| | Interesting Times
You may have noticed that the record industry has just started litigation against four students in US Universities for copyright "offences". This is a part of the new "get tough" stance with the schools and universities (and large employers). You are likely to see a serious restriction on your ability to use any of the P2P systems if you are in the education system or using your employer's computer installation for your own private purposes.
The more interesting piece of litigation is against an American ISP to disclose the real name and address of a home-based user who has several thousand files available for sharing. This raises interesting First Amendment issues but, if as is likely, the ISP is ordered to disclose this information, it will open private individuals to the threat of direct civil action for damages.
The moral of this? Stay a small user and hope the world will pass you by. But the days of "free" exchange in America may be limited.