The RIAA Says Suing Individuals Was an Effective Strategy

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The RIAA ended its mass-lawsuits against individuals years ago, though the group is now pointing to a successful strategy.

In fact, the group now claims that it ‘largely succeeded’ in containing the piracy problem and fostering a legitimate marketplace.  In response to a critical article in the Tennessean regarding the RIAA’s multi-million dollar lobbying tab and questionable legal approach, RIAA executive Liz Kennedy fired back with this.

“We never expected to ‘end’ piracy. The goal is to bring the problem under sufficient control so that lawful businesses can compete and the industry can earn enough to protect jobs and invest in new bands.

“Our legal efforts served as an essential educational tool: Fans know far more now about copyright laws and the legal consequences of stealing music than ever before. Before initiating lawsuits in 2003, only 35 percent of people knew file-sharing on P2P was illegal; afterward, awareness grew to 70 percent.

“Where there was virtually no legal digital market before the lawsuits, today the market exceeds $3 billion annually, and revenue from online platforms will comprise more than 50 percent of total industry revenues this year. To boot, there are more than 400 licensed digital services worldwide, compared with fewer than 50 in 2003.

“To be clear, no legal efforts are a panacea — compelling legal consumption options are the most important.  But we believe our efforts made a difference.  Consider the alternative, if we had done nothing and illegal downloading skyrocketed further and strangled a flourishing legal marketplace.”