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RIAA says that any pending litigation will continue

The RIAA has been suing people willy-nilly for years with slim proof that the defendants actually shared music illegally. The lawsuits often seemed to be nothing more than a marketing attempt by the RIAA to get people to realize they could and would sue if you illegally shared music or they suspected you did.

Despite all of the suits that the RIAA filed, against people living and dead, the tide of music piracy never turned in its favor. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) cites numbers from the NPD Group that show illegal music sharing stayed about the same throughout the RIAA's inquisition.

This week, The WSJ reported that the RIAA has announced it will stop its slash and burn suit policy and focus on other methods of preventing piracy that is thinks will be more effective. Since the RIAA started is massive campaign of litigation, it has brought legal proceedings against 35,000 people.

The RIAA says that it will now focus on working with individual ISPs to help stop piracy. When a person on an ISP is suspected of pirating music the RIAA will send an email to the ISP, who can then get with the individual customer to try to stop piracy. As is par for the RIAA's course, it makes no mention of how exactly it will gather evidence of piracy against ISP customers. Many wonder if the RIAA will simply resort to massive spamming of hundreds of thousands of suspected file sharers to ISPs.

If an ISP determines that a user is sharing music illegally, it will send an email warning the customer to begin with. That warning, if unheeded, could be followed by more warning letters from the ISP. If the user fails to stop file sharing, their internet connection could be slowed or terminated altogether.

The bad news for alleged file shares that already have RIAA litigation pending against them is that The WSJ says the RIAA will proceed with pending suits. That means that the retrial date set for the tossed verdict in the Jammie Thomas case will continue.

New York State Attorney General Andre Cuomo is also working to broker a deal between the RIAA and ISPs to help address both parties' privacy concerns. One key point in the RIAAs new tact on piracy is that it will not ask for the names of alleged music traders.

Cuomo's chief of staff Steven Cohen told The WSJ, "We wanted to end the litigation. It's not helpful." For its part, the RIAA thinks that the new policy will reach more people to make them aware that the man has an eye on them. RIAA group chairman Mitch Bainwol said, "Part of the issue with infringement is for people to be aware that their actions are not anonymous."

Brian Toder, the attorney representing a woman from Minnesota in a file sharing case said, "I'd give them credit for stopping what they've already been doing because it's been so destructive." Unfortunately, for his client, her litigation will continue despite the new policy.

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RE: This makes more sense
By Grast on 12/19/2008 3:48:29 PM , Rating: 1
What paper work !!!!!!!! you are dreaming. ISP have much better things to do than log and track useless information. That is the reason they use DHCP versus handing out static IP addresses. Less administration. Plus they are NOT legally bound to keep that information.

This is a win for everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


RE: This makes more sense
By WalksTheWalk on 12/19/2008 4:35:53 PM , Rating: 3
Watch, they'll be going for more forceful litigation against fewer parties. What they'll do is try to strong arm ISPs into policing their users. They think if they make it painful enough on ISPs via litigation, ISPs will eventually cave and start banning P2P and other sharing mechanisms.

In their mind: Why should we sue end users when we can try to stop it at the source?

RE: This makes more sense
By Lifted on 12/20/2008 3:15:43 AM , Rating: 1
Please name 1 ISP in the US that doesn't keep track of DHCP leases.

Can't? Exactly.

RE: This makes more sense
By mindless1 on 12/20/2008 4:27:31 PM , Rating: 2
Actually no, they started out using DHCP because they had fewer IP addresses than users and kept it up to discourage people from maintaining internet servers since most dont' bother with dynamic DNS.

Logging is automated and trivial provided the storage space for it.

RE: This makes more sense
By mars777 on 12/21/2008 10:56:56 PM , Rating: 2
You can use any IP adress on the world but as soon as your router logs in with your accaunt name and password you are known to the ISP.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls
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