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Dealing with the RIAA? 259

This hasn't been a good year for music lovers since the RIAA has removed the kid gloves. In the past 3 months they have declared war on their own customers, silenced Internet Radio, and are targeting 3 other P2P networks for shutdown. At about this time last year, they wanted unprecedented access to your personal property, but fortunately saner heads prevailed here. It has been 4 years since Slashdot posted it's first story containing the phrase "RIAA", and in that time the RIAA has waged war on the Internet rather than try and use the technology for the benefit of their artists. Now there are people willing to play by the rules, but the RIAA is unresponsive, and their web site seems to provide more questions than clear answers. Who do you need to contact? What forms need to be filled? What agreements need to be signed? By whom? What do you have to pay? How is this value determined? If you are planning on offering the RIAA's music, what do you really have to do to play their music legally?

I've Read the Frelling Manual, and I still have Questions!
J.Charles asks: "Always looking for new ways to help out the independent music scene in my region, I recently started thinking about putting together a streaming radio station. Mind you, this is to be non-profit, with the sole purpose to help out independent artists. I had made a small stream years ago using Shoutcast, but this was before all of the RIAA stipulations were being crammed down everyones throats, and I really paid no mind to copyright law.

If I am to do this, I would like to keep it fully legit in the eyes of the RIAA, because we've already seen the MPAA come after file sharers, citing gigantic fines, at the university I work for, and I really don't have the money for legal counsel.

So I've found adequate hosting, and read up on the stipulations published on the RIAA website, but most of it is quite murky, and skims over the 'how-to' of things.

For example, do I really have to pay royalties for each stream running? If so, how do I keep track of that, or do I just have to pay the royalty times the number of my maximum consecutive streams available? Is there Shoutcast plugin software for generating the play list information that must be sent to Soundexchange? Are there any grants available to help offset the cost of paying royalties and license application fees ($500 a year!)?

Basically, I can't find any streams that appear to be running 'legit', so I have no one to answer all my questions. I've even thought about contacting the RIAA to see if someone there would assist me, and perhaps help fund this project, since it would make a good example of a legit site, and afterwards I could serve as educated help for other people in my situation. I mean, the RIAA recognizes streaming as an important business, you would think their interests would lie in helping educate people to use it the way they would like.

Is anyone out there running a legit stream, or know someone who does? better yet, has anyone seen a guide for people in my shoes?"

I'm, Trying to Play Nice, But They Won't Return My Calls!
Jarrett Wold asks: "I was working on a chat client earlier this year, and I wanted file sharing capabilities (a la Napster). However I did not want any of the legal liability so unlike Napster, I actually contacted RIAA and the MPAA before I started any development.

Considering RIAA and MPAA's itchy trigger finger regarding copyright issues I figured I would pitch a solution to them. It was simple, since they represent a large number of copyright holders, they should create a database listing all of those copyright holders. It's easy enough to determine that Metallica has copyrighted material, what happens with that unknown band that you're not sure about? At least this way we would have a definitive list for all the people represented by RIAA and MPAA. Who also bring the largest number of lawsuits against file sharing applications.

Now I'm not rich, I don't have a lawyer and considering I live in North Dakota, I make on average $8.25/HR for data driven web development. If you work at Burger King in another state, you make more than I do flipping burgers. I started a month long stretch of making phone calls and sending emails. I called RIAA around 15 times proposing that they construct a database of copyright holders so I could be compliant with copyright law. I even suggested that if they charged a penny per user they could pull in 250K a month for use of their database. It would also force file sharing apps to have a business model. I'm all for avoiding '.COM The Bubble, Part 2'.

The RIAA was flat-out uninterested. They would listen politely, and take down my number or refer me to a voicemail of either a legal person (who never returned phone calls) or some person in management who simply stated it wasn't their responsibility to compile such a database. So, after fifteen or so emails, a half dozen long distance phone calls I gave up on RIAA. They obviously want publicity about the injustice of file trading rather than fixing the problem.

I then proceeded to call the MPAA. They were amazingly helpful, everyone that I spoke seemed enthused about doing something along this line. I suppose when you represent studios rather than individual artists the motivation to fix a leaky faucet is top priority. However, after sending a variety of emails and speaking with half a dozen people on the first phone call, I was sent off to someone in their technical department and curtly told that they were working on their own solutions. Do not get me wrong, the MPAA was keenly interested in a fix, but it seems that they too feel that the burden of listing copyright holders is not on them. In fact one executive I spoke with noted that there would be thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of entries, in such a database. I suggested the revenue model again. It was received with interest and shot down in the next moment with the same argument.

So needless to say I gave up. I am now targeting my product specifically for the business market. I have noticed that CD-R manufacturers are not being sued for all the MP3's that are being burnt onto the media they freely distribute. The same goes for Samsung, I have yet to hear of them being sued for making VCR tapes that can record TV shows without commercials (if you're quick about it... ahem TiVo). Nor do I hear of ICQ being sued for it's file transfer abilities that also enable piracy if a user is so inclined.

At what point does the responsibility of the copyright owner come into play? Should it not be the representative groups (RIAA, MPAA) to come up with an 'exclusions list'? In fact technically speaking it's just not possible to determine what's copyrighted without something along those lines.

Who else has gone through this? I figure that the person who pirates is the one responsible, rather than the service itself. File sharing applications have valid purposes. However, if RIAA and the MPAA do not want to make a definitive list of copyrighted material it's nearly impossible to comply to excluding copyrighted material. Saying that file sharing applications facilitate piracy is the same thing as saying search engines facilitate piracy.

Napster had the wrong idea, if they could have worked out something with RIAA regarding this same concept they would be a leviathan. However it makes you wonder if these lawsuits weren't strategic in nature. I believe in the end, history will show that killing Napster was the worst mistake the music industry could have made. They lost control of a contained problem. It wasn't fixed. However when 26 million people scatter to the winds and start their own file sharing networks (Morpheus, Gnutella and many more) the problem is decentralized and unsolvable.

The biggest question of all is to the artist: why aren't you demanding some form of technical action out of the RIAA, instead of lawsuits? Why aren't you asking them to 'Sit down in a room with those file sharing companies and figure out a way to fix this'.

You can't sue them all!

I guess, my North Dakotan notion of business is that if there's a problem fix it before it gets out of hand, however it seems RIAA wants to do the opposite. I guess lawsuits could conceivably be a nice addition to the bottom line and excuse for bad accounting...;)"

And One Last Plea, for Internet Radio...
If you are still interested in saving internet radio, there is one last chance, until the next one arrives next year. There is a bill in play right now that must be passed before October 20th if some of the more popular Internet Radio sites are to return. You can find out more information on this latest push from the Radio and Internet Newsletter and also from Soma FM.

