White House Sides with RIAA in P2P Suit

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The White House has sided with the recording industry in a copyright lawsuit against an alleged pirate. The administration believes that the current $150,000 per violation limit is not excessive and went on to state reasons they believe that the amount is not “unduly severe.”

A legal brief filed Sunday in a case that the Recording Industry Association of America is pursuing in Massachusetts argues that federal copyright law is not so overly broad and its penalties not so unduly severe that they count as "punitive." Current law allows a copyright holder to receive up to $150,000 in damages per violation.
 

Tim

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Before this becomes a huge political discussion, just let me say the first person that starts to flame/namecall/be a general jackass, I will close the thread. You have been warned.
 

ku1185

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FFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUU

This is like, strike #192839012783019238123 for Obama in my book.
 

phide

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The administration believes that the current $150,000 per violation limit is not excessive
Cost of track on iTunes: $0.99.
Cost of per-track copyright violation: $150,000.00.

Yeah, that sounds about right :rolleyes:
 

chaos68

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Cost of track on iTunes: $0.99.
Cost of per-track copyright violation: $150,000.00.

Yeah, that sounds about right :rolleyes:

and dont forget, they say that the 150k is not excessive, which means we may likely see it increase. As it is 150 grand is a lot, when considering that nobody will be pirating only one track that number becomes even more massive.
 

Ockie

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Didn't see this coming *sarcasm*

I'm pretty sure that the average guy does not even have 150k in net worth (average IIRC is 45k), so thats quite excessive as not a single person (average) would be able to pay such violations.

Steal a car worth 80k+, $5,000 fine
Steal a song worth less than .99 cents, $150,000 fine.
Some things in life money can't buy, for everything else there is RIAA.
 

oscrogo

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FFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUU

This is like, strike #192839012783019238123 for Obama in my book.

Because Bush didn't side with the RIAA in their lawsuits either? Quit the FUD; Dems and Repubs are pretty much the same...they both suck.
 

ShagnWagn

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So... what is being damaged that causes them to "lose" $150,000? ...and copying a single CD-worth of tracks is $1.5million? rofl I guess the music industry owns the entire world several million times over. Bill Gates won't be the richest man alive any more.
Perhaps they agreed with the RIAA just to make them happy because the courts know the charges will never stick.
 

GJSNeptune

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It's only to scare people into succumbing to the RIAA's discounted settlement offer.
 

Ockie

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It's only to scare people into succumbing to the RIAA's discounted settlement offer.

Yep. You won't have a choice but to take it when you are facing a certain 150k fine per violation.

$4-6k seems like a much more attractive offer when facing that kinda odds.
 

RangerXML

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Yeah, like this isn't going to lead to a big fight.

I kind of understand there reasoning though, think of it this way: for a car you steal, there is only one car, you can not sell that car to more then one person and keep it your self where as if you pirate a song the crime increases by the power of however many people can connect to your computer to download the song and however many can connect to there computer thus the damages could almost be unimaginable big. These ideas are however out dated since one of the major factor in a malice crime is the intent and the average user does not have the intent to rip of any company for this huge of an amount, plus there is not profit, thus the 150k is excessive. In other words politicians are idiots.
 

Exavior

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Cost of track on iTunes: $0.99.
Cost of per-track copyright violation: $150,000.00.

Yeah, that sounds about right :rolleyes:

Didn't see this coming *sarcasm*

I'm pretty sure that the average guy does not even have 150k in net worth (average IIRC is 45k), so thats quite excessive as not a single person (average) would be able to pay such violations.

Steal a car worth 80k+, $5,000 fine
Steal a song worth less than .99 cents, $150,000 fine.
Some things in life money can't buy, for everything else there is RIAA.

So... what is being damaged that causes them to "lose" $150,000? ...and copying a single CD-worth of tracks is $1.5million? rofl I guess the music industry owns the entire world several million times over. Bill Gates won't be the richest man alive any more.
Perhaps they agreed with the RIAA just to make them happy because the courts know the charges will never stick.

Stealing the car will also get you jailtime there.

What you all seem to be overlooking is that it is meant to be a deterant for people to not illegally download music. We can get into a huge arguement over if music, movies, games, and software should all be forced to be free for eveyrone and weither or not anyone should be allowed to make money off of their work...

But the fact is that it is a product. It doesn't matter if they can make unlimited digital copies or not. It is a product, and one that is sold. Somebody owns the rights to this product and wants to make sure they get their money from said product. Sure $150,000 is a lot of money. But that just means that if you don't want to face the risk of getting sued for that amount then you don't pirate music. There are plenty of cheap alternatives now a days that there really isn't much reason for people to pirate it anyways other than being cheap or wanting to "stick it" to the man or record companies or somebody. Many places are what $10 - $15 per month for unlimited music. With Microsoft (not sure if any others do it also) you get to keep 10 of the songs.

