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Education Networking Government The Courts News

Nonprofit Group Sends Filesharing Propaganda To Students 266

Posted by Soulskill
from the comics-without-comedy dept.
palegray.net writes "The National Center for State Courts, a nonprofit organization, has sent file-sharing propaganda to thousands of students. The supposedly 'educational' materials, presented in the form of a comic strip, are intended to frighten students with gross exaggerations of the legal consequences of sharing music online (lose your scholarship to college, go to jail for two years, and more). From the article: '"The Case of Internet Piracy," however, reads like the Recording Industry Association of America's public relations playbook: Download some songs, go to jail and lose your scholarship. Along the way, musicians will file onto the bread lines. "The purpose is basically to educate kids — middle school and high school-aged about how the justice system operates and about what really goes on in the courtroom as opposed to what you see on television," said Lorri Montgomery, the center's communications director.' I'm not encouraging anyone to break any laws, but this is ridiculous. What's truly discouraging is the fact that several judges appear to be in full support of this sort of 'education.' The propaganda material is available in PDF form, and it lists the judges and others involved in its creation. Wired's post has a summary of the story (which is good, since the story is awful), and Techdirt notes a couple of the legal inaccuracies.
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Nonprofit Group Sends Filesharing Propaganda To Students

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  • by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <ray.beckermanlegal@com> on Friday August 22, 2008 @06:05PM (#24713393) Homepage Journal
    The best coverage of this has been on p2pnet.net [p2pnet.net], where Jon Newton has been trying to get answers out of these people as to (1) where this drivel comes from, (2) who is responsible for it, and (3) when is it going to be corrected or withdrawn? See, e.g, here [p2pnet.net], , and [p2pnet.net]here [p2pnet.net].

    But this one [p2pnet.net] was my favorite.
    • who needs to exaggerate the truth much anyway. If you want "fair and balanced" just put up slashdot articles. If you share on P2P it's not the jail that gets you, it's your parents getting their asses sued for thousands of dollars. Even "winning" costs $10K+ and you won't see anything back. Just read what kind of claims professional lawyers are making, dirty court tricks putting the case in hard to get to courts and requesting ex parte decisions from judges before you even get the "settlement" letter... T

  • Courts are Public (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xstonedogx (814876) <xstonedogx@gmail.com> on Friday August 22, 2008 @06:05PM (#24713401)

    Take the kids to a court if you want them educated about how courts work.

    • Re:Courts are Public (Score:5, Interesting)

      by bigredradio (631970) on Friday August 22, 2008 @06:20PM (#24713529) Homepage Journal
      I think that is their intent. Except the RIAA wants them to be defendants instead of spectators.
      • I think that is their intent. Except the RIAA wants them to be defendants instead of spectators.

        I'd say they want them to be spectacles as well as defendants. This is all about publicity, when you get right down to it, and there's nothing like a public ass-whippin' to help keep the plebs in line. Granted, it works both ways: sometimes the RIAA is the one walking funny for a few days.
      • by macdaddy (38372)
        Lets be clear about this. RIAA doesn't want the students to be defendants. They want their parent's check book to be the defendant. Or the student's financial aide check to be the defendant. They don't give a shit about educating the kids. They only want the payout.
    • by Original Replica (908688) on Friday August 22, 2008 @07:15PM (#24714067) Journal
      Take the kids to a court if you want them educated about how courts work.

      As it was pointed out, several Judges support this scare campaign. Why? Because if kids are educated to believe that Judges can rightly enact these "gross exaggerations of the legal consequences of sharing music online (lose your scholarship to college, go to jail for two years, and more)." Then slowly, as more and more people believe that lie the more power the Judges will have and the lie will become the truth. Look at every other power grab in recent American politics, it starts with a gross overstatement of authority, follows with stalling if pressed with the real limits of authority, wait until a different issue gains the spot light, act on your overstated authority as "an already established power". I'm sure the RIAA has a few pet judges (even if many Judges are starting to come around to common sense) and I'm sure the RIAA would love to have the authority to imprison copyright infringers or at least make them lose their scholarships (that aught to teach these schools to stand up to the RIAA) But none of that can happen if children are well educated on the proper processes and limits of different government functionaries.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 22, 2008 @06:14PM (#24713469)

    Can someone explain on that?

    Also how is it legal to use legal institutions to spread a fake message?

