Illegally Downloading MP3s Can Give You STDs or Even KILL You!

That seems to be the implication of the RIAA’s new anti-file sharing video. And they sure didn’t spend the big bucks on the thing, either. It’s not nearly as entertaining as Reefer Madness, but it has the same level of accuracy to it. No, really. They have people saying that they had their computer’s destroyed by viruses they download when they thought that they were downloading an MP3 (I wasn’t aware that there were any MP3 viruses). And I do mean destroyed by the viruses. One guy says something like he quit file sharing after he got tired of having to replace his harddrive because the virsuses ruined them. :dubious:

If you pay attention to the software you see people using, you’ll see iTunes on the screen while they’re talking about illegal filesharing. (Which seems to imply that iTunes users are more likely to make illegal copies.)

They keep saying things like “Protect yourself, don’t download illegal music” and “it’s your life” as if you’re at risk of catching the clap or dying from running Limewire. They interview one student who got busted and he’s describes having to talk to the FBI. I would have looked at the FBI guys and said, “Shouldn’t you be catching terrorists or something? I mean, on the crime scale, this has got to be pretty far down on the list.” Wonder how long it’ll be before an illegal file sharer winds up on the FBI’s most wanted list?

I’d love to post a thought or three about the RIAA here, but based on previous Mod smackdowns, it would be futile. The RIAA is untouchable when it comes to the SDMB. Understandable, I guess, based on the perceived “liability” the boards would have.

Debate is squelched because of the RIAA’s legal resources. Their bankroll is enough to quiet any form of debate. I can’t fault the SDMB for being very skittish. But at the same time I have to take a jaundiced look at the SDMB proclaining to be a forum of free and open debate.

Even a perceived threat of litigation is enough to ban discussion of the matter.

The fact that anyone here can be the cause, through “unapproved” debate about the matter, of the SDMB being shut down, sued, etc, says a lot about the veracity of open and honest debate.

For all the talk of some politicians moving to destroy any and all rights we have, an organization representing musicians seems the lesser of evils for those fighting ignorance.

If the SDMB is really more fearful of the RIAA than the federal government, I think threads about the full extent of file sharing should be allowed to stay alive before any threads blaming certain persons for taking down the towers.

The SDMB is becoming a joke upon itself. Free speech. Unless the anti-ignorance troupe disagrees.

We need a new manual. What do the PTB accept this week? What are we allowed to fight for or against?

The RIAA have become the new Scientology.

Duffer, I think you’re missing most of the rules of the board when you say that:

(emphasis added)

RIAA topics over their course will generally break or tread very close to all of those.

I think the issue there is simply that they’re the only policing crew that could possibly claim the internet as it’s jurisdiction. And file sharing is essentially the theft of billions of dollars, so it’s not a small issue.

Going by this source (PDF), there’s somewhere around a billion songs downloaded every week. Say that for every cover a radio station or a band at a bar does of a song, they have to pay ten cents, that’s $100,000,000 of unlicensed performances of the song that guys sitting in their apartment are getting away with, while your local starving garage band is still coughing up their ten cents every song.

Here we go again…

The one download = one lost sale is simply not valid, any more than the (expected profits) - (actual profits) = (losses from filesharing) model

  1. No one spoke of sales. They are losing licensing fees not sales fees.
  2. I never said and have never said I felt that they were necesarily making the right choice by pursuing this in terms of profit. Though you could argue that they have little choice to pursue it, or they would have to stop taking licensing fees from radio stations and cover bands.

Go to the FAQ section on the site, and look at the second question from the bottom.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

I’m going to go read Harry. G. Frankfurt’s “On Bullshit” now.

And how is that comparison any more valid?

Hah. At the point where the illegality of P2P is being described, there’s a brief shot of someone using iTunes. D’oh.

The problem is, it’s so arbitrary, thanks to the RIAA, that it can’t be discussed. It has gotten to the point, with thier hamfistedness, that any and all discussion is verboten. Even in a forum such as this that is supposed to be free to discuss these matters, we’re silenced because of the threat of suits.

I can rip a CD to my hard drive. (For now.) If I share that folder with my friend, we’re looking at felony charges. If I hand my friend the CD and ask he give it back to me in a week, all is cool.

To be fair, the SDMB won’t, as of right now, shut down mentioning that. The fact that the skittishness is so rampant is cause for concern, IMO.

I can’t post a link to music files on my server on the boards. That’s understandable as the RIAA just wants to sue the shit out of anyone they can. But if I were to “borrow” a CD to someone, how is that different?

I’m no lawyer, and I don’t expect to make any point of importance. I just don’t see where the RIAA has so much influence as to get an entity such as the SDMB nervous. And that’s no slam on the SDMB. It’s a slam against the RIAA.

How are those fucks still in any position to intimidate people? I don’t break any laws, but in the case of those criminals the RIAA is out to get, I find myself in the ignoble position of cheering on the “bad guys”.

