Entertainment Industry Trade Groups: Lawsuits Don’t Protect Property

Trade groups including the Recording Industry Association of America, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and the Motion Picture Association of America say that currently copyright law gives too many excuses to service providers to do nothing about copyright protection. The statement is part of a response to a Notice of Information on copyright policy issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce. A Notice of Information is a request for information from interested parties and anyone else that wants to make comments about a particular issue. That request garnered responses from nine trade groups.

"The role of lawsuits in solving the online theft problem is clearly limited," read part of a group response that included the MPAA, RIAA, and AFTRA. "For instance, bringing clear-cut claims against major commercial infringers is not by itself a solution in the long run," the coalition wrote. "These cases take years to litigate and are an enormous resource drain. Bringing clear-cut claims against major commercial infringers is not by itself a solution in the end."

The group cited LimeWire as an example. Even though for major record companies finally prevailed in getting the software shut down, the group points out that it took four years to accomplish this and it cost millions of dollars.

"The LimeWire defendants were able to drag out the litigation for four years. Such massive civil cases do not provide a scalable solution to the full scope of the problem."

Others, like law firms that sue individuals, are finding the battle to be difficult as well. Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver (DGW), one of several law firms that has filed copyright complaints against thousands accused of illegally sharing movies, is also finding that these kinds of cases take time and money. Of course, in the case of these lawsuits it is even harder because lawyers are armed with lists of I.P. addresses and not actual names.

Trade groups representing the entertainment business want laws that better protect their property and make it easier to quickly go after infringers, and they want ISPs too cooperate more. While they do not provide any solutions, they complain about file-sharing, search engine providers that facilitate piracy, ISPs and the loopholes in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The coalition says that the way the law reads in its present form, ISPs have too much of "an excuse to do nothing to combat pervasive and even blatant infringement."

Source: C|Net

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