The RIAA is going to stop suing people it accuses of illegally downloading music from the Internet, the WSJ reports.
And here’s the music industry’s new plan to tackle piracy: Work with ISPs to send emails to pirates, asking them to please knock it off.
The trade group said it has hashed out preliminary agreements with major ISPs under which it will send an email to the provider when it finds a provider’s customers making music available online for others to take.
Depending on the agreement, the ISP will either forward the note to customers, or alert customers that they appear to be uploading music illegally, and ask them to stop. If the customers continue the file-sharing, they will get one or two more emails, perhaps accompanied by slower service from the provider. Finally, the ISP may cut off their access altogether.
Kind of reminds us of that old Monty Python skit: “Stop! Or I shall say ‘stop’ again!!”
We’re glad the RIAA has stopped its lawsuits. As has been widely reported, groups like the Pirate Bay have been deliberately inserting random IP addresses in P2P tracking logs, resulting in numerous cases of obviously innocent people getting accused by the music industry of piracy.
But if the old plan failed to curb piracy, the new plan to pester pirates with email won’t work, either. If pirates had any shame they would have bought their music legally in the first place. Nor do we think ISPs will really risk alienating their customers by cutting people’s broadband service at the RIAA’s bequest.
So where does that leave Big Music? Nowhere good, we’re afraid.