June 24, 2024

RIAA to Grant Semi-Amnesty

The RIAA is reportedly planning to offer amnesty to file sharers. According to the reports, just after the RIAA launches its upcoming flurry of lawsuits against file sharers, it will offer a deal to everybody else: send a letter to RIAA admitting that you have infringed in the past, and in exchange RIAA will promise not to sue you for your past infringement. If you continue to infringe, though, the RIAA gets the right to sue you for wilfull infringement.

Mary Hodder at bIPlog points out that this may not be as good a deal as it might seem. The RIAA and its members don’t own all of the copyrights that cover recorded music. If you infringe, the RIAA and its members are not the only people who can sue you. An amnesty from them is worth something, but it doesn’t shield you fully from lawsuits. Given that, a written admission of infringement might not be a wise move.


  1. Maybe it’s time to ‘strike back’.

    The RIAA says that file sharers hurt their sales. We say it
    actually promotes them. How about making an experiment?

    Let’s coordinate a one month boicot of CD’s. Let’s
    agree on a date, and on that month no file sharer buys
    *any* CD.

    But, to keep it fair, we ask that if someone is not a
    file sharer he/she does not modify any purchasing decition.

    Then we (and the RIAA) will know the truth.

  2. It’s extortion: give us the personal information (including the racial information on your state issued ID’s – required by RIAA for “amnesty”) and we’ll “protect” you from all the litigation going around.

    Sounds like the kind of “protection” Mob heavies offer to local shop owners.

    Maybe we should promise to NOT stop buying CDs if RIAA stops the madness.

  3. John Anderson says

    I have no idea who actually holds the copyright to Scott Joplin’s music, but I doubt RIAA or its members can clear me of “theft” for downloading the MP3 some kindly person made of a piano roll made by Joplin himself playing one of his rags.

    If whoever does hold the copyright contacts me, I’ll try to come up with the $0.03(?) I suppose I owe.

    I also note the members have decided to cut prices – what, 33%? – to make them more attractive to purchasers. OK, but it does make me wonder just what the profit margin really is if that can be done and still leave a profit…

  4. [sarcasm]

    And on a related note, the Gap is offering amnesty for prior shoplifting offenses to all those who admit to such offenses.

    Your name, description, and head shot will in no way be sent to your local Gap or law enforcement agency.


    I was having a conversation with someone who knows plenty of people who work in the recording industry last night. He was explaining why the industry never marketed the “new artist” price they came out with a while ago. In the words of one insider “People just wouldn’t understand (why one cd is marked less than another).”


    Because none of us notice that all cds are’t the same price. And I have no clue why The Two Towers two disc set costs $18, but the four disc set will cost only $25.


    I asked him if they thought we were all stupid. He said yes, for the most part.

    Lets hope we don’t prove them wrong.