... profound economic and artistic harm to the recording industry' executives pay packets and bonuses that occurs when people realise that they no longer have to put up with an obsolete revenue model...
There, fixed it for you.
Last year, a Boston University grad student was whacked with a court order to pay $675,000 damages for downloading 30 songs illegally and sharing them on a P2P network. This week, a US District Court agreed with defendant Joel Tenenbaum's claim that the amount determined by the jury was "unconstitutionally excessive" and …
... profound economic and artistic harm to the recording industry' executives pay packets and bonuses that occurs when people realise that they no longer have to put up with an obsolete revenue model...
There, fixed it for you.
Methinks the judge just PROVED that people will have to "put up with an obsolete revenue model" for quite a bit longer.
The most striking thing is that she went against the wishes of the recording industry multiple times in her handling of the case, especially when she even allowed the "fair use" defence to be used over their objections. She practically gave the defence an opening big enough to drive a lorry through to escape a harsh penalty.
But in Nesson's challenges to the business model itself, she found that would totally obviate copywrite law and all legal precedent, so she found against Nesson. Who, frankly, is a tool and far too full of himself.
So the two things we CAN get from this case is that the overall business model of copywritten works being sold for whatever the author or their agents (i.e., labels) care to price them for is probably pretty solid for a while to come - after all, this judgement FURTHER establishes that precedent legally. Oh, and the other is that Nesson is worth exactly what he was paid by the client, perhaps less...
N.B. - on a related note, Graham, do you think that Tesco's has an outdated business model and pride yourself on shoplifting as much stuff as you can every time you visit? After all, it costs them pennies to produce most of that stuff, even though they sell it for pounds...
And if you got caught shoplifting $30 (about the value of 30 MP3s) do you think you would get a $67,000 fine? Even $670?
If you are damaged and you sue someone do you think you would get punitive (more then your proven loss) damages?
Why is copyright special, so special that it gets different treatment?
Tesco's business model is irrelevant, unless they deliver their products at zero cost through the phone lines these days.
The comparison you should be making is that you think people should pay through the nose for services (video/audio - youtube/last.fm maybe) that can be easily supplied for free (or at tiny cost) directly through an internet connection. Anything less is stealing right?
sounds like a winner of an argument.
It's getting tiresome having to yet again explain that analogies such as your Tesco one are total crap. It's a straw man and you know it.
Copying something and stealing something are not the same. Not in law and not in reality. If that upsets you, tough.
You may not like copyright infringement, but that's a different issue from peddling ill-informed keyboard rants using completely meaningless analogies.
There was a man named Robert Hill
Who was an R.I.A.A. shill
On El Reg he posted
Just to be downvoted
But makes bad comparisons still!
It's only "zero cost" if you DON'T count the years those that produced it put in learning their skills, writing their songs, producing the material, and marketing it for you to even know about it. I know a lot of musicians personally, mostly classical but some pop, and I can tell you that is, on average, a hell of a lot of work and years of their lives to produce music that people want to actually listen to.
Now, the simple question is - do they deserve to get paid for putting in that work, and if so, by whom? And who determines how much?
But please stop with the "zero cost" canard - unless you think musicians/producers/actors/writers are simply your slaves. I happen to respect their trade and skills, and I want them to keep producing good media. Which they won't do for free, as anyone wouldn't work for free...
(And as I point out in a separate response, the Tesco's model is more applicable than you think, as the cost of production of much of their goods IS nearly zero per unit...).
They are only not the same IF you take the notion that those that produce do not have the right to set the price of what they produce, or under what terms it will be sold. Basically, you are saying that since the marginal cost of copying is zero (or nearly so, bandwidth does cost something), it should not be treated as theft. My Tesco's analogy simply points out that the marginal cost of PRODUCTION of one unit of many manufactured goods is close, very close, to zero as well (especially those made in low wage countries and shipped by the thousands in shipping containers - hence why I chose Tesco and not Harrods).
That is not "total crap" - it is an economic FACT. So you fail, once again I might point out, to show how they are different.
The reason you hate that analogy is not that it isn't true - it is, very clearly true - it is that stealing of physical items is KNOWN by any school child to be theft, regardless of the cost of production. And you hate that such logic may be applied to file sharing, where you are trying to stake out a "different case". Sorry, it's not a different case at all, as we can show that the marginal cost of production many physical items is also close to zero - but it is still theft. Point closed.
