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RIAA Plans to Burn Rippers and Rip Burners
By Moses Avalon
(more articles from this author)
2003-01-21
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The latest RIAA campaign against the "war on downloading" is going to happen this year on college campuses: suing students.

Napster, Gnutela, etc… These past two years have been the millennium of "Why didn't we deal with this better" for the RIAA and their clients, the major record labels. So, after all the public humiliation and even the criticism by music journalists, peers, and the US government, you'd think that they would learn something about how to deal with the inevitable changes due to the Internet.

Nope. Not a single thing learned.

The RIAA 's spokesperson and general counsel, Carry Sherman sent a "friendly" letter last month to the heads of several prominent colleges, stating they intend to prosecute their students for file sharing, downloading, etc, if the administration didn't help them police this debacle (As if college administrations aren't busy enough).

What could they sue a kid for? Industry attorneys say anywhere from $750 to $150,000 per infringement, depending on the judge. But in all likelihood RIAA lawyers will not go after the kids, but the deeper pockets of their parents. "I never knew how expensive college could get," said one father of two.

If the RIAA thinks that this is going to pull the reigns on the pilfering of the record company inventory, they must be mad. Are they forgetting who started this whole mess: a nineteen year old college kid!!!

The greater likelihood is that this new move will inspire devices that make it easier to download/share anonymously. It will also not endear the record industry's primary market -- college kids.

In a completely made up side note: During a Music Business conference in Washington this past week, Carry Sherman was stranded in a public bathroom stall that had run out of toilet paper. He called out to neighboring stalls for help. In response they recited RIAA policy about sharing and downloads.

Moses Avalon Disclaimer:
This is not news... News is allegedly objective. This is anything but. This is about interpreting the news into information that you can use. The key to predicting the future is in interpreting the past. In real terms, this means understanding how the big players interpret their mistakes and their recent acquisitions.


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