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Dealing with the RIAA?

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 11, 2002 @07:43PM (#4434768)
    Link to every day from /.
  • by swschrad ( 312009 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @07:46PM (#4434784) Homepage Journal
    if all they have to do is crab and whine instead of working for a solution, fsck 'em.

    I had the idea of striking some CDs of an out of print album for holiday presents, and was able to find all the information to do that several years ago on da ISH... but it looked like $500 each for the eight or so, so the project died.

    one thing you CAN do is check out the music licensors, generally ascap and bmi, and follow the link trail. this is for the MUSIC rights only, though, rights to a particular recording (the mechanical rights) should be licenseable from the harry fox agency.

    if you are working from a legitimate product, there will be licensing clues for each song in the libretto or on the back of the CD insert, in the form of "COLIC AND DIAPERS", (C) 2001, I. B. Goofy and Snot Bugger, BMI 3:26. to track that down, the agency is BMI, the song title is "COLIC AND DIAPERS", copyright date 2001, and I. B Goofy and Snot Bugger are the artists who will get their nickel per performance.
    • by Sauron23 ( 52474 ) on Saturday October 12, 2002 @02:32AM (#4436138) Journal
      Reverse the concept. forget the RIAA creating a list. How about creating a database of ARTIST controlled music that is copyleft with a GPL(?) style use license. That is, music created by the artist that is free without warranty, or obligation etc etc. Perhaps something similar to what uses. The limit would be if you want to use it in a compilation or other commercial work, then all rights are to the artist.

      Find some DB/web interface gurus, (sourceforge project?), to create a portal site in some ways similar to a cross between and a Artist could upload free-use/copyleft songs to the site, post some notes on the song, their upcoming gigs, locations, who their working with, etc etc. Communication could be two way between the artist and webcasters via forums and automated email? basically a blog and community site for the copyleft artist and webcasters some of whom will certainly be both artist and broadcaster. Just an outline here folks...

      What's in it for the artist?

      Exposure for new unsigned artist. Developed artist could use pseudonyms to try out new genres and test diverse styles. Direct feedback from listeners. No studio controlling what they release.

      What's in it for webcasters?

      NO RIAA. various appealing ideas. mainly escaping Orwellion copyright controls.

      Has anyone already tried this? It appears there is a need.
  • by legoleg ( 514805 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @07:47PM (#4434792)
    Nobody knows..... maybe its security through obscurity? : )
    • by emil ( 695 ) on Saturday October 12, 2002 @09:14AM (#4436643) form our own music label?

      Wild idea: what would happen if the FSF formed a not-for-profit music label? One that passed on as much profit as possible to the artists?

      The RIAA is the greatest threat to free software today, without question. Microsoft has certainly not resorted to the legal system to destroy the movement; the RIAA has and is.

      It's time that we took the threat for its real value and struck back, hard.

  • by 3prong ( 241218 )

    It has been 4 years since Slashdot posted it's first story containing the phrase "RIAA"...

    Good thing "RIAA" is over 4 characters or we'd never know when the first story was. :(
  • New Campaign (Score:5, Informative)

    by asv108 ( 141455 ) <asv@ivoss. c o m> on Friday October 11, 2002 @07:51PM (#4434801) Homepage Journal
    I submitted this a few days ago but it was rejected as usual:

    Get ready for a big PR campiagn by the RIAA that is designed to make music traders feel guilty. The cross media campaign was kicked off today with the unveiling of the music united website [], radio and TV spots should be out soon featuring several big names such as Madonna and Nelly talking about how poor they have become since the days of Napster, even though music sales went up with napster's popularity.

    • Re:New Campaign (Score:4, Insightful)

      by teamhasnoi ( 554944 ) <> on Friday October 11, 2002 @08:42PM (#4435033) Journal
      This is rich:

      Quote from website. Sean (P. Diddy) Combs, Multi-Platinum Award Winning Artist, Producer, Founder and CEO of Bad Boy Entertainment: "As an artist who has dedicated his life to music and the music business, I have seen what illegal music copying has done and continues to do to new and established musicians. I understand why people download music, but for me and my fellow artists, this is our livelihood. When you make an illegal copy, you're stealing from the artist. It's that simple. Every single day we're out here pouring our hearts and souls into making music for everyone to enjoy. What if you didn't get paid for your job? Put yourself in our shoes!"

      The greatest ripoff artist of all time has the gall to say this. Listen up, SEAN COMBS. You owe me for having to put up with your over-sampled, entirely lifted 'music'. You are an excellent example of how 'the public' will eat anything put in front of them, including a steaming bowl of crap. Put yourself in our shoes, INDEED.

      • Listen up, SEAN COMBS. You owe me for having to put up with your over-sampled, entirely lifted 'music'. You are an excellent example of how 'the public' will eat anything put in front of them, including a steaming bowl of crap.

        Hey, watch it, pal! Do not disturb the sexy! []

    • by trotski ( 592530 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @10:04PM (#4435342)
      So I spent 5 minuites of my valueable time reading some of the artists quotes. The one thing that confused me is why all of these artist feel as though their being robbed. Perhaps they should pay more attention to making money in a way that can NEVER be 'stolen' from the. One word:


      Perhaps Sean Coumbs or Brittny Spears should spend less time sitting around complaining how they'll 'only' make a million on their next album and not two million, and spend more of their time TOURING... if you think about it, it makes sense. I mean, I'd pay 40 bucks to see a band a love, hell I'm going to see the String Cheese Incident in Vancouver on Thursday for 43.50. Now mulitply that by a few hundred thousand people, all over the country, thats a lot of money! Furthermore, concidering that artists make significantly more money on concert tickets than they do on CDs, since the record companies keep most of their CD money.

      Touring is a financial model that can (and has made ) millions. Look at the Grateful Dead or Phish. These are bands that made millions of dollars, most of which they made by touring, not by selling CDs. Hell if you look at the record sales for Grateful Dead CDs, they rarely made any money, ususally managing to sell enough to break even.

      So my message to the artists quoted on the music united website:

      Stop whining and start touring! Realize that the reason people steal 'your' music is because they feel ripped off by you. You want your millions? Go out to the people and perform, most of us will be happy to come see you."
      • That's all well and good for regular musicians with guitar/bass/drums format or even something possibly able to "perform," but what about artists whose performance is purely "virtual"? (I hate that word, but it seems to fit.)

        I've made about a half dozen songs using a tone generator and that's about it. There's no vocals, a handful of samples in a half-dozen songs. They're programed to repeat in rythym, etc. etc. I didn't say it was very good, but I don't think you, or any one else for that matter, would want to watch play the wav on xmms for my concert, or even twiddle behind the soft glow of my laptop. Shit, the stuff ain't even dancable. (Though it scares the crap out of my dogs.)

