The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) would like you to believe that their recent legal victory over Jammie Thomas in the first RIAA copyright infringement lawsuit to ever go to trial will convince every illegal file sharer now to think twice. But the truth is that file sharing (legal or illegal) will forever be a staple in the digital age.
The funny thing is Thomas was guilty, as is every file sharer. There’s no way to spin it as anything but illegal (unless it’s legally authorized a la Grooveshark or Joost). In a post trial interview, one of the trial’s jurors bluntly gave their reasoning as for the guilty verdict. You can trust the honesty and legitimacy: "We wanted to send a message that you don't do this, that you have been warned."
Will most illegal file sharers really believe that what they’re doing is wrong? Maybe. Probably not, though. And P2P will continue.
If you believe this outdated 2002 statistic, “54% [of teens] ‘see nothing wrong’ with downloading music from the Internet.” There’s an obvious moral disconnect here.
Copyright infringement lawsuits are really hit-and-miss. The RIAA doesn’t find many people or groups willing to cooperate, even in academic circles. Maybe they should finally heed the advice many people and many groups have stressed for a long time. Maybe it's high time they embraced downloading and computer usage.
Lawsuits don’t gain you any sympathy and all those piracy ads get annoying and seem more ridiculous (see the hilarious spoof from The IT Crowd here). There are many options that the industry could turn to instead.
Glamorize the product. Enhanced CDs worked to a point. So did DualDiscs. But the industry didn’t push DVD audio or any other type of high-definition music. It couldn’t and didn’t know how to embrace the digital revolution. It was still stuck in the 2-D world.