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$675,000 Award in Downloading Case

Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Aug 09 - 11:54 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Aug 09 - 12:00 PM
pdq 01 Aug 09 - 12:25 PM
Midchuck 01 Aug 09 - 12:44 PM
Spleen Cringe 01 Aug 09 - 01:53 PM
GUEST,leeneia 01 Aug 09 - 02:55 PM
gnu 01 Aug 09 - 03:07 PM
Spleen Cringe 01 Aug 09 - 03:42 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Aug 09 - 03:51 PM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Aug 09 - 04:13 PM
bobad 01 Aug 09 - 05:41 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Aug 09 - 08:59 PM
Amergin 01 Aug 09 - 09:08 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Aug 09 - 09:57 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Aug 09 - 11:21 PM
M.Ted 02 Aug 09 - 02:45 AM
VirginiaTam 02 Aug 09 - 06:46 AM
Spleen Cringe 02 Aug 09 - 09:40 AM
VirginiaTam 02 Aug 09 - 11:23 AM
Spleen Cringe 02 Aug 09 - 11:32 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Aug 09 - 01:16 PM
GUEST,Peace 02 Aug 09 - 02:05 PM
VirginiaTam 02 Aug 09 - 04:13 PM
gnu 02 Aug 09 - 04:46 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 02 Aug 09 - 05:04 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Aug 09 - 05:13 PM
Spleen Cringe 02 Aug 09 - 05:17 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Aug 09 - 05:48 PM
M.Ted 02 Aug 09 - 07:20 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Aug 09 - 08:26 PM
Peace 02 Aug 09 - 10:12 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Aug 09 - 10:38 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 03 Aug 09 - 12:15 AM
bobad 06 Nov 09 - 08:04 PM
GUEST,leeneia 07 Nov 09 - 10:56 AM
Bill D 07 Nov 09 - 12:47 PM
GUEST 07 Nov 09 - 02:55 PM
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Subject: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 11:54 AM

A federal jury ordered a Boston University student graduate student who admitted illegally downloading and sharing music online to pay $675,000 to four record labels.

Under federal law, the recording companies were entitled to $750 to $30,000 per infringement. But the law allows as much as $150,000 per track if the jury finds the infringements were willful. The maximum jurors could have awarded in Tenenbaum's case was $4.5 million.

The Recording Industry Assn. of America issued a statement thanking the jury for recognizing the impact illegal downloading has on the music community.

Tenenbaum said he will file for bankruptcy if the verdict stands.

From the Associated Press story, August 1, 2009, as reported in the New York Times.


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 12:00 PM

Addenum-
The number of cases was 30, and the jury ordered Tenenbaum to pay $22,500 for each incident of copyright infringement.

Tenenbaum admitted on the witness stand that he had downloaded and shared more than 800 songs (between 1999 and 2007).

Many more cases may appear in court.
New Yory Times, August 1, 2009.


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: pdq
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 12:25 PM

Some debts can be eliminated by bankruptcy, others can't. I doubt that a court-orderd judgement of this sort can be erased by bankruptcy.


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: Midchuck
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 12:44 PM

This doesn't make sense. I'm not defending piracy, but the amount of damages is out of proportion to anything. For that damage award to be reasonable, the music industry people should have had to prove that that particular downloader caused them to be deprived of profit in that amount. And they would have had to lose quite a few million dollars in gross sales to lose that much net profit.

But, for an adequate fee, our legislators write the law to provide for fixed damage amounts in the hope of intimidating people. But they can only catch the most blatant and least careful offenders.

To enforce intellectual property law, as now written, effectively, it will be necessary to shut down the internet. I doubt the world's public will allow that. Someone needs to come up with a better way. I don't know what it is.

Peter


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 01:53 PM

Seems that the music industry is still trying to use the law to play King Canute. The fact is that downloading is here to stay. The music industry needs to learn how to work with the technology not use the courts in an attempt to scare the public with disproportionate fines for a token small number of random individuals. This won't stop the problem, it'll just lead those who want to get music for nothing to come up with increasingly sophisticated ways to avoid detection.

