After spending years turning piracy into a state affair and a business opportunity for copyright parasites, the media majors must now face a more and more obvious reality: fighting the sharing of digital contents on-line, on the Web or P2P networks bears no positive result at all. At least according to a growing collection of “official” researches and not just to sharing activists. The industry’s reply? More anti-piracy, more complaints and even more years in jails for wrongdoers.
Updated snapshots from the endless war of the copyright industry against file sharing over peer-to-peer networks: the so called “graduated responses” for reeducating pirates don’t work, are good for nothing and rather expensive? Better spend even more money; The Pirate Bay (TPB) is the ultimate evil and must be put down whatever it takes? The Swedish Bay rises again and again from its ashes despite the police raids, the controversy and the trouble in managing traffic. This and more in the new episode of the series tracking the lobbies’ unsuccessful attempts to erase something no one has ever been able to control.
The increasing fight against “illegal” downloads on file sharing networks I was talking about the last time is speeding up to a feverish rate, and the new lords of digital steam go to any lengths to prove than on-line copyright is worth more than everything - even more than open Internet access. The industry’s most used tool against unauthorized P2P continues to be censorship, and if that wasn’t enough the MAFIAA (MPAA+RIAA) collective and similar organizations are quick to switch to threats and power abuse.
More than four years have passed since the last time Sir Arthur’s Den dealt with the war against digital “piracy” on P2P networks, and in these few years the clash between the contents industry, users and promoters of the aforementioned contents free sharing became worse and worse. The united lobby of MAFIAA (and ideal yet scary fusion of RIAA and MPAA) did its worst by asking for monstrous monetary compensations, by throwing the releasers in jail and by trying to affirm the idea that “crime” against copyright doesn’t pay anymore.
It was August 27 of 2007 (my birthday) when columnist John C. Dvorak warned against the dangers of things such as “cloud computing”, “software as service”, “Web 3.0″ and the many abbreviations that in these years are trying to catch the attention of the public and sell as new what is the most old fashioned computing architecture ever existed.
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.
The holidays between the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 haven’t been particularly pleasant for RIAA and the music majors: the America most hated organization (at least as of Internet) is (supposedly) about to change its legal strategy against file sharing by directly engaging providers, but meanwhile one of these ISP raises a monetary issue that does not promise an easy start for the bizarre joint venture between copyright owners and connectivity providers.
In what sounds as an unexpected and dangerous development of the lasting industry’s war against the P2P users, last Friday the Wall Street Journal has reported that RIAA, after years of intimidations, mistakes, twistings and abuses of the USA judiciary system now wants to change strategy, dismissing its mass lawsuits campaign to focus on the “next level” of the prearranged plan with which the majors would like to survive to the technological progress while keeping forever the privileges from a past (anyone should have this clearly in mind) that will never come back.
That the legal crusade of USA recording companies against P2P haven’t obtained any practical result until now is an hardly refutable matter of fact. If this wouldn’t be enough RIAA, the well-known labels organization and the most active in the harsh defense of copyright at the cost of repeatedly charging the dead and innocent people, will soon have to face daunting judicial adventures, potentially able to bury the massive lawsuits campaign under accusations of unconstitutionality, conspiracy, abuses, fraud and more.
The USA recording companies organization is upset that Michael Davis, District Judge involved in the only case from the legal crusade against file sharing ever gone to court, have reconsidered his decisions ruling for a retrial. RIAA now asks that the Capitol v. Thomas case, being defendant the single mother of three Jammie Thomas, isn’t reopened before the judge have taken into consideration the majors’ appeal request.
After five years of legal threats against tens of thousands of American music consumers, the hands of RIAA, the USA recording labels organization, remain empty or barely over: from any standpoint you look at the matter, states the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the majors have lost the bet to reestablish the control on digital contents delivery while succeeding in antagonizing a huge amount of potential customers, pretty happy to not to give a single cent to those viewing them as “pirates” dangerous for business, artists, music and the entire damn world.
UPDATE: the Atlantic v. Andersen lawsuit has finally ended: in the last days RIAA has opened its wallet and has refunded Mrs.Andersen with a sum of 107,951 dollars, exactly 117 dollars over the amount set by the judge to cover the interests due to delay. So the recording companies have been defeated in one of the most glaring legal cases of their crusade against file sharing, and the woman wrongly accused of unauthorized P2P threats now to put them on the grill in the still pending Andersen v. Atlantic lawsuit.
The nightmare of the Andersen family, targeted for three years by the mercenary lawyers of the American majors and related
criminal organizations, has finally ended. A judge has settled that Tanya Andersen, a single woman from Oregon who maintains the young daughter Kylee with a disability pension, have the right to be refunded of 107,834 dollars for the covering of legal fees sustained until now to fight the RIAA accusations of unauthorized file sharing on the rotting KaZaA/FastTrack network.