But here's a dirty little secret that appears to have eluded Techdirt: virtually all litigation filed by businesses (whether individually or in concert) is in support of their "business models." Take a widget manufacturer, whose business model is to deliver widgets to its customers, and have its customers pay money in return. If a customer doesn't pay, the widget manufacturer will sue to recover -- all in support of -- gasp! -- its business model. And, yes, when copyright owners sue those who infringe (either directly or by assisting others in doing so), it is in support of a business model that says that when someone takes action that implicates one of the exclusive rights found in Section 106 of the Copyright Act, they must get a license.
So when the record labels sue those who infringe over peer-to-peer networks, they do it so that people will instead go to legitimate distributors like iTunes and Amazon.com (among many others). And when the studios send untold numbers of takedown notices to YouTube and Megavideo, they do in in part so that people will watch their works at legitimate sites like Hulu and NBC.com. Why else would copyright owners sue infringers and take other anti-piracy measures, if not to support their business models? They certainly don't do it for their amusement. (And yes, contra Techdirt, "educating the public" and "protecting artists' rights" through lawsuits are all in support of the business model that demands payment for exploitation of copyrighted works in ways that implicate Section 106. Copyright owners don't educate the public and protect artists' rights for their own amusement, either; they do it so they can make more money.)
So, yes, the RIAA's "legal maneuvering" in support of the labels' lawsuits against individual infringers has a lot to do with business models. And that's all perfectly appropriate, and perfectly legal. This is not news to anyone who knows the first thing about business litigation.