The Recording Industry of America has dropped their Clean Slate programme, it emerged after a California man challenged the initiative in court.
“As public awareness about the illegality of unauthorized copying and distribution of music files over peer-to-peer computing has dramatically increased since the inception of the program, the RIAA has concluded that the programme is no longer necessary or appropriate, and has voluntarily withdrawn it,” stated the RIAA attorney.
Clean Slate was an initiative which encouraged people who had uploaded and shared music files to sign up and acknowledge in writing that they had broken the law. Individuals then promised that they had removed all illegal music files from their computers, and in exchange the RIAA pledged not to sue them when it started taking legal action against file swappers.
Only 1,108 people have signed up for the programme since in was launched in September 2003, most of them in the first few weeks.
Eric Parke challenged the Clean Slate programme in court, and accused the RIAA of fraudulent business practices. Clean Slate was criticised from its début as offering limited protection: it never promised any sort of guarantee if a body other than the RIAA, say for example a record label, decided to prosecute someone on its handy list of offenders.
When Parke took the RIAA to court over the programme, they requested that the case be dismissed, as Clean Slate had been quietly dropped. Nice of them to tell everyone.