There is a simple way to not have to worry about the cost of dealing with the RIAA and that is to not get all your music from stuff like limeware or any p2p software like that. They aren't going to charge you $1 for stealing a $1 song, they are going to charge you a lot more to make you think twice about not paying your $1 to buy the song, or paying for some unlimited music service.

It doesn't matter if they were only charging $150 per song people would still complain. In my opinion it is easier to steal a song than it is to steal a car, thus they are going to keep the fine at a higher amount to help deter people from downloading that song as they are more likely to do that then try to steal a car.
 

Jakalwarrior

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P2P is at war with the RIAA and they are using terrorism tactics. They strike the the helpless, young, infirm, or ignorant and destroy their lives to try and scare the rest of us.
 

DocFaustus

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Before this becomes a huge political discussion, just let me say the first person that starts to flame/namecall/be a general jackass, I will close the thread. You have been warned.

Awe man, I get the flame/namecall thing, but now we can't be a general jackass either? Harsh buzz dude.
 

Tokamak

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The dichotomy here is insane. If I were to walk into BB and get caught shoplifting a CD or 10, I'd get a fine of < $1000, some community service, depending on priors. And that's after due process with a court appointed lawyer. Let's see how far the govt. would get if suddenly shoplifting a CD was a $1.5 million fine (150k x ~10 songs).
 

Manaknight

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but the inherent flaw in the car vs music case is simple.

stealing a car removes the car from someone elses possession. Gaining music is creating a copy for yourself. The argument is flawed in it's entirety. Simple put, music sharing has grown into a digital age phenomenon that has no real way of stopping it. Nor should there be.

What if i took every cd in my collection, Turned them into mp3's (which i have) and then copied the mp3 folders onto a dvdr, and gave them to my girlfriend. OMG I just ruined the music industry OH NOES!.

What I think needs to be look at is ownership laws. Once upon a time you purchased something you owned it. Somewhere along the line some rat bastard tried to be sneaky and change it from ownership to licensing, which is like... a fancy word for rent. I refuse to rent an apartment, why would I rent my music? That being said, to own something would mean you are free to do with it as you please. I may not own the song, but i OWN that disc or those bits of data that comprise the song. What i do with them is up to me. If i want to give them to people for free, i am giving a gift and I am in my right to do so. That means to continue to make money, its time to rethink the way you market things. Offer something i cannot give freely, buy a disc get a concert ticket, buy mp3's get something else out of it.

The thing is, the riaa complains about pirates, and some people on here take their side citing that the pirates want something for nothing. But flip that coin. Isn't the RIAA saying the same thing? They want free money. Hell their entire business model is based off it. Let others do something and they get paid for it.

That being said both the political establishment and the riaa can go to hell...yes i download to stick it to the man.
 

Manaknight

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P2P is at war with the RIAA and they are using terrorism tactics. They strike the the helpless, young, infirm, or ignorant and destroy their lives to try and scare the rest of us.

that is sig worthy and a quote to remember!

awesome..and sadly true

viva la resistance!
 

Azhar

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I think the only reason why P2P penalty is higher is because it's so much easier to do. Not everyone can just go out and steal cars or shoplift. That takes guts to do. But music? People do it in passing without thought.

The fine has to be high to let the people know they're not kidding around. "Yes it's easy to do, but I don't recommend it."

But yeah, it's insane how 99 cents song translate into $150,000, I know.
 

Burton560

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FFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUU

This is like, strike #192839012783019238123 for Obama in my book.

i wonder if Obama would bail people out if they got slapped with a huge RIAA lawsuit? He is giving everybody else money, why not them?
 

GJSNeptune

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How about we pour RIAA lawsuit funds into Social Security and Welfare? Their lawsuits can make and probably have made people homeless.
 

Lemurion

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Like many I think the current administration is doing some good things and some not good things: par for the course. I certainly expected this because of the number of RIAA lawyers now in the Justice Department (in my opinion one of the biggest strikes against this administration).

The problem I have with this is that when the general public thinks a penalty is grossly out of proportion with the infringement, they tend to side with the infringer and work to undermine the law.

The penalties for non-commercial infringement are ridiculous and will continue to hamper the RIAA.
 

Mav451

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Threads like these attract self-righteous "industry" apologists like flies on honey.
 

morkboy_wonder

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I am pretty sure the vast majority of professional musicians out there currently make nowhere near 150K per tune. This could be easy money for them. In fact I am going to copywrite some crap tune I made myself and in a clandestine fashion make it appear on the torrent sites with the hope of the RIAA making me rich!
 

UrielDagda

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I'm a democrat and I'm not surprised. This always seemed to be one of those issues that politicians agreed upon regardless of which side of the aisle they stood.
 

