April 9, 2007

College File Sharing

The RIAA has started going after college kids who are file sharing on campus. Steve Knopper over at Rolling Stone talks about how, for the first time, some IT departments at colleges have started not cooperating with the RIAA. The two colleges who have declined to participate in the RIAA's crackdown are the University of Wisconsin, Madison and the University of Maine.

The RIAA wants IT departments to deliver cease and desist letters to individual students. They have delivered 805 letters, including the 27 that were sent to Wisconsin and Maine. They plan on delivering about 400 a month. The letters tell students they should settle for $3,000 rather than go to trial for copyright infringement.

Commentary

The letters are nothing more then extortion letters sent by the RIAA to coerce college kids into stopping their actions. I agree that the RIAA is asking IT departments to become their racketeering agents. Good for Wisconsin and Maine's IT department for not falling for the RIAA's game.

2 comments:

Laura said...

I really wish organizations like the RIAA would work with people who fileshare, such as college students, to better fulfill their needs instead of just prosecuting them. Obviously there's a problem if students would rather use illegal means of acquiring their music. It may be possible for both sides to come to an acceptable agreement, but they have to be willing to negotiate first.

RyTunes said...

It would be possible and probable if such organizations didn't care about the "lose any ground, things fall apart" mentality. Unfortunately, especially with something like the RIAA which has unabashedly made a spectacle of itself in order to get its dues, I really don't see something like that happening. Maybe small labels which can slip under the radar will find some middle ground - in fact, I think that's happening currently - but the RIAA is a monster. And monsters only lumber forward. Alas.

I do agree with your wish, however.