I'm sure by this point everyone is following the RIAA headlines as the RIAA launches hundreds of lawsuites against P2P users. I do agree that these users are violating the music copyrights by distributing protected music and the RIAA does have the right to protect them. I do not, however, agree with the way in which the RIAA is choosing to protect their property.
The P2P community consists of 10s of millions of users in the United States alone. Do you really think each one of these people wakes up in the morning and cherishes the thought of ripping of the recording industry today (well after this mess they probably do but before this). I doubt it. Sure there are undoubtedly many users who just want to pirate music and will do it regardless of what the RIAA does but are these users really hurting CD sales? Do you think they would by the CD in the first place. No.
What about the other millions of users? Why are they using P2P networks to distribute music? There are a couple answers that come immediately to mind. First is most likely convenience. Who want's to go to a record store to rummage through racks of CDs to find one song they like when you can just type it into a box on your computer and get it in 10minutes? For that matter who want's to pay $20 for a CD that has one song you like and, as I often find the case, seven other songs they do not like. And what of the reliability of the P2P networks. Sure they are more convenient than heading to the store but they still all suck. The amount of crap on those networks, shakey nodes, broken files, etc makes it somewhat of an ordeal to download that song you've been looking for.
So maybe the recording industry should try listening to it's customers. Obviously the demand is there for instant downloads of the songs one likes. Why doesn't the recording industry build their own music distribution network that allows you to download, for a fee, any music you like from a reliable network. I for one would be more than happy to pay something like a dollar for each song I download. Look at the popularity of Apples iTunes. This would allow me to download the music I want, when I want, without all the songs I don't want when I buy a CD.
I haven't bought a CD for probably 5 years now because I'm sick of purchasing albums and paying money for songs I don't want. If the RIAA would give up on this stupid attack of the P2P community and build something better I would be the first to signup.
Anyways I should stop ranting now.