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Leaked slides show the RIAA might hit snags identifying copyright infringement, doesn't really care about SOPA

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A leaked RIAA presentation to another music industry group outlines the association's strategy for reviewing copyright infringement cases and working with businesses.

iPod CD
iPod CD

The RIAA is still pushing hard for anti-piracy policies, but it may be looking more towards private agreements than legislation. TorrentFreak has published leaked slides from a presentation given by Deputy General Counsel Vicky Sheckler to members of the IFPI, a global recording industry advocacy group. Dated April 26th, 2012, the presentation lays out the RIAA's post-SOPA plans, including the then-recently formed Center for Copyright Information and the "graduated response" program for copyright infringement. It also, however, gives us a look at how the RIAA hopes to approach consumers and businesses.

Among other things, Sheckler discussed some issues with the RIAA's proposed "consumer-friendly" copyright review process, which users could request for $35 in order to avoid measures like internet throttling or account suspension. Sheckler wrote that things like fair use, "misidentification of account," or "pre-1923 work" (much of which would be in the public domain) would be "potential challenges" to the system. These problems come up frequently in copyright cases, and they may not be compatible with an arbitration process as perfunctory as the one that's suggested.SOPA an "important principle, but legislation not likely to have been effective tool for music."

A more ambiguous statement suggests that the RIAA thought SOPA and PIPA were not likely to be feasible technically, at least for music. SOPA was an "important principle regarding intermediary responsibility," the presentation says, "but legislation not likely to have been effective tool for music." Since it was written after the fact, it's possible this was decided once the bills were effectively dead, but it's still a sign that they were supported more for the principle than as a solution.

The presentation also echoes criticisms the RIAA would later make of Google. All companies were on heightened alert after SOPA, Sheckler says, but some were more cooperative than others. While payment processors and some advertisers worked closely with the RIAA, "Google has resisted voluntary best practices," including removing the cap on how many requests to delink individual sites could be sent each day. Sheckler urges IFPI members to "keep pushing" for Google and others to adopt stronger anti-piracy stances.