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How does the RIAA identify Kazaa users ?

Are they just using the info people typed into the Kazaa registration ?  (People who used their real info instead of peterpan@neverland.com ?)

How does someone track P2P usage ?  There was some hoopla a few years ago about the new Pentiums having a unique signature or ID built in. That didn't work out, but it seems like there is an ID of sorts by tracking IP addresses.

Que Pasa ?

I am just curious how it is done, no need to lecture me about piracy or how you would never, ever pirate software and music.

NetworkingNewbie
Monday, July 05, 2004

When you are on Kazaa your ip is exposed to the world regardless of your bogus registration info. That ip can be linked back to you as a user if given the exact time for which it was valid, even if you have a dynamically generated one.

It's quite simple.

To get around it... oops sorry time for my coffee break...

Working for Motown
Monday, July 05, 2004

Yep. It's amazing how much people think that they are sort of anonymous on the Internet. I have a website in portuguese for freelancers, which provides a form to contact  them. Suddenly I started to see e-mails with all sort of content, not about business. Then I put a message above the form, saying something like "Your IP address is 999.99.99. With a judicial intervention we can get all your personal info from your service provider and you can be sued if you misuse this tool. Please use this form for business enquiries only". Amazing how after that I never saw unauthorized messages. A little education does wonders....

Mauricio Macedo
Monday, July 05, 2004

So why don't they sue everyone ?  Why only  few hundred here, a few hundred there ?

And why is there such resistance to a unique ID built right into the CPU ?  (And Passport)

NetworkingNewbie
Monday, July 05, 2004

We don't want to sue everyone. We want people to pay for music. Suing some of the worst offenders is a way to get publicity out that we are serious about protecting our IP.

Working for Motown
Monday, July 05, 2004

>>We want people to pay for music

Incidently, some countries allow you to download music or video from P2P if you already own the CD/DVD, but just wish to have it in a different format. Hence, P2P is legal there.

Fred
Monday, July 05, 2004

What the RIAA does is order the ISP to release the details of the person with the IP address they have.

The ISP's took it to the courts and lost.

Stephen Jones
Monday, July 05, 2004

"Incidently, some countries allow you to download music or video from P2P if you already own the CD/DVD, but just wish to have it in a different format"

Of course, and it was obvious that it would happen, every thief thinks they're clever trying to hide behind this - "Oh, it's fair use...". 

Speaking of IPs and ISPs, in Canada the music industry tried to force the big ISPs to hand over names and most of the ISPs refused. The music industry then took them to court and lost. The music industry then took the ISPs to court to try to force them to pay royalties for music downloaded over their network, and the supreme court unanimously told them to go screw themselves. Of course this is quite remarkably given that historically the music industry has screwed over Canadian consumers (about half of the cost of buying a pack of burnable CDs is royalties to the music industry).

Dennis Forbes
Monday, July 05, 2004

I think the tactics being used by the RIAA to prosecute users are a form of economic terrorism.

The thought that in some instances they go after impoverished single moms whose teenagers download or share music is basically saying that they aren't preselecting deep pockets - anyone, no matter their means or ability to pay, may be targeted.

God bless the legal system of the USA...

Bored Bystander
Monday, July 05, 2004

> I think the tactics being used by the RIAA to prosecute users are a form of economic terrorism.

And we think the tactics being used by the downloaders to persecute the right of the  artists to make  a living is are a form of economic terrorism.

> The thought that in some instances they go after impoverished single moms whose teenagers download or share music is basically saying that they aren't preselecting deep pockets - anyone, no matter their means or ability to pay, may be targeted.

It's correct that we are not targetting deep pockets at all. Currently, we do not even target those who download music though that may change. We are targetting people with enormous archives of copyrighted intellectual property which they of their own free will choose distribute freely to others despite the fact that they have no distribution license.

It has long been an established legal precedent in most countries that parents are legally liable for illegal actions taken by their minor children.

Working for Motown
Monday, July 05, 2004

"Of course this is quite remarkably given that historically the music industry has screwed over Canadian consumers (about half of the cost of buying a pack of burnable CDs is royalties to the music industry)."

The deal was, in *exchange* for the right to burn copies of music CD's *for other people*, a levy is included on all burnable CD's (and HD MP3 players, etc).  Seems like a raw deal, since most burnable CD's are used for backup and data. 

Unfortunately, it has somewhat backfired on them:

Judge: File sharing legal in Canada
http://news.com.com/2100-1027-5182641.html

Almost Anonymous
Monday, July 05, 2004

Hey "Working for Motown", what are you going to do when P2P services start encrypting traffic and hiding the end user's IP Address (like Piolet)?

If you claim that you will crack the encryption to spy on users, you'll be violating the DMCA. Also, P2P is not illegal, just like the Automobile is not illegal (even though both can be used for illegal purposes, like running somebody over).

So, what will you do?

I think that I know the answer to this, but I'll wait for a reply first.

Wayne
Monday, July 05, 2004

I'm pretty sure the RIAA uses a bot. Apparently the bot searches on a number of keywords that are likely to represent files of artists they represent. When they get numerous hits on a single IP, they go to the ISP that provides for that IP and demand the user records for that IP at that time.

There are huge problems with the way the RIAA is proceeding.

