Civil Liberties

Forget the Fourth Amendment, Fellas: We're the RIAA


When fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in annoying CD stickers and waving a Grammy:

Soon to be joined by the CD squad.

Frustrated for years by rampant piracy, the recording industry is pushing California's lawmakers to approve legislation that would allow warrantless searches of companies that press copies of compact discs and DVDs.

The Recording Industry Assn. of America, in effect, wants to give law enforcement officials the power to enter manufacturing plants without notice or court orders to check that discs are legitimate and carry legally required identification marks.

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  1. Look, these people have lost $75 trillion dollars since the Internet picked up. Cut them some slack ok? That’s a lot of dough.

    1. If I refuse to listen to what the market wants, I can then do what the fuck I want?

      1. Not-buying Beyonce’s or Beiber’s latest album amounts to interstate comm….do i need to finish?

    2. So when freedom of speech starts costing someone some money we should cut those who want to take that right away some slack, too?

      1. Perhaps you all missed the incredibly obvious sarcasm, combined with the recording industry’s own brobdingnagian claim of losses.

        Whatever the cause of your misreading of my note, I pity you and your pets/houseplants/roommates.

    3. Not listening to music affects interstate commerce.

      These non-listeners should be forced to buy music!

      1. seriously, like 2inches down….I give up on reading.

      2. That’s right, and not doing a lot of things affects a lot things – so everybody should do everything as much as possible, or else.

  2. The Recording Industry Assn. of America, in effect, wants to give law enforcement officials the power to enter manufacturing plants without notice or court orders…

    They might as well look for Mexicans while they’re in there.

    1. …and toys containing lead…

      1. as well as a tax audit, followed by health dept and OHSA inspections, while also checking for raw milk, pot, counterfeit money, wall street insider-knowledge, and any form of gambling.

        Did I forget anything?

        1. Unregulated shower heads.

          1. …and exactly what kind of light bulbs do we have here?

        2. Dogs.

        3. You forgot plenty. Not a single mention of any EPA regulatory program.

        4. Missing mattress tags.

          1. I LOL’D at this.

  3. Who’d set up a manufacturing operation in California?

    Are you kidding me?

    1. No joke, you’d think they would have learned by now.

      1. I’m thinking “operation” = “someone’s basement.” So it’s not likely they had to deal with any environmental/business regs to get started.

  4. Why all this pussy-footing around? Can someone just come by my house and arrest me already? I’m sure I’ve done something wrong.

    1. Nah, that costs money, and it’s about the money. You’ll pay a hefty fine instead. Just send in your check now.

  5. Do people really pirate music on CD these days? That seems like a quaintly anachronistic waste of time.

    1. SSSHHH, [whisper] they haven’t figured out how to use the internet yet.

      1. Hello, anonymous computer user! Perhaps you can discuss with me this Internet thing and pirated music! I am totally l33t and have m4d h4x0r cred! Let’s meet at the park by the police station, mkay?

        1. If you were for real, you would have spelled it “1337”. Narc!

    2. “”Do people really pirate music on CD these days? “”

      I haven’t seen music CDs, but pirated movie DVDs are popular in NYC.

    3. Is it considered pirating to borrow the CD from a friend and copy it?

      Oh wait, it probably is.

      1. Copying it? Definitely. Just borrowing it? Probably.

        1. Nah, borrowing the physical media is still protected by the first sale doctrine in the US, for now.

  6. Our take on this yesterday. A friend of ours ran against Alex Padilla for the Senate last year, and yes, he is this bad.

  7. Can’t they just say they thought their dog* might have smelled pot and walk right in?

    *police dog, obviously. not some mundane mutt. They get the death penalty.

  8. I miss limewire, it’s not stealing if you’re sharing. Besides, artists already get paid fees by radio stations, concerts, etc.

    1. it’s not stealing if you’re sharing.

      No, but it is copyright infringement, which is the actual issue at hand.

      Besides, artists already get paid fees by radio stations, concerts, etc.

      Huh? What does that have to do with anything? For starters, “artists” don’t necessarily get “paid” by radio stations or concerts. Including the ones who, like, aren’t played on the radio or don’t perform concerts, for instance.

      But more to the point: You claim to be a libertarian, and if that’s the case, it’s not clear why you’re concerned with how society collectively “pays” “artists.” That’s irrelevant here. It has nothing to do with the issue at hand, which is copyright infringement.

      If you want to make some arguments about intellectual property, copyright, its enforcement, etc., then go for it. But the other means by which some “artists” might happen to get “paid” are completely irrelevant to that particular discussion.

    2. Limewire has a successor: Frostwire.

  9. I hate to be the one who breaks this to the RIAA…

    But people printing your digitized intellectual property onto CDs are not the problem.

  10. This sort of arrangement is typical of businesses that are subject to inspections as a condition of their licensing. What’s different is that this is the publishing business.

    1. Yes, these sort of warrantless searches came in during the Progressive Era for a number of highly regulated and licensed businesses, as noted in the article. If it’s fascism, it’s part of Liberal Fascism.

    2. What’s different is that this is the publishing business

      So all government has to do is enact legislation comprehensively regulating the publishing business, create an agency to regulate it, and empower the agency to impose regulations.

      Voila! A “regulated industry” subject to inspection for compliance with the regulations – which were created for the purpose of enabling the government to conduct inspections.

  11. Copyright infringement is terrible and the problem must be dealt with. Doing so is a legit government function but burning the 4th to get it done is no good. The ‘cure’ is worse than the disease.

  12. Yup. Simple way around the 4A is to regulate an industry or business sector. Then, because it is a regulated business, the government has the power to inspect the business for compliance with the regulations. Plenty of course cases on that issue – several related to the very early OSHA regs. But also in the context of EPA inspections.

    You certainly can refuse to let them in and require them to come back with a warrant. Which they will do, but then they will have law enforcement officers with them and they will be pissed.

  13. These are corporations. They’re not individuals. Therefore they don’t have individual rights.

    And stuff.

  14. If musicians would stop signing themselves into indentured servitude with the major labels, we could finally be rid of the RIAA.

    Anyway, I never assumed the RIAA labels still pressed their CDs in the USA, anyway.

    1. Let me add another anyway in there, for good measure.

  15. The RIAA and MPAA are the biggest fucking bunch of tools on the planet, barring actual dictators (and only because they don’t have that kind of power yet). Their whole business model is based on government-enforced control of information, implemented through restrictions on freedom of speech, so it’s hardly a surprise that they would have fascistic tendencies.

    Nothing I’ve seen in my lifetime has convinced me that they understand that anyone other than themselves has rights — they’re gladly install malware on your computer while whining about people “stealing” from them, they’ll develop elaborate DRM schemes that make using their products in the intended fashion (much less “fair use” copying) a pain in the ass, and then fail to take even commonsense measures to secure their customers personal data, they’ll go on and on about the need to reward “creativity” and “art” while using devious contracts and borderline fraudulent accounting practices to rip off actual creators, when they aren’t digging up buried franchises to rape and loot for precious gold teeth.

    They’re the worst, blackest caricature of the capitalistic mindset, and they’re mostly fucking leftists. What the fuck? (I guess greedy, corrupt, selfish socialist is their answer to closet case bible thumper?)

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