[Politech] RIAA responds to Politech over EFF note on lawsuit amnesty [ip]

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Tue Sep 23 2003 - 21:00:38 PDT

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    Previous Politech message:
    "EFF's Cindy Cohn on RIAA amnesty, alternatives to lawsuits"
    Subject: Re: FC: EFF's Cindy Cohn on RIAA amnesty, alternatives to lawsuits
    To: declan@private
    From: Jonathan Lamy <deleted@private>
    Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2003 16:26:46 -0400
    Hi Declan,
    Thought you might be interested in the response we have submitted to the
    EFF column.  If you forward this to your list, please delete my email
    address.  thanks
    To The Editor:
    Fred von Lohmann's skepticism about the recording industry's Clean Slate
    program for illegal file-sharers ("'Amnesty' for Music File Sharing Is a
    Sham," Sept. 10) seems based far more on a reflexive hostility to the music
    community's efforts to protect itself against theft than on any discernible
    good sense or logic. Perhaps most misleading is his complaint that in
    return for pledging to destroy all their illegally obtained music files and
    promising never again to digitally distribute or download music without
    permission, reformed file sharers will get "nothing" from us.  In fact,
    they will get exactly what we can provide: a promise that if they keep
    their word, they won't be sued by any of the major record companies who
    happen to be the sole plaintiffs in the current wave of copyright
    infringement actions that seem to have Mr. von Lohmann so exercised.
    It is true that we can't promise that other copyright holders, such as
    songwriters and music publishers, will not sue participants in our amnesty
    program.  But then these groups have not sued any file sharers and have
    said they have no plans to do so.  Even if they did, it's hard to see how
    participation in our program would make anyone more vulnerable to their
    efforts, since Clean Slate participants are not required to divulge their
    screen names or specific examples of any previous infringement (and as part
    of Clean Slate, we are specifically committing not to divulge the names of
    those who participate to any copyright holders, including our own members,
    so long as the participants abide by their word).  And what would be the
    rationale -- public relations or legally -- for suing someone who has
    promised to stop illegal behavior when there are tens of thousands of other
    targets?   The simple point of the Clean Slate program is to give those who
    want it the assurance that they won't be targets of litigation by the only
    companies who are bringing lawsuits.  But there's another way to get some
    comfort too -- just stop the illegal activity.
    The irony of all of this is that Mr. von Lohmann only last year attacked
    the recording industry for not suing individual file sharers, telling
    Billboard magazine (and many other publications) that if we were really
    serious "about stopping piracy" we should be bringing "lawsuits against the
    actual people sharing the files."
    Apparently, there's just no satisfying some people.
    Cary Sherman
    Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2003 10:39:50 -0700
    To: Declan@private
    From: Cindy Cohn <cindy@private>
    Subject: Fwd: [E-IP] LAT file sharing op ed
    Hi Declan,
    Thought you might find this interesting for Politech.  The first part is
    about the phony "amnesty" that the RIAA is touting, but the second is the
    more important, I think, pointing just one of the many ways the RIAA could
    embrace its customers rather than sue them, and end up making more money in
    the bargain.
    Politech mailing list
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