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Recording Industry Succeeds In Ruining a Kid's Life Over 31 Songs: Just or Unjust?

Fergie 2012/08/24 22:29:38
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In the early days of Napster, Kazaa and Limewire, I downloaded songs "illegally" (who remembers the Grey album?) almost every day. There was a period of at least a year during which I had no idea it was illegal, in fact the only risk I was concerned about was accidentally downloading a virus. Joel Tenenbaum also used these same programs I did and has now been prosecuted for illegally distributing 31 songs. His punishment: $675,000 and a character assassination.

Supposedly, he could have been hit with a $4.65 million dollar penalty, but the jury was lenient. Was prosecuting Joel for his crime just? Or are they merely making an example out of him? Seems like there were plenty of users with thousands of songs that they could have gone after instead.

GIZMODO.COM reports:
Yesterday marked the end of Joel Tenenbaum's court battle with the RIAA over 31 songs he illegally distributed on Kazaa. A federal judge denied his latest appeal, and now he's on the hook for $675,000. That's nearly $22,000 per song, plus some wholesale character assassination that has now been sealed with judge's rubber stamp.

riaa

Read More: http://gizmodo.com/5937556/recording-industry-succ...

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Top Opinion

  • TisSheilah 2012/08/24 23:20:50
    Unjust
    TisSheilah
    +17
    The RIAA is making enemies behaving like this. They're acting like bullies and cutting off their own two feet in the process.

    How many of us have bought albums after stumbling on new tunes on YouTube that we never knew existed? I do, all the time! People posting their stuff helps them make sales. For many, file sharing leads to purchases because you can't get the same sound quality online as you do with a CD.

    I could go on and on about the RIAA and their partners abusing the DMCA by claiming every mp3 on the planet belongs to them (which is my personal beef as they've made my distribution of free hypnosis sessions a living nightmare).

    If the RIAA business model sucks, then they ought to consider changing it in a way that works for everyone.

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  • Jim 2012/08/27 10:56:02
    Just
    Jim
    +2
    For those of you who voted unjust, please tell me whether or not you run a business and where its location is. I'd like to come over and steal some of your property. I'll only take a small amount of stuff. Because I know you won't mind.
  • William... Jim 2012/08/27 12:05:34
    William Weber
    +1
    Pirating isn't stealing. Stealing would imply that the track was taken from them. Pirating is like copying a car over and over again.
  • wgossett99 William... 2012/08/27 13:30:42
    wgossett99
    Computer jumped. I definitely did NOT mean to rave you.

    Pirating IS theft. Do you think making a copy of Microsoft Office from someone else's CD is legal?
  • William... wgossett99 2012/08/27 20:14:25
    William Weber
    If I had a pig, and I was somehow able to give the pig to someone else and still have the pig, is that theft?
    Theft would imply something is stolen, in piracy nothing is stolen, just illegally distributed.
  • Scully+... William... 2012/08/29 05:00:07
    Scully+MulderWereRight
    A pig is a 'thing', a song is the 'intellectual property' of it's author. Anyone can buy and breed a pig and then sell the offspring. Only John Lennon could write/compose 'Imagine'. It's his song, not yours. Since it's not yours, you don't have the right to distribute it.

    "... in piracy nothing is stolen, just illegally distributed." That statement has got to be one of the best examples of double-speak I've encountered in a long time.
  • SW Jim 2012/08/27 16:55:44
    SW
    +1
    If I had a business where you could look at a picture of my product and touch that picture it from anywhere in the world and then have your own copy of it --then I should really get a new business model. People have been making mixed tapes for years and it's not "stealing."
  • wgossett99 SW 2012/08/30 15:08:21
    wgossett99
    I made mixed tapes myself, but only of music I bought on LPs. I did NOT distribute those mixed tapes.
  • Sodahead Founders are Fascists 2012/08/27 09:30:26 (edited)
    Unjust
    Sodahead Founders are Fascists
    Their entire industry is built on copying and ripping off. But god forbid someone dares to share music for free.
    If I gave you a copy of a CD I have, does that make you a thief? No.
  • wgossett99 Sodahea... 2012/08/27 13:36:57
    wgossett99
    Actually the receiver is a thief for accepting your "gift". And you are an accessory before the fact by providing stolen content.

