Much as I hate to...
...side with the bottom feeding scum, I feel in this case they have some point. From usenet.com:
"Shh... Quiet! We believe it’s no one’s business but your own what you do on the Internet or in Usenet. We don't track user activity."
"Don't forget that with Usenet.com, you get:
[...snip...] Free movies, pictures, software, music, games, and much more"
And that's today. From what I remembered, when someone showed me the sight a while back it was covered with references to "gigabytes of free MP3's" and "thousands of movies". It would appear that they've toned down their site (I can't check the Wayback machine, because it doensn't archive usenet.com).
If you're building a business on letting people make illegal downloads then you should at least have the balls to admit it. How many people would PAY for a usenet service if they weren't downloading MP3's or questionable porn from the binaries groups? If there are any people that pay for usenet.com's service that DONT use it for illegal downloads, then they are definitely a minority and not the people that usenet.com are aiming their marketing at.
On the other hand, how RIAA can claim "damages" from someone distributing for free a product that RIAA willingly give away free (on the radio and through libraries) just seems bizzarre. Sharing MP3's may be ethically wrong, but I believe the RIAA (and similar organisations in other nations) vastly overstate the damage done by fans of music exchanging music. Remember:
"Home taping is killing music" - no it didn't
"CD Burners will kill music" - No they didn't
"MP3's killed the radio star" - No they won't.
I for one have bought CD's and gone to concerts to see bands that I wouldn't have found out about if someone handn't given me a tape, CD or MP3 of for free. It's called marketting.
So I guess my point is that usenet.com are merely profiting from a market that RIAA have created by their asinine insistance on sueing their customers. Ironic?