Skip to comments.RIAA: U.S. copyright law 'isn't working'
Posted on 08/25/2010 12:03:18 PM PDT by a fool in paradise
ASPEN, Colo.--The Recording Industry Association of America said on Monday that current U.S. copyright law is so broken that it "isn't working" for content creators any longer.
RIAA President Cary Sherman said the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act contains loopholes that allow broadband providers and Web companies to turn a blind eye to customers' unlawful activities without suffering any legal consequences.
"The DMCA isn't working for content people at all," he said at the Technology Policy Institute's Aspen Forum here. "You cannot monitor all the infringements on the Internet. It's simply not possible. We don't have the ability to search all the places infringing content appears, such as cyberlockers like [file-hosting firm] RapidShare."
The complex--and controversial--1998 law grew out of years of negotiations with broadband providers, Internet companies, and content industries. One key section says companies are generally not liable for hosting copyright-infringing materials posted by their companies, as long as they follow certain removal procedures, once contacted by the owner.
In response to a question from CNET, Sherman said it may be necessary for the U.S. Congress to enact a new law formalizing agreements with intermediaries such as broadband providers, Web hosts, payment processors, and search engines.
The RIAA would strongly prefer informal agreements inked with intermediaries, Sherman said: "We're working on [discussions with broadband providers], and we'd like to extend that kind of relationship--not just to ISPs, but [also to] search engines, payment processors, advertisers."
But, Sherman said, "if legislation is an appropriate way to facilitate that kind of cooperation, fine."
Lance Kavanaugh, product counsel for YouTube, disagreed that copyright law is broken. "It's our view that the DMCA is functioning exactly the way Congress intended it to," he said.
The United States leads the world in the creation of innovative new Web ideas, Kavanaugh said, in part as a result of the compromises made when drafting that law: "There's legal plumbing to allow that to happen, to allow those small companies to innovate without [the] crushing fear of lawsuits, as long as they follow certain rules. Congress was prescient. They struck the right balance."
Last week, the RIAA and a dozen other music industry groups called on Google and Verizon to crack down on piracy, saying in a letter that "the current legal and regulatory regime is not working for America's creators."
Sherman acknowledged on Monday that YouTube is now doing a fine job of filtering and removing copyright-infringing videos. But, he said, Google "could stop filtering tomorrow and have no liability," as long as its YouTube subsidiary replied promptly to notifications.
And, he suggested, it could do far more: "If you enter in 'Beyonce MP3,' chances are, the first thing you'll see is illegal sites."
Disclosure: McCullagh is married to a Google employee not involved with this topic.
Update 6:20 p.m. PT: During dinner this evening, Cary Sherman told me that his response to my question earlier Monday was not a call for new legislation. Instead, he said, the RIAA would like to see congressional action only if necessary to formalize a voluntary deal with partners such as broadband providers. But a broader law enacted without their cooperation isn't what the RIAA wants, Sherman said.
RIAA demands even MORE power...!
I’m not willing to see free speech hindered and the first steps taken to turning the USA into an Orwellian state, merely to protect the copyright “rights” of a few movie companies.
I hope the new Congress shoots them down and backs off the 95 year copyright to 7 years, the way it was when copyright law was first established.
"Years of negotiations". Considering many people didn't even get the internet until after 1994 (Windows 95) I find this hard to swallow. They may have discussed possible issues, but they weren't affected "yet". Hypotheticals instead of problems. Much of it centered on putting up laws making it illegal to strip off copy protection codes from discs. Sony and others put lethal code on their audio CDs that could even freak out in some drives and kill the operating system.
And Freenet, Usenet, Tor, I2P, etc etc etc. Sucks to be you, Mr. RIAA.
The RIAA is gunning for their own FBI/NHS law enforcement agency beholden to the RIAA to scour the web for their protected content (including peeking into files).
They aren’t even all landed in the US. Maybe the RIAA should appeal to the United Nations. < /snicker >
Does anyone want to take any bets about a new federal “media tax” being proposed in the future - you know, to be collected for and given to these “starving artists”?
There have been proposals in the US, Canada, and EU to add a “media tax” (bailout) to internet accounts that would go to Big Media to “compensate them” for “lost revenue” by some people who use computers.
And you can follow that none of that bailout money would make it to the affected artists or their families (in the case of older artists). Without an audit of which files were improperly transferred, the industry would just apportion as it sees fit and maintain the status quo.