First and foremost, there are two possible violations of copyright law:
1) Making a copy without permission, with some exceptions governed by Fair Use
2) Providing a library for people to copy from (this is relatively new, prompted by a BBS case ten years ago)

The RIAA pursues people under (1) above, which is a mistake. Finding files available for copy on Kazaa has absolutely zero causal relationship to the possibility that they copied it themselves. (For example, maybe you copied down files on LP's you own - arguably fair use; or maybe Kazaa found files you'd ripped from your CD collection and you never pulled a file down yourself)
Even (2) above is problematic, since it requires intent, and the way Kazaa installs gives automatic reasonable doubt, since if you next/next/next/finish the install then it goes and finds files on your system and shares them out.

The big news is that everyone should be applauding Verizon for fighting the good fight against the RIAA. RIAA petitioned Verizon for consumer records based on their flimsy "evidence" above and a list of IP's. Verizon continues to fight them tooth and nail, with arguments from the lack of probable cause to CDA ISP exceptions to privacy arguments. And they're making good ground.

My personal opinion - RIAA is pure evil. These suits are about nothing but lining the pockets of the executives that are in RIAA and the record companies and fighting digital music because it scares them. It has absolutely zero to do with the artists.

My $.02
Philo

Philo
Monday, July 05, 2004

"And we think the tactics being used by the downloaders to persecute the right of the  artists to make  a living is are a form of economic terrorism."

RIAA has nothing to do with artists. If the record companies really wanted to help out artists they'd change their contracts. You know - the contracts that were so abusive that the State of California has had to pass numerous laws to protect recording artists.

I'm not saying artists can't look after themselves - they're adults. I'm just saying that RIAA is about the bottom line for the record companies, not the artists.

Philo

Philo
Monday, July 05, 2004

Suing listeners seems an increasingly effective tactic, as people can more easily legally download music.

However, please don't say "We're doing it for the artists." That's like a large corporation saying, "We're doing it for our employees." In over 95% of cases it's a lie, enough to be considered a joke. Not bourne out by how they really treat their people.

Incidentally, that's why I have little intention of buying Sony products again. They cripple products like minidisc recorders, to guard against any possibility of piracy. With buggy DRM watchdog programs watching what you transfer between your Sony product and your PC. They would do the same to every computer product through legislation if they could. Therefore there is a need to pushback such companies, especially when the try pressuring Microsoft to enforce DRM.

I suspect some Sony divisions still have enough clout to pushback the Sony record company, as I recall a Sony electronics employee explaining.

Tayssir John Gabbour
Monday, July 05, 2004

The RIAA mostly went after the major P2P "hubs" - the few people who fed the majority of mp3's onto P2P networks. Every "underground" file sharing network has them. It's really not 1,000,000 people encoding 1 cd, it's a few dozen people encoding thousands of CD's each.

Though more recently they've been going after little guys and fining them like $1,000 each just to show that they can. It's the typical "make an example of a few users" thing.

There are anonymous P2P file sharing networks out there, but they're all in their infancy. You can learn a lot more about P2P in general on ZeroPaid The File Sharing Portal http://www.zeropaid.com/ .

One such example I know of, where I've actually talked to the developer (he hung out in Invisible (Anonymous) IRC around the same time I was) is Mute http://mute-net.sourceforge.net/ . It's based on Waste (made by Justin Frankel of Winamp fame), which itself is a P2P program that's encrypted and decentralized, and he released it as a major "Screw You" to his parent company, AOL Time Warner. A program like Waste would allow a trusted group of friends to share files without anyone ever knowing what data they were transmitting, but it reveals your IP address to the entire network. Mute hides your IP address, except from your direct neighbors, and doesn't tell your neighbor whether or not the request is coming from you, or someone further down the chain. When I tried it, for academic purposes really, it was very slow, but it worked.

More about Justin Frankel & Waste:
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.04/start.html?pg=9
http://www.rollingstone.com/features/featuregen.asp?pid=2763

Incidentally, the technology behind BitTorrent, Waste, Mute, and Invisible IRC should be of mild interest to the programmers in the audience. I read the BitTorrent "white paper" and it was a very interesting read. The anon P2P community is pretty close knit & if any genious programmers in the audience think they can improve on the formula, I'm sure they'd welcome your input & you're always welcome to start your own program on sourceforge.

Oh, and the supposed "artist" who never sees a royalty check, in all likelyhood would never have seen a royalty check anyway. The record company owns the copyright to the CD you're downloading and gathers the lion's share of the revenue. The artist has to go platinum (typically) just to break even & even then the record company will screw them out of every last dime they make on top if that anyway.

So when the record companies and the RIAA use the "the artist doesn't get paid" argument, recognize it for the red herring it is and continue to fight the good fight.

www.MarkTAW.com
Monday, July 05, 2004

Cracking encryption is not  illegal when being done in the investigation of illegal activity. Also the DCMA covers encrytion schemes for copyrighted material, not IP addresses. Use of encryption to commit a crime is aggravating circumstance anyway and will only serve to increase the jail time or fines you are liable for.

Your scheme won't work anyway. Your ip address has to be decodable to people you don't know at some point or they won't be able to download your files because they won't be able to contact your server.

Working for Motown
Monday, July 05, 2004

Guys, if the artists don't ever get paid and are screwede out of every last cent by the evil record companies, then how on earth do these folks make a living?

And how do some of them afford to buy houses and tour buses? if they are not getting paid at all, I don't see how that is possible. Are you saying that Elton John and Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney have some sorts of non-music related day jobs that they use to generate all their income and they just do the music as a hobby on the side?

