Wednesday, June 03, 2009

6 months later, no ISP's joining RIAA's anti-infringement team

According to this report in C/Net News, six (6) months after its announcement that it had reached agreements with ISP's to police copyright infringement, the RIAA still has not obtained any actual agreements with ISP's.

Commentary & discussion:

Keywords: lawyer digital copyright law online internet law legal download upload peer to peer p2p file sharing filesharing music movies indie independent label freeculture creative commons pop/rock artists riaa independent mp3 cd favorite songs intellectual property portable music player


Albert said...

I think the reason no ISP's are joining the RIAA team, is that each of the ISPs that might have been asked to join, have determined that it is NOT in their best financial interest to do so.

First of all, ISPs are already protected from any suits from the RIAA, MPAA and others by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, so the ISPs have NO responsiblity for their customers actions as it stands now.

Second of all, I doubt the RIAA is offering any kind of payment to compensate the ISPs for the loss of revenue if they join the plan and kick off the file sharers. Also, I doubt the RIAA is offering any money for defense of breach of contract lawsuits by the customers that were cut off. These suits would be more likely in areas where the ISP is the only broadband provider, if there is someone else to move to, that would more likely happen instead. Land Line providers of telecom services such as AT&T discussed in this agreement has been losing market share to Cable VOIP phones and Cell Phones for years.

ISPs have no reason to enter into agreements that would require them to shed customers that the RIAA tells them are filesharing. This could hurt more than the ISP portion of the company, as a customer that was cut off the internet and forced to turn to Cable or otherwise for internet is not likely to come back for ANY service. It is also very likely such as customer would choose to move ALL services including local and Video services to the new provider as well because of bundle agreements, which would deprive such companies of ALL revenue from that customer. Also, if the customer gets satellite as part of the "bundle" they might be able to leave without penalty if the bundling company breaches their contract by failing to provide "internet" if it is part of the bundle.

Also, I think this is war of large numbers. Since Filesharing is not decreasing even in the face of the RIAA suits, it tells me that the percentage of customers that "get caught" as a percentage of all customers keep going down, proving quite clearly that their war is not working.

In my area, BrightHouse Cable keeps less than 14 days of IP logs. I suspect the reason is twofold, the info is not needed after that time and it helps protect the customers and reduces their costs.

The only real use for an ISP for IP address assignment logs is Spam tracking and Infected computer notices to customers who are infected, quite often with viruses that spam. These things happen fast, and I would say a week of logs is all that is needed for this purpose.

By not having the logs, a simple "we have no information available in response to your request" form letter is all that is required for any incoming requests for IP assignment information, and no technical staff time is tied up with these requests, a moneysaver for the ISP.

The Middle District of Florida was one of the locations where severance was ordered. My understanding was the cases were never re-filed here, because Bright House told them they had no records for the remaining Doe #1. Thus, there was no point in filing 24 more suits to get the same answer 24 more times......

If AT&T would simply reduce their logging time instead of joining with the RIAA, it would be the best financial option for them. This is the choice I see all ISPs making in the long run.


StephenH said...

Ray, Do you think this was all a scare tactic? Do you think that the ISPs would face too much litigation or complaints from users in order to get their service turned back on?

Anonymous in the South said...

GASP! . . . WATER! . . . I NEED WATER!

The RIAA is exactly like a man stranded in the desert right now. They are fighting the Anderson lawsuit (which has anyone heard anything more about this?), more and more people are waking to their crap especially judges (I can't wait for this second Jammie trial to really bring home the point of all of this illegal crap they have pulled), and now they can't get any ISP's to sign up?

Go figure after treating people like crap for how many years, both artists and customers?

This is nothing more than a last effort before they get slammed either by no one buying their "product" and then the big 4 just close up shop due to bankruptcy or by having the courts wise up and lock them up and throw away the key.

Whether we are in the beginning, middle or end of the endgame watching these dinosaurs go extinct, I don't know, but we are somewhere in this process of waiting for them to take that last step into extinction.

Maybe I'm too much of an optimist, but I think the RIAA will get their day in court . . it will just be as defendants. The sooner the better I say.

Anonymous said...


What are you talking about? There's no financial gain and a lot of financial loss for ISPs who stupidly mess with their customers. As long as this obtains, no ISP in its right mind will partner with the RIAA.

ISPs sell internet, not internet + watchdog. It's cheaper for them and better for everyone that way.


Anonymous said...

With the struggling economy, cable and television sectors, why would a business go into partnership with something that would kill their livelihood? Filesharing is a part of American life now...

RIAA has to face their own music now and decide a new and different course for themselves all on their own.

They waited much to long to work WITH the people, and took the low road to work AGAINST the people. Now they pay the piper.

Unknown said...

Like the "We've ceased all lawsuits" comment by the RIAA this was also a PR statement made to placate the NY Attorney General who was starting to take a look at the actions of the RIAA. Remember the members of the RIAA haven't got the best of records with the NY state AGs office.