2008-12-19

A double-edged sword: RIAA will no longer sue individuals for file sharing

Via Consumerist:

RIAA has announced a fairly dramatic change in its strategy to fight piracy. Beginning immediately, it will no longer sue individual file sharers or do dumb things like harass universities.

So on one hand, it is good to see that RIAA is backing away from the ineffective and plain evil strategy. On the other hand, it is not really a step in the right direction that would help decriminalize the activity in which the majority of the population engages and help solve the problem to which the copyright as it is now can't be the answer.

Sigh.

2 comments:

  1. That's good news. I am sure it was mostly motivated by the bad PR and the fact that it was working all that well at curbing piracy. I do think it's a step in the right direction, though.

    There's no doubt the artists/programmers/people who came up with "it" have the right to be properly compensated. But what RIAA is trying to do is preserve their old business model through evil DRM schemes and outrageous lawsuits. It appears they're demanding the same amount of or more money for a lower quality product. It's bad enough to get music in lower fidelity compared to good old CDs. But to implement obnoxious and sometimes borderline illegal DRMs (well, I guess it depends on how one interprets the DMCA), that just puts a bad taste in consumers' collective mouth. There are even those protected CDs that could potentially screw up old player with their too many intentional errors. I think we all agree there's a fine line between copyright protection and customer harassment. In my opinion, things were tipping in the big companies' favor until napster and P2P showed up. It was the first and so far only effective weapon the public has against the "establishment".

    Obviously this is a very complex problem, and I don't claim to have a perfect solution. But I just think piracy as RIAA and associates claim bears a second look. I mean, maybe the time for their expectation of the level of $$$ intake is over? Kinda like the age of the dinosaurs? Or horse-drawn carriages? Or like star-crossed lovers that just weren't meant to be? :) If they have their way, maybe in the future, when someone's ipod earphone leak out music to unsuspecting passengers on a train/bus/plane, those people would be considered guilty of pirating?

    Sure, I've downloaded songs off p2p networks. But it's been a godsend since it helped to broaden my puny music taste. And since I am a self-proclaimed quasi-audiophile, I usually end up buying the CD or DVD-a discs anyway. And I definitely have gone to a few concerts that would never have crossed my radar if not for the "illegal" exposure. And we know artists make more from live gigs anyway. Win-win, except for the people in suits?

    Sorry... anarchy rant over :)~

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  2. @Dashbored: Agreed. And I hope that some viable solution will be found in the coming couple years, because DRM is not the answer.

    I have been using emusic.com for about a year now, and they give you non-DRMed MP3s to download and keep forever, using a subscription model. Seems to work for them, and I hope this model will spread.

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