Off Topic Messages

CD-R Crackdown: Feds and RIAA in NYC

Wed Oct 05, 2005 10:41 pm

Image

For whole story:

http://www.econoculture.com/m/index.php ... 6&Itemid=1

Here's a clip:

The bust on the chic flagship store was a joint operation by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Counterfeit Division of the NYPD’s 6th Precinct aimed at stamping out music piracy and trademark violations. After arresting the store managers, investigators searched the store. Court records indicate they confiscated an alleged pirated stash amounting to 56 DVDs, 471 CDs (“containing recordings of music by Mariah Carey, Bizarre, Faith Evans, Puff Daddy, R. Kelly, 50 Cent, and other popular recording artists”) and nine computers. RIAA reports allege the search turned up nine CD-R burners, but, as Bettis points out, virtually all computers these days come with built-in CD-R copiers



Questions the RIAA Refuses to Answer:

1) When considering to investigate and prosecute CD-R and mix-tape sellers, did you consider the cultural implications in so far as mixtapes and CD-Rs comprise a huge avenue for underground artists and DJs to ply their trade and get noticed?

2) In looking at statistics from your website, a huge percentage of stores raided were Latino businesses--why is that?

3) What was the basis of your investigation into Kim's--how did RIAA investigators learn that Kim's may be selling or manufacturing CD's?

4) Can you please provide to me a copy of the affadavit for the search warrant?

5) I understand that RIAA investigators can raid--without a search warrant--any record store that they suspect is selling or manufacturing pirated CDs--is this true?



Boo-Hoo! :roll: I like my Elvis boot imports (CDR and otherwise) but can't really cry for businesses like this. And you all?

Wed Oct 05, 2005 11:13 pm

I read in the newspaper that the Feds have been busting people around here at flea markets who have been selling bootleg DVDs.

JEFF d
Elvis fan

Wed Oct 05, 2005 11:44 pm

I think a line has to be drawn between bootlegs and pirate CDs. Pirate CDs are copies off official releases sold at a cutrate price. Bootleg CDs are releases of unofficial material that the label is in most cases not going to release anyway. In most cases they are not taking a dime away from the record companies. The advent of the FTD label makes BMG to release these pieces in relation to Elvis but no bootleggers no FTD.

No one is allowed to enter without a warrant. It's in the constitution and the court exceptions sure don't cover pirate or bootleg CDs. This is hardly a life threatening situation.

Just as you have a hard time feeling sorry for stores like this, I have a hard time feeling sorry for the major record labels. It is so ironic, and in a twisted way just, that they are crying about being ripped off (albeit in a nickel and dime manner) since they have been doing this to artists and the general public since they came into existence. They don't pay the artists. They hold their catalogues hostage. They destroy the legacies of some of their most important artists like Elvis with haphazard release policies. And they've overcharged consumers for decades.

You know it really gets me how they cry about the artists all the time when they have absolutely no concern of their own. The 50 year European copywright thing is a good example. 50 years down the line the owner of Elvis Presley or Little Richard's classic work should not be BMG or MCA/Universal it should be Elvis Presley or Little Richard. But they never owned their catalogues despite the fact that they paid for and created the recordings. (Elvis only sold his royalty rights. He never owned the catalogue.) It's disgusting. An artist doesn't see one dime in royalties until his or her record covers production costs and with creative accounting that could be never.

At least 80 percent of the industry's problems were brought upon itself. This has to be the only industry in the world that responds to a decrease in demand with an increase in prices.

However, we also see hear how right and wrong seldom plays into the law. These merchants were wrong to make money off of someone's elses work without paying the creators. However, the federal intervention here is unconcerned with that wrong as they are merely carrying marching orders from a big time lobbyist. Laws in this country are bought and sold.

Thu Oct 06, 2005 12:15 am

I like the bootleg vs. pirate distinction and you make fine points about
the RIAA ( certainly no hero )and of course, our stupid copyright laws.

I agree such storefronts are not a big deal in this light, but it is a
bit rich for some to pretend ethnic bias is behind it. I guess it
is a bit of a rebellion to blatently challenge the law like this (since
it's pretty much industry-crafted) but I think there's a naivete in
some of the arguments put forth to defend outright piracy.

Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:28 am

Boy, this brings back memories of the feds busting Elvis conventions in the eighties and walking out with tons of bootleg LP's. I think that fat-ass Bob Heis called them every time he did a Something for Everybody convention, just so he could shut down early and get back to the closest Shoney's breakfast bar.

Tom

Thu Oct 06, 2005 7:51 am

Scotty Moore does not aprove of alt takes being released,
even tho RCA/BMG does it legally.

maybe the RIAA should confiscate official releases to honor the wishes of the artists who played on vaulted material.

Thu Oct 06, 2005 7:56 am

Graceland Gardener wrote:Scotty Moore does not aprove of alt takes being released.


Sorry Scotty. This is where we have a problem!

Thu Oct 06, 2005 8:10 am

carolynlm wrote:Does Scotty not agree with the release of alt. takes because he doesn't get any revenue from these releases? If this is the case, I can see his point, but if it's only because he doesn't think they are good enough for release, then no, I don't agree with him......


I believe its both.

In an interview (transcript on elvis.com.au if I recall) he addressed this topic.
He didn't approve of alt takes because they are inferior to the master, are bloopers, mistatkes, etc
plus he was paid once for the session (40 years ago in some cases) and they don't want to pay him AGAIN for new releases.

Maybe the situation has been ironed out since that interview - I dunno if he's made any recent comments to the contrary, but he has gone on record as being against alt takes coming out/being heard

Thu Oct 06, 2005 9:29 am

Thanks for pointing out the article Greg. :)

I found these points of the article far more notable:

... squad of NYPD officials, private investigators and attorneys busted into Kim's Video and Music......a joint operation by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Counterfeit Division of the NYPD's 6th Precinct aimed at stamping out music piracy and trademark violations

Officers sporting bulletproof vests... officials got down to the business of drilling the store employees... lined them up and ordered them to identify the store's managers on duty...ushered the managers out of the store, placed them in separate police cruisers and drove to Manhattan Central Booking... managers were put in holding cells, where they would spend the next 36 hours... police never told him on what charge he was being held...offered no explanation to the managers

...about 20 law enforcement officials had swooped into the store... the cops were dressed "like SWAT guys" who were saying something about a warrant from the Supreme Court...... it was really scary. It felt like a full-on raid...

...was one of five arrested on misdemeanor trademark counterfeiting charges (the charges had been reduced from the felony counts by the time of their arraignment)...."the employees who were charged were involved in the burning or were ringing them up... seeing what it was, and ringing them up special because they knew they had to be treated differently"

In the end, Bettis and the other Kim’s employees got off with an ACD (Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal), in which the charge is expunged from their records after a probationary period of six months.

IMO this is appalling on SO many levels. We not only have a federal FBI division now devoted to working on behalf of the RIAA (because our FBI doesn't have enough to do) - now each major city is also supposed to hand over a division of officers as on-call to this business industry? I wonder how many more industries will want similar personalized service?

Cities in my area keep cutting the budget on police and fire positions and saying we don't have the money for homeland security mandates - is every other region running a surplus? Personally I'm not interested in my local taxes being used to pay local officers to work for the RIAA. Those of you who are, please tell YOUR mayors and the RIAA so we can keep them busy in your communities and out of ours.

Any business owners here? Try this - call some police precinct and ask them to join forces with your own private attorneys and private investigators to do a SWAT team raid on a competitor who MIGHT be committing a non-violent civil law-based misdemeanor. Let us know how it goes!

One way the RIAA tries to get more support from law enforcement is to continually lobby to have smaller and lesser violations become prison-worthy criminal felonies.

And if it's your kid working an afterschool or college job in a record store being charged for operating a cash register, or for enthusiastically promoting a cd released by their favorite local club band? (I know FECC members will have difficulty relating to this, just use your imaginations)

Various 'investigators' had made several purchases of "potentially unauthorized materials" and it was freely advertised in the store and available on the regular racks. There was clearly no need for a mid-afternoon SWAT team raid. It was all about intimidation, damage, and publicity. They have enough for the charges but trump it up initially so they can damage the stores and cart off their equipment, thereby forcing the independent single-owner businesses to close (as the article notes occurred).


In a May 12 news release, the association announced a beefed-up anti-piracy effort focusing on small retail locations selling pirated music... emphasis on small retail establishments... prosecution of employees for selling indie releases and underground staples such as self-releases and DJ mix-tapes.

