Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure ISPs Instead

December 19, 2008 -

Following years of suing individuals for sharing music on peer-to-peer networks, the music industry has decided to try a new tactic.

They'll try to have your Internet service cut off, instead.

The Wall Street Journal reports that music biz trade group the RIAA will shift its anti-piracy strategy from individuals to ISPs:

The [RIAA] said it plans to try an approach that relies on the cooperation of Internet-service providers. The trade group said it has hashed out preliminary agreements with major ISPs under which it will send an email to the provider when it finds a provider's customers making music available online for others to take.

Depending on the agreement, the ISP will either forward the note to customers, or alert customers that they appear to be uploading music illegally, and ask them to stop. If the customers continue the file-sharing, they will get one or two more emails, perhaps accompanied by slower service from the provider. Finally, the ISP may cut off their access altogether.

According to the WSJ, the RIAA has filed some 35,000 lawsuits against private citizens since 2002. Despite the shift in strategy, the organization says it plans to continue with those suits already in progess.


Comments

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

I think that this a stupid thing for ISP's to do. Why ?  Because the disconnected customer could switch to an ISP that does not comply to the RIAA. Only if ALL ISP's comply with the RIAA would this work, but then the RIAA would be a censoring force, which is unconstitutional.

 

 

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

Cut off a person's internet accsess and they can't go onto Itunes, or something similar anymore.

Although really methinkls the RIAA will have to bribe the ISPs to cutt off internet accsess.

After all they legally can't force the ISPs to do anything.

----------------------------------------------------

Debates are like merry go rounds Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

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Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

And just how many of their customers do they expect to use the email address provided by the ISP? They had better send tangible letters also.

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

Meh, big deal. Unless the RIAA can get all the ISPs to agree to it, they won't get anywhere. People who get screwed by one ISP will go to another one that isn't in cahoots with the RIAA. When the ISPs working with the RIAA see that they're losing business, they'll either stop working with the RIAA or start demanding that they get some sort of compensation for the lost money. It would be a stupid move for ISPs to agree to chase off customers without some sort of incentive.

And you know there will be at least one ISP that will refuse to give into the RIAA because they realize they can tap a market full of people who aren't necessarily pirates but don't like having the RIAA in control of their Internet connection. Either a pre-existing ISP will be clever and not go along with the RIAA, or some smart business person will realize he can make money by remaining RIAA-free. The only way this plan works is if the RIAA can get every ISP to go along with the plan; one rogue ISP defeats the entire plan.

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

As a sales tactic, being RIAA-free could probably be spun as one of the positive features of an ISP.

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

I can see it might be more cost effective to sue the hub of infringement because a business will be less likely to fight due to bad press, even more so over user rights..that and most of the main ISPs are owned by big media.....
=================================
Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
---------------------------------
I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

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Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

These retards will never learn will they?  The internet providers will start getting sued for cutting off internet, when someone has hacked someone else's router OR making their computer show that person's IP address instead of their own other ways.  They need to find a new tactic overall, like just getting over the fact that it will happen. 

Selling music online instead has worked great, but the funny thing is, people can legally put music out there for people to listen to on youtube all they want, and these guys can do nothing about it, as long as the user puts some stupid video or slide show to make it a different form of art or some crap.  As long as those people are not making profit because of it.  These assholes can do nothing about it.  Then people with the right programs can record sound coming from their browser, and record it as it is playing on youtube, and it is no different than recording it from the radio, which they lost that suit a long ass time ago.

Piracy is more of a tax for ripping off the consumer, because to get as big as many of these companies are, they have ripped off a lot of people and skipped out on paying taxes because of BS technical crap.  The smaller companies dont have problems like this as much.  When they do, they have the right to bitch.

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Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

Isn't this essentially what the RIAA is saying?

RIAA:  Hey ISP's will you cut off your customers and potentially loose money so we won't loose money?  

 

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

or alert customers that they appear to be uploading music illegally

And there's a problem onto itself, legality of their actions aside. I've gotten warnings for "illegally downloading music" before. I haven't downloaded domestically available songs in years, I'm actually rather strict with myself about paying for music. Either they got me confused with another user or mistook a downloaded file for copyrighted music, and there was little I could do to prove otherwise. Nothing came of it (empty threat of course), but still, I didn't do anything wrong, they shouldn't be so quick to assume I did.