    And now we are on the topic this is not the definition of culture of fear?

    • by Dan541 (1032000)

      What legal institution?

  • get em young (Score:3, Insightful)

    by timmarhy (659436) on Friday August 22, 2008 @06:15PM (#24713475)
    well you have to give them points for effort. no one in their right mind that's an adult is believing their nonesense so the obvious step is to get to them before they have a chance to form thier own opinions.

    i always find targeting children such an insidious method of control, i shouldn't be suprised at this move really.

    • Re:get em young (Score:5, Interesting)

      by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Friday August 22, 2008 @06:49PM (#24713819) Journal

      Actually it doesn't work on kids either. They sent some similar crap out to my oldest nephews school last year,and he handed me one to show me when I went to pick him up. When I asked him and his friends(most of which were females,I swear that boy's a magnet for them) thought about it they all said in unison "Greedy Pigs!". I just smiled,wiped a fake tear away,and said "What wonderfully smart little subversives you are! I'm so proud!".

      The simple fact is today's kids are not only smart,but cynical as hell. They also have iPods. When I went to pick up my nephew it was an equal mix of iPod,Creative,and Sandisk MP3 players,so rich and poor all had 'em. They see that to buy songs on iTunes it would cost 40K to fill it up [arstechnica.com] so no wonder so many of them share files. And instead of trying to find ways to make it more affordable for kids,what does the RIAA do? One of their own with a straight face gets on the stand and says ripping your OWN CD isn't fair use [eff.org]. So it isn't like they have been sneaky with their greed. They see these companies making record profits,yet the price never seems to go down,why should they care if the greedy bastards get ripped off?

      I personally am quite happy the new generation is so cynical. They don't believe ANYTHING just because someone in authority says it is so. It is nice to see the newer generations seem to have a lot more wolves and a lot less sheep. Maybe their lack of gullibility will help turn it around when they get old enough to get their own power. But as always this is my 02c,YMMV

      • by qw0ntum (831414)
        It's nice that the new generation doesn't easily bend to authority, but I think it's not acts of conscious questioning as just plain old indifference. My experience with people in my generation and in the socio-economic circles in which I associate is that we don't really care about all that much.

        At best, folks may think this draconian copyright stuff is stupid because RIAA and judges said something. Great. But, if EFF had sent out brochures talking about how important fair use rights are, I'm not sure ho
        • by monxrtr (1105563)

          I think everyone is turning into a vulture looking for a lawsuit meal ticket. More and more millions of taxpayer dollars go toward paying for government wrongdoing. Absurd fines and incessant harassment is quickly erasing any indifference. Enforcement of all sorts of laws is quickly spiraling out of cost reach. These laws are double edged swords, and breeding contempt for law generally.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        You seem to think that if someone makes more than a certain amount of money when they sell something that they don't deserve to receive any compensation as a result, even though you still use their product? I don't understand your rationalization (although I do see it all over the place).

        Teaching an entire generation that if someone charges more than you think is fair it is appropriate and even somehow noble to steal anything you want is profoundly disturbing. This isn't even remotely close to civil disobed

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)

          I hate what the RIAA does, so I don't use their products. I like music, but I don't need it, and neither do you. Anything else is just a weak attempt at justification for getting something you want for free.

          Do you believe that turnabout is fair play? Sounds like you don't because regardless of if "someone makes more than a certain amount of money" (whatever the eff that means) copyright extensions are outright theft. When the the MAFIAA bribed congress to take from the public domain and give to the distribution cartels they stole from you, me and every resident of this country. The MAFIAA didn't need the extensions, it was just something they wanted for free.

          • What I believe is this:

            When you boycott a product, the manufacturer tries to figure out how to adapt so that the consumer starts to buy it again.

            When you steal a product, the manufacturer tries to figure out how to prosecute you.

            If their sales were down and no one was pirating their product, do you think changes would happen more quickly, or more slowly?

            It's ok to not be part of the solution. Just don't delude yourself into believing you are.

            • If their sales were down and no one was pirating their product, do you think changes would happen more quickly, or more slowly?

              Far more slowly because they would not waste so much money to shoot themselves in the foot by trying to prosecute.
              Campaigns like this one are the perfect illustration: If they didn't believe anyone was pirating, then they would not have spent the money on this campaign (and thousands of similar actions) and they would not be alienating their very best customers. Instead they would be working on ways to bring people like "back into the fold."

