RIAA to Cease Individual Suits
I guess deciding that years of bad press from suing people from innocent mothers to transplant patients to dead grandmas , RIAA has decided to give up filing suits against individual users. Instead, RIAA will work with ISPs to cut off access to those deemed to be violaters. The program works like this. RIAA notifies ISP of an alleged infringer. ISP looks up the infringer and sends a notice to stop illegal filesharing. RIAA will reserve the right to prosecute those offenders who continue to file share illegally after notices. It's a step in the right direction.
A most excellent step in the right direction. [nod] Props to the RIAA for finally growing a brain.
Man, can we do that to those pirating books????
Let me get this straight: a private organisation (the RIAA) has worked with other private companies (the ISPs) to come up with a scheme whereby anyone the RIAA says is file downloading gets warnings and, in the worst case, gets their internet connection cut off.
What if the RIAA makes a mistake and nails the wrong person? They’ve done it already in the lawsuits, as you alluded to. Sure, the wronged party could sue, but just because you’re right doesn’t mean you win the suit. Even if you win, in the meantime you’ve lost the ability to pay your bills on-line, check your bank balance, send e-mails…
If you go to the comments of the Ars Technica page you commented on, there’s an excellent point about how an internet connection is becoming more like a utility, the way electricity is (I know I couldn’t do my job without a home connection).
Sorry, but after suing the dead grandmothers, I just don’t trust the RIAA to send the right notifications to the ISPs. Come to think of it, I don’t trust the RIAA at all anymore.
What Kat said.
RIAA will reserve the right to prosecute those offenders who continue to file share illegally after notices.
From what I’ve heard, they’ve been doing this part anyway. [points up] Just because they tap an ISP on the shoulder and point to a user and say, “That one,” doesn’t mean the person is going to automatically be cut off. The fact that they’ll need to prosecute people who refuse to comply with the notice means to me that they don’t expect the ISPs to cut the person off from internet access just on RIAA’s say-so.
It’s not perfect, no. But it’s definitely better than what they were doing before, IMO.
Slashdot reports that this plan may not be plain sailing for the RIAA. And this article linked in that post, about the reality of the costs of enforcement for a small ISP, makes interesting reading too.