Friday , July 19 2024

It Begins Again

More lawsuits from the RIAA – “Merry Christmas, you’re a statistic”:

    The RIAA is firing off a new wave of lawsuits and lawsuit-notification letters to users whom the RIAA alleges have illegally distributed significant amounts of copyright-protected music files online.

    The group is filing 41 new lawsuits and sending 90 lawsuit-notification letters this week, adding to the 341 lawsuits filed and 308 notification letters sent since September.

    The RIAA has settled with 220 file-sharers as a result of lawsuits, lawsuit-notification letters and subpoenas. In addition, 1,054 users have submitted affidavits as part of the RIAA’s amnesty program.

    Recent surveys have shown that the RIAA’s campaign to seek legal punishment against music pirates is increasing awareness about the issue and prompting users to stop downloading music files illegally.

    However, the RIAA’s campaign has also drawn criticism, particularly its attempts to force Internet service providers (ISPs) to disclose personal information about subscribers suspected of being illegal downloaders. For example, SBC Communications Inc. and the American Civil Liberties Union are separately challenging the RIAA in court over this issue. [IDG]

I believe this is a profoundly foolish, unethical, and counterproductive approach – any short-term gains in the form of reduced P2P service usage and “education” are more than made up for in customer alienation and bad karma. It is time for innovation and compromise, not legalistic, draconian confrontation. Your commodity is a luxury, not a necessity (there is non-RIAA affiliated music galore out there). Stop the madness.

In the CNET report on the story, we get new levels of smug prickery from RIAA pres Cary Sherman:

    “This is an ongoing strategy, and the way to let people know that there is a risk of consequences is to continue the program,” RIAA President Cary Sherman said. “You don’t set up a speed trap for one day and stop enforcement thereafter. It has to be consistent.”

Stop comparing yourself to law enforcement, you clueless asshair. You are a disreputable trade organization, you’re a goddam merchant, you’re Larry Flynt sans the integrity, you dim pitstain.

More from AP:

    Among the RIAA’s recent targets is retiree Ernest Brenot, 79, of Ridgefield, Wash., who wrote in a handwritten note to a federal judge that he does not own a computer nor can he operate one.

    Brenot was accused of illegally offering for download 774 songs by artists including Vanilla Ice, U2, Creed, Linkin Park and Guns N’ Roses.

    Brenot’s wife, Dorothy, said she and her husband were stunned by the claims, offended at the suggestion they listened to such music. Brenot was targeted in the previous round of 80 suits the recording organization filed late in October.

    Brenot and her husband said their son-in-law briefly added Internet service to their own cable television account while living with the couple because Comcast Cable Communications Inc. said it would add a surcharge to send separate bills to the same mailing address.

    “There’s a mistake in this case,” Dorothy Brenot said. “We’re innocent in all of this, but I don’t know how we’re going to prove it.”

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted,, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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