Wait, The RIAA Missed Killing CompuServe?

Aerosmith, The Goose and the Golden Egg, and The RIAA

Aerosmith Guitar Hero
Aerosmith Guitar Hero (Photo credit: ChrisGampat)

Personally, I am a pretty big fan of the band Aerosmith. Not only do I like their music but I love the way they pop back into popularity almost every decade.  I feel that the reason they have success at doing so is because they try new things.  Examples include:

  • Doing a music video with Run DMC
  • Guitar Hero which did so well there was an Aerosmith version

I recently happened on one I didn’t know about.  Did you know that they were the first band to be on CompuServe?  Like 20 years ago when we didn’t even really have an Internet as we know it today and it took like 60 to 90 minutes (not a typo, in those days downloads were measured in hours).  10,000 users downloaded it in the first 8 days. The most interesting thing I noticed about the article is that it seems that the RIAA didn’t actually go after CompuServe!

What I would like to see is the RIAA take a few tips from the legendary band but no, instead they killed MTV with license fees, did the same to Guitar Hero and now are doing the same thing with streaming music services.  Quoting the article first mentioned

Steven Tyler had the money quote in the press release: “If our fans are out there driving down that information superhighway,” he said, “then we want to be playing at the truck stop.”

I doubt it will happen though as the goons at the Racketeering Idiots Association of Absurdity will more likely want a toll booth at every intersection.

Here is the song that was all the download rage 20 years ago.

Why is the RIAA Going After the “Pirates”?

This post originally appeared at here on 2003.08.10.

English: Compact Disc player carousel for thre...
English: Compact Disc player carousel for three CDs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One needs little filling in on this issue. It is now common knowledge that the RIAA is no longer going after the “Napster”-like entities. The reason is that they can’t. This article is about why.

First of all, the legal stuff. The RIAA must prove a few things to win such cases. At best, they can only plea a case of “Contributory Copyright Infringement”. This is because it is the service that such entities provide do not in and of themselves actually distribute the material. They do, however, provide lists of users who obviously do, some actually maintain central databases, most offer software and they have to be aware of what their users are doing. All of this makes it difficult to prove in court. Especially since our judicial system insist that a case be presented in the most favorable light for the defendant. Continue reading “Why is the RIAA Going After the “Pirates”?”

Why I have a problem with the RIAA

The following is a rant I went on about the RIAA on 24 August, 2003.  While many of the specifics have changed, the philosophy of this once “sue-em’-all” organization has only shifted to “take-em’-all-down”… semantics in my opinion.  Granted other things have changed as well but, by far and large, the RIAA is still more concerned with maintianing a stranglehold on the market than having any concern for the consumer or the artist.  For the record, I still despise the organization.  I often refer to them as the Racketeering Idiots Association of Absurdity. Continue reading “Why I have a problem with the RIAA”

Today’s Topic is Brought to You by the RIAA and Our Founding Fathers

English: First page of Constitution of the Uni...

First of all, I wish to make one thing very clear. I DO NOT endorse, desire, nor support illegal activity. I wish that people would abide by copyright laws and respect the legal protections of others. With that in mind, I must also state that I am even more against any branch of government or any other organization repressing, impeding or violating the rights of the individual. I consider these rights sacred, divine and protected by the highest law of the land. I consider myself blessed and fortunate to live in “the land of the free” and feel any breach of the rights of an individual’s rights is a tragic wrong.

The Constitution of The United States of America is a beautiful document. It was and is the greatest piece of legislation to ever become actual law. The men who crafted it were bold visionaries who felt the rights of the common man were to be held sacred. So strongly did they feel this, that they risked all to bring that vision to reality.

The Constitution was carefully and laboriously crafted to assure a balance of powers in the new government. The authors’ main concern was to assure that the rights of every individual American were adequately protected. They feared a government which could suppress the rights of an individual. The goal was to create a government “of the people”. The radical thought was that a ruling body was to serve the people of it’s nation and not the other way around.

It was much debated, drafted and revised and, in fact, did not take effect until 1789. In other words, it took some 13 years after America’s succession from the king to finally agree on exactly how to protect the rights of the individual. This fact alone should show just how serious that matter was to our Founding Fathers. Despite all their effort in revision it survived not 3 years without a demand for modification from the States.

That modification is commonly referred to as the Bill of Rights. Of these first ten amendments I do very honestly feel that the fourth is relevant here. It reads;

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

This means that I, as an individual, have a right to privacy. It means that the police, government or any one else, for any reason whatsoever, can NOT search your house and/or seizing your property without first producing some evidence that I am doing something wrong. This would not allow a law enforcement agency, for example, to decide it would be a good law enforcement tactic to search every house in a certain city. It means that one must first have evidence that there is a cause to search.

Is this basically not what is happening? The RIAA/MPAA is currently crawling the web and checking every server and even home PC’s. They have no need to produce any suspicion. They methodically check every connection. Now I know this is a radical leap but how is that any different from saying “All server hosts are pirates, until we (the RIAA/MPAA) judge otherwise.” ? This seems no more ethical than spam crawlers which hunt down e-mail addresses on the web and then flood your in box with junk.

Now, I do agree that peer to peer networking has created a whole new world of copyright violations and something must be done about it. However, I have fundamental problems with this tactic and see it as a violation of my individual rights. What reason do they have to search EVERY server? They have clearly crossed the line between attempting to uphold the law and hunting witches. And, by the way, all servers host witches. Worse yet, they are not a law enforcement agency. They represent private business interest.

This is why, to the best of my ability, I will block the RIAA/MPAA from my teeny corner of cyberspace. I am not a pirate. Until you have some evidence to show just cause, please spend your time removing SPAM from your inbox. Until then I shall continue to exercise my first amendment right and lunatically rant about your, in my opinion, illegal activity.