So after the nomination of Sotomayor, who had bent over backwards to torture all kinds of well established definitions so she could side with big business, here comes another appointee who has obviously been vetted by the MPAA and the RIAA.  It is especially distressing that the Highest Court of the USA has become so corrupted by corporate influence.

Don’t be fooled by the astroturfing on Slashdot–Kagan is is yet another appointee who has worked at a firm with very strong ties to the RIAA…The record of Obama on his judicial nomination seems to be: government by the RIAA, of the RIAA and for the RIAA

This was really a foregone conclusion, but it is still nice to hear that the RIAA lost again:

Judge Refuses to Punish Lawyer for Anti-RIAA Blogging

An attorney defending against a music-piracy lawsuit didn’t cross ethical bounds by filing motions broadly attacking the recording industry and posting them on his blog, a magistrate judge has ruled, rejecting demands from the RIAA for monetary sanctions.

Do you suppose that the RIAA feels at all guilty about trying to suppress someone’s freedom of speech? Probably not, but it is a sign of how accustomed we have become to corporate oppression that there isn’t more outrage over this obvious SLAPP lawsuit….

It seems facebook has started blocking links to torrents not only on user pages, but in their emails. Another example of a corporation taking rights away from individuals. This wouldn’t be possible IF net-neutrality legislation were in effect. But it’s not so kiss your freedoms goodbye:

Facebook has controversially taken action against The Pirate Bay, blocking members from distributing its file-sharing links through its site. However, legal experts tell Wired that the social networking giant may have gone too far, as it not only blocks links to torrents published publicly on member profile pages, but it also blocks private messages that may contain them, too.

“This raises serious questions about whether Facebook is in compliance with federal wiretapping law,” said Kevin Bankston, a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. As the report points out, Facebook private messages are governed by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which prevents communications providers from intercepting users’ messages-unless it’s for security or legal purposes. The sniffing of emails to serve ads or filter out viruses does not violate the act, but “the notion that a legitimate e-mail would be not be delivered based on its content is extraordinary,” says Wired’s Ryan Singel.

In any case heres a link to PIRATE BAY:

It’s interesting that the RIAA-lackeys who are vigorously prosecuting those who founded the Pirate Bay website don’t understand the concept of blowback.   They should: recall the case of Dmitry Sklyarov, or of Ed Felten, the computer scientist at Princeton who was threatened with jail by the RIAA.  I’ve noted before that the draconian enforcement of IP laws will, inevitably, lead to their repeal.   So I say to the clueless RIAA and their stoges, Go ahead, make my day.  

But the strong IP crowd apparently has some clue about how unpopular their ideas are, because they are carrying out trying to carry out the ACTA negotiations in secret.   But–opps!!–that won’t work, thanks to wikileaks and web 2.0 you can’t keep things like that secret. It is impossible to put a lid on any significant information once it is out in the web 2.0 world. For example, here’s some information re the ACTA treaty, and here’s the discusion showing how you lose certain constitutional rights against search and seizures, and here’s the confidential US-Japanese treaty mark-ups.

So, those who want to lock up deceased great grand-mothers and computer scientists know that their laws won’t be popular, and are trying to carry out their campaign in secret.  The light of day (or a tv camera) will destroy the laws they are trying to pass, now matter how many of their lawyers are placed in positions of power. 

The new mantra for those who oppose the ACTA and other strong IP laws needs to be: transparency, transparency, transparency. Transparency is all reasonable people need to defeat unreasonable laws.

I am very interested in hearing how the RIAA will spin their opposition to this, from a post at the blog Recording Industry vs the People:

Defendant makes motion for proceedings to be televised over the internet in SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum

In SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, the defendant has moved for all court proceedings to be televised over the internet through Courtroom View Network. The motion argues:

Information is the currency of democracy, sunshine laws open government. The federal court is open not only as a court of justice but a forum of civic education. WE the PEOPLE are the ultimate check in our constitutional system of checks and balances, we the people of the integrated media space opened and connected by the net in a public domain. Net access will allow an intelligent public domain to shape itself by attending and engaging in a public trial of issues conflicting our society.

Net access to this litigation will allow an interested and growingly sophisticated public to understand the RIAA’s education campaign. Surely education is the purpose of the Digital Deterrence Act of 1999, the constitutionality of which we are challenging. How can RIAA object? Yet they do, fear of sunlight shone upon them.

