April 30, 2003

RIAA abusing peer-to-peer systems?

Filed under: code — Wendy @ 7:52 pm

Dan Gillmor has a good query: Do the RIAA’s messages to file-sharers misuse the software or networks of others? For example, the KaZaA terms of use prohibit using the software to “Transmit or communicate any data that is … threatening, abusive, harassing, … [or] invasive of another’s privacy.” The claims in the RIAA messages could be construed as harassment or interference with the software networks. This is pretty weak as threats go, though, and more likely to get a First Amendment pass on any “interference” claim.

The full warning (thanks Jim):

COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT WARNING: It appears that you are offering
copyrighted music to others from your computer. Distributing or
downloading copyrighted music on the Internet without permission from
the copyright owner is ILLEGAL. It hurts songwriters who create and
musicians who perform the music you love, and all the other people who
bring you music.

When you break the law, you risk legal penalties.There is a simple way
to avoid that risk: DON’T STEAL MUSIC, either by offering it to others
to copy or downloading it on a “file-sharing” system like this.

When you offer music on these systems, you are not anonymous and you
can easily be identified.You also may have unlocked and exposed your
computer and your private files to anyone on the Internet. Don’t take
these chances. Disable the share feature or uninstall your
“file-sharing” software.

For more information on how, go to

This warning comes from artists, songwriters, musicians, music
publishers, record labels and hundreds of thousands of people who work
at creating and distributing the music you enjoy. We are unable to
receive direct replies to this message. For more information about
this Copyright Warning, go to www.musicunited.net.

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