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RIAA student lawsuits. Haven't we been here before?

It's all about the music

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Letters It is hard to imagine that anything that needs to be said about the RIAA has not been said already. Then, it goes after a new bunch of students, possibly even those whose only act was swapping files.

This week, the organisation has filed 532 new lawsuits, 89 of which were against John Does. It also sent letters to university heads, asking for understanding and support of its cause.

So it looks like these new suits are a slightly different kettle of copyright fish. Appropriately enough, you had some ne things to add to the long running (and probably even-longer-to-run) debate:

I read your article and was particularly interested in the part:

"For the first time the RIAA is suing ordinary students for downloading music, as opposed to its previous strategy of targeting only students who were active uploaders, who made available many music files for trading over the Net."

Interestingly enough, in the US it's not copyright infringement to receive a copy of a copyrighted work (download). It's only infringement to distribute (upload or make available for download). This is why it is that when a bootlegger is selling bootleg music out of the back of his truck, the bootlegger can be charged but his customers get to go free. Additionally, a person that redistributes something in good faith that they have permission to is also not liable.

One of the things about SCO's lawsuits that is frequently overlooked, is that even if there were infringement in the Linux case, only the original infringer could be held liable. Everybody else can be asked not to redistribute the infringing parts, but nobody has any liability towards the company for the copies they already have.

Just my 0.02 USD

James McIninch

And a bargain at twice the price.

Why did you redact the phone number for the RIAA? As far as I am concerned the RIAA deserve to face the consequences of their actions, as much as the people they are extorting money from under the guise of "Justice".

Maybe if they get enough calls to shutdown their phone switch for 2 weeks, they'll start to realize how all us evil consumers really think about them. Oh wait, what was I thinking? They already know. They just don't care as long as enough of us are stupid enough to keep buying their music.

*sigh*

PS: If you by chance post my message on your web site, please blank out my email. I have no interest in mysteriously appearing on the RIAA's ‘naughty people' list. Maybe that's hypocritical, but I'm not the one going around suing innocent children and seniors who are already having enough trouble just making ends meet

Roland

Which is exactly why we never publish private phone numbers. Period.

Not everyone thinks this round of lawsuits any different? Maybe it is all a case of same old, same old:

Hey, I believe you're misreading the latest round of lawsuits. Judging from the sample complaints the RIAA has been releasing, there's no substantive difference between the language in the latest lawsuits and the wording of the earlier ones -- folks are being accused of violating the record companies' exclusive rights to reproduce and/or distribute their recordings to the public.

In other words, they weren't being sued just for uploading before, and they're not being sued just for downloading now. It's possible that the samples aren't truly representative, of course, so you might want to track down some of the actual complaints.

Jon Healey ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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