Warner CEO Admits His Kids Pirated Music

According to Reuters, Warner CEO Edgar Bronfman recently admitted that his kids stole music.

When asked whether any of his seven kids stole music.

"I'm fairly certain that they have, and I'm fairly certain that they've suffered the consequences."

"I explained to them what I believe is right, that the principle is that stealing music is stealing music. Frankly, right is right and wrong is wrong, particularly when a parent is talking to a child. A bright line around moral responsibility is very important. I can assure you they no longer do that."

Great, but what did he do to them?

"I think I'll keep that within the family."

Doug Morris of Universal Music Group calls iPod owners theives and now we have the Warner CEO admiting that his kids have pirated music!

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I want to know your thoughts.
I'll post a list of statements that I think everybody should agree whith. Is it the case?
No offtopic/flame please (-:

1) Creators (Artist, Programmers, etc) should have a way to get money for their creations
2) If you are not the Creator of Content, selling it for More Money Than People Can Get It For is bad and should be prosecuted. (Example: Selling pirated Windows for $100 is bad, because you can get it for ~$0 and the seller is not Microsoft)
3) Today copyright law need to be changed.
4) RIAA should be more lawful(+good) and less chaotic(+evil).
5) There should be a way to enforce companies to put wome warnings on their products if their TermsOfUse differ from common sence. (Example: you buy a car and find out you are only allowed to drive it in France.)

People like him annoy me. Unless his kids have been sued or fined for 50 times the cost of the music they *possibly* pirated they have not suffered the consequences. Not even close. The most they will have got was, "Oh my god kids, don't do that! Don't tell anyone either, because if people find out that the children of the CEO of Warner have downloaded music illegally it will make a mockery of us trying to sue the average person who downloads 1 or 2 tracks as they can't afford to buy CD's as we over price them. Now go to your rooms!"

Fairly certain they've suffered the consequences? So they've been sued by the RIAA for thousands of dollars over them 'stealing' less than a couple hundred dollars worth of music?

Yeah, right.

Stealing is not copyright infringement. Stealing implies physically taking something, whereas copyright infringement implies copying/using something you don't have the rights to.

Quote - BriFi said @ #23
Music is to be made, shared, and enjoyed by all. :happy:

Amen!

And what a narrow-minded thought is "right is right and wrong is wrong" anyway? Not everything is black or white, they're all shades of gray. (Clichés are great! )

Quote - BriFi said @ #23
Music is to be made, shared, and enjoyed by all. :happy:

Couldn't agree more. I think all music in digital form should be free of charge.

Nothing like commentary on law by people who so obviously do not understand it. What's even more amusing is that some are actually using this "news" as justification for their own acts of "piracy". It's either right or it's wrong. If it's right then you need no justification, if it's wrong then there is no justification. It's as simple as that.

As far as any case the RIAA could make against him (care of his children), well it's non-existant legally and by a simple reality check. omni summed it up nicely in his post above (#17.1).

All that aside, of course it's a hypocritical stance to take, but I dare say no one here would take any other in his position. He's likely made the comment to reach out to parents by pushing aside any thought that he or other execs and their families are somehow not guilty of such things. It's a classic maneuver.

Music cannot be stolen only listened to. I don't need to justify anything. I download music, but more importantly music is my LIFE! The fact that his children steal music and can obviously afford it, makes it even worse. Remember when Jesus made one loaf into many, while I see it in the same regards as that. If the government doesn't follow the law then neither will I. In today's world nobody is innocent of anything...

Edited for the elitist, grammar nazi who lives in a bubble.

That made absolutely no sense, you do realize that don't you?

If you don't need to justify what you're doing, then why go on and do just that? Nevermind that your arguments are full of contradictions and laughable logic.

Come back when you can debate in a reasonable manner using coherent language skills.

Sigh. You've proven yourself unable to have an intelligent conversation. If English isn't your first language then maybe your confusion can be forgiven, but otherwise you've assumed much based on little.

What have I assumed?

I simply made the statement that there is not need for justification if you believe your actions are acceptable. Otherwise you are simply trying to excuse a behaviour you know is 'wrong' but that you continue to partake of because "you feel like it". Keep in mind that when I say "you", I do so in a generalized, all-encompassing manner. Meaning that it isn't directed at any one individual.

You've assumed that I am saying what is right or wrong, which I am not. There is of course a grey area, but in the end there is a definite right or wrong course of action when it comes to a legality of it all.

You say you need no justification, yet you try and provide just that with a completely inadequate analogy about Jesus and his breaking of the bread. Which is exactly the sort of thing that I was talking about to begin with. If music is your "LIFE" then you would appreciate the hard work and time that goes into making it. Is that not worth compensation? Oh that's right, only the rich kids should have to pay for the music they enjoy.

I've downloaded a few tracks here and there that I wanted to listen to, and no, I didn't always go and purchase them afterwards. Does that make me better than someone who does the same for whole albums or in some other large scale manner? No. Do I think I'm in the wrong? Not particularly, but I also don't believe that I am entitled to do so, especially when it comes to doing so in the extreme. Is that hypocritical of me? To some it likely is. In the end though, there is no proper justification for it.

And thanks, I appreciate your likening my comment regarding your grammar to being a Nazi. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

OMG how stupid do you have to be? If you're that damn rich, buy the CDs. We all wish we could, we just can't afford it.

“I’m fairly certain that they have, and I’m fairly certain that they’ve suffered the consequences.
Yes, unfortunately they received free music. Stay strong

I don't care what any of you all say, the guy and his kids should be sued.

The RIAA has sued or tried sueing mass people and they didn't even have proof that most of them downloaded anything.

Remember the 9 year old girl that didn't even know how to use a computer?

Remember the woman who didn't even own a computer at all?

Remember the woman whose neighbors were using her wireless to download music? She even proved they were stealing her wireless in order to do it and they still went after her.

Now the CEO of Warner Music of all people has admitted his kids have done it and nothings going to happen to any of them? That's complete BS in all honesty and you all know it. So don't even sit there saying that they shouldn't be made examples of.

“I think I’ll keep that within the family.”

Sounds to me like he didn't do anything to them. Even if he did anything, at the most he took away their allowance/credit cards.

Just another case of the rich people of the world doing whatever they want. Then the poor people of the world are the ones being attacked and most of them are actually innocent of what they're being accussed of.

Quote - NightmarE D said @ #17
I don't care what any of you all say, the guy and his kids should be sued.

The RIAA has sued or tried sueing mass people and they didn't even have proof that most of them downloaded anything.

Remember the 9 year old girl that didn't even know how to use a computer?

Remember the woman who didn't even own a computer at all?

Remember the woman whose neighbors were using her wireless to download music? She even proved they were stealing her wireless in order to do it and they still went after her.

Now the CEO of Warner Music of all people has admitted his kids have done it and nothings going to happen to any of them? That's complete BS in all honesty and you all know it. So don't even sit there saying that they shouldn't be made examples of.

“I think I’ll keep that within the family.”

Sounds to me like he didn't do anything to them. Even if he did anything, at the most he took away their allowance/credit cards.

Just another case of the rich people of the world doing whatever they want. Then the poor people of the world are the ones being attacked and most of them are actually innocent of what they're being accussed of.

I only partially agree with you. The case is that I doubt they could even if they wanted to because the burden of evidence is not met in this case, his "confession" of sorts would be excluded before the trial even begun because a) it's not a legally admissable confession (undoubtedly would be argued) and b) he was smart enough to not spell it out or even fully admit. "Fairly certain" is not an admission people.

> “I’m fairly certain that they have, and I’m fairly certain that they’ve suffered the consequences.”
[...]
> “I think I’ll keep that within the family.”

You mean it didn't come to a point where the matter eventually got "settled out of court"...like everybody else?

I'm shocked!

