At least one US Senator, Norm Coleman from Minnesota thinks the RIAA has gone too far. Maybe the RIAA doesn’t own them all after all!
He suggests both lowering the penalty the RIAA can threaten (currently up to $150,000 per song and also requiring a judge’s approval to obtain DMCA subpoenas. The second is perhaps more important than the first, unless you’ve been presented with a bill for millions.
The article suggests that Senator Coleman hasn’t yet decided what to suggest for revised limits on penalties. I suggest the cost of the infringing albums themselves as a reasonable balance between $0 and $150,000.
All of that is well and good, but might those restrictions actually hurt the “cause” of file-traders? As our Prime Blogcritic has pointed out, the RIAA seems to be losing the hearts and minds of the American people in the court of public opinion right now. If these changes pass — which I doubt — might people start to think that the RIAA is actually reasonable? The truth is, it will be as easy finding a judge to blindly grant subpoena’s as it has been for them to find politicians to rubber-stamp their attempts to impose some sort of society like that envisioned in Footloose, where music is kept in a dungeon and raped nightly by… oh wait, that’s something else entirely.
Anyway, it’s a step, but it’s a small step.