Print 34 comment(s) - last by King of Heroes.. on Dec 23 at 9:48 PM

One ISP owner says if the RIAA wants his help, it better bring a checkbook

Most people are aware of the prolonged legal campaign that the RIAA has waged against alleged music sharers. The RIAA has filed suit against people with little proof, often seeking to do nothing more than scare the person into paying the high fees that RIAA demands for copyright infringement.

DailyTech reported last week that the RIAA announced it would end its legal campaign against suspected illegal file sharers and would instead work with ISPs to combat illegal file sharers. Some ISP owners say that this new plan will put the cost of battling music sharers on the ISP rather than the RIAA or the copyright owner.

One ISP owner named Jerry Scroggin says that if the RIAA or Hollywood wants the ISP to enforce copyright law, that Hollywood or the RIAA should foot the bill. Scroggin owns a small ISP called Bayou Internet and Communications and counts about 10,000 customers.

CNET News reports that Scroggin says if the RIAA asks his ISP to help it combat pirates, that it had better bring the checkbook and leave legal threats at home. According to Scroggin, he receives several notices each month that he needs to remove file sharers from his network and sends the same thing in reply.

Scroggin says, "I ask for their billing address. Usually, I never hear back."

It costs a lot of money for an ISP to track down customers that the RIAA says are illegally sharing files and the ISP is expected to do the footwork for the RIAA free of charge. Scroggin continues, "They have the right to protect their songs or music or pictures. But they don't have the right to tell me I have to be the one protecting it. I don't want anyone doing anything illegal on my network, but we don't work for free."

The ISP power says that he has a long history of helping law enforcement and isn’t trying to be a "hard ass" but the realities of finding alleged file shares and proving that they are actually breaking the law are very hard to accomplish. He says that there is often very little or no proof that the customers allegedly sharing files have done anything illegal.

To simply cut the users off at the request of the RIAA or Hollywood could cost him as much as $1,440 over the contract term of a subscription plan. Scroggin also says that the letters that are sent are often legally threatening to him, when he is doing nothing to affect the business of the company allegedly seeing their copyright violated. There's got to be a better way than HBO sending me threatening e-mail," he said. "What I'm saying is, let's sit at the table and come up with a way that works for everyone, including the customers."

Scroggin highlights what is likely to be the RIAAs biggest challenge in gaining the assistance of ISPs to combat pirates -- the cost of doing business. Add to that the bad blood between ISPs and entertainment companies stemming from years of legal threats and RIAAs new plan to stop pirates may be no more effective than its original plan of suing everyone.

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Former ISP owner
By wajone on 12/23/2008 3:02:48 AM , Rating: 3
Here's my take on all of this. I've been an ISP twice over the past 15 years. Bottom line is this. Unless being COURT ORDERED.... There is NO REASON AT ALL I SHOULD HELP THE RIAA. What "threats" could they possible follow up on? I don't OWN the network. I'm a wholesaler. I don't CONTROL the users, nor do I care what they do online. That's their private life. I don't have the right to spy on them no more than the phone company can open up the lines to listen in on your conversations (unless it's a matter of national security). RIAA can threaten all they want. Bottom line is they have no legal hold on me running a company. Even if they offered me money, HOW could I live with myself by telling my customers that their information is safe, if I listen to threats to turn over information to a group of people that think they own me? If they want their content protected, then get with the program. FIND A FREAKING WAY TO PROTECT IT! DRM didn't work, so what? You going to stop and cry about it and try to push people around because of YOUR FAILURE? *CENSOR* that.
I'm so sick and tired of hearing about the RIAA wants this and the RIAA wants that. It's not OUR fault your technology is so easily crackable. How about when you start your new ideas of encryption you leave out the stupid statements of "this can't be cracked". If that isn't an open door to all the cryptologists what is?
PEOPLE wake up and get with the program. I'm all for protecting ones rights, but don't think for a second I'm going to do something equally illegal to help you out with your loosing battle. Unlike you, I value my customers and their rights as HUMAN BEINGS. I assure you RIAA, if you went belly up, NO ONE WOULD MISS YOU NOR CRY FOR YOU! Truth hurts, but you done it to yourself.

RE: Former ISP owner
By jonmcc33 on 12/23/2008 12:09:01 PM , Rating: 2
Well said. The problem is that they cannot protect it ever. May as well give in and accept their losses. This has been nearly a decade of a losing war for them. More and more people have been downloading illegally then ever when Napster was created.

If music artists are suffering at all? So what! They have plenty of money from what I've seen on MTV Cribs over the years. They don't live paycheck to paycheck like I do.

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