“File sharing is not a problem.”

Fellow ArborBlogger George H has launched a website called SongBuddy. A cross between an MP3 site and Friendster, it lets you find legal MP3s online, build a list of music you like, and explore others’ tastes.

The timing of SongBuddy couldn’t be better: it comes less than one week after the RIAA filed another round of lawsuits against the users of file sharing software programs like Kazaa, this time including at least 7 U-M students. SongBuddy promises to centralize and organize the wide variety of legal MP3s available online, as many artists have chosen to distribute sample tracks for free.

“RIAA uses Webcrawling software that spreads out across the Internet to identify computers where inappropriate file sharing is occurring. One of the biggest problems with downloading music is that many of the programs used to capture songs from the Internet have a function that automatically turns the individual’s computer into a file-sharing (uploading) server, says Assistant General Counsel Jack Bernard. It is this uploading function of the programs that allows the Webcrawler to find offenders. …

Bernard says the legal tactics employed by RIAA may change behavior temporarily, but they are not enough.

“If you scare people away from using the technology, they’ll come back later to what is attractive,” he says. “We would rather educate them so that they can make good decisions.

“Peer to peer technology is not a bad thing; it’s a great thing to share ideas and resources. File sharing is not a problem. It is what you are sharing that is the problem.” … “

> From U Record: “RIAA extends crackdown on copyright violators to U-M”

Author: Rob