              It's ok to not be part of the solution. Just don't delude yourself into believing you are.

              Piracy accelerates their death spiral. You may be part of the so

              • Do you believe that turnabout is fair play?

                That question, you mean? No, I don't. This philosophy only results in a sequence of escalations where ultimately everyone loses. Reprisals don't work.

                I think you misunderstood what I wrote. The RIAA/MPAA know people are pirating, so instead of looking internally to see what is wrong with them they only see what is wrong with the people who steal it. If it were a boycott instead of a looting, they'd be desperate to increase sales, not punish their would-be customers.

                I guess I'm really arguing for evolution i

                • Re:get em young (Score:5, Insightful)

                  by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday August 22, 2008 @10:14PM (#24715243)

                  That question, you mean? No, I don't. This philosophy only results in a sequence of escalations where ultimately everyone loses. Reprisals don't work.

                  No, turnabout does not mean reprisal. Turnabout means what's good for the goose is good for the gander. It means one person cuts the cake and the other person picks the piece. Turnabout is fair play is another way to say equality.

                  I think you misunderstood what I wrote. The RIAA/MPAA know people are pirating, so instead of looking internally to see what is wrong with them they only see what is wrong with the people who steal it. If it were a boycott instead of a looting, they'd be desperate to increase sales, not punish their would-be customers.

                  I understood you perfectly. I don't WANT them to increase sales. I believe copyright is fundamentally broken. No business model based on fee-for-distribution of things that have zero cost to distribute can be successful without severely compromising society at large.

                  I don't think that when you burn everything down, something better always arises. I think fixing it is better than destroying it.

                  I don't think ANYONE believes something better ALWAYS arises. But in THIS case, the industry has already burnt down, not by pirates, but by the internet. All that's left is just inertia.

                  But mostly I'm just irritated by the see-through rationalizations people use to steal without guilt. Just because they are wrong does not mean that you aren't wrong, too.

                  Yeah, it kind of does. If one party to a contract breaks a contract, then there is no moral or ethical requirement for the other party to continue to adhere to the contract.

      • by Tuoqui (1091447)

        But as always this is my 02c,YMMV

        Maybe this would be the way for the RIAA to solve their piracy problem?

  • Bizarre (Score:3, Insightful)

    by russotto (537200) on Friday August 22, 2008 @06:15PM (#24713483) Journal

    The message I get from the comic is "Get caught pirating, save someone's home". Also that copyright violations are handled as criminal complaints in city courts (???!!!)

  • talks about the separation of the three branches of Government and about what our Founding Fathers wanted for this country.

    Would anyone by any chance have a script that will email this to every single Congressman and everyone in the Whitehouse. It's a cartoon so Bush will understand it too.

    Before modding me Flamebait, Troll, or -1 whatever please read this thread and article. [slashdot.org] Then mod away.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 22, 2008 @06:21PM (#24713549)

      It's a cartoon so Bush will understand it too.

      It's a cartoon so Bush would be willing to read it. Whether or not he'd understand it is anyone's guess.

      • by courtarro (786894)

        It's a cartoon so Bush would be willing to look at it. Whether or not he'd understand it is anyone's guess.

        Fixed that for ya.

    • by Tuoqui (1091447)

      Dont do it! At least not to the president. He's likely to take it as advice for how to deal with people the RIAA dont like (you know big media is a big contributor to his last 2 elections!)

  • by ThanatosMinor (1046978) on Friday August 22, 2008 @06:20PM (#24713533)
    Is anyone else reminded of Chick tracts [chick.com]? Share files and you go to hell...
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      You may not have noticed, but this comic was actually published by Jack Chick. You see, back in the 13th century, a secret society was started by the Vatican, which had the goal of weakening any sort of copyright law. Jack Chick learned about this in a well known conspiracy theory textbook which was published by someone with a degree from a diploma mill, and has decided to share the message with all the world. But there is hope! Accept Jesus as your personal savior, and copyright infringement will end!
    • I was less than a page into it before that analogy came to mind. The "good little girl" being raised by grandma who falls into a "bad crowd"...
    • Reefer Madness (Score:3, Interesting)

      Maybe I'm showing my age (no, I didn't see it when it was first shown), but this actually reminded me of Reefer Madness [wikipedia.org] .
      • by toriver (11308)

        Is it a sign of cultural change that people think of Jack Chick's twisted protestantism before Reefer Madness, or just that the internet makes the former more accessible?

