RIAA Tries To Make Deals With ISPs To Hound Customers Into Settling Earlier

from the how-nice-of-them dept

When the RIAA first kicked off its backwards-thinking plan to sue music fans who were engaged in unauthorized file sharing, it did so by just getting court clerks to send subpoenas to ISPs demanding info on who controlled specific IP addresses. There were concerns about whether or not it was fair for the RIAA to do so without filing a real lawsuit and having a judge approve the subpoenas. Eventually, Verizon went to court to fight the RIAA on this and won. If the RIAA still wanted info on users, it needed to file "John Doe" lawsuits and then subpoena the info. This is exactly what the RIAA has been doing -- but it's been expensive, and the number of mistake lawsuits is beginning to get costly. So it appears that the RIAA is now moving on to plan B. Ray Beckerman, a lawyer fighting against the RIAA on some of these lawsuits has received a leaked letter that some RIAA-associated lawyers have been sending to ISPs to try to get them to cooperate and get users to pay settlement fines before the RIAA files lawsuits.

The letter says that the RIAA will be starting a new program that will let ISP subscribers settle early (at reduced rates!) if the ISP agrees to hold onto its log files for at least 180 days. Many ISPs don't keep the data that long as there's no good business reason to do so (though, the US government may force them to before too long). Basically, this is just an attempt by the RIAA to get ISPs to hang onto more info for the RIAA's sake -- and to try to have ISPs put pressure on subscribers to just pay up, rather than go to court where it can be pointed out just how flimsy the evidence is. Oddly, it also seems to be blaming the ISPs for all of the embarrassing mistakes the RIAA has made in its lawsuits lately -- and asking that they please stop identifying the wrong customers. Of course, what many people don't remember is that this isn't the first time the RIAA has tried this. Back in 2004, soon after the RIAA lost to Verizon, it tried a similar tactic of getting ISPs to agree to hand over info on their subscribers without a subpoena -- but most ISPs realized that there was no good reason to do so. Hopefully, the past few years haven't changed the minds of ISP execs. If not, it seems like some ISPs are likely to get some bad publicity once it comes out that they've rolled over for the RIAA.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Cyryl, 13 Feb 2007 @ 4:00pm

    #4 is wrong.

    It would have a HUGE impact on spam. AS WELL AS any other application that would require specific routing parameters. Apparently you have no understanding of even the most basic of networking principles.

    The reason that spam WOULD thrive is because we (the IT industry...) use filters to BLOCK it. Many of these filters are created and built with the assumption that the IP's that we are either BLOCKING or PROTECTING are STATIC IP's. If those IP's are NOT static, then we would either NOT be able to protect those machines OR we would have to block entire RANGES of IP's or entire IP pools in order to protect those machines from the spam.

    In a DHCP environment, one can not safely assume that each machine is protected. It is INVARIABLE and INEVITABLE that spam will get through much more often when either the machine releases the IP or the lease on the IP expires. (In which the machine could very well obtain a NEW IP if the network is set up to issue a NEW one every time the lease expires.)

    It is common practice to make networks STATIC. (At least in the corporate world...) But there are still thousands upon thousands of networks that ARE DHCP. (Either because they are small office networks who don't concern themselves with advanced network...or because the IT staff are overpaid IDIOTS.)

    You need to think a wee bit harder before running your mouth about something that you obviously don't understand.

    As for the blacklisting of ISP's... He was saying that the customers WOULD blacklist the ISP's. This would only put EVERY ISP that exists under these circumstances between a rock and a hardspot. They would have to figure out who to please.

    The RIAA or the customer? Do we do as the RIAA asks and make our money off of them...therefore ignoring the security of EVERY ONE OF OUR CUSTOMERS BY EXPOSING THEM TO MORE UNWANTED CONTENT...or do we care about our customers and IGNORE the RIAA and it's silly, selfish request and give them the security (AND PRIVACY) that they deserve?

    Either way they will only most likely create more lawsuits for themselves. Sucks to be them in the middle of all of this right now. Best to please the MANY than the ONE. (It's really an easier-to-make decision than it sounds...)

    As for e-mail... *shakes head in disgust* E-mail is here to stay. Just because YOU may not find it useful does not mean that the majority of the population will agree with you. E-mail is still as heavily used as it ever was. Business use it. Families use it. Just because it's not REAL-TIME and IMMEDIATE like IM's or TM's are doesn't mean that people out there don't find it useful to just leave a message for their respondant to find at their leisure. There is (and always will be) content and data that is still BY FAR more efficiently/effectively transmitted by e-mail.

    Please don't comment any further. Your ignorance makes my head hurt.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Advertisment

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord

The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...

Loading...
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.