RIAA targets corporate file swappers

— 3:11 AM on March 18, 2003

According to this story over at C|Net, the RIAA has sent out a number of letters to companies whose employees are using corporate bandwidth to swap songs over the Internet. It doesn't look like the RIAA is holding anything back, either:

"In short, your computer network and resources are being used to illegally distribute copyrighted music on the Internet," the letter said. "We strongly urge you to take immediate steps to prevent the continued infringement of our members' sound recordings on your corporate network."

Those who received the letter were also sent a CD with logs of music files on the companies' networks that were being offered on the various file-swapping platforms.

The letter also warns companies that they could be exposed to "significant legal damages" and face fines and the seizure of any equipment used in the alleged violations. Faced with threats like that, I can't imagine many companies having the desire to let employees freely leech copyrighted works over P2P networks with corporate bandwidth.

Personally, I'm surprised that employees can get away with even using P2P software like Kazaa on corporate networks at all. I suppose it's likely that the IT staff could be behind a majority of a company's file swapping, but I can't imagine that will last if the RIAA continues targeting corporate song-swappers.

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