RIAA targets Fortune 1000 companies

— 3:09 AM on October 25, 2002

The RIAA has targeted everything from universities and colleges to the file swapping networks themselves in an attempt to put an end to the epidemic of illegal music sharing on the Internet. Now, the RIAA has added another target to its hit list: Fortune 1000 companies.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and songwriters' associations have drafted a letter expected to be sent Friday to the Fortune 1000 companies, cautioning executives that employees' song- or movie-swapping could put them at legal risk.

"It appears that many corporate network users are taking advantage of fast Internet connections at work by publicly uploading and downloading infringing files on P2P (peer to peer) services, and also distributing and storing such files on corporate intranets," the groups wrote. "The use of your digital network to pirate music, movies, and other copyrighted works both interferes with the business purposes your network was built to serve and subjects your employees and your company to significant legal liability."

Something tells me that Fortune 1000 companies are going to have a lot less sympathy for workplace file traders than ISPs have had for individuals and educational institutions have had for students. It's not like the employees of Fortune 1000 companies can claim that low allowances and tuition fees drive them to steal music they might otherwise buy if they had more disposable income and/or CD prices were lower. Add in that employees are using company bandwidth for not only personal, but also illegal purposes and I don't see the RIAA having a tough time convincing CEOs to do something about the problem.

Fortune 1000 companies do look like a much more realistic target for the RIAA's efforts; maybe this is where they should have started their anti-file trading campaign in the first place.

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