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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

RIAA Claimed To Control Digital Piracy

Some local newspaper article has told about the claims of the Recording Industry Association of America that its strategy (the one about suing tens of thousands of pirates) had proved to be a very successful way of keeping piracy under control.

In fact, this was actually the industry’s response to an earlier article by the same newspaper, where the author explained that pursuing huge amounts of Internet users has actually failed as a piracy countermeasure, since the lawsuits ultimately proved inefficient in ending systematic piracy on the Internet. Nevertheless, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, their aim was never to stop piracy, but rather to bring it under sufficient control.

The representatives of the outfit explained that their legal efforts served as an essential educational instrument – today it is clear that music fans know much more about copyright legislation and the legal consequences of illegal music sharing than ever before. According to the provided statistics, before the government has initiated lawsuits 8 years ago, only 35% of people realized that file-sharing on peer-to-peer networks was against the law. But afterward awareness grew to 70%.

In addition, where there was virtually no legitimate digital market before the RIAA’s strategy of lawsuits, today this market is claimed to exceed $3 billion annually, with revenue from Internet platforms comprising over 50% of total industry revenues in 2011. For example, today there are over 400 licensed digital services all over the world, while in 2003 there weren’t even 50.

However, the reaction of the industry experts to this piece of information is very interesting – considering the “education” the Recording Industry Association of America is talking about, it seems that they have actually taught more people about file-sharing. Moreover, the phenomenon of file-sharing was anything but brought under control – actually, it has been rapidly escalating.

One more questionable claim is that of the pro-copyright outfit saying that its legal strategy is all about the “legal digital market”, while in reality the labels were simply forced into iTunes and other deals of this kind. Finally, the main question of the experts today is the following: if the industry really managed to keep piracy at bay over all these years, why would it need laws like SOPA and the Protect IP?

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