A memo sent by the RIAA to various ISPs lays out the music companies' latest extortion proposal: if ISPs send threatening letters to their subscribers (saving the RIAA a trip to the courts), the RIAA will "discount" their pay-off by $1000.
The RIAA wants to do an end run around this process, getting ISPs to start the collection agency work by sending out letters to the owners of IP addresses allegedly used for infringement. If the recipient of a such a letter contacts the RIAA, the labels get their positive ID and the chance to extract a sizable settlement without having to resort to the legal system.
In its letter (which has all information that would identify the recipient blacked out), the RIAA outlines how it would like ISPs' help in its continued attacks against suspected file sharers. One of the big problems from the RIAA's perspective is that of the ISPs' communications. "Whether in a notice to a subscriber at the preservation or Doe stage, or in subsequent communication with subscribers," the RIAA writes, "it is vital that you avoid providing incorrect or misleading information." Instead, ISPs should use a model letter written by the RIAA to let subscribers know what's going on.
At what point do we just abandon any pretense of making peace with these gangsters? When will it be time to declare war on them, to engage in file-sharing not because we love music, but because we hate the record companies?