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 > The bad PR from these lawsuits may come back to
 > bite [the RIAA]

I wonder to what extent it already has.  In all of the
analyses of the RIAA's woes, I've never seen even
one which factors in the large boycott movement.

If you do a google search on "RIAA boycott", you'll
find nearly 8300 hits, most of which appear to be
either discussion of a boycott, calls for a boycott, or
pages describing organized boycotts.

Given the (almost by definition) high internet literacy
of file-traders, it certainly seems plausable to me that
a significant portion of the RIAA's sales woes may be
due to deliberate boycott activities on the part of their
(former) customers.

I have personally found myself evaluating, when
considering a music purchase, whether the benefits to
me in the form of purchasing and enjoying a CD outweigh
the harm I am causing myself by funding an organization
that is working hard to destroy the copyright balance.  As
a result, I certainly have noticed myself purchasing less
music in the last few years.  Although I haven't signed
onto any particular formal boycott, I would count this as
part of a broad range of "boycott activities", and I wonder
if my line of thinking is the exception or the rule among
internet-aware and P2P-issue aware music purchasers.

If this is the case, then the truth is obviously not reaching
the press and legislature, both of which appear to be
accepting the explanation of the recording industry that
the sales dropoffs are due to widespread piracy. But if
the sales dropoffs are actually due to a combination of
formal and informal boycotts, then the recording
industry certainly doesn't need new copyright laws to
protect them, as the reasons for their woes lie elsewhere.