RIAA... undercover agent....knows the CD-R format - the latest accessible recording tool - is allowing bands to bypass the label system altogether... substantially widens the scope of the RIAA's hunt... place self-released CDs and DJ mixes in the category of "pirated" music... brought on Bradley Buckles, former director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, to head this effort... assembled a national force of ex-cops...Outfitted in black cargo pants, black steel-toed boots and black flak jackets emblazoned with RIAA...resemble real cops...

In fact, the RIAA officials' practices resemble the work of an average beat cop such as issuing pink violation tickets, confiscating allegedly pirated merchandise and search and seizures, all of which leads to a bit of confusion about exactly how much legal authority the RIAA has. New York lawyer David Cohn explains that, if these officials give the impression of being law enforcement officers, their seizures are technically illegal. But such claims are difficult to prove, and as Cohn notes, "Those guys do know how to work the system."

Amanda Hunter, spokeswoman for the RIAA, is careful to say, "These are not raids per se," but declines to elaborate on the exact nature of these investigations. "Every case is different," she says.

Ahhh, one of my concerns might be overstated then. They don't want a whole division of my local law enforcement - just enough legitimate officers so that everyone 'cooperates' and is completely confused and intimidated as to who exactly carted off their computers, personnel files, accounting records, and so on.

There's always been something dodgy about independent record stores anyway.... flyers advertising raves and unauthorized 'record shows', pot paraphernalia, semi-dirty posters, student anarchist 'zines.... We would all be better served if music retailing were exclusively the province of Walmart and Best Buy, would we not?


This trend poses real physical and civil dangers. It's not the first I've read of such behavior and it's related issues.

Greg I'm rather surprised and disappointed by the items that you found (or seemed to find) notable in this article.

Eileen

Thu Oct 06, 2005 9:55 am

Two of the many, many cases and issues, from http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com/


Priority Records v. Chan, a case against the mother of a 13-year old girl, who may have accessed a peer to peer file sharing account. When the mother moved to have the case dismissed on summary judgment, the RIAA withdrew its case against the mother. The court held that if the RIAA wanted to sue the child, it would have to have a guardian ad litem appointed..... the RIAA has now brought a lawsuit against the child -- now 14 years old -- and has moved for appointment of a guardian ad litem

=================

Tanya Andersen, a 41 year old disabled single mother living in Oregon, has countersued the RIAA for Oregon RICO violations, fraud, invasion of privacy, abuse of process, electronic trespass, violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, negligent misrepresentation, the tort of "outrage", and deceptive business practices.

A few of the 60+ allegations in her countersuit:

- record companies hired MediaSentry to break into private computers to spy, view files, remove information, and copy images.

- record companies provide the personal information to Settlement Support Center, which engages in prohibited and deceptive debt collection activities and other illegal conduct

- law firm Mitchell Silverberg & Knupp...falsely claimed that Ms. Andersen had downloaded music, infringed undisclosed copyrights and owed hundreds of thousands of dollars.

- Settlement Support Center... formed by the record companies for the sole purpose of coercing payments from people who had been identified as targets in the anonymous information farming suits

- Ms. Andersen was advised that her personal home computer had been secretly entered by the record companies’ agents, MediaSentry.

- falsely claimed that Ms. Andersen had “been viewed” by MediaSentry downloading “gangster rap” music at 4:24 a.m... falsely claimed that Ms. Andersen had used the login name “gotenkito@kazaa.com.” Ms. Andersen does not like “gangster rap,” does not recognize the name “gotenkito,” is not awake at 4:24 a.m. and has never downloaded music.

- threatened that if Ms. Andersen did not immediately pay them, the record companies would bring an expensive and disruptive federal lawsuit using her actual name and they would get a judgment for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

- admitted to Ms. Andersen that he believed that she had not downloaded any music... would not quit their debt collection activities because to do so would encourage other people to defend themselves against the record companies’ claims.

- Despite knowing that infringing activity was not observed, the record companies used the threat of expensive and intrusive litigation as a tool to coerce Ms. Andersen to pay many thousands of dollars for an obligation she did not owe.

Thu Oct 06, 2005 5:12 pm

Eileen, I do share your concerns about the overkill and about using finite
resources as the RIAA goon squad, etc. However, don't the feds
also bust gangs that sell black market cigarettes and illegal drugs?