        Someone needs to get Reefer Madness on torrent.

    • At least two other people thought the same thing. My first reaction was that both the artwork and the tone reminded me very much of a Chick Tract, and someone in the comments on the web site said the same thing.
  • Boston Strangler (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nymz (905908) on Friday August 22, 2008 @06:25PM (#24713573) Journal
    After reading the comic excerpts, I couldn't help but think the exaggeration sounded familiar.

    "I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone." - Jack Valenti [wikipedia.org]

    • Yeah, really. Then again, Jack Valenti was the biggest sociopath of them all, so I wasn't exactly surprised at his words.
    • by dangitman (862676)

      "I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone."

      An object of completely irrational fear? Yeah, that sounds about right.

  • Cruel Mantra? (Score:2, Informative)

    That's my favorite band too!
  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Friday August 22, 2008 @06:30PM (#24713621) Journal

    Isn't intentional misrepresentation of the law an actionable offense (perhaps in some states, but not others)?

    /P

    • Isn't intentional misrepresentation of the law an actionable offense (perhaps in some states, but not others)?

      Only when you and me do it. When big corporate types do it, it's okay.

  • this propaganda is wonderful!

    please, please, anyone who supports filesharing rights, do not stop the spread of this propaganda, it is guaranteed to backfire

    your average college student can spot a bully and a bully's rationale. if this is their argument: do what we want or we'll hurt you, your average college kid can see the obvious moral bankruptcy in that, they will see right through this, and even better than that, if this is the best argument the RIAA's puppet organization can make, everyone can see the RIAA has no more argument at all

    please folks, let them proclaim the hollowness and pointlessness of their dead end effort with this propaganda. college kids are receptive, they are listening, and they can smell bullshit. so this propaganda is GOOD for filesharing rights as it is a guaranteed backfire

    i swear, it's reefer madness for file sharing [wikipedia.org]

    Reefer Madness (aka Tell Your Children) is a 1936 exploitation film revolving around the tragic events that ensue when high school students are lured by pushers to try "marihuana": a hit and run accident, manslaughter, suicide, rape, and descent into madness all ensue. The film was directed by Louis Gasnier and starred a cast composed of mostly unknown bit actors. It was originally financed by a church group and made under the title Tell Your Children.[1][2]

    The film was intended to be shown to parents as a morality tale attempting to teach them about the dangers of cannabis use.[1] However, soon after the film was shot, it was purchased by producer Dwain Esper, who re-cut the film for distribution on the exploitation film circuit.[1] The film never gained an audience until it was rediscovered in the 1970s and gained new life as a piece of unintentional comedy among cannabis smokers.[1][3] Today, it is in the public domain in the United States and is considered a cult film.[3] It inspired a musical satire, which premiered off-Broadway in 2001, and a Showtime film, Reefer Madness, based on the musical.

  • Isn't this like that D&D comic where the girl hangs herself ?

  • by pem (1013437) on Friday August 22, 2008 @06:40PM (#24713727)
    For example, the head of it is the "Chief Justice, Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts."

    Most state bars have requirements related to acting ethically. I wonder if those responsible for this pack of lies could be handled with a bar complaint?

    It might not have a direct effect, but who knows?

  • And remember kids, marijuana grows breasts on men! It's true! I saw it in a movie in the sixties!

  • by Perseid (660451) on Friday August 22, 2008 @06:45PM (#24713783)
    Really. When you have to resort to outright lies to protect your business model, doesn't that tell you something about said business model?
  • Oh dear! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Maelwryth (982896) on Friday August 22, 2008 @06:45PM (#24713789)

    All I can think of is how relieved the grandmother was when she found out Megan wasn't pregnant!

    That being said, legal action against you isn't a laughing matter when you are young. You don't have the money, you don't know what you are doing, and you don't know where to get help.

    A parady on this would be nice. Something along the lines of,"File-sharing is not a victim-less crime..... Look at Megan."

    • by russotto (537200)

      A parady on this would be nice. Something along the lines of,"File-sharing is not a victim-less crime..... Look at Megan."

      I was thinking about something more along the lines of "So You've Decided To Steal Cable", only for file-sharing.