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

They are trying to police media in a way they do not have the power for, there is hole down loaders have and will have until the internet has police that can easily track and gather data. Untill then the media conglomerates are trying to abuse every bit of power they have.



A post I wrote elsewhere


Its rather simple as media becomes freely transmitted and shared it becomes part of the public conscious and something that can not enforced or police easily without makign everyone guilty enforcing fines and fees and taxes don;t forget the taxes because everyone is guilty when CP "protects" every instance of distribution be it sound,lyric,script pictures or simply talking about.



When you dismiss the distribution model and focus on it as a profit model the lines are very clear, and if you start with a 10% base IE the creators of the content get 10% royalties automatically and maintain some control over it akin to stocks. By focusing on profit rights you expand secondary licenses they focus on selling the product by whatever it takes giving a contracted cut to the profit rights holders who then pay the content creators their cut plus the base 10%.



Artists make it big media rights holders buy it and resale it to smaller resaler's, creating a a ecosystem in itself. Currently big media holds out and rapes the artist and palcs them in oft not unfair and bad deals to widen their bottom line.




As for as free distribution goes, instead of having public domain what you have is people using content and remaking it in a non profit context this by its very nature will create new content and renew interest in content big media has left by the wayside. This also allows organizations to buy up content big media dose not want and may sell off in yardsale fashion.



In a profit rights setup big content maintains their power over ownership and profit rights IMO its the only way they can keep them indefinite CP will only lead to a renewal of 10-20 year CP and if that happens they lose big time but if they ignore whats being traded freely and focusing on world wide volume sales they will stay in high profit for decades to come.



=================================
Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
---------------------------------
I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

It won't be for purposes of suspecting you're a pirate, it'll also be when you download independent music that isn't owned by the RIAA. This is yet, another way the RIAA exerts its control and makes people believe only RIAA music exists. Unfair practices, and due process is still violated. Also, people losing internet connections is just silly, it'll likely destroy some businesses in the process and if they ever somehow get this to work. I hope several businesses get unfairly targeted and sue the hell out of the RIAA for damaging another business to get what they want.

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

Wait, this is worse.  So all they need is to think you're doing something illegal?  That's not right by any stretch of the imagination.

 

"That's not ironic. That's justice."

"That's not ironic. That's justice."

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

For what it is worth, I still hope the association implodes. People should still keep with the boycott and make sure to tell all their friends NOT to buy CDs for x-mas for anyone! Let them all choke on their greed.

Man if I ever got into high government office the copyright system as it stands now would get such a boot in the ass.

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Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

There's no way in hell this is legal. This is totally going to get shot down in court the first time it happens.

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

 Well, now i'm not at all saying this is right, but i do tend to think this is a slightly better direction than their old tactics of law suits...

for starters, the ISP's will not be too eager to cut off a customer and as such will be more understanding... they will send warnings and be more willing to listen to you if you object, where as RIAA would jump right into the lawsuit; sure you have the chance to fight it in court if it's not true, but stories around the RIAA suggest that some people get scared and end up settling out of court anyway. Having 3 strikes is better than being taken out with just 1...

Second, even if your ISP did cut you off, it's not the end of the world since you can always sign up with a new provider... not ideal, but at least its not over... i mean, the thing i found most disgusting about the RIAA's tactics is that their lawsuits essentially amount to destroying people's entire lives; how the hell are most of the people they sue suppose to pay the amounts they demand? demanding that a college student who downloaded 6 files of music pay $1 million? that's insane and it essentially destroys the guy's entire life... really, if the RIAA was just sueing for a fair amount of what the music was worth it would be one thing, but they sue for 1,000-100,000 times the music's actually worth, which MUST be illegal on some level, as i hope the lawsuit being handled by Harvard will turn out.

Again, not saying this is at all right... RIAA does not have the right to cut off your internet, and it can still be seen as unfair level of punishment especially in cases where they are making false accusations... Not to mention the illegal tactics they must be using to find out you have been downloading music... The internet has become quite the essential tool in this day and age. But it does seem like a slightly better direction than the shit they have been pulling already and will work a little better until some court somewhere finally slaps them in the face and tells them they can not pull shit like this. i look forward to the Harvard law case bringing death to the law suits and some future case ending these RIAA tactics for once and for all... the RIAA does have a right to protect their music, but what they have been doing thus far is just plain horrible

 

thinking about it, i should actually be hoping that these ISP tactic will never work on the grounds others have mentioned and gets stopped quickly... that way, once the ruling from the harvard case comes slamming down, the RIAA will be without a leg to stand in terms of their draconian tactics

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

I doubt this will go through, after all, where is the incintive for the ISPs to do this? Too much trouble and risk could and will be garnered by it and no decernibal benefit for them.