I won't use services such as iTunes at 79p a track (which is way too much and an example of big business greed feeding a cheap justification to the pirates... especially as musicians get very little of the 79p) when I can buy the entire CD legitimately via Amazon market place for £3.00 - 5.00 a pop and get a hard copy and the sleeve notes and so on into the bargain. However, I'm fed up with cluttering up the house with pointless plastic that also has to be manufactured and distributed at huge environmental cost - especially when a greener alternative is readily available. And in my case, my ears aren't sensitive enough to notice any huge difference between a download at 192kbps and the actual CD. I also am dubious as to whether much of the cash I pay for a CD actually goes to artist, especially when the release is on a major label with the huge studio and production costs, A&R and promotions budgets, layers of middle managers, executives and shareholders to pay and the insistence on sticking to an outmoded celebrity/star performer approach.

Surely taking the big business trappings and the artificially inflated, totally unnecessary production costs out of the equation changes things totally, as well as taking out the manufacturing and distribution costs associated with the stubborn attachment to owning music in a physical as opposed to virtual format? Self released recordings and recordings put out by small labels, including some of the CDr micro labels (e.g. Reverb Worship or Red Deer Club) are often of excellent quality yet done on a shoestring budget. Ok, self release or small label releases won't turn you into a star or make you a million, but surely that whole conflation of celebrity culture and music making is an unnecessary and distasteful hangover from the late twentieth century/post war culture, the erroneous assumption of the continuing existence of bottomless resources and the worship of fame and excess? It's time to move beyond all of that. The major record labels are dinosaurs hanging on for dear life to outmoded conceptualisations of music making and music consumption and discredited modes of production. Their battle is not ours, either as music fans or as musicians operating at grassroots levels, within communities and on the margins.

Having said that, I'm totally opposed in principle to stealing music, especially from small labels and struggling musicians (though I do download out of print albums, impossible to source albums, and never-made-it-onto CD albums where otherwise I would be paying collectors prices to second hand vinyl dealers where the musicians will never get to see a penny of the outrageous sums charged). However, I think it is possible to work with music bloggers to let them sample tracks for download, add links to your own website and essentially provide you with free, world wide publicity and reviews. Let's not forget that many of these sites are run by committed music fans who probably spend vast amounts on music and see it as their mission in life to excitedly tell the world about their latest enthusiasms. Then there are labels such as the excellent Analogue Africa that started life as a music blog and still exists as one. Independent musicians and micro labels are probably best placed to work with the bloggers, not least because they won't carry the stench of big business trying muscle in. For example, finger picking guitarist Joshua Emery Blatchley recently made a "virtual E.P" of his music freely available via the Grown So Ugly blog, which has done him no harm at all. Never heard of him? Plenty have people have now, via his farsighted use of the blogosphere.

Torrent sites and file sharing are harder nuts to crack. At present the only thing I can think of is charging these sites a license fee to do what they do, but I've no idea how this could be distributed fairly. The big cats would undoubtedly get most of the cream as they generally tend to at present anyway. The answer may be to crack down on the providers not the users whilst continuing to find creative ways to market and sell music virtually. Lots of unanswered questions to be pondered here.

I know that artists who primarily sell recordings at gigs still need to release music in a physical format. That's fine. Just do it. You're not exactly Sony Megacorp anyway, are you, soaking up resources and burning money in the search for the next Britney?   

Personally, I have an account with eMusic where I pay 20p (UK money) a track to legally download music, mainly from small labels. Seems likes a good deal to me. That's part of the solution, I reckon. Good music at a price that reflects modern methods of manufacture and distribution. Still not sure how much the artists get per track, though...


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 02:55 PM

There's an important fact missing. How many times in all were the songs downloaded? If it was 675,000 times, the penalty begins to make sense. If not, then not.


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: gnu
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 03:07 PM

Don't matter... if you do the crime... don't whine about the fine.


