Despite all the condemnation of peer-to-peer file sharing by copyright owners it seems that they are doing very little to protect their rights. Even though they have the law on their side, copyright owners seem to be very reluctant to use it. The RIAA is the leader when it comes to filing lawsuits and they have only targeted users with huge libraries that are made available to the public. The RIAA tried to make examples of the people they prosecuted and still continues to file suits against P2P networks but is reluctant to launch a huge round of suits against the millions of people who illegally trade music files. Just recently in Europe the equivalent of the RIAA filed suits against several hundred users who made large music libraries available. Just like their American counterparts they threatened more suits, but that has failed to happen as of yet. The RIAA is not the only group representing copyright owners that has filed suits. The Motion Picture Association of America is starting to file suits against people who violate copyright by illegal file sharing of movies. If P2P networks are so bad why is it that the copyright owners are so unwilling to use the law to stop people from violating copyrights?
It is clear that one reason why the copyright owners do not file suit is the difficulty and expense of suing such a large number of people. Individual copyright owners do not want to go to the expense so it ends up that group representing them file suits on their behalf. Even though it is difficult to sue so many people, it is not impossible and is an option for groups like the RIAA and MPAA. So why so few lawsuits against individual violators who use P2P networks? The main reason is that the very people who are violating copyright laws on P2P networks are also the main customers of media. People who spend a lot of time downloading music illegally are also the people who buy CDs. The RIAA does not want to upset this group of consumers for fear that they will stop buying CDs. That is the reason why they go after only the largest violators and try to make examples of them. If they tried to sue a huge number of individuals, groups like the RIAA fear there could be a backlash.
I do not agree with the tactics of the RIAA and other groups which represent copyright owners. They make complaints about how copyright law is being violated and how there needs to be new laws to protect their interests. Yet, they fail to use the current law to enforce their rights and then continue to push for new laws like the Induce Act. Their failure to pursue individual violators who illegally trade media creates an atmoshpere of acceptance. The majority of people who illegallly trade do not feel like they are doing anything wrong. This is partly the fault of copyright owners who do not enforce their rights. If the RIAA launched a huge assault against individual P2P users they would lose some customers. However, if they would also force consumers to move to legal methods of downloading music, such as Itunes, they get royalties. Media groups like the RIAA and MPAA should take advantage of the current copyright laws before they complain about the need to reform it.