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RIAA's Christmas Treats
By Jon Newton, p2pnet.net
(more articles from this author)
2002-12-16
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Fearful that Christmas might turn out to be less than merry as far as members' profits are concerned, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is stepping up anti-piracy efforts on the street and online, "to help foster the most business-friendly marketplace possible for a successful fourth quarter of sales," especially in New York and LA, "known havens for criminal music piracy trafficking."

Online, as well as trying in vain to handle file sharing p2p networks, the RIAA has, "undertaken an unprecedented effort to halt the spread of music files that are on the Internet even before the commercial release of the CD, including efforts on behalf of 40 different artists in the fourth quarter already."

Hilary 'Reach Out' Rosen, RIAA Chairman and CEO, says having nailed Audiogalaxy, Aimster, Songspy and sites such as Listen4ever.com, the association is now working with the New York Police Department's (NYPD) Civil Division Legal Bureau to utilize 'anti-nuisance laws' to, "pursue repeated instances of music piracy activities at business establishments."

Reach Out says the RIAA has "helped New York City law enforcement" to bring rafts of cases as part of its 'Padlock Initiative'.

As part of this, "during the holiday buying season" the RIAA's "business-friendly marketplace" plan calls, among other things, for, "saturating the streets with investigators, NYPD training programs to heighten awareness of the problem, and partnering with law enforcement to deploy anti-piracy rapid response teams.

"The holiday enforcement initiative is currently in place and paying dividends."

Translated, this means a hard-core commercial trade group has managed to get the world-famous NYPD to work for it with New York tax-payers footing the bill, in all likelihood.

You could indeed say that's paying dividends - for the Record Labels. But this arrogance is hardly surprising considering the RIAA recently succeeded in getting the US Navy to do the same, and that a major part of the RIAA's business strategy is to similarly get police forces around the world to work for, and on behalf of, the Big Five record labels.

But it IS Christmas, after all, and no doubt the NYPD is overjoyed at being able to lend a hand to Universal, Sony, EMI, Warner Bros and BMG during this otherwise notoriously slack holiday period,

And let's not forget that in its Outreach To Fortune 1000 Corporations And 2,300 Colleges And Universities, the RIAA has also selflessly launched a, "new, comprehensive effort with other members of the content community to advise businesses and the higher education community of the risks and dangers of illegal uploading and downloading of copyrighted works on peer-to-peer networks and ways to help address the problem."

One wonders if America's universities and businesses, large and small, have figured out that trying to find ways to implement the RIAA's instructions is costing them literally millions of dollars in hard cash for 'anti-pirate' hardware and software, not to speak of serious internal conflicts.


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