Volgens persbureau Reuters gaat de Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) onverminderd verder met haar halsstrijd tegen de muziekuitwisselende internetter. Het instituut kondigt aan binnenkort serieus werk te maken van haar aankondiging om gebruikers van Kazaa en andere programma's die grote hoeveelheden bestanden aanbieden, individueel aan te pakken. Een handvol Amerikaanse studenten werd vorige maand al via de rechter gesommeerd tot het betalen van enkele duizenden dollars vanwege illegale uitwisselpraktijken. Begin deze maand werd door de rechter bepaald dat in de VS internetproviders wettelijk verplicht zijn om desgewenst persoongegevens van wetsovertredende klanten ter beschikking te stellen. RIAA-president Cary Sherman vindt het nu hoog tijd om de heksenjacht te laten beginnen:
"We're going to begin taking names and preparing lawsuits against peer-to-peer network users who are illegally making available a substantial number of music files to millions of other computer users," RIAA President Cary Sherman said in a conference call. The RIAA believes the popular peer-to-peer services, which allow users to copy music, movies and other files from each others' hard drives, are partly responsible for a decline in CD sales, and has aggressively sought to shut them down. But until now the industry has shied away from directly suing users, opting instead to send them online warnings and clutter up the networks with dummy files.
[...] The industry will not initially target those who do not allow others to copy their music collections, he said. Music fans who wish to avoid legal action should change the settings on their peer-to-peer software to block access to their hard drives, or uninstall the software completely, he said. The RIAA has managed to shut down Napster Inc., the first peer-to-peer service, and several successors. But the trade group suffered a setback last month when a judge ruled that two other networks, Grokster and Morpheus, should not be shut down because they do not control what is traded on their systems. "The RIAA, in their infinite wisdom, has decided to not only alienate their own customers but attempt to drive them into bankruptcy through litigation. So therefore they probably won't be able to afford to buy any music even if they want to," said Grokster President Wayne Rosso, who added he does not support copyright infringement.