Here’s the situation: the Recording Industry (RIAA) is ramping up to sue people who are file-trading music online. No one doubts that this wide net will catch a lot of people who aren’t your typical shady characters. Hell, I know lawyers who wouldn’t breach arcane procedural rules who are happily trading MP3 files –perhaps because they don’t really grasp the copyright implications (and no doubt are too happy with the free music to do the basic legal research). Anyway, my point is that the RIAA’s suit is going to wind up hauling in a lot of ordinary citizens. And that’s not a good thing.
Obviously, all reasonable people think that artists need to be properly compensated for their creations. The current state of affairs isn’t helping artists get compensated, and that isn’t a good thing. But the RIAA approach is heavy-handed and is not the straightest path to a solution that puts more money in the artists hands. So what to do?
Well, I never thought I’d hear myself say these words, but it’s time for Congress to get involved and address the issue. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is pushing for Congressional hearings, and if you agree that the P2P situation is getting out of hand then you might want to write your member of Congress and urge that they hold hearings to mediate this dispute that is pitting reasonable people against one another.
Here is the link to the EFF site where you can sign a letter online to get the word out to your representative.