Back in December, the RIAA announced it was abandoning its lawsuits against people it accused of music piracy, instead asking Internet service providers to patrol their own networks against music piracy.
It sounded tantamount to surrender. But not total surrender: Today CNET reports at least three big ISPs, AT&T (T), Comcast (CMCSA), and Cox (COX) are working with the RIAA and sending “please stop your theft” letters to suspected music pirates.
But there’s no teeth. An AT&T spokeswoman is quick to add that while the company tells sites sharing data that they may have their account suspended for sharing music, her company has “no intention” of actually cutting the cord on its own customers.
Cox has said its sent “hundreds of thousands” of letters, but has shut down service to less than one tenth of 1 per cent. (0.1% of 200,000 is about 200 shut offs, not a very large number.)
Any little bit helps, we suppose. There’s probably a handful customers who will get freaked out when they get a threatening letter in the mail, toothless or not. But whatever the end game is for the RIAA’s fight against pirates is, this isn’t it.