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Old 29-07-12, 00:55   #1
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Pirate Leaked RIAA Report: SOPA/PIPA “Are DEAD”

Leaked RIAA Report: SOPA/PIPA “Ineffective Tool” Against Music Piracy

Posted: 27 Jul 2012 06:48 AM PDT

“These illicit sites are among the culprits behind the music industry’s more than 50 percent decline in revenues during the last decade, resulting in 15,000 layoffs and fewer resources to invest in new bands,” wrote RIAA CEO Cary Sherman in a New York Times piece last year.

“It should be unacceptable to any of us involved in legitimate commerce online that a rogue Web site based outside the United States — but hawking American products or copyrighted works — can currently escape our laws.”


Sherman was writing in support of the Stop Online Piracy and Protect IP acts, legislation that if passed would have removed infringing websites from the United States Internet. But quietly behind closed doors earlier this year one of the RIAA’s most senior lawyers admitted that the legislation would not have been effective against online piracy.

The revelation appeared in a presentation (pdf) made by RIAA Deputy General Counsel Victoria Sheckler to IFPI members in April 2012.

In a section detailing recent legal and policy developments, Sheckler said that after “opposition to bills, activated by Google, went viral,” SOPA and PIPA were “essentially dead.”

But rather than opposition staying focused on these pieces of legislation, the RIAA Deputy General Counsel admitted that dissent had spread, with “anti-SOPA sentiment in netizens being used by opponents to oppose other copyright protection measures.”

Companies, Sheckler added, were now on “heightened alert” – an assertion confirmed by the recent Internet Bat Signal initiative.

But perhaps of most interest is the confession that even if they had passed, SOPA and PIPA would have been of little help to the music industry.

Sheckler notes that the legislation put forward an “important principle regarding intermediary responsibility,” a reference to ISPs being told to block “rogue” sites –but then added the following:

“Legislation not likely to have been effective tool for music.”

So, with SOPA and PIPA dead – at apparently no real loss to the music industry after all – the RIAA may be focusing on something else.
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