Hello, My name is Mr. Accountability, please forgive me for having none. The poor will always be persecuted and the rich will always get away with it. Same old story.

not having proof of what or how much has not stopped the RIAA before, why should it when the guilty are their own people. they actually could get the money they sue poor college students for out of this guy.

so does that mean that if a parents gets sued for stealing music, can they punish their kids and forget about the fine from the RIAA?

and I’m fairly certain that they’ve suffered the consequences.

Like WHAT? A telling off and a grounding for a while? Maybe. So why the hell do they feel the need to sue everyone else for like $20,000 per track rather than a reasonable amount (i.e the cost of the CD)

Pathetic.

"I’m fairly certain that they’ve suffered the consequences"

What the hell kind of parent are you if you are "fairly certain" they've sufferred the consequences?? Either you dished out some kind of punishment for their crimes or you didn't. If you don't know they you're a pretty lousy parent.

Quote - C_Guy said @ #10
"I’m fairly certain that they’ve suffered the consequences"

What the hell kind of parent are you if you are "fairly certain" they've sufferred the consequences?? Either you dished out some kind of punishment for their crimes or you didn't. If you don't know they you're a pretty lousy parent.


Don't know about you, but most kids have the ability to make their parents 'feel' like they have punished them, it's part of the process. One could argue that if you know, for certain, what's going on in your childs head then they don't have a very complex thought process.

I'm pretty sure most people who've ever been online has downloaded music before illegally at least once. Many of them before they even were aware that it was illegal. I've done it before, but I pay for my music now. And actually I like it better, for a big reason is it's easier and doesn't take near as long (I've got a year subscription to Urge).

Uhh... downloading music isn't piracy. Remember? Piracy is the act of duplicating a copywritten work which, in the filesharing world, is committed by the computer which is sharing music.

Ok if you are going to argue that then you need to remember that computers don't have a mind of their own - they do what the user is asking them to do. So if the person using the computer is pirating software it's their fault, not the computer's.

Or would you still like to see a computer get taken to court?

Quote - kokoloko2k3 said @ #7
Piracy is the act of duplicating a copywritten work which, in the filesharing world, is committed by the computer which is sharing music.
Sure...

And that "duplicate" file that now exists on your hard drive is somehow not considered by you to be a "duplicate" how?

It doesn't matter how it got there, if the person in question hasn't duplicated the music then what is he going to be prosecuted for? Possession of Duplicated Copyrighted Material? does such a charge even exist in law?

You'll notice that about 99% of all cases brought to court for copyright infringement are either settled out of fear or acquitted because there's no real way to make the charge stick.

Old hillbilly joke:

"Pa, I asked Betty Lou to marry me, but she told me she was a virgin!"

"Boy, you cain't marry that girl! If she ain't good enough fer her own family, she ain't good enough for ours!"

Alrighty then, since we're already waaay OT...

Hillbilly: "I want yer ta meet ma sister, ma cousin and ma wife."

...

"Here she is!"

Worryingly, inbred jokes are also very popular in Scotland

Seriously, let the person who hasn't pirated music at least once (on purpose or not) cast the first stone. We all remember the Napster days don't we? I can guarantee there isn't a single person on Neowin that hasn't pirated SOMETHING. Remember, it's not just downloading music, but copying CDs and even cassette tapes. It's the same thing.

We've all made mistakes. Hopefully that was in the past.

At least the guy was honest about it.

The RIAA can't do anything. They have no idea what music was pirated and/or how much. :P

Quote - MaceX said @ #4.1
Even watching a movie at a friends house would be considered copyright infringement.

Nope, unless the friend charged you to watch it.

Quote - voidunknown said @ #4
Seriously, let the person who hasn't pirated music at least once (on purpose or not) cast the first stone. We all remember the Napster days don't we? I can guarantee there isn't a single person on Neowin that hasn't pirated SOMETHING. Remember, it's not just downloading music, but copying CDs and even cassette tapes. It's the same thing.

We've all made mistakes. Hopefully that was in the past.

At least the guy was honest about it.

