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AT&T Has Begun Issuing RIAA Takedown Notices 383

Posted by Soulskill
from the reach-out-and-touch-someone dept.
suraj.sun writes with this excerpt from CNet: "AT&T, one of the nation's largest Internet service providers, confirmed on Tuesday the company is working with the recording industry to combat illegal file sharing. At a digital music conference in Nashville, Jim Cicconi, a senior executive for AT&T told the audience that the ISP has begun issuing takedown notices to people accused of pirating music by the Recording Industry Association of America, according to one music industry insider who was present. In December, the RIAA, the lobbying group of the four largest recording companies, announced the group would no longer pursue an antipiracy strategy that focused on suing individuals, but rather would seek the help of broadband providers to stem the flow of pirated content. The RIAA said an undisclosed number of ISPs had agreed to cooperate but declined to name them. This is important because the RIAA has said that repeat offenders faced the possibility of losing service — at least temporarily — as part of the music industry's 'graduated response' plan."
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AT&T Has Begun Issuing RIAA Takedown Notices

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  • by KyleTheDarkOne (1034046) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @09:02AM (#27328219)
    This, correct me if I'm wrong, is completely legal; so I would rather them pursue this vein of inquiry than through legal action.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by bilbravo (763359)
      Exactly. There may be concerns of privacy (ISP snooping your data, etc) but considering what we've seen the RIAA due (sue people for ridiculous sums of money) this seems sensible.

      "Hey, what you're doing is violating copyright and can bring a hefty fine! So why don't you stop it?"

      Common sense is what we preach, but I have a feeling this won't be good enough for most here on /.
      • by _bug_ (112702) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @09:20AM (#27328451) Journal

        considering what we've seen the RIAA due (sue people for ridiculous sums of money) this seems sensible.

        The bully keeps hitting you in the face and you complain. When the bully starts to slap you, it doesn't hurt so much, so you're willing to take it. Problem is, both are wrong, and you shouldn't be allowing either in the first place.

        So we start with ISPs monitoring your traffic and keeping a record of every mp3 you download. Then after takedown notices are no longer effective (or the RIAA takes the next step of their plan) you start getting a bill in the mail every month for each song you downloaded. Then you start getting targetted advertising as a third-party steps in and makes a deal with the ISP. So now they're going to try and sell you rock because the vast majority of music you download is rock. Pretty soon there's no longer any such thing as privacy between you and your ISP and the world can take a peek at your activity for a few pennies.

        But each step seemed less harsh than the previous one, so it's okay.

        • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @09:27AM (#27328553)

          The bully keeps hitting you in the face and you complain. When the bully starts to slap you, it doesn't hurt so much, so you're willing to take it. Problem is, both are wrong, and you shouldn't be allowing either in the first place.

          The bully just so happens to play the flute, and makes a little money by selling recordings of him playing. He's punching you in the face because you might have bought a recording, might not, but you're giving it out copies of it for free.

          We can all make dumb analogies. I'm just surprised you didn't include a car in there.

          • by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @09:45AM (#27328803) Journal
            Maybe it's time to move off these carriers completely and use a communications infrastructure that can't be metered or switched off at a central point because it's technologically impossible to do so?
            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward

              Maybe it's time to move off these carriers completely and use a communications infrastructure that can't be metered or switched off at a central point because it's technologically impossible to do so?

              Or you could pay for your music.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by muntis (1503471)
              Jo mean, something like, hmm. Internet?
            • by johannesg (664142) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @10:47AM (#27329615)

              I've been thinking about that. Let's say I organize my building into a single network - we buy our own fiber, run it to every house (48 of them), and then organize a shared link to the outside world. We'd be like a mini-ISP that way.

              And of course we could peer with the building next door. Running that 50m of cable is not going to be much of a problem, so now it is two buildings.

              In densely populated areas you could build quite significant networks this way, I would think... And it would be beautifully decentralized, the way internet was intended to be in the first place.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            The bully just so happens to play the flute, and makes a little money by selling recordings of him playing.

            The bully is Ian Anderson?

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            >>>RIAA is punching you in the face because you might have bought a recording, might not, but you're giving it out copies of it for free.

