The recording industry says it is going to shift away from suing people who trade in pirated music. After the public relations disaster of filing suit against tens of thousands of its customers, the industry instead is getting the cooperation of Internet providers to throttle access for people who are illegally sharing music.
The new approach isn't drawing much applause, though. Stan Schroeder at the Mashable blog says it doesn't make the recording studios any less evil:
You’re sharing music over the internet? They’ll monitor you, they’ll hunt you down, and they’ll (at least that’s one of the suggestions I’m seeing) take away your access to the Internet.
The industry may just be giving up on a losing tactic, says Eliot Van Buskirk at Wired's Epicenter blog. While many defendants settled the cases, the studios had yet to win one in court, he notes.
Due process has been prohibitively expensive for the RIAA. The organization has long sought a more efficient way to exert pressure on suspected file sharers, and these new agreements will grant it that wish, saving it money and allowing it to pressure far more suspected file sharers, all without filing a single subpoena.