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RIAA Ceases Mass Lawsuit Campaign, Strikes Deal with ISPs

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has ceased its campaign of mass lawsuits against music fans, according to the Wall Street Journal. The industry trade association, which has launched more than 35,000 since 2003, generating enormous amounts of bad press in the process, stopped the mass lawsuits earlier this Fall, and instead began striking deals with ISPs to send notices to people it suspects of illegally trading copyrighted music.

The WSJ reports that the RIAA has worked out preliminary agreements with a number of major ISPs in the U.S. As part of the deals, the RIAA will send letters of notification to an ISP when it finds someone pirating music. Some of those ISPs will then forward the letter to their customers, while others will instead alert their customers that they appear to be pirating music.

The key to these deals is that the RIAA will not be subpoenaing the ISPs to try and learn the identity of the ISP's customer, a source of friction between the IPS industry and the RIAA since it launched its plan to litigate the problem of piracy in the digital age.

The RIAA is, however, still reserving its right to sue particularly egregious file traders, or those who ignore repeated warning from the RIAA or their ISPs.

Despite the change in tactics, the trade group is calling their campaign against children, dead people, single moms without computers, and other (real) illegal file traders a success. Spokespersons for the RIAA told the WSJ that piracy today would be even worse than it is had the group not raised awareness with its legal campaign.

6 comments from the community.

You can post your own below.

mactoid said:

WOW…what a coincidence! The evil RIAA stops its gestapo tactics just a month away from the inauguration of a new president!

Just a coincidence?


mahuti said:

Yes it’s a coincidence.


modix2 said:

except that the RIAA is once again lying through their collective teeth ... go to

and scroll down to

“RIAA claim not to have filed new cases “for months” is false”

thanks to Martin A. Miller for the tip and link, appreciate it Bud!


Exnihilo said:

This is WORSE! They are making “DEALS” with ISPs now? Deals, as in, if you don’t do as we want, we will sue you for enabling piracy. RIAA needs to stop doing business like it was the 1950’s and get with the new digital markets and think of creative ways to sell music.


Lavode said:

Anyone else having the text of this story being covered up by advertisements?

I know you guys have to cover costs somehow, but this is ridiculous.


Intruder said:


Not at all. Are you, per chance, letting the cursor hover over one of the double-underlined links?


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