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Peer-to-peer subpoenas

The RIAA's subpoenas are so prolific that the U.S. District Court in Washington, already suffering staff shortages, has been forced to reassign employees from elsewhere in the clerk's office to help process paperwork, said Angela Caesar-Mobley, the clerk's operations manager.

In their efforts to scare people away from swapping music online, the RIAA has filed close to a thousand lawsuits, nearly shutting down the US District Court in Washington. I'm bothered that, to do this, they have to drain excessive resources from the government.

On the other hand, at least all that tax money is going to good use: trying to take money from citizens and give it back to the corporation that deserves it in the first place. After all, music swapping (which increased 10% in popularity after the RIAA announced their lawsuits) isn't just a form of social protest against draconian restrictions and pricing — it's illegal, too.

The RIAA has also, by filing these lawsuits, set themselves up for attack under frivolous suit laws; if the government can somehow be persuaded that the RIAA is using the legal system to harass individuals beyond what is necessary to enforce the laws, the RIAA could find themselves floundering where they're sitting happily today. One can dream.

I'd like to see scans of each of the 817 subpoenas show up on the file trading network; it'd be beautifully ironic.


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