    But then as Worf would say, Cardassians have little honor.
  • Whitewu... wgossett99 2012/08/27 18:45:59 (edited)
    Whitewulf613
    +1
    The receiver is a thief for receiving the gift? what if the gift was misrepresented as original material or public domain music. Surely accepting gifts doesn't in itself make anyone a thief. Not even in the eyes of the law. I'm not sure how much of a stranglehold the RIAA has on the US but I think this varies from state to state, it certainly does from country to country in the rest of the world. Acceptable use would allow me to share a cd with a friend and neither he nor I would be a thief in Canada (even if it was represented as copyright material). In fact every time a canadian buys a blank cd, tape and even mp3 player the CRIA (canadian equivalent of the RIAA) collects a fee in case you copy copyrighted on to them.

    As far as this being justice, It is ridiculous. Would any judge or jury in the land have allowed the same outcome if he had walked into a Best Buy and stole 3 cds or for that matter the entire Led Zeppelin box set? What about a TV? I'm thinking they may have been more sensible about him stealing a car. But downloading music?! OMG! May as well cut off his hand as well. Or better yet surgically remove his ear drums . Why not give him $675,000 in free iTunes downloads afterwards just for the irony of it. I only hope that the bankruptcy laws in the states allow him to erase his debt in a timely manner. Still very sad for him to suffer such a setback.

    The world is truly upside down when people can defend big business getting their way like this.
  • wgossett99 Whitewu... 2012/08/30 15:12:01
    wgossett99
    My bad. The receiver is a theif if he knows the CD is an illegal copy.

    As for the judgment, this is after Tannenbaum turned down a $3,500 offer from RIAA and decided to fight a losing battle. He got what he deserved.
  • tha1uw4nt 2012/08/27 05:37:01
    Unjust
    tha1uw4nt
    +3
    This is just plain stupid. People think that pirating makes the artists lose money I think it's the opposite. I know that neither I nor most of the people I know would have actually purchased the vast majority of the music that we have if it weren't for the local library, YouTube and other sites. I downloaded at least 75% of my music "illegally" when I didn't have the money to buy the music. If I hadn't, I most likely would have never bought any of it. Having that "illegal" download on my music player reminded me each day what I liked about it and along with not having the absolute best quality, it motivated me to save my money until I could purchase them and support the artists.

    People who pirate do so because 1) they're too cheap or 2) they can't afford to buy it atm. Pirating doesn't make anyone lose anything, it's GOOD for the entertainers because a lot of people will purchase the music after pirating and both they and those who don't will spread the word for others to check them out, thus building their reputation and in turn, bringing them money. This kid's punishment does not fit the crime. Totally unjust.
  • Sean McDonald 2012/08/27 04:37:09
  • Raymond59 2012/08/27 03:28:35 (edited)
    Unjust
    Raymond59
    Sooner or later, the RIAA's luck is going to run out. One of these days, they're going to sue the wrong person & then, It'll be their turn to start "writing a check!" I'll be honest. I'm guilty of downloading Music off of WinMX & Limewire (don't do it anymore), but I didn't share because of the problem with the RIAA. I'm fully aware of Copyright Laws, however, the RIAA has to understand that this has been going on long before they started suing people. The Music Industry (specifically EMI) was approached by people (back in the early 1990's) that offered the idea on downloading Music for a fee & the Major Record labels "poo pooed" the idea. The Recording Companies said that people would never pay for downloading songs. When Music piracy started becoming a problem, then they suddenly realized their mistake & now taking people to Court & are seeking damages! Can anyone spell "H.Y.P.O.C.R.I.S.Y?" The RIAA is trying "to have their cake & eating too." I ran across an interesting Article about the History of Copyrights. For anyone that's interested, I'll forward the link here: http://prorev.com/musicdown.htm
  • wgossett99 Raymond59 2012/08/27 13:39:37
    wgossett99
    Your contention that "this has been going on long before they started suing people" doesn't change the fact that pirating music is WRONG and illegal.
  • Raymond59 wgossett99 2012/08/27 16:44:39
    Raymond59
    It's one thing that someone's Copyright should be enforce, but it's got to the point that some "Estate's" have made their Copyrights perpetual. To quote form the Article that I supplied, "The American principles contained in the Constitution, gave authors protection for up to 28 years, or about one third the length of today's copyrights.