And next time have the guts to post with a real name. AC = FAIL.
You must really LOVE the RIAA more than I do - it lets you demonize copywrite laws by saying they are the work of a big, bad corporation, that is obviously not working in the public interest. They are a convenient scapegoat for those that wish to overturn copywrite - a big, bad, bogeyman.
I personally have little use for the RIAA - I am not a professional musician. But I do have a great deal of use for those that actually PRODUCE in our society - be they musicians, writers, actors, architects, producers...and many more. I like what they produce, and I want them to make more of it - more music, more films, great building designs, more books...and I have no problem with them making money from it, even a great deal of money (entertainment is very much a high-risk, high-reward career choice). I just ordered £87 of books from Amazon, and I was happy to pay Neil Stephenson and the other authors.
But you find it much harder to say that you really want to stop THEM from making a living by performing their trade, than a big, bad corporation, don't you? ;-)
I am sticking up for the "little guy", those that produce things in our society and who deserve to get paid for it, not you. Your point of view is that of a socialist, believing that what is produced by one should go to the many...and socialism seems to be a dying economic theory these days.
You know the funny thing - "In total, your posts have been upvoted 135 times and downvoted 152 times." As my posts on copywrite account for about 100 of the downvotes, I'm pretty happy with that...especially knowing whom I am really sticking up for...
it's not even about teh copying, in general they don't care abotu that. It's the distribution that they go after people for. They want to stop people giving it out to all and sundry. The problem is that the law doesn't really distinguish between somone who shares as an almost unintended consequence of downloading it on p2p, and someone who specifically hosts the files with the intention of making them available to everyone for free..
I strongly suggest you read the thoughts of an actual recording artist on the subject at hand before spouting on to much more. Try this link, and her follow-up article:
I think that somebody with as much time doing business with the recording industry as I have in IT *probably* is someone worth listening to on the subject of copyright, as applied in the RealWorld[tm].
Perhaps the simplest "analogy" is just to define "stealing" in a reasonable way?
How about: "obtaining an item whilst depriving the provider of that item of their desired/expected recompense"?
I steal a tin of beans - I've deprived Tesco of their money (Tesco paid for the beans therefore the "provider" is Tesco, if Tesco doesn't pay their supplier then they've stolen the beans - their supplier isn't getting their money). If I steal a song - I've deprived the artist of their money - part of the sale goes to the artist after all.
It's irrelevant *how* I steal it - the result is the same - someone loses out on recompense for their work (be it money, barter or whatever *they* choose to accept).
Of course, those who want to steal will always find an argument to "support" their belief.
That's a simple fact of law.
It's a fact that many parties appear to be trying to ignore, but it's true - read it up and check if you don't believe me.
That's not to say that copyright infringement isn't wrong - but it is not theft.
Your Tesco straw man is also completely inaccurate, which is why Anon hates it.
Here's a better comparison with the same cast:
- Tesco sell their "Own Brand" strawberry jam that they produce. (A song)
- A guy stands outside Tesco giving away jam he made copying the Tesco recipe and the Tesco branding, but all his own material and ingredients. (The same song, but his bandwidth, his computing power)
He has not stolen anything from Tesco. However, he is infringing Tesco's rights - in this case, probably their trademark.
When you try to get people to believe something that is trivially proven to be false, the less likely they are to believe anything that you say.
You claim that I am supporting or condoning theft and that I am not "sticking up for the little guy" which only goes to show how little you comprehend.
Let's take the analogy posted by Anonymous Coward @ Sunday 11th July 2010 19:18 GMT where he says "obtaining an item whilst depriving the provider of that item of their desired/expected recompense".
Now, being a small businessman, I am ALL FOR allowing the provider of that item with recompense, but imagine what would be the state of affairs if I made an item for a cost to me of eg £5 and then had to sell it to a Tescos/ other big store/ distributor/ whatever for £6 only to see them retail it for £20. I make £1, they make £14, so do you consider that to be reasonable?
