Following the revelation that IP addresses leased to the RIAA have been used to download pirated songs, videos and software, the RIAA has issued a statement that adds further confusion to the situation.
According to the RIAA, a copyright lobbying group for the music industry, the file sharing wasn't performed by one of their staff, but by an unnamed "third party vendor".
"Those partial IP addresses are similar to block addresses assigned to RIAA. However, those addresses are used by a third party vendor to serve up our public Web site ... they are not used by RIAA staff to access the Internet," an RIAA spokesperson explained.
It follows Dutch royalty collection agency Buma/Stemra also claiming that "somebody else did it" when their IP address was too caught being used to download pirated content, using the excuse of "IP spoofing".
While both excuses are plausible, the real issue here is that ordinary users on the wrong end of copyright lawsuits usually aren't afforded the benefit of the doubt when they, too, claim that an unauthorized third-party was responsible for the actual download. In fact, in the 'graduated response' deal brokered between the RIAA and American ISPs only allows the "unauthorized access" excuse to be used once, and only if the access "could not reasonably have prevented", leaving it rather vague as to whether enabling Wi-Fi security is a "reasonable" way to stop unauthorized access.