Monday, September 08, 2003

Music Wars: Scene 19
in which the RIAA fires its Death Star

The RIAA filed 261 subpeonas today in an effort to scare the music rebels into oblivion:
NEW YORK -- Sharing pirated music over the Internet just got a lot more hazardous.

The music industry unleashed a long-planned legal blitz intended to stanch the rampant piracy that has caused music sales to crater during the past four years.

The five major record companies, grouped under the banner of the Recording Industry Association of America (news - web sites), filed 261 lawsuits against individuals it says have illegally used file-sharing software to distribute vast troves of copyrighted music online, where it can be accessed and downloaded for free by music consumers.

The association characterized its actions as a "first wave" of what could ultimately be thousands of copyright-infringement lawsuits against individuals who have distributed on average more than 1,000 music files each to other users. It also said it wouldn't sue those individuals who agree to voluntarily identify themselves and pledge to stop illegally sharing music over the Internet.

"We hope that today's actions will convince doubters that we are serious about protecting our rights," said RIAA President Cary Sherman.
Now there have been various criticism of the RIAA and the music industry in general, ranging from over-commercialism/over-promotion, most of it sucks anyway, the RIAA is obsolete, or at least their paradigm is, and others. It is more ecomincal to have one artist sell 1 million copies from 1 CD that an artist sell 2 million from 5 CDs, but Myself sees this strategy of suing the indivivual as better than creating new laws to give the music industry special rights when it comes to intellectual property,i.e., the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or forcing ISP's to police its users, or even be the stool pigeon. The Empire is hoping that this will scare away most users. They are wrong. They will succeed in scaring of some, no doubt, but there will always be music swapping going on. The P2P programs will evolve, and pay for play sites will grow, already there are at least a dozen in the works. P2P is used not only to swap the latest hits (which is what all the fuss is about, really) but those more obscure hits of days gone by (not so much a concern of the RIAA) yet is also a valuable commodity to the user. So watch out RIAA the rebels will be making a sneak attack on your death star and drop a bomb down your exhaust vent.

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