The RIAA can't do anything. They have no idea what music was pirated and/or how much. :P

well said.
Here in the UK even making ripping MP3's from a CD is illegal! Yet look how many people have MP3 players.

Ummm so you're telling me a confesion to killing someone doesn't matter if the police can't find the body? No, they still prosecute and convict unless the cops prove the person's alive. Fine the kids and fine the father for being a knowing accessory to the crime. If the RIAA wants to sue us "common folk" I say they should be sued too.

Quote - Yagi said @ #4.5
Ummm so you're telling me a confesion to killing someone doesn't matter if the police can't find the body? No, they still prosecute and convict unless the cops prove the person's alive. Fine the kids and fine the father for being a knowing accessory to the crime. If the RIAA wants to sue us "common folk" I say they should be sued too.

Agreed 100% Make an example of them.

Quote - Yagi said @ #4.5
Ummm so you're telling me a confesion to killing someone doesn't matter if the police can't find the body? No, they still prosecute and convict unless the cops prove the person's alive. Fine the kids and fine the father for being a knowing accessory to the crime. If the RIAA wants to sue us "common folk" I say they should be sued too.

No. You are comparing apples and oranges.

Murder > Illegal Music

You should be comparing stealing a $0.99 song to stealing a candy bar at the local liquor store. Not murder. When was the last time someone was "made an example of" for stealing a candy bar?

The father did not say he knows for sure that his kids illegally downloading music. He said he was "fairly certain" that they did. They probably did, however that is beside the point.

Quote - voidunknown said @ #4.7

No. You are comparing apples and oranges.

Murder > Illegal Music

You should be comparing stealing a $0.99 song to stealing a candy bar at the local liquor store. Not murder. When was the last time someone was "made an example of" for stealing a candy bar?

The father did not say he knows for sure that his kids illegally downloading music. He said he was "fairly certain" that they did. They probably did, however that is beside the point.

But other parents are being sued when their kids download a couple of songs too, and that's without any of their knowledge. Since the RIAA now is pretty sure this family has downloaded MP3s illegally, they should be sued along with everyone else. To do anything else would be hypocritical.

Quote - DomG said @ #4.8
But other parents are being sued when their kids download a couple of songs too, and that's without any of their knowledge. Since the RIAA now is pretty sure this family has downloaded MP3s illegally, they should be sued along with everyone else. To do anything else would be hypocritical.

I have to partially agree with you here. Parents have been sued for their kids downloading music. However the RIAA doesn't go after someone who has a "couple songs." You have to really be downloading (and have a bit of un-luck) to attract RIAA attention.

Unfortunately, many of you are overlooking the fact that he is the CEO of Warner. Since Warner has their own record label, do you really think the RIAA would sue one of their own?

Voidunknown:
1. I wasn't really comparing murder to stealing songs, I was comparing confessions.
2. You'd be surprised how few song downloads they actually do go after people for.
3.

Since Warner has their own record label, do you really think the RIAA would sue one of their own?
You proved our point. Regardless if he's one of their own, his kids or him should be sued. Laws aren't written for everyone except those who wrote/enforce them, though government officials and law enforcers tend to think so, they are written for everyone. If you are going to sue a grandmother for her grandson downloading songs, you should sue the CEO of Warner for his kids downloading songs. Just because he's the CEO of Warner should mean absolutely nothing here, infact, it doesn't since he doesn't hold the individual intellectual property rights for every song which is the grounds for every lawsuit. If you're not going to sue him, then you shouldn't sue anyone. That's the point.

Quote - Yagi said @ #4.10
Voidunknown:
1. I wasn't really comparing murder to stealing songs, I was comparing confessions.
2. You'd be surprised how few song downloads they actually do go after people for.
3. You proved our point. Regardless if he's one of their own, his kids or him should be sued. Laws aren't written for everyone except those who wrote/enforce them, though government officials and law enforcers tend to think so, they are written for everyone. If you are going to sue a grandmother for her grandson downloading songs, you should sue the president of Warner for his kids downloading songs. Just because he's the president of Warner should mean absolutely nothing here. If you're not going to sue him, then you shouldn't sue anyone. That's the point.

