The RIAA said it will today sue over 400 students with access to Internet2, the high speed next-generation network, for copyright infringement. The experimental network is used by universities and researchers and has been demonstrated to transmit a DVD in around 30 seconds.
The sheer speed of I2 makes file sharing much more attractive, exponentially increasing the amount of revenue lost to artists by the RIAA's failure to lobby for a scheme that reimburses them. Similar schemes have been implemented for radio and public broadcast - new technologies that initially robbed artists of their revenue while expanding the potential audience for their creative works. But rather than having the courage to lobby for the traditional reimbursement model to be applied to digital media, the RIAA instead wants the new technology outlawed.
"We cannot let this high-speed network become a zone of lawlessness where the normal rules don't apply," said Cary Sherman, RIAA president.
Quite the contrary. It's the RIAA that has refused to contemplate "the normal rules", and by shunning any prospect of a compulsory license, has denied many millions of dollars of due royalties to its members, royalties those artists rightfully deserve. ®