You crazy kids… If you don’t stop, you’re really gonna get it!
Over the past few years, many people have read about the RIAA and their mad cap movement to curb P2P networks and the illegal sharing of music and movies. In fact, there has been a lot of news over the past few years on how the RIAA has been sending threatening letters to the most egregious offenders. It seems as though they are at it again.
The RIAA said Monday that it had sent out an additional 408 letters offering to settle with students from 23 different American universities. Pay the noted fine, and the entire issue just evaporates. Lovely…IF you happen to have an extra $2000-$3000 (or so…I’m guessing really) sitting around, doing nothing just waiting to be wasted. Anyway, these letters are a simply a continuation of the same program the RIAA kicked off earlier this year. The idea was to hit the big P2P fans at college campuses around the country and, uh-hem… curb their enthusiasm. Since this is the middle of summer break, the RAIA will be giving targeted students receiving additional time to respond and cough up the required dough. Aren’t they just sweet..?!
While those who ignore their letters are likely to be hit with larger law suits and fines, the RIAA continues to point out that sharing copyrighted material (outside of fair use interpretations and other stipulations allowed by law) is illegal and punishable by fines and jail time. They also point out that there are too many easy and affordable ways of getting digital music legally. Using P2P networks to get the music on the Q-T is silly now-a-days.
As a closet musician and as a consumer, I decided long ago not to support pirated music. Having the naughty kind is just too dangerous, even if I don’t agree with what the RIAA is doing or how they are doing it. Unfortunately, they have legal precedent on their side, and as such, the Courts are likely going to side with them. Unless, you count that one news story of that mom who counter sued the RIA and won…but that was the odd time out.
Word of advice: buy your music and movies. RIP them if you want for your own use to iTunes or whatever, but make sure you can support the purchase with a hard copy somewhere. Otherwise, you’re really just courting trouble. While I think the RIA is just a bunch of greedy, over paid, money grubbing music mongers, the degree of trouble isn’t worth the effort required to make the trouble go away. Get off the P2P networks before you Kazzah yourself into trouble!
Like the Midas Muffler guy used to say, "you can pay me now; or you can pay me later…"