  • by CuteSteveJobs (1343851) on Friday August 22, 2008 @06:46PM (#24713795)

    Here we see Hollywood studios regularly rob, cheat and steal from the people that work for them:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_accounting [wikipedia.org]
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2001/aug/31/artsfeatures [guardian.co.uk]

    Here companies like News Limited trick the public into surrendering their copyright, giving them massive royalty-free photo libraries, all for the "chance of winning an iPod".
    http://blogs.smh.com.au/photographers/archives/2008/07/read_the_fine_print.html [smh.com.au]

    Orson Scott Card wrote this good piece on the hipocracy of the RIAA:
    http://www.ornery.org/essays/warwatch/2003-09-07-1.html [ornery.org]
    http://www.ornery.org/essays/warwatch/2003-09-14-1.html [ornery.org]

    And for years, we the public have had our rights progressively eroded. Well-monied rights holders throw money at congress who turn around and keep extending their copyright. This reached an artform in the "Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act", otherwise known as the "Mickey Mouse Copyright Act". Yet Disney has quite happily argued against this when it suits them.
    http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,17327,00.html [wired.com]

    Well, eat this Disney: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-mickey22-2008aug22,0,3228580,full.story [latimes.com]

    And then there was that DRM debacle... What's worst is countries like Australia spinelessly accepted the DRM laws as their own (and US patents being enforcable in Australia) all for a political photo opportunity with George W. Bush. In this way, these execessive new laws are spreading all over the world. And here we have Universities teaching one side of the Great Copyright Rights Grab. Why aren't they educating their students about both sides, instead of brainfeeding them RIAA propaganda?

    Bottom line is: Congress doesn't work for you. It works for these guys. I don't see Congress ever saying no to MPAA slush funds, and treating IP the way the Constitution intended it too. So to hell with Congress and the MPAAFIA: Stupid Laws are made to be broken. I say torrent freely and torrent often. It's our very own digital tea party.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Uther_Dark (1314195)
      Amen to that, I'm going to start by violating any copyright you have on your post, making it a text file and spreading it across the internet. Your message will be heard. :D Toss that tea...
    • In a way, we have been hitting them with a digital tea party... it's gone under different names over the years... Napster, Kazaa, Limewire.

      However, it's not like our motives were exactly pure...

  • by w0mprat (1317953) on Friday August 22, 2008 @06:49PM (#24713823)
    I'm waiting for webcomic artists to pen a rebuttal strip to this drivel. Something deliciously satirical and damning.

    *searches again* Come on, there must be someone out there going to do a mocking comic of this. Perhaps in the second frame Richard Stallman could appear out of a cloud of 1s and 0s with a tight organic hemp superhero suit and give the girl a pep talk about her freedom in the digital world while smashing her iMac into bits and wiping the hard drive platters with ionizing radiation from his nostrils... ... ?
    • by dangitman (862676)
      Yeah, this was just made for Everybody Loves Eric Raymond [geekz.co.uk]... which of course means the site will never be updated ever again... or did my saying that just cause the site to be updated? I better go check, just to be sure.
  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Friday August 22, 2008 @06:55PM (#24713869)

    For one thing the IP of 25.369.46.251 can not even be a working one as they max out at 255.

  • by k1e0x (1040314) on Friday August 22, 2008 @06:57PM (#24713891) Homepage

    But loose with the RIAA?

    Even the way they phrase the eminent domain case. "The City is trying to buy our house." lol .. no they are not buying it, they are taking it at their price and if you refuse they are just going to take it and put you in jail.

    What garbage, I hope kids are smarter than that. Unfortunately I have not a lot of faith.

    • Actually, in an eminent domain case, while you generally cannot prevent the state from taking the property in question, you can dispute the amount. If the two sides cannot come to an agreement, it goes to court, where each side presents evidence as to the value of the property in question and what the effect of the new use for the land is (e.g. less parking, drainage issues, increased traffic), and a jury (or at worst, a judge) decides how much to award. Eminent domain suits are a routine matter, usually oc

  • by nurb432 (527695) on Friday August 22, 2008 @07:19PM (#24714093) Homepage Journal

    My ass it is. Its to brainwash them so that the next generation will obey the orders of the media corporations of the world, and adjust the future laws.