    Thomas Jefferson even proposed the issue be included in the Bill of Rights:

    Art. 9. Monopolies may be allowed to persons for their own productions in literature and their own inventions in the arts for a term not exceeding __ years but for no longer term and no other purpose.

    The goal, in short, was to protect the rights of the authors and their families, not to create to create an interminable profit node for megacorporations.

    In the past few decades, the music industry has favored the latter course, while claiming that the illegal use of music has been the major factor in the decline in music sales. Politicians and the media have bought into this argument and helped to push the anti-Internet laws and other legal actions that have caused such a furor of late." As I previously stated some "Estates" (most notably Elvis Presley's, Michael Jackson's, etc.) have made their Copyrights perpetual. Also, "askmike" (in his/her response just below) also bri...&
    It's one thing that someone's Copyright should be enforce, but it's got to the point that some "Estate's" have made their Copyrights perpetual. To quote form the Article that I supplied, "The American principles contained in the Constitution, gave authors protection for up to 28 years, or about one third the length of today's copyrights.

    Thomas Jefferson even proposed the issue be included in the Bill of Rights:

    Art. 9. Monopolies may be allowed to persons for their own productions in literature and their own inventions in the arts for a term not exceeding __ years but for no longer term and no other purpose.

    The goal, in short, was to protect the rights of the authors and their families, not to create to create an interminable profit node for megacorporations.

