Its been just over two years since the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) commenced its legal strategy of filing lawsuits against individuals identified as exchanging copyrighted music on P2P networks. As of November 2005, over 15,000 lawsuits have been filed with over 700 new lawsuits being filed each month. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has just released a report entitled RIAA v. The People: Two Years Later (PDF).
According to the EFF, legal attacks against users of public P2P networks will drive up the popularity of new file sharing technologies that protect the user’s identity – DirectConnect, WASTE and Grouper – which offer secure, encrypted, file sharing capabilities to groups of friends and which are difficult for a third party to penetrate. Other file share technologies such as MUTE and Freenet protect the anonymity of the uploader. Users can also elect to share content using buddy lists and the file sharing capabilities of popular instant messaging programs.
The EFF also believes that Internet based file sharing will soon be supplemented by “hand-to-hand” file sharing. Blu-ray and HD DVD technology will soon allow storing between 10,000 and 25,000 songs on a single optical disk.
The EFF has also released a number of memorandums intended to assist lawyers representing music fans sued by the RIAA: