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RIAA Wins Lawsuit Against Usenet.com
After company destroyed evidence, sent employees into hiding...
by Karl Bode 09:00AM Wednesday Jul 01 2009 Tipped by S_engineer See Profile
According to CNET, the RIAA has emerged victorious in their case against Usenet.com for wholesale copyright infringement. Filed back in 2007, the RIAA took particular issue with the outfit's ads promising "access to millions of MP3 files" for the monthly $19 payment. While the advertising was bad enough, the case was made substantially easier for the RIAA thanks to the fact that Usenet.com was destroying evidence on hard drives, often supplying incorrect information -- and even sent several employees to Europe to prevent them from testifying. In a statement, the RIAA lauds the courts for taking action against Usenet.com's "egregious litigation misconduct."

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tictac

@theplanet.com

Usenet.com

It's Usenet.com, not all of Usenet.

nixen
Rockin' the Boxen
Premium
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Alexandria, VA

Re: Usenet.com

said by tictac :

It's Usenet.com, not all of Usenet.
Yeah, I was a touch confused by the title, at first. Seems a touch strange that a company would name itself against an unbrandable name like that. Perhaps they knew their business model was suspect, so they were just looking to get in, make their money, and then duck out once the inevitable lawsuits came.

/me shrugs
--
The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. -- Bertrand Russell

knightmb
Everybody Lies

join:2003-12-01
Franklin, TN

1 edit

Re: Usenet.com

I don't think I would excuse the usernet.com company either for blatantly advertising illegal content that has to be hosted on their servers.

No worries, it's only a matter of time before my »theriaampaaareabunchofgreedybast ··· dsbay.us website is up and running.

That is real site BTW

nixen
Rockin' the Boxen
Premium
join:2002-10-04
Alexandria, VA

Re: Usenet.com

said by knightmb:

No worries, it's only a matter of time before my »theriaampaaareabunchofgreedybast ··· dsbay.us website is up and running.

That is real site BTW
Hope you got a shorter domain name that you can do a redirect from. That's WAAAAY too much to type in.
--
The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. -- Bertrand Russell
gorehound

join:2009-06-19
Portland, ME
1.Stop buying any corporate label music
2.stop buying any music from artists who sign with the RIAA
3.stop buying music from any small labels who would sign with the RIAA
4.support local music
5.support small independent artists
6.buy only used music so the RIAA/LABELS get no money from sale

DO IT !!! STOP SUPPORTING THE RIAA !!!

Shamayim
I already have a Messiah.
Premium
join:2002-09-23

1 edit

LOL

I'd like to see them try to sue 'Usenet'

Harddrive
Proud American and Infidel since 1968.
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DFW
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Usenet.com not the entire Usenet

why Usenet.com became a sitting duck:

they, as a company, actually advertised $19 per month for "access to millions of MP3 files". they also destroyed hard drives, provided false data to RIAA, and sent employees to Europe to keep them from testifying.
i will give a nod to Usenet.com for trying to protect its customers' info from the prying eyes of the RIAA. but when they advertised about the access to millions of MP3 files, they shot themselves in the foot.
there are lots of Usenet providers out there. and we all know that the binary groups of Usenet is what most people subscribe to a newsgroup provider for. you just cant come out as a provider and actually say that like Usenet.com did.
--
I've come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass and i'm all outta bubblegum.
Cogdis

join:2007-03-26
Floral Park, NY

Re: Usenet.com not the entire Usenet

said by Harddrive:

you just cant come out as a provider and actually say that like Usenet.com did.
Exactly. usenet has many legitimate uses, but once you start advertising piracy you no longer have that argument.

mp3sillegal

@comcast.net

Re: Usenet.com not the entire Usenet

Since when were mp3s illegal by default?

Not to say that usenet.com wasn't doing something illegal, but that line of reasoning would be like saying that yahoo games must be doing something wrong when they advertise hundreds of free games.

