I Hate the RIAA

Stealing music is, of course wrong,
but I think these lawsuits are ridiculous
and across the country they continue to bully innocent people into paying their blackmail.

The Recording Industry Association of America has filed lawsuits against 15 people at the University of Georgia, claiming they illegally downloaded copyrighted music from the Internet.

There will always be theft. And theft is wrong. But I, as a music consumer, can certainly understand the frustration of many over the RIAA’s failure to innovate while hiding behind a music monopoly that already has been found guilty of collusion to fix prices.

48 comments

  1. Doug Deal says:

    Erick,

    I do not download illegal music, but I have a hard time equating this to genuine theft. If something is obtained illegally (profits from price fixing, collusion, intimidation, etc) they have no legal right to the property in the first place. Can someone who steals a car then charge someone who takes the car from him with theft?

    If I was on a jury in a case like this, it would be one that I would lean quite heavily toward nullification.

  2. Doug Deal says:

    I should rephrase what I said, I did not mean LEGAL right, I meant MORAL right. What’s moral and what’s legal are often times completely different things.

  3. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    Memberg, I agree. Someone at sometime purchased that music legally, then decided to upload it onto a peer to peer network and share it with the world. Is sharing my CD of music with my friened(s) to copy illegal? In reality, the problem isn’t sharing music, it’s that the record companies are marketing too many lame bands. I mean, have you listened to Atlanta radio lately? I think some stations literally have a 30 song rotation — all of it BAD.

  4. griftdrift says:

    The day the RIAA starts suing people for using CD-RWs is the day I will have some measure of sympathy for their cause. Oh wait. The same people that produce all those CD-RWs are the same people that own the record labels.

    Nevermind.

  5. ChuckEaton says:

    “Someone at sometime purchased that music legally, then decided to upload it onto a peer to peer network and share it with the world.”

    Do you feel it’s okay if someone at sometime purchased a $1,00 software program, made copies, then distributed unlimited copies to friends and business associates?

    Would it be okay to purchase the new Harry Potter book, make photocopies of it and then distribute it for free to people before they walk into a Barnes and Noble?

    I tend to believe when you purchase music, video, or software you are agreeing to what ever licensing agreement the given artist/company has stated. If you think it’s unfair that a particular artist/company does not want you to distribute his music for free, after purchasing it, then you ought not buy his music.

    That being said, I believe the artists need to develop a new revenue model when it comes to distributing their product, but ultimately they should have final say so in the matter.

    Technology is going to continue to make this problem worse and at some point the content needs to be protected – or people will lack the incentive to develop new content.

    I do agree the record companies are marketing too many lame bands.

  6. Federalist says:

    So by this “moral” right…we should let the undocumented worker stay and continue to work. It is the moral thing to do,…right?

  7. griftdrift says:

    Here is a very simple question. I can’t take credit for it because I heard it from Moby (the musician, not the redneck DJ)

    Which do you think cost artists more money? Some kid downloading a song or the same kid walking into Best Buy paying ten bucks for a stack of CD-Rs and ripping whole CDs then passing them out to friends?

    It’s very funny to hear organizations like the RIAA talk about theft and such when they are coddling the very companies that aid and abet the theft.

  8. ChuckEaton says:

    “Which do you think cost artists more money? Some kid downloading a song or the same kid walking into Best Buy paying ten bucks for a stack of CD-Rs and ripping whole CDs then passing them out to friends?”

    I don’t honestly know. Downloading a song literally makes it available to millions of strangers, whereas the kid ripping CD’s would have a limited circle he could distribute to. I don’t really think it’s a relevant statement as it’s obviously much easier to persue the internet dsitributors (due to an electronic paper trail) versus the CD-R distributors.

  9. griftdrift says:

    Of course it is. There’s also no conflict of interest in picking on college kids with computers. I mean why would you go after people copying CDs when it cuts into your own profit? Who makes CD-Rs? Sony. What is one of the biggest record labels in the world? Sony Music.

    A pox on them all. They get what they deserve and I don’t feel one damned bit of remorse about the morality of it all.

    The only good thing about this is the market will eventually sort it out. More and more “big” bands are going indie because they are tired of getting ripped off by their “protectors”.

    A good example is Hanson. Ignore the fact for a moment that they produce crap ass music. When they got an opportunity to cut loose from the label they began their own label. Now they sell 300,000 to 400,000 instead of the bajillion their debut sold. And guess what? Despite lower sales, they see more money.