The RIAA has two sources of income, selling songs, and licensing songs. Arguing that file sharing is okay because it doesn’t impact song sales is entirely missing the point. Of course it doesn’t. You get to listen to songs for free on the radio and for free at a bar because a) it’s not easily quantifiable how many people listened to the song, and more importantly, b) they’re more likely to buy the CD. It’s not new news that listening to songs for free increases record sales, that’s been true since the invention of the radio.

But since the RIAA has been charging people to license and perform their songs for a public audience, they have zero choice in this issue. They can’t let a million home-radios operate at the same time as they are still charging radio stations and cover bands. There is exactly no difference between these, and yet one is getting to do the same thing for free. So at that point you either need to charge people for playing the songs, or stop licensing music for money at all. Either way you figure it, they’re out of money. Either they’re going to have to forgo the entire licensing part of their business (which I would have to imagine is a pretty good slice of the pie) or get the people doing illegal performances paying. Since no court or any rational person in the world is going to expect them to stop charging licensing fees, that only leaves that they are specifically being robbed of all the licensing money they should be getting off the internet file sharing.

That’s true, and I imagine that had people actually only exchanged music with their friends then no one would ever had an issue. Unfortunately, most file sharing isn’t analogous to this situation, and as it goes, the assholes of the world ruined it for the rest of us.

No, they’re not losing licensing fees, unless somebody is playing the downloaded song in a public place or over the radio, and not paying their license fee. But they could equally well be playing a purchased copy of the song in a public place or over the radio without paying their license fee. Illegal music downloads and licensing fees don’t have anything to do with each other. It seems fair to me to say that most illegally downloaded music is being played in private homes or over portable music players, and there are no performance license fees that apply to those. You’re talking about either a bad analogy or complete inaccurate facts.

On the other hand… nobody needs to put a dollar value on the ‘theft’ to justify police investigation. Copyright infringement is a crime, the record labels are the legal holders of the copyright, they spent a lot of money producing the content and promoting it so that it is as valuable in the eyes of the public as it is. How much FBI manpower should be assigned to copyright infringement cases versus terrorist prevention is of course an open question for public debate, but I think that they should each at least get some.

And I don’t really understand your followup post about licensing, and the million home radios, Sage Rat

Yup, because those that “lent out” their CD’s only had one friend.

I remember this “crisis” being an issue when dual cassette desks made the scene. And when the high-speed decks hit the market you’d think the world was at an end.

Granted, it could be reasonably argued that music died in the mid-80’s, but not in a way the RIAA is talking about.

Hell, I remember when the first commercial VCR players were introduced that had a “workaround” to MacroVision.

How long has “piracy” been around? When is the collapse of Western Civilization going to happen? I’ll make another bag of popcorn while the End of Times[sup]TM[/sup] falls down upon us.

The internet isn’t a public place? How is sending song data over telephone lines to a thousand people you don’t know any different from sending song data by radio waves to a thousand people you don’t know?

And they’re working on a third: lawsuits.

I’m convinced that they don’t really expect to defend their pre-existing revenue streams in court, but instead intend to make up the decline through suing people blind.

You’re still working on a false assumption, which is that the music being downloaded and listened to is music which would, in a non-internet world, would have been listened to in the same quantities on broadcast radio.

And? Internet also doesn’t have a single broadcast reaching thousands of people. You have to send the same data once for each listener. All that means is that the licensing deal would be different.

If a radio station wanted to only play off-the-wall one-time’s-enough songs, that’s the stations prerogative. And probably because the songs are that kind, they would be cheaper to license. But that still means they have to pay. No one cares if anyone listens to the radio broadcast or would want to buy the song. The person making the public performance still has to pay a royalty.

Actually, I think that the folks you’re referring to as assholes have saved us from the RIAA. One of the things that the labels wanted to do with digital music is to charge you for every time you listened to a song! Yeah, i can’t see me listening to any music if they try to pull that crap. Another wonderful thing that’s coming down the pike is that the decoders on the Blu-Ray and HD-DVD’s could require you to cough up more money before they’ll let you watch the movies you paid for.

In the meantime, thanks to the hamfisted efforts of the RIAA and the record labels to stop piracy, if you buy a legitimate CD your PCs at risk of spyware, and you can’t easily (if at all) copy the music to your computer or MP3 player. Meanwhile, someone who downloads the stuff from a P2P service has none of these problems.

To be certain the RIAA is a bunch of blowhards and what they really needed to do was to redo the whole system, but that’s rather beside the point. So long as they aren’t, breaking their copyright is still against the law, and so long as they aren’t going to redo the whole licensing and copyright system, they very much are being robbed of billions of dollars.

If someone gives me a book and makes me sign something saying that if I sell the book again then I have to send the original owner one dollar, and I don’t, then I’m stealing one dollar. Saying that because the owner never had the dollar for me to steal it from him doesn’t mean I’m not stealing a dollar from him.