See, you just don't make sense. The fact is that most artists get paid. If the album does not sell enough to recoup it's costs, no they don't get paid, but in that case it is the publisher that is losing the money they have invested and not the artist.

Working for Motown
Monday, July 05, 2004

The Official BitTorrent Homepage
http://bitconjurer.org/BitTorrent/

BitTorrent Economics Paper
http://bitconjurer.org/BitTorrent/bittorrentecon.pdf

www.MarkTAW.com
Monday, July 05, 2004

Statement 1: The fact is that most artists get paid.

Statement 2: If the album does not sell enough to recoup it's costs, no they don't get paid.

And at what point does the artist recoup their costs? Are you seriously telling me that the majority of atists who are signed to a record deal "make it" to the point where they're making money?

www.MarkTAW.com
Monday, July 05, 2004

<Working for Motown>
Guys, if the artists don't ever get paid and are screwede out of every last cent by the evil record companies, then how on earth do these folks make a living?
</Working for Motown>

  Live Shows

 

Ricardo Antunes da Costa
Monday, July 05, 2004

Working for Motown, record companies aren't 100% "evil"; simply they act like any large corp. Kind of dumb, because large companies are hard to manage. I'm sure they have bright execs, but those are the unhappy ones. ;)

Why not look at Janis Ian's perspective? A songwriter who did quite some research.
http://www.janisian.com/article-internet_debacle.html

(If you want more, here's:)
http://www.janisian.com/article-fallout.html
http://interviews.slashdot.org/interviews/02/09/23/133228.shtml?tid=141

Tayssir John Gabbour
Monday, July 05, 2004

"Your ip address has to be decodable to people you don't know at some point or they won't be able to download your files because they won't be able to contact your server."

I think it would work if both the client and server portions of the P2P app could generate fake traffic. Check this out: http://www.slyck.com/news.php?story=518

Wayne
Monday, July 05, 2004

(The second question asked by the interviewer is what I was interested in.)

Wayne
Monday, July 05, 2004

> Are you seriously telling me that the majority of atists who are signed to a record deal "make it" to the point where they're making money?

On our label which shall remain nameless, over 80% of active artists recieve some sort of royalties during the course of their contract.

Yes, it is true that for many artists, there is simply not enough interest in their work for it to be worth it going with a record company. Even for those folks though there are many options, such as self publishing.

Regarding touring -- very few tours recoup their costs. The Grateful Dead is an exception, but in general your chance of making back your expenses of touring are much much less than the chances of making back your expenses of making an album.

The frequently stated canard that artists don't deserve money for their albums because they make a fortune touring is absolutely absurd.

Working for Motown
Monday, July 05, 2004

This is another good article on artists & record companies

Courtney Love does the math
By Courtney Love,  June 14, 2000
http://dir.salon.com/tech/feature/2000/06/14/love/index.html

www.MarkTAW.com
Monday, July 05, 2004

"On our label which shall remain nameless."

Working from the specific to the general isn't great logic. q.v. I don't have a problem, so you can't have one
http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=158570

www.MarkTAW.com
Monday, July 05, 2004

How much of this is simply a vicious cycle? And can we break it?

New CDs are too expensive => people download, record companies lose sales => New CDs get even MORE expensive => people download even more => etc.

Given that kazaa is very far from ideal (slow, poor quality of downloads, ties up your computer), might it be possible to arrive at a price for new CDs where enough people would happily buy them rather than download them, and the recording industry's revenues would actually increase despite the lower unit price?

Tracy
Monday, July 05, 2004

<Working for Motown>
The frequently stated canard that artists don't deserve money for their albums because they make a fortune touring is absolutely absurd.
</Working for Motown>

  No one said artists *don't deserve* money from their albums, we're just claiming that they just *don't get* it.

 

Ricardo Antunes da Costa
Monday, July 05, 2004

"I think it would work if both the client and server portions of the P2P app could generate fake traffic."

This is what Invisible IRC does.
http://www.invisiblenet.net/iip/aboutMain.php

"Chaffed traffic to thwart traffic analysis"

Waste does this as well.

http://waste.sourceforge.net/

From the Waste software config:
Connection saturation
Enabling these options will waste (heh) a ton of bandwidth by sending random data when idle to keep your connection completely saturated (or saturated to the throttling limits above). This can be used for security.

www.MarkTAW.com
Monday, July 05, 2004

I am kind of with Mr Motown a little bit here (but don't get carried away).

The recording industry has always been like the VC industry - a few big acts make the money and subsidise the rest of the program.

Like the VCs, the record companies do pay artists things like sign on fees and the like to stop them from starving, paying rent and meeting the bills for, ahem, fruit and flowers.

Big stars, of course, get paid lots of money, but the money can be illusory. For example, some of these mega contracts have quite a few clauses in them about paybacks or retentions etc. The contract might be 50 mill, but the devil is in the detail.

All those tour expenses are met by the promoter of the tour and it is up to him to work out how to make sure he does not spend too much in keeping the band happy. Many times the band will pay for all the excess out of their own pocket - how else do mega stars get so poor? It ain't the dry cleaning bills.

Artists lower down the food chain don't make so much money, as the record companies work on the basis of "catch the buyer hungry and always make him wait". An artist has a cheque for 200k waved in front of them, but only in return for the rights on the next album. Artist then finds out how little money 200k can be.

Just like startups and VCs.

Many artisist actually make more money on t-shirt sales than the royalties.

