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RIAA Jihad Isn't Working
By Jon Newton,
(more articles from this author)
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The record labels' sue 'em all campaign is having a noticeable impact on file sharing.

That's what RIAA president Cary-Sue Sherman and his team of fact realignment specialists would have you, and the world at large, believe.

However, a visit to any network will instantly prove the reality is very different and as Slyck's Tom Mennecke states it here:

"Although the RIAA's holy war had some initial success, current network losses tend to be slight, or non-existent."

FastTrack is/was the focal point of the RIAA's assault and more than a month since the first shots were fired, the FastTrack network remains steady, he says. "At the time of this writing [August 1] the FastTrack network had 3.9 million users sharing 6.03 Terabytes of information. Despite the relentless onslaught of the RIAA, comparatively few have been frightened by their Gestapo tactics.

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"Why? It seems many members of the file-sharing community have been encouraged by the harsh criticism the RIAA has received. While many critics, journalists, developers, politicians and even musicians have rallied against their sleazy tactics, the most important and influential rejection has come from the consumers themselves - the very people being sued.

"Limited cooperation from ISP's and Universities has also given hope to the file- sharing community. Yesterday, Pacific Bell Internet Services declined to invade the privacy of its users, and returned their subpoena with a lawsuit. In addition, organizations such as the EFF have assisting those who face RIAA action by organizing legal counsel. Slowly but surely, strong momentum is building against the RIAA."

But FastTrack isn't alone. Other P2P networks have either maintained or increased their populations and in particular, the ManolitoP2P (Blubster, Piolet) network continues to make its presence known online by surpassing 200,000 users, Mennecke states.

"At last check, this powerful community had 230,000 users contributing 221,962 Gigs of information. This is an actual increase since June 27, when only 175,525 individuals were sharing 172,037 Gigs if data.

"Gnutella continues to enjoy its resurgence. This long running P2P network was all but down for the count just late last year. A rift involving the Gnutella2 movement nearly destroyed this open-source community. However, this part of their history is now water under the bridge. Massive improvements to clients such as BearShare and LimeWire have allowed this network to see some of its highest numbers since October of 2002. Despite a small dip after the RIAA announced it campaign, Gnutella at last check had approximately 115,000 users, around 20,000 more than April of this year.

"We could continue about every network; however the general trend remains constant among all parties. We also understand that the numbers represented are not exact, however give an accurate enough trend that demonstrates usage over a period of time. If these numbers hold, the recent statement that it would take over 2,000 years to sue everyone may hold true ; )"

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