On another note, that little bit where they mentioned providing slower service. I can only assume this means they will be providing a cheaper bill as well. Otherwise, well not providing a service that costumers are paying for, regardless of the reasons why, is more than enough for a clever lawyer to win some money.

 

Eggy Weggs

Eggy Weggs

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

Large ISPs like Verizon and Comcast have their own competing services for downloadable content so they are already trying to root out such people and disconnect them.  To the ISP, they don't even care if it is legal content or not (since Netflix or Internet Radio are just as much a threat as bittorrent) so it is unlikly they will even look at the charges all that carefully.

So form the ISP's perspective, not only can they keep doing what they are donig, they can now:

(a) offload some of the bad press onto the RIAA

(b) have the RIAA doing thier research and identification for them.

 

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

Here's the thing about this.

If the ISPs do the "Three Strikes" thing or censor what goes through their tubes, then they forfeit their Safe Harbor under the DMCA, opening the floodgates to lawsuits about everything from child porn to myspace harrasment.

The ISPs cannot and will not do this, because it will drive them out of business.

Brain: "Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?" Pinky: "I think so, Brain, but we're already naked."

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

Funny how this happens just days after Harvard Law announces it's going to  be taking the case of some students from Boston College who got sued by the RIAA.

Of course, Harvard could throw its weight behind the ISP's too since they believe it's wholly inappropriate for the RIAA to be doing ANYTHING like this.

Plus the ISP's have the issue of wrongful termination. If they shutdown someone's service and it turns out that person had no illegal music the ISP is in trouble.

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

 All service providers have a clause in their agreements that gives them the right to terminate business with an individual. Without it, people could hold companies legally hostage until their contract/agreement lapses.

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

Ah but would this situation be the ISP terminating your access or the RIAA?

The ISP could get in trouble for being a proxy for another company. The RIAA has no right to terminate your internet access and if the ISP just says "Alright we'll shut them down" you have a legitimate argument.

This also doesn't solve the problem a lot of people have with the RIAA's attempt to enforce, in civil court, the CRIMINAL law.

The arguments the RIAA have been making are based on criminal statutes. Criminal law is supposed to require proof beyond a reasonable doubt. But the RIAA has been bringing civil cases in which all you need is a preponderance.

Also, clauses like that blanket termination clause are subject to judicial restriction. You can have that clause but there is a mountain of precedent saying that it isn't as broad as it sounds.

The doctrine of unconscionability is a big one. There are overriding legal restrictions that prevent "termination because we feel like it."

This can also cause major problems for ISP's that "bundle" services. Like those Cable, Phone, and Internet bundles.

I doubt the RIAA is going to get anywhere, there are just too many headaches and there's no way the RIAA can threaten to sue the ISP's, then you're running into privacy and agency issues.

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

"Ah but would this situation be the ISP terminating your access or the RIAA?"

 Your ISP would be doing the terminating, RIAA is just the one twisting its arm.

"The ISP could get in trouble for being a proxy for another company. The RIAA has no right to terminate your internet access and if the ISP just says "Alright we'll shut them down" you have a legitimate argument."

 As I said, the ISP has more than likely set itself up legally to deny you service without cause. Whether or not the RIAA has a right to terminate anything is moot, because they aren't doing the terminating of service. The question here is whether or not the ISP has a reason to listen to the RIAA. If the ISP is not accountable for the actions of its clients who use its service, why would they do themselves a dis-service by terminating paying customers?

"This also doesn't solve the problem a lot of people have with the RIAA's attempt to enforce, in civil court, the CRIMINAL law."

 They are not enforcing criminal law in civil court, they are recouping percieved loses from individuals. Technically speaking, if someone stole your car and set it on fire, you could sue them to recover (some of) its value. Same thing at the end of the day.

"The arguments the RIAA have been making are based on criminal statutes. Criminal law is supposed to require proof beyond a reasonable doubt. But the RIAA has been bringing civil cases in which all you need is a preponderance."