Okay, would you join me in hoping that the FBI would be more involved
in tracking down illegal immigrants? :wink:

There was a lot to chew on in the article and I wanted to jumpstart a conversation.( I recommend getting the free e-mails from rockrap.com
(Dave Marsh's site), if not subscribing. They cover this issue well,
although they also are biased towards downloading which I say is
a free lunch that people rationalize as somehow not stealing...)

Still, as LTB points out, piracy is piracy vs. say, booting stuff of long-dead artists that'll never see issue on the commericial market.

I also love to jump all over phony charges of "ethnic bias" and
"cultural suppression." It's just laughable.

In some cities and towns in parts of the USA,
"entrepreneurs" from places like El Salvador
want to set up little roadside "restarants" (and in fact do so!) and then
cry ethnic bias when tax-paying store-front owners of legitimate
businesses cry foul. These "businesses" ignore health codes, don't pay taxes, etc.

Anyway, I just don't cry over every immigrant entrepreneur's plight.
Keep it legal and follow the rules we all have to and that's another story.

Thu Oct 06, 2005 10:13 pm

Wouldn't it be more appropriate to fight an issue like this in civil court?

Thu Oct 06, 2005 10:24 pm

I don't know where Mike C. is , but I'd sure love him to explain why
the RIAA gets the FBI at their service and command...

Maybe some FBI afficianado here can explain their jurisdiction.

I assume any illegal
piracy/ trafficking, etc. in illegal products is their turf.

Be dumb
emough to sell it openly and I guess your front door gets beaten down.

Fri Oct 07, 2005 1:44 pm

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:Eileen, I do share your concerns about the overkill and about using finite resources as the RIAA goon squad, etc. However, don't the feds also bust gangs that sell black market cigarettes and illegal drugs?

Glad to hear that Greg. And nice jumpstart. :) Yes they do [the feds] and I see little there worth emulating. All three (drug war, new cig market, RIAA) are underground marketplaces that spun out of control due to ill-conceived government policies. Point taken though, in noting similar actions. :)

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:Okay, would you join me in hoping that the FBI would be more involved in tracking down illegal immigrants?

Hehehehehe I think we have an Immigration dept for that. ;) Personally I'm no longer sure WHAT the essential function of the FBI is anymore. I don't really see a point in using mucho any resources to hunt generic illegal immigrants at the same time that big business openly employs them. It's just a waste of money, the bowl never stops flushing. We can track down and deport 45 Beau Rivage housekeepers and the Beau Rivage "subcontractor" buses in 45 more. I'm not saying big business is the sole cause of the problem or the only arena for enforcement - I'm saying that THAT situation is the real slap in the face to me as a citizen and the flashing neon sign that we are WAY off course. The US needs some core principles on the issue and then effective policies to support and maintain those principles. IMO we are SO far from that ideal that we aren't even in the game. I don't see it even within a party or traditional left/right/center arenas.

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:I also love to jump all over phony charges of "ethnic bias" and "cultural suppression."

I really didn't get that from the article. What I got was discussion and acknowledgement of the dollar value of the latino (music) market and long-standing traditions in the college, local, indie, hip-hop markets. <shrug>
Regarding your restaurant example, I agree with you.

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:.... although they also are biased towards downloading which I say is a free lunch that people rationalize as somehow not stealing... Still, as LTB points out, piracy is piracy vs. say, booting stuff of long-dead artists that'll never see issue on the commericial market.

Technology has changed the world so much that I don't find stealing vs. not stealing a very effective base for discussion. I'll present a few random, rambling examples of why not:

ELV1S 30 Hits cd is available at retail.... easy to say it's wrong to download instead of buying it. But it's just as illegal to download it even AFTER I bought a retail cd. Did I still steal? The law says yes I did.

Bought one retail cd for myself, burned another for the spouse's car. Burned it onto a CDR that I bought, and for which I paid an extra fee to the music industry in case I used the CDR to burn an unauthorized copy. So now I've paid twice, but am apparently still stealing.

Blue Hawaii dvd is available at retail, region 2 only. Is it just as wrong to download if the company won't manufacture a region 3 version and I live in region 3? What about if I modify my region 3 DVD player to play region 2 DVDs? That's illegal, although hard to say it's stealing. BUT if I then BUY a retail region 2 DVD and play it in my illegally modified DVD player have I stolen something? Technically I am STILL a completely **unauthorized** viewer of this movie. I am not a legitimate customer. So what is the base for deciding 'stealing'? The law today? Yesterday? Tomorrow? The viewpoint of the copyright owner (and which one/s)? The viewpoint of the retailer? Whether or not I paid SOMEBODY 'authorized' for what I 'consumed'? Or whether or not I paid the right people, or am ALLOWED to pay the 'right people'?

