Hey Whatever Happened To Those Andrew Cuomo-Backed, RIAA Agreements With ISPs To Kick People Off The Internet?
from the still-waiting... dept
And so Greg Sandoval, over at News.com, smartly realizes that these "preliminary agreements" we were told about last year are still nowhere to be found and goes exploring to find out why. Reading between the lines, it appears the answer is that the RIAA flat out lied (no surprise, but...) and the Wall Street Journal bought it (again, no surprise, but...). Basically, with various record labels hemorrhaging money, they started to cut back on their allowance to the RIAA, such that the legal strategy of suing tons of people was getting too expensive. But they didn't want to make it look like they were just giving up.
So they concocted a myth: this idea that ISPs would cut people off. It was, in fact, what the RIAA and other international entertainment industry lobbying groups had been pushing for with little success (since then they have had a few wins on that front, but also many losses). But they couldn't wait for their usual process of pushing through legislation (*cough* ACTA *cough*) to complete before they had to cut back on individual lawsuits. So they brought in Andrew Cuomo, because he had successfully threatened ISPs to get them to cut off Usenet, despite no legal basis for doing so. But, that worked because Cuomo threatened (again, despite no legal basis) to shame them for offering access to child porn. When it came to unauthorized access to music, the moral outrage aspect isn't nearly as strong (not that the RIAA and their lobbyist friends haven't tried six dozen ways to try to link file sharing to child porn -- but most people realize how ridiculous that is).
Given that the ISPs seemed to have little interest (i.e., no interest) in moving forward with this plan, they leaked it to the WSJ, figuring that if ISPs thought others were doing it, then they'd start to sign up, and the whole thing would become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Except they failed to account for the simple fact that people protested against any ISP dim enough to think that it's smart to kick off customers based on accusations (not convictions), and ISPs quickly stepped up to deny any such deal, shedding light on the RIAA's big lie.
So, here we are today, with no such agreements in place, and the RIAA back to trying to sneak through "three strikes" legislation through international treaties that they write (which the public has no access to). But, shouldn't someone call them on the fact that they blatantly lied last year? And also, shouldn't someone ask where the WSJ's correction is on that story?