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Eyes and Ears in NYC


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#1 Annie Wengenroth

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 09:34 PM

Has anyone else in New York heard about this Eyes and Ears anti-piracy campaign? I just got a letter about it from the union. It looks like a cool idea....it's a hotline number that you can call to anonymously report people who are selling pirated DVDs. The number is 1-800-NO COPYS. Even though it's geared towards the tri-state area, they encourage you to call wherever you are. Hopefully a system like this will do some good!
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#2 Tim Brown

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 11:21 PM

Hopefully a system like this will do some good!


... Or possibly be the beginning of a corporate "big brother" state. Especially when taken in context with this article.

For those without the time to read, an RIAA representatives states in the article that it is considered copyright infringement by the RIAA to copy YOUR legally purchased music to YOUR computer.

"The industry's (RIAA) lawyer in the case, Ira Schwartz, argues in a brief filed earlier this month that the MP3 files Howell made on his computer from legally bought CDs are "unauthorized copies" of copyrighted recordings..."

Edited by Tim Brown, 30 December 2007 - 11:22 PM.

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#3 Hal Smith

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 11:54 PM

The RIAA is so full of BS on this subject that it makes me want to go to law school just to have the pleasure of beating their sorry a**es in court someday. It is a very long established principle in law that you can make a copy of copywritten material you own for your own purposes. You can't give it to a buddy, use it for a professional purpose without permission, sell it, etc. but you sure as heck can use it yourself. Copying a CD to your iPod, computer, whatever is legal provided you maintain ownership of the original material. No, you can't buy a Goo Goo Dolls CD , rip to your computer, then sell the CD but that's pretty much common sense.

If the RIAA is correct, then why does Kinko's let you copy copywritten material on their machines? Kinko's won't copy the material themselves but they'll rent you a machine to do so - and there's plenty of precedent in law that says they're not facilitating a criminal offense by allowing you to use their machines.

The bottom line is the idiots in the record industry are going broke trying to enforce an obsolete business model and now are getting desperate enough to invent new offenses. I hope every one of those SOB's goes bankrupt.

Quote from Post article:

The RIAA's legal crusade against its customers is a classic example of an old media company clinging to a business model that has collapsed. Four years of a failed strategy has only "created a whole market of people who specifically look to buy independent goods so as not to deal with the big record companies," Beckerman (plaintiff's attorney) says. "Every problem they're trying to solve is worse now than when they started."
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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 31 December 2007 - 05:35 AM

Well, that's a fairly terrifying mandate.

And it's spelled "Copies."
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#5 Walter Graff

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Posted 31 December 2007 - 09:01 AM

It's a program spearheaded by Mayor Bloomberg, sponsored by the MPAA and supported by the unions (SAG, Etc) and involves everything from TV campaigns to buttons. The idea is to stop the tremendous amount of on-the-street sales of illegal DVDs. It's working well as many of the Chinatown illegal vendors have been shut down.
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#6 Walter Graff

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Posted 31 December 2007 - 09:29 AM

... Or possibly be the beginning of a corporate "big brother" state. Especially when taken in context with this article.

For those without the time to read, an RIAA representatives states in the article that it is considered copyright infringement by the RIAA to copy YOUR legally purchased music to YOUR computer.

"The industry's (RIAA) lawyer in the case, Ira Schwartz, argues in a brief filed earlier this month that the MP3 files Howell made on his computer from legally bought CDs are "unauthorized copies" of copyrighted recordings..."



Except the Washington Post article is a classic case of poor journalism and wrong. Too bad the reporter didn't bother to read the entire case, but only quoted what he needed. Before I give you the answer, I'll aska question. If this person copied CDs to his computer for private use, how did the RIAA find out he did? Did his wife report him? I mean if you did that at home, no one would know unless you somehow allowed those songs to be shared. Here is the answer. He did not copy them for his own personal use. He copied them to his shared folder that was accessable to Kaaza, was accessed by other memers, and how they found him in the first place. If he ripped them to his computer, no one would have known and he would not have done anything illegal. But his music was shared on a public sharing network and the RIAA tracked down his IP address and caught him. That is the part the Washington Post convienently left out.