    In the past few decades, the music industry has favored the latter course, while claiming that the illegal use of music has been the major factor in the decline in music sales. Politicians and the media have bought into this argument and helped to push the anti-Internet laws and other legal actions that have caused such a furor of late." As I previously stated some "Estates" (most notably Elvis Presley's, Michael Jackson's, etc.) have made their Copyrights perpetual. Also, "askmike" (in his/her response just below) also brings up a very good point (to quote his/her response): "Libraries from coast to coast loan audio albums for free and there are albums that have extensive waiting lists. If RIAA was serious about eliminating the illegal copying of music they would get those libraries out of the lending business. I have hundreds of songs on my MP3 that I downloaded from albums I got from my local library and there are tens of thousands of us who do so without risk. The audio industry issues a limited license to the purchaser of an audio recording and the limited license permits the purchaser to copy the contents one time only and the license specifically prohibits lending the recording to anyone. Videos are also subject to the same illegal copying from video recordings loaned by libraries." So when is the MPAA & RIAA going to go "after Libraries?"
    (more)
  • wgossett99 Raymond59 2012/08/30 15:14:12
    wgossett99
    None of the music in question was 28 years old at the time. None of it iwas public domain. (Some may be by the time all this legal battle is over.)
  • Raymond59 wgossett99 2012/08/30 22:02:28
    Raymond59
    Then, I'd suggest that you might look up the "Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA) of 1998." It's also known as the "Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act," "Sonny Bono Act," or as "the Mickey Mouse Protection Act." You're not going to like what you find in there. Link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/... "Happy Reading!
  • Whitewulf613 2012/08/27 02:53:28
    Unjust
    Whitewulf613
    +1
    Oregon Sucks.
  • All American 2012/08/26 23:33:26
    Just
    All American
    +1
    That'll teach the little snot. Consider it tuition for a lesson learned: If you're going to steal, don't get caught.
  • wgossett99 All Ame... 2012/08/27 13:40:56
    wgossett99
    Wouldn't a better lesson be: "Stealing is wrong. Don't do it."?
  • All Ame... wgossett99 2012/08/27 13:48:07
    All American
    Either one would do, but if you're going to be a thief, be a good one and don't get caught.
  • Karl 2012/08/26 22:52:36
    Unjust
    Karl
    +3
    All that for 31 songs? I know someone with an iPod full of songs that were illegally downloaded. Where's their punishment?
  • All Ame... Karl 2012/08/26 23:31:39
    All American
    +1
    He has yet to be caught.
  • askmike All Ame... 2012/08/27 02:20:39
    askmike
    +2
    Libraries from coast to coast loan audio albums for free and there are albums that have extensive waiting lists. If RIAA was serious about eliminating the illegal copying of music they would get those libraries out of the lending business. I have hundreds of songs on my MP3 that I downloaded from albums I got from my local library and there are tens of thousands of us who do so without risk. The audio industry issues a limited license to the purchaser of an audio recording and the limited license permits the purchaser to copy the contents one time only and the license specifically prohibits lending the recording to anyone. Videos are also subject to the same illegal copying from video recordings loaned by libraries.
  • All Ame... askmike 2012/08/27 02:24:15
    All American
    I would imagine if they could do something about it they would. You can't catch everyone.
  • askmike All Ame... 2012/08/27 02:47:42
    askmike
    +1
    They annually spend more in court and prosecution costs than they recover. When VCRs hit the market the video industry lobbied for and were successful in obtaining $1 for every VCR that was sold in America. RIAA has not made any such attempts. Virtually every judge in America has a photo copy machine in their chambers and they routinely copy text from law books that are covered by copyrights. They do the same with transcripts from court reporters and those transcripts are copyrighted by the court reporters. That also applies to every District Attorney in America as well as all defense attorneys.
  • All Ame... askmike 2012/08/27 10:20:20
    All American
    Thieves one, thieves all, let's get em. We can't let em get away it!
  • askmike All Ame... 2012/08/27 14:19:29
    askmike
    Get a grip.
  • All Ame... askmike 2012/08/27 14:24:31
    All American
    Should I pay for it, or steal it?
  • askmike All Ame... 2012/08/27 14:29:38
    askmike
    You should stop libraries from violating copyright laws. Every recording they loan violates the limited license they have agreed to observe when they bought the recordings. Understand? They are expressly prohibited from loaning the recordings.
  • All Ame... askmike 2012/08/27 14:55:16
    All American
    Then the recording industry needs to target them.
  • SW All Ame... 2012/08/27 16:57:53
    SW
    Making a copy of something is not stealing it. Taking a picture of something is not stealing it. Stealing something means I take something from you and you don't have it anymore. Period.
  • All Ame... SW 2012/08/27 19:08:46
    All American
    Then what did they get the kid on in this posting?
  • Franklin askmike 2012/08/27 11:29:53
    Franklin
    and you are guilty of violating the copyright law , you are not owner of the song you get from the library so by making a copy your are breaking the law -
  • askmike Franklin 2012/08/27 14:22:18
    askmike
    The library has a limited license that came with the albums. That license prohibits the owner of the album from loaning it to others. Every library in America viloates copyright law every time an audio disc goes out their door.
  • Bob askmike 2012/08/27 13:17:06
    Bob
    Oh crap! Dude you better run, your next.
  • wgossett99 askmike 2012/08/27 13:44:16
    wgossett99
    Libraries LOAN out books, videos, CDs, etc. Your copying the stuff is what is illegal.
  • askmike wgossett99 2012/08/27 14:26:52
    askmike
    What part of the limited license the libraries have when they purchased the audios do you not understand. The limited license that accompanies every audio recording sold in America gives the purchaser the legal right to make one copy of the recording but the limited license specifically makes is a violation of copyright law to loan the recording. Are you so dense as to think people take the recordings out of the library so they can read the pretty labels? Are you so dense you think those recordings are not played when they are loaned? It is illegal to loan recordings.
  • wgossett99 askmike 2012/08/27 16:28:20
    wgossett99
    Libraries have been exempt from the loan provisions since forever. It is the borrower who becomes a thief by copying library materials.

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