If all usenet.com did was advertise free mp3 downloads that's almost meaningless on its own.

cdru
Go Colts
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Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7

Re: Usenet.com not the entire Usenet

said by mp3sillegal :

Since when were mp3s illegal by default?
It's not. That's why the RIAA when to court to get a ruling. To which Usenet.com made matters worse by destroying evidence, sending employees away, etc.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK
said by mp3sillegal :

Since when were mp3s illegal by default?
Ever since they gamed the system and wiped out Napster. If you say you "file trade", "P2P", "Bittorrent", "Download Music" or "Collect MP3's" nowdays that all means "Pirate... Pirate.... Pirate...."

Half of the battle is controlling the language and changing the meaning of words.
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

What about Gopher?

I haven't seen them around in quite a while. I wonder if the RIAA sued them as well.

And last I heard, Archie and Veronica were on the lam down in South America with huge judgments already entered against them.

sivran
Vive Vivaldi
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Irving, TX
kudos:1

Re: What about Gopher?

Oi oi, stop carbon dating yourself and those of us who actually know what you're talking about.
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

Re: What about Gopher?

I wondered how long it'd take someone to reply. Man, those were the days. Amazing how fast you could do things on a 2400 baud dialup connection when all you had was a shell account.
amungus
Premium
join:2004-11-26
America
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Poorly written article

Anyone else notice the (sloppy) grammar in a couple spots from the linked article?

"...does has some say..."

Um, I can has article published?!

"The RIAA produced evidence, however, that Usenet.com destroying evidence or failed to produce witnesses on multiple occasions."

I destroying that sentence or fail to include other words

Interesting that they tried to use the Betamax ruling as a defense. Likely that the RIAA etc. will go after other providers now...

Wonder if they'll try to force ISPs to start blocking the (NNTP) protocol.
bluedyedvd

join:2007-04-15
Overland Park, KS

Re: Poorly written article

said by amungus:

Anyone else notice the (sloppy) grammar in a couple spots from the linked article?

"...does has some say..."

Um, I can has article published?!

"The RIAA produced evidence, however, that Usenet.com destroying evidence or failed to produce witnesses on multiple occasions."

I destroying that sentence or fail to include other words

Interesting that they tried to use the Betamax ruling as a defense. Likely that the RIAA etc. will go after other providers now...

Wonder if they'll try to force ISPs to start blocking the (NNTP) protocol.
The biggest reason usenet.com lost the judge would not let them use the dmca safe harbor for a punishment for activity in the case. The dmca is most important defense they had most likely they would have won other providers won't have that problem

Matt3
All noise, no signal.
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1 recommendation

Easy Target

News group providers are an easy target for the RIAA/MPAA and I'm not surprised they are going after them to get a few wins under their belt. It will be MUCH easier to force this industry to drop obviously illegal newsgroups -- which will completely kill the industry as a whole because let's face it, who really needs an unlimited usenet account unless you're doing something illegal?

elwoodblues
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Re: Easy Target

I disagree, there is all of money invested in hardware/bandwidth. The big 3 (Newshosting/Usenetserver/Giganews) are not going down without a massive fight.

IF they go down, P2P/IRC (which is a PITA to use) is going to just explode.
--
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ztmike
Mark for moderation
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1 edit

Re: Easy Target

said by elwoodblues:

I disagree, there is all of money invested in hardware/bandwidth. The big 3 (Newshosting/Usenetserver/Giganews) are not going down without a massive fight.

IF they go down, P2P/IRC (which is a PITA to use) is going to just explode.
While I agree with that. There are so many private torrent sites out there it makes usenet look like a drop in the bucket. RIAA can go after one, but there are 3523352533 more to take its place.

RIAA is fighting something that it CAN'T win. They are wasting their money and time, they should be looking at their business model.

Edit: Torrents are not a "pain in the ass to use" their actually quite simple. Not sure where you got that idea from?

axiomatic

join:2006-08-23
Tomball, TX

Re: Easy Target

While I agree with your premise... I say: Let the RIAA blow as much money as they like on trying to kill Usenet. They only speed up their eventual demise by blowing money like this.
fishacura

join:2008-01-25
Phoenixville, PA
EXACTLY ztmike. They're about as progressive as GM was in the 1980s when looking to the future. My dad used to work in that industry and it's just become a terrible wasteland of know-nothings.
--
People who don't get good service on average tell 10 others while people who do get good service on average tell 1.

