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InvisibleTinMan
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RIAA goes after the little guys
    #1664642 - 06/26/03 03:48 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/news/2003-06-25-riaa_x.htm

RIAA goes after the little guys

By Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY
When Karol Franks, a mother of two teens in Pasadena, Calif., heard Wednesday that the music industry was threatening to sue average folks who swap music online ? like her kids ? she posed a question that must have been on many minds: "How can there be a lawsuit when there are tens of thousands of people who use file-sharing programs?"
Because the Recording Industry Association of America, flush with recent court wins in its fight against digital piracy, can now move from suing the companies that facilitate the free swapping of music files to targeting some of the 57 million computers users who regularly swap. (Related item: Facts about file sharing.)

Going after home users is the industry's best chance to slow the growth of file-swapping services, which have boomed since Napster's demise in 2001.

And the record labels, suffering a drop of 20% in album sales since 2000 according to unreleased Nielsen SoundScan figures, feel they need to take action.

But for parents such as Franks, "these are kids who I believe are the majority of the thieves," she says. "To what extent would they be able to make financial amends if these minors can be held liable?"

In practical terms, not much. Four college students were sued in April, and settled shortly after for $12,000 to $17,500 each. But potential fines are a whopping $150,000 a song, which would make a person who shares as few as 10 songs online accountable for $1.5 million.

Attorney Whitney Broussard calls the copyright fines astronomical. "The penalty far outweighs the actual harm," he says. "When the reality of the size of these damages sinks in, when the parents of a 15-year-old downloader are sued for millions, people are going to be stunned."

Few expect that even legal action against users will end online piracy. But the industry hopes to at least give breathing room to some of the legal services starting to gain traction.

"It's very difficult to compete with free," says Bob Ohlweiler of MusicMatch, which has the largest subscriber base of any legitimate subscription service ? 145,000 users for its listen-only MX Radio ? and hopes to start selling song downloads by summer's end. "The injection of personal responsibility is a sensible approach. It's like a speeding ticket. Everybody doesn't get one, but a few people do, and a lot of people slow down."

Others see the offensive against fans as another wrongheaded move by an industry that could have handled the situation with vision years ago.

"Can you imagine Wal-Mart spending time to collect evidence, file lawsuits against its customers together and clog up the courts?" says Gale Daikoku, retail analyst with market research firm GartnerG2. She calls this kind of assault on a customer base "unprecedented." Theft in the $2.7 trillion retail industry is 2% of sales, she says, but stores like Macy's and Nordstrom "focus on making the customer experience better and having people return to the stores, not on chasing them away."

Not everyone buys into piracy as the sole cause of the industry's slump. "Digital copying, whether file sharing or CD burning, is definitely a factor, but it's not the only culprit," says Geoff Mayfield, Billboard's director of charts. "Music is not necessarily a recession-proof product. ... When you're not certain of your job status or how much money you have in the bank, it's easy to put off buying music, especially if you're not a kid."

But Andrew Lack, CEO of Sony Music, home to such artists as the Dixie Chicks, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan, hails the move as just what the industry needs. "I liken this to Chapter 1 of the new book being written about digital music," he says. "The lawsuits are an additional mechanism to level the playing fields, and a measure of how much the game has changed."

Lack believes consumers will be induced by this action to seriously consider legal alternatives such as Apple's Music Store, which has sold 5 million songs in its first two months. "Legitimate music is readily available online and more services will be out there for consumers. That's the headline."

The recent introduction of the Apple Store wowed critics and users with its ease of use ? all songs are 99 cents a track, with few of the restrictions found on other services. But the Apple Store is only available to Apple users, about 3% of the computer market.

"We're dancing as fast as we can," says Lack. "By the end of the year, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and others will have services for Windows users as well."

Try telling that to Jorge Gonzalez, who runs zeropaid.com, a Web site that serves as a forum for online music fans and includes links to file-sharing software such as Kazaa and Morpheus, as well as newcomers named Blubster and Earth Station 5. He says that average users might be intimidated, but knowledgeable computer users will always be several steps ahead of the industry.

