Recording Industry Punishes More Music Consumers

The Register reports:
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is suing 761 people for alleged illegal filesharing. University students are a particular focus of the legal action with 25 people named for using university networks to distribute music. The individuals are accused of copyright infringement for using peer-to-peer networks like Kazaa and eDonkey to share music.

Cary Sherman, RIAA president, said there had been positive developments in partnerships between colleges and legitimate file sharing services. He said: "During the fall, we have seen a flurry of additional agreements between schools and legal online music providers. That’s exciting news for the university, students, and all those involved in the creative chain of making and distributing music.

Here's my favorite part:
"The lawsuits are an essential educational tool. They remind music fans about the law and provide incentives to university administrators to offer legal alternatives."

To be clear: I am a strong advocate of copyright and the rights that it provides the creator or owner of a creative work. Those who invest time, energy, resources in creating something that others enjoy have a right to compensation for those efforts. What I find contemptuous is how that entertainment industry is treating their best customers. Consumers communicating clearly that the industry is making entertainment too difficult to acquire (either by poor distribution and/or extreme pricing). Rather than treating their best customers as criminals, the entertainment industry's efforts would be better invested in activities that increase the value offered to entertainment consumers.

Here's what the RIAAA has to say.

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