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The RIAA “does not condone any illegal copying and does not want anyone to think that even a little illegal activity is acceptable."
——Cary Sherman
RIAA ONLY WANTS THE BIG FISH
Sends Inquiring Congressman a Nice Letter
If you think writing your Congressman is a waste of time, think again and follow the RIAA’s lead.

In response to inquiries from former roadie and current Republican Senator from the great state of Minnesota, Norm Coleman, about the trade group’s investigation and subpoenas of file-swappers, RIAA President Cary Sherman put pen to pad to reassure the Senator that it had no intention of going after “de minimus” users.  (Those of you who took Latin in high school will recognize that as a variation on the phrase, “Lex curat non de minimis,” which means “the law does not concern itself with trifles.”)

“RIAA is gathering evidence and preparing lawsuits only against computer users who are illegally distributing a substantial amount of copyrighted materials,” Sherman added. But, it “does not condone any illegal copying and does not want anyone to think that even a little illegal activity is acceptable." The letter also said the RIAA had sent millions of instant messages to peer-to-peer users, not all of which were spam for porn sites. It has sought more than 1,000 subpoenas to Internet service providers between June 25 and Aug. 8. Copies of all of the subpoenas have been sent to Coleman’s office, because reading subpoenas is one of his hobbies.

It was a lovefest all around, as Coleman issued a statement saying he was “gratified” by the industry’s assurances it wasn’t going after him, er, smaller infringers. However, Coleman, who is chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs' Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, has plans to hold hearings on the RIAA's campaign.

And there’s always somebody who can’t be satisfied. In this case, it’s the NetCoalition, the trade group for hundreds of Internet service providers, including Yahoo. NetCoaltion said the letter only raises more questions. It also said that the RIAA should explain how its search software works, how RIAA employees decide who should be targeted in subpoenas, and how to avoid detection when they’re trying to download the new Hilary Duff record.

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