RIAA tactics called into question

Reports are coming in from the US that the Recording Industry of America's swathe of lawsuits against file sharing punters is not going too smoothly.

Whilst the majority of early defendants effectively pleaded guilty to the RIAA lawsuits, or rather, the threats of lawsuits, it seems that a number of downloaders are instructing their lawyers to defend the cases.

According to VNU.net reports, "the lawyers are questioning the basic merit of the lawsuits filed by the music industry trade body against individual file swappers."

The newswire says that the RIAA has filed 15,500 lawsuits against illegal downloaders, with 25 per cent choosing to settle out of court.

I remember the RIAA saying earlier this year that around 60 per cent of defendants were choosing to settle out of court, so it looks like the alleged file sharers are getting more savvy on the legal front.

Variety magazine puts it more succinctly, quoting a New York defence lawyer as saying that the RIAA is only aware that someone has a PC with a file sharing folder with copyrighted songs in it.

"They do not know whether the songs were obtained illegally, and they do not even know whether the person they're suing is the person who set up the file-sharing account," said the lawyer.

Interesting point. There are a lot of trojans and malware applets out there in Internet-land. All it takes is a lawyer to produce a piece of malware that creates a file sharing folder on a user's PC and starts offering files for download, and the RIAA will lose its case.

Now there's a thought...