RIAA Enlists ISPs As Paralegals

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has sent out a letter to ISP’s to enlist them as Paralegals in an effort to change its prelitigation policies. The letter informs the ISP’s to “stop making mistakes in identifying subscribers” — “offers a ‘Pre-Doe settlement option’ with a discount of ‘$1000 or more’ to their subscribers who illegally share music online” and “will be launching a web site for early settlements, p2plawsuits.com. Now here’s the kicker, the RIAA will only offer the above if, and only if, the ISP agrees to preserve its logs for 180 days.

The letter also asks the ISPs to notify the RIAA if they have previously misidentified a subscriber account in response to a subpoena or become aware of technical information — that causes you to question the information that you provided in response to our clients’ subpoena. The RIAA also wants ISPs to furnish their underlying log files, not just names and addresses, when responding to subpoenas.

Here’s a quick overview:
• creation of a new “Pre-Doe settlement option”
• it will only make the “Pre-Doe settlement option” available to customers of ISP’s who agree to preserve their logs for 180 days
• it requires ISP’s to notify the RIAA “as early as possible” as to whether they will enter the 180 day/”pre-Doe” plan
• the “Pre-Doe” option will supposedly allow settlement at a reduced amount, with a discount of $1000 or more, if they settle before a John Doe lawsuit is brought
• the RIAA will be launching a web site for “early settlements” – www.p2plawsuits.com
• it requested that ISP’s furnish their underlying log files as well as just the names and addresses
• the letter asks the ISP’s to notify the RIAA if they have previously “misidentified a subscriber account in response to a subpoena” or became aware of “technical information – that causes you to question the information that you provided in response to our clients’ subpoena”
• it mentioned that there has been confusion over how ISP’s should respond to the RIAA’s subpoenas
• it noted that ISP’s have identified “John Does” who were not even subscribers of the ISP at the time of the infringement

What ISP in their right mind would go for this?? We don’t know, but this only showcases how flimsy the RIAA’s “John Doe” cases are to the general public.

Read the RIAA ISP Letter in its entirety.

Author: FutureMusic

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