  10. Nicki says:

    I used to work for one of the majors and consequently was a member of the RIAA.

    A few corrections/thoughts:

    The RIAA has opposed every reproductive technology for consumer use, starting with (I think) the cassette tape and possibly going back to the mid-40s wire reel recorder. Nearly every major label has a branch that produces technology, so when they can’t keep the recording technology away from the public they then produce the very technology they opposed.

    The RIAA exists solely to advance the interests of the majors.

    The artists net about 5% of the gross on record sales, if that. Their money is made on tours, merch, endorsements, and the like. Hence the disconnect between individual artists and their corporate masters — the artists aren’t affected much by the loss in sales, but that’s where the labels make their money.

    In my opinion the majors need to figure out a business plan that gives them more money from other revenue streams. I’m sure they’ll have that worked out once they’ve exhausted their legal options if history is an indicator. Meanwhile, they recently decided to try to define records as work for hire, which would mean that artists would no longer be entitled to royalties, or to control the use of the music they recorded.

  11. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    Griftdrift said:
    “A good example is Hanson. Ignore the fact for a moment that they produce crap ass music. ”

    I don’t like Hanson’s music either, BUT at least they play their own instruments.

    ChuckEaton said:
    “I tend to believe when you purchase music, video, or software you are agreeing to what ever licensing agreement the given artist/company has stated. If you think it’s unfair that a particular artist/company does not want you to distribute his music for free, after purchasing it, then you ought not buy his music.”

    All true Chuck, I do agree. That’s why I haven’t paid for music since 2000 when I first started downloading from the original Napster. It morally or legally ok? Of course not, but I really don’t care. 😉

  12. ChuckEaton says:

    I used to be peripherally involved in the business as well, selling CD-R packaging to Sony, JVC and Maxell before the product became a commodity and produced overseas – I assure you there are extremely tight margins in the business. I also sold software, video, and music packaging/CD inserts and called on many of the major labels. My business definitley decreased due to the internet, but that’s life. The printing company I worked for in LaGrange is no longer there and was shut-down for a few reasons, one being internet distribution of content.

    For the record, I’m also an investor in a company called Media Rights Technologies http://www.mediarightstech.com

    A few points:

    Yes the RIAA has opposed every reproductive technology, but internet content sharing is the first time you can realistically mass distribute content illegally to complete strangers.

    Before it was virtually impossible for the RIAA to track these folks down. Honestly, would they follow folks home who buy a cassette or CD-R and then request a search warrant? The curse of the internet (for the RIAA) is also the blessing, there is an electronic paper trail, which makes it easier to track the free content distributors down. One of the reasons they were unsuccessful in their opposition to video and audio cassettes is they could never prove the products would be used exclusively for the distribution of copyrighted content.

    Sony may have a slight conflict, making very little money on CD-R’s, but there are plenty of other labels who do not make CD-R’s.

    Whether more bands are going indie, bands make more or less money through electronic distribution, it hurts the corporate masters more than the artisits or the fat cat executives at Sony are jerks does not morally exonerate anyone from distributing copyrighted content for free.

    Yes, artists make more money off of concerts, etc.. and the internet should cause the price of legally distributed music to come down (no more jewel case manufacturers, printers like me, CD manufacuters, distribution costs, etc..)

    The internet has made it easier for artists to distribute music and the major labels/”corporate masters” are paying the price for this paradigm shift in the marketplace – a shift I whole heartily support.

    Ultimately the internet will probably help the artists, but it’s still up to the artists to decide how they should be compensated for their product. I think the people who want to discuss how the major labels deserve it, the artists never made any money off of the music distribution etc. are simply throwing out red herrings.

  13. ChuckEaton says:

    As a side note the music folks at Sony definitley ruled the roost. One of the reasons Sony was late to the MP3 game was the music people kept putting the kibosh on the electronics division everytime there was a movement to develop the portable devices.

    The music folks attitude was, “Why would we develop devices that will help pirate our music?”

    A short-sighted and unwise strategy, but expected from a big conglomerate.

  14. dorian says:

    No offense intended here, but you people are all old. Old. Old. Old. Without speaking to the ethical merits of my subsequent statement, but the part that none of you get is that this is, in fact, a cultural issue. College kids don’t consider downloading music illegally to be wrong. In fact, they consider littering to be more wrong. Moreover, I’d be willing to bet that most of these folks who download music copiously feel the same way.