The point is that that is how the record industry used to work. An artist gets a pittance of the final sale value of their work and *THAT* is the obsolete revenue model that the Recording Industries want to protect and preserve and they will use every case of file sharing to justify this position by claiming ridiculous "losses" they incur and even when someone gets the amount of damages they have to pay "reduced" from $675,000 to $67,000, the Recording Industry is still onto a winner since there's no way most people could pay that and even if they could, exactly *how much* of that amount would go back to the original artist...?
The fact of the matter is, today's recording artist HAS NO REASON TO SIGN WITH A LABEL..unless they feel they will profit from it. None. ANYONE can post their songs to MySpace, their own band website, or several of the non-label music online resellers....
And you know what - nearly EVERY artist that wants to make money STILL FREAKIN' dreams of signing with a big recording label....and they do to the extent that they are able.
Now...and please correct me if I am wrong...that must be because those labels provide SOME service to the aspiring artist that they cannot get elsewhere. Mainly production assistance, development loans, technical expertise, marketing expertise, contacts and promotions. Whatever the reasons - it is SOMETHING that benefits the band/performers/writers/authors. Or else...why sign? Please remember, I did say that I know professional musicians, so I am not blind....
It USED to be that musicians had no other recourse than to sign with labels...that was 10 to 15 years ago. DJ Danger Mouse was very happy to release the fantastic and seminal "The Grey Album" on the internet for free almost a decade ago...but who is he signed to these days? EMI!!!! Of his own free choice, and despite their differences on things like release dates. No one held a gun to his head - he just realised that having professionals (in marketing and publicity) back you was worth SOMETHING.
Which kind of proves my point...if someone as independent and counter-culture as Danger Mouse felt he gained something by signing with EMI...and bands like Metallica rant against illegal downloading...who the freak are YOU to say that it is not in a musician's interests to do so?
And in reference to your final sentence...a JURY determined that $675k award... a jury of citizens, after hearing all the testimony in the case from both sides, including the highly lettered Harvard professor leading the defence. Not a judge, not a shill for the RIAA/MPAA. A JURY of citizens who had many weeks of testimony and information at their disposal. A collected group of CITIZENS of the US held for that amount....only to have it reduced by an order of magnitude by a judge.
And that is where you freetards fail...no shills, no payoffs, no bozos for the RIAA, the recording industry, or anyone else involved...you couldn't convince a group of 12 AVERAGE US CITIZENS that a freetard perp with a bad, scofflaw attitude did not deserve nearly the highest penalty they could assign. A judge had mercy on the perp...but that still doesn't change the fact that 12 citizens with no ties to the RIAA/MPAA, me, Metallica, or anyone else tried to impose the harshest penalty they could. There is a message there, and a strong one.
FAIL...utter and complete FAIL.
My posts have been upvoted 577 times and downvoted 147 times. So three quarters of you like me. Cool. But it doesn't prove a lot really. It is just a statistic. I mean, if everybody who read this message clicks either the green uppy thumb or the red downer thumb as they choose, it would not only amass a big number, but it would throw any meaning to those figures right out the window.
As to who you are sticking up for... Are you really supporting the musicians? The ones who create the content? The ones out of whose advances and royalties the costs of producing songs are paid? Or are you supporting the media companies and production who take an unnaturally healthy cut of the action in return for promoting the song/album their way? Sometimes I wonder if the smaller artists flogged their album online for a fiver a download, or a tenner to have a CD posted, if it wouldn't work out better profit for them - the ARTISTS - the ones who actually created the song.
Okay, yes, I accept, this might lead to some less polished productions. Funny, that might be a good thing. Singers who can sing, and competence that can be heard and appreciated. Unlike, say, the various songs in Glee that are so over-produced and auto-tuned that it is ridiculous. Doesn't anybody ever have a wobbly vocal EVER in that programme (except when it's a plot point)? Recording live the old fashioned way never hurt some of the greatest musical performers around. And you know the funny thing? They're either dead or really old. Replaced by tidily prepackaged low-calorie offerings. In the charts right now - Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and a hundred people I've never heard of. How would they sound with an orchestra, a microphone, and NO special production whatsoever. If Billie Holiday could do it, why can't others? Maybe this will bring music back to being something special, instead of the, admittedly cynical, view that a lot of it is pap pumped out to inflate wallets. By all means, stick up for the little guy. But make sure you really are...
