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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.
Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure Submitted by SeanB - December 19, 2008 at 9:54 am -0500 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 Submitted by Krono - December 19, 2008 at 10:10 am -0500 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.
Re: Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure Submitted by Krono - December 19, 2008 at 10:15 am -0500 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
Mr. Garland said he likes the idea of a solution that works more with consumers. In the years since the RIAA began its mass legal action, "It has become abundantly clear that the carrot is far more important than the stick." Indeed, many in the music industry felt the lawsuits had outlived their usefulness.
Meanwhile, music sales continue to fall. In 2003, the industry sold 656 million albums. In 2007, the number fell to 500 million CDs and digital albums, plus 844 million paid individual song downloads -- hardly enough to make up the decline in album sales.
The RIAA says piracy would have been even worse without the lawsuits. Citing data from consulting firm NPD Group Inc., the industry says the percentage of Internet users who download music over the Internet has remained fairly constant, hovering around 19% over the past few years. However, the volume of music files shared over the Internet has grown steadily.