    The RIAA knows this, and thus, they treat everyone as a criminal, or potential criminal. I don’t really blame them for their reaction. However, they are trying to be a bowie knife to a problem that requires a scalpel.

    The floodgate of illegal downloading is open. It isn’t ever going to be closed no matter how many folks they sue. The smart thing to do would be to reframe their business model, or else just quit coming across as such unsympathetic, greedy bastards who squeeze the life out of most artists. The average joe downloader might actually feel some iota of sympathy for an artist instead of giving the finger to a bunch of corporate hacks. Either one.

  15. ChuckEaton says:

    There seems to be contigent of folks here who are sympathetic to the artists and want to frame this as a battle with the greedy, fat cat record executives – it’s not and the artists are ticked off about it.

    I guess it’s easier on the conscious to not believe your hurting the beloved Bruce Springsteen, the Dixie Chicks, Don Henley, Roger Waters, and Carole King http://www.recordingartistscoalition.com/artists.php

    Or are they just a bunch of disingenuous fat cats?

  16. ChuckEaton says:

    I’m not sure an article by Courtney Love vesus 100’s of prominent musicians is “tit for tat”, regardless I think you’re missing my point.

    I’m all for interent distribution and think it will help connect more artists with more people. I like the idea of getting the middle-man distributor out of the way, I just think the artist should have a say in how they are compensated. I’m a big user of i-Tunes.

    If the artist and the law are opposed to someone mass distributing her product for free, what gives you the right to do it…is it because Courtney Love says it’s okay?

    Nobdody responded to my question of distributing for free a $1,000 software program or handing out copies of a Harry Potter book for free because they logically can’t – it’s all content. The “free distribution” folks seem to only want to throw out red herrings about how evil the labels are or how the artists don’t make any money either way.

  17. Nicki says:

    Well, all of those artists are on major labels. The Dixie Chicks and Bruce Springsteen are on Sony.

    The fact of the matter is that the pain is to the major label and far less to the artists, and if the majors want to change the way it affects them then they’re going to have to change their business model. Which they appear to be doing.

    As a side argument, I’ve always been irritated that the majors maintain the amount of control over music that they do. I consider it immoral to deny us our cultural heritage for such a lengthy period of time, and am glad to see digital distribution for the simple reason that I think it will bring thousands of artists to people who literally couldn’t buy them beforehand.

    We can argue all day about whether it’s moral to force people to buy extraneous product in order to get a smaller product (I have no opinion on that), but I’m glad that digital technology allows the means to make smaller pieces profitable.

  18. ChuckEaton says:

    “The fact of the matter is that the pain is to the major label and far less to the artists”

    Where did you get this fact? I just produced a website of many prominent artists who are really ticked off about this.

    I’m really becoming amused with the idea that in order to justify this activity people need to believe they are not harming the artists.

    If someone has rights to copyrighted material why should it matter if that someone is an evil Sony executive or Walden Woods Don Henley?

  19. Nicki says:

    I happen to think the RIAA is evil and our entire perspective on what music is and how it exists as a commodity is off. But downloading? Note that I said nothing.

    And your endorsement by a handful of people who are in the employ of a major label is pretty damned pointless when contrasted by the simple fact noted above: that artists don’t make much from sales, and that’s why a lot of them aren’t that concerned about them.

  20. Doug Deal says:

    I read that Courtney Love article a couple of years ago, and it is amazing what a train wreck can produce with a few moments of lucidity. I think her idea of basically “working for tips” is an interesting one.

    That article has forever tainted my view of the recording industry. The power to change it is now in the hands of consumers and artists. Distribution is now virtually free, and they need to take advantage of it. Look what web sites are doing to newspapers.

  21. dorian says:

    You know, Chucky, that is precisely the kind of thing I would expect an elitist corporate shrill to say. You probably dismissed the article because of the author without even reading it. In any event, in the legal world the article is what we call a “primary” source. Whereas, the article you cited (which cooincidentally comes from an RIAA affiliated site) is called a “secondary” source. To put it simply, I win.

    If I missed your point, it is only because, like other “oldish” types of people, you don’t understand the technology well enough to have an intelligent discussion about the subject matter. Don’t get me wrong, I have alot of respect for my elders, but I also tried to teach my grandma how to send email for two years without much luck.

