After Napster was released and became popular, the RIAA pressed Congress and the courts for relief against what it said was uncontrolled, extensive piracy. Congress agreed that file sharing services could be liable for piracy by their users, so the RIAA started to send letters to the likes of BearShare, WinMX and Grokster, telling them to wise up or shut down. And shut down many of them did.
Now, the RIAA claims that unauthorized song swapping has been "contained." They contend that although the problem has not been eliminated, a lot of progress has been made. And maybe they are right. They have sued just over 18,000 individuals for sharing songs online, removed the profiteers from online piracy, and have been successful in educating file sharers (including children) about copyright. Suddenly, pinching songs from the Net for free just doesn’t feel so right any more.
Does this mean that, one day soon, illegal file sharing on the Net will practically be non-existent? Is the life just draining out of it? Will the RIAA win?
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