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RIAA Agrees to Stop Suing Individuals & Work With ISPs

Gordon Kelly

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RIAA Agrees to Stop Suing Individuals & Work With ISPs

Has the RIAA suddenly caught something of the Christmas spirit?

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal the despotic, libel happy organisation has said it will be changing tactics from now on and dropping its ruthless pursuit of individuals in favour of working directly with ISPs and educating users.

Without going into overly specific detail the RIAA explained that under its new approach it will look to tie-up as many agreements with ISPs as possible. The consequences being that when a user is seen to download music illegally they will either be sent a notice from the ISP or a forwarded note from the RIAA itself. Persistent offenders may still face charges, but in reality the more likely outcome would be for the ISP to cut off their Internet access it added.

As you might expect, details of which ISPs the RIAA would be working with were not disclosed but Virgin Media has previously shown it is willing to work with the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) while Be has repeatedly told them where to stick it.

In essence then this would seem a rather good thing and an end to the draconian mailings sent out to unsuspecting hockey moms and Joe six packs (to use something of a Palinism - scary woman) demanding 10s of thousands of dollars.

May this now be the beginnings of sanity towards the whole area...

Link:

via The WSJ

Gnormie

December 22, 2008, 5:15 am

The RIAA's reign of tyranny is over! Let a new reign of tyranny by the RIAA begin!





Seriously with how the RIAA has been acting I can't see them keeping up any initiative that might actually help and I have no doubt that instead of suing people without any reasonable cause they'll simply be telling the ISP's to cut off people with no reasonable cause.

lifethroughalens

December 22, 2008, 5:35 am

"Has the RIAA suddenly caught something of the Christmas spirit?"





Christmas Spirit, my a*se!





This isn't good news at all Gordon. It will just mean more people getting threatening letters from their ISP's, most I would imagine without proper evidence against them.





File sharing is the most logical technology on the web, and there is plenty of legal media to download that would easily mean that the average punter could exceed their 'Unlimited' monthly quota, thus now making them a 'legitimate' target under the banner of the RIAA telling them someone could have downloaded an 'illegal' download. It's a win-win situation for the ISP's (in the short term) and the RIAA!





What with the financial mess, companies looking to save money and projects getting cancelled or downgraded or time scales being extended for network upgrades, this is a perfect opportunity for the RIAA to get their pound of flesh a lot more cheaply than they currently are, and for ISP's to limit their bandwidth to customers, saving them money.





I'm all in favour of getting abusers out of the system, but as long as their contracts are allowed to be advertised as 'Unlimited', even if the small print says otherwise, this is what it should mean - Unlimited - if you download 3GB or 500GB per month. And as far as the legality issue goes; well who's policing them?





Why do they (the ISP's and the RIAA) have the right to spy on what people are using their connection for? The RIAA should go after the original uploaders NOT the downloaders. Take the phenomenon of the user 'aXXo' on the torrent sites, such as isohunt.com - He/She has uploaded hundreds of ripped DVD's and is the most searched for item on that torrent search engine! Start treating the cause, not the symptoms.





As far as pirated music goes, well I think they will just have to build piracy into their business model- it will happen forever in one form or another. They should work with their customers and not against them, charging 70p- &#1631 for 1 downloaded song is just retarded. The levels of file sharing of pirated music & video is synonymous with the problems of the industry which refuses to grow up.





No DRM, lower prices & increased availability....Unlimited broadband means unlimited, and stop the uploading before punishing the downloaders.





In short, I smell a rat and I think you should too.



Gordon394

December 22, 2008, 6:14 am

@lifethroughalens - I think there's a bit of conspiracy theory going on here. A lot of ISPs refuse to work with the RIAA (or BPI in the case of the UK) and the fact is letters demanding &#16350k now aren't likely to turn up on the doorstep of poor unsuspecting parents.





I'm sure there will be additional aspects which haven't come out yet but as for seeing it as a negative development in general, I have to totally disagree.

lifethroughalens

December 22, 2008, 7:25 am

Gordon, you haven't even attempted to address any points I raised. This isn't about having a ding dong with you, or having to 'totally' agree or disagree, (a stance TR reviewers seem to use a lot in reply to comments!) more you painted it as a distinctly positive development. I, as many others, I'm sure, will feel this is a touch Myopic.

Gordon394

December 22, 2008, 10:37 am

@lifethroughalens - because I disagree with them! In brief:





*"more people getting threatening letters from their ISP's" - better than no warning and a court request and &#16350k fine bankrupting families.





*"File sharing is the most logical technology on the web, and there is plenty of legal media to download that would easily mean that the average punter could exceed their 'Unlimited' monthly quota, thus now making them a 'legitimate' target under the banner of the RIAA telling them someone could have downloaded an 'illegal' download" - nope, it's fairly easy to track the content of P2P files and if the allegation is wrong it won't stand up in court.





*"this is a perfect opportunity for the RIAA to get their pound of flesh a lot more cheaply than they currently are, and for ISP's to limit their bandwidth to customers, saving them money." - no, it's the opposite. ISPs warn and/or cut off which means it loses your custom to another ISP. An ISP can't permanently and deliberately reduce your service and make you pay full rate for it, that's against consumer law.