    Btw, the internet is not a “series of tubes”.

  22. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    enough already…I don’t care about the RIAA, the artists, or the labels. It’s a free market, i hope they all make money. As for me, I’m interested in SAVING money. So, I will download my music for free. That leaves more money for beer. Now, of someone could something about Sunday sales….oooops, I didn’t mean that…that would be immoral.

  23. atlantaman says:

    I read the Courtney Love article also. It was as hard to follow as well Courtney Love. I couldn’t tell whether she was for the artists being compensated or not on Napster and other sites.

    She obviously has a big problem with the labels, but then spoke out in favor of Lars Ulhrich’s crusade. Even mentioning she would be first in line to file a class action lawsuit to protect copyrights if needed.

  24. Federalist says:

    The Law is the Law. dorian, this is a secondary source…the primary source would be the subpeonas and other court documents. It might sound odd, because all of you think that I am a raging liberal,…but I take the side of the recording industry. I do not care about the “artists” or their millions of dollars, nor do I care about the recording industry itself, but this is intellectual property…and these “John Doe” violators are just that. They have broken the law. This argument is reminiscent of the immigration issue. Sounds odd, but as I mentioned earlier…it is a moral issue. Personally I am pro-“amnesty,” primarily because I believe that the laws on the books are undemocratic and economically hampering. But I do not disagree that people that jump the border broke the law. I think that a lot of people in this forum are letting their emotions get in the way of reasoned judgement. The reasoning about punishing immigrants because they broke our laws, which I have read many of you advocate (especially from those of you who are calling the proposed immigration reform bill an amnesty bill). These “John Doe’s” broke the law too, and while the law may seem undemocratic or economically hampering (I understand your arguments,…that is for the few individuals in this forum who have developed opinions and not a simple hatred of rich people, liberal elites, and/or “artists”). Does the law need changed? Probably, but this is something that is going to have to be left to the free market. Just like “illegal” immigration (which I consider the market has responded to and voiced that these workers need to stay). Purchasing music online has grown to be a highly profitable industry, while the hard copy music/media industry has declined. More and more, online retail sites that sell (not share) media will not only profit from the sale, but profits can rise from advertising thus (hopefully) allowing the costs of music (in this case) the drop. Free markets are the answer. Shying away from music and going to media in general, just look at the money that newspapers make. This is medium many of us are familiar with, and can all relate to. There has been a push by a few of the major newspapers to stop selling subscriptions and give them out for free. Why? Advertising. Advertisement spots are more valuable when more people see them, and more people are likely to subscribe to a newspaper if there is very little or no cost. I think that this concept can be applied to the online music retail industry (i.e. napster, iTunes, Rhapsody, etc) in the near future. The key will to be ridding the market of file sharing sites, such LimeWire. Like going after employers of “illegal” immigrants…get rid of the “illegal” market and you will get rid of a lot of the crime.

  25. atlantaman says:

    Federalist I agree with you, except on the illegal immigrant stuff. It’s not a cultural issue just because a younger generation thinks it’s okay to use the internet to avoid compensating musicians.

    This argument isn’t about knowledge of the Internet Machine or the evil RIAA, it’s about whether someone who purchased a song should be able to give it to thousands of strangers for free without compensating the musician.

  26. dorian says:

    Federalist, I disagree with you. Since you took the time to articulately explain your position, I will try to respond in kind. First, what does ‘stealing music’ mean? If I buy “Doll Parts” by Hole on Itunes and use MyFairPlay to copy it to a MP3 and put the MP3 on my Zune, is that stealing? If my mom wants to copy Landslide off my Stevie Nix CD and put it on her archos is that stealing? What if she wants the whole album?

    You have, of course, answered all those questions already. Yes. Yes. Yes. And to me, that is just as unreasonable as the unadultereated downloader running amok is to you. You seem to think that because your point of view can be enforced at the end of a sword, that it makes it more legitimate. It doesn’t.

    Moreover, there is no ‘bright line’. That is, I can’t tell you at what point me letting my buddy borrow to burn “Brain Damage” off my Dark Side of the Moon Cd versus the whole cd versus my whole collection starts to get unreasonable. Nor can you tell me. However, by boxing yourself in to such a narrow minded position by saying ‘it’s all wrong’ the only thing your doing is coming across as just as unreasonable as you claim all downloaders are. Just my 2 cents.

