I am so [profanity]ing angry. (Copyright)

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by ZiggyPastorius, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. ZiggyPastorius macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Berklee College of Music
    #1
    :mad::mad::mad:Here's the back story:

    About 5 years ago, my friend Brian and I were having a middle-schooler discussion and said, "Hey, you know what? It'd be funny if someone made a song about a war on the international space station." Not really true, but I decided to make it true. "I will, I said," and so I made an entire fake band, with three completed albums, of songs made up by me, using only my voice. I had a very high-pitched voice at the time, and the songs were completely ridiculous. The whole thing was a joke between me and him, and it died not long after, until last year.

    Another person who had copies of the CDs was a kid named Tyler. I'll leave his last name out. So, anyways, last year (Junior year), he decided to bring the songs into school, play them really loud during lunch, and then give the CDs away to a bunch of people. Needless to say, I was pissed. When he started playing the songs, I asked him to turn it off, and he wouldn't. It was one of the few times in my life I've been angry to slam a door and storm out of a room angrily. Then, I found out he gave the CDs away to a bunch of people. I reported him to the school, claiming it as harassment, and mild copyright infringement. He was warned.

    Then, about five months ago (the whole thing happened about that time), I find out that he not only did that, but he put all the albums up on the internet. WITHOUT MY PERMISSION! I contacted him personally, and told him that I wanted everything he had put up taken back down. He was kind about it, apologised, and took it down. A few days later, I find out a kid named "Robby," who's a douche bag anyways, put them back up. As of about four months ago, I found out one of the sites he had put it up on had over 15,000 downloads. Fifteen thousand! What peeved me more, was that I had put up Industrial Platypus on torrent sites about three months prior, only to find that the downloads were barely in the hundreds after that time...This was out-downloading my actual music project by over 30x. Besides feeling like trash, I offered one more warning, to which I received an "okay."

    So, for the story:

    Today I found out that rather than pulling off everything they could, they put them up in even MORE places. So, now, the songs have been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times, and can be found on nearly every torrent site, AND last.fm. The **** has hit the fan.

    I called the U.S. Copyright offices today, but received no answer. I then called the police station, and after being forwarded to a bunch of people and discussing what happened, I got a police officer to come to my house and get all the stuff down. Basically, I want the police to be the ones to go to them instead of me and say, "Hey. What you are doing is illegal and harassing, and Dustin is DEMANDING you take down everything you can, and not upload them anymore, or else he is filing against you for copyright infringement and taking serious action."

    It may be a little extreme, but I've lost countless hours trying to stop this ********. Whether the original thing was a joke or not, I am still the copyright holder, and I have sole permission to distribute the work. I specifically asked them not to distribute them, and they did anyways. At this point, it is beyond harassment, a waste of my time, and copyright infringement.

    I wanted to blow off steam. So now, the question:

    Am I being too hard? Am I going over the top? Are they within their rights? As a musician-in-progress, the last thing I want is my personal information and full name attached to some stupid thing I did in Middle School, for the world to see. That's on top of me not wanting it anywhere in the first place. I do not feel I am over-reacting at all...What do you guys think?

    :mad::mad::mad:
     
  2. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #2
    Copyright issues are dealt with by the FBI. Contact your local field office and explain the situation.

    Failing that, get a lawyer that would do this pro-bono, as it is a big deal and they could become famous because of this.

    TEG
     
  3. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
  4. dchen720 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    #4
    i m not a lawyer or anything, however, i read a bit out intellectual property laws.


    what you should do now, is to get the evidence and proof that those songs were written by you, and preferably, with dates stampped on them.

    and, dig out the emails (if there's any, or call them to talk about it, and record the conversation down<-- it is legal that you can record it down and they don't need to know that, as long as you are part of the conversation. ), that you talk to those guys, regarding to them infringing your copyright.

    copy right laws are like jokes. it is basically impossible to enforce, unless you have solid evidence, proof, that those ideas/songs are yours, and, evidence that they are infringing it.

    you should go take down screen shots of the sites that they upload your songs to. AND if possible, get police to trace their IP thru ISP, to proof that it was them, who uploaded those songs.

