Is The RIAA Suing For Uploading Or Downloading?
from the does-it-matter? dept
An interesting sleight of mouth from the RIAA’s Cary Sherman. All of the various file sharing lawsuits they’ve filed so far (to my knowledge) have been about people who were sharing files for others to download. That’s what they’re able to get them on, and they make the case that those individuals are illegally distributing copyrighted files – not that they were taking unauthorized files. Those who simply download and make sure whatever program they’re using doesn’t upload have been safe. However, in answering questions about the legal attacks, Sherman repeatedly says that these lawsuits are targeting “downloaders”. From a publicity standpoint, this makes sense. Most file sharers identify with the downloading part – and not the uploading part. However, it’s not being very honest – but this is the entertainment industry we’re talking about. Also interesting is his note that the “average” number of songs for those sued in the latest round was 837 (they say downloads, but I’m sure they mean songs). That number seems to be getting lower and lower. Meanwhile, the article also quotes someone saying that they still download just as much – they’re just much more careful about how they do it. Apparently, the RIAA’s legal education campaign has succeeded in teaching people about how to cover their tracks and find better ways to download the music they want. In the meantime, since I still refuse to use any file sharing applications, I find myself still buying less music. Just last night I was going through a catalog from a small (one man) indie distributor of CDs, and I was looking up the bands he recommended on the web. Many of them did offer free MP3s – which helped me decide if I wanted to buy their CDs or not. A few didn’t, and they simply were crossed off the list. It seems pretty clear in this case that free MP3s work pretty well as promotional material to me, but the RIAA still refuses to see that.