For years, the RIAA has been taking people to court for illegal file-sharing.
The RIAA’s normal procedure in dealing with these cases is as follows: identify potential file sharers, threaten to take them to court, extract a settlement in the range of US$3,000-8,000, and drop the case once defendants sign a pledge never to do it again. So far almost 4,000 people have opted for this path.
What’s wrong with this picture?
BribingLobbying Congress to pass laws that turn misdenors into Felonies.
- Getting the Department of Justice to do all the dirty work and heavy lifting for them.
- Money “earned” in court cases is not passed along to the artists whose interests the RIAA claims to “protect”.
- Information gathering is sometimes done by nefarious means (i.e., “hacking”), which would be highly illegal if their customers did it to them.
- Suing parents for the “crimes” of their children.
- The assumption that the “owner” of an IP address is at fault.
- Even when they admit that you are innocent, they still sue – an attitude that is perilously close to racketeering.
- Suing your future customers is bad for business.
Some of their lawsuits have blown up in their faces. They have… sued people who do not own a computer, people who don’t know how to use a computer and even have dead people. When caught with their pants down their Modus Operandi is to quietly drop the lawsuit and fade into the shadows, but this time they went to court, and not only lost the case, but were instructed to pay the attorney’s fees of the “victim”.
Make no mistake, the RIAA has pursued this course of action thus far because it was profitable. now that there is precedent for it to be a losing proposition for them, you can be sure that they will change their tactics.