Even if the record industry's revenue model is obsolete there's more to this copyright issue than just file sharing. We need to recognise that copyright law contains fundamental inequities which disadvantage the consumer and overly protect copyright holders.
When the Court's first decision came out over Joel Tenenbaum I wrote a blast in these El Reg pages under the provocative title: "Soon, murder and terrorism will be lesser crimes than sharing music."
In part of that post I say:
"No matter how bad or weak Joel Tenenbaum's defence was, he does not deserve the draconian and tyrannical 'justice' that was inflicted upon him in this way. Clearly, the normal checks and balances of the democratic process are just not working anymore. It ought to be a stark reminder or wake up call to all citizens about how really dangerous the State can be."
I go on and attempt to justify this claim.
because there's no physical loss and no provable harm unless you can show empirically that a real sale had been lost.
10 razors nicked from tesco is a los of 10 razors.
1000 copies of dazzy-B vat-boy copied is not, as always seems to need pointing out, 1000 lost sales.
No matter how much the MAFIAA want you to equate it that way, It's not right or legal to copy the stuff but the case of harm is more politics than reality - it's possibly the hingepin of the entire industry's business model clinging on in its current form, which they so desperately want.
Most muso's have not spent years training to grade 8 and beyond.
Most contemporary muso's have spent comparatively little time, and of those how many can read music?
Many of the 'bands' that are put out by record co's are manufactured.
A few original acts get lucky even with their obviously limited musical talents (what IS White Stripes doing with a record deal?). Some even more so if they're a vat-grown pop-thing with great tits n asses and a rackful of Antares Autotunes.
The older established bands like Metallica and U2 who have recouped the time put into their craft manyfold actually bleat the hardest about how they're being 'damaged'. No-one likes a Penthouse Pauper,
So the reality of 'recouping their hard work learning their craft' is that it's a red herring, even a McGuffin. They didn't set out to create a business model for themselves when they first picked up a guitar or a synth, and they were ludicrously starry-eyed when they thought going on xfactor would provide them with riches beyond their wildest dreams. They's still be playing guitar or going to pub karaoke even without a record deal, a record company that saw profit in them and put the marketing machine behind them and a lot of luck,
And book publishing, and news publishing, and DVD sales, and film production, and TV broadcasting.
All these markets. Obsolete. BAM!
Now I don't have to feel guilty for my actions! I'm just making copies from the internet because their business model is obsolete guv'. Depriving people of income? No guv', not me guv'! I wouldn't have paid the extortionate prices anyway. Can't afford it. They should be happy I'm using their material. Means I'm [ trained to use it / more likely to get the sequels / getting to see their work / better educated / more likely to see them live ] (delete as appropriate to make you feel better).
The really sad thing about this debate is how vehemently people will defend their right to dick on others just because they are too poor or cheap to do the right thing and pay for it.
It isn't the business model that is broken. Its your sense of self entitlement.
We should know, I have seen those irritating warnings on my (legitimately bought) DVDs enough times. In fact they make a very heavy handed point of saying it, even including various analogies and very angry soundtrack.
If the RIAA and music industry tell us we're stealing, should we not be tried for stealing?
Are you really saying that if I spend years creating an artistic work I _deserve_ to get paid? Err, wrong. I only deserve to get paid if people like my work and pay for it. No one has the right to indulge their passion and _expect_ to get paid.
The sooner musicians start seeing digital copies of their work as free advertising and not as a 'product' in itself, the better. Then they can get back to being paid for (gasp) actually performing their music. Maybe they wouldn't make quite as much money (although AFAIK most big artists make more money from tours than record sales anyway), but why should they?
A musician has historically been a pretty low paid job, the 'invention' of the concept of copyright has allowed them to massively increase their earning power far beyond their real contribution to society.
Now I don't mean to knock musicians, obviously the world would be a much duller place without them, but it really annoys me that people like Robert Hill seem to think that anyone who can bash out a tune _deserves_ to get paid, and paid more than doctors, scientists and others who make a real difference.
"It isn't the business model that is broken. Its your sense of self entitlement."
It ain't quite that simple. What is your response if I said to you the copyright holder morally only owns PART of his work because he didn't create ALL of it in a total vacuum absent of other ideas, and that he stood on the shoulders of our society and 'stole' precursor ideas owned us and yet he now claims legitimacy over 100%++ of everything?