Yagi,

Have you ever broken a law? ANY law at all? That's my point.

What should be done, and what are done, in reality are two totally different things. Laws may be laws, but conviction is extremely circumstantial and relative.

If you go by your theory, the RIAA can sue 98% of the US population. I'm sure you are included in that percentage.

Your point may be that everybody breaks laws, but the bigger picture and more important point is that this article shows a huge flaw in the judiciary system. It shows and proves that the rich are "supposidly" above the law and everybody else is accountable to it.

You also said that by my logic the RIAA should sue 98% of the US population. I guess in theory they can if they had evidence against 98% of the US population, but they don't. The CEO of Warner confessed, knowingly or not, in a national publication that his kids broke the law. He wasn't tricked into saying it, he wasn't tortured and forced into saying that, he willingly said it. Did you do that? Did I do that? Did 98% of the US population do that? No, they didn't. Instead of tracking isps, having companies hand over lists of customers, and having hackers break into people's computers the RIAA has a confession to a crime that they've been sueing thousands of people for and they aren't going to do anything becuase as you said "he's one of their own". It's wrong.

Quote - Yagi said @ #4.12
Your point may be that everybody breaks laws, but the bigger picture and more important point is that this article shows a huge flaw in the judiciary system. It shows and proves that the rich are "supposidly" above the law and everybody else is accountable to it.

You also said that by my logic the RIAA should sue 98% of the US population. I guess in theory they can if they had evidence against 98% of the US population, but they don't. The CEO of Warner confessed, knowingly or not, in a national publication that his kids broke the law. He wasn't tricked into saying it, he wasn't tortured and forced into saying that, he willingly said it. Did you do that? Did I do that? Did 98% of the US population do that? No, they didn't. Instead of tracking isps, having companies hand over lists of customers, and having hackers break into people's computers the RIAA has a confession to a crime that they've been sueing thousands of people for and they aren't going to do anything becuase as you said "he's one of their own". It's wrong.


Flat out going to the RIAA office and saying "I downloaded a song from Napster 6 years ago" doesn't mean squat. You proved my point. Without solid evidence against him, there is nothing they can do anyways.

I could stand in front of a bunch of people and say "I stole a candy bar!" Guess what, if I don't have a candy bar on me, there is nothing they can do. I'm sure by now the songs are long gone.

Verbal confessions are useless. Unless written and signed, a confession is NOTHING. Otherwise, its all hearsay. Courts don't listen to rumors.

The only time a verbal confesion means nothing is when one person hears it, that can be hearsay, a comment on the record to a reporter that is published isn't hearsay, it becomes fact. Under the law, he can be held accountable.

Quote - Yagi said @ #4.14
The only time a verbal confesion means nothing is when one person hears it, that can be hearsay, a comment on the record to a reporter that is published isn't hearsay, it becomes fact. Under the law, he can be held accountable.

Well then from here out we will have to agree to disagree.

Thanks for the mature debate though.

Quote - Yagi said @ #4.5
Ummm so you're telling me a confesion to killing someone doesn't matter if the police can't find the body? No, they still prosecute and convict unless the cops prove the person's alive. Fine the kids and fine the father for being a knowing accessory to the crime. If the RIAA wants to sue us "common folk" I say they should be sued too.

The burden of the proof lays with the people in a criminal case to prove guilt not innocence. A confession is just words without corroborating evidence. In a civil case [i.e law suit] the burden of proof lays with the defence to prove innocence. As was said, you are comparing apples and oranges.

The "confession" wouldn't last ten minutes in court, though. Any good defence attorney would have it out on day one. Which coincidentally is what gives rich people the most leverage; there are a lot of people in the world that aren't afraid to go after someone, legally, just because they're rich. The issue is rich people have access to a 'better' defence.

Oh by the way Yagi..

