from the what-are-they-thinking? dept
But, apparently one ridiculous list isn't enough. The RIAA and MPAA have convinced a group of US elected officials, who have dubbed themselves the "International Anti-Piracy Caucus" to put out a list of file sharing websites that it hates... and with it, an attempt to shame the companies where those websites are hosted. The timing on this is amusing, because, of course, just last week, you would have needed to put the US on the list, as LimeWire would have likely been seen as just as widely used for unauthorized file sharing as some of those sites.
But the larger point is that this list is effectively advertising these five sites as the best place to go to get unauthorized content:
China's Baidu, Canada's IsoHunt, Ukraine's Mp3fiesta, Germany's RapidShare, Luxembourg's RMX4U.com, and Sweden's The Pirate Bay.You would think that, by now, the RIAA and MPAA would have recognized that every single time they've targeted a particular service for file sharing, the end result is to get that site significantly more publicity, so that its userbase increases rapidly. It happened when they sued Napster. It happened when they sued Grokster. It happened when they got the police to raid The Pirate Bay. It happened when they filed the lawsuit against IsoHunt. Putting out this list basically just pointed a bunch of people at these particular services as a good place to go to get access to content. Nice work by the caucus, who is made up of Reps. Adam Schiff and Bob Goodlatte along with Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse and Orrin Hatch.
And, of course, the RIAA put out a statement supporting this free advertising for those sites. Honestly, people keep telling me that the RIAA really knows what it's doing, but how can they possibly think that this is a good idea?
As a parallel, reader Hephaestus points out this historical bit:
"From 1559 to 1966 the catholic church had a list of prohibited books aptly named the Index Librorum Prohibitorum. One historical note about this list is that a very large number of the books on this list had an increase in sales and reading when they were placed on the list. The International Anti-Piracy Caucus seems to have not learned the simple historical lesson, To list or expose inappropriate subject matter shines a light on it and exposes it to a larger audience. This will undoubtedly lead to more people visiting this "list of notorious sites" quite the opposite of what they seem to be aiming for.Nice work, RIAA and MPAA. You just boosted traffic to those sites.