    KEEP ME INFORMED, I AM VERY INTERESTED IN YOUR CASE.
     
  5. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #5
    It may not apply directly to your situation, but to stop others getting in a similar situation here's a bit of advice:

    Once you've finished your work, send a copy of the CD to yourself via recorded delivery. This will stand up as solid evidence in court, and as long as it's dated before the CD comes up for 'release', you'll be on safe ground. Even better is to send a CD of the original 'project files' you worked on (whether it's Logic, Cubase, Garage Band, ProTools or whatever).
     
  6. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #6
    It's a civil matter, the police will not want to get involved.

    Basically, you have to take your own measures to protect your copyright.
    Now, if the original disks that you gave your friends did not have your name on them, and (c) 2002 Z.Pastorius printed on them you are going to have a tougher time proving that you are the author and that you are retaining your copyright.

    You have to put together every scrap of documentation, as dchen says.
     
  7. dchen720 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    #7
    thanks for approving what i said.
     
  8. ZiggyPastorius thread starter macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Berklee College of Music
    #8
    Thanks, guys.

    I've already gone through to every site I could find with the torrent, recording its URL, and posting information as to the uploadee (if I can find them). My next step will be to go through and take screenshots as you guys recommended (I didn't even think of that!). I've also contacted the owners of the sites about it.

    As of now, I've received no replies, but I will see in the next few days. At this point, I want to get it through to them that I'm not kidding around. I've approached Tyler three times about the issue, and didn't find out about Robby doing it until recently (I don't like Robby, for your information). When I made this stuff 4 or 5 years ago, it was all a joke. I had no idea someday somebody was going to give it to the world and I'd have to pursue them legally. Hell, I only have one copy of one of the original CDs left for myself. That doesn't really constitute as proof, so besides the fact that it's my voice in the recordings, and a few people who could attest to it being me (I'm sure they'd admit it was me, anyways), I have little to no proof that they actually belong to me.

    However, one piece of evidence I have against Tyler is that his screen name (Golfing22) is on one of the sites. Golfing22 is not only his screenname for EVERYTHING, it's also the URL of his personal website. The rest of the sites have the added dates recorded, and they are all on the same day (June 3rd, which was after I contacted him about it).

    Anyways, I know they are dealt with by the FBI, but I am only trying to make one more, solid point to them that I am not "****ing around," so to speak. If they continue it, I will definitely go to the FBI.

    Thanks for that recommendation, killyp. While I can't do that for "Delicious Platy-Pie" since it hasn't been officially released yet, I will remember to do that for Something More Creative before it is released. What exactly is a "Recorded delivery," by the way?
     
  9. r1ch4rd macrumors 6502a

    r1ch4rd

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    #9
    Are you really that concerned about people hearing this song?

    I assume you are still pretty young and you weren't intending to make any money of these songs? If so, unfortunately I wouldn't imagine people will pay too much attention.

    It sounds like you didn't even use your real name (using Industrial Platypus) when tagging the songs. Personally, I wouldn't waste your time getting too wound up about it. Trust me, worse things happen at sea.
     
  10. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #10
    A whole lot of exposure isn't bad, might not be the quality you want.

    But if you can regain control it shouldn't be too bad, plus revenge from a musician can be intense when the target of song is exposed.

    Should enjoy writing about the twit.
     
  11. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #11
    Roll with the publicity...put a website linking to the torrent sites where you can download the stuff, put up information about yourself and claim authorship of the music. :D
     
  12. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Location:
    America's Third World
    #12
    Sounds like you have been !@#$%^ but you'd not likely win a copyright lawsuit unless you can should some kind of monetary damages, and it sounds like you wouldn't be able to do that. And asking the average torrent site to remove you material is largely a waste of time as they ignore even the biggest corporation lawyers' cease and desist letters since they're located outside the US, etc.