Eileen

Fri Oct 07, 2005 3:55 pm

Graceland Gardener wrote:
He didn't approve of alt takes because they are inferior to the master, are bloopers, mistatkes, etc
plus he was paid once for the session (40 years ago in some cases) and they don't want to pay him AGAIN for new releases.


Scotty's real beef is with the payment issue. But he's dead wrong. He got paid for the sessions way back when according to the union rules. He's simply not legally entitled to any payment whatsoever for the various releases of the material he played on at the sessions. RCA/BMG don't owe him a dime legally or morally. He played the sessions, was paid for the session per union rules/contracts. End of story.

Fri Oct 07, 2005 10:40 pm

They might owe him morally as the master tapes were the fruits of the session and alternates are kind of late period bonuses. They definitely owe Elvis because Scotty was paid out of Elvis' royalties.

Wed Oct 19, 2005 11:19 pm

Catching up on some old threads since I was on vacation:

Eileen wrote:
Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:Okay, would you join me in hoping that the FBI would be more involved in tracking down illegal immigrants?


Hehehehehe I think we have an Immigration dept for that. ;) Personally I'm no longer sure WHAT the essential function of the FBI is anymore. I don't really see a point in using mucho any resources to hunt generic illegal immigrants at the same time that big business openly employs them. It's just a waste of money, the bowl never stops flushing. We can track down and deport 45 Beau Rivage housekeepers and the Beau Rivage "subcontractor" buses in 45 more. I'm not saying big business is the sole cause of the problem or the only arena for enforcement - I'm saying that THAT situation is the real slap in the face to me as a citizen and the flashing neon sign that we are WAY off course. The US needs some core principles on the issue and then effective policies to support and maintain those principles. IMO we are SO far from that ideal that we aren't even in the game. I don't see it even within a party or traditional left/right/center arenas.

GREG RESPONDS:
So just let all illegal immigrants come at will? :?: :roll:
Big business -and various
Latino groups that quietly champion such demographic changes would cheer your resignation! As you may know, NAFTA largely wiped out
the ability of small farmers in Mexico to sustain their viability -and we
are now seeing the fruit of that experiment on our street corners with
the day laborer phenomenon. So, yes, we do need a solution to Mexico's
economic woes, but surrendering our border and saying "come on in,"
is fool-hardy and just wrong.

I agree that we have a mixed up policy, but let's not pretend that there
aren't those who have a clear solution to our porous border. American
workers by and large have depressed wages in part do to the now-regular source of cheap Mexican labor, to say nothing of China and India. Plus, factor in the 9/11 factor of those Saudis who were here with driver's licenses...!

I don't know why you are
so quick to give up on fighting illegal immigration.
America is being hurt by the specter of such terrorism
and our standard of living is being hurt.


We are fast losing middle-class living standards in once-stable industries like construction, manufacturing and more. To say otherwise is to ignore
the effect of a larger, unstable, ever replenishing (now anyway) labor source on the market. I somehow doubt you champion that, but let's not
assume immigration laws are merely "jay-walking" type of offenses where
we are merely culturally-enriched and no one gets hurt.



Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:I also love to jump all over phony charges of "ethnic bias" and "cultural suppression."


I really didn't get that from the article. What I got was discussion and acknowledgement of the dollar value of the latino (music) market and long-standing traditions in the college, local, indie, hip-hop markets. <shrug>
Regarding your restaurant example, I agree with you.

Greg Responds:
Shrug all you want, but the article did in fact literally feature people claiming exactly what I said in #1 & 2. As usual, when
the facts or the law is "inconvenient," ethnic special interest groups
play the "culture" or "race" card. It's just weak.


Re: downloading
Technology has changed the world so much that I don't find stealing vs. not stealing a very effective base for discussion. I'll present a few random, rambling examples of why not...(edit...) -Eileen


Eileen, you make it murkier than it need be. I agree there are gray areas, but we are talking about blantant piracy.
Even LiketheBike (normally not fond of US copyrights- nor am I - concedes that.