        Would you want to see that?

        I'm not claiming I deserve a record deal or anything like that, but think your solutions through, eh? Not all music can be performed any more.

        Now laser light shows. . . .that's entertainment! (zzz)

        Any elietist comments about electronic stuff not being music is ignoring the point of the argument.

        Now, in my _band_ band, I play guitar, and I can see your point, but my solo "project" as it was, even when I collaborated once or twice, well . . .

        I see what you mean, and really kind of agree with you, but it's not a solution to everything as you seem to make it.
    • Re:New Campaign (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Snowbeam ( 96416 )
      What we need is something similar to the "" capaign to tell the truth about the RIAA and such. Imagine the effect :)
    • The RIAA and affiliated labels are a trust, that is, a network of businesses in the same industry colluding instead of competing. This is illegal, except for Major League Baseball to which Congress has granted an exemption. Since the govenment isn't enforcing anti-trust laws very well there is something consumers can do. Boycott the recording indusrty. Don't buy CDs. []
  • The simplest answer: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LaserBeams ( 412546 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @07:52PM (#4434804)
    "If you are planning on offering the RIAA's music, what do you really have to do to play their music legally?"

    Give them lots of money.

    Granted, that's not the way it should be, but as it currently stands, that is how it is. They're just acting like greedy, bratty kids with too much money, and parents who are (largely) content to just slap them on the wrist.

    Treat them as such.
    • by BeBoxer ( 14448 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @10:38PM (#4435446)
      Give them lots of money.

      No, actually that won't work. You see, the RIAA is not composed of artists who make music. It's composed of companies who distribute music. So when you ask them "What do you really have to do to play their music legally?" all they hear is "Hey, I want to be a music distributor too!". To which they respond "F**k off and die, this is our turf!". Actually, they only take that tactic if you actually distribute music on your own. If you just call them, they apparently just ignore you.

      A crude scenario, but that's the gist of it. The RIAA members like the way they have the music distribution business all tied up. Nice and neat. The "Internet" is just going to screw all that up which they hate. They are not going to play nice because it means them giving up control. It'll never happen. They will either succeed in destroying the Internet in the US (and turning America into an intellectual backwater in the process) or die trying.
      • It's going to be difficult to defeat the distributors of content cause they control the news and media. If anyone hasn't noticed, the propaganda machine is on, they shape the minds of America via TV, radio, etc ... So they will have an easy time twisting words amd using W style rhetoric about good and evil and Weapons of Mass Distribution ... wooops ...
  • Their music? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 11, 2002 @07:59PM (#4434836)
    How insane is that statement? Is it their music?

    "How do I legally use the city's toilet water without breaking the law?"

    • by vudujava ( 614609 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @08:19PM (#4434933) Homepage
      I just got a cease and desist from the RIAA for singing along to the radio in my car! Now they want $15 million dollars in royalties for all the songs I've sung over the years -- turns out I am the reason their record sales have slumped!
      • by Anonymous Coward
        I've heard you sing. I can understand why you've affected record sales so much. I know I wouldn't want to buy a song after hearing you sing it.
      • Imagine if they'd suckered you into a recording contract, instead: they'd skin you for double that without even having to take you to court!

    • "How do I legally use the city's toilet water without breaking the law?"

      Read the EULA. It's usually a roll of paper on a spindle near the source.
      • Watch out for the shrink-wrap version of this EULA, though. "By entering this stall, you agree to the contents listed herein on this EULA."

        Of course, you can't read this EULA until after you enter the stall, but that's the whole point.
    • Actually that's the point.. The first question wanted to deal with local bands. He should talk to each band before hand and get permission (preferably in writing) then keep a lawer nearby in case they send a letter to his ISP complaining of infringement.

      INAL: But I think such a letter to the isp would qualify as defamiation of character. (someone correct me if I'm wrong) What these buggers need is someone to sue them for a lot of money right back again.

  • by reallocate ( 142797 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @08:00PM (#4434839)
    The RIAA isn't interested in resolving this issue. Their only interest in copyright is as a legal tool to retain effective ownership of product. They don't want to see innovative distribution schemes. Proposals that would enable distribution of copywritten product within their stated parameters don't interest them. From their point of view, it's all unwanted competition.

    Also, the notion of a database to track copyright is interesting, but, at least in the U.S., isn't copyright vested in the author, automatically, at the moment of authorship? Tracking who actually owns copyright at a given time would be more useful.
    • by Jonny Ringo ( 444580 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @08:46PM (#4435053)
      Very good point. Why would the RIAA want to help us find other music channels unrelated to them. The RIAA is a group of the 5 biggest record labels. Its just not in thier interest.

      The answer is to not support these record labels and find out how deep this goes. Do these record labels own other labels? Maybe we can compile are own database as a open effort. Kind of like what the cddb does only we just keep track of music/artists that belong to bad labels.

      I have already boycotted these labels personaly, to be honest though it was of my own interest. The internet/streaming radios (mostly) has led me to discover such a vast amount of music that I didn't even know was out there. The music I now listen to doesn't come from the major lables, and do not listen to the radio either. I think you'll find boycotting the riaa won't be to hard, and will enable you to find rare better music that you will enjoy more.
      • by aardvarkjoe ( 156801 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @09:13PM (#4435155)
        Good luck getting this crowd to boycott. Every time it's suggested, a hundred people shout about how boycotts never do anything. Apparently, using the Napster-of-the-month and complaining on Slashdot is a much more effective way of getting the record industries' attention.
        • by reallocate ( 142797 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @10:31PM (#4435418)
          I have absolutely no data to support this, but my guess is that the entire Slashdot readership could stop buying RIAA products today, forever, and hardly register a blip in the media industry's spreadsheets. There just aren't that many of 'em.

          At heart, the RIAA represents a distribution oligopoly. It isn't really about music or entertainment -- musicians and artists are simply the source of the RIAA's product. And, it really isn't about copyright or intellectual property -- the RIAA is using copyright and IP legislation to maintain its lock on the distribution channels.

          Frankly, any reasonably possible alteration in U.S. copyright law won't break the RIAA's lock. Contrary to the wishes expressed here on occassion, the U.S. is not going to do away with the notions of copyright and intellectual property. The very best we can hope for -- via the Eldred case -- is a reversion to the shorter copyright terms of the 1976 legislation, if the Supreme Court acts against form and declares the Bono Act unconstitutional. Today's music would revert to the public domain when your grandchildren are in college, rather than your great grandchildren.The RIAA's lawyers would still chase you down for copying CD's to the net.

