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RIAA student extortion site "looks forward to future business"

This extremely clearly illustrates just how out of line RIAA truly is with their anti-"piracy" lawsuits. This is basically one of their major business models and revenue streams. Pity that it is not only an unlawful business model (although they keep getting away with it), unethical and wrong on all counts imaginable.

An anonymous settler took a screenshot of the last page of a payment form for his settlement which says the following: "We thank you for your payment of $3,456.23 to settle case #****. Your receipt ID is ****.

Looking forward to future business together."

Reread that again please, yes, that's right, they sue you for infringement (baselessly or not) offering you little chance of defending yourself, offering you a settlment so that you can pay less than the impossible amount that you could end up paying through court and once you do manage to pay the politely thank you and "hope for future business with you". What the hell could this "future business" be? Another extortion?

This is just absolutely sick, there's no better word for it. It's ethically and mentally sick. Anyone who condones what RIAA is doing is sick too. They should be prosecuted and jailed for their crimes against the humanity, the big four companies should be disasseminated and the music rights returned to artists individually to decide what to do with (I'm sure many would agree to free their music under Creative Commons).

If this lunacy continues, I don't think things will remain the same for long. RIAA is going down one way or another. If law is on their side, law should go down as well. This is untolerable.

More on p2pnet and via boingboing.



File sharing and the insanity of copyright law


The case of university students is a good demonstration that the freedom to copy files with the public (at least just noncommercially) is absolutely essential to a very large proportion of the public (obviously it's not just students who do it). With copyright law we trade our freedom to copy and make derivative works for the opportunity to have more works made available to us (as it's easier for publishers to make money from them), to benefit the public. In the 18th century, that loss of freedom didn't matter much as you needed a printing press to make copies of books. Now, with modern technology which allows us to share files so easily, that loss of freedom is hugely significant, as so many people want to do it so much. I'm a university student, and when I was living on campus, the vast majority of people were taking advantage of the computer network to share a large amount of files with other people all over the campus.

Clearly having a law which turns so much of the public into criminals for doing something which doesn't harm anyone is insane in any free and democratic county. Current copyright law doesn't benefit the public at all. It just serves a privileged elite, the "content industry". I think with current technology, the absolute minimum freedom that must be allowed to everyone for all types of the creative works is to noncommercially make unlimited unmodified copies.

> Now, with modern

> Now, with modern technology which allows us to share files so easily, that loss of freedom is hugely significant, as so many people want to do it so much.

True. What digital technology also did is make it also easier and attractive to create new works for reasons which are beyond profits (although the number of profit channels has in fact increased as well). So increasing people's freedoms will barely have *any* impact on the amount of culture that is created. This basically removes the last reason anyone would have for sticking with the current draconian copyrights.

So yeah, copyright as it is, is simply practically obsolete and abused only by the content powers who basically contribute nothing and leech on everything. What makes it even more outrageous is that instead of providing more freedoms, due to DMCA and nowadays even DRM, the amount of freedoms continues to shrink. It's just total lunacy.

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