When singer-songwriter John Hiatt performed with his band in Westbury, N.Y., this month, he did what every performer on a promotional tour does: He announced that his new CD was available in stores.
“Or,” he added with an impish grin, “you could download it from a friend.” As his audience laughed knowingly, he wagged his finger. “But be careful!”
What Hiatt was referring to, of course, was the sharing of music files over the Internet, and the controversial response of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Since June, it has sent Internet service providers and a handful of colleges more than a thousand subpoenas demanding information about individuals who allegedly infringed on copyrights. The association has said it will begin suing violators this month, and expects in time that there will be thousands of lawsuits.
The National Law Journal has the latest here.