December 20, 2008

The End of a Bad Idea? [9:49 am]

Music industry drops bid to sue song swappers (pdf)

The group representing the US recording industry said yesterday it has abandoned its policy of suing people for sharing songs protected by copyright and will work with Internet service providers to cut abusers access if they ignore repeated warnings.

The move ends a controversial program that saw the Recording Industry Association of America sue about 35,000 people since 2003 for swapping songs online. Because of high legal costs for defenders, virtually all of those hit with lawsuits settled, on average for around $3,500. The association’s legal costs, in the meantime, exceeded the settlement money brought in.

The association said yesterday it stopped sending out lawsuits and warnings in August, and then agreed with several leading US Internet service providers, without naming them, to notify alleged illegal file-sharers and cut off service if they failed to stop.

Based on this report in the Wall Street Journal: Music Industry to Abandon Mass Suits (pdf)

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