Last December, the music industry's message to song writers, publishers, and musicians was that antipiracy help was on the way. Hopes soared after the major labels announced that they had convinced a group of telecoms to work with them.
Filing lawsuits against individuals accused of illegal file sharing was, for the most part, a thing of the past, said the Recording Industry Association of America, the trade group representing the top music companies. The new strategy was to enlist Internet service providers, the gatekeepers of the Web, which would issue a series of warnings designed to increase pressure on alleged pirates in what the RIAA called a "graduated response." Under the plan, those subscribers who refused to heed warnings could eventually see their Web connection suspended.