Thursday, May 01, 2003

Recording Industry Targets Kazaa Users

File sharing technology has made the theft of intellectual property all but routine, especially on America's college campuses. Now, the recording industry is using that same technology to send a warning to those who steal music online. According to the AP:
The recording industry has tapped into two Internet file-swapping services and is flashing messages to music traders warning them they're breaking the law.

"COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT WARNING," the message reads. "When you break the law, you risk legal penalties. There is a simple way to avoid that risk: DON'T STEAL MUSIC."

At the same time, the industry is collecting the user names of people suspected of illegally offering copyright material with the file-sharing services Kazaa and Grokster, but it doesn't intend to pursue legal action, said Recording Industry Association of America (news - web sites) President Cary Sherman.

Sherman, who announced the effort Tuesday, called it "educational" and said "there's no enforcement connected to this."

Kazaa owner Sharman Networks likened the RIAA campaign to spam meant to confuse users. Grokster Ltd. President Wayne Rosso called it "a death rattle."

"It doesn't bother us, because we are very anti-copyright infringement anyway," Rosso said. "They think they're harassing us. No. What they're doing is declaring war on our users."
Hey Mr. Roscoe, that's users who wantonly steal as if it was a matter of right. And isn't it a little bit ironic that you would condemn as spam a message sent in response to outright theft? If this is a war, who fired the first shot?

I think that the case for intellectual property has to be brought to our college campuses. Basically, a whole generation of Americans is acting as if it had the right to anything and everything as long as it exists in binary code. The information age is their age--if they choose to pirate it away, they will only stand to lose long term.

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