FFH5
Premium
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Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
said by Matt3:

News group providers are an easy target for the RIAA/MPAA and I'm not surprised they are going after them to get a few wins under their belt. It will be MUCH easier to force this industry to drop obviously illegal newsgroups -- which will completely kill the industry as a whole because let's face it, who really needs an unlimited usenet account unless you're doing something illegal?
No details released yet on what sanctions will be levied against Usenet and how much the RIAA wins in the case.
»www.p2pnet.net/story/24309
matter referred to the Magistrate Judge for determination of damages and an appropriate injunction,” says Recording Industry vs The People.
The RIAA is on a winning streak lately. Jammie Thomas loses AGAIN. The Pirate Bay sells out. And now Usenet, which many thought untouchable, loses big in court. Lots of comments by The Pirate Bay Users about going to Usenet - Uh Oh.
--
My BLOG .. .. Internet News .. .. My Web Page

S_engineer
Premium
join:2007-05-16
Chicago, IL

Re: Easy Target

They be winning a couple of battles but they are certainly losing the war, With CD sales slumping like they are...forecast at "$23 billion in 2009, down 16 percent from 2006 and far below the forecast of $45 billion in 1997" ( »www.marketingcharts.com/topics/e ··· ump-281/ ) the RIAA is becoming a shell of what they used to be. In many ways they remind me of At&t, retaining the lobbiests and lawyers but not adapting their business model. In the 10 years I've cited, you now have a new generation that listens to free music under independant labels broadcast over the web. The RIAA has lost these potential customers forever. And as bad as Jammie Thomas' defense looks, the RIAA still appears worse in that case. if the RIAA were smart, they'd let her off the hook to avoid the appearance of a faceless corporation demanding $80,000.00 per song from a single mother, because thats how its being portrayed.
--
BF69~~~Please stop suffocating gerbils!

FFH5
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Re: Easy Target

said by S_engineer:

if the RIAA were smart, they'd let her off the hook to avoid the appearance of a faceless corporation demanding $80,000.00 per song from a single mother, because thats how its being portrayed.
They tried to let her off with a minimal settlement multiple times. She won't go along. So the dance continues.
--
My BLOG .. .. Internet News .. .. My Web Page

Matt3
All noise, no signal.
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I think CD sales are slumping because of the myriad of legal ways to purchase music online. Now that the two largest, iTunes and the Amazon MP3 store, are DRM free, CD sales will only continue to plummet.

As far as any Usenet provider being able to put up a fight, not on your life. Unlike the murky area with hosting torrents vs. files, the Usenet providers host the infringing material on their own servers. So, the RIAA could win a judgement that requires all Usenet providers to block say, alt.binaries and then when the pirates move to some other hierarchy, the RIAA would only have to send a takedown notice.

I'm not saying that's how it will play out, but that is how simple it is. There is no gray area here.

NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
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said by FFH5:

And now Usenet, which many thought untouchable, loses big in court.
"Usenet" did not lose in court. "Usenet" was not sued. "Usenet" != "Usenet.com". "Usenet" is the generic name for the whole of the NNTP service. Suing "Usenet" is like trying to sue "The Internet"!

"Usenet.com" was sued, and lost. "Usenet.com" is an NNTP service provider. There are other NNTP service providers; and whether they will be sued, or not, would depend upon how they react to, or cooperate with, the RIAA/MPAA.
--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum

nixen
Rockin' the Boxen
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Alexandria, VA
said by Matt3:

News group providers are an easy target for the RIAA/MPAA and I'm not surprised they are going after them to get a few wins under their belt. It will be MUCH easier to force this industry to drop obviously illegal newsgroups -- which will completely kill the industry as a whole because let's face it, who really needs an unlimited usenet account unless you're doing something illegal?
Pr0n. Hell, the oldes usenet binaries groups are the a.b.p.e hierarchy.
--
The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. -- Bertrand Russell

Matt3
All noise, no signal.
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Re: Easy Target

said by nixen:

said by Matt3:

News group providers are an easy target for the RIAA/MPAA and I'm not surprised they are going after them to get a few wins under their belt. It will be MUCH easier to force this industry to drop obviously illegal newsgroups -- which will completely kill the industry as a whole because let's face it, who really needs an unlimited usenet account unless you're doing something illegal?
Pr0n. Hell, the oldes usenet binaries groups are the a.b.p.e hierarchy.
Agreed, but most of that is also illegal. The adult industry just (as far as I can tell) doesn't care about copyright infringement.

