(ed. note: I am probably one of the four people on the Internet who has not downloaded music illegally, but I still think this is a stupid move. Apologies if you've all heard this already. The release was embargoed until today at 1 p.m.)
RECORDING INDUSTRY BEGINS SUING P2P FILE SHARERS WHO ILLEGALLY OFFER COPYRIGHTED MUSIC ONLINE
Will Agree Not to Sue P2P Users Who Voluntarily Pledge to Stop
Copyright Infringement Claims Filed Against Hundreds of Major Offenders
In First Round of Potentially Thousands of Lawsuits
Lawsuits Part of Industry's Multi-Prong Approach That Includes
New Business Models and Education
WASHINGTON (September 8, 2003) The Recording Industry Association of
America (RIAA) announced today that its member companies have filed the
first wave of what could ultimately be thousands of civil lawsuits
against major offenders who have been illegally distributing substantial
amounts (averaging more than 1,000 copyrighted music files each) of copyrighted music on peer-to-peer networks. The RIAA emphasized that these lawsuits have come only after a multi-year effort to educate the public about
the illegality of unauthorized downloading and noted that major music
companies have made vast catalogues of music available to dozens of new
high-quality, low-cost, legitimate online services.
At the same time, the RIAA announced that the industry is prepared to
grant what amounts to amnesty to P2P users who voluntarily identify
themselves and pledge to stop illegally sharing music on the Internet. The RIAA will guarantee not to sue file sharers who have not yet been identified in
any RIAA investigations and who provide a signed and notarized affidavit in
which they promise to respect recording-company copyrights.
That's mighty big of them to offer amnesty to everyone who turns themselves in. "Hi, my name's zomby and I'm a p2p-aholic." And I suppose that after they sign those affadavits, the names will be purged from the RIAA database, right? Right? ;-)
Read the whole sordid press release here, complete with whining quotes from people who have charged outrageous prices for CDs since the invention of the format, complaining about all the money they are losing.
A writ of certiorari to: Declan McCullagh, complete with whining quotes from people who have charged outrageous prices for CDs since the invention of the format, complaining about all the money they are losing.