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Society at Large
beer, meetmeme, Backyard
So, today SCOTUS said "No" to hearing the appeal of a German citizen who was kidnapped by the CIA in Morocco and sent to Afghanistan where he was confined and allegedly tortured. After the CIA figured out he was not a terrorist, he was dropped off in the woods in Albania. Next stop for him is likely the World Court. That is pretty fucked up. So much for land of the free. Bushco was heavily lobbying the courts to not accept the case, on the grounds of "state secrets."

In other legal news, a jury in Duluth was convinced by the most expensive lawyers on the planet to force a single mother living a little above poverty to pay the RIAA $222,000 for downloading and "making available" music. FUCK THE RIAA. In other news, the RIAA has let slip their hand and is considering the following bullshit (from http://www.dailytech.com/RIAA+Eyes+Next+Possible+Targets+CD+Burners+Radio+Listeners/article9218.htm) :

  • "...users who buy songs are entitled to one, and only one copy. Burning CDs is just another name for stealing, in her mind. "When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." Making "a copy" of a purchased song is just "a nice way of saying 'steals just one copy'."
  • Another possible avenue of legal action for the RIAA is the pursuit of businesses that play unauthorized music in stores. The Performing Rights Society (PRS), Britain's version of the RIAA, may give the RIAA some possible ideas with its pending litigation. The PRS is suing the Kwik Fit Group, a car repair shop in Edinburgh, for £200,000 in damages. The case revolves around the complaint that Kwik Fit employees brought in personal radios which they played while working on cars, which could be heard by colleagues and customers. The PRS says this amounts to a public "performance" and should have entailed royalties.

Hey - RIAA - Fuck You, and your little bitch organization PRS. Overall record sales profits are down for a couple of reasons:

  • Less new albums available
  • Craptastic music

Keep in mind, at the height of downloading, individual album sales were up, but since there were less albums, the overall $$ were less. Also, DVD sales were up and there is not much price difference, so there was entertainment dollar competition from the movies.

The RIAA's business plan is crap. Their model is obsolete. It is like Bill Maher said (this is a little old)- GM said Hybrids are not part of our business plan. GM lost 4 billion dollars last quarter. What the fuck is your business plan?

The RIAA's plan is not more musical acts, not more variety, not more new music, not better downloading. No, their plan is sue and alienate all of their customers. And then what? What is their plan when sending blanket subpoenas to university fails their money requirements? Sue more people, hire better lawyers, and now go after CD Burners, or playing your radio at work? What The Fuck!? Has the RIAA forgotten "Fair Use" or "Time Shifting" precedents from the 70s and 80s? So, in their world, if my CD is scratched, I have to buy another copy. If I want to keep the CD at home, and put a copy in my car, I am stealing. Nevermind that the piece-of-shits who broke into my car got a CD wallet full of copies (Ha-Ha!) and I would have to purchase all of that again according to the RIAA.

There should be much more ranting about the War on Terra and "State Secrets" and the worst president ever, and his major contributer Blackwater's private christian army, and SCHIP, but really, I just don't have enough time to pick on the fascists right now.
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As a computer geek, I'm a huge fan of BACK UP YOUR DATA.

This whole RIAA thing has been going on for decades. When cassette tapes came out, they whined about how people would use them to (gasp!) record music! So they convinced the manufacturers of cassette tapes to give them a kickback whenever they sold a blank tape, whether or not you would back up your music on it.

And the DJs of all the radio stations began never introducing songs, just playing them, and talking over the intros in order to discourage taping from the radio.

I remember being a kid, with my fingers poised over the play/record button waiting for my favorite tunes to come on.

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