Entertainment Industry Trade Groups: Lawsuits Don't Protect Property

December 13, 2010 -

Trade groups including the Recording Industry Association of America, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and the Motion Picture Association of America say that currently copyright law gives too many excuses to service providers to do nothing about copyright protection. The statement is part of a response to a Notice of Information on copyright policy issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce. A Notice of Information is a request for information from interested parties and anyone else that wants to make comments about a particular issue. That request garnered responses from nine trade groups.

"The role of lawsuits in solving the online theft problem is clearly limited," read part of a group response that included the MPAA, RIAA, and AFTRA. "For instance, bringing clear-cut claims against major commercial infringers is not by itself a solution in the long run," the coalition wrote. "These cases take years to litigate and are an enormous resource drain. Bringing clear-cut claims against major commercial infringers is not by itself a solution in the end."

The group cited LimeWire as an example. Even though for major record companies finally prevailed in getting the software shut down, the group points out that it took four years to accomplish this and it cost millions of dollars.

"The LimeWire defendants were able to drag out the litigation for four years. Such massive civil cases do not provide a scalable solution to the full scope of the problem."

Others, like law firms that sue individuals, are finding the battle to be difficult as well. Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver (DGW), one of several law firms that has filed copyright complaints against thousands accused of illegally sharing movies, is also finding that these kinds of cases take time and money. Of course, in the case of these lawsuits it is even harder because lawyers are armed with lists of I.P. addresses and not actual names.

Trade groups representing the entertainment business want laws that better protect their property and make it easier to quickly go after infringers, and they want ISPs too cooperate more. While they do not provide any solutions, they complain about file-sharing, search engine providers that facilitate piracy, ISPs and the loopholes in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The coalition says that the way the law reads in its present form, ISPs have too much of "an excuse to do nothing to combat pervasive and even blatant infringement."

Source: C|Net


Comments

Re: Entertainment Industry Trade Groups: Lawsuits Don't ...

The current laws also give police too much of an excuse not to track down these civil infringers. In addition, the current laws are not making a sandwich for the RIAA, MPAA, etc, and rubbing their feet after a long day. And we aren't even going to get into the issues about the "maritals".

Maybe because the ISP's aren't responsible for what gets put through their pipes. They jsut run the pipes. I don't expect to see the road crews busting people for speeding, they just work on the roads.

Re: Entertainment Industry Trade Groups: Lawsuits Don't ...

They have just decided that they don't want the cost or the bad PR of defending their own copyrights, they want the US tax payer to subsidize those costs. Sure, the copyright in and of itself is a form of subsidy to create new works, but now they don't even want to be responsible for enforcing their own subsidy. Well I say too bad. They have always bore that cost themselves, and they want to take advantage of the new technology to argue that they shouldn't have to now. Well I don't buy it. There have been multiple independat studies done, studies not funded by big content, and they show that Internet piracy has had minimal impact on sales and that in many ways it helps sales.

Re: Entertainment Industry Trade Groups: Lawsuits Don't ...

Business as usual doesn't work in the digital entertainment industry anymore. They need to realize that and refocus their efforts to finding new business models that take advantage of the portability of digital content. There's more than one way to sell games to the public than selling copies such as "fund and release". "Fund and Release" is a method where a studio gets people to pledge money (by giving them a reason to buy-in i.e. bonuses, collectibles, etc.). The fans fund games they want to see made. If nobody pays, the game doesn't get made. It's that simple. Nevertheless, once the funding and game production is complete, the game is released for free. Why not? They got the money they asked for before they made the game. This way, people who share the game are advertising to potential customers, whom may wish to buy the extras such as special account perks and/or physical goods, like collectibles. Also, bigger perks can be offered if they give more than the minimum. Offer them a "host your own release party" option if they pitch in $1,000 (or more if that isn't enough) where they could invite a number of their friends to a party hosted by the creators of the game and everybody receives a pre-release copy. The advantage of this is that even poor people can get in on this with a "pay what you can" deal so even if you can't afford the "all the bells and whistles" package, you can still pitch in a few bucks to support a company you like and not feel guilty. No more piracy and no more need for copyright. File sharing makes this business model thrive.

-Greevar

-Greevar

"Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

Re: Entertainment Industry Trade Groups: Lawsuits Don't ...

I cannot think of an adjective to describe just how slimy these guys are.

Re: Entertainment Industry Trade Groups: Lawsuits Don't ...

At first it sounded like they were turning over a new leaf.

They they said they wanted to be able to bypass the court system. fuck those guys

Re: Entertainment Industry Trade Groups: Lawsuits Don't ...

Stupid due process.  It makes convictions so hard!

Re: Entertainment Industry Trade Groups: Lawsuits Don't ...

I am always distrubed at how many people honestly believe this.

Re: Entertainment Industry Trade Groups: Lawsuits Don't ...

Well said, EZK. It's not bad enough that they're greedy and abusive, they're lazy, too.

Re: Entertainment Industry Trade Groups: Lawsuits Don't ...

Oh.. poor babies... a few million dollars and a few years for their dedicated team of lawyers that can bleed less well funded opponents dry.

Sounds like their real complaint is they don't want to go up against people who can actually afford to defend themselves.

Re: Entertainment Industry Trade Groups: Lawsuits Don't ...

So basically, they are saying that it is currently too much work to enforce their copyrights and they want other people to do all the heavy lifting for them.

I say, screw them. They demanded this mess we call US copyrights and they should live with the results. If they want an easier time dealing with their copyright enforcement, perhaps it is time that they gave up some of the crap they received.

First revert terms back to the time limit they were originally, 28 years max.

Second, give customers back their First Sale and Fair Use rights.

That should ease up their plates quite a bit.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

 
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