The US recording association said Friday that it will stop suing people who download music illegally and focus instead on getting Internet Service Providers to take action.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) said it is
working with ISPs on the new approach to cracking down on online
music piracy, the WSJ
reported on Friday.
"We're at a point where there's a sense of comfort that we can
replace one form of deterrent with another form of deterrent," said
RIAA Chairman and Chief Executive Mitch Bainwol. "Filing lawsuits as
a strategy to deal with a big problem was not our first choice five
The move away from litigation represents a major shift in strategy
for the music industry group, which has filed lawsuits against some
35,000 people for online music piracy since 2003.
The RIAA said agreement in principle had been reached with several
ISPs on a voluntary graduated response program to copyright
Under the program, ISPs would alert subscribers to copyright
infringement notices and carry out a series of escalating sanctions.
Repeated infringement could lead to Internet accounts being cut off.
"It's much easier to send notices than it is to file lawsuits,"
The RIAA said that while it was ending its litigation program,
pending cases would continue and the association reserves the right
to file suit in cases where notices from ISPs are ignored.
The Internet rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation, in a
comment on its blog, welcomed the end to the lawsuit campaign
calling it "long overdue" and a "failure."