After years of lawsuits against thousands of alleged file sharers, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has published a report citing how the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)'s lawsuit campaign is losing its credibility.
According to the EFF, lawsuits have not reduced peer-to-peer file sharing, which was one of the justifications the RIAA stated during the first wave of lawsuits. In addition, the RIAA has only jaded music listeners with its lawsuits, even though file sharing continues to gain popularity across the world.
"More than 30,000 Americans have been targeted for legal action by the recording industry without putting a single penny into the pockets of any artists," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Fred von Lohmann.
"At the same time, everyone agrees that P2P file-sharing is more popular than ever. The RIAA's litigation campaign arbitrarily punishes tens of thousands of people for what tens of millions are doing. It's futile and unfair. It is high time that the recording industry let fans pay them a reasonable fee for the P2P file sharing that we all know has become a fact of Internet life."
The report is categorized in seven different sections, with the EFF starting at the beginning and reaching the point file sharing stands today. To wrap up the report, the EFF has several different recommendations on what can be done to fairly compensate musicians through P2P music downloads.
Specifically, the EFF thinks a "voluntary collective licensing regime as a mechanism" could make a fair system for artists to make money from file sharing. Since the demand for P2P is obviously still there, a proper monetization platform that doesn't involve lawsuits or threats could help make artists and the RIAA collect even more money while music fans are still able to get the content they love.
Digital music sales have continued to increase over the past eight quarters, and initial signs indicate that trend will only carryover into the future. As more music retailers begin to remove DRM from the tracks they sell, more users should become interested in purchasing legal music tracks.
The full EFF report is available by clicking here.