A really interesting read about the money men is David Crosby's interview on PBS:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/music/interviews/crosby.html

.. particularly interesting about how record companies screw people on sales figures and audit processes.

Like most mega industries (VCs again), they have been figuring out how to make more money without so much risk. Me too rules. Cue, the boy band, R&B star etc. Very little risk, pressing some marketing buttons and out comes the fast food of entertainment.

Like the burgers, they wonder why we don't buy so much of it anymore. And its not just the pirating.

In a way, the pirating is forcing efficiencies into the bloated music industry (in the same way Wal-Mart has forced American suppliers to drastically increase their productivity in order to cut costs). 

We kinda get worried about Wal-Mart and we should also be a bit worried about the pirates too. The pirates are not peacenik revolutionaries making the world a better place. They are just a bunch of suburban joes who do not want to pay for stuff. Someone has to somewhere.

Respect to Motown's role in fostering genuinely great innovations in popular music, but you are running with the wolves.

I think the legal downloads are great, provided we don't get this micropayment thing Bill dreams about ("Yeah, two cents everytime you listen to a song - you rent it").

Hopefully, it will find a way of once more encouraging innovation. The big record companies won't do it.

Patrick FitzGerald
Monday, July 05, 2004

I agree that record companies are like Venture Capital firms backing artists to see which will be the most profitable, and then completely dropping the ones that aren't, ruining them for life because they no longer own their songs or have the right to appear on television or on the radio without the record company's consent.

Just don't tell me that downloading music is stealing from the artists when they don't even own the copyright to the song anymore!

www.MarkTAW.com
Monday, July 05, 2004

The problem is that "the cat is out of the bag" already. However, just because a few million people take major advantage of free downloads I don't think that we should let laws like this: http://news.com.com/2100-1027_3-5244796.html come into effect (banning P2P file sharing).

Personally, I am down with the $0.99 download as long as I can still record from the radio and I can still do everything with my downloads that I could with a normal CD (i.e. copy it for a friend (NOT distribute it on a network!), make backups and encode into other formats.)

Wayne
Monday, July 05, 2004

MarkTaw,

I've seen your blog. I understand and sympathize that your band was never able to make a living. But you need to understand that it is because your work isn't any good - it's just more of the same old stuff everyone is tired of listening to. That is why you failed as a musician. Your failure has nothing to do with record companies screwing you, its your own lack of talent that did you in.

And so you believe that since you can't succeed, no other mucicians should be allowed to succeed either and you openly promote music piracy. It is you who is the enemy of working musicians everywhere. It is not some record company somewhere.

Working for Motown
Monday, July 05, 2004

Hey Working for Motown,

>> I've seen your blog. I understand and sympathize that your band was never able to make a living. But you need to understand that it is because your work isn't any good

You are a consummate dick.


Monday, July 05, 2004


  Nosense.

  There's a lot of talented people that don't suceed, and it's usually because they don't play the kind of music RECORDS COMPANIES think everybody should be listening to.

  I've seen it happening a million times.  They choose a music style.  Put tons of money on it, and release a zillion of poor talented artists that play that shit.  Of course, there will be some good ones, but they're really few.

  They explore that music style for a couple of years, then come up with something new.  All the artists from the old style go to limbo.  The very good ones get to sell a few records after the boom.  Some change their styles, to make a living.  The rest just disapear from the midia.

  Wash - Rinse - Repeat

Ricardo Antunes da Costa
Monday, July 05, 2004

I can't understand why the buisness doesn't embrace it bigtime. It seems like there are attempts in the us, but here in sweden I've seen nothing of the kind that allows me to download songs for a dollar.

I download alot of my music, but it's mostly indie-rock, and many of these artists actually recommend people to download their stuff. They make the most part of what little money they earn touring, selling gear etc.

If I could, I'd more than happily just send 10 bucks to the artist and download the tracks than go via a recording company...

Incidentially, this topic has been bothering me for a while cause I recently bought a minidisc (sony netmd something) to record rehersals etc for my band digital all the way, but it seems I can't transfer files from the md to my computer that aren't encoded with "atrac3", which can only be done on the computer, resulting in that the md disallows me access to files I have the copyright to. Anyone knows of a way to circumvent this?

Q
Monday, July 05, 2004

>Personally, I am down with the $0.99 download as long >as I can still record from the radio and I can still do >everything with my downloads that I could with a normal >CD

Me too. By extension, I'd also be down with the $10-$12 CD. I kinda like having the actual object with the nicely-printed cover, that somebody will inherit someday like I inherited my parents LPs :) And it's fun to go to a real store sometimes!

Tracy
Monday, July 05, 2004

Wow, now that's what I call an absolutely out of left field Ad Hominem attack. Further proof that "Working For Motown" can't carry on an intelligent or logical conversation. Would you care to actually address any of the point I made, or would you like to sling some more mud? You know it just rained in New York, I'm sure there's plenty of it lying around.

Out of curiousity, did you visit it today just so you can make this attack, or had you seen it previously & were storing up all that negative energy inside for just such an opportunity?

As for your arguments regarding my relationship with the recording industry, whether real or imagined by you, I'll let you continue to keep & draw your own conclusions as you please.

About 2 or 3 posts ago I knew I should have jumped ship on this sinking thread because I saw the underhanded arguments he was making. I guess next time I'll listen to my gut and ignore assholes like that.

www.MarkTAW.com
Monday, July 05, 2004

"New CDs are too expensive => people download, record companies lose sales => New CDs get even MORE expensive => people download even more => etc."