"There will be a large migration from Kazaa to other networks, where people feel more secure," Gonzalez says. "But will it stop file sharing? Hell no." He says several new services are being developed to hide users' identities: "Technology will always evolve around such obstacles."

Tom Rogers, 31, a frequent downloader from Brooklyn, says there's no way he's going to stop sharing online music. "There are those who think that peer-to-peer is equivalent to bank robbery, but I disagree. Most of my activity involves uploading and getting a satisfying feeling that I am sharing something beautiful with friends and a community of music lovers."

Should Rogers or others be targeted, "the law is pretty clear; there's no defense," says Palo Alto, Calif., lawyer Mark Radcliffe. "Most people won't have the resources to pay for attorney fees, and if they came to me, I'd say, 'Settle.' "

The RIAA says that, to start, it's going after traders who share large numbers of files. RIAA president Cary Sherman says that about 90% of all online music piracy is committed by 10% of users. "It demonstrates that if you can get to these 10%, you can have a dramatic impact on the peer-to-peer systems."

But worried parents may not be buying it. "Has a theater ever sued a kid for sneaking into a movie without paying?" Karol Franks says. "I think the music industry will spend a lot of money for little reward."

Contributing: Edna Gundersen, Christopher Theokas


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InvisibleEffedS
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Re: RIAA goes after the little guys [Re: TinMan]
    #1664754 - 06/26/03 04:35 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

This is pure idiocy.
The fact is it cant be stopped.
I hope they spend billions and they go under. :smile:


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OfflineRaadt
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Registered: 06/07/02
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Re: RIAA goes after the little guys [Re: Effed]
    #1665404 - 06/26/03 08:38 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

I don't know, the record industry is corrupt, however.. it's not right to steal. Whenever I download an album from an independant artist, i send them a check for 12$, and say thank you for the music, i downloaded it and wanted to pay for it.

So far I have recieved free t-shirts, dvd's, merchandise, and other stuff from these bands.

I don't know if you think the karma train doesn't catch up with the people who are stealing the work of others, but I think it does.

I'm not saying this is the right way to go about it, but there's no other way. Artists should be entitled to make at least a percentage, if you're listening and enjoying their music. However, I think legal battles are a stupid way to go about it. It's just going to tie up money and time of everyone involved. BUT, the fact that artists cannot make a good living because everyone feels it's their right to take what they want, makes me sad. I make music, and I know I would be sad if more people had downloaded and enjoyed my music, than purchased for me. But then again some people cannot afford music.. there's fine lines, but the abuse of this freedom has definantly gone out of control.

I'm interested to see where it goes.


--------------------
Raadt

-- The information I provide is only information from readings, growing of gourmet mushrooms, and second hand stories--


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OfflineAdamist
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Re: RIAA goes after the little guys [Re: Raadt]
    #1666393 - 06/27/03 03:30 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Yeah but what about the people who can't afford to spend 12 bucks per album? Should they be subjected to smaller musical boundaries than the rich kid down the street? If you have the money to spare, then that's great, support the artist.. But alot of people don't have that kind of money to spare. Burned CDs are saving the poor, yo. Don't underestimate the power of musik.  :cool:

I think music should be fundamentally free, based solely on donations. This would even cut back on all the artists who lack any substance besides the desire to make money and live in a disgustingly luxurious condition. The ones remaining would be the ones who create for creation's sake. (Not very popular anymore...) :crazy:   


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OfflineRaadt
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Re: RIAA goes after the little guys [Re: Adamist]
    #1667319 - 06/27/03 04:09 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

unfortunately humans are consumers, and generally speaking - will not donate unless there is a pressing reason.

Artists would go poor relying on donations.

Like I said there's a fine line. The corporate radio ownership only makes it worse. However, shouldn't it be the artists choice? not a right who gets to listen? If they would like to be paid for their work, shouldn't they get that option? or should they just be rewarded if the consumer feels like it?

