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Print 25 comment(s) - last by tcsenter.. on Oct 18 at 3:29 PM

“Enforcement campaign” costing more than it brings in

The trial proceedings of Capitol Records v. Jammie Thomas are continuously proving their worth as a fascinating insight the RIAA’s 4-years-and-counting campaign against P2P users.
 
One such insight: despite the fact that a vast majority of the RIAA’s nastygrams result in settlements amounting to a few thousand dollars, Sony’s Jennifer Pariser admitted under oath that the RIAA has spent “millions” of dollars on the campaign and, more importantly, “lost money on [the] program.”
 
But really, could it be any other way? Surely, between the RIAA’s own lawyers and the enforcers that they hire (SafeNet, MediaDefender, etc) the costs per settlement are far in excess of whatever measly amount the RIAA can settle for. Perhaps the RIAA could try to settle for more, but unfortunately for them $2,000 - $6,000 seems to be the sweet spot; raise it any higher and more people may opt to go to court, sending legal costs through the roof.
 
It’s important to note that the RIAA’s “enforcement program” is designed to settle infringement claims quickly, giving defendants multiple opportunities at settlement before going through an expensive court trial. This system – which seems to be working modestly, if unprofitably, well and even allows payment online – is perhaps the best manifestation of the above conclusion. After all, lawyers are expensive, why involve them in anything more than you have to?
 
I’d also wager that in its haste, the RIAA ends up cutting many expensive corners, like not going through the lengths needed to properly identify users (and then blaming the ISPs when caught), or suing dead people. These mistakes end up costing them: each one gets published and scattered along the internet’s winds, the mistake often ends up being taken to court, and the suit is eventually dropped. In turn, the RIAA files additional complaints with the expectation that they will be settled quickly and cheaply, inviting further opportunity for mistakes. It’s a vicious cycle.
 
It pleases me to see that someone in the industry finally understands that the hard-lining attitude on digital music isn’t exactly working. Mentioning EMI’s dropping DRM from its iTunes offerings – practically an invitation for piracy if there ever was one – may be beating on a dead horse, but it’s an important sign pointing towards this much-needed shift in thought. Further, the recent switch to DRM-free offerings from Wal-Mart, Amazon, or even services like Joost are, I believe, clear indicators that we are finally moving in a positive direction.



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The fact it's not profitable is good.
By Rampage on 10/16/2007 8:49:32 PM , Rating: 2
The fact it's not profitable is good.
We have enough legalization and lawyers in this country, if the lawyers were smart enough to allow the RIAA to profit from this... the RIAA would eventually want piracy to happen so they could profit from the suits.

It's like overtaxing something, eventually you get less of it.
Of course, lawyers will always profit so they care not if the RIAA profits as long as they do.
This is where their greed, thankfully, won't allow an enormous proliferation of RIAA legal cases for profit's sake.




By mmntech on 10/17/2007 2:55:07 PM , Rating: 2
It's like fighting a parking ticket in court. Even though you'll spend more than just paying the ticket. You fight it on principle since it costs the parking authority more than the ticket's worth to go to court as well. It works to discourage the action. Same goes with fighting the RIAA. If more of the falsely accused go to court, the act becomes unprofitable.

I don't condone downloading, not anymore anyway. It is stealing. What bothers me is that the RIAA has used this to spy on their own customers and implement intrusive DRM to restrict legal uses under fair use. That's why this bureaucratic monolith needs to be brought down. They're hiding behind copyright as a government protection. Something that offers little to no solid consumer protection what so ever. It's become a massive scam.


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