With the critical and political tide (other than Democratic entertainment industry teat-hounds) turning against them – as evidenced by the Sen. Coleman statements and others from key Republicans, editorials from coast to coast, and across-the-board condemnation in the tech, education, and youth communities – the RIAA is busy backpedaling furiously enough to churn butter:
- The recording industry’s anti-piracy campaign will refrain from taking legal action against small-time song swappers and will focus only on those copying “substantial” amounts of music via the Internet.
The Recording Industry Association of America pledged in a letter to U.S. Senator Norm Coleman, a Republican from Minnesota, that it is “in no way targeting de minimus users” in its campaign to stop the copying of songs without permission.
….The RIAA said it had sought 1,075 subpoenas seeking information on song swapping from Internet service provider between the June 25 kick-off of its anti-piracy campaign and Aug. 8. Copies of all of them had gone to Coleman’s office.
An RIAA spokesman said the first lawsuits would probably be filed around the end of the month or beginning of September.
….another trade group that represents hundreds of Internet service providers including Yahoo Inc., said the letter raised more questions than it answered.
That group, called NetCoalition, said the RIAA should disclose exactly how its search software works and how the association’s employees reach their decisions about who should be targeted in subpoenas.
“The RIAA admits that they’re sort of the judge, jury and executioner here,” said Markham Erickson, NetCoalition’s director of federal policy.
“If we’re going to trust them, we’re going to need to know more information.” [Reuters]
Besides being a marketing black hole, this campaign may not even hold up to legal scrutiny, as well it shouldn’t. And if the RIAA pledges that they won’t go after any but “substantial” file sharers, there go the scare benefits of the campaign, as average users will know they can continue to share with impunity. All in all: a disaster.