In such stores, you'll find that both the artist, the producer,
the songwriter AND the record company is blatantly being ripped off.
It probably wouldn't happen, but imagine Dolly Parton's new album
this week (I saw an article out on it today) being sold as a bootleg
in a store today. That's not stealing?

Plain and, yes, simple.

Thu Oct 20, 2005 12:16 am

Last year for my sister's birthday I bought her the first season of "Little House on the Prairie" on DVD. This set had about five or DVDs totalling about 20 hours. I paid $30 for the set. The same day I bought an album for myself a Paul Simon collection from the mid-70s. No extras just a remastered version of the original album. For this 30-year-old 30 minute album I paid $16. For less than twice the cost I was able to get 20 hours of a much more expensive when it was originally made television show. And they wonder why people have stopped buying CDs. As wrong as direct piracy (as opposed to bootlegging) is they could accomplish far more by addressing their own flaws than by 1000 raids on Kim's Video Underground.

Thu Oct 20, 2005 12:24 am

Maybe, but it is whatever the market will bear.

But I don't think the black market "has a right" to exist....

They say that the killing of the single (really, the 45 rpm) and forcing
people to buy 15-18 buck whole CDs basically for one song helped
breed a generation pissed-off customers and youth who never
had the "record-buying" habit....

45s were like training wheels...

The industry may be reaping what they sowed..

Thu Oct 20, 2005 8:01 am

Well clearly the problem is that the market is not bearing that price and they are not using strong arm tactics to get something back they can never get back. Most industries facing a crisis like the record industry would cut prices. It's just incredible this way of thinking. There were pirates ten years ago when the industry was flying. However, they do not want to address this but the market for back releases was satiated, the prices of new CDs stayed at record highs despite the fact that production costs went down, the interesting new artists developed were few and far between. Plus, video games, dvds and other forms of entertainment have come into play as intense competition for the disposable dollar.

Thu Oct 20, 2005 1:05 pm

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:Okay, would you join me in hoping that the FBI would be more involved in tracking down illegal immigrants?

Eileen wrote:Hehehehehe I think we have an Immigration dept for that. ;) Personally I'm no longer sure WHAT the essential function of the FBI is anymore. I don't really see a point in using mucho any resources to hunt generic illegal immigrants at the same time that big business openly employs them. It's just a waste of money, the bowl never stops flushing. We can track down and deport 45 Beau Rivage housekeepers and the Beau Rivage "subcontractor" buses in 45 more. I'm not saying big business is the sole cause of the problem or the only arena for enforcement - I'm saying that THAT situation is the real slap in the face to me as a citizen and the flashing neon sign that we are WAY off course. The US needs some core principles on the issue and then effective policies to support and maintain those principles. IMO we are SO far from that ideal that we aren't even in the game. I don't see it even within a party or traditional left/right/center arenas.

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:So just let all illegal immigrants come at will? :?: :roll: Big business -and various Latino groups that quietly champion such demographic changes would cheer your resignation!........

Please don't do that. I said what I thought, my opinion doesn't need to be rewritten nor should I be accused of being in favor of whatever you are against because I didn't simply agree with you. I said - "The US needs some core principles on the issue and then effective policies to support and maintain those principles." I did not say I was resigned or that I think all illegal immigrants should come at will.


Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:I also love to jump all over phony charges of "ethnic bias" and "cultural suppression."

Eileen wrote:I really didn't get that from the article. What I got was discussion and acknowledgement of the dollar value of the latino (music) market and long-standing traditions in the college, local, indie, hip-hop markets. <shrug>
Regarding your restaurant example, I agree with you.

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:Shrug all you want, but the article did in fact literally feature people claiming exactly what I said in #1 & 2. As usual, when the facts or the law is "inconvenient," ethnic special interest groups play the "culture" or "race" card. It's just weak.

Well I read the entire article and I don't agree with your interpretation, as I explained. And I don't find the issues presented in the article or in #1 and #2, to be on the same plane as your restaurant example, a case in which I did agree with you.


Eileen wrote:Technology has changed the world so much that I don't find stealing vs. not stealing a very effective base for discussion. I'll present a few random, rambling examples of why not....

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:Eileen, you make it murkier than it need be. I agree there are gray areas, but we are talking about blantant piracy. Even LiketheBike (normally not fond of US copyrights- nor am I - concedes that.

