SOPA and PIPA Failures & the Sneaker Net Resurgence

Why RIAA Supported SOPA and PIPA & the Sneaker Net Resurgence
We have written extensively about the move by the RIAA to curb the illegal downloading though SOPA and PIPA bills introduced last year. A leaked report shows that the RIAA never really had much faith in the SOPA/PIPA bills and even stated that it thought it was an "ineffective tool" against combating online privacy.

riaa chart illegal music sharing

In a leaked presentation given by RIAA Deputy General Counsel Vicky Sheckler last April, she states that they "never actually believed that either piece of legislation would have put a dent in music piracy." Sheckler goes on to state that the intention of the SOPA and PIPA bills were "intended to defer [copyright] infringements [by] foreign sites by obligating/encouraging intermediaries to take action," and they were "not likely to have been an effective tool for music."

The report also shows that shipments from the US music industry declined from $12.3 billion in 2005 t approximately $7 billion in 2011. What is most interesting about the report is that is shows that only 1 in 6 music files are shared over a peer to peer network and that most pirating occurs over a physical sneaker-net; via ripped music CDs or transfer from a physical hard drive to others. File sharing networks only account for barely 4% of the total downloads.

Speculation is that this increase in "sneaker-net" pirating can be attributed to the low cost and availability or large storage mediums rather than a botched attempt by the RIAA to regulate or reduce piracy. Although one can speculate that the actions by the RIAA may have encouraged rekindling of the antiquated sneaker net in the first place.

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