TG Daily reports RIAA acknowledged that all its lawsuits were perhaps not the right answer to music piracy.
>i>In a recent conversation with TG Daily, the RIAA acknowledged that suing potential customers “was not the answer,” while adding that the lawsuits were “a necessary part of a larger equation.”
“Litigation tends to generate more heat, friction, and headlines,” Jonathan Lamy, a spokesman for the RIAA told us. “What is the most important anti-piracy strategy is aggressive licensing and offering great legal alternatives. That is what our member companies obviously do and our job is to complement that, which is the most important thing to do to win over fans.”
According to the latest statistics from the RIAA, there were over 7.8 million households in March 2007 in the U.S. that illegally downloaded music versus 6.9 million households in April 2003, when the litigation campaign began. However, while this number suggests that the lawsuits have been counter-productive there is also the fact that the broadband penetration rate in the U.S. has also more than doubled since 2003.
Still, whether or not the litigation has had much of an effect in mitigating piracy, the benefits for society, as well as for the recording industry, remain debatable.
“I don’t think [the litigation] has made a meaningful dent in how much piracy goes on among American young people,” John Palfrey, a clinical professor of law at Harvard Law School and executive director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. “And I think it continues to represent a signal that the recording industry is out of step with the future, and frankly out of step with the present as well [….] But it is more importantly, I think, a distraction from finding the way forward in a digital age.”