          Nor can we expect musicians to willingly stop signing conracts with RIAA companies. Musicians and many other people in the music industry have a vested interest in copyright. (In fact, I've heard them make cogent arguments for perpetual copyright.) Their interest is in being paid. The contractual abuses that some musicians apparently fall prey to are not the issue here. (Musicians deal with that by hiring smarter managers and better lawters.) Musicians like/want/need money just as much as the rest of us. Plus, given a lucky break, they have a very tempting chance at real wealth. I wouldn't count on many musicians lining up to break RIAA's lock. (Yes, a few who are either rich enough or poor enough to afford it will thumb their noses at the RIAA, but not enough.)

          I suspect the way to break the RIAA's distribution lock is to leverage technology to create another distribution channel. Napster, Kazaa and the others demonstrate that the technology is there. However, these channels do not offer professional musicians a profitable alternative distribution channel. (It isn't profitable if you don't sell it.)

          I'd like to see a few popular and commercial successful recording artists start selling "Internet-only" music directly to customers. In other words, they use the net to sell music that is not available elsewhere. It won't be free, but if people are willing to pay, say, $9.00 instead of $18.00 for a CD's worth of music, maybe the RIAA's lock will start to rust.

          • ..., if the Supreme Court acts against form and declares the Bono Act unconstitutional. Today's music would revert to the public domain when your grandchildren are in college, rather than your great grandchildren.
            If the Supreme court rules against Eldred, it's worse than that. Even your great grandchildren's great grandchildren won't have any public domain music from any time after the early 20th century. There's every likelyhood that nothing (including music) that is currently copyrighted or created in the future will never become public domain, because the RIAA, MPAA, Disney, etc. will continue getting extensions to the copyright term. It's their objective to make sure that their copyrights never expire. Due to this annoying thing called the Constitution, they can't get that directly legislated, but unless the Supreme Court acts now, there will be nothing to stop Congress from extending the term every time they are asked to do so. This makes it effectively unlimited, even though at any given time there is a limit.
  • by Bartab ( 233395 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @08:01PM (#4434843)
    "Always looking for new ways to help out the independent music scene in my region, I recently started thinking about putting together a streaming radio station.

    If they are independent then RIAA members have no contract with them, and thus RIAA does not dictate the terms of their performance (either public or recorded)

    So again, why do you care about the RIAA? Are you trying to mix in Metallica with your "only helping local indie bands" stream?
    • "Are you trying to mix in Metallica with your "only helping local indie bands" stream?"

      Probably not, but you forget that nowadays all that matters is that you could...
    • The RIAA may not dictate terms of performance, but a subsidiary of the RIAA, called SoundExchange, *does* dictate payment for copyright fees. It doesn't matter whether or not the artist is indie/underground/whatever. The purpose of SoundExchange is to collect fees on *all* copyright holders, whether they're affiliated with the RIAA or not. Somehow, they're actually able to get away with this.

      To avoid the aforementioned fees in a legal manner, you would need to get a waiver from each individual artist/label. Though SoundExchange collects these fees, the people who create that music don't see a dime of the fee you're paying. Cute, isn't it? To contact and gain permission from all those bands/labels is next to impossible, which turns all of this into a pretty sweet deal for the RIAA, and a very sour situation for webcasters who want to go the full legal route.

      Jamie Zawinski, likely well-known here for his contributions to Mozilla, XScreensaver, and Lucid Emacs, current runs a nightclub in San Francisco, called the DNA Lounge. Every single performance/dj set is webcast from the club.. so he's been kind enough to do a full write-up of the necessary fees, legalese, etc for potential webcasters, club owners, and the like. Even if you're not interested doing it, it's a good overview of the crap that the RIAA and their ilk put people through. His write-up covers a pretty broad territory, including SoundExchange, associations that you have to pay fees to, and quite a bit more.

      you can find his write-up here:
  • Napster.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jeffy124 ( 453342 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @08:02PM (#4434848) Homepage Journal
    For the guy asking about an RIAA listing of songs, etc.

    Back right before Napster's death, they had a list to abide by. IIRC - The judge required the RIAA (more accurately, the labels) to provide those lists. So a list has once been made, and probably still lying around somewhere, albeit somewhat outdated. Very interesting they aren't interested in providing such a list any longer.
    • They weren't before (Score:3, Informative)

      by Fished ( 574624 )
      They weren't interested in providing the list before. The judge had to force them to do so, since they took the irrational position that it was Napster's responsibility to figure out whether every file in their service was copyrighted without anything to tell them what files were copyrighted! The RIAA is truly intransigent.
  • Ignore them (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Compact Dick ( 518888 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @08:04PM (#4434859) Homepage

    Mind you, this is to be non-profit, with the sole purpose to help out independent artists.

    <snip />

    If I am to do this, I would like to keep it fully legit in the eyes of the RIAA...

    If you plan to stream music solely from independent artists who have no connection with the RIAA, then I suggest you ignore them altogether.

    They should not have a say in matters that they had nothing to do with.
  • by Vegan Pagan ( 251984 ) <[deanas] [at] []> on Friday October 11, 2002 @08:05PM (#4434865)
    If piracy could do damage, it should have killed books, newspapers and magazines years ago because text is the most easily copyable data. Instead, the late 1990s saw the growth of Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and countless newspapers and magazines putting much of their text and images online with no strings attached except for advertizing. They didn't even complain, probably because copying helped them. Also, music is harder to copy than text, and movies are harder still.

    So music and movie publishers are inherently safer than text publishers from counterfieting, yet they act more paranoid. Do they think they are entitled to something that text publishers are not? And why do they want protection from copying when copying would help them? Do they LIKE copying? It gets them attention that their music never could!
    • by RobotRunAmok ( 595286 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @08:59PM (#4435103)
      because text is the most easily copyable data.

      How do you figure? It's easier to copy the latest Stephen King bestseller than it is to copy the latest Britany bestseller? I can rip a 65-minute CD in seconds; a 500 page book in... hours, maybe? And that's upstream of any OCR, which is the only thing that would make it compressed and portable enough to be of any enduring use.

      The text and images that Amazon use are teasers and promos, not complete copies by any means.

      Piracy is an issue for the RIAA (as has been stated so many times on this board, it should be on a FAQ somewhere...) because CD burning and file-sharing programs made it easy for the average consumer to copy and distribute the media.

      Text piracy has not taken off yet because it is a bitch to digitize the original paper. Video piracy is only now on the cusp of being a problem for the studios because, up until now, the average consumer was surfing a mere dial-up connection unsuitable for the larger filesizes.

      Do they LIKE copying? It gets them attention that their music never could!

      Huh? Wha...?
      • Actually, there are a couple dozen VERY busy newsgroups devoted to printed material (in ebook form, usually OCR'd to text, but sometimes PDF'd). In fact some published authors hang out there, and one even released one of her own books that way.

        However it's considered very bad form to post anything from a publisher who "gets it" (frex, Baen) and offers UNENCUMBERED ebooks (no copy protection, and in an open format) at a reasonable price.