  27. Federalist says:

    Dorian, it is not about right or wrong…it is about legal or illegal. Nobody is telling you that you can not do something, but there may be legal reprocussions as consquence to your actions. Nice name dropping by the way…very mature.

  28. dorian says:

    Thank’s fed. I was trying really hard to impress you. Unfortunately, I misuderstood the point of the conversation. There is a certain irony in someone going by “federalist” blindly supporting federal laws, but hey different strokes. I can almost see John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Washington (more name dropping) passionately advocating on part of both the DMCA and the RIAA’s copyright interests. It gives me goosebumps.

    You are, of course, correct. We should never insert ‘rightness or wrongness’ into any intelligent discourse about laws.

  29. GOPeach says:

    I happen to thank God for coyright laws!

    I’ve been to Russia, China, India, etc.. where there is a serious lack of motivated writing in fields such as music, film, novels, journalism, etc… due to the lack of copyrights! There is no financial security in writing. It is reserved for the wealthy and those connected to the corrupt governments!

    So I hope this thread is making people more aware that we have laws in this country that protect our writers and give them a chance to make a living as opposed to having things pirated
    thus causing them to wait on tables at Mick’s and Hard Rock for the rest of their lives!

  30. Nicki says:

    GOPeach, you’re right in theory, but most likely they STILL end up waiting tables unless they’re in the very top tier of musical artists. Just ask the Ronettes.

  31. Federalist says:

    Dorian, I (like the Federalists undoubtedly would say) am not advocating the elimination of the causes of copyright infringement…such an action would be undemocratic. There are ways, however, to control the effects of the actions taken by individuals.

  32. dorian says:

    I dunno, fed. I just got slapped down pretty good by Nicki for making overbroad generalizations about people, so I think I’ll make another one right now. This strikes me as generational. We aren’t even speaking the same language. No one is calling for the abolution of copyright laws, but when a teacher can’t even show a Disney movie in a classroom, it is out of control. There is also such a thing as copyright abuse, and I think just because a law is “the law” doesn’t mean we shouldn’t question it’s validity.

  33. GOPeach says:

    Actually, I happen to know about this field as my sons are in a local Atlanta band that is starting to get pretty well known. They understand that you have to WRITE in order to make money. It is the songwriters not the artist who make the money and if you can pitch your songs to lots of other artists, you can make even more royalty money.

    In order to remain strong in lteracy and arts, we must protect our rights. LOL

    I guess some people think that Copy Rights are the Rights to Copy! 🙂

  34. atlantaman says:

    Dorian you keep writing about this as if it’s a generational thing, but I think you trying to rationalize unethical behavior. Quit being a cheapskate and create an Itunes account.

    I’m trying not to be to pius about it, as I experimented with file sharing programs in the early years, but have moved on. Especially now that there are so many other options.

    You keep acting as if you’re ahead of the curve, but you’re actually behind it as there are plenty of pay websites that allow for the responsible downloading of music.

    Getting caught is basically like a speeding ticket. When the police pull you over they don’t want to hear about the philosophical reasons as to why there should be no speed limit; just admit you were wrong and pay the damn ticket.

    You keep bringing up minor examples like a teacher showing a Disney movie or giving a copy of the “Dark Side of the Moon” to your mom. Those examples may or may not be illegal, but one thing there is no dispute about is sharing the songs with thousands of strangers for free – that’s what this thread is all about. Any kid that is smart enough to attend such a fine academic institution as Georgia should have no excuse on this one. These kids got caught with their hands in the cookie jar, pay the settlement and move on. I’m not suggesting they were a scarlet letter for the rest of their lives.

    Artists should have a right to protect their work from chisellers – whether it be literature, music, software or film.

  35. dorian says:

    Here’s a tip. Go back and read the first post. You know, the one by the site author “Eric”. Funny, I don’t remember him saying this thread was about people downloading thousands of songs. You do know how to scroll up, don’t you?

    What you call ‘individual cases’. I call ‘specific examples’. Here’s another. Warner Bros. v. Scantlebury, a Michigan case where the RIAA sued the family of dead man who they alleged has file shared. Over time, all these individual cases add up.

