Wednesday, June 29, 2005


The RIAA has launched another tiny little nibble at the millions and millions of people using filesharing, adding another 748 lawsuits. That makes a shade over 12,000 so far, and the RIAA's Mitch Bainwol is pretty bullish:

...declaring that "if there was any doubt left, there should now be none – individuals who download music without permission are breaking the law."

Although, of course, with just two months to the second anniversary of the lawsuits, if the streaming of resources into the lawsuit initiative made any sense, you'd be seeing some results by now. That they're still able to come up with hundreds and hundreds of names would probably be enough to persuade most people they ought to try a different tack, but then the RIAA isn't spending its own money - its spending cash from the labels. The beautiful irony, of course, is that the majors are shaking down their legal customers to subsidise action against the downloaders.

Between 5.2 and 5.4 million filesharers celebrated the new lawsuits by totally ignoring it and swapping files the next day.

Meanwhile, the RIAA continues to push its tie-up with
childnet, an independent charity which has produced a leaflet for parents about filesharing. Curiously, the leaflet is big on the downsides of filesharing - apparently it's full of people waiting to give your kids porn, and steal your personal data - but a bit shakier on the positives of peer to peer. Indeed, if you were a parent relying on this "independent" charity, you might come away convinced there were no potential positive usages for file networks at all. Even more curiously, the only advice it offers is total removal of the networks altogether, rather than offering parents actual useful suggestions about how they can protect their machines and still allow kids to use bittorrent to, for example, make use of the BBC Creative Archive, or share homework and data for school, and so on. Thank god Childnet weren't around ten years ago; if they approached the then new-fangled internet with the hysterical doomsaying approach they bring to peer to peer, it would have been campaigning for the porn rich internet to be closed down. "Keep your kids safe - make sure they only use the wireless."