        You'd think the **AA would notice this, but as I and others have pointed out, they don't really give a damn about piracy; what they REALLY want is to maintain TOTAL control over distribution channels.

        • >Baen

          This may be a good time to mention that I just picked up the latest in David Weber's "Honor Harrington" series, published by Baen, War of Honor. It includes on CD the entire back-catalog of the Honor books, with the encouragement to distribute freely!

          Anomaly, or wave of the future?
          • Well, cheap and free ebooks certainly haven't hurt Baen's hardcopy sales so far.. quite the reverse. They've got some Handy Charts up there somewhere showing their *increase* in sales.

            I knew about the CD including the back catalog, but not about the "distribute freely" part!! I'm not a Weber fan, but if the price is right (how much was the CD, anyway?), this is the sort of thing I could convince myself to buy, when I might not be tempted by conventionally-priced books.

            Now if they'd do the same with Bujold... :)

    • If piracy could do damage, it should have killed books, newspapers and magazines years ago because text is the most easily copyable data.
      Uh... sure. "Hey, that novel you were telling me about sounds great. Can you make a copy for me?"

      (Do moderators even bother to read the comments anymore, or do they just mod stuff up at random?)
  • It's About Control (Score:5, Insightful)

    by brandido ( 612020 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @08:06PM (#4434871) Homepage Journal
    Jarrett Wold wrote:
    Napster had the wrong idea, if they could have worked out something with RIAA regarding this same concept they would be a leviathan. However it makes you wonder if these lawsuits weren't strategic in nature. I believe in the end, history will show that killing Napster was the worst mistake the music industry could have made. They lost control of a contained problem. It wasn't fixed. However when 26 million people scatter to the winds and start their own file sharing networks (Morpheus, Gnutella and many more) the problem is decentralized and unsolvable.
    I think that the main issue is that both the MPAA and the RIAA want control of the distribution channels. At the beginning of the legal case against Napster, there was no way that Napster was going to give the RIAA and the MPAA the control they wanted - Napster thought they couldn't lose. Once Napster started to lose, the RIAA and MPAA didn't want to settle, they wanted to make an example of Napster. What better way to stop copycat Napsters than to show their business model couldn't work. There was no way they could have forseen the rise of the Peer2Peer trading. In hindsight, Jarrett Wold is right - they would have been much better able to keep control with a well-heeled Leviathan Napster than a plethora of mini-napsters. But then again, the RIAA and MPAA have been famous for being short-sighted.
    • Very true from a strategic perspective. Who wouldn't want to have a Clear Channel of the internet, (oh wait)... In an eerie parallel of The Prince (Machiavelli), pacify the masses rule the vocal minority with an iron fist.
      I think hindsight is a beautiful thing :) I've worked for over 15 companies and have noticed one similar thing, they never listen to customers on a regular basis and they rarely listen to employees. Except for HP pre-Fiorina. HP was a great place to work.
      If RIAA and the MPAA expect to be around in twenty to fifty years, they must become relevant and have a little more common sense. They are to speak frankly pissing a great number of developers off. Reading massive legal documents is boring and violence encouraging. When programmers revolt, it's hideous painful thing involving lots of staplers, fax machine bashing and geeky white gangsta rappers :)*

      *Office Space ref intentional
  • by TyZone ( 555958 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @08:25PM (#4434963) Homepage
    I've heard it said that if you have a debt and you make a good-faith attempt to pay it and the payment is refused, then the person (or company) can no longer pursue collection of that debt.

    If this is actually how it works, then could a large group of people ruin the RIAA's grand plan by sending them a *huge* number of checks for the very small amounts owed for duplication, semi-public (semi-private?) performance or whatever of their copyrighted music?


    I don't know the numbers that are actually being thrown around, but apparently, the position at the RIAA is that by downloading a song from the Internet instead of buying a CD, I am costing them some amount of money.

    Fair enough. Figure a high-dollar CD, so we'll use a figure of $18.00 as the amount I didn't spend. Now, I don't work for free, so if I'm going to pay them for their music, I want compensation for my materials, effort, etc. So let's knock off the cost of *my* CD, the wear and tear on my burner, the use of my connectivity (all marked up, of course) and let's not forget my *time* (including the time spent doing accounting on their behalf to calculate and arrange payment).

    Since I don't do this a lot, there are no economies of scale, and everything costs more when I'm doing it than in their huge and more efficient operation. I figure I end up owing them a balance of $0.02. I write a check for that amount and mail it in (have to find out just where to send it).

    It has *got* to cost them way more than $0.02 just to open the envelope and process the check. I figure the odds are good that I'll either get it back with a form letter or it'll never be cashed.

    If either of those happens, have they refused to accept payment for the use of their copyrighted music? Does this undermine their position?

    Any attorneys out there who can comment on this?

  • by adrianbye ( 452416 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @08:27PM (#4434971)
    Creative Commons [] is an non profit orgnanization started by Larry Lessig dedicated to releasing alternative licenses for music, video and all other content. (disclaimer, I am involved).

    Soon we'll be releasing some licenses to the public which will enable artists to do exactly what you need - mark their content according to how they want it to be distributed. We don't believe in only having the black and white options of just copyright or public domain. While those are good, we're going to create some more differences, such as "non-commercially redistributable", "derivatives allowed", "no derivatives allowed", etc.

    It doesn't solve your problem *today*, but it will start to help soon. You can subscribe [] to our mailing list to stay informed.

    • Why isn't there any competition for the RIAA? This whole topic makes it clear that they aren't looking after the interests of the artists very well, so why does this situation persist? Are all or most of the artists buying into this program? I know there are a few talking sense, but there is a lot of money that is being left on the table because of incompetence and stupidity. There has got to be a way to break the stranglehold, and give the artists more money at every size segment of the market.
  • by abhikhurana ( 325468 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @08:30PM (#4434982)
    In my opinion, RIAA is just looking for a scape goat... music sales are falling partly because not many good songs are bring released and partly because of overall economic slowdown,and these guys at RIAA need someway to explain to their shareholders( not RIAA shareholders but shareholders of companiesforming RIAA) that why they are not able to sell more CDs. So they have chosen to blame the online community... I mean how many people in this world have broadband access anyway that they can download music? I still remember that in countries like India,its cheaper to just go and buy the CD than trying to download a song on a dialup. In such places, downloading one or two songs is concievable but mass downloads,now way. Are the record companies implying that the online community is the community which mostly buys their music?? What kind of logic is there in this argument?? And if its actually true, why dont they just release music targeted at the non online communitzy or people who are less likely to download songs?

