Friday, January 30, 2009

The RIAA's Next Step?

Perhaps we have a chance to rebuild the music business after a period of tremendous looting.

- Rick Carnes, president, songwriters Guild of America

In Greg Sandoval, "Sources: AT&T, Comcast may help RIAA foil piracy,", January 28, 2009

Reliable rumors are circulating that AT&T and Comcast, two of the nation's largest Internet service providers, will be among a group of internet service providers (ISPs) that help the Recording Industry Association of Amera (RIAA) to battle illegal file sharing. The RIAA is a lobying group that represents the four largest recording companies. It said last month that it would no longer battle piracy by filing lawsuits against individuals. This approach through the ISPs may represent their new tack.

The approach would involve the RIAA's telling the ISP to send a presumed copyright violator a "take-down notice"--a request that the person stop offering music files for uploading onto the internet. If the person doesn't listen by the third notice, the ISP would stop the person's internet connection. "The entertainment industry has been trying to get laws passed throughout the world that would force ISPs to implement a 'three strikes' policy."

No word has emerged so far about what the music industry would give ISPs in return for their circulation of the notices and for pulling subscription-paying customers off their services. One model may be found in Disney's relation with Verizon. In return for sending the take-down notices, Verizon got permission to transmit twelve Disney TV channels over its broaband (FiOS) network.

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