Net access will allow demonstration by the parties to the jury of the nature and context of the copyright infringement with which Joel Tenenbaum is charged.

Net access will allow an intelligent public domain to shape itself by attending and engaging a public trial prosecuted by a dying CD industry against a defendant who did what comes naturally to digital kids.

Net access will allow educational and public media institutions to build a digital archive and resource for understanding law akin to Jonathan Harr’s A Civil Action reconceived in execution for legal pedagogy in a digital age, Another Civil Action. The immediacy of net-based access to court opinions already allows lawyers, professors, students, and reporters to better keep abreast of the most recent legal developments, but none with the immediacy the Net allows.

If the motion is granted, it will be the first RIAA case of which we are aware to be televised.

Motion and memorandum of law in support of internet audio-visual coverage

Found on Groklaw’s news picks, a link to an article at Ars covering the new penalties for IP violations in the “Pro-IP” bill. We’re looking at really excessive fines here. If these fines were enacted, (copy 50 songs, be liable for 75 million dollars damages) and these laws were enforced, al-Qaeda wouldn’t have to do anything–we’d have all the home grown terrorists we could handle, with all those who’ve been disposed and their relatives in jail, we’d have created a permanent underclass with little reason to respect any “rule of law,” when the law would be so deeply corrupt. Good job, RIAA.

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Well my post from a couple of days ago should have had a couple more links to free music downloads, in particular this one, as BGG noted:

Big Acts Follow Radiohead’s Lead: Let Their Music Go Free

Rock group Radiohead has started a trend. Nine Inch Nails announced it will release its upcoming album online and ask fans to pay what they want for it – instead of charging a set fee. Other major recording artists Oasis and Jamiroquai are also considering following Radiohead’s lead.

These bands are stealing a page from Radiohead’s playbook. Last week Radioahead announced it would be releasing its new album online, bypassing its label, and ask fans to set a price they wanted to pay. As of this morning Radiohead’s album In Rainbows is available for download via the band’s Website.

Now, I just can’t wait to hear what the IP maximalists like Chris Castle and the IPCentral gang have to say about this.

From the Blog: Recording Industry vs The People.

Liberated Music
(Links to non-RIAA legal music download information)

Other titles that I considered for this post were: The RIAA loses, but doesn’t realize it or Boycotting the RIAA has never made more sense, or been easier… because this post touches on all these issues. But in the end, I decided on a snippet from the excellent blog Recording Industry vs The People.

The RIAA ‘wins’ the first case that has gone to trial for illegal peer to peer file sharing. They seem to think that they’ve won a major victory. My grandmother had a saying that went ‘don’t cut off your nose to spite your face…’ As reported on ABC news:

Woman Ordered to Pay $222,000 in File-Sharing Case
Experts Say Verdict is Clear Win for RIAA, Record Labels
Oct. 4, 2007

In the first lawsuit over file sharing to make it to court, a jury ordered a woman who record labels claimed illegally shared songs to pay the labels $222,000.

The lawsuit, filed by the Recording Industry Association of America, the record label lobbying organization, accused Jammie Thomas of sharing more than 1,700 songs on the now defunct peer-to-peer file sharing network Kazaa. The suit contended that Thomas violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by distributing songs for free that belonged to the record labels.

“We welcome the jury’s decision,” the RIAA said in an e-mailed statement following the decision. “The law here is clear, as are the consequences for breaking it. As with all our cases, we seek to resolve them quickly in a fair and reasonable manner.

Hey RIAA, get a clue!  Do you really think Joe Sixpack believes that a $222,000 fine is “fair and reasonable”?

By the way, you have just:

1. Sued your own customer,
2. Made yourself look like a bully,
3. Made the DMCA enormously less popular,
4. Strengthened the case for copyright reform

So just like Dirty Harry said: Go ahead, make my day. The RIAA has engaged in plenty of obfuscation and smoke and mirrors of their own. That is about to end, thanks to the RIAA’s attitude towards their own customers. Thankfully, there are a great many places where you can get great music without supporting the RIAA.

Just who is the RIAA anyway? They really don’t want you to know, as they are engaging in a highly unpopular and undemocratic activity, so they obfuscate. Look at their website for the answer? Do you think you will find that information on their website? surprise surprise–you will not! But have no fear-wikipedia has unearthed the truth (again!)

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