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Saturday, September 06, 2003

Amnesty schmamnesty


The organization that seems to be trying to systematically destroy people's love of music, better known as the RIAA, is proposing their version of an amnesty program. The program will let certain so-called copyright violators "off the hook" if they delete all illegal music files from their computers and promise not to do it again. WashPost: Amnesty in Works for Music File Traders. This thing is so full of holes, it's almost funny.

First, does "off the hook" mean free from civil or criminal prosecution, or both?

Second, to qualify for amnesty, the alleged violator must file an amnesty form, have it notarized, and together with a photo I.D., send it to the RIAA. What, are they going to do, come to your house and inspect your computer to see if you told the truth? Expect some kind of fine-print clause where the person seeking amnesty signs over some right whereby they subject themselves to the at will jurisdiction of the RIAA for future scrutiny. In any event, this'll give them a nice little database to draw from for future actions. What are they going to do with that information?

Third, the amnesty only applies to the recorded version and not the underlying composition. Now that they have their tidy little database, what’s to say they won’t go after violators for the compositions, or pass the information on to another entity?

Fourth, and this could be the real kicker, when you “delete” a file (at least on a on a Windows computer), it can easily be recovered. That is, the file is still there. All that’s gone is the pointer saying where the file is on the computer.

Fifth, the RIAA has already done too much damage to ever be trusted again.

See also:

Posted by Marie at September 6, 2003 11:46 PM


I thought the exact same things about how raw this "amnesty" deal seems. I had already lost any trust for the RIAA long ago, so I'll just chalk up another mark in the "Nay" column for them.

Universal is finally coming to the realization that CD prices need to be lower in order to woo consumers back to the shelves. Hopefully, this trend will continue to other labels (and decrease more, as $5 off the MSRP of a CD is fairly insignificant).

Posted by: Jeff at September 8, 2003 9:16 AM

The RIAA has also been threatening that if illegal downloading continues, then they'll be forced to raise CD prices. Oh no, woe to the consumers. As if that's going to talk us out of downloading. I hope they do actually raise prices-- then sales will dramatically decrease and eventually they'll be forced to lower prices again.

Posted by: Goat at May 31, 2004 7:00 PM