    Trying to prove (at this point) that you created the song is also largely a waste of time. The Copyright Office can't settle disputes -- that's decided in the courts -- in a civil suit not a criminal suit. Meanwhile, the FBI has more pressing issues to deal with, etc.

    If you created the song, then you are the copyright holder. Meanwhile, no federal court is going to declare you as being the owner (since you can't show damages I can't see any court even considering the issue). Don't worry about "proving" ownership at this point -- it was yours from the moment it was put in fixed form. But registering the song @ the U.S. Copyright Office would be the first step (you wouldn't be able to get far in a civil suit until you do that anyway..)

    Meanwhile, chill out a little bit and look at this rationally. You have a popular song if its being downloaded that much. Would people actually be willing to pay for a better (studio) version of that song? Could you come up with more songs that would be popular? Songs with some kind of track record of sales of maybe even downloads make perk up the interests of some A&R guys @ some labels.

    It sucks, but I really think your best bet is to channel your efforts in creating rather than trying to right this wrong. Heck. Get angry and write another song. Blog about getting ripped off and brag about the number of times the song has been downloaded. Roll with the punches. When life gives you lemons make lemonade. Yadda, yadda, yadda...
     
  13. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    #13
    What you should really do is register all of this material with the copyright office, even now at this late date. That's far more effective than the "poor man's copyright" method Killyp mentions. The problem with the mail-it-to-yourself approach is that anybody could steam open an envelope, replace the contents and reseal it, so simply having a sealed envelope doesn't really prove anything about its contents.

    Registering the work with the copyright office does though, and it's not really so expensive either.
     
  14. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Location:
    The Mergui Archipelago
    #14
    http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-general.html#poorman

    It may help in the UK but there's still no substitute for registration.
     
  15. ZiggyPastorius thread starter macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Berklee College of Music
    #15
    I think you guys are misunderstanding the situation.

    This is not Industrial Platypus, or any legitimate musical adventure I went on (also, my real name is tied to Industrial Platypus, as I'm the only member). This was me, doing "music" all myself, no instruments. It was made up banter. Then, someone (Robby) took it, put my full name and hometown on the Torrent information, and put it all up. This is not even just one song. This is 25 (three albums worth) songs that, while not the end of the world, I would rather be taken down. At this point, there's nothing I can do to receive payment, and I don't want payment. I want this cock-sucker who did it (Robby) to realise that he can't just do whatever the hell he wants with things. I don't think, as silly as it may seem, that the fact that it was a joke music thing should excuse the fact that this is wrong. It is harassment more than anything.

    Also, I'd just like to point out that on one of the torrents, there is over 20,000 downloads. My legitimate music project (Industrial Platypus) had about 500 after being up for 3x as long.

    Sorry if I seem short-fused, guys. This just drives me out of my head, and the fact that all I can do is give him a small slap on the wrist or say "stop," while he laughs and continues it, with his "I'm a police cadet...they can't do anything to me!" attitude, pisses me off so much. He also went to my friend Nick's house one day, took his giant Ron Paul sign out of his yard and burnt it. He has no respect for anyone's property and I'm sick of it.
     
  16. ZiggyPastorius thread starter macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Berklee College of Music
    #16
    A small update

    I've contacted as many of the torrent sites as I found, and sent emails to all of them. I received two replies, one from Last.fm (Not a torrent site, but it was up there) and another from some torrent site. They've both agreed to investigate and have them removed. This is a good thing :) Even if it gets taken down on only one or two sites, that's still a few less places for it to spread.

    The police haven't done anything, and I don't think they're going to. I'm currently contacting the US copyright offices and any other mediums I can think of to find out some information on what I can do.
     
  17. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #17
    This is where a lawyer, and a cease and desist letter comes in handy.

    Along with a listing of the potential damages sitting in that same letter.
     
  18. OscarTheGrouch macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Location:
    G' Vegas South Carolina
    #18
    See what happens if you can get an attorney to send a registered cease and desist letter threatening legal action.
     