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 03:42 PM

There is a bigger issue though, and a bigger crime... the crime of music being hijacked in the latter part of the twentieth century as a subsidiary wing of MegaGreedCorps. The actions of the global music industry are not about protection of artists: they're all about the protection of the industry's self appointed right to maintain it's grip on the biggest slice of the pie. Everything else (after the costs of wasting the courts time with this ridiculous persecution of a single, random individual) is vindictive profiteering.

I also second what Leeneia said. Even if you take the prices set by the iTunes racketeers as industry standard (79 cents a track in the US, I believe) this feller would have had to do a hell of a lot of downloading to ratchet up a fine like that.

Gnu, your argument presupposes that judges always get it right and are never swayed by lobbying, their own political convictions and prejudices and the insidious influence of big business. I'm not justifying piracy, far from it, just turning my guns on the bigger criminals. Gnu, please trust me when I say I'm disagreeing with you in a spirit of respect and love ;-)

I think we need a dedicated folk music download store. I wish I had the technical nous to do it. If anyone else has and wants supporters/investors, I'm willing to do my part. Sort of like a fairly priced, folktastic, homespun iTunes, where the artist gets the bulk of the profits and that can serve as model for how music can be distributed in a post-celebrity culture where production, manufacture and distribution is informed by the need to conserve our precious natural resources. It could exist across national boundaries and act as a service for independent musicians and fans alike. Woven Wheat Whispers here in the UK did a great job of starting something like this up, but unfortunately had to close. Maybe it was a radical idea whose time came a little too early.

Sorry to hog this thread, but its something I feel very strongly about.


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 03:51 PM

The number of times downloaded has nothing to do with it- one or 100, it is a crime, and the fine is for the crime. A jury will consider the seriousness of the case and will assess accordingly, but, as noted above, a maximum of $150,000 is allowed for each instance and 30 incidents prosecuted equals $4.5 million possible.

Spleen cringe raises some good points. Usually, if I like one track of a cd, I like several, so I end up with a cd of, say 12 tracks; It comes out at about $1.00 per track and the better downloading sites charge about that and the quality is poorer. I do end up a year later with some cds that I will never play again, and give away to friends or goodwill.

It does seem like a waste, but in the old days, one bought sheet music, much of which also ended up given away or, more likely, tossed out in the trash. Twenty-five cents for sheet music in 1900 would be over $3.00 in today's money.
Later, one bought cylinders, bakelite, vinyl, etc., and costs per item were higher than those for the current cds. I notice the price sticker on some of my 1950s lps is $5.00-6.00, which would be three times or more that that in today's money.

Complaints about cost, therefore, I don't believe are valid.

Of course part of the problem is that the technologies are new and developing; sites are not wholly secure, marketing is not stabilized, and people try to find the loopholes.


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 04:13 PM

Spotify gives me legal free access to just about any music I might be tempted to pirate. A bitvpatchy when it come to folk music (though there is a surprising ampount of really good stuff in there) - but then wherever possible I prefer to buy off the edge of the stage, and so ensure that all the money goes to the performer/s.


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: bobad
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 05:41 PM

Some relevant statistics on free music downloading.


File sharing not bad for artists

Only 28% of the artists surveyed in a report called "Artists, Musicians and the Internet" believe that file sharing is a major threat to the industry. This is in direct conflict with the official stance of the record companies. 43% agreed that "file sharing services aren't really bad for artists, since they help to promote and distribute an artist's work to a broad audience."


Lawsuits don't help

A study by Pew Research revealed that 60% of interviewed musicians and songwriters do not believe that the RIAA's lawsuits against file sharers will benefit artists. Furthermore, 35% believe that free music downloading has helped them, 37% believe it's had no effect, and only 5% believe it has impaired their careers. Of those surveyed, 83% have provided free samples of their music online.


What's the problem?

65% of adults believe that music downloading will increase in the future. 59% say there is nothing wrong with it and would most likely do it, with only 17% of adults claiming to have reduced their file sharing activities due to fear of legal consequences.


