Thoughts about P2P lawsuits

There is one thing that has been bugging me ever since reading about the people getting sued for sharing music or movies through P2P networks.

What I hear is that people are getting sued for huge amounts by the RIAA. But what is the argument behind suing someone for hundreds of thousands of dollars for sharing music ?

Lets say for this disscussion sake that I’m a casual user of a P2P application like the eDonkeys or Bittorrent. Through donwloading i has aggreated a rather large collection og music an videofiles that I’m sharing on the P2P network.

then I get sued and my collection of files have the equal value of a few thousand dollars in CD’s and DVD’s. I can then see the argument in the suit that shareing the files with other internet users has resulted in a loss of income for the record company or movie studio.

But what if that through the Bittorrent tracker logs or eDonkey stats I’m able to argue that I have only in total uploaded say 50 gigabytes witch is approx the same as 100 full cd’s in fair MP3 quality. At $20 each that only a potential loss of $2000 and not the $100,000 I’m getting sued for.

If I keep detailed logs I might even be able to prove that I have never uploaded a full workable cd or movie file to a single person only fragments to many different people.

Or is the industris argument that my sharing results in huge losses because the files I shares is again shared by others ?

Meaning that I could actually get sued for a million because my friend borrowed my new Star Wars DVD and shared it through P2P or even copied it and sold the copies at the local flee market ?

I would appreciate any thought you might have on this.


your allowed to share with your famliy right???

if so then whats to say that the hub or bit’s that you downloaded are song or dvd from wasnt from your dad that got this movie for you and couldnt send it or something like that.
I even thought that your allowed to give your mate the movie as well???
could be wrong :confused:

Nobody has ever taken a suit to completion - anytime someone fights, the industry drops the suit. :frowning:

Check, etc. There are a few cases going to court. One disabled lady is sueing the RIAA. Another is letting the case go to court. Another won against the RIAA but only because it was her child who did the filesharing. Now they are taking the child (14) to court via ad-litem (Whatever that means).

  • There’s not really a limit for the amount people can try to sue you
  • All expenses, transfers and potential losses are calculated

I have a couple of thoughts here, first off… home recording is perfectly legal. I know this because I have VCR , I also have a Phillips stereo with a built in CD burner and FM radio. This means I can record anything I have heard off the radio onto CD, and anything I plug into the AUX jack on the Phillips.

I can also record anything from my computer soundcard onto my computer Cd burner, again perfectly legal.

This means I could have a fair collection of MP3’s recorded from my vinyl LPs and CDs and off the radio and off the sound card. Nothing illegal there.

say I want to go to P2P to swap airchecks of old radio programs, or art bell programs. But not swapping tunes. Should be legal… maybe.

The problem is, that from what I have heard that the spys who probe your share list is also somehow probing your computer for anything that is MP3 or video… even if its not in your share folder.

Once they find alleged illegal MP3’s (even though you MP3-ed your own record and CD collection and MP3-ed from your soundcard and you are NOT sharing those MP3’s) they can slap you with a huge fine.

What do I see down the line, … the powers can be can only keep this up for so long until there is a huge backlash, and there is one coming.

It will be a class action lawsuit against the music industry and the RIAA. We are talking RICO for starters. You can’t just go on accusing people and shaking them down on a daily basis for $5000.

Its like someone goes and tells a shop ownwer that if he/she doesn’t pay $1000 a month , then their shop will burn down. The Mafia used to do that and look what happened to them.

In a court of law you have a right to face your accuser, often the RIAA will “settle” for $5000 verses a potential fine a Million, this “scares” and “intimidates” people into “settling” thinking that “whew only $5000 verses $ 1 Million”. That is a shakedown.

There is another shakedown, you have a Nightclub or a Bar and you hire a DJ, he/she plays music. Soon BMI and ASCAP come in and tell you to pay a annual music license fee or they will sue you. You have another choice, to cease and desist and not have music from a DJ in your bar/nightclub anymore.

But look at that example, BMI/ASCAP warns you and tells that “IF” you continue without paying we will sue.

The RIAA and the music industry does not warn individual people, they just go ahead and sue. Based on what the tactics of BMI/ASCAP of warning the individuals ahead of time.

The difference with BMI/ASCAP , the music is making money and bringing in /attracting cutomers to the bar/nightclub… thus a fair compensation is likely justified.

The problem with RIAA tactics, there is NO MONEY involved, no profit, no financial involved with the alleged p2p traders and MP3 collectors.

it would be one thing IF the alleged MP3 traders went and made CDs from their downloads and sold them at some fleamarket. that would be illegal.

