Monday, May 23, 2011

RIAA Wants To Start Peeking Into Files You Store In The Cloud

The RIAA really just doesn't know when to give up attacking and to start innovating. Its latest legal move is to file for a subpoena to get information from cloud storage provider to see if some people are using the service to store and share unauthorized music. There are, of course, a variety of different services out there for cloud storage, that allow individuals, small groups and companies to share files -- not for illicit purposes, but because that's how collaboration and sharing work. I use just such a service to share photos with my family, and another to share documents with coworkers.

But, of course, technologically speaking, the actions of these systems can just as easily be used to share unauthorized content in a potentially infringing manner, and it appears that this is what the RIAA is targeting. As Eriq Gardner notes at the link above, it's not at all clear what the RIAA intends to do with the information it gets. It's difficult to see how it could sue, who almost certainly has no real liability here, but it could go after the users -- something we'd thought the RIAA had sworn off for the time being.

The whole thing just seems like a waste of time. This is what computers do. They copy. There's always a way to copy. Pretending you can stop that isn't rational. What would be rational is helping the RIAA member labels adapt, but for whatever reason, that just doesn't appear to be within the RIAA's skillset.

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