Category Archives: RIAA Death Throes

RIAA Hires ATF Director To Head Its Anti-Piracy Efforts

The RIAA has hired the Nation’s top hired gun to fight music piracy.
Apparently, the recording industry doesn’t realize yet that it’s fighting a losing battle. Looks like we’re in for another ridiculous fight this coming year.

ATF Director to Head Music Industry’s Anti-Piracy Efforts

By the Associated Press for Fox News.

The director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and
Explosives (search) is leaving his post next month to lead the recording
industry’s efforts to stop music piracy.
Bradley A. Buckles, who served ATF for 30 years and was named director in
1999, will come head of the Anti-Piracy Unit of the Recording Industry
Association of America (search), the trade group announced Tuesday.
“Brad’s appointment should signal to everyone that we continue to take
piracy (search), here and throughout the world, very seriously,” said Mitch Bainwol, RIAA’s chairman and chief executive officer.

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New Article For — Interview With LimeWire COO and P2P United President Greg Bildson

Interview with
LimeWire COO Greg Bildson

By Lisa Rein for

Lisa Rein: So, you guys paid Brianna’s RIAA fine?
Greg Bildson: Yes, we cut the check to her mother to reimburse her. We felt that suing a 12-year old in the Bronx wasn’t the answer.
LR: Tell me more about P2P United.
GB: P2P United is basically trying to make sure that Congress doesn’t do anything stupid, which they’re apt to do in the technology world. We’re trying to make sure to protect our rights to innovate and write software, and to address all of the bad mouthing the RIAA is constantly doing to P2P.
P2P was proven to be legal in that California decision. If there’s anything we can do with respect to the overreach of the DMCA and invasion of privacy and, basically, due process — we feel that there should be due process, and there should be an actual lawsuit before they are able to get information about users.
Congress is writing bills targeting P2P, and the RIAA is talking about pornography and homeland security and identity theft and all of these things that are really minor concerns, with regard to P2P. For the most part, Congress is either overreacting or doing the bidding of the RIAA.
O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference.
For instance, there was a hearing regarding P2P and porn a few weeks ago. There are already laws that exist to punish people for being pedophiles; P2P’s got nothing to do with it. In these cases, the content itself is illegal. P2P is not the concern when it comes to child endangerment, but they are constantly targeting P2P. They should go look at AOL and Yahoo chat rooms rather than P2P networks. Orin Hatch’s presentation of child pornography began with a movie sponsored by the RIAA. The record industry is probably the last group of people to be protecting children, when their lyrics and videos are so explicit.
So the RIAA is basically using the high $150,000 per infringement to extort a settlement out of people who wouldn’t even consider fighting it. People view this more like a speeding ticket instead of something where one act of infringement can cost you $150,000. We’re in favor of people being able to protect their copyrights, but in a way that is fair. If the government is going to regulate, they need to know what they’re doing. They shouldn’t be getting their information only from the RIAA.
LR: So are you trying to educate Congress?
GB: Yes. P2P United is trying to educate Congress. However, their staffers need to be willing to be educated. So far, they’ve been willfully blind or ignorant.

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More About Filesharers Coming to Brianna’s Aid

C-notes for Brianna

Outpouring of donations in download suit
By Helen Kennedy for the NY Daily News.

Furious music lovers nationwide flooded 12-year-old Brianna LaHara of Manhattan with donations yesterday to help pay off her debt to the recording business.
From $3 pledges for the Help Brianna fund to $1,000 offers, hundreds of people wanted to help pay the $2,000 settlement between Brianna and the Recording Industry Association of America.
“The whole deal with going after the actual consumer – and the fact that it’s a 12-year-old girl with a single mother who lives in the projects – well, these people have no decency,” said Taylor Finley, a California film student who started the Help Brianna fund.

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Lawsuits Not Affecting Filesharing Traffic

Activity on Song – Swapping Networks Steady

By Reuters.

