The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is planning to launch a campaign that lets individuals charged with music piracy to settle claims against them at a slightly reduced rate.
The new 'Pre-Doe' settlement option will offer discounts of $1,000 or more for individuals who choose to settle claims before a so-called John Doe lawsuit is filed against them, according to a letter from the RIAA to ISPs that has been leaked and posted on several public websites: "We have repeatedly heard from targets that they want the ability to settle as early as possible at the lowest amount possible," the RIAA wrote.
Later this year, the RIAA will set up a site at www.p2plawsuits.com that will allow individuals to make early settlements, the letter said.
The letter also states that the presuit settlement option is only available to customers of ISPs who are willing to store detailed log information of target IP addresses for a period of 180 days. The RIAA claimed the time frame was necessary to pursue a lawsuit and issue subpoenas in case a settlement could not be reached.
The RIAA is also asking providers to avoid supplying "incorrect or misleading" information to consumers who may been contacted by the RIAA regarding a copyright infringement. ISPs have sometimes instructed their subscribers to cease all communications with the RIAA, or to ignore them, and sometimes provided incorrect phone numbers for the record companies, the letter claimed.
Along with the letter, the RIAA also provides internet providers with a standard template they could use for informing targeted subscribers of the RIAA's plans to sue them and of its intention to seek information related to their identities.
A spokesman for the RIAA this morning refused to comment on the letter or its contents.