RIAA Gets a Fresh Start in 2009
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has just given investigative company MediaSentry the boot. MediaSentry was the RIAA’s primary source for finding and tracking Internet users who download content illegally. The evidence gathered by MediaSentry would specifically be used in cases against unlawful music uploaders.
Many complained that MediaSentry’s tactics in finding information were questionable. Ray Beckerman, author of the Recording Industry vs. the People blog, stated that “MediaSentry representatives have been invading the privacy of people” and that “they’ve been doing sloppy work.”
According to Beckerman, the evidence found by MediaSentry did little to prove that defendants had actually done anything wrong. Rather than providing the RIAA with how many times a user had shared a particular copyrighted song, MediaSentry simply forwarded the association a list of users with such songs in their shared library.
Questionable or not, MediaSentry’s methods for investigating potential pirates led to 35,000 lawsuits filed by the RIAA since they upped the anti-piracy ante in 2003. The association also recently announced plans to cut back on piracy lawsuits, focusing more on those who share excessively by working with internet service providers.
Despite breaking ties with the company, the RIAA still believes that MediaSentry’s tactics were the “best practices” for what they were trying to achieve at the time. Copenhagen-based company Dtec-Net ApS will take over for MediaSentry for what the RIAA sees as a new phase in the battle against piracy.