  • It's time to stop (Score:3, Insightful)

    by vic-traill (1038742) on Friday August 22, 2008 @07:19PM (#24714097)
    [rant]

    I know it sounds like high moral ground apple pie crap, but at this point it is true: it's time to stop giving money to companies that treat their customers and the public so shabbily. Fuck Sony. Fuck Universal. Fuck Warner Bros. Especially, Fuck Sony - they do at least double duty.

    Find local theatre groups - go see live actors. Check out local bands - go see live music. Video games - well, I don't know what to there, but someone will have a suggestion.

    I'm not interested in buying their crap, taking their crap, listening to their crap, pirating their crap, or watching their crap.

    They're behind the people who sue. They're directly responsible for rootkit installations to support their DRM. They're behind the distribution of lies such as this material in TFA. Okay, well, we don't know the last part, but I'm guessing.

    No Más. Let's spend our money buying entertainment from people who give a shit.

    [/rant]

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ricegf (1059658)

      Well, it needn't be a crusade. The first movie I bought that wouldn't play on my computer because of DRM (and couldn't be returned because it was opened) pretty much cured me of buying movies - they intentionally designed them not to work. The first threatening letter I got from the BSA cured me of buying their proprietary software - they'll threaten me if I do. The first song I bought from iTunes, and then couldn't play on my PDA because of the DRM, cured me of buying from iTunes - their music is fragile.

  • by pem (1013437) on Friday August 22, 2008 @07:23PM (#24714123)
    And these are judges -- so make it a REAL letter, with a stamp and everything. See if you can find one locally [ncsconline.org] who knows you are a voter. Remember that, just like a big company, these people are nominally in charge, but may clueless about some of the things the organization is doing, so try to politely remind them of their obligations to the public.

    I live in Texas, so here's mine:

    Hon. Wallace B. Jefferson

    Chief Justice

    Supreme Court of Texas

    P.O. Box 12248, Capitol Station

    Austin, TX 78711

    Dear Judge Jefferson:

    Today it came to my attention that a group called the "National Center for State Courts", of which you are apparently a board member, has released a new comic book called the "Justice Case Files."

    This book is full of legal inaccuracies and misrepresentation, claiming that internet file downloading is a state crime, punishable by years in prison, when in fact, this sort of copyright infringement is a federal civil matter.

    I do not engage in copyright infringement; however, I am incensed at the malicious PR campaign undertaken by the RIAA and the MPAA, which apparently has co-opted this organization of which you are a board member. It makes the National Center for State Courts, and those associated with it, look foolish at best, mendacious at worst.

    As I'm sure you are aware, rule 8.04(a)(3) of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct requires that "a lawyer shall not ... engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation," and comment 7 on this section additionally clarifies that "Lawyers holding public office assume legal responsibilities going beyond those of other citizens. A lawyer's abuse of public office can suggest an inability to fulfill the professional role of attorney. The same is true of abuse of positions of private trust. See Rules 8.04(a)(2), 8.04(a)(3), 8.04(b)."

    Please take a look at this comic. If you find it as laughably erroneous as I think you will, please do the right thing and publicly disavow its publication and use your position on the board to try to stop it. Believe it or not, several hundred thousand influential internet users are watching this issue very closely.

    Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

    Best regards,

  • Can I ... (Score:4, Informative)

    by PPH (736903) on Friday August 22, 2008 @07:24PM (#24714131)
    ... share this with a few friends of mine?
  • by Doug52392 (1094585) on Friday August 22, 2008 @08:41PM (#24714613)

    Why not make comics that represent the sad, pathetic truth of the fucked up legal system and unconstitutionality by the RIAA and MPAA? Hell, just edit this one and add the truth to it, like change the police officer giving here the trial notice to a money-hungry lawyer in a suit and tie, with $ signs for eyes. And add in some details in the end, so it says "I say it's good I got caught because some people don't get caught, which means they are hurting the (take out music industry) the artists that make music, because now they won't be able to afford their 10th Lear jet or 4th luxury sports car or huge mansion because people are waking up and realizing that this is BS."

    Oh, and add some stuff about how the RIAA are demanding 9,250 times the "damages" the poor girl caused, and have the RIAA lawyers say "We don't give a fuck it's unconstitutional or not. This is America god damn it, and in America, we have a truly fucked up legal system where we, the legal representatives to the few conglomerates that control the entire media in the United States like Commies, can sue innocent people for not doing exactly what a certain industry wants us to do!

