Just read an article over at Wired reporting that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has been sending automated messages over instant messaging (IM) services to get the word out that uploading and downloading files containing copyrighted music is illegal and could result in prosecution, as well as other horrors:
"...When you offer music on these systems, you are not anonymous, and you can easily be identified. You also may have unlocked and exposed your computer and your private files to anyone on the Internet. Don't take these chances. Disable the share feature or uninstall your 'file-sharing' software."
Sounds like the RIAA has learned some devious business practices from Microsoft's business-as-usual Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt (FUD) campaigns. While I agree that sharing copyrighted material is wrong, I am a firm believer that if the RIAA had spent half as much energy and resources into developing a reasonable and competitive online music service as they have on litigation and consumer tormentation, we would have seen a comparable service to Apple's new iTunes Music Store long before now. Let's hope that a Windows client for the store becomes available soon and that Bill Gates doesn't bastardize it with his own proprietary copy thwarting anti-consumer protection schemata, as this article from CNet discusses.