Sharing will continue

In a survey on the NME (New Musical Express) website involving over 1000 readers, 75% said that they would continue to use file sharing networks on the Internet. This is despite the UK music industry threatening to take legal action against persistent song-sharers.

In a response to the record company's claim that "illegitimate downloading damages CD sales", 90% of polled readers said that downloading didn't stop them buying music, with 85% not believing that downloading damaged artists.


Number of shared tracks reduced

The IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) has released their own statistics on downloading music that show the number of music tracks available on file sharing networks is down 20% since 2003 when it reached a high of 1.1 billion.



Sources:

Pew Research

NME (New Musical Express)

Jupiter Research

BBC

International Federation of the Phonographic Industry


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 08:59 PM

CD sales have been damaged according to figures I can find.

Sales of CDs and music DVDs in Canada fell in the first quarter of 2007 to $68.7 million from $105.6 million in the same period in 2006. Unit sales for the same period were down 30 per cent.
Sales of CDs and music DVDs in the U. S. during the first quarter of 2007 have fallen by about 20 per cent.
Canadian Record Industry Association.
"Based on research conducted last year, conservative estimates are that 1.3 billion unauthorized downloads occur in this country (Canada) each year. It's estimated that there were 20 million legitimate downloads in 2006."
"That's bad news for the Canadian record Industry. And it comes after an almost unbroken string of declines since the popular spread in this country of unauthorized file-swapping technology, and the proliferation in recent years of CD and music DVD counterfeiting."

http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/article/207826.

Worldwide music sales have tumbled to their lowest level since 1985. "The main cause of the decline continues to be collapsing CD sales, hurt by illegal copying, that are not being offset by growth in download sales. Record company revenues tumbled 8 percent last year to $19.4 billion, after CD sales fell 13 per cent- more than offsetting the 34 per cent growth in the smaller digital business.
Dan Sabbaght, The Times (London), June 18, 2008, "Music Sales Fall to their Lowest Level in over Twenty Years"
"In Britain alone, revenues tumbled 13 per cent to 1.02 billion pounds, with Amy Winehouse's Back to Black as the top-selling album." [ugh] "Industry revenues from CD sales plunged 16 percent to 871 million pounds, while digital sales in the world's third-biggest music market increased 28 per cent to 132.2 million pounds."

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/media/article4160553.ece

John Kennedy, chairman of the IFPI, mentions 30 billion illegal downloads in 2007, and physical and digial piracy cost the U. S. music industry alone $5.3 billion.

The music industry is moving into the download scene, countering the loss of hard goods sales, but the move is accompanied by a regrettable loss in production of more classical or intellectual forms of music.
A strong warning to those who want other than pop and mass-market music- e. g., opera, classical, baroque, medieval, ethnic and other small category sellers (like 'folk'?).
The popular stuff, by far the largest part of sales, subsidizes more intellectual or off-beat material, and recording companies will pare their catalogues, making many desirable works impossible to get. Some very fine albums issued 1999-2005 have been dropped and can only be found at specialists for very high premiums. In the past, these albums would stay in catalogues for much longer periods.


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: Amergin
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 09:08 PM

The only people who benefit from these lawsuits are the recording industry....the artists will see very little of the money, if any.


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 09:57 PM

If the suits protect the artists' property, they will get their agreed percentage.
The recording companies pay their legal and property rights staff to protect the rights of all involved. This is part of the cost of doing business.


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 11:21 PM

Of course the decision in this case is subject to further legal action.
A strong warning, however, is given to those who steal by downloading illegally.


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: M.Ted
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 02:45 AM

The artists are the last in line to receive money in the recording industry, Q, and it is unlikely that there will be any money paid out in this case--some of you are awfully cold-hearted--here is a kid who downloaded 800 songs over a period of eight years--worth about a dollar each, had he bought them--Is the penalty fair? Is it moral?