            That's vigilante justice and it's not allowed. Removal of access violates the Constitutional right to a trial by your peers. It presumes guilt before innocence, and is therefore contrary to our basic principles. ------ Instead AT&T should be required to maintain internet connectivity until *after* RIAA has proved their case in court (i.e. you are innocent

            • by johnsonav (1098915) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @11:14AM (#27329941) Journal

              Removal of access violates the Constitutional right to a trial by your peers.

              Where does the constitution state that you're entitled to a jury trial before a private business can refuse to have you as a customer? Because I'm pretty sure it's not in there at all.

              • Regulated monopolies have to follow the same rules as the government. An electric company can not arbitrarily cut-off access just because you started a catering service & burn-up a lot of electricity in your kitchen. Nor can a phone company cutoff access because you tie it up 24/7 making calls, thereby abusing the $15/month unlimited fee. Nor can an internet company. They all must follow due process of law and prove their case FIRST before a judge. After guilt has been proved, then the regulated m

        • it seems they are trying this [wikipedia.org]

          The door in the face (DITF) technique is a persuasion method. Compliance with the request of concern is enhanced by first making an extremely large request that the respondent will obviously turn down. The respondent is then more likely to accede to a second, more reasonable request than if this second request were made without the first, extreme request.

      • by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @09:21AM (#27328457) Journal

        There may be concerns of privacy (ISP snooping your data, etc)

        In New York State that would be a felony:

        250.05 Eavesdropping.

        A person is guilty of eavesdropping when he unlawfully engages in wiretapping, mechanical overhearing of a conversation, or intercepting or accessing of an electronic communication.
        Eavesdropping is a class E felony.

        8. "Unlawfully" means not specifically authorized pursuant to article seven hundred or seven hundred five of the criminal procedure law for the purposes of this section and sections 250.05, 250.10, 250.15, 250.20, 250.25, 250.30 and 250.35 of this article.

        Common sense is what we preach

        It's not common sense. RIAA can get my internet access revoked on their word alone with zero proof to back up the claim? How the hell is that common sense?

        • by Hijacked Public (999535) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @09:47AM (#27328821)

          It is common sense because the company providing you with internet access is free to terminate that access for any reason at all, or no reason. If they believe it benefits them to arrange some kind of 'graduated response' against copyright violation then they are free to do so.

          Just like you are free to buy internet access from someone who hasn't made a similar arrangement.

          • It is common sense because the company providing you with internet access is free to terminate that access for any reason at all, or no reason

            That's what you get for living in the "free West". In Soviet Russia, you terminate your own services.

          • by codegen (103601)

            Just like you are free to buy internet access from someone who hasn't made a similar arrangement.

            Except that it is not always feasible to do that. That is why, in the past at least, monopolies were limited in the actions that they could take,.

          • Just like you are free to buy internet access from someone who hasn't made a similar arrangement.

            You sound pretty sure of yourself...
            • Usually.

              I'm sure there are places where the only possible ISP is ATT but I don't think it is common. Where I am there is no DSL or cable broadband at all, but I can choose from any of several satellite providers. And if I were the type who tried to ratify my will via purchasing decisions, and I didn't like any of the satellite guys, there are probably a dozen dial up options.

              Regardless, I don't think that because there are a few exceptions to what I suggested above that the freedom of a company to make the

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                Comparing DSL/Cable with Satellite and even dial-up is almost an insult. Its like comparing a tank, an SUV, and a moped. Very few people would consider all of those technologies as even viable. Would you take a moped into battle? Would you drive your tank to a local amusement park? Would you take your SUV on the Appalachian Trail?

                Dial-up and Satellite aren't an option to someone who uses their internet connection for "hardcore gaming". You wouldn't want to be using VOIP on either of these as well.

                Face it.
          • by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @10:11AM (#27329175) Journal

            Just like you are free to buy internet access from someone who hasn't made a similar arrangement.

            For better or worse internet access is usually provided by someone with a governmentally granted monopoly. In exchange for that monopoly it is usually accepted that we can regulate how they can behave. I would agree with your underlying notion if we had anything remotely approaching a free market for internet service but we alas we don't.

