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wolverine

Friends caught by the RIAA for downloading music

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Throughout my four years in college, I've done my best to avoid peer to peer sharing except for the occasional jump on the system to get some rare song I can't buy in stores or on iTunes. Over the years, a few of my friends have been caught by the RIAA for illegally sharing music. Most end up with warnings, but recently one of my best friends is getting sued approx ~ $4,500 for one song. She only had 50 on Limewire.

A lot of people don't understand how peer to peer file sharing works. They think by turning off the sharing they are safe, but the program doesn't work that way.

TURNING OFF SHARING IN LIMEWIRE DOES NOT WORK.

Why would people trust the program? It's been reversed engineered and has shown that it will continue to share your music even with the settings adjusted. If you own the software uninstall it. My friend had sharing disabled, and the program disconnected, yet she still got picked up on the university network by the RIAA

I hope all of you find this useful, and take action to prevent yourself from getting caught. Just stick to buying music off itunes, or better yet, shoot for the real product and buy cd's.

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I've abhorred the RIAA since 2000. I like older stuff that you can't just up and buy in a lot of places. I haven't used p2p in a while and of newer stuff I am backed up 3 years, but I've not shared since Napster and I wouldn't keep songs in the folder to be shared. I wish the RIAA didn't approve of all the crap that's released and didn't overinflate the value of songs. 99

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I don't know much about p2p, but I do know things like torrents are legal, I am not exactly sure I understand it, because it seems to be essentially the samething, but they are legal.

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A torrent is broken down into smaller pieces of data, which in themselves are not copyrighted.

Another gray area is downloading streams. For example, someone can download a users entire iTunes library if they are on a local area network at a rate of one song per second. The same issue has plagued Pandora.com where people recently discovered you could snatch up the music they play from your temp drive. It's basically a bunch loopholes that conform with the home recording act. As long as it's not a global transfer, its safe. Ethically it's bad, but whatever.

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A torrent is broken down into smaller pieces of data, which in themselves are not copyrighted.

Another gray area is downloading streams. For example, someone can download a users entire iTunes library if they are on a local area network at a rate of one song per second. The same issue has plagued Pandora.com where people recently discovered you could snatch up the music they play from your temp drive. It's basically a bunch loopholes that conform with the home recording act. As long as it's not a global transfer, its safe. Ethically it's bad, but whatever.

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I use Legal Sounds. At ~9 cents per song, it can't be beat! It's a Russian music site, and in Russia, it is technically legal. I was a bit weary of giving my credit card information to them, but after researching it extensively, their records have turned up clean. I've been using it for a year now and have had no problems!

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Very cool seicer, I'll have to check it out. Is their music in mp3 format? One thing that makes me sick of iTunes is when I buy their music they have a "lock" put on it so you can't play the song on another machine or even edit it. Throughout the years, I've used software which breaks the copyrights off the file and converts it into mp3 format. It's a violation of iTunes user agreement, but I could really give a crap. They got my money, now let me edit the damn song! lol. That's what is great about buying CD's sometimes, you have the legal ability to do whatever you want with the music.

One service I've used is OurTunes. It worked better in the past before iTunes put a bunch of security stuff into place to prevent people from downloading streams of other people's libraries excessively. However, if you are in your own home on your own connection, you can transfer your purchased iTunes music to another computer and strip the copyright locks from the files. Of course, you can also download your friends entire music library (but it's only legal if your friends give you permission to!) But remember it's a violation of the iTunes user agreement.

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Hmm, interesting stuff and I'm sorry your friends got caught! It must really suck for them...

I didn't even realize these people were still at it!

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post-11265-1175826520_thumb.jpg

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Very cool seicer, I'll have to check it out. Is their music in mp3 format? One thing that makes me sick of iTunes...

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So my friend hasn't really gotten any more communication from the RIAA. They just warned her there could be a settlement.

On the upside, she just got a good paying job, so even if she does get sued, that $4,500 should be taken care of quickly.

Anyway, it's a lesson to everyone. I'm not a fan of the RIAA personally, but I think people should do their best to buy music. I can sympathise with those trying to download music for free for the following reasons though:

= The song is not available on legal services like iTunes. This happens to me ALL THE TIME. I usually have to find a friend that has it

= The song is not available in stores either.

= The song is released on the radio very early, but doesn't come out in stores until much later. You want this music while it's fresh! Some recording companies are cool about this and provide downloads on their site where the song has reasonable quality... like a sample. I think all companies should do this though. I for one, willl get the sample, and then I'll typically end up buying the album later.

= You can't buy the song as a single, you have to buy the whole album, and quite frankly, the album is terrible.

I'm not stating any of those as a justification to download music illegally. The law is the law, it's all copyright infringement regardless, but I think the RIAA needs to realize that there still needs to be more convenient means of getting music that isn't found on the major services. I mean, you are losing money by not working to provide this convenience. So why not?

What's happening here is the internet is far to ahead for these people to catch up. The way music is distributed should be standardized. There is such a complexity with early airtime/delayed release time of music as well as what services get what when it comes to making music available online, it's no wonder people continue to download on p2p services

Additionally, I want to be able to edit my damn music!

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I just wanted to say this also, I guess this would be the appropriate place for it. But if you are going to buy music, buy it LOCAL. Do your best to support the smaller music stores. I know they are pretty rare now, but they are the ones most affected. It's interesting because when I buy a CD, I feel like I've done more good toward the store than the artist.

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there's some mis-information here. torrents are NOT legal unless they are used for distributing files that the distributor has the right to distribute. torrents of copyrighted material (such as copyrighted music and movie downloads) are NOT legal. the RIAA has file suit against people who were using bit torrent to download music. the thing about bit torrent is that by the way it works, you are both downloading and uploading parts of it. therefore, at least in their eyes, you are helping distribute it, which is what they get you for. it can easily be tracked because a file is tracked by a "tracker" and when you connect to a torrent, you can see everyone who is connected to it. that's how they get you.

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Thanks runaway Jim. I had actually meant to come back and correct myself on that. Bittorrent is almost worse in some cases because it's impossible to turn of sharing since the creator had intended the program be legal and people would share music from the start.

So, my friend finally settled. She had been flagged on 300 songs, but the RIAA felt only 8 them were important. Her total settlement was $3,000. So it's done and over for her. Lesson learned for us all.

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Thanks runaway Jim. I had actually meant to come back and correct myself on that. Bittorrent is almost worse in some cases because it's impossible to turn of sharing since the creator had intended the program be legal and people would share music from the start.

So, my friend finally settled. She had been flagged on 300 songs, but the RIAA felt only 8 them were important. Her total settlement was $3,000. So it's done and over for her. Lesson learned for us all.

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