ISP Owner Berates RIAA for New Copyright Protection Strategy

Dennis Faas's picture

Recently, the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) stated it would no longer pursue its fruitless strategy of prosecuting individuals for copyright infringement. Instead, it plans to put more pressure on Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for weeding out high-bandwidth downloaders.

Well, now ISPs have responded to that pressure by berating the RIAA for ignoring the expensive costs Internet providers must incur to pursue suspected peer-to-peer downloaders. Granted, although finding and shutting off downloaders saves ISPs necessary bandwidth space, the hunt is not a cheap one.

The first to speak out publicly is Jerry Scroggin, owner of Bayou Internet and Communications, or BIC, based out of Monroe, Louisiana. Scroggin reports that in past campaigns fought against downloaders the RIAA was often hesitant to pursue the matter to its ultimate conclusion. Even though the RIAA would send Scroggin's small ISP notifications about suspected downloaders each month, when the owner of BIC asked for billing address information the RIAA often failed to respond to his request. (Source:

Thus, if cases were to be carried out, the onus was usually left with the ISP, not the RIAA. Scroggin acknowledges that copyrights should be respected and enforced when necessary, but doesn't believe the majority of the work should be left with small ISPs like his own.

In order to find suspected downloaders, ISP technicians must sort through Internet traffic logs, a careful, slow process that must weed out the real IPs from the fake ones meant to throw investigators off the track. It's a frustrating and often fruitless process, not unlike the RIAA's own, now abandoned strategy of prosecuting suspects one-by-one.

Scroggin believes the RIAA will need to put more thought into this new strategy. "They have the right to protect their songs or music or pictures... But they don't have the right to tell me I have to be the one protecting it. I don't want anyone doing anything illegal on my network, but we don't work for free." (Source:

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