            So we can either change that and end the granted monopolies (my preference) or we can regulate what the ISPs are allowed to do. In the latter scenario I don't happen to think they should be allowed to terminate customers based solely on the word of an outside party.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by NeutronCowboy (896098)

            I know, it's alerady been talked about. But it bears repeating ad nauseam. Let's follow this line of thought, shall we? In my particular area, it's Comcast, ATT, or ISPs that lease their lines from ATT. Since Comcast is also in on the deal, I have no options that do not involve a deal with the RIAA. And why is that? Because almost all municipalities granted a local monopoly to a DSL and cable company, in exchange for the companies bearing some of the cost of the installation.

            Let me make that crystal clear t

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Jawn98685 (687784)

          In New York State that would be a felony:

          250.05 Eavesdropping.

          A person is guilty of eavesdropping when he unlawfully engages in wiretapping, mechanical overhearing of a conversation, or intercepting or accessing of an electronic communication. Eavesdropping is a class E felony.

          8. "Unlawfully" means not specifically authorized pursuant to article seven hundred or seven hundred five of the criminal procedure law for the purposes of this section and sections 250.05, 250.10, 250.15, 250.20, 250.25, 250.30 and 250.35 of this article.

          This is assuming that the information that lead to the take down requests came from the interception of traffic between end-points. If the RIAA enforcers are keeping track of which end-point has willfully advertised content as available, and then provided that content upon request, it absolutely can not be argued that the cited laws apply.

          We are making a rather large assumption here, that the ISP's are actively monitoring streams of data looking for copyrighted material despite the many legal proscriptions

          • by Shakrai (717556)

            This is assuming that the information that lead to the take down requests came from the interception of traffic between end-points

            You didn't bother to read the text I quoted did you? I was quoting that law in response to someone saying "There may be concerns of privacy (ISP snooping your data, etc)"

      • by poetmatt (793785) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @09:41AM (#27328735) Journal

        The rest of the world seems to realize that baseless accusations that could end in something being done without anything being done in court, is kind of the problem.

        This is RIAA skipping around the legal system because they can't afford to prove what they're accusing.

      • by blitzkrieg3 (995849) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @10:03AM (#27329079)

        There may be concerns of privacy (ISP snooping your data, etc)

        I don't believe they are snooping data. In fact they don't have to in order to detect pirated media. The nature of p2p is such that the files need to be advertised!

        To use typical nomenclature, evesdropping is when:
        1) Alice calls Bob (or makes a connection to Bob's server)
        2) Bob answers the phone and discloses the secret meet up location (or sends it digitally over the wire)
        3) Eve intercepts the information and shows up.

        What's happening in this case is:
        1) Bob tells the entire world that he's got the latest Pirates of the Caribbean and is going to let anyone download it.
        2) Alice connects and downloads the pirated movie.
        3) "Eve" connects and downloads the movie.
        4) "Eve" issues a takedown notice.

        Of course they might be doing waveform analysis or whatever it is they do on the wire, but I don't believe they are there yet. Illegal warrantless wiretapping is much more serious issue than just connecting to someone's p2p, which is why it's important that we don't get these confused.

      • by NotBornYesterday (1093817) * on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @11:06AM (#27329863) Journal

        This removes the RIAA's campaign from the courts, where it was starting to show embarrassing losses, and where its underhanded and possibly illegal methods were subject to scrutiny, and allows it to operate in a realm where there are few, if any, checks on its abuses.

        I don't support copying music illegally, but I also don't want my ISP in the back pocket of a powerful and ruthless corporate entity that has repeatedly shown lack of restraint, bad faith, bad judgment, and a complete disregard for those it wrongfully harms.

        I have rights in the courts. What rights do I have if my ISP decides to cut my service? What happens when the RIAA wrongfully accuses someone, as they have in the past?

    • Haha, so avoiding the 'legal' system and taking a curve around it, makes it more 'legal'?
      If they use the same arguably 'illegal' methods on determining their victims, this is probably even more 'illegal' than before.
      This just removes any 'legal' supervision and keeps all the 'illegal' parts (from what we know).

