The Recording Industry Association of America said that it will cut back on lawsuits to combat illegal online music sharing because it has enlisted leading Internet service providers to discipline individuals it accuses of pirating copyrighted works.
The trade association said certain Internet carriers, which it did not name, have agreed in principle to impose escalating penalties on customers who ignore repeated warnings that they are breaking the law by distributing free songs. The association is negotiating for sanctions that could include the suspension or permanent termination of Internet service.
Digital rights groups rejoiced over the recording association’s announcement that it will limit its long-running campaign of legal action against individuals such as college students, who often were pressured to pay thousands of dollars to settle the lawsuits.
But the consumer groups said Internet service providers should not be cast in the role of “copyright cops” who can cut off online access based only on industry accusations that are never put to the test in court.