Wednesday, February 14, 2007

p2pnet Reports: EFF Comes Out Against RIAA's New Plan to Conscript ISP's as Collection Agents and Information Gatherers

p2pnet reports that the Electronic Frontier Foundation has come out against the RIAA's new letter to ISP's, trying to get them to assist in collection efforts and to gather and preserve information for the RIAA's use:

'ISPs don't work for the RIAA' news:- Yesterday, Ray Beckerman revealed an RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) demand to ISPs that henceforth, they should consider themselves an integral part of the Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG Organized Music sue 'em all effort.

Among other things, it states:

To assist you in extending this option to your subscribes we will e-mail to you, along with the evidence preservation notice, a letter for you to forward to the subscriber.That letter will explain that the subscriber has been targeted for suit and that he or she has the opportunity, in advance of that suit being filed, to contact us to resolve the claims. Whether they want to contact us at thast time will be entirely up to them, but if they do not, they will not be eligible for a discounted settlement rate.

We can extend this Pre-Suit settlement option only to those ISPs who agree to maintain the log file for the IP address for at least 180 days. This timeframe is necessary to allow sufficient time to pursue the Doe lawsuit and subpoena if settlement discussions are not fruitful.If you will not agree to forward the early notices to subscribers and maintain the log files for 180 days, then our members will simply proceed as before with an immediate Doe lawsuit against the subscriber, followed by a subpoena as allowed by the courts.

Cindy Cohn is the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) legal director and general counsel, and here's what she has to say about the letter on Deep Links.


As if suing thousands of music fans isn't bad enough, now the RIAA wants to conscript ISPs into helping them streamline the shakedowns. The major record labels sent a letter to ISPs across the country asking them to trade away customers' rights and make the overzealous file sharing lawsuits more profitable -- and the RIAA even has the audacity to suggest that this is all for your own good.

ISPs currently have no obligation to maintain IP log files, and that's a good thing when it comes to protecting your privacy. Those log files can serve as Internet breadcrumbs -- your ISP and any third party that has access to them can retrace your online activities.

But the RIAA wants ISPs to maintain (and disclose) a customer's IP logs for six months whenever the RIAA says the user may have infringed copyright. In exchange, the record companies will reduce its initial lawsuit settlement demands. Of course, the actual customer would have no say in the matter. The RIAA letter says it wants the information kept because it could "exculpate" the customer, but of course those same records can also implicate the user. Funny, the labels don't mention that.

Complete article

Commentary & discussion:


Keywords: digital copyright online download upload peer to peer p2p file sharing filesharing music movies indie label freeculture creative commons pop/rock artists riaa independent mp3 cd favorite songs


Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

This is beyond disturbing. I wouldn’t put it past the RIAA to blackmail users over their IP history to extort more money from them.

2L Ohio State

CodeWarrior said...

Look, it all boils down to the fact that ISPs SHOULD NOT keep activity logs of users past 24 hours. If they did not keep these logs past that time, in the normal course of doing business, they would have nothing to give up pursuant to a subpoena duces tecum that would target a certain user, in my estimation. Plus, users should not have static IP addresses.