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The RIAA is Evil

Ever since Napster made it easy for music lovers to share files, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has been on a crusade to put an end to what they allege is illegal file sharing. The RIAA successfully sued Napster, resulting in the demise of the popular service.

The battle has escalated this year, with the RIAA shifting its targets from companies to individual users. On June 25, 2003, the RIAA announced that it will begin suing users of peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing systems beginning at the end of August.

Targets of RIAA actions are users of services like Grokster, Morpheus, KaZaA, Aimster, Gnutella and others. According to the RIAA, it plans to selectively target users who upload or share "substantial" amounts of copyrighted music.
How does the RIAA identify those users? By using software that scans users' publicly available P2P directories, and then identifies the ISP of each user. Then, under the provisions of the controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the RIAA subpoenas ISPs for each user's name, address and other personal information. The RIAA will then sue those individuals.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is helping users deal with the evil tactics of the music industry cartel. The recording industry continues its futile crusade to sue thousands of the over 60 million people who use file sharing software in the United States. If you're a user of a P2P system, it's important to realize that these systems are legal, and using them is not a crime, despite the RIAA's heavy-handed tactics. If you are a P2P user, take a look at How Not to Get Sued by the RIAA for File Sharing.

If you feel you've been wrongly targeted by the RIAA, visit the Subpoena Defense Alliance, a joint project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the U.S. Internet Industry Association and other organizations that began in April 2003. Its purpose is to assist consumers and Internet Service Providers who have been served subpoenas seeking the identity of customers who use the Internet for private communications.

The New York Times August 11, 2003 Free Registration Required

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