While I believe that technical means can be useful in reducing piracy (e.g., Blu-ray's BD+ technology acquired late last year by Macrovision), I believe that the RIAA has been using litigation as a way of postponing the day when the major record labels are going to be forced significantly change their fundamental business models.
As reported here earlier, the RIAA has argued that ripping CDs is illegal. Not content to sue individuals for large sums of money, Ars Tecnica reports that the RIAA is now seeking through legislation to create a statutory penalty for ripping a CD that would add up to $1.5M for a CD with a typical number of tracks.
The change to statutory damages is contained in the PRO-IP Act that is currently up for consideration in Congress. We've reported on the bill before, noting that Google's top copyright lawyer (and the man who wrote a seven-volume treatise on the subject of copyright law), William Patry, called the bill the most "outrageously gluttonous IP bill ever introduced in the US."
I'm reminded of the scene in Aliens when Riply and Newt have the following exchange:
Ripley: These people are here to protect you. They're soldiers.
Newt: It won't make any difference.