for the largest music labels, the Washington-based RIAA, previously indicated its lawyers would target Internet users who offer substantial collections of MP3 song files but declined to say how many songs might qualify for a lawsuit.

    "We would have to look at historic trends, but that is a very high number," said Alan Davidson of the Center for Democracy and Technology, a civil liberties group that has argued against the subpoenas. "It doesn't sound like they're just going after a few big fish."

    Music fans are fighting back with technology, using new software designed specifically to stymie monitoring of their online activities by the major record labels.

    A new version of "Kazaa Lite," free software that provides access to the service operated by Sharman Networks Ltd., can prevent anyone from listing all music files on an individual's machine and purports to block scans from Internet addresses believed to be associated with the RIAA.

    Many of the subpoenas reviewed by the AP identified songs from the same few artists, including Avril Lavigne, Snoop Dogg and Michael Jackson. It was impossible to determine whether industry lawyers were searching the Internet specifically for songs by these artists or whether they were commonly popular among the roughly 60 million users of file-sharing services.

    The RIAA's subpoenas are so prolific that the U.S. District Court in Washington, already suffering staff shortages, has been forced to reassign employees from elsewhere in the clerk's office to help process paperwork, said Angela Caesar-Mobley, the clerk's operations manager.

    The RIAA declined to comment on the numbers of subpoenas it issued.

    "We are identifying substantial infringers and we're going to whatever entity is providing (Internet) service for that potential infringer," said Matt Oppenheim, the group's senior vice president of business and legal affairs. "From there we'll be in a position to begin bringing lawsuits."

    A spokeswoman for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts said the clerk's office here was "functioning more like a clearing house, issuing subpoenas for all over the country." Any civil lawsuits would likely be transferred to a different jurisdiction, spokeswoman Karen Redmond said.

    Verizon, which has fought the RIAA over the subpoenas with continued legal appeals, said it received at least 150 subpoenas during the last two weeks. There were no subpoenas on file sent to AOL Time Warner Inc., the nation's largest Internet provider and also parent company of Warner Music Group. Earthlink Inc., another of the largest Internet providers, said it has received only three new subpoenas.

    Depaul University in Chicago was among the few colleges that received such subpoenas; the RIAA asked Depaul on July 2 to track down a user known as "anon39023" who was allegedly offering at least eight songs.

    There was some evidence the threat of an expensive lawsuit was discouraging online music sharing. Nielsen NetRatings, which monitors Internet usage, earlier this week reported a decline for traffic on the Kazaa network of one million users, with similarly large drops across other services.

  2. #2

    Default Pirated Music

    "the RIAA asked Depaul on July 2 to track down a user known as 'anon39023' who was allegedly offering at least eight songs."

    For only eight songs people are getting tracked down. I know people with over a hundred mp3s on their computer. I wonder if they'll start suing people soon. This seems to be the only sucess the music industry has had so far against online piracy.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Chicago, Illinois

    Default Pirated Music

    This is soooo screwed up!

    For the record, I will say that I have not downloaded any songs. But I am still wondering where the music industry comes with this. I also wonder what is the legal justification for this.

    If I purchase a cd, I own that do I not? I was thought that as long as I do not sell copies of that copy, I am good. But now, I cannot even give copies away?

    What if I wanted to make copies of the cd, just in case I loose the original, or to make "mixed-cd's" (burning varios tracks onto another)?

    It upsets me just the same way Microsoft requires that you contact them for an authorization code everytime you load some of their software onto your computer... even the same one.

    With the high prices of cd's and software, one wonders why piracy is so prevalent.

  4. #4

    Default Pirated Music

    Yes, I agree. Although I also haven't downloaded any mp3s, I believe this to be unfair. If someone legally purchases a CD and then decides to share it with his or her friends, this is no longer legal? Isn't it only illegal when you sell it? Can't they only sue people who download and then also burn and sell it? Ahh, who knows? It seems like there are going to be many trials now, lets see how they turn out. I wonder if anyone will actually have to pay the music industry. This will be interesting...

