Created years ago to address cassette duplication (and later, CD piracy), the Anti-Piracy Division now patrols the Internet. The cyber squad addresses music piracy in three ways. Obviously, the threat of court action (Napster and MP3.com are being sued by the RIAA) is the favored and most widely known tactic. What you might not know about are two other ways the industry is attacking music downloading: through propaganda and technology.
As part of its "education campaign," the Anti-Piracy division is targeting universities, where most music piracy takes place. Glossy information packets, speaking engagements by record executives, and good old-fashioned lobbying have convinced some universities, like Yale, to ban music sites such as Napster from school computers. The University of Washington has not followed suit.
The second way the industry is addressing piracy is through technology. The Anti-Piracy division uses software that monitors music downloads, and then gathers the web addresses and user names of the people who downloaded the music. The same technology is used by the FBI to track down hackers and cyber terrorists.
The method has certainly been effective. The number of arrests (some resulting in indictments) relating to piracy tripled from 324 in 1998 to 1,252 in 1999.
In a speech to Seattle company RealNetworks, Seagram/Universal Music Group CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. revealed his thoughts about Internet privacy: "As citizens we have a right to privacy. We have no such right to anonymity."