Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

RIAA Gives In to Reality

Posted by MEC on December 22, 2008

The RIAA hasn’t given up on trying to stop illegal downloading and file-sharing, which of course it has a right and a duty to do.

It has, however, recognized the futility of trying to bankrupt anybody who gets caught, however trivial or inadvertent their offense.

It’s not ending the practice because some people were wrongly punished or the punishment often exceeded the crime. They’re stopping because their own legal expenses exceeded the settlements they collected.

Instead of filing lawsuits, they plan to work with Internet providers to send warnings to people who are detected sharing files illegally, and to cut off service if the file sharers persist.

3 Responses to “RIAA Gives In to Reality”

  1. Stormcrow said

    They’re liable to have a lot of “fun” going after the ISPs.

    The “making available” theory is shaky at best. It resulted in a mistrial being declared by the presiding judge in the Jammie Thomas case.

    And what they’re asking for boils down to requiring that ISPs play copyright cop for free. Some of them are balking already. ISPs, particularly the smaller ones, have profit margins thinner than the edge of a razor. That’s why there are so few small ISPs left, as a matter of fact.

    Twelve years ago, mom-and pop ISPs were all over the place in Metro Seattle. Now, they’re gone.

  2. MEC said

    I am cynically amused that the RIAA actually lost money on its draconian lawsuits. It’s still bad news for the people they went after, some of whom had committed trivial offenses (or had not committed any offense, but were victims of a phishing operation).

  3. We have all read the stories of parents sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars because their teenage children file swapped music over the internet. In many cases, the parents were bullied into settlement, even though they may not have been guilty of anything. Over 35,000 individuals were sued for sharing music in violation of copyright law. The government should have ended this travesty a long time ago, but our political leaders are in the RIAA’s pocket for campaign donations. This list includes Barack Obama. I wish I could tell you the RIAA had come to their senses and realized the unfairness of what they were doing, but I can’t. They are stopping because it isn’t profitable any more.

    Music industry drops effort to sue song swappers
    The Associated Press

    The group representing the U.S. recording industry said Friday it had abandoned its policy of suing people for sharing songs protected by copyright.

    The Recording Industry Association of America said it instead would work with Internet service providers to cut abusers’ access if they ignored repeated warnings.

    The move ends a program that saw the association sue about 35,000 people since 2003 for swapping songs online. Because of high legal costs for defenders, virtually all of those hit with lawsuits settled, on average, for around $3,500. The association’s legal costs, in the meantime, exceeded the settlement money it brought in.

    The association said Friday it stopped sending out new lawsuits and warnings in August and then agreed with several leading U.S. Internet service providers, without naming which ones, to notify alleged illegal file-sharers and cut off service if they failed to stop. Full story here.

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