According to the Wall Street Journal, the Recording Industry Association of America has finally decided to stop fighting the future in a litigious, heavy-handed way and to start fighting it in a convoluted, passive-aggressive way:
...the Recording Industry Association of America said it plans to try an approach that relies on the cooperation of Internet-service providers...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...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.
The RIAA is also claiming they won't request the identities of Internet Pirates--they feel a stern email via an ISP oughtta do the trick. This means no more lawsuits against homeless dudes, 19-year-old transplant patients or dead-ass grannies.
OK. We all know the record industry has undergone some serious changes and is truly suffering as a result of illegal downloading. And it's also obvious to everyone but Lars Ulrich that these lawsuits are/were doing absolutely nothing to curb music piracy. This approach might soften up the RIAA's image a bit, but is it actually going to stop anyone from firing up the old Soulseek or having a BitTorrent party? Do service providers really want to eventually deny service to anyone who downloads naughtily? According to the WSJ article, that's a pretty substantial portion of Web users. Sounds to me like yet another boner-shrinker of epic proportions brought to you by the letters R, I, A and motha-fuckin' A.
(Thanks to Ethan for sending us the WSJ link.)