God Save the Queen

Filed under: Technology,Telecom

(Washington, DC) I’m writing the following with apologies to a certain Proskauer Rose partner who’s an occasional reader, a good friend and a litigator on behalf of the recording industry. The Register (Great Britain) reports that the British Government appears to be succumbing to yet another doomed recording industry-induced effort to stop music piracy through government fiat.

It won’t work. A file sharer can incorporate some pretty simple compression and/or encryption technology to bypass government snooping.

But here’s the bigger issue: The recording labels need to stop looking at file sharing as a legal issue and instead recognize the far bigger consumer issue. The industry’s litigation in the U.S. was not only an abysmal legal failure, it completely backfired. Its heavy-handed tactics crystallized sentiment among the target audiences that the companies were clueless about the Internet. That fed the idea that “It’s OK to steal from them.”

Fortunately, the recording labels have finally begun to recover from this disaster. The morale: Don’t insert your attorneys between your customer and what he/she wants.

And if the Proskauer attorney is still reading, I’ll pick up the lunch tab at our next get-together.