RIAA Blasts PCMag.com Over Limewire Article

Many are concerned about the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA, S.3804), which could potentially make it possible for the Justice Department to have sites removed from the DNS system for doing something as small as linking to a BitTorrent site such as The Pirate Bay, even in the context of an article. It appears that the bill is dead, at least for this session of Congress, but the RIAA has already given us an example what might happen if it were to become law.

PCMag.com, a respected tech journal, wrote about its experience. They described how, after writing an article about the demise of LimeWire (it has since been resurrected), they received a letter from the RIAA and many other signatories that said they were deeply disappointed by the article.

The article, titled LimeWire is Dead: What Are the Alternatives? indeed pointed out alternatives to the P2P service, although PCMag.com did put the disclaimer "PCMag does not condone the download of copyrighted or illegal material" into the article. The execs who signed the letter did not believe that statement rang true, saying "The disclaimer in the first, 'PC Magazine does not condone the download of copyrighted or illegal material,' rings hollow to say the least."

Interestingly, the reason the letter said "the first" is because the letter referenced a second article. That article, however, was written by PC World, which is published by IDG, while PCMag is published by Ziff-Davis.

At any rate, this is precisely the type of thing that could happen more often if COICA were to pass, draconian attempts or even removing sites from the DNS system because they write about something P2P-related or link to a P2P site. By the way, the letter also asked PCMag.com to retract the article. They will not, they say. Here is the full text of the letter.

Music Execs to PCMag
Tags:  RIAA, P2P, MPAA, LimeWire