Quote - Yagi
The only time a verbal confesion means nothing is when one person hears it, that can be hearsay, a comment on the record to a reporter that is published isn't hearsay, it becomes fact. Under the law, he can be held accountable.

If what reporters publish is now considered fact by courts... god help us all.

Quote - voidunknown said @ #4.7

No. You are comparing apples and oranges.

Murder > Illegal Music

You should be comparing stealing a $0.99 song to stealing a candy bar at the local liquor store. Not murder. When was the last time someone was "made an example of" for stealing a candy bar?

The father did not say he knows for sure that his kids illegally downloading music. He said he was "fairly certain" that they did. They probably did, however that is beside the point.

not saying he's right, but you can still be arrested and prosecuted for stealing a candy bar.
cops just exercise a bit of common sense and realise it wasn't 'murder'.

if RIAA is really serious, they should sue the dude's kid for pirating music.
these kinds of initiatives should start at home if they plan on being serious or want to be taken seriously.

that kid is just as guilty as the rest of us. why should it matter who his father is?

Quote - voidunknown said @ #4.7

Murder > Illegal Music

You should be comparing stealing a $0.99 song to stealing a candy bar at the local liquor store. Not murder. When was the last time someone was "made an example of" for stealing a candy bar?

The big difference being that when you nick a 'candy bar', it is no longer available for a paying customer to buy...

Quote - voidunknown said @ #4.7

No. You are comparing apples and oranges.

Murder > Illegal Music

You should be comparing stealing a $0.99 song to stealing a candy bar at the local liquor store. Not murder. When was the last time someone was "made an example of" for stealing a candy bar?

The father did not say he knows for sure that his kids illegally downloading music. He said he was "fairly certain" that they did. They probably did, however that is beside the point.

Theft > Illegal Music

Copying copyrighted material is NOT the same as stealing as the original article is still in the possession of the original owner. Think of it like this:

Theft:
A joyrider steals a car, he has taken someone else's property without consent, ownership has transferred from the owner to the joyrider (albeit illegally).

Copyright Infringement:
A Chinese car manufacturer copies the design of the latest Ford Car, The Chinese company hasn't stolen the Ford Cars and sold them as their own, ownership hasn't transferred. They merely copied the design, which is copyrighted, the ownership hasn't transferred but the item has been copied, thus it is clearly not theft in any way shape or form (not even theft of an idea, as the idea has been copied, but the original idea remains in the designers mind).

When committing copyright infringement you are not stealing the music from anyone, you are merely copying the music, you are copying music that is copyrighted and thus ownership of that music has not transferred but the music merely copied and the owner of the music still has the original music. Thus the whole 'we lose sales to piracy' doesn't work since there is nothing lost, no ownership has transferred, the original article is still in the possession of the rightful owner. Comparing Theft to copyright infringement is exactly what the RIAA and MPAA wants everyone to do, but its completely wrong in both lawfully and morally.

Quote - Shiranui said @ #4.18

The big difference being that when you nick a 'candy bar', it is no longer available for a paying customer to buy...

Very true, thats the problem though you cannot compare the two, as pirating music is copyright infringement which has seperate laws involved all together

Quote - MaceX said @ #4.1
Even watching a movie at a friends house would be considered copyright infringement.

you know that article about RIAA charging for home entertainment centers was a joke right?

Imagine a store in a small vilalge.
For some reason among all the goods it has $1 000 000 mobile phone shining with brilliants.
It's obvious nobody will ever buy it.
Is it OK to steal it? That wonldn't be lost revenue. And the owner doesn't use it.

BTW. My friend studied at some school in England or somewhere else. And her classmates super feared that anyone copy their test. The guy that sat next to her feared so much that he always wrote wrong answers and then tried to change them to right ones at the end of the test. Speak of new copyrighters generation...

Quote - Marshalus said @ #3
Time for the RIAA to make an example of him ;)

yeah, i wouldnt be surprised.

the best headline ever would be...
"RIAA President Cary Sherman son fined for downloading pirated music!"