http://lashawnbarber...-gets-it-wrong/

As for Kinos, in my local Kinkos, I have more than a dozen times heard associates deny the use of a machine to copy copyrighted materal. I guess the diference is if they know what you want to copy. If you don't tell them, they don't know. But that doesn't make what you do any more legal. It is also posted clearly in signs in the store that it is illegal and mentioned to you by the associate when you buy the copy machine.
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#7 Walter Graff

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Posted 31 December 2007 - 09:31 AM

For clarity, here is and always has been the RIAA's position on copying CDs:

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.
http://www.riaa.com/physicalpiracy.php?content_selector=piracy_online_the_law
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#8 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 31 December 2007 - 07:34 PM

And that there is exactly the problem.

Weasel phrases like "won't usually raise concerns" simply mean: please do it, so we have an on-demand means of criminalising you.
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#9 Annie Wengenroth

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 10:25 PM

Phil definitely wins the award for Most Optimistic Member Of The Forum. Congratulations, Phil. Tee hee hee! I forgot that I posted this and then wandered away from the Internet for a few days (it was terrible, the withdrawal pains are such that I would not wish them upon my worst enemy...) and when I came back, I realized that people were comparing apples to oranges. That is to say, the music industry to the film industry. I don't know about everyone else but I just kinda feel like we're playing a bit of a different game than they are. Or maybe it's just that since I WORK in this industry, I see EXACTLY who loses out if some cheap pr*ck on Canal Street rips off their movie by making it into a DVD. Whereas I don't work in the music industry, so yes, I will gleefully click on all the hot new hits and download them for free off of Limewire. My assumption is that the artists get next to nothing and the idea of robbing fat rich record label executives in expensive suits, is oddly thrilling. Yes, I know it's wrong and once in a while I still spend money on music.

In all seriousness, I guess what I'm also saying, is that it costs a fair amount of money to record, mix, master, package, and sell an album. And about 25 cents to make the CD which then sells for $25 at Virgin Records. When it comes to movies, it's a different story. People have a different attitude about buying DVDs...would you buy a DVD if you only like two of the scenes in the movie? Or let me put it this way...would you want to purchase a "single" DVD of ONLY those two scenes? Probably not. But think of all the crappy CDs you have from the 90's with only a few good songs on each of them. And all the money you spent! And god help you if you were into Nine Inch Nails. Reznor milked his fans for every song they wrote with all his freakin halos. Let's not even talk about how much money I got when I sold those CD's to a used record store. Let's just say that wow, that was a DAMN good sandwich. :blink:

I could go on and on about the music industry considering I almost had a career in it and then changed gears while there was still time. But as unethical as this sounds, I think downloading music for free, is more justifiable than pirating movies and selling them to suckers and cheapskates. I don't think this anti-piracy movement towards illegal DVDs, is in the same category as the RIAA at all. I mean...there's a difference, somehow, between somebody quietly clicking on free mp3's to download onto their Ipod...versus the guy in Union Square who loudly and persistently sells $5 New Releases. I can't put it into words necessarily, but on an ethical level, yeah, there you go.

Anyway, I'm going away from the Internet for a little while and when I get back, someone had better post a picture of cute kittens before this debate gets too ugly!

Edit: I still buy CD's once in a while. I'm not THAT bad!
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#10 Chris Keth

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 11:33 PM

I can't put it into words necessarily, but on an ethical level, yeah, there you go.


Perhaps the rub for you is that when someone downloads a song, someone is denied profit. When someone sells a bootleg DVD, not only is someone denied profit but someone makes profit that doesn't deserve it.
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#11 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 12:04 AM

Phil definitely wins the award for Most Optimistic Member Of The Forum. Congratulations, Phil. Tee hee hee! I forgot that I posted this and then wandered away from the Internet for a few days (it was terrible, the withdrawal pains are such that I would not wish them upon my worst enemy...) and when I came back, I realized that people were comparing apples to oranges. That is to say, the music industry to the film industry. I don't know about everyone else but I just kinda feel like we're playing a bit of a different game than they are. Or maybe it's just that since I WORK in this industry, I see EXACTLY who loses out if some cheap pr*ck on Canal Street rips off their movie by making it into a DVD. Whereas I don't work in the music industry, so yes, I will gleefully click on all the hot new hits and download them for free off of Limewire. My assumption is that the artists get next to nothing and the idea of robbing fat rich record label executives in expensive suits, is oddly thrilling. Yes, I know it's wrong and once in a while I still spend money on music.

