The Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) is undergoing a transition away from suing individual file sharers and will instead request the help of ISPs in its latest fight against piracy.
But attempting to put more responsibility on the ISPs has drawn ire from ISPs:
"They have the right to protect their songs or music or pictures," Bayou Internet and Communications owner-operator Jerry Scroggin told CNET. "But they don’t have the right o tell me I have to be the one protecting it."
Bayou Internet offers Internet service to 10,000 to 12,000 subscribers in Louisiana, and if the RIAA wants Scroggin to police the company’s users, then he expects payment for his effort.
When asked in the past to eliminate access to alleged file sharers, Scroggin sent the same letter to the RIAA, with no response ever returned: "I ask for their billing address," he told CNET. "Usually, I never hear back.’
An e-mail correspondence between Scroggin and copyright owners can be found here.
The RIAA’s move away from individual lawsuits towards ISP-led crackdowns — though it seems that smaller ISPs will not be able to afford to go on wild goose chases looking for accused file sharers. Without proof of evidence, it takes time and money for ISPs to have paid technicians looking at IP logs and customer IDs, with it becoming increasingly easy for people to spoof IP addresses.
"They have the right to protect their songs or music or pictures," Scroggin said during the intervieww. "But they don’t have the right to tell me I have to be the one protecting it. I don’t want anyone doing anything illegal on my network, but we don’t work for free."
In an attempt to stifle copyright infringement on P2P networks, the RIAA has sued more than 30,000 accused file sharers over the past few years. Almost all of the cases are settled out of court for a few thousand dollars, with the RIAA recommending defendants settle out of court rather than trying to take it to court.