Last week, the RIAA announced that it was going to shift strategies to fight piracy. Instead of filing mass lawsuits, the group said it was partnering with internet service providers to identify, serve notice and potentially disconnect persistent file-sharers. The announcement was met with mixed reactions, with some praising it as a move in the right direction and others wary of their tactics. One small ISP in particular is refusing to play ball with the RIAA – at least on their terms – and is letting them know that policing P2P users to protect music costs both time and money.
Jerry Scroggin, owner-operator of Bayou Internet and Communications, says he receives several notices each month with requests to remove suspected file sharers from his network. But while Scroggin understands the labels’ need to protect their content and is willing to cooperate with law enforcement, he also believes that as bystanders in the music industry’s war on piracy ISPs shouldn’t be expected to help enforce copyright law free of charge.
The newly proposed anti piracy approach is certainly less abrasive and saves the RIAA a lot of money. However, significant expense is involved when trying to track down a user who may not be doing anything wrong in the first place and ISPs aren't excited about coping with such costs – many of them simply can’t afford it – which underscores a potential obstacle for the RIAA’s plan.