In case it's not clear, let's try it this way:
Do you think it is fair that the copyright holder's sense of entitlement actually entitles him to 100%++ control over everything that he wants to sell back to us when he's already 'stolen' large chunks of his 'product' from us--i.e.: our public-domain culture?
Just because the law says he can do it doesn't make it morally right.
Perhaps if you answer truthfully then you mightn't need to be an Anonymous Coward.
P.S.: Still not get it, then read here: http://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/659154
"The reason you hate that analogy is not that it isn't true - it is, very clearly true - it is that stealing of physical items is KNOWN by any school child to be theft, regardless of the cost of production."
If you want to use that analogy then artists are 'stealing' from us! Sure artists deserve to be paid but not at the rate of 100%++ they're claiming now under the present copyright model--sorry dictatorship.
The fact is it's you who are using the wrong model, 'intellectual property' is NOT property and it can't be stolen in the same way real property can be. The RIAA and their carpetbagging copyright mates have, through sleight-of-hand, cunningly coined the term 'intellectual property' to con the legislature so they can "lawfully" have a means of 'stealing' from us--from the public domain parts of our society--and then claiming their works as ALL exclusively their own creation, when only part thereof actually is.
...And you really support this model? Truly?
I explain it in more detail here (but I'm sure you won't bother avail yourself of the issues):
You're right. 'Tis a wonderful article it says it all. Kills Robert Hill's points about copying and copyright stone dead.
shoplifting - nailed it.
burglary (similar to shoplifting) - nailed it.
Breaking and Entering - nailed it.
damages for injuries - whole different ball of wax. That's a weird Rube Goldberg machine mixing a roulette wheel and a left-shifted normal curve to the payout number.
Are you *seriously* trying to justify your arguments by saying that "Well 12 American Jurists agreed with this, so it's ok"??? They probably thought they were being reasonable because the record companies original intent was to sue him for $4,500,000!
But still, in all your ranting and name calling and silly analogies and shouting "FAIL!" as if it was a valid argument in itself, you don't answer my question: HOW MUCH of that money is going to go to the ARTISTS?
Oh, and just to clarify, I have no problems with artists signing deals with corporations, provided those deals give reasonable recompense to the artists for their work, instead of much of it being creamed off by those who do nothing in the creative process, ok?
The "obsolete" revenue model means people giving them money for music on plastic discs. While your "model" means farting in your shed.
There. Fixed it for you.
Er, okay. I'll change my user name to Robert Hill. That will prevent all this confusion.
What do you mean it's not my real name? How do you know? And how do we know it's yours either?
AC is no more or less anonymous than any other name used on here. If you think being anonymous invalidates somebody's argument, then you really are as big a tool as you sound.
Have your FAIL back.
Pay them $10 a month for the next 18 months and then declare bankruptcy. You won't get a credit card or a house loan for seven years, but you will only be out $180.
If the guy can't pay 67k then what is the point exactly?
I'm consider myself pretty well off and even I don't have that kind of dough.
I can just imagine the scene..
Now the guy's gotta come up with RIAA's money every week, no matter what. Business bad? Fuck you, pay me. Oh, you had a fire? Fuck you, pay me. Place got hit by lightning, huh? Fuck you, pay me.
In the end they burn the place down. Oh wait, that was some Wiseguys of another kind...
If all goes well, Tenenbaum will sue his lawyer for legal malpractice, relying on the judge's rant about the inadequacy of the defence, and the malpractice insurer will pay the $67,000. The recording industry has made its point, any further action against Tenenbaum personally would be unconscionable.
The problem wasn't just with Nesson's defense - it was also Tenebaum's attitude, lying, and deceit. He was given MULTIPLE cease and desist orders before any charges where filed, but he kept sharing. When he was finally charged, he then tried to blame it on other members of HIS OWN FAMILY. When that didn't work, he was given several chances to settle for very low amounts of money to have the charges dropped.
His response to all of that was to accept Nesson's offer of help and take the entire corpywrite system to trial, rather than pay even the slightest fine. He really just doesn't think the law should apply to him, and he would even betray his own family to ensure that it doesn't - and frankly, that is NOT someone I ever want to see in any position of power or authority, ever. No sympathy is warranted for this guy, period. Given the cost to the taxpayer of his prolonged and self-serving trial, he should owe and have to pay the full amount...