In all seriousness, I guess what I'm also saying, is that it costs a fair amount of money to record, mix, master, package, and sell an album. And about 25 cents to make the CD which then sells for $25 at Virgin Records. When it comes to movies, it's a different story. People have a different attitude about buying DVDs...would you buy a DVD if you only like two of the scenes in the movie? Or let me put it this way...would you want to purchase a "single" DVD of ONLY those two scenes? Probably not. But think of all the crappy CDs you have from the 90's with only a few good songs on each of them. And all the money you spent! And god help you if you were into Nine Inch Nails. Reznor milked his fans for every song they wrote with all his freakin halos. Let's not even talk about how much money I got when I sold those CD's to a used record store. Let's just say that wow, that was a DAMN good sandwich. :blink:

I could go on and on about the music industry considering I almost had a career in it and then changed gears while there was still time. But as unethical as this sounds, I think downloading music for free, is more justifiable than pirating movies and selling them to suckers and cheapskates. I don't think this anti-piracy movement towards illegal DVDs, is in the same category as the RIAA at all. I mean...there's a difference, somehow, between somebody quietly clicking on free mp3's to download onto their Ipod...versus the guy in Union Square who loudly and persistently sells $5 New Releases. I can't put it into words necessarily, but on an ethical level, yeah, there you go.

Anyway, I'm going away from the Internet for a little while and when I get back, someone had better post a picture of cute kittens before this debate gets too ugly!

Edit: I still buy CD's once in a while. I'm not THAT bad!


I get very mad when I see the video pirates on the sidewalks, although a lot of the time those street level
sellers seem to me to be freezing outside to get food money so I can sympathize with them a bit, as much
as I detest copyright piracy.

I bought my nephews gift cards for i-Tunes and they used them and like the quality so now they're
buying rather than "filesharing". No matter how nutty the RIAA may seem to you, I still feel that it's
rationalizing to participate in illegal downloading because you suspect that the artists are getting ripped off or
have been ripping customers off with one good single on an otherwise poor album.

The guy in Union Square, as wrong as he is to sell bootleg DVDs, probably needs his cut of the five bucks
more than the person in a warm room needs to think that he or she is sticking it to the (RIAA) MAN by
grabbing something off Limewire or wherever.

In fact, the artists have been hurt by this technology. Concept albums that took so much work and thought
and were passion projects by even big recording stars are now hard to justify when people have all these
get arounds to get the single with the groovy hooks.

In the DVD about Stanley Kubrick's career, several directors, including Martin Scorcese talk about how they
didn't really appreciate 2001 until they had seen it two or three times and caught up to the artist, so to
speak.

It's not too far out to imagine a file sharing network on which pirated movies, that have been reedited
by the bastard children of Napster, are offered with just the cool scenes. Now you can buy Taxi Driver and
see all the cool gore and not have to sit through all that boring inner monologue that shows how
isolation drives people to trouble.

The 1-800 number is symbolic but the real financial damage to the movie industry is in the entire
countries in the world that do nothing to enforce or respect copyright law. I can more easily understand
the countries that endorse manufacturing life saving medicines even though legally they're supposed to
license the right to do so but they don't because those nations have decided to take emergency action for
their citizens who can't afford those medicines otherwise.

Most of the guys I see selling DVDs on the sidewalk are getting about as rich as the poor kids slinging
for dealers. They're people who (in many cases at least) can't get decent jobs. It's like going after
a toothless poppy farmer who lives in an unheated hut in Afghanistan. I blame the warlords and the cartels,
whether they be selling drugs or somebody else's intellectual property.

