Bad PR

The recording industry is turning up the volume in its campaign against file sharing of copyrighted music over the Internet. Several recording groups, including the American
Federation of Musicians, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, ASCAP and the Association of Independent Music Publishers, recently paid for a full page ad in The
New York Times with the heading: "Next time you or your kids 'share' music on the Internet, you may also want to download a list of attorneys." The ad goes on to say the recording
industry is preparing lawsuits against individual computer users who "share" copyrighted music over peer-to-peer networks. Good luck. While we agree that sharing music over the
Web is illegal, legal threats from the recording industry will just alienate Webheads who have come to view file sharing as free. Now, Congress is also getting into the act. At
press time, two Democratic lawmakers proposed a bill that would make it easier to file criminal charges against Internet users who copy music over peer-to-peer networks. With the
nation's unemployment rate hovering around 6%, a developing mess in Iraq and the number of uninsured Americans on the rise, it's good to see Congress has its priorities straight:
siccing the Federal government on Web users who swap tunes. The recording industry needs to embrace the Web; not fight it. The industry needs to figure out a way to work with the
Web so that artists can be compensated while the industry still maintains the ability to distribute music digitally. A full-employment bill for trial attorneys doesn't help anyone
in this case.