May. 14th, 2008

jackofallgeeks: (Contemplative)
Overhearing a conversation here in the office, a thought occured to me: a
prime virtue in Black culture is respect; the corresponding virtue in White
culture would be obedience. I'm not sure how valid the claim is, or what --
if any -- difference there is.

Have Pity?

May. 14th, 2008 09:58 am
jackofallgeeks: (Gendo)
Here
is an article about the RIAA's methods for 'finding' file sharers.
Apparently there are two differect tracks: the takedown notice and the
pre-litigation letter. With the takedown notice nothing is downloaded: the
files are simply observed on a user's computer. This makes we wonder what
flags something as infringing -- are they just looking for files named
"Backstreet Boys - Larger Than life.mp3"? -- but a takedown notice is not
-really- legal action. It's just a letter saying we thing you're
infringing, stop it.

For the pre-litigation letters, files are actually downloaded from the user
and listened to. On one hand this gives them a bit of validity, in that you
have verification that "Yesterday.mp3" is actually a copy of a Beatles' song
and not an entry in an audio blog. It's been noted
in court cases, however, that "making available" is not necessarily the
equivalent of infringment. The idea the RIAA is resting on here is that
Copyright has a provision giving the owner exclusive rights to distribution,
and that p2p file sharing constitutes infringing distribution. The trouble
is that if Media Sentry (who does all the investigating for the RIAA) is
authorized to download these songs, then their downloading doesn't
consititute infringing distribution -- nor does it establish that the
file is being distributed elsewhere
. If Media Sentry is the only one
who downloads from you, then you haven't distributed anything. If the file
sits in your folder untouched, then you haven't distributed anything. And
of particular note, there doesn't seem to be anything that says
downloading a file constitutes infringment, just uploading
it. Yeah, if no one shares the whole p2p thing kind of goes under, but it
means that just having mp3s isn't an offense.

What's more, Media Sentry isn't doing anything special. They log onto
Limewire or KaZaA or whatever, look for appropriate files, make the
download, record the IP, do a DNS-lookup, and send off notices. It's all
automated by a script, sure, but they don't have any more knowledge that an
average user. There's no magic to how they find people or how they identify
them.

Anyways, I know you all care so much. What got me to post, though, was at
the end of the first link Ars makes a comment about how their source spoke
under anonymity for fear of hate mail, that some poor guy has to actually
listen to the retrieved files, and how the RIAA machine is often hated but
the people behind it are rarely pitied. And I just wanted to say: no, I
don't pity them. Not in the least. It's work I certainly wouldn't want to
do, it's ire I certainly wouldn't want to be on the recieving end of, but
it's work and ire that they've accepted. "I'm just doing my job," is not a
valid excuse. Pirates may not be right in breaking the rules, but the RIAA
is wrong in their vicious spray-and-pray legal tactics, and their attempts
to weild copyright as more of a weapon than it was intended to be. I hate
the machine, and the people driving it get none of my sympathy.

Bad Idea

May. 14th, 2008 11:45 am
jackofallgeeks: (pl4y with 3vil)
I need someone (everyone?) to remind me why trying to get back in touch with
Suzannah would be a Bad Idea (tm).

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John Noble

August 2012

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