    • It may be noncriminal but whether it is legally remediable is another issue. The Constitution guarantees us certain rights against being deprived of any "property interest". Lawyers, lick your chops. Whether cutting off someone's internet (akin to cutting off his electricity) based on mere allegations by (or questionable Media Sentry evidence from) RIAA is deprivation of a "property interest" without compensation, due process or equal protection, or will give rise to damages will be a ripe, litigable iss

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by phulegart (997083)

        Cutting off someone's internet is NOT akin to cutting off the electricity. That is why for people who use electric heat in the winter, the electric companies WON'T turn off the electricity. Why? They could kill that former customer. No heat + winter = illness or death. The pumps that pull water from the artesian wells run on electricity. There are far more people counting on electricity to keep their food from spoiling, than there are earning their living off direct home internet access.

        Regardless of

    • by Applekid (993327)

      This, correct me if I'm wrong, is completely legal; so I would rather them pursue this vein of inquiry than through legal action.

      Well, sure. The RIAA abuses the courts, fabricates data, intimidates victims and shakes them down for settlement money. Recently the justice system has been fighting back, demanding proper behavior from those pitbulls.

      They found a way to punish people on suspicion of wrongdoing and avoid embarrassing court documents and judgments from leaking to the public and circumventing niggling little problems like "preponderance of evidence" (civil) and "reasonable doubt" (criminal).

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      >>>This, correct me if I'm wrong, is completely legal

      No it isn't. It violates the Constitutional right to a trial by your peers. It presumes guilt before innocence, and is therefore contrary to existing law. AT&T / RIAA should be required to maintain internet connectivity until *after* they have proved their case in court, and then and only then should ISP access be canceled.

    • by digitig (1056110) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @11:20AM (#27330037)

      It depends what the process is.

      If the ISP says "we have received a complaint that on at or about you download file from in violation of copyright. Our records confirm that this appears to be correct. If you do not explain, with evidence, why this was not a copyright violation we will consider further action which may include suspension of your account" then not too bad.

      If -- as seems far more likely -- the ISP says "We have received a complaint that at some unspecified time you downloaded some unspecified file, which might have been in breach of copyright, so we've suspended your account" then I'm not impressed.

  • Defense? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oahazmatt (868057) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @09:04AM (#27328235) Journal
    Is there anyway to defend yourself from these claims? Is there no burden of proof on the RIAA's side? Will AT&T simply punish those accused?

    In short, screenshot or it didn't happen.
    • by furby076 (1461805)
      It's not a court of law and most (if not all) ISPs have the right to discountinue service to you at their whim.
      Now since AT&T doesn't want to lose money they may require the RIAA to show some kind of proof (e.g. logs). Also you will get warnings before you get disconnected. So when you get your first warning, if you are innocent, see if your network has a list fix it and you are done. If you don't find a leak call AT&T to help you out. Maybe the IP address they have listed for you is actually you
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by plasmacutter (901737)

        It's not a court of law and most (if not all) ISPs have the right to discountinue service to you at their whim.

        Now since AT&T doesn't want to lose money they may require the RIAA to show some kind of proof (e.g. logs). Also you will get warnings before you get disconnected. So when you get your first warning, if you are innocent, see if your network has a list fix it and you are done. If you don't find a leak call AT&T to help you out. Maybe the IP address they have listed for you is actually your neighbor who is downloading stuff.

        or you can cancel your service and move to an ISP who wont harass and threaten you based on unsubstantiated accusations.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by furby076 (1461805)

          or you can cancel your service and move to an ISP who wont harass and threaten you based on unsubstantiated accusations.

          You could, but if your options are like mine you have: Verizon DSL (crap-tastically slow)
          Satellite (worse then DSL)
          Comcast
          AT&T (i don't know what they offer but I am sure they ahve something) And I live in downtown philadelphia. I need speed I can't go below Comcast. Once I get fios (maybe 2 years it will be available) then I will be switching. But still, I am sure verizon will help the riaa too.

      • Re:Defense? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TechForensics (944258) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @09:52AM (#27328907) Homepage Journal

        It's not a court of law and most (if not all) ISPs have the right to discountinue service to you at their whim.

        This is probably not true since internet access has become akin to a public utility on which people's livelihoods depend. Is it OK to put Ted Telecommuter out of work because Ted Jr. can't be disciplined out of unauthorized downloading?

      • by oahazmatt (868057)

        So when you get your first warning, if you are innocent

        And how exactly do you do that for "file-sharing"? While I can argue the point that file-sharing in itself is not illegal, the RIAA has previously sought legal action for this and has found themselves losing ground in a court of law. They are in effect seeking non-legal proceedings for what they have addressed as a legal issue.