*"'Unlimited', even if the small print says otherwise, this is what it should mean - Unlimited - if you download 3GB or 500GB per month. And as far as the legality issue goes; well who's policing them?" - rather different topic methinks.


*"The RIAA should go after the original uploaders NOT the downloaders." - ditto and not a reason this story isn't a positive step


*"charging 70p- &#1631 for 1 downloaded song is just retarded. The levels of file sharing of pirated music & video is synonymous with the problems of the industry which refuses to grow up." - I agree, but again another topic for another day. Not to do with RIAA no longer suing people into the ground and instead working more constructively.


*"No DRM, lower prices & increased availability....Unlimited broadband means unlimited, and stop the uploading before punishing the downloaders." - ditto again. Valid points, but not to do with the story at hand.


*"In short, I smell a rat and I think you should too." - I don't smell a rat, the RIAA has long BEEN a rat but that doesn't mean this isn't a sign of it becoming more reasonable for the first time in, well... ever!





As for TR members in general not fully addressing all reader comments, we write the material in the first place, there's simply a lack of hours in the day.





One final point: I'd be impressed if you find any professional write-up of this news which doesn't portray it as a positive development...



ilovethemonkeyhead

December 22, 2008, 11:23 am

wasn't there that kerfuffle over some big person at warner brothers who admitted his kids illegally downloaded music, and everybody looked at the RIAA and they went "what!? he's like a big top and all, we can't sue him" (or soemthing like that) while normal families were getting sued left right and centre...

needlegun

December 22, 2008, 12:11 pm

Quote ... "File sharing is the most logical technology on the web, and there is plenty of legal media to download that would easily mean that the average punter could exceed their 'Unlimited' monthly quota, thus now making them a 'legitimate' target under the banner of the RIAA telling them someone could have downloaded an 'illegal' download. It's a win-win situation for the ISP's (in the short term) and the RIAA!"





Sorry but you are wrong. You are suggesting that if someone legally downloads a large amount of music (ie. that they have paid for from a service such as iTunes, Amazon, eMusic, etc.), then they will somehow become an RIAA target or that their ISP would challenge them under the cover of the RIAA's new tactics.





Rightly or wrongly they might draw the attention of their ISP, but that would be in relation to the *quantity* of their internet traffic, and would have nothing to do with the *content* or the RIAA/BPI. Suggesting otherwise is to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt.

Chocoa

December 22, 2008, 12:57 pm

Frankly, as pointed out, I doubt the ISP’s will be happy taking on work (and therefore business costs) to do the bidding of the RIAA, MPAA or any other such body. – Even if they did. How would they monitor all the packets passing through their pipes? And discriminate between legal and illegal content? - In any event, with SSL encryption etc available to the user it’s a near impossible task.





And, by the way, how about this one… “Dear ISP customer we want to lose your business because we think you might have downloaded an illegal item. We have therefore terminated your connection. I hope you will not hold this against us when you move to our competitor as we will lose the revenue from you!”





I DON’T THINK SO!!





As for “Unlimited usage”.- My advice don’t be a cheap skate, show the offending ISP what you think and go to an ISP that give you what you contract for. I left Mr Branson for a small company that cares about its customers.

Keithe6e

December 22, 2008, 4:26 pm

@Chocoa, you have hit the nail on the head. People who download illegal music etc, if they have any sense will just use SSL encryption or similar, IOW: All they will ever do is push the perpetrators underground, and make it even harder to catch the criminals. lifethroughalens made a valid point, and I believe totally related to this story, if they want people to stop illegally copying musice, then charge the CORRECT FEE, and without the DRM thank you.

lifethroughalens

December 22, 2008, 4:30 pm

This may be a positive development if you put this story in a nut shell and ignore all the surrounding issues. Sure. Bush, standing on the deck of an aircraft carrier with a 'Mission Accomplished' banner was a positive development. It had little to do with the reality of the situation, but there you go. You're tech writers, not investigative hacks, fair enough.





'Conspiracies' aside, whilst this story can be given all the short term positive PR in The World die due to the headlines - 'we're not suing individuals for $50K any more', owing to the RIAA's actions over the last few years and many big ISP's tendencies to want to target big down loaders as abusers of the system, I will reserve my praise for this development until they have a track record better than their current one.









Gordon394

December 22, 2008, 8:02 pm

@lifethroughalens - in essence your argument is: if you ignore this story then this story isn't a positive development. Sorry, different point.





As for investigative hacks - would you rather one or two news stories a month in total? It would be a lot more straightforward than producing nearly 100 each! Besides, I doubt you'll find a more discursive look at this news anywhere other than networking/broadband specialist sites.

Chocoa

December 23, 2008, 10:44 pm

@Gordon - Your right. its important to voice these stories. Whether we agree with the slant you put on them is another matter and our right. You (TR) provide the venue for us be aware of and discuss it - well done to all reviewers!





I believe that people are fed up with the entertainment industry having made HUGE profits in the past and balk at paying again for the same music on a new media vinyl > C.Cassette> CD >SACD >BluRayCD?? One might ask who are the real thieves in all this?





The iTunes business model works for the reason that as everywhere, every dog has its day. Technology has swung the pendulum to pro consumer again. Give the them (the consumer) what they want and they will, in most cases, accept a fair price for what they buy. (Piracy will always exists - look at BluRay BD+)





So, media industry move on, stop wingeing - or get out of the business.

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