RIAA can't touch UK ISPs, says lawyer

  Ranger 07:01 24 Jan 03
  Ranger 07:01 24 Jan 03

for all you kazza users out there, found this on vnuunet

Attempt to 'fine' UK internet service providers over illegal downloads doomed to failure

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is unlikely to be able to hold UK internet service providers (ISPs) accountable for customers downloading illegal music files, according to a lawyer.
The RIAA has said that ISPs must be made to pay a charge to offset revenues lost to the music industry from people illegally downloading music.

But according to Stuart Nuttall, of solicitors Fladgate Fielder, the grounds on which the music industry intends to 'fine' ISPs are flawed. The move is simply an attempt to look for someone else to blame for falling CD sales, he said.

Nuttall indicated that the RIAA is unlikely to be successful in the UK.

"It is part of a trend by the RIAA to hit soft targets. But it flies in the face of economic developments and stops the music industry looking closely at other ways of selling music," explained Nuttall.

But a judge in the US has already given the music industry the power to force American ISPs to name those who trade music files across their servers.

In a landmark judgement, a US judge ordered the online division of Verizon Communications to give the RIAA the name of a customer who had downloaded as many as 600 songs a day using the popular Kazaa music file-sharing service.

But Nuttall suggested that even a move like this in the UK could fall foul of a number of laws designed to protect consumers.

"In the UK I would seriously question the validity of any claim and think it would be unenforceable," he said. "Monitoring customers' internet activities could fall foul of UK data protection laws."

ISPs are open to forming alliances with the music industry, according to online music distribution company OD2.

Ed Averdieck, the firm's marketing director, said that most were happy to help develop legal digital music download services.

"It's no use blaming ISPs for illegal downloads. Most major ISPs are moving towards commercial distribution channels, but there is a big job to be done convincing consumers," he said.

OD2 has launched another Digital Download Day, which aims to raise consumer awareness on how and where to download legal digital music. It will offer €5 worth of free tracks to UK surfers.

People can pre-register now at the Digital Download Day website , and from 21 March for a week will be able to choose from 150,000 tracks from online retailers such as HMV, Tiscali, AlaPage, Ministry of Sound, MSN, Freeserve, dotmusic and Wanadoo.

  expertec 09:10 24 Jan 03

did you notice PCAdvisor had included Kazaa, Morpheus, Audiogalaxy, WinMX, BearShare, LimeWire and other file-sharing propgrams on the cover disc this month?!

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