The cost of CD's has absolutely no relationship to P2P (other than perhaps the record companies using P2P as an excuse to raise prices)

And I think it's comical for Motown to say Mark has no talent when Britney is only now descending from the throne created by her record company.

Philo

Philo
Monday, July 05, 2004

Lol. Thanks Philo.

Wasn't it a fact that the record companies kept increasing their revenue stream from record sales while in the height of the P2P bubble & while pursuing all sorts of legal action against all sorts of people? Now that the record companies are catching up with the rest of the economy & sales are slowing down, they're continuing to blame P2P now for their sales dip, even though I think p2P is less popular now than it was before.

Reference:
http://traffic.alexa.com/graph?w=379&h=216&r=2y&u=kazaa.com/&u=

I would back up my other statements as well, but I don't recall where I read them.

www.MarkTAW.com
Monday, July 05, 2004

>The cost of CD's has absolutely no relationship to P2P (other than perhaps the record companies using P2P as an excuse to raise prices)

Deep down, I think that's right, Philo.

I think in most cases the tradeoff is between downloading a song or not having the song at all, not between downloading it or purchasing it.

Either way it ends up the same to the record companies.

Tracy
Monday, July 05, 2004

How easy is it for the RIAA to get a user's IP address while using BitTorrent?

Why doesn't the RIAA go after BitTorrent users?  Why only Kazaa users?

14 Month Lurker
Monday, July 05, 2004

I wonder why most artists just don't sell their music direct from their websites now. Cutting out the middleman. I guess air play and promotion make up a decent amount of their publicity, but a nice blog from the artist would probably go along way towards promotion.

Matthew Lock
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Working for Motown

What kind of a jackass are you who cannot carry on a discussion with personal attack? I am really really sorry for your employer.

RIAA has some adjustment issues.
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

with -> without

RIAA has some adjustment issues.
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Matthew, I have my own theories on that. They mostly involve people viewing a record contract about the same way they view winning the lottery. I.e. - all my problems will be solved, and I get to play all day (pun intended).

I'm sure there are plenty of people selling their music through their websites, MP3.com is filled with them (or was last time I checked a few years ago). CD Baby, and even CafePress now are other places you can self publish (and not have to worry about actually shipping the CD's yourself).

Some people probably earn a decent living by touring & selling CD's & other merchandise. Others are chasing the idea of fame & fortune. Just look at American Idol and you'll see what the prospect of fame does to people.

www.MarkTAW.com
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

You should read the BitTorrent whitepaper & decide for yourself how hard it would be go determine someone's IP address there.

Kazaa was a large, well known, and widely used target.

www.MarkTAW.com
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

They Might Be Giants just opened their own private record store.

http://www.theymightbegiants.com/



I don't wanna read the Bit Torrent White Paper.  Someone else please summarize it for me.  PLEASE!

How easy is it to get an IP address from a user on a Bit Torrent?


Tuesday, July 06, 2004

@ : (blank)
Very easy. When you download a file you can see the IP's of all the other peers connected to you in a nice fine list. (Click on advanced)

Peter Monsson
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

The argument that record companies are simply publishers and promoters of musicians falls down every time a band creates an album with a supposed brilliant record deal and discovers every cent and billable second that has ever happened since the day the band or artist breathed together with the record company is down to them and that it comes off the top and not the bottom.

Ask most musicians with deals either now in the past about royalty statements and be prepared for a long and extended rant.

There was a cliché in the music industry about artists being ripped off by their agents/managers and so on.  The truth is it was largely the record companies.

Simon Lucy
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Working for Motown, you wishin' you handn't come to this thread?

RP
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Take working for motown out back and do a number six on him.

Tapiwa
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

It was rude of me to bring Mark's lack of musical creativity into the discussion and I apologize. As he suggested, it may not be his frustration at being a failed musician that causes him to lash out at the industry and I should not have assumed that that was his primary motivating factor.

However, the arguments you folks bring up against the music industry justifying your thievery are without merit. Are there dishonest record executives, lawyers and agents? I don't doubt it in the least! Why there are even dishonest car mechanics and polliticians, it seems like every industry has some bad apples.

Going from a few specific cases of rip-offs to making the statement taht no musicians are paid for their work and all are scammed by the industry and none of the money paid for CDs goes to the arists is just bullshit of the most absurd type. You guys know that what you are saying is utter crap and you should be ashamed of yourselves for f*cking over working musicians by stealing their work the way you do.

For shame!

Working for Motown
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

> "I think the tactics being used by the RIAA to prosecute users are a form of economic terrorism."

Lets be realistic here.  Consumers are performing illegal acts copying copyrighted works.  Whats wrong with the RIAA going after the people who are violate these laws?

(There are issues regarding the subpoena's, but I think they have been fixed with recent judgements now requiring john-doe subpoenas.  Apologies if I'm totally off legal base here, IANAL).

What I dislike are the alternatives:
- RIAA tolls on products such as blank music cds. 
- Legislation against products that enable copying.  So long as product can be used to do good (such as fair use copying), it should be legit.  They say guns don't kill people, people kill people.  Well, p2p doesn't copy files, people copy files.
- Similarly, legislation against reverse engineering.
- RIAA going after innovative ideas such as mp3.com's old service that required authentication before streaming bits.