It does the music industry no favors to pursue these cases, because A)It costs so much more to litigate than they can ever recover and B)It makes most people think they are despicable C)It inspires some people to devise new means of piracy out of spite.


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 06:46 AM

It would be really interesting if there was a record showing how many recipients of the downloaded material then went on to purchase CDs, showing exactly how much revenue the publishing companies made from Tenenbaum's promotion of their products.

I don't know how many people like to have the physical copy with sleeve notes etc. Maybe not a lot. Maybe most users of downloaded music, only want portable music. I know I prefer the CD played on a good quality hifi, when I can get it (most evenings and weekends). And even though I have music I ripped from CDs put on a portable device, I still prefer to take the CDs into work and listen on my PC rather than the portable device. Don't know why.

I also don't mind paying for legitimate downloads, though I would prefer that most of the money went directly to the artist and not the producer or online store.

In an ideal world art and it's production would be free. As it is not people have to be paid. Publishing companies have production employees who have to be paid too. It is not just some fat cat at the top raking it all in.


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 09:40 AM

I hear what you're saying Tam , but I know that many small labels and individual artists manage to bring out quality albums for a fraction of the costs that are incurred by the big labels. The big labels are using an outmoded and wasteful model where it is assumed that in order to produce quality music you need a big organisation with a large payroll and where it is also assumed it is necessary to throw obscene amounts of money about. That's because its not about music to them, just potentially high-grossing product: the more you spend, the more you make...

Q, I'm not convinced that many major labels are that interested in using big selling albums to subsidise minority stuff anymore. I'm trying to think of some recent examples of this and I'm coming up blank. Most of the interesting new music I hear these days comes out on smaller labels... the majors tend to pick up on this stuff once it becomes apparent that there's a chance it might sell reasonably well (and when they do, they often overproduce it and smooth it out to make it more palatable to a mass market!). In this respect, the indies act as useful, risk free testing ground for the majors in many ways.


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 11:23 AM

I'm not convinced that many major labels are that interested in using big selling albums to subsidise minority stuff anymore.

This makes sense. Literary publishing companies (some time ago) let the big book sellers, (Barnes and Noble, et al) dictate what they should publish by what they are willing to sell.

The larger publishers can't be arsed to publish unknown authors any more.

Walmart and the like (all-in-one retail hypermarkets) have been putting mom and pop shops out of business for over a decade now. So now consumers get only what retailers are willing to sell.

Which is why I am chuffed to bits to see revival of small and family operated businesses starting to flourish on the internet. Come the revolution. Maybe 33 and 1/3 per minute.

Sorry

Just deflated my post by way of a bad pun. I am in a weird mood today. Is it a full moon?


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 11:32 AM

Bad puns? Bring 'em on. We'll sort out how to punish you later...


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 01:16 PM

Of course any award money is not for the clients, their payment is according to contract.

It is very unlikely that this award will ever be paid; but as I stated, it is a strong warning to others.

The record companies, after contract artists, stockholders, employees and debts are paid, use their profits to contract desirable artists and musical groups, and to publish CDs and DVDs, not all of which are designed for the mass market and not all of which will make money, but will add to their reputation and keep their contracted artists happy.


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: GUEST,Peace
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 02:05 PM

It's about time.


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 04:13 PM

oohh Spleeny... don't get me all excited, now!


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: gnu
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 04:46 PM

Fact is, it IS a crime, even if the perp doesn't make a penny.

Everyone has the right to reap the benefits of their contribution. Anyone who subverts that is liable for compensation.

As to who, why, what, when, how much... no matter. It IS a crime, tort, transgression......... it IS.

Having said that, I am just disagreeing with anyone who cannot prove otherwise. To me, it just IS.


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 05:04 PM

Driving over the speed limit is a crime - I hope, and a lot more dangerous to society; but, of course, judges don't download stuff from dodgy sites - but they do break the speed limit. When a judge is fined a $1,000,000 for breaking the speed limit, I'll start having faith in the legal system.


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 05:13 PM

What has that to do with the price of tomatoes?


