Grokster Blasts RIAA Anti-Piracy Tactics

The Recording Industry Association of America's plan to sue individuals for distributing "substantial amounts" of music files on peer-to-peer networks isn't likely to change consumer behavior, critics

The Recording Industry Association of America's plan to sue individuals for distributing "substantial amounts" of music files on peer-to-peer networks isn't likely to change consumer behavior, critics of the initiative charge.

Grokster president Wayne Rosso told attendees of an event sponsored by the Copyright Society of the USA yesterday (June 26) in New York that attempts by the recording industry to thwart file sharing through litigation are bound to fail. Rosso said lawsuits can't keep pace with technological innovation and development.

RIAA attorney Dean Garfield told attendees that lawsuits against consumers are just one tactic in a multi-faceted strategy the industry is using to combat piracy.

The move comes after litigation aimed at P2P networks themselves has failed to stem the growth of file sharing. Two years after the industry's shutdown of Napster, the practice is more popular than ever. The RIAA reports that an estimated 2.6 billion copyrighted files are traded over P2P networks every month. Leading the pack is KaZaA: The RIAA says that in May, the service had more than 230 million users, up from 100 million in July 2002.

Additionally, a recent court ruling in the RIAA's suit against Grokster and others found that P2P networks cannot necessarily by held accountable for the illegal activities of their users.

Rosso said the only real solution is for labels to strike distribution deals with P2P networks. However, he said, the RIAA's litigation initiatives are stifling negotiations.