All together now....AAWWWWWWWWW. *Sniffle*
Well, Cary, you should have been a bit more careful and clever when spreading the cash around the DC Beltway.
You see, they will write any legislation you want if the price is right.
Untold sites and articles told you that DMCA would be a huge bust and simply add miles of red tape. It is chock full of silly provisions and restrictions written by non-technical people which technical people must interpret and attempt to comply with.
Incidentally, you can probably see how Obamacare, written by non-medical and non-insurance people, will go over with medical and insurance types.
The RIAA would strongly prefer informal agreements inked with intermediaries, Sherman said: "We're working on [discussions with broadband providers], and we'd like to extend that kind of relationship--not just to ISPs, but [also to] search engines, payment processors, advertisers." But, Sherman said, "if legislation is an appropriate way to facilitate that kind of cooperation, fine."
Erm, legislation doesn't 'facilitate,' Cary. It demands compliance, not cooperation, and it threatens fines and imprisonment - but that's really what you're after anyway so why sugarcoat it? Do you think anyone believes a word you say at this point?
What happened to your precious sue-John-Doe strategy? Many people pointed out that suing your own customers might not be the way forward but you ignored them. After some high-profile losses by your bumbling legal representation and after being smacked down by judges who happened to notice that the RIAA were not the FBI and vice versa did you finally work out the futility of it all?
"If you enter in 'Beyonce MP3,' chances are, the first thing you'll see is illegal sites."
Hard to respond to that one, Cary, since it's so simple-minded and petty - but then so are you and your colleagues. But let me quote John Lydon of the Sex Pistols: ever get the feeling you've been cheated?
In other words, the merger of Corporation and Government (i.e. Fascism). Say it aint so, Joe.
Extending it to 99 years the day before Mickey Mouse enters the public domain is... shall we say... Micky Mouse.
Hint - I'm not “ripping off” any Lady GaGa music and I'll turn you in for littering if you try to give me any!
It doesn't REQUIRE broadband providers and Web companies to enforce our rules.
Wait...when OTHER laws don’t work( such as drug laws/marijuana) the answer is to DE- CRIMINIALIZE and legalize the action.
And marijuana does far more harm to the human brain than someone o You Tube singing a copyrighted song without permission.
So, if the RIAA can’t control everyone, and can’t punish every lawbreaker the answer is simple- eliminate the law!
Less crime, more happy people.
I've purchased it in 8 track, LP and CD.
Haven't I EARNED the right to download a torrent of it to my PC?
I've already financed a portion of Jimmy Page's satanic paraphernalia purchases, am I supposed to now also underwrite Robert Plant's emerging need for Depends undergarments?
Will Obama’s copyright czar help save the music?
Yahoo news ^ | Sat Nov 15, 2008 | Antony Bruno
“Soon after an inauguration that Washington, D.C., insiders are speculating could be one of the musical events of the year, Obama will officially name a copyright czar — one of the most important decisions he'll make, as far as the music business is concerned.”
Copyright treaty is classified for ‘national security’
CNET ^ | 12 Mar 2009 | Declan McCullagh
Last September, the Bush administration defended the unusual secrecy over an anti-counterfeiting treaty being negotiated by the U.S. government, which some liberal groups worry could criminalize some peer-to-peer file sharing that infringes copyrights. Now President Obama’s White House has tightened the cloak of government secrecy still further, saying in a letter this week that a discussion draft of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and related materials are “classified in the interest of national security pursuant to Executive Order 12958.” The 1995 Executive Order 12958 allows material to be classified only if disclosure would do “damage to the national security and the original classification authority is able to identify or describe the damage.”
Fifth RIAA Attorney Tapped For Justice Department (Obama DOJ not quite what reformers hoped for...)
http://www.dslreports.com ^ | Apr 14 2009 | by Karl Bode
Former RIAA Lawyer At DOJ Will Only Avoid RIAA Issues For A Year
techdirt ^ Posted on Saturday, May 02, 2009
Plenty of folks have noted that the Justice Department has been the landing place for a number of RIAA lawyers. Some have suggested not to get too worked up about this, given that the Obama administration's ethics rules supposedly forbade those lawyers from being involved in issues related to their former work. However, it looks like the limit on these guys is actually quite narrow and for a very short period of time. We'd already noted that the highest ranking former RIAA lawyer, Thomas Perrelli, in his Senate confirmation hearings, said he hoped to use his position to increase intellectual property enforcement from within the Justice Department.