  19. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    Behind the lens
    #19
    I cant say I am surprised.

    You asked people who are of questionable moral fiber, and even more questionably "your friend" to NOT do something. :mad:

    Of course they are going to do it. You asked them not to. ;)

    Honestly, I dont get what the big deal is. :confused:

    You havent said really whats in the songs, is it something you dont want ANYONE to ever hear ever again and truly is so personal it can be counted as "undue emotional stress" letting others listen to it? :(

    I think the fact this "side project" is getting more DLs than your real one, should tell you something...what that something is...I havent a clue! :rolleyes:

    There is nothing you can do but make a stink, where do you actually see any of your investigative work taking you?

    Its out there, on the internet, you cant ever hope to stop it from freely being available. Once you gave it to someone you couldnt trust, you gave away the ability to control it solely yourself.
     
  20. ZiggyPastorius thread starter macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Berklee College of Music
    #20
    Allow me to explain this again, as your tone is really personally offencive towards me. In bold.

    Have you ever been embarassed in class? Anyone ever told you off, or made fun of you and caused everyone to laugh at you? This is what I'm going through right now, except instead of 10 kids huddled around me laughing, it's 20,000+ people from around the world.

    By the way, ever heard of 4chan? He put my personal info there, too. Members of 4chan are somewhat notorious for being quite harassing and sometimes violent to people whose info is given.

    Edit: Thanks for the advice, other guys. I'm going to see about talking to an attorney in the next day or two (possibly tomorrow, as I have a day off finally ._.).
     
  21. ZiggyPastorius thread starter macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Berklee College of Music
    #21
    Oh, good, I just found more:

    On an uncyclopedia article about my home town:

    [​IMG]

    This is recent, too. When will this ****ing end? (The title and my last name are blanked out)

    Edit: Here's the edited one instead.
     

    Attached Files:

  22. r1ch4rd macrumors 6502a

    r1ch4rd

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    #22
    It seems to me that the whole copyright thing isn't really the issue. It seems your problem is more with these people in general. If they are harassing you in real life then it's useless talking to anyone on this forum about it. Go and discuss it with your parents, or someone else you know in real life, (sorry, not able to judge your age) who will be able to give you some well informed and reasonable advice.

    Despite what a lot of people seem to thing, getting an attorney is not the answer!
     
  23. ZiggyPastorius thread starter macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Berklee College of Music
    #23
    The copyright is the issue. It is an issue, just like all the other stuff is an issue, it's just that this is the latest in a series of events that he's caused.

    My original intent was to blow off steam and ask people whether they think I'm over-reacting, then I was asked to give updates and such. Nothing wrong with your post, but that's the explanation for some of the other stuff. It's more than harassment, it's copyright infringement, thievery (both of intellectual property and of physical property, such as a giant Ron Paul banner and burning it), malicious destruction of property, et cetera. There's a lot going on, and this is just a bit of the surface you're seeing, but, my options at this point (and believe me, it's gone on for a while and i've talked to many many people), are either to find some way to stop him, or just ignore him and let him continue to do illegal things both to myself and others around me. I prefer the former.
     
  24. killr_b macrumors 6502a

    killr_b

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Location:
    Suckerfornia
    #24
    Get a lawyer if you really mean it.
    Sell a few hundred copies for any amount of money you can get. Extrapolate that out to the number of (unauthorized) downloads (put up by your friends) and sue them for loss of income.

    Lawyers, FBI, cops and judges… not fun. Let them know that they might beat the wrap, but they won't beat the ride.
     
  25. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #25
    Harassment, a restraining order or a lawsuit to go after him legally ... your choice.

    Not legally, a crew to stuff him in a sack, beat him up, and toss him in the garbage ... with a message it ends today or next time you will end up on a milk carton.

    ---

    The school should have a bully response system in place, usually these days it can get that student and members of their crew tossed from the school system.
     

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