Activity on file-sharing networks has not missed a beat this week despite the record industry’s high-profile lawsuits against individual song-swappers, industry trackers and executives said on Thursday.
“There’s no mass exodus, that’s safe to say. Ironically, usage this week and this month is up,” said Eric Garland, a spokesman for BigChampagne, a research firm that tracks peer-to-peer networks that enable file-swapping between different computers.
“We’ve been looking at dramatic increases on the FastTrack Network. The number of people using these file sharing services in the first 10 days of September is up more than 20 percent from the August average,” he said…
Greg Bildson, chief technology officer for LimeWire, said traffic on the Gnutella network, the underlying network that LimeWire, BearShare, Morpheus tap into, has not been affected.
Peer-to-peer officials said people would likely improve ways to conceal their identities to avoid lawsuits.
“If you’re smart, and most file-sharers are, you can insulate yourself,” said Wayne Rosso, president of Grokster, which is involved in a suit of its own against the industry.
Rosso said the lawsuits only wasted money, alienated music fans and will have less of a shock value in the future.
“The next time, the suits won’t get this kind of media coverage. They’re a desperate and dying industry,” he said.

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Moby Board Member Sued By RIAA For Filesharing

The RIAA is suing “liquidlevel,” one of‘s board members!
Moby “can’t see any good in coming from punishing people for being music fans and making the effort to hear new music.” Right on dude!
He says he’s tempted to use Kazaa to download some of his own music, just to see if he got sued.
Of course, they probably wouldn’t, once they knew it was him. Because presumably, Moby is the copyright owner of his own music.
But this raises other questions about a musician’s right to use the internet to promote themselves — even if the record company says “no.” Why would a record label punish an artist for trying to promote themselves (to sell more records or concert tickets)? It just doesn’t make sense.
This all has a lot to do with the revolution that I have predicted (or instigated, depending on how you look at it 🙂

Moby Tour Diary Update – RIAA 9/29/2003 – New York City

so apparently the riaa are sueing one of our very own board members, liquidlevel, for file-sharing.
personally i just can’t see any good in coming from punishing people for being music fans and making the effort to hear new music.
i’m almost tempted to go onto kazaa and download some of my own music, just to see if the riaa would sue me for having mp3’s of my own songs on my hard-drive.

Librarians Stick Up For P2P Networks

Librarians to P2P critics: Shhh!

By Declan McCullagh for CNET.

In a hotly contested lawsuit before a federal appeals court, two peer-to-peer companies are about to gain a vast army of allies: America’s librarians.
The five major U.S. library associations are planning to file a legal brief Friday siding with Streamcast Networks and Grokster in the California suit, brought by the major record labels and Hollywood studios. The development could complicate the Recording Industry Association of America’s efforts to portray file-swapping services as rife with spam and illegal pornography.
According to an attorney who has seen the document, the brief argues that Streamcast–distributor of the Morpheus software–and Grokster should not be shut down. It asks the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold the April decision by a Los Angeles judge that dismissed much of the entertainment industry’s suit against the two peer-to-peer companies.
Among the groups signing the brief are the American Library Association (ALA), the Association of Research Libraries, the American Association of Law Libraries, the Medical Library Association and the Special Libraries Association. The American Civil Liberties Union, in one of the group’s first forays into copyright law, has drafted the brief opposing the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
A central argument of the brief is that the district court got it right when applying a 1984 Supreme Court decision to the Internet. That decision, Sony v. Universal City, said Sony could continue to manufacture its Betamax VCR because a company “cannot be a contributory (copyright) infringer if, as is true in this case, it has had no direct involvement with any infringing activity.”
“The amicus brief will make the point that we are not supporting the wrongful sharing of copyrighted materials,” ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels wrote in an internal e-mail seen by CNET An amicus brief is one filed by a third, uninvolved party that comments on a particular matter of law. “Instead, we believe the Supreme Court ruled correctly in the Sony/Betamax case. The court in that case created fair and practical rules which, if overturned, would as a practical matter give the entertainment industry a veto power over the development of innovative products and services.”…
The ACLU said Thursday that the brief argues that peer-to-peer networks are speech-promoting technologies that have many noninfringing uses. If the MPAA and the RIAA succeed in shutting down peer-to-peer networks or making them more centralized, the precedent could create undesirable choke points that could be used to monitor Internet users, the ACLU said.

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ACLU Challenges RIAA Subpoenas

A.C.L.U. Challenges Music Industry in Court

By John Schwartz for the NY Times.
(Thanks, Jason.)

