In September 2003, members of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) filed the first wave of lawsuits against individual peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharers. Two years and 14,000 lawsuits later, both P2P file sharing and file-sharing litigation continue unabated, and members of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) are now suing individual Internet users as well. It's time to step back and consider where this litigation has been, where it's going, and whether there is a better way forward.
EFF is co-sponsoring the First Annual P2P Litigation Summit, to be held on Thursday, November 3rd, at Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago, Illinois.
The daylong conference brings together public and private defense attorneys, clients, investigators, advocates, and academics to discuss the latest developments in peer-to-peer litigation. How do the RIAA and MPAA go about identifying plaintiffs? What are the most effective legal strategies and tactics? Is it better to settle immediately, or fight it out in the courts? How is this impacting the individuals sued? What is the role of ISPs in this quagmire? Should Congress step in and, if so, what legislation is needed? Are there other ways to compensate authors for their works?