        And AT&T won't check their logs to make sure you haven't done anything wrong. I'm sure the burden of innocence will be put on the customer.

    • by fredklein (532096)

      Screenshot? Trivial to fake.

      Hmm. That gives me an idea. Who provides the RIAA with internet service, again?

    • Is there anyway to defend yourself from these claims? Is there no burden of proof on the RIAA's side? Will AT&T simply punish those accused?

      All of your questions have answers, which respectively, are: Yes, but it will involve an expensive lawsuit; No, not at first until enough people complain or someone sues; Yes, until enough outcry forces something like a due process standard. See the insightful post by bug (#27328451) above.

  • I still find it amazing that ISPs go along with thi....wait...we're talking about Comcast/Verizon here. Same people who used to throttle legitimate P2P traffic. I guess we can assume that if you're shut off for 3 months for downloading music, there will be a fee greater than the bill for 3 months of service you missed to reinstate your account.
    • by furby076 (1461805) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @09:11AM (#27328341) Homepage

      we're talking about Comcast/Verizon here

      No we are talking about AT&T. You didn't even have to RTFA to see that. Look at the title, or hell the first word in the snippit

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by furby076 (1461805)
        Forgot to mention Comcast is one of the companies participating. It's in the article. They have been doing this for years (I get letters every 3-6 months)
        • What do you do when you get a letter? Do you reply at all or just ignore it?
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by furby076 (1461805)
            I called my friends, laughed and ignored it. But they were spot on their accusation. They had the IP, the time, the name of the file, the contents of the file. It was detailed. Unfortunately I do not have it anymore or I would scan it and post it for you guys to see.

            If you are actually doing the stuff just stop for a while you will be fine.
    • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @09:16AM (#27328403)

      I still find it amazing that ISPs go along with thi....wait...we're talking about Comcast/Verizon here. Same people who used to throttle legitimate P2P traffic. I guess we can assume that if you're shut off for 3 months for downloading music, there will be a fee greater than the bill for 3 months of service you missed to reinstate your account.

      It took me a while to figure out what was in it for them as well. After all, this is a lot of work just to piss off your customers. But you hit it with the comparison to P2P throttling - what they want to do is get rid of their most unprofitable customers - those using the most bandwidth. One subset of people using lots of bandwidth includes people downloading music illegally. As it happens, that's a group easy to go after - but they certainly won't stop there.

      If you want to see this go away, we need to push for the demise of flat-rate pricing. If the carriers were *more* money by the people using more bandwidth (for whatever reason), they'd be telling the RIAA to go pound sand.

    • by Shakrai (717556)

      we're talking about Comcast/Verizon here. Same people who used to throttle legitimate P2P traffic

      When has Verizon throttled any traffic?

  • Fine (Score:3, Insightful)

    by liquidpele (663430) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @09:04AM (#27328255) Journal
    As long as They don't screw with my traffic, I can accept this.
    • Re:Fine (Score:5, Insightful)

      by theaceoffire (1053556) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @09:21AM (#27328463) Homepage

      As long as They don't screw with my traffic, I can accept this.

      As long as you can accept this, they will screw with your traffic.

    • As long as They don't screw with my traffic, I can accept this.

      I would consider disconnection with no burden of proof "screwing with my traffic" but I am funny that way.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by DigitAl56K (805623) *

      1. Who pays your ISP for service, you or the RIAA? Is the RIAA a law enforcement agency? Who is the burden of proof on? Is there a reasonable and established standard of evidence? Is there any real way to dispute a false allegation? What happens when someones life is ruined because of this (can't work from home any longer, can't order goods online, can't communicate with friends)?

      2. The RIAA has stopped suing individuals because they realize that's too many people to scare. Now they're waving a big legal st

  • by Porchroof (726270) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @09:08AM (#27328289) Homepage
    Note that the accused is just that: the accused. Being accused of piracy is enough to get you kicked off the Internet. No trial. No jury. No judge. To AT&T and others, to be accused is to be guilty. God help us all.
  • Will it matter? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jerrei (1515395) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @09:10AM (#27328331)
    Will it ever get to the point where they're truly hurting the "pirating" community? And when they do, will they respond to what will undoubtedly be a negative impact on music sales? Yeah it sucks to have your internet shut down or having to switch providers, but will it really matter in the long run?
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @09:10AM (#27328333)

    And no recourse.