These lousy alternatives affect all consumers - not just those who perform illegal acts. 

josReader
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Motown, your industry is tiny in comparison to ours, and I neither pirate nor purchase from you.

I fully understand that people would be crucified on here for similar claims. Fine; you can claim hypocrisy, and there may be some extent where you're right. (Not exactly, but there's certainly some truth.) But your given arguments are just religious and assume too much. I'm sure there are good arguments from your camp, but you're not offering them.

Tayssir John Gabbour
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

"it may not be his frustration at being a failed musician"

Damn. You just can't control it, can you? How do you define "failed"?

And again you're projecting your own perception of what's being said here into what's actually being said. Nobody is using the anal rape of musicians by the music industry to justify copyright infringement; we're just saying don't you try to say you're persecuting people using Kazaa on behalf of the artists - you are doing it to control digital music and to bolster the corporate bottom line. Nothing wrong with that; it's required by law that corporations do so. Just be honest about your motivation.

My opposition to the Kazaa lawsuits is as stated above - they are, in all reality, frivolous suits because based on the methods used by RIAA they have *zero* chance of establishing grounds of proceeding with a copyright infringement claim.

Philo

Philo
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Here's an interesting article that just came out. Do you think anything like this could happen outside of latin america or do you think that piracy does not affect western acts?

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=2026&e=8&u=/latimests/rampantpiracythreatenstosilencelatinmusicindustry

Rampant Piracy Threatens to Silence Latin Music Industry

Tue Jul 6, 7:55 AM ET
    
By Marla Dickerson Times Staff Writer

MEXICO CITY — They have been compared to the Rolling Stones for their longevity and legions of loyal fans. They've sold tens of millions of albums in Latin America. Now the seminal Mexican rock group El Tri is getting dumped by its record label. The reason: Bootleggers are the only ones profiting.

Piracy is so rife in Mexico that the vast majority of the band's album sales are illegal CDs peddled on the street. So although most anyone over the age of 13 knows the words to "Que Viva El Rock and Roll," El Tri and its label, a division of Warner Music Group, rarely see a peso from those recordings.

"If we play somewhere on a Friday night … by Monday it will be [for sale] in the subway," said Alex Lora, the gravel-voiced front man for El Tri. "It is becoming a way of life."

El Tri may be among the first big Mexican acts to lose a contract to piracy, but it may not be the last. Entertainment bootlegging is sweeping the globe, but nowhere has the landscape changed more quickly than in Mexico. An estimated six out of every 10 CDs sold are believed to be bootlegs, vaulting Mexico to the No. 3 spot worldwide, behind China and Russia.

But unlike those nations, Mexico has a long-established commercial industry that is getting pummeled in the process.

Music retailers are closing their doors, as sales last year plunged to $347 million, down 25% from 2002, dropping Mexico out of the world's top 10 music markets for the first time in years. Recording industry employment has fallen by nearly half since 2000, and the government is losing more than $100 million annually in tax revenue.

Labels are culling their rosters of established acts and signing fewer new ones. Pirates have robbed musicians of so many sales that the Mexican industry last year slashed the standard for granting gold records by one-third to just 50,000 copies — one-tenth of the U.S. threshold.

"It's an economic crisis" for the industry, said Fernando Hernandez, director of the Mexican Assn. of Phonogram and Videogram Producers, known as Amprofon.

But Mexican consumers say record companies could learn a thing or two from pirates, who provide entertainment that's fast, cheap, reliable and customized. Bootleggers have been known to provide special orders and speedy delivery to rival anything from the studios.

(etc etc, see link for more)

Stan Hedderman
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

The biggest problem I see right now is that while one can get and view a users IP address, and then contact the ISP. The next set of steps is where legal action is going fall down:

    Contact user, and inform them that they have a large collection of music.

You see, right now, the current P2P systems do NOT allow open sharing and UPLOAING of music to the shared folders.

(to be fair..this feature is creeping in as we speak)

When this update share becomes a common component of the P2P file share systems, then the cat is out of bag?


Why?

Lets assume I was just contacted by the RIAA and informed that I have a large collection of music on the net. I can simply state back that I was NOT aware of this music, since any songs, or files that I ORIGINALY shared were not copyrighted works. You see, right now, if I have a whole whack of music, it is OBVIUOUS that I PUT that music up for share.  (I am responsible, and rightly so liable for breaking copyrights when doing this). It is a REASONABLE assumption that the owner of the computer (or kid) put that music for share. How else right now can that music get on the file share? The user/ower of that compuer will be (and should be) held respnsole for this criminal action.

However, when the shared folders are able to contain UPLOADED music by OTHER people, then I instantly have the same rights as a ISP provider. You can NOT assume liability on my part (just like the ISP cannot be held liable for commercial web sites content UNITL informed of wrong doing). Hence, you can NOT state that I put copyright music on the file share. The ONLY thing you can assume is that I am sharing disk space on the web. At this point, you then would have to inform me that I have a whole bunch (or a little bunch) of copyrighted material and I must remove the music. However, I HAVE to be informed and it CAN NOT be assumed that I put that music there (as is the assumption now!).

If one week later, 10,000 more songs appear, then I would have to be informed again, since is was NOT ME who put the music there! (and, if I did, it would be next to impossbile to prove that I did).

So, once these systems allow OTHER people to upload music to my file shares, the ability to enforce the law here is not going to exist. The laws will exist, but enforcement will not.

