It seems that the RIAA and other music industry organizations have become bored with only harassing people who may or may not have illegally shared songs online. Now they have begun branching out and harassing the writers and publications who dare cover stories about file-sharing options.
After a recent article was posted covering alternatives to Limewire, after the P2P service was shut down by the RIAA, PC Magazine received a letter signed by the RIAA and 16 other music industry organizations admonishing them for promoting piracy. The letter also referred to a second article which reported the resurrection of Limewire in the form of Limewire: Pirate Edition.
Apparently, the groups didn’t fact-check their accusations well enough before sending their correspondence off to PC Magazine’s editors since the second article was actually published by rival publication PC World. Additionally, the PC World story was actually based upon an article originally published by TorrentFreak.com.
“We write to express our deep disappointment with your decision to publish Chloe Albanesius’ October 27 article, ‘LimeWire is Dead: What are the Alternatives?‘ as well as Sarah Jacobsson Purewal’s November 9, 2010 article ‘LimeWire is Quietly Resurrected: It’s Baaack!’,” the letter states. “Both articles are nothing more than a roadmap for continued music piracy. The disclaimer in the first, ‘PC Magazine does not condone the download of copyrighted or illegal material,’ rings hollow to say the least.”
“We would hope that your sense of decency and the realization that even PC Magazine has a responsibility to the rule of law, would have informed your editorial decision in this matter,” the letter continues. “We suspect you’d feel differently about this issue if, like the music industry, you’d had to let go more than half of the talented writers and journalists who create your magazine because of uncontrolled piracy of their work. Unfortunately, it is clear that the rule of law was an afterthought.”
First of all, where does the music industry get the idea that businesses which publish written works rather than music don’t have to deal with copyright issues or piracy? Second, since when is it against the law to merely write about P2P software? It’s bad enough they want to censor the internet by shutting down sites and enacting a DNS blacklist, but now they’d like to censor the press too? In my humble opinion that’s just too far.
Unfortunately, MyCE didn’t receive a letter for our coverage of LimeWire Pirate Edition that we could make fun of.