The anti RIAA filesharing is eventually going to help develop simlar attitudes towards the "fat cats" in the
movie industry and then films that do turn out to be great after a couple of viewings probably won't be
getting made any more. Nobody's going to finance them when some diamond cutter with an NLE in
his room is going to reedit the stolen film and throw it up on the internet before it's even in the theaters.


Anti-piracy kittens say "Please don't fileshare."

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#12 Walter Graff

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 12:06 PM

Annie I can't help but think of the end of this excerpt and the rec execs quote from Reuters when I hear you say that:


The music industry had an awful 2007 as total album sales plunged 15 percent to 500.5 million units, according to tracking data from Nielsen SoundScan. Online album sales barely rose at all, up 2.4 percent to 30.1 million units; growth was 19 percent in 2006. The figures represent the lowest total and the steepest decline since Nielsen began measuring music sales in 1993. Experts (predictably) blamed piracy for the declines, but they also cited competition from other entertainment sectors like videogames.

However, overall music sales, which include single and digital track sales, rose 14 percent to 1.4 billion units, driven mostly by digital tracks, which rose 45 percent to 844.2 million units. However, the industry driver showed a significant growth decline, up 45 percent in 2007 after 65 percent growth in 2006.

So what of music's future? The data clearly shows that the album model is outdated; digital track sales encourage people to only buy those tracks they like. Even so, experts say piracy will continue to crush sales. Music exec Kenneth Kraus, who represents Kid Rock and Carrie Underwood, says things will only get worse over the next four to five years, because "a whole generation of kids" have grown up downloading music for free and cannot fathom paying for it.


http://www.reuters.c...053893220080104
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#13 Annie Wengenroth

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 05:33 AM

The most I can say for myself is that I like music enough to buy it if I ABSOLUTELY had to, like if the RIAA came to my apartment and threatened to kill all the cute kittens in the world or perhaps throw me in jail. Right now, buying music all the time is simply not a priority. Which is a terrible thing to say and I'm sorry about that.

For now I use www.emusic.com and if one of my favorite bands releases a new album, I buy it. Once in a while I hit up half.com and grab a few albums that I wish I still had but somehow disappeared and I miss having hard copies. But if it's someone who I still want to hear and am not necessarily that into, I'll download it first because that way if the album sucks, I haven't wasted my money. That doesn't mean I won't EVER buy it though. I downloaded "Demon Days" and loved it, and went out and bought that and the Gorillaz self-titled as well. And a t-shirt. And the DVD. So now they have my money! And I wouldn't dream of downloading Red Hot Chili Peppers because they're my favorite band and I would never want to make Anthony Kiedis start doing heroin again. I know there is no good reason to continue freeloading mp3's. I just think that it's human nature to want a good deal...and in all honesty, $0.00 for an album is a better deal than $20.

Having possibly redeemed myself (somewhat), let me bring up another issue...what about used CD's? How does that work? Because I've been buying used CD's for about 13 years. So where does the money go then? When my parents would give me $20 allowance and I would go to Harvard Square, I would pass up the new CD's and go straight to the used, because it was better to get 2 or 3 albums than just one. On the other hand, I was also spending my 20-dollar bills on band t-shirts and going to shows to support local musicians. Not to mention, I worked as a DJ in Savannah for 4 years at a nightclub as well as at the college radio station. This isn't to say that "I've paid my dues", I'm just saying that I have been supportive of musicians in other ways, and will continue to do so.

But. Getting back to the issue at hand, I know that screaming at the toothless poppy farmers in Afghanistan is not going to solve the bigger issues, so to speak. It seems like the art world is full of contradictions. Artists should make money off their work, but museums should be free. Well, wait a minute...does it even matter then, that these multi-millionaire entertainers are losing album sales, when they're cutting funding for music classes in school systems across America? Hey, if I had to put 20 bucks towards SOMETHING supportive, I'd rather help pay for kids to take piano lessons, than put another dollar in Kid Rock's pocket. If I had kids, I'd rather have them downloading Bach for free, than not knowing who he was. But I don't want to throw this thread too far off-topic, so I'll leave it at that.

The plot thickens.

(Jeez, I almost wrote "the pot" thickens. :huh: I'll go to bed as soon as my downloads are done. Just kidding! By the way, thank you for the kittens.)
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