Diego Glusberg ’11 sends in this article about the RIAA abandoning its efforts to use lawsuits as a deterrent to people sharing copyright-protected music:
The move ends a controversial program that saw the Recording Industry Association of America sue about 35,000 people since 2003 for swapping songs online. Because of high legal costs for defenders, virtually all of those hit with lawsuits settled, on average for around $3,500. The association’s legal costs, in the meantime, exceeded the settlement money it brought in.
The association said Friday that it stopped sending out new lawsuits and warnings in August, and then agreed with several leading U.S. Internet service providers, without naming which ones, to notify alleged illegal file-sharers and cut off service if they failed to stop.
“We’re at a point where there’s a sense of comfort that we can replace one form of deterrent with another form of deterrent,” said RIAA Chairman and Chief Executive Mitch Bainwol. “Filing lawsuits as a strategy to deal with a big problem was not our first choice five years ago.”
The new notification program is also more efficient, he said, having sent out more notices in the few months since it started than in the five years of the lawsuit campaign.
The group says it will still continue to litigate outstanding cases, most of which are in the pre-lawsuit warning stage, but some of which are before the courts.
Chicago Sun-Times: “Music industry drops effort to to sue song swappers”
[Edit by Sam 12/22/08, 1:06AM] There’s an interview on Ars Technica about this with RIAA president Cary Sherman in which he either answers or avoids some of the questions about this. As usual when dealing with the RIAA, everything said should be taken with plenty of salt.