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Contributing Writer

RIAA: On the hunt for illegal swappers

Jul 01, 20032 mins
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* RIAA says it will target individual swappers of copyright material

“We’d much rather spend time making music then dealing with legal issues in courtrooms. But we cannot stand by while piracy takes a devastating toll on artists, musicians, songwriters, retailers and everyone in the music industry.” These were the words of Cary Sherman, president of the Recording Industry Association of America, upon announcing that the RIAA is now building up cases against individual swappers.

After winning its attempt to get ISPs to hand over the names of heavy swappers on their network, the RIAA is going straight to the source.

And it wants individuals who are sharing files via file-swapping services to be aware that they are on the organization’s radar screen.

“The law is clear and the message to those who are distributing substantial quantities of music online should be equally clear – this activity is illegal, you are not anonymous when you do it, and engaging in it can have real consequences,” according to Sherman, in a statement.

The RIAA believes it will have enough evidence by the end of the summer to begin thousands of lawsuits against swappers.

The move seems drastic – and costly. But the RIAA says a healthy chunk of profits on music sales are never surfacing due to increased piracy and it wants to cut the problem off at the source.

The RIAA is using the growing number of “legal” sources for online music as a rationale for targeting “illegal” swapping. Apple as well as many of the major record labels and movie production houses have introduced various online music and movie stores over the past few months.

What do you think? Will the RIAA be victorious in its battle against individual swappers? Will it help move music and movie lovers to online stores? Let me know at