  • who cares? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gyratedotorg ( 545872 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @08:30PM (#4434986) Homepage

    If you are planning on offering the RIAA's music, what do you really have to do to play their music legally?

    who cares about the riaa's music? ignore that cookie-cutter crap and support your local bands.

  • Topic Suggestion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Guppy06 ( 410832 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @08:35PM (#4435007)
    "It has been 4 years since Slashdot posted it's first story containing the phrase "RIAA""

    So maybe it's high time to give them (or at least the *AAs in general) their own category?
    • by joebp ( 528430 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @09:37PM (#4435252) Homepage
      "It has been 4 years since Slashdot posted it's first story containing the phrase "RIAA""
      So maybe it's high time to give them (or at least the *AAs in general) their own category?
      I propose the name 'Trade Association Idiots', and a picture of an angry lawyer.
      • How about that guy in a top hat & tux from the Monopoly board game? but more specifically: poly/historypar agraph.gif

  • Jarett: an idea (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jellybear ( 96058 )
    I found your post on Slashdot really interesting, especially with
    respect to the attitude of those organizations towards small-scale
    enterprises. One idea that occurred to me was that you could create a
    web interface for MPAA and RIAA to input their exclusion list. You could
    also give them a special e-mail address that gets processed by a perl
    script. Give them each an account, and keep a record of your offer to
    exclude copyrighted material. If you've done all that, you've already
    done more than ICQ, TiVo and Samsung. I think, also, that you would come
    under the DMCA safe harbour. Of course, I can't give you legal advice,
    just some ideas that occurred to me.

    Good luck!
  • by theBraindonor ( 577245 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @08:50PM (#4435071) Homepage
    The RIAA has bet the farm on DRM! It's obvious from the post that they feel they have the solution to their problems. Even worse, they have declared their own customers to be the enemy. So much for all the times I've been told, "The customer is always right."

    So, when you call up the RIAA and don't mention that you are contacting them on the behalf of a commercial entity, they assume you are a customer. Would most people give their sworn enemies the time of day if they called? No way.

    Based on this attitude, the only choice is to push DRM. Sure they label it Digital Rights Management, but we all know it stands for Digital Restrictions Management. They honestly think that they have the right to police and search their customers private property.

    I can't wait until DRM falls flat on it's face. Of course they'll just be blaming their customers for that as well--which is what they've done for a long time.

  • by Jafa ( 75430 ) <> on Friday October 11, 2002 @08:56PM (#4435092) Homepage
    Regarding trying to play by the rules, a friend of mine tried that and found out it really bothers them.

    We've done a few kayak videos (aka "kayak porn"- all action, no plot), so it's fast music and a bunch of people dropping big waterfalls. Once we tried to be totally compliant, and contacted some studio for a band that we used a lot of music for. The lady my buddy talked to seemed rather annoyed that she had to do some paperwork for the 50$ check we were going to pay (something like a nickel for each video we estimated we'd make/sell). So we went ahead and payed them anyway.

    And the next time she said don't bother, it's not worth it to them.

    So, for the small timers, they just don't want you to bug them. And now adays we don't. We try to use local music and get permission, and the small bands with great music totally dig having there stuff used at no charge.

  • by kfg ( 145172 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @08:56PM (#4435093)
    the first thing you have to realize is that it *isn't the RIAA's music.* They are just a trade orginization representing the interests of their members.

    *You* are not its customer. Its members are. You absolutely can't understand anything that's going on in this whole issue until you get that absolutely clear in your head.

    They are a PR/Legal/Lobbying entity, they don't even do marketing, that is left up to the individual copyright holders and they certainly don't do sales. They represent, ummmmmmm, interests. Of their members. Not you. Their members.

    Remember that music is *published,* so look at it this way, if you wanted to publish copies of your favorite bit of abandonware who would you contact? Not a software trade group. You'd contact the publisher. The idea is pretty straightforward. You would have to contact them directly, have their lawyers talk to your lawyers, negotiate terms, draw up a contract, etc..

    That's exactly what you have to do with any published work, including music.

    With one caveat. Congress recognized that music was somehow different from most copyrighted works and established the idea of a *statutory* license. This license cannot be denied. It's terms are set by the Federal Government, not the copyright holder. These terms include the payment of a *mechanical* royalty.

    If your use of a published piece of music meets the terms set forth by the statute for payment of mechanical royalties negotiation of an individual contract is unnecessary. The contract terms are stipulated by law. You must, however, still contract by filling the proper forms with the copyright holder ( *or its representative* ).

    Now in some bizarre twist of fate the RIAA has been designated as the admistrator of internet related *mechanical* royalties, and ONLY mechanical royalties, any use that does not meet the statute must still be individually negotiated with the actual copyright holder, which is NOT the RIAA, it is one of its members ( unless the copyright holder is not an RIAA member, then you must still contact and make arangements with the actual copyright holder).

    This put the RIAA in an interesting position. They aren't an orinization suited for this purpose. What to do? Start a new orginization of course. THIS is that orginization:

    These are the people you need to contact to arrange the payment of mechanical royalties to those copyright holders who have designated the RIAA as their representative in such matters. Some of them apparently even gone so far as to designate Soundexchange as the representative to negotiate nonmechanical royalties as well, but my guess is that's only the smaller recording companies who do not retain their own lawyers for that purpose.

    You'll find the site contains a wealth of information and even copies of the appropriate forms.

    The people you talked to at the RIAA should have simply refered you to them, but they're all administrative PR types, i.e., dickheads.

    IANAL, but I have been the owner of a small music publishing company, although of the pre-internet variety. With all this RIAA/DMCA crap who knows, I might just get back into the "biz" as a small independant specializing in small artists/labels who also think the RIAA are dickheads.

    I doubt it though. The entire industry is too filthy for my tastes these days.

  • by teamhasnoi ( 554944 ) <> on Friday October 11, 2002 @09:08PM (#4435141) Journal
    Copying CDs

    It's okay to copy music onto an analog cassette, but not for commercial purposes.
    It's also okay to copy music onto special Audio CD-R's, mini-discs, and digital tapes (because royalties have been paid on them) - but, again, not for commercial purposes.
    Beyond that, there's no legal "right" to copy the copyrighted music on a CD onto a CD-R. However, burning a copy of CD onto a CD-R, or transferring a copy onto your computer hard drive or your portable music player, won't usually raise concerns so long as:
    The copy is made from an authorized original CD that you legitimately own
    The copy is just for your personal use. It's not a personal use - in fact, it's illegal - to give away the copy or lend it to others for copying.
    The owners of copyrighted music have the right to use protection technology to allow or prevent copying.
    Remember, it's never okay to sell or make commercial use of a copy that you make.

    No metion of "Fair Use" in there. Note how they don't say it's *legal* to make a copy for yourself? ...won't usually raise concerns ...

