Speculation persists that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is preparing to re-launch legal action against the P2P community after announcing a partnership with anti-piracy software firm DtecNet.
RIAA set for P2P litigation u-turn
Industry rumours suggest the RIAA is planning a fresh assault on illegal music downloaders.
08 January 2009
The industry body, which represents major record labels including Universal, EMI and Sony, had previously declared that it was ending its legal action against selected, high-traffic P2P users and ended it dealings with another online security firm, MediaSentry.
However, the hiring of Danish firm DtecNet is viewed as a pre-cursor to another round of legal action.
The evidence gathered by MediaSentry was deemed inadmissible in court and also drew attention from privacy lobbyists.
The company identified available P2P material in individual users sharing folders.
These files were then accessed and downloaded to be presented as evidence, however it was shown that the downloaded material only proved that MediaSentry staff had acquired them and not that they were being actively distributed.
Lawyer Ray Beckerman, who has represented several clients against the RIAA, told the Wall Street Journal that MediaSentry had been doing “sloppy work” and were “invading the privacy of people”.
The RIAA has continued to support MediaSentry’s methods, despite ceasing its relationship with the firm.
The original bout of litigation courted much controversy with the RIAA publicly criticised for bringing action against an elderly grandmother and a homeless man. Both cases were eventually abandoned.