    (Edited by Freedom Tower at 5:40 pm on July 19, 2003)

  5. #5

    Default Pirated Music

    I guarantee that people will be turning openly against the music industry as a whole if this keeps up indefinitely. They're proving every bit as unaccountable to public tastes as Enron, WorldCom, and the LMDC.

  6. #6

    Default Pirated Music

    Yeah, if too many people get sued I'm sure people will just stop buying music in protest. Hey, I've got a great idea for a boycott

  7. #7

    Default Pirated Music

    I guarantee that people will be turning openly against the music industry as a whole if this keeps up indefinitely. They're proving every bit as unaccountable to public tastes as Enron, WorldCom, and the LMDC.
    Sounds like a ploy by the LMDC to me. But even as I type this Im using p2p sharing. I should be more apprehensive typing this but my music collection totals over 600 titles. In addition I have downloaded and copied movies and software, the total could be in the thousands.

    But on the otherhand I dont feel at all guilty, my purposes are non-profit. And file-sharing is beneficial in that it forces artists to create better music, I find satisfaction in purchasing quality cd's.

    Whoever here has ever purchased a cd with mostly filler music will agree with me.

  8. #8

    Default Pirated Music

    I agree with you Stern, but no comment on how many mp3s i own . Lets just say that if I were a music downloader, which im not of course, Id have well over 500 songs. And if I really liked to download, well then I'd bet there may be a few movies there too. But I'm just not that kinda person . Yeah but CDs with filler really piss me off. I own way too many of those.

    Forgot to mention.... if I did download music, Id never sell it. But for the record I dont even have any music. Hahaa, is anyone buying this? I really dont sell it, but i definately have it. Who doesn't have it?

    (Edited by Freedom Tower at 7:35 pm on July 30, 2003)

  9. #9

    Default Pirated Music

    I *buy strictly vinyl, cd's rarely, I don't have a single mp3. *The sound quality sucks, and what if there is some electrical storm and they all get erased? *If they're good for anything it's to find out what record to order from an online distributor, but even then I've been fooled because the levels on the record suck or its muffled because of bad production, the mp3's don't express this because they lack the fidelity.

    I don't see what the big deal is giving them away for free, they're WORTHLESS.

  10. #10

    Default Pirated Music

    lol... I hear you Freedom Tower.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Chicago, Illinois

    Default Pirated Music

    Like I posted, my biggest issue with the record industry is that they are trying to re-write one of the cornerstone of copyright law, which is that when I purchase an item, I do own a limited right to that copy. As long as I do not sell it, or do an unauthorized public broadcast, then I should be able to make as many copies as I want and give those copies to whomever I want. Software makers are also increasingly moving to that camp.

    Now the technology is getting to the point where objects that you buy can, in and of themselves, limit their ability to be copied.

    I hate cd's with filler music, especially much of the pop stuff thats being vomited out these days. Short of camping out of the Megastore and wasting away a lunch hour to listen to the newest album tracks, file sharing is becoming the only way to get "just what you want".

    But as a photographer occasinally sell and give away my pictures, I would hate the idea that someone out there is making copies of my stuff and selliing it to there profit. But I would feel allright if people where just making copies and giving them to people.

    In the end, I feel that the reason why many "artists" do not feel as I do is because of royalties.

    By the way, did anyone hear Senator Orin Hatches suggestions for piracy?

  12. #12

    Default Pirated Music

    I am not familiar w/ Mr. Hatch's suggestions, but you bring up an interesting question. *
    What is the artist selling? *
    Recently I read an article about a copy-shop that was fined for making textbook copied packets for students and selling them, (technically they were charging for their copying sevices not the content of the page, but I digress.) *If the same thing were done in the faculty center by a teacher using school facilities then freely distributing them is this illegal as well? *If not mistaken, it is. *
    I think the artist when selling copies of a work has a tradition of being protected 'per unit' sold. *In the case of a text, the unit consists of the ideas contained within, regardless of form, copies, etc. *
    Essentially the arguement for free file sharing relegates the music industry to the status of a copy shop.

    The music companies sell only the convenience of having the song on a cd.

