But it's not for the RIAA, yet. They're still working on heavy handed measures that ignore the realities of digital media and flat hierarchy distribution in favor of sending cease-and-desist letters (AP) (or htm) (or BBC) to the four Verizon customers (plus one from Earthlink) for file sharing of copyrighted works. As Wendy Selzer mentions, users are entitled to their privacy until they have had the due process proving they are copyright infringers. The RIAA has sent the letters without judicial review. The only review in this case was whether the ISP could be compelled to violate their user's privacy. See the opinion in the case.
However, Donna points to this article from The Phoenix: Privacy, Breaking the Internet Copyright Impasse by Dan Kennedy:
Simply put, the current paradigm encourages both goon-like behavior on the part of the music industry and other content providers even as it rewards larceny on the part of consumers.
"We live today under two copyright regimes: the law on the one hand and reality as experienced by the public on the other.... The Net forces us to confront the contradictions between what the law requires and what individuals do," (Jonathan) Zittrain writes.
Certainly paying a copyright tax in return for the right to trade copyrighted files would be infinitely preferable to giving Entertainment, Inc., the right to snoop into your personal information.
While compulsory licensing may not be the answer, though it has been much talked about, keeping the discussion going in the press about alternatives to goon-like behavior is very much appreciated. Note to the RIAA: we would love it if you would just offer the music at a fair price and in an easy, organized manner, fairly compensating the artists, for digital download.Posted by Mary Hodder at June 19, 2003 04:02 PM | TrackBack