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 05:17 PM

It's about the punishment fitting the crime. Dangerous driving is far more of a menace to society than downloading, yet the law seems keener to protect the property rights of big business than protect human life.


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 05:48 PM

Only $22,500 per case in the downloading award was a lot less than the possible assessment of $4.5 million a jury could have awarded.
Comparing dangerous driving (which may include jail time) with a compensation award for losses in business as a result of illegal action is nonsense.


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: M.Ted
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 07:20 PM

This was a civil lawsuit, no criminal charges have been made.   The the law that is the foundation of the case is new, and no court has yet ruled on the constitutionality of the fines provision. Those of you who are conscientious citizens likely already know that the Eighth Amendment has a provision concerning excessive fines. The defendant's attorney is Harvard Law School professor Charles Nesson, who has been critical of both the law and the way that
the RIAA has conducted itself. So you can guess where it's going.

Those of you who have taken a firm stand on this issue may be premature in your judgments--

And Q, the music industry has changed a lot.


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 08:26 PM

Damages awarded in a civil action should not be confused with fines under the Amendment.

Nesson, the lawyer for Tenenbaum, claimed it was not a fair verdict because the jury never got to hear the fairness issue, referring to the judge's ruling that the defense could not argue that Tenenbaum had the right to download and share songs under the fair use doctrine of copyright law, thus the ruling was vulnerable to challenge.
A specialist in intellectual property law, Beckerman-Rodau of Suffolk Law School (Boston), said he was puzzled that Tenenbaum did not settle out of court before trial. The only explanation he could give was that Nesson hopes to obtain "a precedent-setting ruling on a mater such as the fair use doctrine, which he considered doubtful."
Most settle out of court for between $3000-$5000. The industry is acting against some 18,000 people.

Timothy Reynolds, one of the lawyers for the record labels, said that "the defendant is a hard-core, habitual, long-term infringer who knew what he was doing was wrong but did it anyway."
According to the Boston Globe, Tenenbaum continued downloading after the companies ordered him to stop, and on the witness stand admitted lying to the record companies and to blaming others for the downloading. He not only continued downloading, but demanded money from the record companies.
[To me, he sounds mentally deranged, and needs treatment in a mental institution]

Boston Globe, J. Saltzman, August 1, 2009.

An appeal is next.
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/08/01/bu_student_fined_675000_for_illegal_music_downloads/

The four recording companies involved in the Tenenbaum suit are Sony BMG, Warner Bros., Arista LLC, and UMG Recordings Inc.

Another case is in Minnesota, where a federal jury has ordere a woman to pay record labels $1.92 million for infringing on the copyrights of 24 songs.


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: Peace
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 10:12 PM

Obviously sums of money like that are beyond the abilities of most people to pay. However, what's important is that the fines be pursued in court because rulings will establish what's fair and what isn't--in theory anyway. I think it's time that this happen to protect people's work. imo.


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 10:38 PM

And of course the recording companies don't expect to get these large sums.

As MTed suggested, things are in a state of flux; recording companies, legislators, downloading services are all looking for formulas that they can agree on and the customer will accept without too many complaints.

It's going to take a while.


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 12:15 AM

"Driving over the speed limit is a crime - I hope, and a lot more dangerous to society"

What does that have to do with anything? You are comparing apples and oranges.

Even if Tunesmiths red herring declaration were accurate, the fact is that illegal downloading IS hurting the income of an industry, and it isn't just the fat cats in suits that are hurting.

People on this thread seem to be focusing on the "download". The kid was quilty of downloading AND distributing. Did he share thousands of copies, probably not.

The jury awarded damages based on the determination that the act of downloading AND sharing was WILLFUL. He admitted he knew what he was doing on the stand.   Under the law, the jury could have awarded up to $150,000 PER TRACK - and the award COULD have been $4.5 million.

