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Music Industry Changes Its Legal Tune

Major news for online music geeks, to quote the Wall Street Journal's Law Blog. After years of suing seemingly anyone with an MP3 file, the Recording Industry Association of America is changing its tune and writing the score for a new legal strategy, the Wall Street Journal reports today:

The decision represents an abrupt shift of strategy for the industry, which has opened legal proceedings against about 35,000 people since 2003. Critics say the legal offensive ultimately did little to stem the tide of illegally downloaded music. And it created a public-relations disaster for the industry, whose lawsuits targeted, among others, several single mothers, a dead person and a 13-year-old girl.

Instead, the Recording Industry Association of America said it plans to try an approach that relies on the cooperation of Internet-service providers. The trade group said it has hashed out preliminary agreements with major ISPs under which it will send an email to the provider when it finds a provider's customers making music available online for others to take.

The ISPs would then take steps to stop the customer from any unlawful file sharing, perhaps cutting off access entirely for customers who fail to cooperate. The RIAA, meanwhile, says it is reserving its right to continue to file lawsuits against those who are heavy file sharers or who ignore repeated warnings. Will this mean a new line of work for file-sharing defense lawyer Ray Beckerman?

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on December 19, 2008 at 11:08 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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