    And I, for one, welcome our new telecommunications overlords. I'd like to remind them that, as a long-time member of /., I can be valuable in helping them round up violators to slave in their fiber-optic tunnels.

    • And no recourse.

      Well... A libel suit against the RIAA for telling your ISP that you are a pirate. Expensive unless someone makes it a business model.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DigitAl56K (805623) *

      The scary part is that our new telecommunications overlords are us.

      For the sake of argument: As a malicious copyright holding member of the public, what power does the RIAA have over an ISP that I do not? If I furnish some documents against someone I don't like to an ISP and tell them either to follow the same practice as they employ for the RIAA or face a suit themselves what's going to happen?

  • Solution (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sasayaki (1096761) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @09:12AM (#27328355)

    - Step one: Find the RIAA's ISP. They probably have a big T3 line or something.
    - Step two: Tape yourself singing in the shower. The worse the better.
    - Step three: Rename the recordings. Britney Spears - Toxic, Metallica - Until it Sleeps, etc. The more popular and highly prosecuted the better.
    - Step four: Copy files to a VM and install every virus-encrusted file sharing program you have on there. TRY to get caught.
    - Step five: Await lawsuit. Counterclaim for piracy.
    - Step six: Repeat three times. Three strikes, RIAA's out! ... wait. I forgot that laws only really apply to people, not massive media conglomerates. Oh well, time to come up with another cunning plan...

    • tape yourself singing in the shower. The worse the better.

      ...

      Britney Spears - Toxic.

      aha that explains it!

    • ... the fees for recording whatever song you just performed? If not, make sure you sing a song that is in the public domain, otherwise you can be sued even though it is only your voice.
      • by eht (8912)

        He never indicated to sing copyrighted songs. Make up your own tuneless song, which you automatically get copyright over when you record it.

        Them downloading your "Britney Spears" song is piracy since you as copyright holder did not give them permission to do so.

        • by fredklein (532096)

          "Them downloading your "Britney Spears" song is piracy since you as copyright holder did not give them permission to do so."

          Unfortunately, they don't bother to download the song at all, they just take a screenshot of the filename and your IP and contact your ISP.

    • I don't get why people think this would work, for the simple reason that *you* are distributing the recording of yourself, and thus you cannot claim piracy on the RIAA, or anyone else for that matter, for downloading from yourself. I don't think a Judge in the world, regardless of whether they are in someones pocket or not, would agree with your stance that there is piracy, or copyright infringement occuring when the copyright holder themselves are wilfully doing the distribution.

      The issue the RIAA have
      • by fredklein (532096)

        I don't get why people think this would work, for the simple reason that *you* are distributing the recording of yourself, and thus you cannot claim piracy on the RIAA, or anyone else for that matter, for downloading from yourself.

        They would need to prove I was the one to seed that file.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          No they don't, they simply have to prove that your peer transferred a significant portion of the file to another peer - that is still distribution under Copyright Law, and enough of a case against you to procede to court under.

          Slashdotters seem to absolutely love hiding behind technology when it comes to other peoples content. Heres a novel idea - if you don't like the copyright terms, or the licensing terms, avoid that content and find something else. Its that simple - you do not have to have the la
    • by n3tcat (664243)

      - Step one: Find the RIAA's ISP. They probably have a big T3 line or something.
      - Step two: Tape yourself singing in the shower. The worse the better.
      - Step three: Rename the recordings. Britney Spears - Toxic, Metallica - Until it Sleeps, etc. The more popular and highly prosecuted the better.
      - Step four: Copy files to a VM and install every virus-encrusted file sharing program you have on there. TRY to get caught.
      - Step five: Await lawsuit. Counterclaim for piracy.
      - Step six: Repeat three times. Three strikes, RIAA's out! ... wait. I forgot that laws only really apply to people, not massive media conglomerates. Oh well, time to come up with another cunning plan...

      - Step seven: You cut a hole in the box.
      - Step eight: You put your junk in that box.

