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Thread: Students Settle W/riaa On Song Swap Sites

  1. #1
    Jibbler's Avatar proud member of MDS
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    And that is how it ends...

    Students Settle with RIAA on Song-Swap Sites
    Thu May 1, 2003 08:05 PM ET
    By Sue Zeidler
    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A recording industry trade group said on Thursday it reached settlements, ranging from $12,000 to $17,500 each, with four college students it claimed had been operating illegal song-swap networks on campuses.

    While the settlements were lower than the hundreds of millions of dollars initially sought, the industry expects they will serve as a deterrent to individuals running "peer-to-peer" services, which let users download files for free.

    The settlements also capped a turbulent week for the music business, marked by a flurry of court rulings, the launch of a new commercial music service by Apple Computer Inc. and the unveiling of new anti-piracy tactics by the industry.

    "Given that these were the first lawsuits of this kind and that these individuals had limited means, we believe that the settlements were appropriate," said Matt Oppenheim, senior vice president of business and legal affairs for the Recording Industry Association of America. Oppenheim said future settlements may require stiffer penalties.

    The RIAA is the trade group for the big five labels, including AOL Time Warner, EMI Group Plc, Bertelsmann AG, Vivendi Universal Music and Sony Corp. .

    Earlier this week, the RIAA began sending out millions of instant messages to Web song swappers saying they could be "easily identified" and face "legal penalties."

    The mass messaging followed a major legal setback for the industry in its efforts to shut down song-swapping services.

    Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Wilson ruled popular song-swap services like Grokster and Morpheus should not be shut down because they could not control what is traded on their systems.

    Film and music studios vowed to appeal the ruling, which at the same time appeared to point the industries toward more aggressive actions against individuals.

    The labels' mounting focus on individuals first surfaced last month when the RIAA sued the four students, including Princeton University student Daniel Peng, Michigan Technical University student Joseph Nievelt, and Jesse Jordan and Aaron Sherman at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

    The RIAA had likened the students' file-sharing systems, which were open only to students on the universities' internal networks, to miniature versions of Napster -- the software and network that led to the explosion of music file swapping.

    It said the four networks were offering nearly 2.5 million files, including more than 1 million files on the largest of the networks.

    The complaints asked for the legal limit on damages in such cases of $150,000 per each copyright infringed.

    Lee Black, analyst with Jupiter Research, said the settlements may serve as a more realistic assessment of damages brought by file-sharing applications. "It certainly sends a message to people on campuses that they can now be held monetarily liable for infringing copyrights," Black said.

    Others agreed. "I think this will be an effective deterrent, even if it doesn't have the shock value of a multi-million dollar settlement," said Gregg Lee, analyst with Raymond James and Associates. "I don't know too many college students who have $15,000 lying around."

    The RIAA said at least 18 "local area Napster networks' or campus peer-to-peer services have come down since it filed the lawsuits.

    But lawyers for 18-year-old Princeton University student Peng, said terms of the settlement actually reflected the strength of Peng's position under copyright laws. They said the settlement contained no admittance of guilt by Peng.

    "It is unfortunate the recording industry, in trying to protect their profits, used the legal system to intimidate students who are often their best customers," said Peng's lawyer, Howard Ende at the firm of Drinker Biddle.

    "I don't believe that I did anything wrong. I am glad that the case has been settled amicably, and I hope that for the sake of artists, the larger issues can soon be resolved," Peng said in a statement.
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  3. File Sharing   -   #2
    sounds like the students got off pretty easy in the end then
    still, as the article says, it'll be hard for them to come up with the money
    maybe we could all donate money to them (just a joke, don't start flaming, they deserve what they got imo)

  4. File Sharing   -   #3
    How do they deserve what they got? If you had to pay for $17,000 for file-sharing, which you more than likely take part in if you're looking at this site, you wouldn't think you got what you deserved. They were just sharing, which is exactly what the people on this board want. I know some people say they shouldn't use university connections to share, but I know almost anytime I log onto IRC I get asked to host files based on the fact my connection has a .edu at the end. So, apparently some people will be on these student's sides and find the ruling unjust.

  5. File Sharing   -   #4
    well, you have to be rather ignorant to use a monitored line to fileshare
    if i use my own home conenction for filesharing (which you assume i do), then i would only be using my line, my electricity and my phone bill costs
    using a line which is paid for by an educational institute and is monitored is rather silly
    don't you agree?

  6. File Sharing   -   #5

    maybe we could all donate money to them
    Not a bad idea, if one of you guys is reading this, why don't you start a web page for donations. I'd pay.

  7. File Sharing   -   #6
    i can't tell if that was sarcasm or not
    if not, can i have some money as well?
    i can always do with some extra cash, plus i'm looking for a new graphics card
    the people who were fined will probably be pretty well off anyway (if i remember correctly, in the us, you have to pay for your own university education). the people who were caught were at university, therefore they should be able to pay the fine

  8. File Sharing   -   #7
    MagicNakor's Avatar On the Peripheral
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    I'll take some of that free cash too. Can always do with free cash.

    These guys aren't going to some community college, either. I think the Princeton boy can take care of himself.

    things are quiet until hitler decides he'd like to invade russia
    so, he does
    the russians are like "OMG WTF D00DZ, STOP TKING"
    and the germans are still like "omg ph34r n00bz"
    the russians fall back, all the way to moscow
    and then they all begin h4xing, which brings on the russian winter
    the germans are like "wtf, h4x"
    -- WW2 for the l33t

  9. File Sharing   -   #8
    Ok, first, let me do some math here, ready...
    $15,000 (average) multiplied by four students equals $60,000
    So then...
    $60,000 divided by 2,500,000 files equals 2.5 cents (actually 2.4) per file

    Hey if thats right, then the kid with the Verizon case owes...
    2.5 cents multipled by 600 files equals $15.

    2.5 cents per file, now thats REALITY, actual value for content!!

    I can afford that, how about you Jib!!
    I am waiting to see what movies cost though.

    On a serious note, I have officially started my boycott. I will no longer buy any music through the industry (possibly direct through the artist), even if p2p goes away, which it will not, let them fall to the ground. Should the movie companies jump in, then I will no longer buy DVD's.

  10. File Sharing   -   #9
    FuNkY CaPrIcOrN's Avatar Poster
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Louisville Kentucky
    Originally posted by REALITY@3 May 2003 - 02:31
    Ok, first, let me do some math here, ready...
    $15,000 (average) multiplied by four students equals $60,000
    So then...
    $60,000 divided by 2,500,000 files equals 2.5 cents per file

    Hey if thats right, then the kid with the Verizon case owes...
    2.5 cents multipled by 600 files equals $15.
    2.5 cent for every song?I am willing to pay that.

  11. File Sharing   -   #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    those RIAA bastards

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