Recording Industry to Quit Suing Downloaders, the Dead

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Susan Mikula's sic transit 05 (2008). Photo: Getty Images

After five hilarious madcap years of suing college kids, small children, people without computers, and even the deceased, all while the public at large happily continued to enjoy downloading free music from the Internet, the music business announced today that its anti-piracy strategy will no longer include mass lawsuits. Instead, the RIAA plans to seek deals with Internet service providers to send warnings to those illicitly sharing copyrighted MP3s with others (after a few, ISPs will either slow a user's connection speed or cut off their service altogether). It's not yet clear what prompted the shift (it probably wasn't kindness), or even if ISPs will cooperate. Even so, this sounds like a much fairer system and a long-overdue step in the right direction for the record labels. One less thing for dead people to worry about!

Music Industry to Abandon Mass Suits [WSJ]