Now, Pro Publica, an online investigative reporting operation, has published the ethics agreements signed by Obama administration appointees, including Tom Perrelli’s agreement, which appears to only preclude him from working on issues that impact his former clients for one year. Also, it seems pretty narrowly focused on the specific clients he worked for, but not other aspects of the same industry. In other words, in less than a year, he can certainly start helping the RIAA from within the Justice Department — and his Senate testimony suggests he's interested in doing so. That's not quite the ethical separation we were led to believe would exist in the administration.
RIAA/MPAA Want Government-Mandated Spyware That Deletes ‘Infringing’ Content Automatically
Gizmodo ^ | 15 April 2010 | Adam Frucci
RIAA Insists That Musicians Can't Make Money Without The RIAA
Tech Dirt ^ | 13 April 2010 | Mike Masnick
Deal Would Mandate FM Radios In Cell Phones - agreement between NAB/RIAA headed to Congress
Information Week ^ | August 23, 2010 02:13 PM | W. David Gardner
If The Industry had its way, you wouldn’t be allowed to check out a CD from a library (they pushed that legislation in the 1980s) and you wouldn’t be able to buy/sell used CDs (they pushed that in the 1990s).
“Im not willing to see free speech hindered and the first steps taken to turning the USA into an Orwellian state”
Free speech? What the hell are you talking about?
I’ve been saying since before 2000 that this is what will be the excuse for completely shutting down the Internet in Amerca.
There’s 80+ years of used recordings for sale on the open market (used book/record stores, garage sales, thrift stores, high dollar conventions, ebay, etc.).
The consumer dollar only goes so far and there are billions of pieces of product already out in the marketplace.
The Industry “got lucky” in 1983 when CDs started to hit the market and they were able to convince baby boomers to toss out their record collection and buy back everything at inflated prices. In the 1990s it came to light that CDs were cheaper to manufacture than cassettes yet cassettes held a lower sell-through price in stores. Turns out that the labels were in collusion to price fix CDs at an elevated price structure. They settled out of court, paid millions to the trial lawyers, and sent the states that filed class action lawsuits worthless deadstock CDs for has-beens and nobodies in the name of “providing educational assistance” (per court order).
Discussion of copyright law, for whatever reason, really brings out the barbarian within. I wonder why, say, laws against stealing other people’s houses don’t occasion as many cries of “fascism.”
PAaaa-leeezzzz The new Congress will be even bigger supporters of big business. New neutrality? Buh-bye. Consumer rights? Adios.
I don’t understand your sense of optimism in this regard.
Yep...I also believe if I download a song or video in one format, it should become my possession. I should also be able to convert it to another format as I see fit. No one should tell me how to eat my Reese’s.
If they want to advertise it as “renting” a song in the future, that’s fine. If they want to play hardball and not offer legal downloads at all, that’s fine too. But don’t ask me to “buy” a song or video when it’s not really true.
You know for sure Shirley Sherrod will buy a paint set to go with her hoe.
“I’ve purchased it in 8 track, LP and CD.
Haven’t I EARNED the right to download a torrent of it to my PC?”
No, you’ve “earned” the right to your 8-track, LP, and CD (what, no reel-to-reel or cassette version?) copies. Which, incidentally, is what you paid for.
How about the truth: the RIAA’s business model based on selling a product which is marginally free to produce—an extra digital copy of something costs effectively nothing to produce—isn’t working. Supply and demand regulates prices for goods based on scarcity. When the supply is potentially infinite, the price tends toward zero.
It turns out most of us are willing to contribute $0.99 to get a song (or $9.99 for an album with ten or more songs) so that artists get paid. (cf. Apple’s iTunes business model).
I suspect there would be even more enthusiasm for paying if folks had the sense that a significant fraction would actually get to the artists, rather than almost all of it being absorbed by the bloated lawsuit-factories that call themselves “recording companies” or “record labels”.
“RIAA President Cary Sherman said the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act contains loopholes that allow broadband providers and Web companies to turn a blind eye to customers’ unlawful activities without suffering any legal consequences. “
What Crap... if I take a bottle of 151, stuff a rag in it, light it and throw it into a building, is the liquor store I got it from responsible somehow for my actions? Please!! Anyone can do illegal things with any product if they choose to to say that another company is responsible for ensuring nothing illegal is done with your product is absolute nonsense.
RIAA is an example of why Business Socialism needs to end.
We keep passing laws to “protect” this business model....even though it is a useless model in this modern era
“Turns out that the labels were in collusion to price fix CDs at an elevated price structure.”
There is no such thing as price fixing (at least, not in that sense). There’s only what the consumer is willing to spend and what he’s not. If the price set after collusion between labels holds on the market, then it is the market price.
Oh, and by the way, the cost of producing cassettes has absolutely no significance this way or that.
I bought the music (MULTIPLE TIMES mind you), not the format or package.
If greedy “artists” and their front-man attack dog, the RIAA, want to change that basic understanding, they had better be prepared for a HEAVY, adverse response from the marketplace.
Wait until the e-books stop selling.
May 14, 2000 Retail prices of compact discs are likely to drop in the coming months, thanks to a Federal Trade Commission action ending an industry-wide price-support policy begun five years ago. On May 10, the FTC announced that it had reached an agreement with the “Big Five” of the music businessTime Warner Inc.’s Warner Music, Seagram Ltd.’s Universal Music, Sony Music Entertainment, BMG Entertainment, and EMI Group PLCthat will effectively end the practice of “minimum advertised pricing” (MAP) instituted as a response to music-retailing price wars in the mid-1990s. Under MAP, retailers were forbidden to advertise CDs below an established minimum, at the risk of losing millions of promotional dollars from the record labels.
MAP, in the FTC’s view, is a form of price-fixing...
Even the song “Happy Birthday” is still copyrighted and subject to royalties if performed in a public place. So, when the restaurant staff comes out with a cake and sings they should be paying a vig to Time/Warner.
IMHO, copyright lasts far too long.
One word that describes the reason the Music industry is no more. RAP.
Can you tape your record to cassette or mp3 for personal use?
VCRs could tape television programming (including pay movie channels) as ruled by the Supreme Court in their Betamax decision in the 1980s.
Yet now you will find it difficult to get an all in one combination DVR.DVD+/-R machine (and some DVR systems will flush programming that you have recorded after a couple of weeks if a signal is present in the programming to do so).
The record industry didn’t do anything to solve the case when someone broke into my brother’s home and stole his music collection.
It’s still stolen music that someone is listening to for free.
We all want legal protection (or at least prosecution of the criminals when we are wronged). The RIAA thinks they get to be first in line just because Obama has stacked the Injustice Department with RIAA lawyers.
Gee I wonder why copyright isn’t working when it is perpetual...
“But dont ask me to buy a song or video when its not really true.”
Same as a house. You may pay the bank off. But don’t pay your property taxes & see how quick you “own” it.
“MAP, in the FTCs view, is a form of price-fixing...”
What the heck do I care what the FTC says? They’re not interested in anything more than legal niceties. Whatever some lawmakers, motivated by the falsehoods of perfect competition theory, said was bad a century ago is bad now. No matter that no consumer in the history of the world was ever hurt by price agreements between private companies. Try reading Friedman or Armentano, who know a little more about reality than the bureaucrats at the FTC.
If the music industry would have initiated their own MP3 libraries online, with a cheap and easy way to purchase single songs, the general public would have developed the habit of legal purchases years earlier.
But they dug in their heels, and the more they tried to sue their way to maintain control, the more control they lost. They were no match for a technical revolution they didn't want to acknowledge.
They helped create this mess...I don't feel sorry for them.
Of course it’s not working. It’s built on a lie.
I have the capacity to copy anything to anything and, believe me, I use it frequently.
But you can modify the house while you’re on-time with the payments, right?
If you paid for it all at once, it wouldn’t matter, would it?
“We all want legal protection (or at least prosecution of the criminals when we are wronged). The RIAA thinks they get to be first in line just because Obama has stacked the Injustice Department with RIAA lawyers.”
That’s what I’m getting at. This ought to be a limited, practical disucssion. They’re not saying copyrights should be absolute and extend at least 100 generations after the originator’s death, with life imprisonment for anyone who dares transfer information from one format to another. Yet, for some odd reason, free speech, Orwell, fascism, Evil Corporations, and so on get drawn in. All I’m asking is how come this never happens when we discuss property rights, for instance?
Much of the music I buy now is from Independant artists, frequently at their performances.
The old record companies are no longer the “Gatekeeper” for music, just as newspapers and the networks are no longer the “Gatekeeper” for news.
The RIAA knew this was coming over a decade ago, when they attempted to sue the original MP3.com Indie site out of existance.
Yes they have piracy, but more than that - they now lack the ability to prevent a deluge of new artists from oversaturating the market.
The old days are never coming back.
Remember when it was home taping that was going to kill the business?