In such stores, you'll find that both the artist, the producer, the songwriter AND the record company is blatantly being ripped off. It probably wouldn't happen, but imagine Dolly Parton's new album this week (I saw an article out on it today) being sold as a bootleg in a store today. That's not stealing?

Plain and, yes, simple.

Actually we were talking about the issues in the article and downloading and the RIAA and rockrap.com, I thought, and in addition I thought we would then be talking about the law, which does deal in those gray areas too. Perhaps you wanted to confine the discussion to retail album duplication (piracy)? That hadn't been my impression.

If someone made copies of the new Dolly Parton album that would be piracy, not bootlegging, and if they sold them in stores today yes, I agree that would be stealing.

Eileen

Thu Oct 20, 2005 3:59 pm

Eileen wrote
Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:So just let all illegal immigrants come at will? :?: :roll: Big business -and various Latino groups that quietly champion such demographic changes would cheer your resignation!........


Please don't do that. I said what I thought, my opinion doesn't need to be rewritten nor should I be accused of being in favor of whatever you are against because I didn't simply agree with you. I said - "The US needs some core principles on the issue and then effective policies to support and maintain those principles." I did not say I was resigned or that I think all illegal immigrants should come at will.



I know you didn't say that and I wouldn't "do that" (i.e. put words in your mouth.) However, I was trying to get to the implications of such a stance.
I don't have a problem with you disagreeing with me, but I'm am trying
to draw out the notion that "nothing can be done" about illegal immigration, which for some (if not you) is an actual strategy to quietly
allow unimpeded illegal immigration.

Also, "the U.S." as we know is a collection of various interests at loggerheads. On immigration, there is the Frankenstein coalition
of corporations and much (but not all) of the GOP plus liberal Democrats beholden to Latino / civil rights groups that champion the "rights" of
illegal immigrants. I agree that core principles would help and less
hypocrisy,etc....


re: what I call phony charges of "ethnic bias" and "cultural suppression."

Eileen wrote
Well I read the entire article and I don't agree with your interpretation, as I explained. And I don't find the issues presented in the article or in #1 and #2, to be on the same plane as your restaurant example, a case in which I did agree with you.


I agree that different people can have different interpretations, but I
think it's rather factual that the authors fear that the FBI / RIAA
actions are targeted ethnoculturally. Their questions (#1 & 2)explicitly mention it. Whether this is "playing the race card" is merely my
frank term but the difference is little, to me at least.

Eileen wrote:Actually we were talking about the issues in the article and downloading and the RIAA and rockrap.com, I thought, and in addition I thought we would then be talking about the law, which does deal in those gray areas too. Perhaps you wanted to confine the discussion to retail album duplication (piracy)? That hadn't been my impression.

If someone made copies of the new Dolly Parton album that would be piracy, not bootlegging, and if they sold them in stores today yes, I agree that would be stealing.


I don't mean to commandeer the topic as the pionts you made were
interesting. However, the reality of this crackdown based on actual new releases, by 50 Cent or Dolly Parton ( :D ), which are "ripped" and sold illegally. I see thatyou agree on that much.


Also:
likethebike wrote:Well clearly the problem is that the market is not bearing that price and they are not using strong arm tactics to get something back they can never get back. Most industries facing a crisis like the record industry would cut prices. It's just incredible this way of thinking. There were pirates ten years ago when the industry was flying. However, they do not want to address this but the market for back releases was satiated, the prices of new CDs stayed at record highs despite the fact that production costs went down, the interesting new artists developed were few and far between. Plus, video games, dvds and other forms of entertainment have come into play as intense competition for the disposable dollar.


The industry quite rightly would point out as long as folks are illegally
tampering with the market, it's hard to know what the true price
"should" be. I agree they've been slow out of the gate, but most
businesses are willing to deal with fraud on the fringes if counteracted
by otherwise high profits.

You're right that the disposable dollar has gone elsewhere in some part.

In the end, I hope people keep an attachment to music and new
technology may further that. Perhaps we are too nostalgic over
'records stores" and albums with actual covers, etc...

A Wall Street Journal article recently was all about new trends of
renting (from Netflix to e-baying of DVDs watched once..) ..They
cited numerous other examples in consumption that show that
people are more comfortable in renting in some fashion than before.

As a fan of my local libary, part of me says, hey, this is a good trend.

