In reply to:
Isn't it illegal to go "raiding" people when you're (a) not the police, and (b) don't have a search warrant?
Well, thats how I recall it used
to be in the US, before DMCA and 9/11.
Nowadays, it seems that the Big Corporations and industry self-appointed interest groups e.g. the RIAA, MPAA et al are
So far, the courts or anyone else seem powerless to effectively stop them from carrying on as if they are
In reply to:
Especially if you impersonate the police when doing it?
I think the RIAA would disagree on that point that they are "impersonating" the Police. To do so, the officers would have to say they were police officers.
However, looking similar to the police is not an offense - Thats called using the "colour of authority".
A lot of people, organisations [and nation states] routinely pretend to have more authority than they really do in fact.
Usually it comes dressed up with a cloak of "moral rightness" and little else.
A recent example of this occured about March last year from memory...
In reply to:
I certainly agree that some guy selling pirated burned copies of CDs and DVDs in a parking lot is exactly the kind of person that the RIAA should go after, but this just sounds like the wrong way to go about it.
Can't disagree there, except I see no prima-facie evidence presented by the RIAA in that article to indicate that yes those particular CDs and DVDs were in fact pirate copies.
On the face of it, selling $5 CDs or DVDs would seem to indicate a pirate source, but thats for the RIAA to prove (in court) is the case.
Right now I can buy new $5 DVDs/CDs in my local music shop and I'm sure they aren't pirated copies. To be fair, they aren't very good DVD's or CD's i.e. the music is crap and usually the DVD movie contents are old crappy B&W films no-one particularly wants to buy. But then the RIAA didn't say that these were the latest release DVD's and CDs either.
I don't have trouble with the RIAA taking action, provided of course, that the parties being offended against [music copyright owners] by the pirate copies are in fact RIAA members. and have authorised the RIAA to act on their behalf.
But by getting these "voluntary" confessions the RIAA is of course neatly avoiding the need to actually present this pirated or not evidence to the courts and have it scrutinised.
A related question comes to mind - exactly what, will the RIAA will charge repeat "offenders" with?
Failing to comply with a voluntary "cease and desist" agreement?
Hardly a Federal offense - but these days you never know...
If as the RIAA seems to state, that most of these pirate street sellers are "Hispanics" [read illegals/potential terrorists/drug pushers whatever], then the most effective way to stop these guys from selling is to probably have the RIAA "field agents" go around with INS agents in tow. I'm sure the sellers of pirate DVDs and CDs would fear the INS more than the RIAA.
Still all the RIAA action will probably do is move them from the street onto Ebay or elsewhere "behind closed doors".
I do think the RIAA would be better to go after the distributors of this stuff - once its proven to be pirate copies - and that means only with search warrants issued by a judge.
The "distributor to the guy who used to be the distributor" in this story got off scott free - he lost nothing, except perhaps some "sales". But for every one of these "street sellers" the RIAA catch, the distributors will be getting at least two more to distribute for them.
Seems like a recipe to win the battle but lose the war.
Meantime everyones civil rights are getting trodden on left, right and centre.