Somewhere today I read something about an RIAA police force, but didn’t understand it. Then I found this article: Music Industry Puts Troops in the Streets:
Quasi-legal squads raid street vendors
Though no guns were brandished, the bust from a distance looked like classic LAPD, DEA or FBI work, right down to the black “raid” vests the unit members wore. The fact that their yellow stenciled lettering read “RIAA” instead of something from an official law-enforcement agency was lost on 55-year-old parking-lot attendant Ceasar Borrayo.
The Recording Industry Association of America is taking it to the streets.
Even as it suffers setbacks in the courtroom, the RIAA has over the last 18 months built up a national staff of ex-cops to crack down on people making and selling illegal CDs in the hood.
Canadian MP3 player tax challenged
MP3 player manufacturers, including Apple Computer, Dell and Hewlett-Packard, are challenging a recent regulatory ruling in Canada that would impose an extra fee of as much as $25 on iPod-like digital music players.
The Copyright Board of Canada ruled in December that hard drive-based digital music players should be subject to fees aimed at compensating musicians, songwriters and record labels for copyright infringement. Similar fees are placed on blank audio tapes and CDs, and manufacturers typically pass on the costs to the consumer.
A group of retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores and Best Buy, also is appealing the decision, which will be heard by a federal court.
Penn State launches Napster music service Note that Penn State has a helpful aggregation of all their press releases on the subject. (Slashdot discussion: Penn State Launches Napster Music Service)
As spring semester classes got under way Monday at Penn State, more than 2,600 students had registered for the Napster 2.0 service, which comes free with their tuition. All 17,000 on-campus resident students are eligible to use it.
School officials said the new system, which offers about 500,000 songs to choose from, appeared to work flawlessly for the vast majority of users.
By Monday, more than 8,000 visits were logged on the Napster Web site devoted for use by Penn State students. For a fee, students also can burn music onto compact discs.