Recording Industry to Sue Internet Song Swappers

Editorial by Ralph F. Mariano, Editor, STReport Online

STReport Online (Jacksonville, FL - 06/26/03 - updated 09/13/03) -- P2P Sharing Networks to be infiltrated by RIAA Bots seeking to "search & sue".  RIAA President Cary Sherman said the time was right to go after individual users because a recent U.S. court ruling makes it easier to track down copyright violators through their Internet providers. A U.S. appeals court in Washington said earlier this month that copyright investigators do not need a subpoena to force Internet providers to reveal the name of customers who may be distributing copyrighted files. 

"You are engaging in an activity that is every bit as public as setting up a stall at a local flea market," Sherman said

Starting today, Thursday June 26, 2003, pigopolist grunts will begin combing P2P networks in search of industrious file traders. Once the RIAA has targeted a large store of copyrighted files, it will serve a subpoena on the user's ISP, grab his/her name and address, and fire off a lawsuit. Starting on Thursday, investigators will track down users who make their digital-music collections available for copying, he said. Those who download songs but do not allow others to copy them will not initially be targeted. "It's obviously a high-risk strategy, because you're suing your own customers," said Radcliffe, a partner at Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich, which is based in Palo Alto, Calif.

Massive Boycott Predicted

As a result of the RIAA activities, Consumer/Users worldwide have begun a true and determined boycott of all RIAA supported media.  The chatrooms on all services are buzzing with the comment, "I'll never buy another CD", as the Boycott gains momentum the RIAA and the artists they "support" are bound to experience the real meaning of "dropping revenues".  Users worldwide have likened Hillary Rosen, outgoing RIAA mouthpiece (soon to be a commentator on CNBC), to the Ilsa Koch of the Music World and have compared Carey Sherman, RIAA President, to Adolph Hitler.  Its sad to see these comparisons as they indicate a seriously deepening rift between the RIAA and the users/consumers worldwide. "Sherman and his cohorts had better clearly understand that the users/consumers worldwide are not mushrooms (kept in the dark and fed BS) and will adversely react to this latest grievously aggressive action of theirs." Said one spokesperson in the music industry who asked to remain anonymous.  "Further, the RIAA has gouged not only the consumers but its own membership for years." The spokesperson added.

Update: 09/13/03  The Boycott Intensifies!

Letters and heavy Email is continually pouring in following the RIAA's disclosure that it has plans of suing thousands of our friends and children. The complaints hit on the RIAA's wacky idea of going after its most active and prized customers via litigation.  After all, this whole P2P explosion began the moment one decent online trading site - Napster - opened its doors.  Had the labels been pouring money into technology research and development instead of developing complicated CD packaging, conspiring on high prices and promoting shill artists then they might have stood a fighting chance in this war.  Instead, the pigopolist racketeering mob was caught with its pants down and is now trying to play catch-up in the courts.

But consider this, how about we go one step further and boycott ALL media companies so they get the message. We have no need to spend disposable income for commercial CD's or DVD's!  We do not need to see kids and their parents sued by one of the largest "criminal" protection rackets to date. What's "criminal" you ask?  The fact these rackets exist only because of their lopsided parasitic contracts which are sucking the life blood out of artists.  If only the artists themselves would recognize their complacency and submissive behavior is the only thing allowing groups like the RIAA to exist.

RIAA is driving the music industry offshore

As the dark chasm widens and becomes combined with the cost of suing scores of consumers, the boycott will add to the lost revenue domino effect the RIAA apparently feels it can weather.  Don't think it will happen? Just watch!  In talking with over 1800 labels and artists over the last few months across the US, we did not find one artist or label that truly supported the RIAA - not one. Represent the artists? We don't think so!  Additionally, after having interviewed hundreds of users/consumers, we found the main complaint of the users has been the same for years, "the RIAA has gouged us continually, they've provided one or two good songs on a CD and the rest are garbage... we are not getting our money's worth". They continually say. The continued corruption of those leading the RIAA member labels into bankruptcy coupled with this current stupidity, destines the music industry, which started in this country, to ultimately die here first. The RIAA is gradually and determinedly driving the music industry offshore.

The president of the Grokster peer-to-peer network said that while he does not support copyright infringement, the move could further estrange avid music fans.

"The RIAA, in their infinite wisdom, has decided to not only alienate their own customers but attempt to drive them into bankruptcy through litigation," said Grokster President Wayne Rosso, who won a courtroom victory in April when a judge ruled that his network should not be shut down because it could not control what users chose to trade.

The Recording Industry Association of America said it hopes to curb online song-swapping by tracking down the heaviest users of popular "peer to peer" services like Kazaa and suing them for damages that could range up to $150,000 per violation. The announcement from the RIAA, whose members include AOL /Time Warner Inc, Vivendi Universal, Bertelsmann, EMI Group and Sony Corp, marks a sharp escalation in the industry's battle against Internet piracy, which so far has concentrated on shutting down the services themselves.

For now, file traders should swap with caution. The RIAA plans to inject network scanning software out into the vast P2P world and track what files users are looking for and what they trade. If the RIAA bot spots an infringing song, it marks the date and time the file is accessed. It's unfortunate the government did not have such sophisticated tools when it was examining the music labels' pricing fixing scheme that pushed CD prices higher throughout the 1990s. Maybe then, the labels would've been hit with something more emphatic than a slap on the wrist.

They haven't a clue....

In conclusion, its sickening to see lawmakers like Rep. Berman buried so deep in the RIAA's pockets that his outbursts clearly indicate he hasn't a clue about how technology and the buying habits of consumers are rapidly changing.  Its a good guess that the majority of lawmakers in Washington D.C. have no idea how the Internet, computers or most of what they blather about actually works.  They do in fact, rely upon hired researchers and staff to prepare most of what they have to say.  The RIAA is about the same way, its an association with dues paying members... they pay for the RIAA's "protection".. its a protection racket sort of like the scheme's of Lucky Luciano.   Fact is, unless the archaic manner in which the RIAA wishes to market product isn't changed and changed fast, they are doomed to become a mere blot in history books.  Berman and the rest of the political hacks in Washington, will long be remembered not as inspired law makers representing the people but as feather merchants lining their pockets at the expense of the voters/consumers/taxpayers.


RIAA obnoxious litigation threat sparks grassroots defense, such as this:

email: = pro1se@hotmail.com
phone: = 908-753-4516
address: = 1443 Prospect Ave.
city: = Plainfield
state: = NJ 07060
Info: = We are an all unpaid volunteer organization providing Free legal help. Given the recently announced intent by the music industry to sue people related to music downloads we are simply looking to get the word out of Free legal help.