I think that if an artist wants something to be free, they will put it out for free. If they don't. They won't. It should be their choice though.


--------------------
Raadt

-- The information I provide is only information from readings, growing of gourmet mushrooms, and second hand stories--


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Offlinewyldtouch69
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Re: RIAA goes after the little guys [Re: TinMan]
    #1667992 - 06/27/03 09:58 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Why is the record industry suddenly worried about people ripping them off? They've been ripping us off up until 98/99 when Napster first started! Now they want all these laws protecting their money... how about laws protecting OUR money? They're charging us $20 for a CD that literally costs a few pennies!! There oughtta be some law about THAT.

If artists don't want us downloading music online, then they should start producing CDs that are worth the 4 hours of work most people put in for $20. Honestly, if I hear a song i like I'll download it and a few other non-radio tracks. If the non-radio tracks suck, I delete them. So if I only like 2 songs off a 20 song CD I don't feel cheated and not guilty one bit for pirating music. If the other tracks are good, I'll go buy the CD.

What about rare live/acoustic/demo/unreleased versions of songs? Usually artists don't make any money off of bootleg CDs anyway. I like file sharing cuz I now have a ton of AWESOME live/unreleased songs of my fave artists... which has actually led me to buy a couple CDs with the studio version of a few songs.

Which brings me to another point... artists should make most their money from concerts... if they put out a CD with a bunch of tweaked/phoney/synthetic vocals and instruments then their live shows are gonna SUCK. If they have to rely on CD sales cuz their live preformances suck then they deserve to be pirated.

Also, ya'll ever watch MTV Cribs? These artists are living crazy extravogant lives! They are by no means gonna go bankrupt because of online file sharing. I could live a comfortable, normal life for a year off the price of one fancy import car these people have. Who really needs 2 hummers, a few cadilacs, and a Bently?

eh that's my rampage for the day.


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: RIAA goes after the little guys [Re: wyldtouch69]
    #1668374 - 06/28/03 01:58 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Why don't people just stop listening to RIAA music, and start finding their own bands.

Be your own producer, there are people out there that want you to download their music.


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Offlinelateralus
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Re: RIAA goes after the little guys [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #1672997 - 06/30/03 04:49 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

I think its fundamentally wrong to make any information illegal. This is what the internet is all about: free exchange of information. I think this is a positive thing that has only enhanced peoples lives.

A musicians product, a CD for examlpe, and bits of information are 2 completely different things.

I think this whole thing is going to be good for the music industry. Like wyldtouch said, itll get the majority of musicians to eventually make sincerely good, innovative music. The way music is now is appalling its all about greed and cash by both the artists and record companies. This is unacceptable to me... I dl and if I like it I buy the album and support the artist. If its crap, I delete it.

Another issue (again wyldtouch said) is the fact the music industry is corrupt and only cares about cash. I dont think these 'stars' or record execs DESERVE as much as they make.

KEEP ALL INFORMATION FREE!


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Offlinebluesky
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Registered: 09/04/02
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Re: RIAA goes after the little guys [Re: wyldtouch69]
    #1673774 - 06/30/03 12:55 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

wyldtouch69 said:
Why is the record industry suddenly worried about people ripping them off? They've been ripping us off up until 98/99 when Napster first started! Now they want all these laws protecting their money... how about laws protecting OUR money? They're charging us $20 for a CD that literally costs a few pennies!! There oughtta be some law about THAT.

If artists don't want us downloading music online, then they should start producing CDs that are worth the 4 hours of work most people put in for $20. Honestly, if I hear a song i like I'll download it and a few other non-radio tracks. If the non-radio tracks suck, I delete them. So if I only like 2 songs off a 20 song CD I don't feel cheated and not guilty one bit for pirating music. If the other tracks are good, I'll go buy the CD.

What about rare live/acoustic/demo/unreleased versions of songs? Usually artists don't make any money off of bootleg CDs anyway. I like file sharing cuz I now have a ton of AWESOME live/unreleased songs of my fave artists... which has actually led me to buy a couple CDs with the studio version of a few songs.