How did they tell how long he was seeding for?
If you Could prove (as modern torrent software lets you) that your seeding/leach ratio was about 0.25 then could that be a defence?
25% of a song is worth nothing right :-)
They first sent him a number of cease and desist letters he ignoted them, then the started procedures for copyright infringement and he carried on. Then when they demand to access his hard drives during discovery, he wiped then to destroy any such data. However, although by the time of trial did had evidence of several 1000 downloaded songs they only hit him with a specimen number.
This is all just smoke and mirrors.
The RIassA is desperately trying to hide the fact that they no longer control the distribution channels for recorded entertainment.
I'm not commenting on right or wrong here, mind ... But the fact is that once something can be digitized, and then is made available on TheInternet, the cats are out of the worm can, and no amount of stuffing will allow the stable door to be shut and locked with zero "damage" to the folks who formerly controlled said distribution channels.
Copyright law needs to be re-written, given the current reality. Unfortunately, it probably will not be, at least not in my life time.
 Whatever that is ...
If he can't or won't pay then it's time to go to the slammer for five years like any other criminal. He knew exactly what he was doing when he committed the crime.
I'll use UK figures here as I don't know the US ones.
Cost for locking someone up for 1 year = £40,000
Five years = £200,000
Apply exchange rate of around 1.5 = $300,000
So your answer to someone who can't pay an extortionate fine is to make the tax payer pay out an even more ridiculous amount locking up someone who is of no threat to anyone? Priceless.
I thought we'd got rid of that.
Since when can you be imprisoned for a civil offence?
Copyright infringement is basically a breach of license (read _contract_), so the argument is between the Copyright holder and the infringer not the criminal justice system.
PEW reports the mean to be about $29,000/yr (http://www.pewcenteronthestates.org/news_room_detail.aspx?id=49398) for 2009.
Of course that doesn't include the cost of the trial and the hearings that will be required before he goes to jail either.
His defense reminds me of tax avoidance scams where people don't like paying taxes so they try to come up with some convoluted legal loophole that in their mind makes the entire tax system illegal.
Those tax avoidance people (usually through the help of legal firms specializing in tax) get away with millions per year, legally.
I'll bet the RIAA uses a crowd of them.
What's the connection? Well, on one hand you have the wealthy, sticking it right up EVERYONE's butt (government, law, and every taxpaying citizen); who at worst have to pay what they avoided at a later date.
At worst they get to pay at a later date. Do you know how much money you make just by holding onto $100k for a few months in a checking account, let alone a high-yield interest bearing account?
Even if they end up paying, they'll make money on the amount they could keep.
The difference here is that you have a wealthy business with no concept of fair use. The sharing was done at a time when it was regarded fair use. Should he have paid? I hope not. Fair use is.. well, fair use!
Would I have paid? Probably. I don't have the money for a court case - but then I don't live in the United Corporation of America.
$0, as they will at most banks. Yep, most normal checking accounts in the US now pay nothing. You have to invest in the "high interest" ones before you get a piddling percentage. I have my account with ING where my "checking" account nets me 0.25%, and my savings nets me about 1%. No one with $100,000 would leave it in such an obnoxiously poor performer. But then you're obviously just another freetard who thinks the world owes him whatever you want.
Yeah, I think the RIAA has overstepped their bounds. This guy was also the bestest poster boy they could have wished for to prop up their schemes. A pox on all your houses!
the one size fits all answer
this is about the punishment fitting the crime !!
and the state applying the law, not some corporate finger in the air mmmmh 675K we think.
if you steal a CD, as Tom 35 stated, you would be judged for theft, and NO ONE would ask if you copied it or lent it ot a mate
stealing 30 songs ... let's be serious, 100 community hours, and pay for the retail value.
Let us not forget that the law should be handled by the state, not some private corporate mongrels answering to a bunch of fat shareholders.
It was actually several 1000. The 30 he was sued over were a specimen
The law is an Ass.
Just like how you can get sent to jail longer for robbing a bank than killing someone. Money talks and bullshit walks.
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