    As it stands now they are authorized to make copies and pay royalties to sell these copies.The artwork has a value that is tabulated per usage just as in radio play.
    The medium of mp3 is also a convenient form, as such each time a duplicate is created and traded/shared, following this logic, a royalty should be paid. *

    Although I could make such a case for the opposing side, imagine this scenario-
    The first day a cd is released I buy it, take it home and make multiple copies. *I go back to the store and stand outside asking those that enter what they are going to buy. *If their answer is the cd I have copies of, I give them one and they never shell out a dime. *Such a practice would be detrimental to the artist, so I can't see how copyright law supports it. *

    Maybe the strategy is to throw so much garbage at us we'll pay someone to pick the gems for us.

    "Hey Mr. DJ...."

  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2003
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    Default Pirated Music

    The case about the copy shop is clear under the Copyright Act of the U.S.:

    "§ 107 · Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair useł⁸

    Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching(including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. ..."

    I can remember seeing such limitations in all text books and copyrights was never meant to infringe on the formation/critique, etc of ideas. Just making copies as" study packets" is a whole other story.

    Also see here from the Copyright Office:

    "One of the rights accorded to the owner of copyright is the right to reproduce or to authorize others to reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords. This right is subject to certain limitations found in sections 107 through 118 of the copyright act (title 17, U.S. Code). One of the more important limitations is the doctrine of “fair use.” Although fair use was not mentioned in the previous copyright law, the doctrine has developed through a substantial number of court decisions over the years. This doctrine has been codified in section 107 of the copyright law.

    Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered “fair,” such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair:

    the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

    the nature of the copyrighted work;

    amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

    the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
    The distinction between “fair use” and infringement may be unclear and not easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission.

    The 1961 Report of the Register of Copyrights on the General Revision of the U.S. Copyright Law cites examples of activities that courts have regarded as fair use: “quotation of excerpts in a review or criticism for purposes of illustration or comment; quotation of short passages in a scholarly or technical work, for illustration or clarification of the author’s observations; use in a parody of some of the content of the work parodied; summary of an address or article, with brief quotations, in a news report; reproduction by a library of a portion of a work to replace part of a damaged copy; reproduction by a teacher or student of a small part of a work to illustrate a lesson; reproduction of a work in legislative or judicial proceedings or reports; incidental and fortuitous reproduction, in a newsreel or broadcast, of a work located in the scene of an event being reported.”

    Copyright protects the particular way an author has expressed himself; it does not extend to any ideas, systems, or factual information conveyed in the work.

    The safest course is always to get permission from the copyright owner before using copyrighted material. The Copyright Office cannot give this permission.

    When it is impracticable to obtain permission, use of copyrighted material should be avoided unless the doctrine of “fair use” would clearly apply to the situation. The Copyright Office can neither determine if a certain use may be considered “fair” nor advise on possible copyright violations. If there is any doubt, it is advisable to consult an attorney."

    This basically sets the bar for the music industry in that it is the marketability of the copyrighted material that file sharing causes a problem for.

    Hatch suggested that manufacturers set code into the material that, if illegally copied, causes destrution/damage, etc to the, in his specific example, a computer.

    Sorry about the length and the formatting.

  14. #14

    Default Pirated Music

    Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair:
    the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
    the nature of the copyrighted work;
    amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole;
    and the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
    Lawyers will figure out what this means.

    An argument for file sharing would be that the free dissemination of 'advertising' editions will raise public awareness and therefore increase the value of the work in hard copy. *Some artists have had sales to prove this, most notably Radiohead. *They released a 'bootleg' copy weeks before the actual album release date, and their sales were still very strong.

    Hatch should stick one of those self destruct chips up his. . . * -nose.

  15. #15

    Default Pirated Music

    The simple fact is that the Music Industry is fighting for its life here. *They are still a powerful industry and will use their powerful lawyers to try to find ways to keep this damn from bursting. *In the end, I can't see how they could win this particular battle, but you can't expect them not to fight. *These are businessmen and bureaucrtas we're talking about. *They need the status quo.

    People will figure out novel ways to make money in the music business; the generation that grew up with this technology will put these people out to pasture. *

    I hope this redefinition of the music industry will refocus things on the immediacy of live performance -- large and small venue, instead of on packaged studio recordings. *That will be good for everyone.

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