I can’t be sued, or held liable for music that I did NOT download, and share. I can ONLY be informed that others are putting music on my file share, and that I must remove it. If it appears again one week later, I have to be informed again.

Opps…how did those 5000 songs get there on my hard drive…oh..must be people uploading music. I did not know this. I can delete it, and one week later…their might be 6000 songs..but I did not put them there.

So, just like ISP’s, I will have to be informed, and NO assumption of libility or wrong doing can be made here since the fact of me putting the music on the file share is not me anymore.

I just can’t see how this will be enforceable.


Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
kallal@msn.com
http://www.attcanada.net/~kallal.msn

Albert D. Kallal
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Oddly that article about El Tri (or at least the part of it posted here) made no mention of P2P or MP3's. Here it's bootleggers who are taking a piece of the pie. It would seem to me that bootleggers are much easier to track down & prosecute than anyone who's ever downloaded an MP3. Nab the guy on the subway & find out where he got the CD's, and then go to that guy, etc. until you find the guy with the recording equipment, and the small CD manufacturing plant they're churning these things out in.

A possible "tactic" the RIAA could use is selling CD's like magazines, and in the same places. I.e. newspaper vendors on streetcorners & subway platforms.

Just last night I was having a conversation with my girlfriend about the proliferation of cell phone stores. There are more cell phone stores than music stores or DVD retailers. In fact, 90% of the time if I want to buy a CD I'm likely to go to a place that sells CD players, but in today's day & age they're small and almost consumable, so why not buy them like other consumables - corner stores I'm likely to hit on my way to or from work while thinking about how boring my commute is.

"I want a coffee and an Egg McMuffin."
"Would you also like the latest Britney Spears single, I can download it to your iPod in a second."
"Sure."
"Okay sir, your total is $3.50, here's your receipt and please point your iPod at the blinking dot on the cash register."

====

In this whole game of the RIAA vs. The World, neither party is really clean. By the law, the RIAA is mostly right - people only download music they don't have, the music they do have, they encode themselves, unless it's on vinyl or something. Since the record companies own the copyright & make all the money, they're the ones pursuing legal action against people who share these songs online. It's not an artists group; it's the recording industry.

People feel morally okay in downloading music because the record companies have a long & well-known & well-documented history of ripping off artists. I remember one famous story of a recording industry executive in the 50's and 60's who appeased black recording artists buy buying them Cadillacs. Even though the Cadillac was worth less than 1/10th of what the artist was owed, it was such a status symbol, they didn't care, they took it and let him pocket the other 90+%.

How bad do you feel downloading the latest Courtney Love album when she herself said in an interview that she doesn't mind if people download her songs - she's not getting paid for them whether you buy them or not.

"How dare they behave in such a horrified manner in regard to copyright law when their entire industry is based on piracy? When Mister Label Head Guy, whom my lawyer yelled at me not to name, got caught last year selling millions of "cleans" out the back door. "Cleans" being the records that aren't for marketing but are to be sold. Who the fuck is this guy? He wants to save a little cash so he fucks the artist and goes home? Do they fire him? Does Chuck Phillips of the LA Times say anything? No way! This guy's a source! He throws awesome dinner parties! Why fuck with the status quo? Let's pick on Lars Ulrich instead because he brought up an interesting point!"

"Last November, a Congressional aide named Mitch Glazier, with the support of the RIAA, added a "technical amendment" to a bill that defined recorded music as "works for hire" under the 1978 Copyright Act.
...
Under the 1978 Copyright Act, artists could reclaim the copyrights on their work after 35 years. If you wrote and recorded "Everybody Hurts," you at least got it back to as a family legacy after 35 years. But now, because of this corrupt little pisher, "Everybody Hurts" never gets returned to your family, and can now be sold to the highest bidder.
...
Stealing our copyright reversions in the dead of night while no one was looking, and with no hearings held, is piracy.
...
It's piracy when the RIAA lobbies to change the bankruptcy law to make it more difficult for musicians to declare bankruptcy. Some musicians have declared bankruptcy to free themselves from truly evil contracts. TLC declared bankruptcy after they received less than 2 percent of the $175 million earned by their CD sales. That was about 40 times less than the profit that was divided among their management, production and record companies. Toni Braxton also declared bankruptcy in 1998. She sold $188 million worth of CDs, but she was broke because of a terrible recording contract that paid her less than 35 cents per album. Bankruptcy can be an artist's only defense against a truly horrible deal and the RIAA wants to take it away."

- http://www.cdbaby.net/articles/courtney_love.html

"Multiplatinum artists like TLC ("Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg," "Waterfalls" and "No Scrubs") and Toni Braxton ("Unbreak My Heart" and "Breathe Again") have been forced to declare bankruptcy because their recording contracts didn't pay them enough to survive.

Corrupt recording agreements forced the heirs of Jimi Hendrix ("Purple Haze," "All Along the Watchtower" and "Stone Free") to work menial jobs while his catalog generated millions of dollars each year for Universal Music.

Florence Ballard from the Supremes ("Where Did Our Love Go," "Stop in the Name of Love" and "You Keep Me Hangin' On" are just 3 of the 10 #1 hits she sang on) was on welfare when she died.

Collective Soul earned almost no money from "Shine," one of the biggest alternative rock hits of the 90s when Atlantic paid almost all of their royalties to an outside production company.

