Recording industry warns file swappers via IM

Expanding its battle against online piracy, the recording industry is using the instant messaging feature in file-swapping software to tell users that sharing copyright protected music is illegal.

Recording industry groups, including the Recording Industry Association of America Inc. (RIAA), the American Federation of Musicians and the Christian Music Trade Association, started sending long messages headlined "COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT WARNING" on Tuesday, according to an RIAA statement.

In the message, file sharers are told they are not anonymous, that they risk "legal penalties" and that their actions hurt songwriters, musicians and all music industry employees. Furthermore, the message warns that file-swapping applications may make a PC vulnerable to hacker attacks and expose private files.

Sending these messages is part of the recording industry's "educational efforts," the RIAA said. Many users of applications such as Kazaa, Morpheus and Grokster may be under the mistaken impression that anything they do on these systems is legal, the RIAA said. However, some users may never get the recording industry's message, as it is simple to turn off messaging in Kazaa.

The messaging action comes in the wake of a court ruling last week that two providers of free file-swapping software can't be held liable for the copyright infringing actions of their users, a major setback in the recording industry's fight against file sharing.

The industry appears to be stepping up its actions against individual file swappers, even though analysts have said that suing individual users may backfire. Earlier this month the RIAA sued four students who allegedly ran file-sharing networks on their school's local networks.

The RIAA and other entertainment industry organizations have been battling online piracy in court for years. They compare online sharing of copyright protected music, movies and software to shoplifting.

The full message sent by the recording industry:

COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT WARNING:

It appears that you are offering copyrighted music to others from your computer. Distributing or downloading copyrighted music on the Internet without permission from the copyright owner is ILLEGAL. It hurts songwriters who create and musicians who perform the music you love, and all the other people who bring you music.

When you break the law, you risk legal penalties. There is a simple way to avoid that risk: DON'T STEAL MUSIC, either by offering it to others to copy or downloading it on a "file-sharing" system like this.

When you offer music on these systems, you are not anonymous and you can easily be identified. You also may have unlocked and exposed your computer and your private files to anyone on the Internet. Don't take these chances. Disable the share feature or uninstall your "file-sharing" software. For more information on how, go to http://www.musicunited.net/5_takeoff.html.

This warning comes from artists, songwriters, musicians, music publishers, record labels and hundreds of thousands of people who work at creating and distributing the music you enjoy. We are unable to receive direct replies to this message. For more information about this Copyright Warning, go to www.musicunited.net.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joris Evers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?