[linux-elitists] RIAA Versus the Internet: PART III - A New Hope

Ruben Safir ruben@mrbrklyn.com
Sun Oct 21 15:28:59 PDT 2007


Protected by FormShield The first rule about newsgroup lawsuits is,
you do not talk about newsgroup lawsuits

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is taking aim at
Usenet newsgroup providers, though has only targeted one particular
company so far.  The RIAA filed a lawsuit against Usenet.com on
Oct. 12, claiming the newsgroups harbors "millions of copyrighted sound

Usenet is a relatively centralized method for users to distribute files
and messages created before the Internet or peer-to-peer technology
was created.  Unlike traditional peer-to-peer networks, Usenet hosts
its files on hub servers at Internet backbones instead of client nodes.
This advantage gives newsgroups extremely fast download speeds, but steep
learning curve and limitted access keeps the userbase relatively low.

The protocol has stayed relatively "under the radar" in the wake of
Napster, Kazaa and other P2P networks. Even though the popularity of
Usenet has been on the decline since the late 1990s, the service never
fully died out, and remains popular for images, videos and binary file

According to the legal brief, the defendant, Usenet, "provides essentially
the same functionality that P2P services such as Napster, Aimster,
Grokster and Kazaa did (prior to being enjoined by the federal courts)
-- knowingly providing the site and facilities for users to upload and
download copyrighted works -- except that defendant goes further than
even the P2P services to facilitate and encourage copyright infringement
by its users."

A copy of the lawsuit can be found by on Wired.com (PDF).

The RIAA seeks unspecified monetary damages and "injunctive relief for
copyright infringement."

Marketing on the Usenet.com web site likely does not help its case
against the RIAA:  "Shh... Quiet! We believe it’s no one’s business
but your own what you do on the Internet or in Usenet.	We don't track
user activity."

The RIAA's up-and-down battle against file sharing continues, both with
battle victories and losses.  The RIAA won a civil court battle over
a Minnesota woman, who must now pay $222,000 worth of damages to the
record industry.

In addition, more than 400 "prelitigation" letters have been sent by the
RIAA to 19 U.S. universities across the country. An example of a letter
sent to an alleged filesharer is available on EDUCAUSE (PDF).
http://www.mrbrklyn.com - Interesting Stuff
http://www.nylxs.com - Leadership Development in Free Software

So many immigrant groups have swept through our town that Brooklyn, like Atlantis, reaches mythological proportions in the mind of the world  - RI Safir 1998

http://fairuse.nylxs.com  DRM is THEFT - We are the STAKEHOLDERS - RI Safir 2002

"Yeah - I write Free Software...so SUE ME"

"The tremendous problem we face is that we are becoming sharecroppers to our own cultural heritage -- we need the ability to participate in our own society."

"> I'm an engineer. I choose the best tool for the job, politics be damned.<
You must be a stupid engineer then, because politcs and technology have been attached at the hip since the 1st dynasty in Ancient Egypt.  I guess you missed that one."

© Copyright for the Digital Millennium

More information about the linux-elitists mailing list