Critics charge that the letters are just a scare tactic, and the RIAA has admitting to goofing on identifying copyright infringers in the past. But the music industry still views its prelawsuit campaign as an important deterrent. Without such action, "an emerging legal marketplace...would have struggled to gain traction," spokeswoman Cara Duckworth said in a press release.
To quote a Pete Seeger song, "when will they ever learn, when will they ever learn."
The record industry business model is broken. The music industry is alive and well. The labels and their trade association had better figure out something different than alienating the very people who sometimes buy their products.