The RIAA has announced that it will start suing individual song swappers.

Don?t think they can?t or won?t, they will. About 15 years ago when Michael Jackson was buying Northern Songs, the Beatles publisher, for $50 million Northern was busy taking small movie theaters, small film distributors and small promoters into court over the U.S. public domain film ?Magical Mystery Tour.? Northern claimed the songs were in copyright and you needed a sync license to show them (a sync license costs $10,000 per song at the rates in effect through the Harry Fox agency).

In one instance I know of first hand they took one company to task to the tune of 2 million dollars in damages over $200 in rentals charges. It cost this distributor $2,500 in legal fees to reach a settlement.

The RIAA will probably employee people to download from other uses and provide uploads to you, the user, in an effort to see who is doing what. Then they will selectively start suing people and they do have the resources to actually take you, John or Jane Doe, into court. It costs them about $200 to file individual action as they already have Lawyers on retainer. They have a multi-million dollar war chest and nothing better to do with it.

ASCAP and BMI regularly take small bars to court over radio, TV and live top 40 music. All because the bars won?t pay a $350 license fee. It costs $200 to start court action. They do it to scare the rest of the country.

Be warned, if you?re a file swapper Big Brother is watching you and you could get slapped with ?blue back? by a legal firm!

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