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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 erikejw on 12/19/2008 6:34:42 PM , Rating: 2
"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."

Did I miss something or does it sound like RIAA owns all ISPs and will decide how they will treat their customers. It would be like I try to run someone elses business.

Where I live I can easily switch between 8 100Mbit provders, if one of them will cooperate with RIAA the word will be out in hours and everyone will leave that operator immediately.

RE: This makes more sense
By StevoLincolnite on 12/20/2008 5:36:30 AM , Rating: 2
This is what the Music Industry is trying to push at the moment, an Australian ISP that goes by the name of "iiNet" has just entered a battle with these companies, the Music and Movie industry believes it can send the I.P addresses to the ISP which is mere "Allegations" and force the ISP to disconnect users, however iiNet has been passing the notices onto the police and not to the users, believing they are "not" the police and they merely provide the pipes for the data to travel much like a Post Office.

However because iiNet refused to send the notices onto users and disconnect there internet connections they are now being sued by several Music/Movie/Television companies.

However I personally think it's wrong they are "merely" allegations, what happens if they got a single digit in the I.P wrong? - that would then make a customer who never did anything illegal to loose there internet connection, plus the ISP looses customers and thus profits.

Quite interesting how the industry choose iiNet, I guess they didn't like the idea of taking on Optus or Telstra which have much bigger and deeper pockets then they and iiNet do.

However if iiNet gets sued then I gather the Music and Movie industry will initiate mass legal action against all ISP's on the planet, which will be bad for everyone...

RE: This makes more sense
By croc on 12/20/2008 3:52:31 PM , Rating: 2
Here in AUS, in ISP needs a warrant issued from a police agency to track an IP for suspected illegal activity. Then they can track all activity from that IP via their legal interception gateway. This gateway is a condition of their carrier license. Personally, I think that Iinet is within their legal rights, indeed their legal responsibilities, for turning the information over to the police. I have never heard of an ISP tracking an IP on their own, and would imagine that the ACA would be a bit upset if an ISP did that without a warrant

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain
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