Q: Has the RIAA stopped filing lawsuits against individuals?
In light of new opportunities to deter copyright infringement, the record industry was able to discontinue its broad-based end user litigation program. The step was made possible, in large part, by continued work with the Attorney General of New York and leading Internet Service Providers (ISPs) on a series of voluntary online anti-piracy initiatives. On a parallel track, we have been able to reach a separate agreement in principle with several leading ISPs on a graduated response program for repeat offenders when they are caught engaging in illegal activity online.
Importantly, the end of the litigation program was also made possible through the dramatic changes in the music marketplace over the past five years. Today, there is legal clarity about what users can and can’t do on peer to peer networks, which has contributed to a vibrant and rapidly growing digital marketplace.
Q: What would the RIAA like people to know about the lawsuit program now that it has ended?
The program was designed to educate fans about the law, the consequences of breaking the law, and raise awareness about all the great legal sites in the music marketplace. Like any tough decision, there are trade offs. On balance, the legal marketplace is far better off because of the program:
1) Educational Impact: Awareness of the illegality of downloading without permission surged from 35 – 72 percent following/during the initiation of the program.
2) Digital Marketplace Surges: Digital revenues have grown from nearly $200 million in ‘04 to $2.3 billion in ‘07 (estimates for ‘08 - $3 billion), accounting for 25 percent of all retail value revenue (upwards of 30 percent at end of ’08).
3) Illicit P2P Growth Constrained But Still Major Problem: Prior to the campaign, illegal p2p music trading was growing exponentially. Since 2004, the percentage of Internet-connected households that have downloaded music from p2p is essentially flat (NPD).
TRANSLATION: Well fucking lynch you as an example. The rest of you fuckers better not try anything either
This is my favorite though:
All the same, it’s important to note that across the board, piracy is a very real threat to the livelihoods of not only artists and record label employees but also thousands of less celebrated people in the music industry – from sound engineers and technicians to warehouse workers and record store clerks. Piracy undermines the future of music by depriving the industry of the resources it needs to find and develop new talent and drains millions of dollars in tax revenue from local communities and their residents.
We are threatening the LIVELIHOOD of artists. The LIVELIHOOD.