    Hey Sniper - Try the RIAA. Leave the regular joes alone.

    • You're joking, right? I mean, they spelled out exactly what rights you have to copy media under the Fair Use clause of the U.S. Copyright Act--so just becuase they don't say, "Fair Use," you're going to throw a fit. Bravo.

      • He quotes a passage that says you have no legal right to copy music onto a CDR. This is blatantly untrue. Part of fair use is being able to make as many copies of the things you own as you like, as long as those copies stay with you. Not only did they not use the words "fair use", but they deny its existence altogether.
  • by MyHair ( 589485 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @09:16PM (#4435165) Journal
    Just a strange idea I had while reading another comment on another /. RIAA story: if the RIAA is succeeding in controling the distribution and sales for vast majority of the music we listen to, what would happen if we formed a "consumer's union" of sorts?

    It would be more organized and longer-term than a boycott; think of it as more like a labor union or trade union, but representing consumers instead of manufacturers or distributors.

    If the RIAA and other entertainment (and software) interests start using DRM to strictly control how we can use our purchased music then we may benefit from a large union or lobby that has enough support to hurt the RIAA (or whoever) financially with a boycott or even organizing other forms of entertainment to displace what the RIAA is offering.

    The union could publish a Consumer Reports style magazine and/or web site with reviews on consumer entertainment hardware and cost versus restrictions and how that compares to what we're used to: tapes and CDs.

    In short, if the IP companies are teaming up through producers and distributors, why can't we team up as consumers and tell THEM how we're going to buy music?

    Heck, I used the word "lobby" above and just now realized that such a union could lobby against anti-consumer legislation and back up any threats with member voters. Individuals writing in to their legislators saying they'll vote for someone else may catch a lawmaker's notice, but a block of voters belonging to one group saying the same thing in unison really gets their attention.

    I haven't really thought this idea through and I'm not a leader, and this will probably sort itself out through market dynamics sooner or later regardless of the law. But there you are. Discuss.
  • costs (Score:4, Funny)

    by cosyne ( 324176 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @09:18PM (#4435173) Homepage
    If you are planning on offering the RIAA's music, what do you really have to do to play their music legally?

    Hey kid, how much you got? Really? What a coincidence!
    • >what do you really have to do to play their music legally?
      Hey kid, how much you got? Really? What a coincidence!

      It's coincidentally twice as much as you've got!

  • by SnakeStu ( 60546 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @09:27PM (#4435211) Homepage
    Any direct "fight" against the RIAA or other corporate entertainment interests is virtually guaranteed to lose. This is also true for trying to "work with them" beyond the scope of what they have already approved. They don't have to care about those who argue or want something beyond the trash entertainment conveyor belt, because those who don't abide by the corporate "rules" are too few, and the bulk of their paying audience either does not understand, or does not care about, their rights. To make a real impact, one must undercut the corporate entertainment foundation by actively doing three things:
    1. Promote the enjoyment of Free entertainment to people who might not otherwise pay attention to something that lacks the "corporate seal of approval."
    2. Produce every type of Free entertainment your talents allow, and make it very clear that it is Free.
    3. Lead by example: Stop -- completely stop -- paying third parties for entertainment, and encourage others to do the same. (I have no disagreement with paying artists directly.)
    Are any of those easy? No. Are all of them critical to making any inroads against corporate entertainment, and the attacks on our rights? Yes, I believe so.

    My new mantra is "Enjoy some Free entertainment, and keep your money in your pocket." Feel free to borrow that whenever and wherever appropriate! :-)

  • by Usefull Idiot ( 202445 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @09:28PM (#4435215)
    not the RIAA or MPAA.

    They are Associations of recording companies and motion picture companies. The job of the RIAA and MPAA are to: Provide a united front in litigation, lobbying, and public relations for the companies. If you noticed - there is no uniform RIAA music sharing program, there are a few different ones run by different groups of companies... In other words, even the companies that employ the RIAA can't agree on compensation. If you want to get a master list of music and copyright holders - contact the individual music labels, they better have at least some sort of crude list, and compile the master list yourself.

    I wish you luck in your endeavors...
  • by Xformer ( 595973 )
    I guess lawsuits could conceivably be a nice addition to the bottom line and excuse for bad accounting...

    Perhaps, in an effort to justify the cost of the lawyers, they could somehow come up with this "missing income" they keep ranting about and become the next Enron or WorldCom.

    Who's up next for the perp walk?
  • We constantly hear of artists getting screwed. Yet artists willfully sign over their rights to the record labels, RIAA, or whoever. (You might take exception to the term "willfully", but I haven't yet heard of anyone having a gun held to their head.)

    Way-back-when, volume distribution channels made sense to obtain economies of scale that no one individual could obtain.

    Today that economy of scale argument doesn't apply (at least is significantly), which is why mom-and-pop web stores can reach an audience as large as the big guys. At least for Internet-capable consumers, which seems to be the core consumer group of concen.

    The technology exists today for artists to form their own version of the RIAA. It wouldn't even require a central organization/site, but could be distributed. (Simple model: songs contain the URL of where to pay.)

    The problem isn't technical. It would only take a handful (or 1) of successful artists to bankroll the development (I'm sure there are plenty of open source developers who would jump at the chance).

    So why haven't the artists created such an entity?

    Obviously this won't do anything for back catalogs. But the problem will remain unless someone takes the first step.
    • Its called "plantation mentality". Most artists are out for themselves, not the good of the community. Another artist is another competitor.
  • by Eric Smith ( 4379 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @09:33PM (#4435237) Homepage Journal
    and in that time the RIAA has waged war on the Internet rather than try and use the technology for the benefit of their artists
    "Benefit of their artists"??? Are you smoking crack or what? Why would you think that the RIAA gives half a rat's ass for artists? Their concern is for the recording industry, to which artists are only viewed as a necessary evil.

    Sadly, the only way the artists are going to get any halfway-reasonable cut of royalties from distribution on the internet is if they strike out on their own (and perhaps form their own recording companies), or if they convince Congress to pass some legislation benefitting them. Otherwise the RIAA and its members will continue to have not the slightest bit of concern for the artists.

  • Why ICQ is not sued. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by /dev/trash ( 182850 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @09:35PM (#4435242) Homepage Journal
    They are owned by AOL TimeWarner.
  • by thumbtack ( 445103 ) <> on Friday October 11, 2002 @09:35PM (#4435245)
    Last year I had an opportunity to speak with one of the licensed services that are available, who was sued by the RIAA, for being too interactive.
    Several points were emphasised
    1) This is the price take it or leave it. (there is no negotiating the price, it's set.)
    2) You have to write snailmail, and be sure to include the business information (I was told unless you have approx $1,000,000 in liquid assets they won't even talk to you or respond.)
    3) Everything, the terms, price, these discussions are confidential or you pay an outragous fine.
    4) You play what we tell you to play, not what you want.

