John Robb on RIAA and Verizon

posted Aug 22, 2002

Wired.  The RIAA wants information on the identity of a Verizon user that it claims has thousands of MP3s avaiable via KaZaA.  Verizon, is resisting.  The RIAA would presumably use this information to force Verizon to deny service to the individual as well as sue them for civil penalties.  It would also allow them, if the NET Act is involked, to send this person to jail as a felon.  Obviously, the RIAA wants to use this case as a demonstration to the rest of us that they are in control.

I doubt that even if this action is successful, people will stop using P2P networks.  That would then put the RIAA on a path to attempt to turn off the DSL and cable connections of P2P users it identifies en masse, as it can do via the DMCA.  Verizon and other ISPs would then be in hot water -- they could end being forced to deny broadband service to 50% of all subscribers in the US.   This would be a major blow to Internet and crush any potential for a revival of the US economy.  That a puny $20 b industry is on a path to potentially cause $100 billion ++ in damage to the US economy based on less than $1 b in suspected damages defies reason. [John Robb's Radio Weblog]


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