$10 piracy settlements signal that file-sharing is the new normal

The Pirate BayBy now university administrators and IT departments are accustomed to passing on letters from the music industry accusing students of sharing music illegally over the Internet. What’s surprising about the latest round of letters from the RIAA is that they offer to settle piracy charges with students for only $10 or $20, despite recent high-profile court cases awarding exorbitant sums for individual violations.

Still water co-director Jon Ippolito explains this shift in tactics in an interview with MPBN’s Jennifer Mitchell.

Music Industry Targets UMaine Students in Piracy Crackdown

Given the industry’s track record of successfully suing individuals who refuse to settle, new media specialist Jon Ippolito says whether the new strategy works remains to be seen.

“It’s not like the RIAA and the MPAA have abandoned older strategies, but they’ve tried so many of them, and so many of them have failed,” Ippolito says, “not so much in the courts or in the legislature, but in the, sort of, court of public opinion….”

New media observer Jon Ippolito says that what we’re really feeling are the growing pains of technological innovation outpacing an industry that’s trying desperately to maintain control over its product distribution. And ironically, he says it’s his very students at places like the University of Maine who will eventually have to come up with the solutions.

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