 They are using criminal laws to make background for their civil claims, and this is common place in civil cases. How would you demonstrate willful negligence causing bodily harm without the criminal equivalent? The courts run in parallel with on another. There is nothing stating that a criminal found innocent cannot be taken to civil court over issues persuant to the crime.

"Also, clauses like that blanket termination clause are subject to judicial restriction. You can have that clause but there is a mountain of precedent saying that it isn't as broad as it sounds."

 Of course, you can challenge every line of a ToS or EULA, but these companies make the assumption that the layman client won't fight when its easier to comply.

"The doctrine of unconscionability is a big one. There are overriding legal restrictions that prevent "termination because we feel like it.""

 The company is not obligated to provide a service to you, and it is within their rights to provide service to whom they choose. This does not mean that they can cheat you out of already paid fees and such, but the service is theres to dole out. You could sue saying the RIAA encouraged discrimination against you because of some vague bandwidth usage patterns, but what proof do you have that the RIAA were involved if all communications were between RIAA and the ISP? You'd be screwed.

"This can also cause major problems for ISP's that "bundle" services. Like those Cable, Phone, and Internet bundles."

 They may void your package deal and charge you individually for the unrestricted services. Or just cancel your contract with them completely.

"I doubt the RIAA is going to get anywhere, there are just too many headaches and there's no way the RIAA can threaten to sue the ISP's, then you're running into privacy and agency issues."

 All of these actions depend on an element of fear. They want the ISP to fear the ligitation they can potentially bring against them, the want the user to fear the ISP and they want the consumer to fear the consequences of illegal downloading. You give them the control, so ignore them and they are little more than a dried up industry clinging to their archaic business plan in a futile attempt to stay put as the world advances around them.

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

Without getting into a long discussion on contract and tort law I'll just say, you are grossly oversimplying things.

The ISP's have entered into contracts with their consumers, they do not necessarily have an absolute right of termination at will.

Obviously this all depends on someone actually taking a stand, that's the way the law works.

Additionally, they are NOT merely using the criminal law to underlye their civil law. They have been using criminal law DIRECTLY in their complaints. They have been, in effect, suing on a criminal law principle.

But only a few cases have come to court and the way our law works, if you don't object, you waive your objection. And with most of these cases having been a poor college kid who can't actually afford to GET to court, the lawyer has been told "avoid litigation at any cost" and you get a settlement.

Virtually no case has actually gotten to the stage where an objection COULD be properly made.

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

Depending on the ISP, they usually have an explict clause saying they can discontinue your service at any time for any reason.  I have occasionally heard fo people challenging these disconnects, but  I have not heard of a case of a consumer sucessfully arguing that the contract is invalid or unenforcable.

This is doubly true with cablemodem based companies since they are MUCH less regulated the the DSL ones.

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

You're correct that no consumer has ever successfully won a case. But you have seen is this:

A court ruling that says:

"Such blanket termination clauses are probably not enforceable. This court is NOT called upon to decide that issue, however, as in this case there was valid cause for termination."

Several courts have opined, in unenforceable dicta, that blanket "any reason" termination clauses are probably unconscionable. But that has never been the central issue in a case.

So it would turn on whether a court thought and ISP cancelling someone's service at the BEHEST of another entity without a substantial showing that the person is, in fact, violating the ISP's terms of use.

An ISP should NOT be terminating someone's service for violating SOMEONE ELSE'S rules. That would amount to a perosn being held responsible for something they never saw or agreed to.

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

 Its garbage like this that keeps me from being a lawyer. There is no logical, scientific rule to any of it. Its all one big game of, "well the lawyer who argued this over in <other jurisdiction> got away with it, so can I".

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

Logical, scientific, cut and dry rules don't really work in the law. Cut and dry rules can't account for the issues of different situations.

Scientific rules can't account for emotional issues, passion crimes etc or individual situations. You can have a profound injustice because you simply can't create a rule that accounts for every possible permutation of the situation.

Plus, from experience, I can tell you it doesn't really come down to "this lawyer was better." That's largely a Hollywood fabrication. There are SO many rules regarding behavior, what you can say, etc. that usually the law wins out.

One of the reasons Jack Thompson got disbarred is because he tried to be the "T.V. Lawyer" and the courts really don't like it.