nixen
Rockin' the Boxen
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Re: Easy Target

said by Matt3:

said by nixen:

said by Matt3:

News group providers are an easy target for the RIAA/MPAA and I'm not surprised they are going after them to get a few wins under their belt. It will be MUCH easier to force this industry to drop obviously illegal newsgroups -- which will completely kill the industry as a whole because let's face it, who really needs an unlimited usenet account unless you're doing something illegal?
Pr0n. Hell, the oldes usenet binaries groups are the a.b.p.e hierarchy.
Agreed, but most of that is also illegal. The adult industry just (as far as I can tell) doesn't care about copyright infringement.
Two reasons: 1) *ALL* the sites steal content from each other (I worked for this one douche who registered a thousand sites, not one of which had original content); and, 2) lawsuits are public record and very few people want their neighbors to know what they do that allows them to buy the fancy new car or house when, clearly, their jobs wouldn't allow it ("I ..uhh.. made some really good investments in the stock market!").
--
The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. -- Bertrand Russell

BonezX
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Re: Easy Target

here's a general question, couldn't the RIAA/MPAA be dinged under the same restrictions that Microsoft was nailed under a while ago for creating a monopoly ? being they pretty much "own" music and video forms, now they are cornering the market on lawyers and general abuse to customers.

NormanS
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Re: Easy Target

RIAA/MPAA are not "for profit businesses". They are associations of several of the same. If it could be proven that the RIAA/MPAA members were acting in collusion to fix prices, they would surely be smacked down under Federal antitrust laws. Gotta have proof for that, though. Trade associations usually just act as a unified supporter of whatever trades they represent. RIAA/MPAA are much the same thing as trade associations.
--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum

••••
gsorel

join:2008-04-24

1 edit

Following riaa and usenet.com

Original news just dissapear on RIAA site: »riaa.com/newsitem.php?news_month ··· CEA28761
gsorel

join:2008-04-24

3 edits
New news on RIAA site: »riaa.com/newsitem.php?news_month ··· 516D90B0

pokesph
It Is Almost Fast
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1 recommendation

the first rule of usenet is..
you don't talk about usenet.

pog4
Premium
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Kihei, HI

1 recommendation

I'm glad because this was a commercial operation profiting from copyright infringement... not some poor slob singled out of 100,000 others to be made an example of.

I'm glad because they were stupid/arrogant enough to advertise their service for what it really was and then ran scared when caught... same behavior as seen on those cop shows... perp throwing bags of coke out the car window while being pursued by police. LOL!

I'm glad because it establishes that not all downloaders are, in fact, freeloaders. Many will pay $19/month for content.

I'm glad because the damages awarded, whatever they are, will help put in perspective what the RIAA is doing to individuals... Jammie has to pay $1.92 million for 24 songs (out of 1700 original alleged infractions... or 1.4%). How many millions of MP3s were offered via Usenet.com? Suppose it's just 2 million, the least number to make million plural... at the rate Jammie has to pay, Usenet.com should be slapped for more than $2 billion... at least.

Finally, I'm glad because I've always hated binary groups. They never belonged in Usenet... just my opinion.
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••••

TigerLord
For Value Received
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Try winning against Giganews and then come back to me.

Insignificant victory once again.
sancraig

join:2003-11-05
Saint Louis, MO

Re: usenet.com?

Their just trying to set precedent enough before they go after the bigger players.

POB
Res Firma Mitescere Nescit
Premium
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Stepford, CA
quote:
In a statement, the RIAA lauds the courts for taking action against Usenet.com's "egregious litigation misconduct."
Pot, meet Kettle.

guess what

@midco.net
How about some real facts. The few company employees left were sent to Europe because the company feared losing them. RIAA lawyers were hitting hard on employees with threats of civil lawsuits because some had downloaded music illegally during company time which is strictly prohibited by company policy. Those employees had already lost their jobs once found out. Don't be so quick to side with the recording business. You may be next.No hard drives were erased. Company policy has been and always been to erase non essential storage after so many months