RIAA works on the honor system?

Wired News | Peace Offering for File Traders?

The music industry plans to offer what it calls a “general amnesty” to file traders who step forth and promise not to do it again, but experts say few will take the bait.

…The offer, first reported by Billboard Bulletin, would require people to sign a notarized form promising to delete illegally downloaded files from their computer, submit a copy of a photo identification and pledge to stop the infringing behavior. In return, the RIAA would agree to not sue them.

…One attorney said he would not advise a client to volunteer for this program.

…”I think people distrust the RIAA,” he said.

No kidding.

This is a difficult issue for me. I do, after all, have some intellectual property out there that I’d like to protect. But the real answer, it seems to me, is going to involve some combination of (a) lowering the cost of a CD to reflect what it actually cost to make, and (b) increasing the royalties that artists get from sales thereof. I mean, it’s been years since I bought a new CD.

If the RIAA would care to try to convince the music-buying public that they actually do add some value to the product, justifying the percentage they take, I’d love to see what they have to say. But when executives who aren’t missing any meals and equally-well-fed attorneys are prosecuting middle-school kids, well, it’s not great PR.

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