Thursday, July 17, 2003

Satellite company sues users even if they HAVEN'T stolen signal!

THE REGISTER has a story on how DIRECTV is taking a play from the RIAA playbook to a new level. The Satellite giant has decided that the best way to handle piracy is to CARPET BOMB is users with threats of lawsuits - even if they haven't done anything wrong.

If you're a subscriber - you need to read this. It's "inside baseball" as far as electronics is concerned, but it's a cautionary tale of what happens when a company has an army of lawyers and decides to increase it's bottom line by shakedown.

And again ER is AGAINST piracy. But is EQUALLY OUTRAGED by legal maneuvers against consumers who aren't doing anything wrong or who are trying to bring these entertainment distrubtors into the 21st century.

(reprinted with permission by the gang at THE BELTWAY)

According to a recent Analysis of Sales Patterns for Music CDs - Marketing Science Conference 2002, University of Alberta - Edmonton, the top 5 reasons music fans purchase CDs are:

1) fan of artist or group
2) exposed to music by media (TV, radio, etc.)
3) Wanted to listen to it while driving
4) Recommended by friends
5) Saw it while buying something else and purchased it.

Nowhere in the analysis was there any mention of:

1) fear of being sued by the RIAA
2) fear of being convicted of a felony
3) fear of having computer destroyed by file seeking technology

Music industry lackies Howard Berman (D - CA) and John Conyers (D - MI) want to put you in the pokey for file sharing. BIG TIME. If the RIAA gets their way, the Conyers-Berman bill would operate under the assumption that each copyrighted work made available through a computer network was copied by others at least 10 times for a total retail value of $2,500. That would bump the activity from a misdemeanor to a felony, carrying a sentence of up to five years in jail. And being a convicted felon also means a convicted file swap felon could not vote in elections or own a gun.

So, let me get this straight ... a single song is worth $250?! Wow, no wonder people aren't buying CDs these days!.

On top of that, would this allow police and district attorneys to "assume" that a car thief has stolen 10 more cars other than the car he was caught for and therefore be charged ten times?

What about bribes? If ... say ... a Congressman was caught taking a bribe from a powerful music interest, could we assume they were bribed ten other times?

BTW - according to OPENSECRETS.ORG, in 2002, Howard Berman was the TOP recipient of music industry campaign contributions: $221,791 (according to the standards of this bill, we can "assume," therefore, that's $2,217,910). Conyers received $49,859 (we can therefore, "assume" he received $498,590).

I mean, fair is fair.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003


Sacramento lobbyists for the motion picture industry are planning to launch an all-out effort to block passage of a bill aimed at allowing Internet users to maintain anonymity when they make statements on line that could be considered libelous or violate trade secrets.

Under the bill, which has already passed the California Assembly and is now being considered by the Senate, Internet Service Providers would be required to notify customers if they receive subpoenas seeking their identities. The customers would then be given 30 days to challenge the subpoenas. According to today's (Tuesday) Los Angeles Times, film executives are concerned that the law would make it more difficult for the film industry to ferret out Internet users who offer and/or download movies online.


So let me get this straight, Hollywood doesn't want Americans to have the right to DEFEND THEMSELVES IN COURT?

Sounds like it's time to vote with the pocketbook again!

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Wired Magazine has an article about increasing popularity of television feeds over the internet. Mostly the domain of news casts and public access television programming, the article talks about how internet streaming is prompting those with a yearn for creating content to place their shows on the net for all to see. The future holds for rerun programming streamed on demand, they promise.

But don't look for Alias reruns any time soon. Because of agreements between the affiliates and broadcasters, networks are reluctant, and even prohibited, from running programming over the net.