Tuesday, July 29, 2003

MATHROCK: Michaela Stephens and the Inquirer have done some interesting maths on the RIAA plans to sue everyone, anyone and everybody which demonstrates another drawback to the PR disaster that is issuing lawsuits like they were Hello Kitty ecards. Working on an assumption that the RIAA can issue seventy five subpoenas a day, and assuming that all the cases are dealt with instantly, it would keep them busy for over two thousand years to work their way through all the sixty million downloaders they claim are active in the US. Since this isn't practical, they reckon the RIAA will only sue enough people to have an effect on everyone - if one in a million users get sued, for example, people might reason the chances of being caught are so slight as to be not worth considering. On the basis that you'd need to catch one out of ten downloaders to register with people, that would be about two hundred year's worth of suing. It's abundantly clear that the RIAA doesn't have the time and - more importantly - the resources to actually pursue filesharers through the courts. If their unpleasant little sneers don't tell you that they're just throwing their weight about like playground bullies, let the proof of the calculator reassure you.


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