US Senate overwhelmingly approved the Pirate Act

The US Senate has overwhelmingly approved the controversial Piracy Act that would allow federal prosecutors to file civil lawsuits against consumers suspected of copyright infringement.  Previously only the RIAA could file lawsuits against consumers suspected of infringing its copyrighted material.  The music industry
is happy with the approval as the addition of federal lawsuits would
help to further deter consumers from file sharing networks.


Like the RIAA’s lawsuits, federal civil lawsuits can result in fines of 10’s to possible 100’s of thousands of dollars.  However in order for it to make any useful deterrence, tens of thousands of civil lawsuits may be required before the majority really start taking this seriously.  So far the RIAA has sued 3,429 suspect infringers to date.

The U.S. Senate on Friday overwhelmingly approved a controversial proposal that would let federal prosecutors file civil lawsuits against suspected copyright infringers, with fines reaching tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The so-called Pirate Act has raised alarms among copyright lawyers and lobbyists for peer-to-peer companies, who have been eyeing the recording industry’s lawsuits against thousands of peer-to-peer users with trepidation. They worry that the Department of Justice could be even more ambitious.

Senate leaders scheduled Friday’s vote under a procedure that required the unanimous consent of all members present. Now the Pirate Act, along with a related bill that criminalizes using camcorders in movie theaters, will be forwarded to the House of Representatives for approval.


It seems like the RIAA are confident that constant suing as well as increasing the number of lawsuits is the only effective way to tackle P2P piracy.  What makes matters worse is that even if they manage to succeed in taking offline the heavy file sharers, the remaining users with even lets 10 songs each still adds up.  Their efforts may even in fact improve P2P performance since removing the large file sharers and its associated bottlenecks will result in files being downloaded from users with only a few shared files and thus faster performance. 

Source: CNET News – The Net