    There is a really good article on []
    Globe Technology thats starts "The following are 10 rules of e-business failure, a list inspired by the recording industry's imaginative approach:"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 11, 2002 @09:46PM (#4435286)
    I can't reveal who I am, only that I work for RIAA's special projects team.

    This team is currently in the final stages of plan Equalize. Equalize has been in the works for over 4 years now, it is funded by the trillions of dollars that are gained from everything ranging from overpriced music to economic damages gained from suing Kid Billy at University of ANystate.

    The bottomless warchest which these sources have provided the RIAA, have enabled our team to develop time travel technology. The project's aim is to send a team of assasins back in time to kill chiarglione, fraunhoffer and anyone remotely associated to mp3 encoding/decoding.

    I know it is futile to write this, since in a few days no one will know a thing about mp#. I just had to tell the world to lighten my heavy conscience.

    If some of you have read this and are wondering how you'll know when the change has taken place-- just keep reading this message over and over again until you have no idea what it's talking about
  • No precedent (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ShadowDrake ( 588020 )
    They don't want to be held to anything now, so as to avoid setting precedent.

    If they said today "Okay... want to stream, send a cheque for $x to PO Box y...", they'd have a hard time defending it if they said, later:

    "We've decided the appropriate streaming fee is $3x"

    "We're losing $2x per unauthorised stream occuring"


    "They're all pirating b*****s", which is promptly responded to with the display of a cancelled cheque for $x.
  • by wadetemp ( 217315 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @10:20PM (#4435390)
    ... only 100 comments. 95 or so of which have been posted previously on the many other RIAA threads.

    I think this striking lack of commentary indicates two possiblities:
    1) Rather than posting passionate diatribes on Slashdot, Slashdotters are out in the streets protesting against the RIAA. They're burning CDs on the streets, getting shot at with rubber bullets by the RIAA mafia, and so on.
    2) Slashdot readers are bored by hourly updates on the RIAA "standoff," and have decided to put an end to the byte-littering and wasted hours by not posting yet again a message about how much they hate/love the RIAA here.

    Cliff forgot to point out that some of those stories, while possibly interesting at one point in Slashdot's history, are now only semi-interesting.
  • How is targeting P2P networks that are used to extensively trade in copyrighted materials, "declaring war on your own customers"?

    And how is asking to be paid for transmission rights in a similar way to how broadcast radio pays for those rights, "Silencing Internet Radio"?
    • What do you really have to do to play their music legally?

    Simply move out the United States of America (any one of you or RIAA)

  • Oracle's licensing is by user, transaction, or CPU, depending on the licensee's scenario. It's still expensive, but at least it's up front.

    If the RIAA public contacts got friendlier (read that as: hire sales personnel) and publicly disclosed a coherent licensing structure, then they could very well have another profit center. As a company, it's nothing but good business.

    It really makes you wonder if the RIAA corporate location has chiba as office plants...
  • by Malcs ( 95091 )
    Oh just fook 'em. Let 'em have their bloody distribution channels while the rest of us just get drunk and sing along with each as we huddle around the piano. Let's see 'em try and take that away.

  • "Dealing with the RIAA?"

    Well, I suppose that "burn down their corporate offices, flip Rosen's car over, and handcuff yourself to the fence outside Rosen's house demanding that the RIAA be disolved" isn't the answer you were looking for?

  • Maybe this is "evil" of me, but it seems to me when you have to come to a point where you just say, "Fuck the rules".

    When we (Americans) attempted to secede from the British empire, did we "play by the rules"? No, we told the British to go fuck themselves, and hid behind trees and picked them off like target practice because they were marching down the middle of the road in bright red coats like dumbasses. In short, they were playing by the *old* rules, and if we had chosen to play their way, we would have gotten our asses kicked.

    It seems to me the surest way to lose a battle is to allow your *enemy* to call the shots. And, the RIAA has publicly declared us as their enemy. And don't talk to me about the poor artists...any artist can now self-distribute; because they choose to (paraphrasing from American Beauty) "sell [their] souls and work for Satan just because it's more convenient that way", it's not my problem.

    So, I respectfully submit that we should just stop purchasing CDs, plain and simple. And we should stream whatever the hell we want. And we should trade whatever the hell we want. Let's organize a worldwide open source project which creates a P2P file sharing / music organization system specifically designed to trade RIAA-endorsed music for FREE, but has a pay structure for independents.

    They can't put us all in jail, and if it's a war they want, let's give it to them. In short, let's prove them right. Make some musicians broke, if that's what it takes. They're part of the problem, anyway, for signing these idiotic contracts in the first place. (If they were truly "artists", they'd realize a bohemian lifestyle is sometimes worth some freedom, just like painters and sculptors and the rest of us.) And then, after enough macaroni and cheese, Sellout Artist X will fucking sign with an alternative organization who gives a shit about artists' needs instead of an organization which was designed, from top to bottom, to rape their every orifice, milk their last breath and throw away their corpse when they're done.

    Sure, it'll take a while for the economy to shift, but I've just decided that I'm never going to buy another RIAA-endorsed CD again, unless it's used. In short, I will only buy in ways that prevent royalties from going to them.

    It's simple, really: fuck the RIAA. All they are doing is making me *want* to intentionally pirate their music.

    Man, when you actually cause your fans to start plotting ways to intentionally fuck you, your PR people and lawyers are really screwing with your future prospects at profitability. (I was a huge music fiend when I was young, and wanted to work in radio, until I found out what a shitty business it is.) Now, I think I like Microsoft more than the RIAA. That's saying a LOT.

    So, to end my insane rant, can someone on this board enlighten me as to WHY we should play by the rules?

    • i agree with you 100%, and i've never before heard anyone else echo my thoughts so precisely, so i'll just say: "ditto".

      as far as why we should play by the rules, i think the standard argument is that, if we're playing by the rules, they would have no excuse for fucking with p2p, nor to push their drm bullshit.

  • If you are planning on offering the RIAA's music, what do you really have to do to play their music legally?

    Step 1: Remove Pants
    Step 2: Bend Over
  • by Cinematique ( 167333 ) on Saturday October 12, 2002 @12:29PM (#4437144)
    If you want to use the majority of the music published through traditional channels... you need to talk to ASCAP [] and/or BMI []. AFAIK, talking to them does not help secure rights to use a song in something like a movie, but for most part, you're on the right track if you talk to these guys.

    Radio stations pay ASCAP/BMI fees in order to play music on their radio stations. They're responsible for dividing up money to member artists.

    The funny thing is that I've *never* seen or read an article where either organization has taken a stand for or against DRM... it's always the RIAA.

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford