The dawn of peer-to-peer networks and the subsequent rise of file sharing over the Internet have proved to be a considerable threat to the revenues of the Recording Inpdf version dustry Association of America (“RIAA”) and the international music community.  While early music downloading across peer-to-peer networks on the Internet was largely limited “to college students with access to fast pipes and techno geeks sufficiently driven to search the Net for the latest Phish bootlegs,”[i] the market for illegally downloaded music taken from file sharing websites has expanded to astronomic proportions and continues to do so even at present.[ii]  The results of this expansion proved doubly costly to the RIAA, as the record industry has suffered reduced music sales and has simultaneously attempted to wage a multifaceted war against file sharers and their networks.[iii]  Yet, the RIAA’s strategies have ultimately damaged the association’s reputation and also the music industry generally.  Due to their choice of targets, “[t]he media and public have cast the RIAA as a villain that sues single mothers and even the deceased.”[iv]  Despite pursuing their cause even to the extent of suffering harms to their reputation, the RIAA’s efforts have proven largely fruitless as record sales have continued their downward trend.[v]

 

The failure of the RIAA to properly handle the issue of file sharing is evident from the record industry’s depressed financial statistics[vi] and the general public’s outcry against the association’s tactics.[vii]  This Note addresses some of the alternative (and potentially more popular) methods available to the RIAA in its efforts to overcome the rise of illegal file sharing…

Andrew Eichner