    Moreover, since I am not a pinko commie, I believe in ‘individual cases’, because I happen to think that ‘individuals’ have rights. If you had actually bothered to read anything I actually wrote, this would have been apparent. For example, I flatly stated that I don’t know where the line is in which music sharing becomes copyright infringement. That was the purpose of the hypotheticals.

    Finally, I don’t actually recall having said that I fileshare. I know that defending individual liberty from abuse by the government and large corporations who won’t let a third grade teacher show Beauty and the Beast to her class is not something that is all that important to a smug, self-righteous corporate hack, but you will find, propably too late, these “individual cases” gradually strip away our rights and will have much larger significance down the road.

    There needs to be middle ground on both sides, and if I have a point (which is debatable) that would be it.

  36. atlantaman says:

    “Go back and read the first post. You know, the one by the site author “Eric”. Funny, I don’t remember him saying this thread was about people downloading thousands of songs.”

    The post I read was about UGA students using the internet to share music. The only error in my post is instead of thousands, it might be millions.

    The fact is it’s copyrighted material. I’m not defending any corporation per se, I’m defending individual property rights, whether it be the artist who created the content or a corporation that bought the rights to the content.

  37. jm says:

    I’m no expert, no industry insider, and certainly no legal expert. But this thread seemed to need more posts, so I’ll go ahead.

    1.) How does anyone prove WHO actually committed the offense. I understand IP logs, that you can trace it to a computer…but a user? Roommates using computers?

    2.) I’m betting these students are not in trouble for downloading a few songs. Why do I say tis? Because UGA has thousands of students, and 19 were targeted (4 settled, is what I read, 15 left to deal with.) So these kids are being targeted probably for either massive downloading, or, more likely, massive uploading – using their university computer as an mp3 server.

    3.) my wife and I have owned a lot of 45’s, LP’s, tapes, CD’s, etc in the past. A lot of that we have converted (ripped) to digital computer format. I know that the records and the tapes are gone, and even our VHS tapes are gone – we don’t have a machine to play them anymore, they have been converted, so we got rid of them. Needless to say, not thinking at the time of the legal implication that we might need to prove we actually own it in some other format. But that to me seems to be a plausible defense that the RIAA will not be able to refute as it is certainly true in our case. Of course, I’ve not set up any computers to serve that material either.

  38. dorian says:

    JM, they won’t up front. There isn’t any way they could. The RIAA would, through the discovery process, use depositions and such to build that evidence. Of course, what they are counting on is the kids to fold and pay their $3k extortion, err settlement fee.

    Your second point is also likely correct. It is the extreme cases on both sides of this issue, extreme downloaders/uploaders and the examples of RIAA abuses that get all the attention.

    Atlantaman, we’ll just have to agree to disagree. I don’t like beating my head against a wall any more than I imagine you would.

  39. Nicki says:

    JM, regarding point #3, that’s a big issue for me because I owned at one point about 8,000 LPs. I now own maybe 2,000, and maybe another 1,000 CDs. I have in some cases downloaded music I already own, or I have shared recordings from LPs and CDs that I already own. It makes me very nervous that I might be expected to produce the original source for this stuff at some point. In fact, my computer even occasionally gets all Polyanna on me over CDs that are merely not new enough to be encrypted properly. So I own it, and I am holding it in my hands, but my computer indicates it is not kosher.

    Of course, the argument is that individual-to-individual sharing is of a completely different order than sharing with thousands of people you do not know across the country. I think that’s a valid point, but I’m skeptical about how the RIAA can tell when it’s happening given that they can’t tell that a CD from 1988 is valid.

    Anyway, the point is that the technology and legal environment has a long way to go in this arena.

    On another note, audiodorks like myself look forward to all this coming to a better point because that may mean that music that was denied from the public by record companies because it could not be produced in a profitable manner may again be available if digital transmission can be profitable.

  40. jm says:

    OK, this blog’s been busy (Jacobs switch, surprises in the race for the 10th) so this post has been buried…
    Anyway, a judge in New Mexico has defeated the RIAA’s attempts at legal wrangling through charging John Doe’s, and then using discovery to try to find out who the JD’s are, then trying to settle with said JD’s. Apparently, not a viable legal tactic according to the NM judge (but so far OK in GA?).
    Here’s the full story:

    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070620-judge-deals-blow-to-riaa-says-students-can-respond-to-john-doe-lawsuit.html

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