Environmentally and ethically, what does it mean to "own" culture
anyway? Building immense private libraries...Is that all there is? :shock: :lol:

People just aren't big on ownership anymore. Maybe that's a good
thing. I"m not sure. :shock: I'll keep my still-growing DVD, VHS, CD and
vinyl library for now...

Fri Oct 21, 2005 12:48 am

Piracy and bootlegging are just ways to avoid looking in the mirror. If they ever determine what the "true market" is they're going to be surprised. This has to be the only industry I know that responds to a decline in demand with an increase in prices which was they did in 2001. What Kim's Video Underground is doing may not be right but anyone that thinks that it is the problem is kidding themselves.

Fri Oct 21, 2005 12:57 am

There's always been thieves and liers in show business.

I just don't like the free pass some of these shops think they
deserve. Hey, I no purist myself and prefer stores that carry some
bootlegs or other unofficial material. But the open piracy of new
material is just wrong. Maybe not super wrong, but it is wrong -and
no, I don't work in the industry.

Fri Oct 21, 2005 1:40 am

I don't necessarily disagree with that point I just get upset at the argument that this is the problem.

This is an industry that really goy cocky in the 1990s and acts as if multi-billion dollar profits are a God given right. You talk about welfare.

In the 1990s they basically had the world to themselves. Books were in an immeasurable decline. The market for VHS, which had always been a rental market -something the record industry never considered, had plateaued. Video games were gaining in popularity but they were still primarily available in a rather inconvenient and technically limited format. CDs on the other hand were relatively new and represented an alleged quantum leap in sound, length of program and durability. This created the largest demand for back catalogue in the history of the industry. Plus, the economy was absolutely booming and consumers had more money to spend than ever before. Pirates, right or wrong, existed even then but there was less concern because everyone was too busy counting their money.

Late in the decade, the Playstation unit made its way into the mainstream which represented the type of leap in video games that the CD did for music. Around the same time, the DVD format became wildly popular. Then in 2001 the bottom dropped out of the economy. Even worse CD became copiable and transferrable by computer on a mass scale. Other factors had also to be taken into account as well. First, the demand for back catalogue had been satiated. Second, the industry had failed to develop artist loyalty among its new artists. As evidenced by the fabulous success of the NOW CDs the new market was for songs not artists. As I heard so many times back then, "Why do I want to pay $20 for one song?" Except for the NOW CDs the industry has never answered that question.

The entire environment of the industry changed and they carried on like it was still the 1990s. I am sure downloading has a significant impact on the business. Pirating less so but hey they're still in the wrong. Still I can't imagine a pirated CD of an industry fave selling more than 4-5000 copies nationwide less than one percent of a platinum. Artists in the 250,000 range are probably not worth copying.

But even if you eliminated both things you're still going to have big problems. You have a back catalogue that's filled its market. You have very little loyalty to new artists. You have an overpriced product compared to other entertainment choices. You have an economy that is nowhere boom time levels.

Plus, this is an industry largely subsidized by younger consumers. While I'm sure there are some young consumers who would use their disposable income to buy more CDs if downloading and pirating were not available, there are many who would not. Instead of buying four CDs a month maybe they would buy one and two DVDs and a video game. Again, the other two industries provide more value for money. Visuals, running time etc. And what's more young people are notoriously fickel. When they raised prices in the middle of a recsssion in 2001, there were undoubtedly many consumers who walked away then who never came back when the economy picked back up.

For the older consumer the industry offers nothing. The Paul Simon upgrade I bought who but the most dedicated fan would pick that up once they bought the previous CD issue. Downloading it makes more sense. They've bought this music once. The new artists who appeal to older consumers come along basically once every five years.

This is an arrogant and GREEDY industry. At the height of the 1990s, one industry ploy was to sell two packs of a CD and a cassette, so you could listen in your car. This was at full price. They want to control every single aspect of the music and they don't even want to admit that you have the right to listen to it anyway you want once you own it. They were against hometaping as well for your own personal use.

You know what though taping is a pain in the a**. So is downloading and creating a CD. Plus you do have costs. Granted they are minimal compared to buying a CD but they are costs. For those people who share those feelings lowering prices would have an impact. It wouldn't eliminate downloading or pirates but it would dent. And I'm not saying that that is the only solution that is needed. There are many. But you can't keep the same business model when the rest of the world has changed. They are unwilling to make the least changes in themselves to compete.