RIAA files 261 lawsuits

— 12:46 PM on September 8, 2003

The RIAA has moved forward with its legal attack on peer-to-peer song swappers and filed 261 lawsuits against alleged pirates. Under current copyright law, the RIAA could go after pirates for as much as $150,000 per song, but the RIAA apparently isn't in it for the money:

"Our goal is not to be vindictive or punitive," said RIAA President Cary Sherman. "It is simply to get peer-to-peer users to stop offering music that does not belong to them."
For song swappers who have managed to dodge the first wave of subpoenas, the RIAA is offering up an amnesty program:
According to the reports, sources said that the RIAA will excuse individuals who vow to erase all unauthorized music files from their computers, destroy hard copies of illegally obtained copyrighted materials and promise not to engage in future file swapping. The RIAA program would require people to forward to the group a notarized form of apology, sources also told the publications.
I'm all for protecting copyrights, but the amnesty program sounds pretty lame. Next, I imagine we'll see the RIAA asking song-swapping college students to write "I will not illegally download MP3s" on the blackboard for each shared MP3.
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