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

This is just ridiculous, RIAA wants to basically have control over your internet access without any due process or solid proof of wrong-doing. They also want to be able to levy a pirating-tax of $5-10 on your monthly bill if they think you're pirating stuff, again without due process or any kind of government oversight. They're basically extorting the ISPs saying "if you don't agree to giving us 3 strike control of your customers, we're going to sue you".

If you head over to DSLReports their main article is regarding the same thing but they have a lil more info on it. Scary times man, the direction we're heading with this leads to coporations basically enforcing law instead of the government, post-apocolyptic movies are based on this kind of thing for a reason, its baaaad!

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Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

I'm really interested to see the number of ISPs that willing cut off their paying customers just so some other industry can compensate for losses that are mostly the fault of sub-standard product...

I don't see this as a realistic effort to support music sales... especialy when all they have to do is stop forcing what they want to sell on us, and instead let the consumer decide (and if you ask me... the consumer has been deciding ever since the developement of P2P sharing)

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" - Benjamin Franklin

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" - Benjamin Franklin

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

Comcast would, and already does.

When I cancled my subscription to comcast I brought up their policies around usage caps and bittorrent and the support person told me that there was no possible legal use for such things, so they are already spreading that concept.

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

It won't last... as soon as they see how this will effect them in the long run.

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" - Benjamin Franklin

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" - Benjamin Franklin

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

*sigh* If their hunting tactics thus far have a less than 60% accuracy rating despite using illegal information gathering tactics, what makes them think THIS movement will be acceptable.  The RIAA needs to learn one thing.  With tapes, people duped em like a mother.  With CDs, people burned them for their friends.  With the internet, people will download music.  The real task is NOT how do you stop this behavior.  The REAL task is how do you provide value or service enough to make people want to PAY for this content.  iTunes was a start.  Amazon was a better one.  Customer Service is what keeps the thieves at bay, not more cameras and colder attitudes.

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Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

I look at it this way. An entertainer's job is to either convince people to, or to con people into giving them money. The RIAA has largely lost both skillsets and has resorted to the tactics of a brigand instead.

-Gray17

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

Same tyrants, new tactics. Complete with a guilty until proven innocent attitude!!

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

I see, and who exactly determines whether you're "guilty" or not?  Where's the oversight with this plan?  This sounds like a positive step, but they're actually lowering the bar for their "evidence" even further.  Now they can just disconnect your Internet access whenever they please.

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

i'l believe it when i see it. This is an industry (the riaa) who has for a long time thought that fear was the best way to keep thier customers in line.

I am sceptical to believe this

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

How is this not a means of using fear to try and keep their customers in line? All it is, is saying "If you 'pirate' music we'll have your internet cut off without a way for you to defend yourself from our accusations." instead of saying "If you 'pirate' music, we'll sue you into poverty unless you can get a good lawyer to fight off our spurious charges."

It's like using a cudgel instead of a knife to threaten someone. Same fear tactic, different means.

-Gray17

Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure

I would actually describe this new development as significantly worse for consumers.

Now there is no DoJ to set and make sure everyone plays fair.  No oversight, no judgest, no pesky laws.  All they have to do is convince the ISP and that's it.  And since ISPs generally have 'we can cancle your service at any time for any reason' clauses in your contract customers will have no legal recourse behind them.

And, since in most regions there is generally only one (or at best, two) broadband ISPs it is not like customers can protest by going to a compeditor. 

This is a lot like the US and cold war forign policy.  During much of the cold war the US was known for installing dictators (even overthrowing democracies) because a single point to convince/corrupt is so much easier then dealing with laws and the public.

 
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quiknkoldAndrew : I dont accept any worded apology unless I can look the person in the eye when they say it. For me, he'd either have to make a video so I could read his bodylanguage, or actually do something. actions speak louder than words.10/20/2014 - 8:04pm
quiknkoldwell if they are looking for social pollution, Twitter is a great breeding ground for it. Its a breeding ground for deviance.10/20/2014 - 8:03pm
Andrew Eisenquiknkold - He had three tweets worth of apology the following day.10/20/2014 - 8:00pm
quiknkoldyou know, people keep saying Biddle's comment was sarcasm, but the thing is, Sarcasm doesnt translate well in Tweets. I took his words as really hateful, and unless I see an honest apology, I'm not going to be happy with him.10/20/2014 - 7:38pm
Matthew WilsonI doubt it will change much.10/20/2014 - 7:21pm
 

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