Time To Tackle The Real Pirates?

Great news for all fans of illegal music downloading, the RIAA aren’t going to sue you anymore! The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) has announced plans to stop filing lawsuits against those people who illegally download music. In a statement issued last Friday, a spokesperson said the RIAA will work with internet service providers to prevent music piracy, instead of trying to combat downloaders.

Now, I can see a number of problems with this plan. The first obviously is that illegal music downloading and ‘file sharing’ is going to dramatically increase without the threat of  being sued for all your worldly possessions by someone who probably makes that amount in a week. How is ending lawsuits against illegal music downloaders going to tackle the slow decline of the music industry (in terms of sales).

Secondly I’m not sure how the RIAA are going to tackle piracy. It is – as now has been well established – impossible to stop music being uploaded onto the internet. As long as there are websites offering space on their server, it will undoubtedly be clogged up with countless mp3s uploaded by the general public.  Similarly now that the RIAA have stopped tracking illegal downloaders then filesharing programs such as Limewire will be used rampantly by cheapskate music lovers or people who simply can’t be bothered to pay the 79p iTunes charge.

It is said though that internet service providers are tracking the illegal music being downloaded onto your computer this very second, and if they find out you havn’t been paying for your mp3s then you shall be sent a very angry letter. If you continue to download music illegally then your internet shall be turned off.

As such, you could theoretically download as much music for free as you wish until an angry letter comes and then start paying for it. Or you could continue even after the angry letter and wait for the connection to be cut off, and simply sign up with another ISP – although I’m sure there’ll be a massive database on you somewhere about the music you downloaded.

Congratulations RIAA for ridding the world of piracy, sort of.


One Response to Time To Tackle The Real Pirates?

  1. tgpo says:

    I firmly believe people would buy more if the companies took some time and researched WHY people download music instead of buying it. I think they would find the limitations they place on the fans would make up a large percentage of complaints.

    Why would I buy music if they get to tell me where and when I can listen to it? Why would I buy music if I get treated like a pirate after purchase?

    It seems the major studios have a fundamental conflict with music fans. They are focused on profits while the fans are focused on music. They must find a way to meld the two if they want any hope of surviving.

    I think the smaller studios are in a much better position right now. They are willing and able to adapt and adopt new technology much faster then the major companies. They are also able to connect with the fans on a more personal level. Companies like Dischord, Alternative Tentacles, and Fat Wreck Records not only listen to their fans, but also engage them. This connection will make the fans more willing to drop money for music than suing and fear ever will.

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