Illegally downloading collegians, I hope you get what you deserve

Illegally downloading collegians, I hope you get what you deserve

Summary: The Associated Press reports today that the Recording Industry Association of America is not letting up on its campaign to target universities where illegal music downloading is going on."The music group said popular software programs it has targeted at schools include AresWarez, BitTorrent, eDonkey and other programs that operate on the Gnutella and FastTrack services," the AP's Ted Bridis writes.

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TOPICS: Legal
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The Associated Press reports today that the Recording Industry Association of America is not letting up on its campaign to target universities where illegal music downloading is going on.

"The music group said popular software programs it has targeted at schools include AresWarez, BitTorrent, eDonkey and other programs that operate on the Gnutella and FastTrack services," the AP's Ted Bridis writes.

"It's something we feel we have to do," RIAA President Cary Sherman tells Bridis. "We have to let people know that if they engage in this activity, they are not anonymous."

Violators are often reported to the university whose network is being used. Internet access priviliges are frequently revoked, with repeated violations leading to one-semester suspension in at least a few cases.

Well, good. And not only for the strain these downloads place on the networks.

I think I owe you an explanation here. 

While I don't endorse everything the RIAA has done, I think they are in the right here.

Why?

I used to write about rock music on a national level. I know musicians. I know they spend weeks in the studio trying to find the sound- and sometimes months beforehand fitting words to pieces of lyrics.

If it is copyrighted, it is theirs.  Not yours. Yours for listening if you pay for it, but not for placing it on networks or obtaining it on networks where the musicians and lyricists don't get paid.

College students, I know this file-trading comes easy to you. And because I once was one myself, I know what a strain even a 99 cent iTunes purchase can be.

OK, let me broaden the argument here. I am the author of six copyrighted books. If you scanned each page of even one of these books, built a PDF file from them and then placed the PDF up on a file sharing site, I would talk to my publisher(s) about what to do next. And you can bet they would at least consult with their legal department.

Target anonymous, illegal file-traders?

Like I said, the RIAA isn't always right. Sue non-tech-aware grandmas of 11 year-old file swappers for 3K? No way. 

But target illegal downloaders and file-swappers on college campuses?

You bet. 

But do you? 

                                                [poll id=43]

 

Topic: Legal

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8 comments
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  • Lables Over-charging for years

    I believe that piracy is wrong and that people should not be downloading copyrighted works without paying. However, the Big lables have been overcharging for music since the CD became ubiquitous. They make charge us for the ridiculous payouts they give to flash in the pan pop stars that don't live up to the expense. I don't like paying $18 for a thirty year old album just because it has more staying power than Brittany or whoever is "hip' right now.
    louis.martino@...
    • Amen!

      I don't even browse the CD section anymore. Why is it that DVDs get cheaper with age, but it's the opposite for music?
      fondy
    • Definately Overcharging

      When CD's came out, new LP albums were around $8 and CD's started at about $16. They said is was because of the expense of the new technology and low volume of CD sales. It wasn't many years later that you could get any lame group from the 1950's onward but the price was still $16. Over 20 years later, CD's still hit the rack at $16. The cost of producing a stamped piece of plastic is pennies.

      Copyrights may be copyrights but recording companies have been sticking it to several generations of listeners. Me, I just quit buying CDs when my rack was full and I'm happy with what I have.
      jrdickerson@...
  • Olive Branch

    I think there's more to this whole "piracy" issue than meets the eye. Sure, between the online a la carte stores like iTunes and the filesharing networks, the internet has all but killed impulse purchases of music, but is the loss even large enough to make a dent in Big Music's pocketbook? Just because someone downloads a crappy transcode of Britney's latest drivel, it's illogical to automatically assume that they would have bought it otherwise.

    Most of the music that I listened to as a teen (and still listen to) was released before I was born. Yeah, hip-hop and R&B are pretty strong, but it's surprising to see classics like Aerosmith, Zeppelin, the Stones, and AC/DC are still drawing fans from new generations. Granted I'm old, but the new stuff I hear today, I just can't picture some kid, 30 years from now, listening to and saying, wow granpa, this Justin Timberlake is pretty good!

    Add to that, the music industry isn't exactly known for customer satisfaction. Whether it's having to re-purchase the same content every few years when a new format comes out, or wasting $15 on a one-hit-wonder, you figure the RIAA has amassed quite a collection of pi$$ed-off customers over the years. Like they say, you reap what you sew.
    fondy
  • Picking on the little guy still.

    My question about sharing on this level is - if it wasn't free, would they pay for it or go without?

    I think that it is completely wrong to make money from illegal copyright infringement, and those that do should be the primary target and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

    But for the end user that shares a file, could there not be an honour system so they pay for it if they like it? - eg: if you liked this music, send some money, anything, to this Paypal or bank account: xxx. Of course, people would try to hack that so the payments get misdirected, but it's an idea.

    My 2c.
    Graham.

    p.s. Inappropriate use of educational facilities is another matter and should be stopped by the college if that is their policy. This appears to be happening to some degree, I'm happy to hear that.
    GrahamA_z
    • edit/addendum re: 'little guy'

      Or are the only offenders left what I call 'the little guys'?
      If the music copyright infringement scene is only happening at that level then I'm surprised in a good way and understand if that's where RIAA etc are targeting their efforts.

      G.
      GrahamA_z
  • recent study: filesharing helps society and doesn't harm music sales

    I'd ask you to keep emotions a bit lower on this one and
    embrace a bit of pragmatism.

    Just this year a study was published (again with updated
    calculations), which showed quite clearly, that filesharing
    doesn't harm music sales, because people buy nontheless, and
    that the increased availability of media to people leads to a
    high added social welfare from file sharing.

    Artists don't lose anything, but the society gains much, so
    Filesharing is a good technology for our society which needs to
    be fostered instead of fought, at least if you think about the
    bigger picture and leave unnecessary fear behind.

    Study:
    http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JPE/journal/issues/v115n1/31618/31618.html
    ArneBab
  • The cost of piracy

    To everyone who thinks that music should be free, for whatever reason, check this out:

    http://dependent.de/en/booklet_en.php
    Kevin Dean