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IFPI/Billboard Editor Endorse RIAA\'s Tactics
January 26, 2004
Thomas Mennecke
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Since the RIAA began its crusade against the privacy rights of the American people back on June 26th, 2003, the campaign has been met with a tremendous supply of criticism. P2P developers, politicians, journalists and of course the American populace have been wary of the RIAA\'s \"sue \'em all\" tactics.

…And for good reason... Although the RIAA claims otherwise, the lawsuits launched against the American people have been highly criticized as being discriminatory in nature. For example, it has been speculated that the RIAA carefully examines each potential lawsuit to make sure the individual about to be fired upon is not a son or daughter of a Congressman or music/movie executive (to say nothing about 12 year old kids or 70 year old grand parent who does not even own a computer.) The RIAA wouldn\'t want to be embarrassed now, would it?

Yet this tactic is perfectly ok with the IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) who have stated their solidarity with the RIAA. The IFPI is very similar in nature to the RIAA, with the exception that it operates on more global scale.

In addition, the editor-in-chief of Billboard magazine has also expressed his support for both trade organizations. Considering that Billboard deals primarily with top 40 and top 200 \"music\" (teeny bopper nonsense such as Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake), their stance is not a surprising one. From Keith Girard, Billboard editor-in-chief:

\"The U.S. record industry received a significant boost this week from the organization representing the industry overseas. Frankly, it\'s about time.

We\'ve maintained all along that the biggest benefit of the legal campaign has been its ability to raise the public\'s awareness and to send a clear message that there could be consequences.

In hindsight, if the campaign has proved anything, it\'s that public education and relying on the goodwill of people simply isn\'t enough of a deterrent to change public behavior.

That\'s why the IFPI\'s endorsement of the RIAA\'s tactics is the right move. As Berman noted, the Internet is not U.S.-specific. The problem respects no political boundaries. So concerted international action is needed.\"

Interestingly, Keith Girard does address the threat of \"hard-core file-sharers\" in his article. As most people know, it only takes a small handful of individuals to regenerate or create a P2P network. With more advanced P2P networks emerging such as \"Mute\" that claim to hide the identity of file-traders, the RIAA\'s war against the P2P world is far being successful.

In conclusion, while there seems to be a mainstream media rally behind the RIAA\'s grand efforts to thwart file-sharing, their only success has been against the ever popular FastTrack network. While there has been some success again FastTrack, their population is holding steady at 3.5 million (typically) and has begun to show signs of regeneration.

The RIAA\'s fight against the file-sharing community, and its apparent success, is quite simply cyclical in nature. P2P networking was hot during Napster\'s reign, cooled off after its collapse, rebounded under FastTrack, and cooled off once again after their lawsuit crusade. Now, evidence is pointing to yet another rebound. The RIAA cannot sue the American people forever. While they may scare off the AOL/newbie crowd, the real heart of file-sharing will continue to beat on.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
Entertainment Industry :: IFPI
Entertainment Industry :: RIAA

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