p2pnet news view | RIAA News:- The bizarre sue ‘em all marketing scheme launched by Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony BMG and their RIAA against the latter’s own customers suspected of sharing copyrighted music online, is an abject failure.
It hasn’t got artists paid, or reduced P2P file sharing.
Those are the main points in RIAA v The People: Five Years Later, an EFF report named with a perhaps unconscious nod to Ray Beckerman’s Recording Industry vs The People, whom it quotes.
The EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) paper usefully encapsulates many, if not most, conclusions which have become obvious to all but the Big 4 since they initiated their anti-P2P, anti-consumer, anti-any-music-but-theirs campaign five years ago last month.
For example, its says judges have repeatedly rejected the RIAA’s “making available” theory which asserts having a music file in a PC “shared” folder constitutes copyright infringement — even if no one ever copies the file.
And, “Just last week, a federal judge ordered a new trial for Jammie Thomas, found liable for more than $220,000 because the jury had been instructed erroneously that liability could be premised on this ‘making available’ theory,” it says.
Downloading continues unabated, “while some people simply choose to share files in ways that are harder to monitor, like burning and exchanging CDs among friends,” says the report.
“More than 30,000 Americans have been targeted for legal action by the recording industry without putting a single penny into the pockets of any artists,” says EFF senior staff attorney Fred von Lohmann.
“At the same time, everyone agrees that P2P file-sharing is more popular than ever. The RIAA’s litigation campaign arbitrarily punishes tens of thousands of people for what tens of millions are doing. It’s futile and unfair. It is high time that the recording industry let fans pay them a reasonable fee for the P2P file sharing that we all know has become a fact of Internet life.”
The report kicks of with »»»
On September 8, 2003, the recording industry sued 261 American music fans for sharing songs on peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing networks, kicking off an unprecedented legal campaign against the people that should be the recording industry`s best customers: music fans. Five years later, the recording industry has filed, settled, or threatened legal actions against at least 30,000 individuals. These individuals have included children, grandparents, unemployed single mothers, college professorsâa random selection from the millions of Americans who have used P2P networks. And there`s no end in sight; new lawsuits are filed monthly, and now they are supplemented by a flood of “pre-litigation” settlement letters designed to extract settlements without any need to enter a courtroom.
But suing music fans has proven to be an ineffective response to unauthorized P2P file-sharing. Downloading from P2P networks is more popular than ever, despite the widespread public awareness of lawsuits. And the lawsuit campaign as not resulted in any royalties to artists. One thing has become clear: suing music fans is no answer to the P2P dilemma.
And that says it all.
Click here for RIAA v The People: Five Years Later in full.
Los Angeles Times – , September , 2008
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