Waiting to enlist providers, RIAA continues to attend in courts
RIAA and the recording majors have said it pretty clearly, that they plan to abandon the path of the legal persecution of single file sharing users to focus on the direct cooperation of ISPs. Waiting to see what such strategy shift will actually mean, for now the USA labels association is engaged on more fronts including those courts which have served for its crusade against P2P.
Despite the utter lies sold as the truth to the press, something seems to be really changed in the RIAA behaviour in respect of netizens persecution: after the bad news collected within the first days of the year, the association proves to be less aggressive in carrying forward the already initiated lawsuits against unknown students of the American colleges, one of the favorite targets of the labels lawyers.
In the Arista Records v. Does 1-22 case, RIAA had asked the judge to learn the identity of some students of the Rhode Island College obviously charged of copyright infringement. The judge had granted such right but the college provider was Apogee Telecom Inc., a firm based in Austin, Texas. At this point RIAA should have appealed to the Court of that city to obtain a subpoena against the above said John Does but on the contrary it has been decided to not to advance further and dismiss the case.
RIAA could have decided to act in an opportunistic way, dropping the idea of returning in front of that same Austin court that in 2004 gave it a loud stop in a similar case. But the organization has repeated itself abandoning the BMG Music v. Does 1-14 case in North Carolina too, without being able to discover the identity of 14 students-sharers from North Carolina State University and UNC Charlotte.
Maybe RIAA is seriously determined, at least this time, to behave in an honorable manner by keeping its words so generously spread around by its representatives? For now the only sure thing is that bad news for the industry’s anti-P2P crusade keep arriving from the courts: in the United States of America v. Dove case, concerning this time not just simple users sharing but one of the administrators of the BitTorrent tracker Elite Torrents involved in the infamous Operation D-Elite, the judge has stated that an “illegal” download doesn’t necessarily mean a lost sale, therefore it’s unreasonable that the majors claim compensations for hundreds of thousands dollars on this assumption.
“Those who download movies and music for free would not necessarily purchase those movies and music at the full purchase price“, judge James P. Jones writes, and “though it is true that someone who copies a digital version of a sound recording has little incentive to purchase the recording through legitimate means” pretending to claim that downloaders would have made that purchase in any case if they hadn’t used P2P isn’t an acceptable argumentation.
RIAA has decided to switch from users to ISPs, but the methods of its new investigative partner DtecNet Software, that has bumped MediaSentry for the unauthorized downloads inquiries, are exactly the same used by the above said MediaSentry and by any other being based on the use of an ordinary P2P client to hunt for the IP addresses of who shares the contents to take care of.
This means that even with the alleged providers’ cooperation RIAA will make the same mistakes and will be as much inadequate (according to the principles of the due process) as it has been until now. Meanwhile there is who tries to profit by the situation like the antipiracy firm Nexicon, that offer to share with the ISPs the eventual earnings coming from the spotted sharers that decide to pay and settle the issue. But the answer of Jerry Scroggin, owner of the provider that doesn’t want to become the RIAA’s executive arm and not even to work free for the majors, doesn’t give many hopes to the likelihood that such approach could really work.
In the end the industry continues to propose its propaganda on the alleged devastating effects of file sharing on sales, with IFPI (representing the labels worldwide) estimating that 95% of all digital music is the overall “piracy” level. Fanciful numbers also come from a couple of studies on the eventual users reaction to the ISPs warnings, according to which a third of sharers wouldn’t stop even in front of the possibility to see the Internet connection wires cut off forever.
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