Which brings me to another point... artists should make most their money from concerts... if they put out a CD with a bunch of tweaked/phoney/synthetic vocals and instruments then their live shows are gonna SUCK. If they have to rely on CD sales cuz their live preformances suck then they deserve to be pirated.

Also, ya'll ever watch MTV Cribs? These artists are living crazy extravogant lives! They are by no means gonna go bankrupt because of online file sharing. I could live a comfortable, normal life for a year off the price of one fancy import car these people have. Who really needs 2 hummers, a few cadilacs, and a Bently?

eh that's my rampage for the day. 





This is the kind of logical thinking that I enjoy so much on this site.  :thumbup:
Artists are Very VERY overpaid these days, Music should be an artform, not a money making industry. The music  industry is gradually looking more and more like american athletics. We all know that money is fuel for corruption, just look at pop music. It has already begun. I thought that perhaps the peer to peer network would cure this greed, but assholes like that drummer from Metallica and Dr.Dre whine and bitch about not getting paid enough because Napster shit in their cereal.
As Raadt stated above: "unfortunately humans are consumers, and generally speaking - will not donate unless there is a pressing reason." You are right, humans are consumers, including musicians, and by the looks of MTV cribs, they're consuming a whole fucking LOT. Why the hell should they tell us how much to take when their taking a godaweful lot from us through overpriced CDs that we may or may not like and then flaunting that shit on television. :shake: If I hear a song on the radio that I like, I'll go download it and a couple of other songs from the CD, If I like them too, then I fork out the money for the actual CD. THAT is what I think is fair. I'm glad that I havn't seen the Allman Brothers Band showing their ass and bitching about this shit like so many other overpaid artists with half the fucking talent.  :rolleyes: 


--------------------
You're my blue sky, you're my sunny day,
Lord you know it makes me high when you turn your love my way. Turn your love my waaaaaay, Yea.
-Richard (Dickey) Betts


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InvisibleTinMan
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Re: RIAA goes after the little guys [Re: bluesky]
    #1676703 - 07/01/03 01:03 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

I support the artists that will offer whole album downloads on their site, there aren't many, but they demonstrate what the real point of music is...


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OfflineSheepish
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Re: RIAA goes after the little guys [Re: TinMan]
    #1678699 - 07/02/03 02:44 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

I really hope they don't start suing people who actually still support artists. Some of the bands I've discovered, I certainly couldn't have managed to listen to had I not had the net to download music. In order to hear some of these bands, I would have to import/order off the net (which can be costy if you live here) and still, you haven't heard them yet, so you don't know if you'll like it.
Seems fair to me that you should be able to listen to an album before buying it. I don't watch MTV or listen to the radio, so there's no other way of me hearing new music. Once I've heard an album and decided I love it, I put it on my list of bands I need to buy CDs from. As soon as I have the money, I buy the CD, and I delete it off my computer. If I don't like something, I just delete it and that's it.
It would be unfair to say my actions are contributing to their sales loss - if they sue me, I'll be very pissed off, because I still buy CDs. I think it's also unfair how much money the record industry makes off an artist's album. In a sane world, I would think that the artist should get most of the money, being as they created it, and if they hadn't created it, then of course, the record industry could never have made any money off it.


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OfflineSev
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Registered: 06/06/03
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Last seen: 2 years, 1 month
Re: RIAA goes after the little guys [Re: Sheepish]
    #1698893 - 07/09/03 07:35 AM (13 years, 4 months ago)

That's truth. I listen to a -lot- of music that's impossible to find in stores -- mostly because it's out of print, or foreign (and import CDs are always outrageously priced.)

I tend to buy albums that I really like or listen to frequently. I never buy a CD without first testing it out through downloads. Before the advent of Napster, I'd just gotten burned too many times.


--------------------
"Do we want the stars? We can have them. Can we borrow cups of fire from the sun? We can and must and light the world." --"On the Shoulders of Giants", Ray Bradbury

All of my posts are full of fiction and blatant lies.


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