Merle Haggard ("I Threw Away the Rose," "Sing Me Back Home" and "Today I Started Loving You Again") enjoyed a string of 37 top-ten country singles (including 23 #1 hits) in the 60s and 70s. Yet he never received a record royalty check until last year when he released an album on the indie punk-rock label Epitaph."
- http://www.gerryhemingway.com/piracy2.html

Draw your own conclusions & follow your conscience.

* http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/cool/giants/

www.MarkTAW.com
Wednesday, July 07, 2004

While we're sparring on a case-by-case basis:

"Are you saying that Elton John and Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney have some sorts of non-music related day jobs that they use to generate all their income and they just do the music as a hobby on the side?"

“Even the most successful recording artists in history (The Beatles, The Eagles, Nirvana, Eminem) have been paid a fraction of the money they deserved from sales of their records. This is a very big and very important project and we're in the early days.”
- http://www.gerryhemingway.com/piracy2.html

By the way, Michael Jackson, a supposed friend of Paul McCartney's bought the royalties to the Beatles Catalogue. Hollywood Records (a subsidiary of Disney) owns the rights to the Queen catalog. So it would seem that Michael Jackson does have a day job - buying up the rights to other people's music.

====

"We don't want to sue everyone. We want people to pay for music. Suing some of the worst offenders is a way to get publicity out that we are serious about protecting our IP."

Yes, as we've mentioned, it's YOUR intellectual property, not the artists.

====

"On our label which shall remain nameless, over 80% of active artists recieve some sort of royalties during the course of their contract."

Define "active" and "some sort of royalties."

====

"And so you believe that since you can't succeed, no other mucicians should be allowed to succeed either and you openly promote music piracy. It is you who is the enemy of working musicians everywhere. It is not some record company somewhere. "

I believe I've answered this adequately, and for the record, I don't condone music piracy, nor have I told anyone to download MP3's illegally, and I'm not the enemy of working musicians everywhere.

Some quotes from my website:

"But the way I really advocate in my day to day life is if you're a musician, don't go for that record contract. If you don't play by their rules, they can't screw you. If enough musicians opt for grassroots old school promotions that doesn't depend on the current industry and prove it can be done, then it will prove that musicians don't need the music industry to 'make it.'"

"Once upon a time music was a communal thing that happened when two or more people got together and wanted to celebrate, or pass the time. Now music is packaged and sold to us. We believe that only a few talented or skilled people are worthy. We, the unwashed masses cannot possibly master the guitar or keyboard or drum. GET OVER IT. Pick up a guitar and learn to play. It's not that hard. Within a month you can learn a handful of chords and play some of your favorite songs."
- http://www.marktaw.com/blog/AnOpenLetterToMusiciansEv.html

Tell me again how I'm the enemy of working musicians everywhere. I never once said "Don't see a broadways show" or "Don't go to your favorite club" or "Hire a DJ for your wedding" - which are the 3 places most of working musicians I know earn their money. Nor did I ever tell people to download MP3's.

====

"Your failure has nothing to do with record companies screwing you, its your own lack of talent that did you in."

Actually, the only people I've talked to at record companies were friends of friends, and I never once passed a demo tape along to them. I never had any problem with any of these people. One record label president, who shall go unnamed, was dating my sister, but never once did he screw me.

"And so you believe that since you can't succeed, no other mucicians should be allowed to succeed either and you openly promote music piracy."

Again, I'm not promoting music piracy, if you read my website carefully you would see that I'm promoting alternative means of publicizing & selling music that don't involve record labels.

====

"Going from a few specific cases of rip-offs to making the statement taht no musicians are paid for their work and all are scammed by the industry and none of the money paid for CDs goes to the arists is just bullshit of the most absurd type. You guys know that what you are saying is utter crap and you should be ashamed of yourselves for f*cking over working musicians by stealing their work the way you do."

Hold on here. I'll also admit that it's extreme to use extreme terms - no, all, and none are obviously false. I also notice that you mention that people are stealing their "work" (as in for hire) and not their property.

I'll also refer you back to your own statement:

"On our label which shall remain nameless, over 80% of active artists recieve some sort of royalties during the course of their contract."

Where you ask us to "Go... from a few specific cases [to the general, even though it] is just bullshit of the most absurd type."

====

Again, for the record, I'm not condoning the illegal copying of music, and I'm no more "lashing out" at the music industry than you're lashing out at me. I'm educating, typically other musicians, about what to expect if they're interested in getting a recording contract. There's nothing that I say that can't be found in a million other places, like books on music law or even books written by executives at VH1.

Nor am I saying that most people who work for record labels are failed musicians who are most likely projecting their own inadequacies on to someone else and living vicariously through the "artists" on their label.

BTW, this thread has just become interesting enough, I'll link to it from my website.

www.MarkTAW.com
Wednesday, July 07, 2004

----"over 80% of active artists recieve some sort of royalties during the course of their contract."------

So the other 20% played for free?

Record companies accounts are notoriously corrupt because artists have written them an open check. They can charge the expenses they like, necessary or not.

And if all record companies went bust then there would be no more payola.

So pirate all the music you can to stop illegal payments to radio stations.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Nobody is ever going to be able to stop payola. I have a product & I'm willing to pay to get it mentioned (played) on air. Someone is willing to take money to do it.

Nuff said. Everybody knows by now that the record industry & music radio & television are in bed.

For anyone interested in the process of marketing music & culture, this is extremely interesting viewing:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/cool/

www.MarkTAW.com
Thursday, July 08, 2004

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