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  1. #1
    Sinner's Swing!
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    Fair Warning, and the rest of the first 6 albums!
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    Everthing off of the first 6 albums!
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    01.10.09 @ 12:07 PM
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    The record labels' new target--Joe Blow?
    Wed Jul 3, 6:14 PM ET
    John Borland

    Record labels hell-bent on strangling unauthorized music copying on the
    Internet are considering widening their legal efforts to include lawsuits
    against individuals, according to industry sources.

    The move comes as the industry wrestles to contain the effects of
    peer-to-peer software applications that allow consumers to link their PCs
    into massive cooperatives where millions of music titles can be found and
    copied for free. Despite legal rulings that have helped the labels shut down
    some of the most popular providers of file-swapping services, such as
    Napster ( news - web sites), such networks have grown unabated.

    The labels have not yet decided to sue individuals, industry insiders said.
    However, it's clear executives are seeking a way to make consumers think
    twice before uploading or downloading music via the Net. They're also
    discussing funding a larger education campaign. But some believe the most
    prolific file-traders should be held legally accountable.

    "The subject is on the table," said one industry executive who requested
    anonymity. "The idea would be to discourage people. Clearly there have been
    no consequences yet."

    The move toward suing individuals, first reported in The Wall Street Journal
    on Wednesday, would mark a substantial deviation from the path that record
    labels and movie studios have previously taken in their battles against
    online piracy.

    In the past, labels and movie studios have targeted only companies that have
    profited--or intended to profit--by the rise in online piracy. The Recording
    Industry Association of America ( news - web sites) (RIAA) has successfully
    sued Napster and Audiogalaxy; it is continuing lawsuits against Madster
    (formerly known as Aimster), StreamCast Networks, Grokster and the company
    that created Kazaa. The industry group has said it intends to add Sharman
    Networks, which now operates the Kazaa network, to that list.

    So far, the lawsuits have been filed for "contributory infringement," which
    means the labels have charged that companies such as Napster were knowingly
    aiding and abetting the real music-copiers. But for any of those suits to
    fly, it means the labels and the judges have acknowledged that the actions
    of individual file-swappers themselves were direct copyright infringement,
    and therefore potentially illegal.

    Industry insiders say any lawsuits would likely target people who were
    offering large numbers of files for download by others. They cite a common
    belief in the industry, initially sparked by a study of Gnutella ( news -
    web sites) users conducted by Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), that
    only about 10 percent of file-swappers provide about 90 percent of the
    content available through networks such as Kazaa.

    Discouraging this 10 percent of "providers" would go a long way in reducing
    the amount of content available through file-swapping networks, industry
    insiders say.

    Previously, record companies, movie studios and software companies have
    pursued individuals though their Internet service providers. Connecting to
    most peer-to-peer networks exposes a computer user's Internet address, which
    can be traced back to an ISP. Copyright owners have sent thousands of
    letters to ISPs complaining about subscribers' copyright infringement over
    the past year, resulting in warning letters to the subscribers, and in some
    cases cancellation of accounts.

    The hard-rock band Metallica ( news - web sites) cited unnamed individuals
    in its lawsuit against Napster, and the band's attorney said he would likely
    add specific individuals later. That tack was later dropped, however.

    All of this action has had only minimal effect on the total volume of file
    trading, however.

    According to recent estimates by The Yankee Group research firm, close to
    7.9 billion audio files were traded in 2001 by computer users 14 years and
    older. By 2004, they expect that number to rise to more than 11.4 billion.

    Record industry insiders say there is no timetable for when potential suits
    against individuals would be launched.

    Music Labels Plant Online Decoys, Mull Lawsuits
    Fri Jul 5,12:38 PM ET
    By Sue Zeidler

    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The music industry is adding more firepower to its
    arsenal in the fight against online piracy, planting "decoys" on free
    peer-to-peer services and considering lawsuits against individual
    song-swappers, sources said on Wednesday.