InorganicMatter

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So... what is being damaged that causes them to "lose" $150,000?

There's lots of misinformation about copyright violations. The $150k in damages doesn't come from downloading a $0.99 song; the $150k in damages comes for uploading (seeding, for you BitTorrent users) a song to networks. Most P2P users don't realize that they are uploading when downloading, as all P2P apps come with uploading enabled. (Hell, some old versions of Limewire installed as a system service and automatically shared your My Documents folder 24/7/365.)

Consider: someone downloads a song saying "It's only $0.99, and I'm not taking anything physical." They unwittingly seed to 10 others while downloading, those 10 others upload to 10 more, which those 100 upload to 10 others, which those 1,000 upload to 10 others, which those 10,000 upload to 10 more, and so on it goes, and suddenly you have quickly surpassed a million lost sales of a $0.99 song that was unwittingly started by one person who thought "it's less than the cost of a Happy Meal." Even if only a quarter of those downloaders are truly a lost sale, that's still $250k.

I'm not defending our convoluted copyright laws, but a copyright infringement can spread like wildfire over the internet from one unwitting user, especially something as small a 3 megabyte MP3.
 

GJSNeptune

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I am pretty sure the vast majority of professional musicians out there currently make nowhere near 150K per tune. This could be easy money for them. In fact I am going to copywrite some crap tune I made myself and in a clandestine fashion make it appear on the torrent sites with the hope of the RIAA making me rich!

You'd have to be with a major record label. Good luck with that crap tune! Although if you send it to Chad Kroeger, you may just get a record deal.
 

thekipper

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At the end of the day, people just need to stop the illegal sharing/downloading, etc of movies, music, games, that is copyrighted.

I realized this isn't a popular position but it's true.
 

GJSNeptune

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The lost sales argument is completely invalid. An illegal download is not necessarily a lost sale. That's assuming that the person would, in fact, buy the song or album had it not been available to download. I bet most people would simply choose to live without it or wait for it to be available.

What is valid is that file sharing helps introduce music to people, or helps them taste it first. Most people probably won't buy it if they like it, but some of them will. These would be gained sales because they come from a group of people who would otherwise not even know about the music.
 

the_dealer

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#1 rule in politics, keep your lobbyists happy. BO has that one down to an art. Between the RIAA and JDs he's just doubled his revenue.
 

Ockie

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There's lots of misinformation about copyright violations. The $150k in damages doesn't come from downloading a $0.99 song; the $150k in damages comes for uploading (seeding, for you BitTorrent users) a song to networks. Most P2P users don't realize that they are uploading when downloading, as all P2P apps come with uploading enabled. (Hell, some old versions of Limewire installed as a system service and automatically shared your My Documents folder 24/7/365.)

Consider: someone downloads a song saying "It's only $0.99, and I'm not taking anything physical." They unwittingly seed to 10 others while downloading, those 10 others upload to 10 more, which those 100 upload to 10 others, which those 1,000 upload to 10 others, which those 10,000 upload to 10 more, and so on it goes, and suddenly you have quickly surpassed a million lost sales of a $0.99 song that was unwittingly started by one person who thought "it's less than the cost of a Happy Meal." Even if only a quarter of those downloaders are truly a lost sale, that's still $250k.

I'm not defending our convoluted copyright laws, but a copyright infringement can spread like wildfire over the internet from one unwitting user, especially something as small a 3 megabyte MP3.


A lot of artists sells only about a million or so albums.

So what you are saying here is that the average Joe is contributing to over a million people each, so that now 1 million users with the files are spreading to a million more users each liable for 150k each? So ummm a million people from one file x $150,000 is $150,000,000,000 multiplied with each user?

That's why this theory does not work that well.
 

Righty

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Well if i get caught. I will owe enough to finance the next sociali...uh bailout plan.
 

Dekoth

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I don't download or purchase music anymore, I just listen to it on the radio. Problem solved for me.

Pity the RIAA's tactics are driving away customers like me. I have thousands of Vinyl records, and thousands more CD's. Generally if I heard it on the radio and liked it, or in later years downloaded it and liked it. I then in turn purchased it. The RIAA started being excessively greedy, I just quit completely years ago. While I am only 1 consumer, the sad part is I know quite a number of people just like me who used to buy tons of albums and not refuse too. This is just in my own little spot in the world, I doubt we are the only ones.
 

Dreaz

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I wonder how the supply/demand economic theory works when supply is virtually infinite. How long can lobbyists keep expecting to artificially inflate prices on something that is worthless?
 

Methadras

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I wonder how the supply/demand economic theory works when supply is virtually infinite. How long can lobbyists keep expecting to artificially inflate prices on something that is worthless?

You mean like printing trillions of dollars needlessly?
 
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