New RIAA file sharing attack

By Jon Newton 2/25/04

Big Music is going full-out to gain complete and exclusive control of the burgeoning online music business.

On March 23 the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) launched another barrage of lawsuits designed to scare people who share music online into the hands of its owners, the Big Five record labels.

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In this latest attack, it's targetting individuals it claims are 'pirating' music owned by Big Music, and students in universities across the country.

Simultaneously, RIAA president Cary Sherman is trying to convince the same students that Gosh, Big Music really hates dragging them through the courts, but what choice does it have?

And in Britain the BPI has launched an instant messaging campaign to threaten file sharing music lovers, echoing similar - and notably unsuccessful - attempts by record label enforcement units in Canada and the US to do the same.

But while Big Music churns out its grotesquely overpriced cookie-cutter 'product,' in every minute of every day, four million simultaneous users around the world are logged on to p2p networks.

Moreover, around BILLION (1,000,000,000) files are shared every month, says Eric Garland, ceo of Big Champagne.

And p2p file sharers have millions of music files from cultures and artists all around the world to choose from, not just the 250,000 - 500,000 tired tracks offered by the Big Music-backed online stores at a dollar a download.

Big Music's efforts to dominate p2p make one think of King Canute, sitting on his throne on the shoreline, commanding the sea to go back.

Jon Newton is the editor of and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be read there. We urge you to explore it.

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