Good article from Dow Jones MarketWatch:
RIAA tactics to combat piracy again in questionComplete article
Commentary: Recording association, Tony Soprano -- not much difference?
By Therese Poletti, MarketWatch
Last update: 12:01 a.m. EDT March 20, 2008
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- As any fan of "The Sopranos" knows, the mob often takes out its enemies in a gruesome fashion as a way to warn others to fall in line.
The same can be said of the campaign over the past four years instigated by the dreaded Recording Industry Association of America, more commonly known as the RIAA, which has been on a mission to stop or slow down the practice of illegal music downloading online.
Their special target, as most people know, has been college students, with some seeing their very education come under threat for what used to be a time-honored tradition -- copying their friends' music.
That copying, of course, has taken on a much larger scale with the Internet, which allows students to share songs and albums by the thousands -- often without paying a dime.
"This is a form of tough love," said Jonathan Lamy, a spokesman for the RIAA in Washington, which is made up of the biggest music industry labels. Last February, in an effort to step up the pace, the RIAA began sending "pre-lawsuit letters" to universities, which then forward them on to students associated with certain Internet accounts in question. The RIAA asks first for a few thousand dollars in payment and warns that the computer owner could face a federal lawsuit.
No room for negotiation
Much like the New York mob family in "The Sopranos," the RIAA is trying to send a blunt message -- that downloading free music using peer-to-peer networks could cost them dearly.
I don't condone music piracy, but the RIAA's tactics are nearly as bad as the actions of mobsters, real or fictional. The analogy comes up easily and frequently in any discussion of the RIAA's maneuvers.
Commentary & discussion:
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