Friday, February 20, 2004

Now here's an interesting development for the RIAA's anti-piracy strategy...a New Jersey woman is filing a RICO lawsuit against the RIAA. This isn't the first time the comparison has been made. At Tech:Knowledge, Mike regularly refers to the RIAA always in conjunction with the phrase "thugs and goons". And most of are now familiar with the whistle-blowing book Hit Men. But this is the first time I've seen a legal accusation of the same. Obviously it's not fair to say that the whole industry is essentially organized crime, but there is an interesting legal question here: is the RIAA's piracy initiative equvilanent to racketeering? What would a less dubious alternative to protecting artists copyrights be? Maybe there is a problem with the monolithic "All Rights Reserved" system of copyright. The folks over at Lawrence Lessig insipred Creative Commons are working on an alternative.

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