Anti music piracy activity gathering momentum in US

MUMBAI: The fight over the sharing of music over the Internet is gaining steam. College students across America struck a note of belligerence after the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) said that it had sued individuals across the US for as much as $150,000 per song distributed online. Around 532 suits have been filed.


In India meanwhile, the Indian Music Industry is considering a similar course of action. It will make an example out of special cases involving large scale downloads. However Universal Music India president V J Lazarus did not dwell on the specifics saying that a plan of action was being worked on. "Very soon you will see us targetting certain users. Then the message will go out to all the others that what they are doing is wrong and illegal."

Lazarus also expressed hope that the Optical Disk Law would be in effect before too long. It has gone through the I&B Ministry and now the matter is with the Law Ministry. Once it comes into effect every CD will have the manufacturer's code number. This will make seizing pirated copies much easier.

Meanwhile a Reuters report has stated that 70 suits have been filed against students of New York University. College students upload music and make it available to others on the Internet through file-sharing programmes such as Kazaa and iMesh. The new suits have switched the record industry's focus from those file-sharing companies to the users of file-sharing programmes.

The RIAA has also unveiled an amnesty programme for individuals not currently under investigation. This will remove the threat of prosecution from those who promise to refrain from such activity in the future and erase all copyrighted music they have downloaded. Some students though feel that there is nothing wrong in downloading music as they find that CDs are too expensive.

France looks to step up a gear

France's culture minister Jean-Jacques Aillagon has indicated that he wants stronger laws to fight the menace of Internet music-swapping in his country. He was quoted in an AP report stating that illegal downloads were tantamount to shoplifting. France has been contemplating filing suits over Internet music piracy for the past few months.

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