Over the past few years we have heard time and time again how the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has gone after 9 year olds and grand mothers and house wives and any other person they could. Each time I have seen them go after someone, it was always someone who was too weak to fight. They have made millions off the tactic of scaring ordinary folks who hardly know computers much less know music sharing into believing that they were a governmental agency that could send them to jail.
The only time they seem to blinkis when someone with money and good lawyers fights them (as in the case of the University of Oregon). Now they have taken to sending out scare letters or pre-lawsuit letters to 23 universities around the country. The only thing this is likely to do is to fly back in their faces.
EMI, is also reviewing their funding (see http://mashable.com/2008/01/11/emi-and-riaa-to-call-it-quits-me-thinks-no/) but is unlikely to pull it according to this article on mashable. While I can understand the need for artists to get paid for their work, the majority of artists never get a dime hardly from the big companies. RCA never paid my father for his album but made decent money back in the 1960's from it. That has not changed in spite of it being 50 years later. The companies make billions.
What needs to happen is for the RIAA to go away and the artists to see their wares in the way that Motorhead did.. Take to the Internet and let people download it and pay what they think it is worth. Real fans will always pay (One reason I have every Pink Floyd Album ever made).
If the RIAA doesnt go away and the courts continue to give them carte blanche on the lawsuits, there will be a complete collapse of the industry and the court systems. (and possibly the internet music scene).