RIAA policy against illegal downloading futile

After several years of suing thousands of people, including college students, for illegally downloading music, the Recording Industry Association of America’s decision to rely more heavily on Internet service providers, such as TCU, to put perpetrators to rest seems to have gone awry.

Going after college students will only cut off the arm of the monster. The university’s policy, which suspends a student’s Internet access, forces them to remove all file-sharing software from their computers and requires them to send out e-mails detailing that they were caught illegally downloading music, is a weak reprimand and seems more like an annoyance rather than a consequence.

Instead of attacking the endless number of illegal downloaders, the RIAA should chop the heads off the file-sharing monsters named LimeWire, Ares and BearShare. These are the popular music downloading programs that attention should be turned to.

While putting an end to the numerous legal proceedings, which eventually turned into a giant public relations debacle, is a good move, relying on ISPs is a weak strategy if the RIAA wants to put the kibosh on file-sharing.

Putting part of the issue of illegal downloading in the hands of ISPs is a musty solution because it will merely add a middle man to an already complex problem. Not only do you have a middleman, but the effectiveness of the new policy relies heavily on the collaboration of the ISPs with the RIAA, letting them play bad cop while the RIAA takes a step back from the issue.

News editor Rose Baca for the editorial board.