“The group representing the U.S. recording industry said Friday it has abandoned its policy of suing people for sharing songs protected by copyright and will work with Internet service providers to cut abusers’ access if they ignore repeated warnings.
“The move ends a controversial program that saw the Recording Industry Assn. of America sue about 35,000 people since 2003 for swapping songs online. Because of high legal costs for defenders, virtually all of those hit with lawsuits settled, on average for around $3,500. The association’s legal costs, in the meantime, exceeded the settlement money it brought in.
“The association said Friday that it stopped sending out new lawsuits and warnings in August, and then agreed with several leading Internet service providers, without naming which ones, to notify alleged illegal file-sharers and cut off service if they failed to stop.
“It credited the lawsuit campaign with raising awareness of piracy and keeping the number of illegal file-sharers in check while the legal market for digital music took off. With two weeks left in the year, legitimate sales of digital music tracks soared for the first time past the 1 billion mark, up 28% over all of last year, according to Nielsen Soundscan.”
Music industry stops suing song swappers. The RIAA shifts its anti-piracy efforts to working with Internet service providers to cut abusers’ access, LA Times, December 19, 2008