April 24th, 2006

today's subliminal thought is

dear BoingBoing: your bias is showing

There's an item on BoingBoing today that I think is interesting for what it shows about BoingBoing's biases:
RIAA sues family that doesn't own a PC
The RIAA has filed a file-sharing suit against a family in Rockmart, GA. The family doesn't own a computer.

Good to see a real standard of care in place over there at RIAA sue-your-customers HQ; this is probably more profitable in the long run than suing people who do share music, since those people are statistically more likely to spend money on CDs. Focusing on shaking down people who don't own PCs will keep the music industry from alienating its diehard fans.
"I don't understand this," Walls said. "How can they sue us when we don't even have a computer?"

Walls also noted that his family has only resided at their current address "for less than a year." He wondered if a prior tenant of the home had Internet access, then moved, leaving his family to be targeted instead.

However, the RIAA's lawsuit maintains that Carma Walls, through the use of a file-sharing program, has infringed on the copyrights for the following songs: "Who Will Save Your Soul," Jewel; "Far Behind," Candlebox; "Still the Same," Bob Seger; "I Won't Forget You," Poison; "Open Arms," Journey; "Unpretty," TLC; No Scrubs," TLC; and "Saving All My Love for You," Whitney Houston.

OMG teh RIAA is 3v1L! Poor blameless family with no computer, unjustly accused of downloading music! TEH HORROR!!!!eleevnty!

Thing is, if you actually read the article that's linked to, you find that the story is not quite that simple:
Carma Walls said that the family did once own a computer – for about two months. They haven’t had a computer in their home for more than a year, she said.

During the short time the family had use of a computer, she did download some music from Internet sites, she said. But she had no inkling that the sites she visited or the practice itself were illegal.

"I thought it was like recording songs off the radio like we did when we were kids," she said.

Regardless of what you think of the RIAA, DRM, or filesharing, they did download music and they told a newspaper reporter that they did. Rail against the RIAA all you want — I'll cheer you on 'cause I think they suck too. But try to at least represent the facts accurately.

I like BoingBoing, but some of the things they put up make me think that once one of their writers has their outrage button hit, they stop thinking critically.
one apple out of the crowd

fiddling with appearances

Changing some of my journal settings. This is a better layout, I think, but most of the default color schemes are... ugh. Going to have to spend some time tweaking them, I think — but not now, as bed is calling. *yawn* Things will be in flux around here for a bit.