"The record industry called peer-to-peer users pirates, but what these people are, are hundreds of millions of voters," Michael Weiss, boss of Morpheus parent company Stream Cast said.Now that the RIAA appears to have given up on shutting down entire P2P networks, I'm not sure what exactly the lobby group will be fighting for. It seems a little absurd that P2P users would petition for a change to copyright laws that would allow the unrestricted distribution of music over the Internet, but apparently some see P2P networks as a legitimate way to discover new music.
"At the end of next month, we're going to be involved in helping to mobilise peer-to-peer users around the world and ultimately around the globe to ensure that their voices are heard," he added.
Weiss told the BBC, "There's been too much misinformation and rhetoric. We're going to facilitate that consumers' voices are heard in Congress."
I can't imagine that the RIAA will go along with any scheme that would legitimize copyright violations, but I do wonder if a happy medium exists somewhere between the two extremes. If all P2P users really want is the ability to preview new music in its entirety, the labels might want to consider serving up low quality versions of new releases or allowing P2P network users to share recordings below a set quality level. That kind of freedom may satisfy P2P users who insist they're doing nothing more wrong than copy songs off the radio. The widespread availability of low quality music may also encourage listeners to purchase higher fidelity recordings.