American Bar Association says that suing file sharers is an exercise in futility

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You can now count the American Bar Association among the organizations which argues that rights holders shouldn’t sue file sharers, according to TorrentFreak.

The ABA released a 113 page document entitled “A Call for Action for Online Piracy and Counterfeiting Legislation.” In it, the ABA argues that in the long run, a significant amount of such lawsuits end up costing more money than they recover from file sharers. On top of that, the ABA also contends that these kinds of lawsuits could be bad PR for the right holders that pursue legal action against copyright violators.

Because of these, and other reasons, the American Bar Association states that it “does not believe that legislative action directly targeting consumers would prove effective in reducing piracy or counterfeiting at this time.”

Instead, the efforts to target individuals who share files illegally should instead be redirected towards Web sites and services that facilitate such behavior, including the Pirate Bay and Russian social network VKontakte, the document argues.

“Authorities might need the flexibility to address either the centralized linking site or, should that site be transient, a long list of small third-party hosted sites that cause collective damage,” the ABA’s white paper says.

The ABA says that according to “various government and private sector experts, that intellectual property thefts cost the U.S. economy over $100 billion per year.”

With that number in mind, it will be interesting to see whether the ABA’s call for action will push the U.S. government to make any moves which address this issue.

You can read “A Call for Action for Online Piracy and Counterfeiting Legislation” in full here.

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