The civil liberties group argues that the constitutional rights of its client, referred to as Jane Doe, would be violated if her college, which is also her Internet service provider, were forced to reveal her name. The industry subpoena “seeks to strip Jane Doe of her fundamental right to anonymity,” according to the group’s court filings.
The industry subpoena is one of many recently filed under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a law that gives copyright holders broad powers to get the names of suspected infringers from Internet service providers.
But the civil liberties suit claims that the subpoenas, which can be issued with little judicial oversight or involvement, go beyond even what the law allows. The group also claims that the law itself is unconstitutional, because it does not provide for the judicial review of requests or notification of the target of the investigation.
“We’re not saying that they can’t ever get her identity,” said Christopher A. Hansen, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union. “We’re only saying if the industry wants her identity, then they have to do it in a fair way.”…
Also today, a group that opposes the suits, Downhill Battle, is expected to announce the creation of a legal defense fund for those caught up in the file-trading suits. “If we make noise for all those who’ve been sued and give the people who want to fight in court the resources to do so, we can make these lawsuits fail,” the group said on its Web site,

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The Revolution Will Be MP3’d

There’s a revolution going on guys, and it starts today!
Musicians are going to stand up for their right to use the Internet to promote their music.
Listeners are going to stand up for their right to not be spied on and treated as criminals for sharing that music.
Ready, set….GO!
Here’s an awesome MP3 that will serve nicely as its theme song (courtesy of Zug):
RIAA Phone Call

Here’s more information about it
(Thanks, Jason.)
well i recollect the days when music was free
you could tape from the radio, burn a CD
now the RIAA wants to know about me
my address, my number, my ISP
yo, bitches, ain’t we still got privacy?
why the president be lettin’ you spy on me
how many tricks they gonna be lettin you try on me?
trying to be spying on my MP3s
But you protect YOUR corporate privacy
Keep your phone number hidden from the bourgeoisie
Your customers have to play hide and seek
So here’s the number to call if you disagree
why’s the RIAA starting litigations
the cops should be looking for the real perpetrations
the killers, the racists, the rapists
‘stead of fucking with us for saving to our hard disk
raise your middle finger if you feel me loc
these fucking subpoenas are a fucking joke
leave us alone, throw us a bone
like i did with your mom that time at your home
There’s NO SUCH THING as bad publicity
Even if you giving it out for free
So join us in the twenty-first century
Where we find our new songs on MP3s
Embrace the new technologies
Grokster, Kazaa, and P2P
So call this number now, and help them see
And if you call from work, your call is free!
202 is the area code and we’re dialin’
775 and then we be smilin’
0101-1-cary sherman
well isn’t this fun it’s
you know, they’ve never been fair to the bands.
now the riaa takes a stand?
can’t believe we’re getting preached to by the man
so what’s the plan, stan? I’ve got a short attention span.
they’ve gotta change up the music industry
make it all available on MP3
listen to people like you and me
and make us wanna pay a monthly fee
this song is now my lyrical catastrophe
go ahead and grab it, it’s completely free
aint gotta pay a dime to listen to me
So share this song and fuck the industry

More On The Implications Of The RIAA’s First Admitted Mistake (Although It Offers No Apology Or Guarantee That It Won’t Falsely Accuse Again)

She Says She’s No Music Pirate. No Snoop Fan, Either.

By John Schwartz for the NY Times.

Mrs. Ward, a 66-year-old sculptor and retired schoolteacher, received notice on Sept. 11 from the Recording Industry Association of America that she was being accused of engaging in millions of dollars worth of copyright infringement, downloading thousands of songs and sharing them with the world through a popular file-sharing program called KaZaA.
Mrs. Ward was deeply confused by the accusations, which have disrupted her gentle life in the suburbs of Boston. She does not trade music, she says, does not have any younger music-loving relatives living with her, and does not use her computer for much more than sending e-mail and checking the tides. Even then, her husband does the typing…
On Friday, the industry group dropped its suit against Mrs. Ward, but reserved the right to sue again. An industry spokeswoman denied that any mistake had been made…
But those opposed to the recording industry’s legal tactics say that the case suggests that the methods used to track down music pirates are flawed. They argue that Mrs. Ward is probably not the only mistaken case in the recording industry dragnet.
Cindy Cohn, the legal director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an advocacy group concerned with civil liberties in the digital age, said that her organization was talking with dozens of people who say they have been sued but do not trade files.
In a number of the 261 lawsuits the industry has filed so far, members of the household other than the named defendant might have had access to the machines, she said. But some of those being sued, she added, are contending that their cases are purely ones of mistaken identity.
That is exactly what Mrs. Ward says happened to her. Not only does nobody else use her computer in more than a passing way, the computer, an Apple Macintosh, is not even capable of running the KaZaA file-swapping program. And though the lawsuit against her said that she was heavily into the works of hip-hop artists like Snoop Dogg, Ms. Ward says her musical tastes run to Celtic and folk.

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