Based on all this ,the current way of what the RIAA is doing is blatantly illegal. Nobody up to this point has taken them to task…yet.

Stay tuned

Probably wont be long till its like that Family Guy episode where Peter tries to record the Super Bowl on his VCR, and the feds rush in and point guns and say"Do you have the full permission of ABC Networks and NFL?"

A couple of additional thoughts and things to ponder on…

Why is it Libraries can lend out albums and CDs without getting in trouble?

What would happen if you or I opened a store with free membership, and lent out Cd and albums?

What whould happen if you or I opened a online music library, with free membership and lent out songs?

If a item is stolen, then that item no longer exists in the hands of the rightful owner. Correct?

If the copy is stolen and not the original, then the rightful owner still has the original and therefore no theft has taken place.

If there is no exchange of money, then therefore piracy is not applied to that application.

For a law to be legal, and not subject to being overturned. There must be penalties applied and it must be applied evenly.

A person goes 5 miles over the speed limit they get a fine of $100, Over 10 miles its $150 and so on.

Therefore what scale does the RIAA use? $200,000 per alledged song download? Based on what? What does the song actually cost … 99 cents?

Based on that, even if the RICO statutes applied to song swappers… we are talking treble the damages of the actual cost of $ 3 a song. Thats the actual alledged “theft” IF RICO was applied to song swappers.

How much of a fine if someone got caught downloading five songs? Each song costs a alledged 99 cents and thats $ 5 . How much of a fine if someone got caught “stealing” $ 5.00 from their local store? Probably nothing and they would be let off with 30 days probation… if that.

Therefore the punishment does NOT fit the crime. Even IF there was a crime commited. This is why what the RIAA and others are doing will be challenged on that very aspect.

You have the BMI and ASCAP example, where the owner is individually contacted before they even sue them he can either get a music license for his establishment or he can cease and desist … BMI/ASCAP does NOT sue anyone without a individual warning… in person. Therefore also based on this the RIAA tactics will be challenged.

Finally no money is exchanged whatsoever, either on the uploaders part or the downloaders part. No money? Then where is the said crime?

IF like said earlier, there was a financial gain, like if a downloader took the songs in question and made Cds and sold them for financial gain… then that is a crime.

If you took a picture of the Mona Lisa in a museum, then enlarged it and gave copies of it away for free… tell me what crime you are committing? Why should a picture ( a copy) be treated like the real deal when in fact it is not and why should a copy of a picture be any different then a sound recording?

For you videophiles, If you have Aunt Betty over so she can watch a movie on Lifetime, everything would be legal.

If you TIVO-ed that same movie and you both watched it together, still legal.

If you taped that movie on Video Tape or DVD and she watches it downstairs at your house while you watch something else, it should be perfectly legal.

If you mailed Aunt Betty a copy of that movie on a VCR tape it may not be legal.

But Aunt Betty lives in the sticks and cannot get out, so you and her get on the internet and send the Movie through say Bearshare to her for her with no financial gain, suddenly you can get a huge fine and lose your car and she gets a fine too.

Its the same movie, regardless of what format it is on, yet the laws and the penalties are NOT the same. Therefore for arguments sake the law is not being equally applied.

These are your arguments for a class action.

Besides all that, its a well known fact that computers can be hijacked with a trojan horse program. Whats it to say that some program was downloaded to your computer without your knowledge and therefore you have no idea whatsover that you computer was used for “allegedly downloading or uploading” ?

How would you know if someone did not tap into your wireless network and downloaded and uploaded on their computer without your knowledge.

The burden is on them and not you to prove your computer wasn’t hacked.

Should be, but isn’t.

The problem is, that from what I have heard that the spys who probe your share list is also somehow probing your computer for anything that is MP3 or video… even if its not in your share folder.

And they can also scratch all your original CD’s. And call your boss and tell him he’s an asshole so that you get fired. AND they’ll imitate your voice, call your girlfriend, and break up with her… and then screw her best friend just for good measure.

Oh wait, that’s right - NONE of these things can happen. You’ve been watching too many movies.

Once they find alleged illegal MP3’s (even though you MP3-ed your own record and CD collection and MP3-ed from your soundcard and you are NOT sharing those MP3’s) they can slap you with a huge fine.

Again, please keep dreaming. This is flatly untrue.

Based on all this ,the current way of what the RIAA is doing is blatantly illegal. Nobody up to this point has taken them to task…yet.

This is true. All the cases previously cited in this thread are summary judgements or pretrial hearings. None have actually gone all the way to trial. The RIAA backs down as soon as someone actually fights them with any substantial backing, because they know that the FIRST time they lose a judgement or a case, it’ll be used as precedent from that point forward.