If a new report is correct, despite the fact that Big Music’s ongoing sue ‘em all campaign is failing to stop Americans from downloading music and sharing files online, its relentless victimization of people who swap music is still having an effect. The Big Five record labels – EMI (UK), UMG (France), BMG (Germany), Sony (Japan) and Warner (US) – are suing anyone they can identify whom they claim is sharing copyrighted music files without their permission, and the FBI has recently begun acting as the labels’ enforcer.
In the US, the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) has, on behalf of its owners, the Big Five record labels, sued 1,977 people. Victims always settle out of court rather than risk potentially huge financial penalties if they lose to the labels’ bottomless pockets and endless, highly-paid music industry legal teams, and of the 532 suits brought a while back, 432 have been ‘settled’.
Online video downloading
Some 15% of Internet users report they have downloaded video files onto their computer, up from 13% who said they had done so in our November-December survey, says Pew and, “Online men are twice as likely as women to have done this. And young adults (those ages 18 to 29) are twice as likely as older Internet users to have done this. However, as bandwidth constraints become less of an issue for users, it is likely that video downloading will become significantly more widespread.”
Sharing files online
Those who say they share files from their own computer, such as music, video or picture files, or computer games rose slightly to 23% in the February 2004 survey. In our November-December 2003 survey, 20% of all Internet users said they shared files with others online.