    This bitch should have realized that we make you PAY so much money for music for a reason, because we WANT $$$$$$$. And yet she chose to get in the way of our capitalist dream, so she must burn in Hell!!! (but since we can't go that far, let's just sue her for 9,250-20,000 times the value of the music she downloaded). I mean seriously, if the government didn't have a problem with us harassing Sweden to shut down ONE WEBSITE FOR A FEW DAYS just for hosting LINKS to copyrighted materials (The Pirate Bay), what makes you think they'll have a problem with this? "

    And, with the eminent domain BS (isn't that a thing Republicans love to do), edit the section and have the mayor come down to the house, with police officers armed with AK-47s saying "Get the fuck out of this house, it's the city's now biach! We take this house under Eminent Domain, SO GET THE FUCK OUT"

    So once we make these comics, distribute them to all the collage students that received the lying propaganda!

  • Honeypot (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sooner Boomer (96864) <sooner.boomr@gmai l . c om> on Friday August 22, 2008 @09:14PM (#24714789) Journal

    Has anyone thought of creating a honeypot full of songs THEY, and not the RIAA or their ilk own the copyright to, then busting Media Sentry when they download the songs/torrents? Seems like turnabout is fair play

  • DARE (Score:4, Interesting)

    by interstellar_donkey (200782) <(pathighgate) (at) (hotmail.com)> on Friday August 22, 2008 @09:33PM (#24714923) Homepage Journal

    For some reason, this reminds me of the DARE education I received in jr/sr high school. At the time, I didn't do drugs (nor did any of my friends . . . we were all nerds). But I had this overwhelming feeling that what they were telling me was bullshit (at least parts of it).

    "Marijuana is a gateway drug. If you smoke pot you'll be using heroin within a few weeks" Really? Those stoners who got high before school don't do heroin, and actually manage better grades than we do.

    "If you share files you'll go to jail and your life will be ruined." Really? 2/3rds of my high school class illegally download music, and yet they haven't been harassed by the cops.

    All stuff like this does is make kids mistrust authority. If they were honest--"Pot is okay in moderation, but heroin is really, really bad", or "having a few mp3s on your computer is not a big deal, but selling bootleg DVDs on the street corner is bad"--they'd probably be a little more effective.

  • OK! So the music pirates will all go to jail for pirating music while all of the musicians will go to jail for smoking dope. That way the inmates can get their music and their fans all at the same time.
            Tax payers may well see a bit of a problem with supporting all of these convicts.

  • From the comic (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fireheadca (853580)
    "We do not want to minimize the impact of these crimes on the industry and artists, who are the victims."

    It seems the comic text likes to bold 'Industry' but not 'Artists'.

    ---
    http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com/ [zeitgeistmovie.com] I didn't know.
  • by Dr_Marvin_Monroe (550052) on Saturday August 23, 2008 @01:00AM (#24716173)

    Where the court appointed attorney is defending poor Megan...

    New text should read...

    Megan's attorney..."Your honor, the record companies are an illegal monopoly with 'unclean-hands,' any theft from them cannot be prosecuted because they obtained the rights to this so-called 'music' through illegal means. The music industry had engaged in illegal price-fixing, secret accounting, payola, thuggery and perhaps even murder to maintain their grip on new music creators. The artists don't have the opportunity to present their music directly to the consumers, and frequently don't even make any money off the albums they record. Musicians frequently see their biggest take while performing live shows, and don't receive money from the labels until they sell millions of albums. The system is rigged. The music cartel's complaint should therefore be discharged immediately."

    Judge... "That's an interesting point..."

    Attorney... "Your Honor, we're prepared to show that the record companies used illegal tactics to get the rights to each of the songs that the defendant has in possession. In fact, we'd like to see the accounting of record sales and proceeds to make sure that the band actually got their fair share."

    Music industry lawyer...."That's going too far... my client doesn't have anything to hide, but we're going to hide it anyway..."

    Megan..."You people are crooks, and I don't feel bad stealing from you one bit..."

    Judge..."Case dismissed..."

       

  • by Alzheimers (467217) on Saturday August 23, 2008 @01:12PM (#24720033)

    Sorry guys, the glory days of excess are over.

    It's either Cocaine OR Hookers. Not both.

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