An MSNBC story reports on RIAA’s suit against 261 music pirates:

The stories of the RIAA 261 are emerging across the country. Many defendants say they are surprised by the suits, that they were unaware that such song swapping could be illegal, or that they were ignorant of the activities of others using their computers, such as children.

Innocent and ignorant victims, huh? As misguided and counter-productive as I think RIAA’s actions are, the “RIAA 261″ were all sharing at least 1000 songs – not a number you can easily download in a single afternoon, or even a week. It takes a dedicated downloader to download and share thousands of song for a period long enough to get RIAA’s notice. Anyone using P2P software that much can hardly be excused for being ignorant of the law, especially with all the disclaimers and warning most P2P applications present, and the widespread coverage the RIAA actions have received in the media.
Regardless of how the current suit turns out, in the long term, the RIAA effort is futile, and it is inevitable that some sort of music subscription service will supplement CD’s. Nevertheless, the media should not irresponsibly present music pirates as innocent victims when the great majority of them knew full well that what they were doing is illegal and wrong, but ignored such considerations with the pragmatic attitude that is common today.