Saturday, July 19, 2003

QUICK QUESTION: With the Record Companies seemingly determined to burn off the last few bits of goodwill remaining by just issuing writs against ISPs left, right and centre in the US, something kind of odd seems to be happening. They're taking on Verizon, they're taking on Commcast. They're battling all the major US ISPs. Except one. Indeed, if you search for Verizon on the RIAA website, you find thirty-two pages of explication about their evils. If you search for AOL, however, you find not a peep. Is it that AOL users are all sweet little good citizens, or is it the slightly more unsettling possibility that the RIAA, who receive much of their funding from AOL Time Warner, are happy to turn a blind eye to AOL customer's misdeamenours? Or, even more worryingly, could AOL be using its membership of the RIAA as a way of putting costly pressure on its rivals in the ISP business? Should perhaps someone be exploring the ethics of a private body being allowed to pursue legal vendettas against the commercial rivals of one of its members?

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