Digital Music News reports that IFPI has pursued thousands of lawsuits against illegal file- swappers. '“They all thought they were unlikely to be caught, but teachers, postal workers, IT managers, scientists and people in a host of other occupations, as well as parents, have ended up having to dig deeply into their pockets,” said IFPI chairman John Kennedy.' I am certainly not in favor of illegal file-swapping, but I wonder if this is the solution to the problem. For one thing, how can Kennedy be so sure that these people all even knew they were doing something illegal? Maybe they did and if so, it is right for them to pay. But, I'm not sure you can assume that all were doing something they knew was wrong and just thought they wouldn't be caught.
Being involved in a digital music distribution venture, I want the public to purchase our music and to only download and swap the music they are allowed to. Although apparently most of the lawsuits have occurred outside the US, I question whether this is the best use of the legal system regardless of the country in which it takes place. If it is in other countries like it is the US, the courts are overflowing with cases, some very serious - especially in comparison to swapping music files.
I guess I don't really know what the solution to the problem is. But, I wonder if there is not a better way to discourage this activity than through lawsuits?