This is getting ridiculous.

Having failed to stop piracy by suing internet users, the music industry is for the first time seriously considering a file sharing surcharge that internet service providers would collect from users.

Griffin’s idea is to collect a fee from internet service providers — something like $5 per user per month — and put it into a pool that would be used to compensate songwriters, performers, publishers and music labels. A collecting agency would divvy up the money according to artists’ popularity on P2P sites, just as ASCAP and BMI pay songwriters for broadcasts and live performances of their work.

Oh HELLS no.

Why should I pay for something I don’t do? I have never in my life downloaded a pirated song, nor do I ever intend to. And how would my $5 in any way compensate for the kid down the street who is exchanging thousands of dollars worth of illegal material daily on his open file server?

“I love Paul McGuinness’ idea,” says another scheduled SXSW panelist, Dina LaPolt, a Los Angeles attorney who represents Mötley Crüe and the estate of Tupac Shakur. “And I love the idea of trying to make ISPs pay artists and make up for all the free crap that’s going on. I support both, so long as artists are getting paid for their work.”

Why should ISPs pay for it? They haven’t done anything wrong. That’s like trying to make the phone company pay for a stolen goods transaction between a thief and a fence having a phone conversation. As the article states:

Technology experts say it would be impossible to reliably inspect trillions of packets for pirated material, especially if file sharing networks resort to encryption mechanisms. Legal experts point out that any attempt by an ISP to monitor its traffic in this way would jeopardize its status as a common carrier.

The hypocrisy of the record labels is galling, too. They talk about “artists” getting paid, when in reality the artists barely profit from their own material. It’s the publisher that takes the lion’s share. Just be honest and talk about the copyright holder, which is the record label and not the artist.

I am sooooo fucking tired of this shit.

You can’t stop music piracy. That’s the reality. Trying to get the money out of whoever you can lay your hands on is not an appropriate response. Identifying and locating the individuals who commit media piracy is basically impossible, due to the nature of the internet. RIAA is going to have to live with that, and stop throwing lawsuits in random directions to see who they can bully into forking over some money.

One Response to “RIAA Wants To Charge You All $5”
  1. John Drake says:

    I have no idea how the RIAA thinks they can legally require this. I’m no lawyer, but my understanding of the Digital Millennium Copyrights Act (DMCA) protects ISPs from copyright infringement of its customers. It looks like RIAA is just trying to scare ISPs into submission.

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