This Saturday marks the fourth anniversary of the RIAA's first lawsuits against consumers, alleging that they were violating copyright by sharing songs on peer-to-peer networks. More than 20,000 (and probably about 30,000) people have been targeted since, and the RIAA shows no signs of slowing down. And yet, P2P networks continue to grow in popularity. Are the lawsuits having any effect?
The EFF takes us on a candid and interesting history lesson [PDF link] in this report, walking us through the RIAA's initial attempts to sue the technology companies out of existence, then, when that failed, to issue "DMCA subpoenas by the thousands," which eventually led to the first wave of settlements: One of the first to settle was a 12-year-old girl living in NYC public housing, forced to publicly apologize for her actions and pay a $2,000 settlement.