The recording industry dropped some big news Friday, announcing that it will no longer take a broad approach to litigating against alleged filed sharers. The Recording Industry Association of America has enlisted the help of internet service providers to act as a sentry and help discourage customers from pirating music.
Below is a copy of the form letter the RIAA will send to ISPs to inform them one of their customers is accused of file sharing. The notification is similar to those the group has sent to college campuses for years and shows very clearly that the group retains the right to sue people for copyright violations.
Sir or Madam:
I am contacting you on behalf of the Recording Industry Association of America, Inc. (RIAA) and its member music companies. The RIAA is a trade association whose member companies create, manufacture, and distribute approximately ninety (90) percent of all legitimate music sold in the United States.
We believe a user on your network is offering an infringing sound recording for download through a peer to peer application. We have attached below the details of the infringing activity.
We have a good faith belief that this activity is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law. We are asking for your immediate assistance in stopping this illegal activity. Specifically, we respectfully request that you remove or disable access to the unauthorized music.
We believe it is in everyone's interest for music consumers to be better educated about the copyright law and ways to legally enjoy music online. The major record companies have actively licensed their music to dozens of innovative services where fans can go to listen to and/or purchase their favorite songs. A list of many of these services is available at www.musicunited.org.
It should be made clear by this letter that downloading and distributing copyrighted songs via peer to peer networks is not an anonymous activity. Not only is distributing copyrighted works on a peer to peer network a public activity visible by other users on that network, an historic 2005 U.S. Supreme Court decision affirmed the unmistakable unlawfulness of uploading and downloading copyrighted works. The website www.musicunited.org contains valuable information about what is legal and what is not when it comes to copying music. In addition to taking steps to notify the network user at issue about the illegal nature of his/her activity, we strongly encourage you to refer him/her to this helpful site.
Please bear in mind that this letter serves as an official notice to you that this network user may be liable for the illegal activity occurring on your network. This letter does not constitute a waiver of our members' rights to recover or claim relief for damages incurred by this illegal activity, nor does it waive the right to bring legal action against the user at issue for engaging in music theft. We assert that the information in this notice is accurate, based upon the data available to us. Under penalty of perjury, we submit that the RIAA is authorized to act on behalf of its member companies in matters involving the infringement of their sound recordings, including enforcing their copyrights and common law rights on the Internet.
Thank you in advance for your prompt assistance in this matter. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail at XXXXXX@riaa.com, via telephone at *Phone Number*, or via mail at RIAA, 1025 F Street, NW, 10th Floor, Washington, D.C., 20004. Please reference *Case ID* in any response or communication regarding this matter.
List of infringing content
Infringing Work : XXXXXX
Filename : XXXXXX
First found (UTC): XXXXXX
Last found (UTC): XXXXXX
Filesize : XXXXXX
IP Address: XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX
IP Port: XXXXX