RIAA wants your ISP to pay for file sharing

— 5:04 AM on January 20, 2003

In perhaps their most audacious move yet, the RIAA has suggested that ISPs pay for file sharing. Read it and weep:

"We will hold ISPs more accountable," said Hillary Rosen, chairman and CEO the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), in her keynote speech at the Midem music conference on the French Riviera.

"Let's face it. They know there's a lot of demand for broadband simply because of the availability (of file-sharing)," Rosen said.


Rosen suggested one possible scenario for recouping lost sales from online piracy would be to impose a type of fee on ISPs that could be passed on to their customers who frequent these file-swapping services.

It doesn't get much more desperate than that, folks. Honestly, I'm all for the rights of copyright holders; copyrighted works shouldn't be traded with impunity without the consent of the copyright holder. Still, every time someone from the RIAA opens their mouth and says something like that, I'm tempted to steal a bunch of music just to spite them.

What strikes me as particularly interesting about the RIAA's tactics in their fight against illegal file swapping is that they don't appear to have a coherent strategy or plan of attack. At least to me, it seems that the RIAA is lashing out in all directions, hoping to catch a network here or an individual user there. The lack of focus seems to suggest that there really is no one good way to stop illegal file sharing, at least not yet.

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