    Many large record labels have resorted to what is known as "spoofing," by
    hiring companies to distribute "decoy" files that are empty or do not work
    in order to frustrate would-be downloaders of movies and music.

    "Spoofing is just one example of a lawful and appropriate self-help measure
    available to the labels to respond to the growing problem of peer-to-peer
    network piracy. It also happens to confirm the adage 'you get what you pay
    for,"' said a spokesman for the Recording Industry Association of America
    ( news - web sites), the trade association for the big labels.

    Overpeer, a New York-based software firm funded by South Korea ( news - web
    sites)'s SK Group, is one firm helping the industry disguise online files to
    thwart unauthorized swapping.

    "Companies that provide heavily pirated music, films and software are making
    a strong commitment to protect their content," said Marc Morgenstern,
    Overpeer's chief executive, who said such activity was increasing "on all

    Additionally, sources said the RIAA, which represents music giants like
    Bertelsmann AG ( news - web sites) BMG, EMI Group Plc ( news - web sites) ,
    AOL Time Warner Inc , Vivendi Universal and Sony Corp ( news - web sites) ,
    is considering taking a new tack by suing individuals who use the services,
    rather than the companies that host them.

    Entrenched in its worst sales downturn in more than a decade, the music
    industry blames such unauthorized sharing in part for the 5 percent decline
    in global music sales in 2001 and a continuing slump in sales this year.

    "They're talking about suing individual users. It's one of many options to
    stop declining sales, but they haven't agreed yet whether to go forward or
    not," said a record executive.

    The RIAA declined comment, but industry sources said the idea has sparked a
    debate among the record labels, who in the past have been loathe to sue
    individual users for fear of losing customers.

    "Launching a campaign of lawsuits against file swappers escalates the war
    against those who want online music. It invites retaliation," said Phil
    Leigh, analyst with Raymond James, who estimates cumulative downloads of
    services like Morpheus and Kazaa total 90 million each.

    Warner Music, for instance, has expressed concerns about the proposal, while
    EMI and market-leader Universal Music were strong proponents, sources said.

    Warner, Universal and EMI all declined to comment.


    While the labels have scored legal victories against providers of services
    like Napster ( news - web sites), Morpheus or Kazaa, users continue to find
    new ways to get music for free on the Web.

    The lawsuits, according to industry sources, would mostly target those
    individuals, known as "supernodes," who collect the biggest amounts of music
    and who in turn become a sort of centralized directory for online

    Analysts said music labels would need the co-operation of Internet Service
    Providers to identify offenders. The ISPs would also have to agree to send
    "cease and desist" messages.

    "All of this involves getting the ISP to take on added duties as a
    'policeman' for which he receives no compensation," Leigh said, noting few
    ISPs are keen on driving away users.

    Analysts note further that any "legitimate" online market will remain
    constrained until the industry comes up with alluring commercial

    "If the labels fail to provide a viable licensed alternative, they're likely
    to continue battling a vast army of computer-savvy youthful volunteers who
    are passionate about music in a digital format," Leigh said.

    The labels for their part are ramping up online services like MusicNet and
    Pressplay and have also increasingly licensed music to independent services
    like FullAudio and

    While admitting the challenge in charging money for something that has been
    available for free, officials often cite the cable industry's success
    against similar dilemmas.

    "If you offer a compelling alternative that's affordable and provides
    features that people can't get from these free services, people will sign up
    over time," said a spokesman for, which provides a service called

  2. #2
    Join Date
    New Jersey
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    Fair Warning
    Favorite VH Song

    Little Guitars
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    The more the record industry focuses on the symptom (file sharing) rather than the problem (inflated CD prices, shitty artists) then they will be fighting a losing battle. It is to laugh!
    "There's a Japanese term called wabi-sabi, not wasabi, but wabi-sabi. It means an appreciation for the imperfect, the less than precision. The cowboy boots that you never polish because it's bad luck. That is completely wabi-sabi. Van Halen is that." - DLR 2002<br /><br />"Look! I can see their parachutes! They're ok..." - Tenshinhan, DragonBall Z



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