The RIAA And ISPs

The RIAA has recently reported that it will no longer pursue litigation against those will illegal share or obtain music on the internet. Instead this will be left in the heads of Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

This is a drastic change in policy and procedure over the past five years. Now if RIAA notices illegal file sharing, a warning e-mail to the ISP of the person who is involved would be sent. This email would then be forwarded to the specific individual in violation. The person would be expected to stop and if not an additional email and eventual termination of internet service would occur.

I see some major downfalls with this procedure that I have not seen too many others discussing. However, many may not see them as downfalls but as opportunity.

Nowadays, it is possible to use internet from a variety of different ways for free. You can often stop in a restaurant, coffee shop, or cafĂ© and use free internet. Therefore, you could just continually do this and only download illegal music when you are using somebody else’s internet.

This could affect those who offer customers free internet. The ISPs may become annoyed and irritated and want to stop customers from using their internet for music sharing. This could cause these businesses to take stronger action against customers. This would not be a good situation for many customers and also hurt businesses.

Another problem with the RIAA working with ISPs is that this does not target those who provide services and websites where you can obtain free music. This is usually set up through some company who registers a domain name and some company who hosts that domain.

This is different than an ISP. Those who host such websites where you can download music is not the same as an ISP. It is not clear how the RIAA will target these individuals.

Many have considered the RIAA to have taken ridiculous steps against those who have shared music online. For example, a dead person was victim to such a lawsuit and so was a 13 year old girl. These lawsuits certainly have no ground. In addition, many artists have not seen any money payed from such lawsuits.

The other issue is that it is estimated that 20% of people share music online. I do not see how it is possible for the ISPs to be able to eliminate such a large percentage of their customer base. This is simple as more customers equals more money.

The RIAA tries to argue that ISPs now have aligned incentives with the music industry but I do not see how this holds any ground.

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