Saturday, December 20, 2008

Finally! (Head Slap!) ... But It's Still Stuck Up There

Well, this was a pleasant article to espy;

Music Industry to Abandon Mass Suits

The decision represents an abrupt shift of strategy for the industry, which has opened legal proceedings against about 35,000 people since 2003. Critics say the legal offensive ultimately did little to stem the tide of illegally downloaded music. And it created a public-relations disaster for the industry, whose lawsuits targeted, among others, several single mothers, a dead person and a 13-year-old girl.
Yeah, nothing like going after pimply teenagers and grandmothers to chalk up some good PR.

Perhaps, it had more to due with, and let's use some fancy-dancy business lingo, their "Return On Investment"


Either that, or the record companies started asking questions, like, what was the status of those thousands of lawsuits, and when do we collect our big windfall?

Having to tell the record suits that they were going after small fish, had to be a meeting with a lot of foot-shuffling and stammering.

But wait, the RIAA isn't conceding ground here, they are continuing to carry the big stick;
Though the industry group is reserving the right to sue people who are particularly heavy file sharers, or who ignore repeated warnings, it expects its lawsuits to decline to a trickle. The group stopped filing mass lawsuits early this fall.
"Decline to a trickle" ...

Yeah, kind of like what are economy is doing right now.

And, do you know who used to be the "Big Cheese" at the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)?

That whiz-bang, Democratic Strategist, Hilary Rosen, who, now, I believe, is the Political Director/Editor at the HuffPo.

This, on Rosen from Wikipedia;
Rosen was at RIAA during the most turbulent and disruptive times in the music industry. She was a major lobbying force on Capitol Hill and a regular presence on behalf of the industry in the media. She raised RIAA's profile from a little known trade group to the most visible and influential music industry voice in Washington and around the country. Her longtime close relationship with Democratic members of Congress led to the passage of several pieces of legislation during her tenure. While the business models were under development by the record labels, RIAA advanced a legal and PR campaign to limit the digital file swapping of copyrighted music, a practice whose popularity increased dramatically with improved personal computer multimedia capabilities and expanded broadband Internet access.

And how did she raise her profile for this piddly little trade group?

Among other things, by suing pimply teenagers and grandmothers, and, as referenced above, a dead person.

Don't think, just yet, that the RIAA has pulled their heads completely out of their asses.

Eric Krangel, at Silcon Alley Insider;
The RIAA is going to stop suing people it accuses of illegally downloading music from the Internet, the WSJ reports.

And here's the music industry's new plan to tackle piracy: Work with ISPs to send emails to pirates, asking them to please knock it off.

The trade group said it has hashed out preliminary agreements with major ISPs under which it will send an email to the provider when it finds a provider's customers making music available online for others to take.

Depending on the agreement, the ISP will either forward the note to customers, or alert customers that they appear to be uploading music illegally, and ask them to stop. If the customers continue the file-sharing, they will get one or two more emails, perhaps accompanied by slower service from the provider. Finally, the ISP may cut off their access altogether.

Kind of reminds us of that old Monty Python skit: "Stop! Or I shall say 'stop' again!!"

Allowing the ISP's, the Cable Companies to police this, with their legendary customer service?

We all would be better off, taking a cue for Krangel, and just go to the Ministry of Silly Walks for some justice.

Call me cautious, but this may just launch a new Spam industry, with those infamous Nigerian Princes offering to let you help them recover their inheritance of millions of digital music files.

All perfectly legal, of course.

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