The music industry is fucked up. Plain and simple. Technology advanced faster than they could react, and now they are dealing with the mess. The laws need to be tough. Independent artists who exist on selling their CD's at concerts ARE finding that people are sharing recordings. You can go through threads on Mudcat and you will find someone offering to make a copy of recording. And don't think that just because something is out of print that it makes it okay - there are still rights issues involved with the recording.

This isn't just the big record labels that are suffering - but the big record labels are the only ones who can pursue action. A small label, or an indepedent artist, cannot afford the legal system to fight. That is fucked up too.

There will always be piracy, but it cannot be left to flourish. Will this fine discourage others? No one here can do anything but speculate their own opinion. I think it is worth the effort to pursue.


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: bobad
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 08:04 PM

Illegal downloaders 'spend the most on music', says poll

Crackdown on music piracy could further harm ailing industry

By Rachel Shields

Sunday, 1 November 2009

    People who illegally download music from the internet also spend more money on music than anyone else, according to a new study. The survey, published today, found that those who admit illegally downloading music spent an average of £77 a year on music – £33 more than those who claim that they never download music dishonestly.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/illegal-downloaders-spend-the-most-on-music-says-poll-1812776.html


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 07 Nov 09 - 10:56 AM

Read this"

http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/2233501

It's thought-provoking, I must say.


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Nov 09 - 12:47 PM

This is a problem with no real solution. Technology meant to provide ease in distribution had also provided ease in duplication. LPs were taped, but tapes were never 'quite' as good, and took time and work make dupes...(I once saw 8 tape decks stacked in a rack in order to make multiple copies...and this was LEGAL, by the owner.)

Now, as we are all aware, anyone with a computer can dupe almost anything, and preserve the original quality if they wish. Some artists put up only short clips or samples, and manage to sell some 'full' CDs that way, but someone who is determined can usually find a way to get around the limitations...eventually.
   Obviously, this situation is a bigger problem in the hot, volitile pop-music market, where 10s of thousands of artists and groups are competing. If they DO 'make it big', the efforts to steal their stuff gets more organized.

   In folk, it is not 'quite' such an issue, as the basic culture is different, but obviously, any artist who takes the trouble to market their music would like to maximize legal sales, and if they write their own material, the concerns are multiplied.

What to do? I suggest that folks consider M. Ted's remark seriously:
"Those of you who have taken a firm stand on this issue may be premature in your judgments--"

My own thinking on this is that it is similar to jaywalking laws. Most cities have clear rules specifying where one may cross the street, but they also know that total enforcement is impossible....but still the law, and occasional reminders and fines for particularly egregious jaywalking, need to be pursued. One thing is does is provide **precedent** so as to have a template for action when a jaywalker DOES cause a problem... like being hit by car and trying to sue the driver! "No...YOU broke the law by crossing in the middle of the block."
   In the same way, anyone who attempts to do mass copying and/or distribution of copyrighted material will not be able to claim 'ignorance of the law'.
I have no idea why they chose THIS guy for their test case, or why they set the fines at $675,000, or whether they expect to get a dime from him, but now they do have precedent, and the news is out. It may just make serious 'thieves' more vigilant....and likely will not bother those in China at all.

I spend what I can on the music I like,,,which is not a whole lot...and yeah, I sometimes sample stuff I end up not buying, but the math, in my case, is that hearing the music from downloads raises the odds that I will buy it later. It 'may' be that I have some folk music in digital form that is technically illegal, but it is usually just that I haven't bothered to delete it and was only 'curious' when I got it. I have a couple hundred CDs,LPs and tapes that I DID buy, and I can only speak for myself when I say I will only "jaywalk" when it is unlikely to be an issue.


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Subject: RE: $675,000 Award in Downloading Case
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Nov 09 - 02:55 PM

How feasible would it be for filesharing applications to be heavily, punitively taxed? I notice that soulseek appeals for donations on its website. If it's possible to donate funds to soulseeks, surely it's possible to levy taxes on it too? If all these services (pirate bay etc) were taxed through the roof, they'd have to start charging heavy premiums, or simply stop.


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