  • by LoganTeamX (738778) <adamweichel AT hotmail DOT com> on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @09:13AM (#27328365) Homepage Journal
    When are they doing to do something about the plethora of zombie computers on their home subscriber feeds? They'll police the "illegal sharing" of content but they don't care how much spam their users generate? Sounds a little fishy to me.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      They don't care.
      Most ISPs' outsourced their email because it was cheaper to outsource than block or nag clients with infected PCs.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bsDaemon (87307)

      Practically every major ISP blocks port 25 now. Comcast seems to have taken to blocking port 25 AND listing their customer IP ranges with Spamhaus.

  • by plasmacutter (901737) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @09:19AM (#27328437)

    If the "letter" is delivered via email, it's merely an empty gesture.

    If it's delivered by snail mail, I'd consider it a form of harassment, as i've heard it mentioned here by lawyers that "notice and takedown" only applies to intermediaries such as webhosts/isp's. If it's against the terms of service cancel the service, otherwise don't worry people or get kids in trouble based on unproven accusations sent to you by a company who cent C&D letters by the hundreds to a copying machine.

    • based on unproven accusations sent to you by a company who cent C&D letters by the hundreds to a copying machine.

      don't know if this is a typo or freudian slip, but "sent" is the proper spelling.

  • First the RIAA should not be able to retrieve the addresses directly from the provider. Privacy and such.
    Second the provider does not know what is legal and what is not. IANAL defence and such.
    So the RIAA can only directly ask for removal after a court order. And I mean first an official request and only later if the person repeats it, an official lawsuit.

    What the RIAA can do is send a letter to the provider. That provider can then be so nice as to say that they have received this letter and if the person d

  • by whisper_jeff (680366) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @09:34AM (#27328631)
    I remember, as a younger lad, playing games like Cyberpunk and Shadowrun and thinking that these future-fantasy worlds where megacorps ruled the world, competing and colluding with each other in a massive game, with governments relegated to the role of their legislative pawns was a lot of fun but far out there and obviously fictional.

    Oh, how I miss my youthful days... Getting older and watching fiction become reality is not pleasant...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bios_Hakr (68586)

      It wasn't really fiction back then, either. We were just too stupid to notice it or too drunk to care. Those with money have always stood behind those with power.

      And it'll always be that way.

  • by javacowboy (222023) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @09:37AM (#27328691)

    I'm opposed to downloading copyrighted materials without the consent of the copyright holder.

    Having said that, I'm extremely suspicious that AT&T's process is fair. I have questions:

    1) Is this truly targeted towards copyright violators, or is this just a bandwidth management strategy? That is to say, if I download 100 Gb of Linux ISO's, will I get nailed?
    2) Is this is 3 strikes (accusations) and you're out policy?
    3) Is there any dispute resolution process or recourse for those who believe they're falsely accused? After all, identifying users by their IP addresses does yield false positives?
    4) If I actually did download or upload something illegally several times, will I lose my internet access? What if I still need to pay bills, etc? Losing internet access is almost like losing phone service nowadays.

    I think the process would be much fairer if there was a dispute resolution process and that the ultimate punishment would be getting your connection relegated to dial-up speeds.

    However, I suspect that AT&T's motives aren't entirely towards being fair to their customers.

  • ... when you can have the ISPs act as your own personal police and be above the law? Guilty upon accusation shall be the law of the land, and there shall be neither trials nor appeals. The music industry has become its own level of authority sitting on the side of the judicial, and shall not be accountable for any of the many, many abuses of power that are sure to follow.
  • I was all prepared to cheer for AT&T and watch to see whether the RIAA refused to take down whatever it was that was at issue. I am now bitterly disappointed.

  • by cyberjock1980 (1131059) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @10:24AM (#27329313)

    I see the long term results of this strategy similar to electricity and phones. Companies can not arbitrarily turn off your phone without a valid arguement that can withstand courts. This is due to many medical equipment devices requiring electricity and phone lines be available. To many people, going without the internet is as serious as going without electricity (albeit very arguably). I'm sure after a few years legislation will attempt to be passed protecting the internet connections to homes the same way. What is the RIAA and the ISPs in the RIAA's back pocket going to do then? Use the excuse of "we've always done it this way"? At some point someone is going to deem the internet a necessity in the home, and the RIAA is going to have to change their tactic or attempt to buy out the legislation.

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