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Duke Demands Proof of Infringement From RIAA

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the bluff-called dept.

Education 159

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "According to a report at p2pnet, Duke University has told the RIAA that it will no longer forward the RIAA's 'early settlement' letters to its students unless the RIAA submits 'evidence that someone actually downloaded from that student,' and said that 'if the RIAA can't prove that actual illegal behavior occurred, then we're not going to comply.' While it is good news that a university is requiring the RIAA to put up or shut up, the forwarding — or not forwarding — of letters is pretty insignificant. What I want to know is this: 'When the RIAA comes knocking with its Star Chamber, ex parte, 'John Doe' litigation to get the students' identities, is the University going to go to bat for the students and fight the litigation on the ground that it's based on zero evidence, and on the ground that the students weren't given prior notice and an opportunity to be heard?' Over 1,000 infringement notices were sent to Duke students in the last year."

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Why not earlier? (5, Informative)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768137)

The question is, why the hell didn't universites see the RIAA's challenges for what they were(bullshit) and begin to fight against the RIAA for their students much sooner? Last I checked, students pay the tuition, not the *AA's.

Here's [engadget.com] the top-25 universities which handed out copyright infringement notices during the 2006 - 2007 academic year.Note the geographic locations of the majority of the list.

1. Ohio University - 1,287
2. Purdue University - 1,068
3. University of Nebraska at Lincoln - 1,002
4. University of Tennessee at Knoxville - 959
5. University of South Carolina - 914
6. University of Massachusetts at Amherst - 897
7. Michigan State University - 753
8. Howard University - 572
9. North Carolina State University - 550
10. University of Wisconsin at Madison - 513
11. University of South Florida - 490
12. Syracuse University - 488
13. Northern Illinois University - 487
14. University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire - 473
15. Boston University - 470
16. Northern Michigan University - 457
17. Kent State University - 424
18. University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - 400
19. University of Texas at Austin - 371
20. North Dakota State University - 360
21. Indiana University - 353
22. Western Kentucky University - 353
23. Seton Hall University - 338
24. Arizona State University - 336
25. Marshall University - 331

From the 2008 list [dispatch.com] we see that the RIAA seem to be bolder, but the trend as before remains the same, for the most part. Texas Christian university? Thou shalt not steal ;)

Re:Why not earlier? (-1, Redundant)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768187)

why the hell didn't universites see the RIAA's challenges for what they were(bullshit) and begin to fight against the RIAA for their students much sooner?

Beats me.

Re:Why not earlier? (2, Interesting)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768233)

So if the University says "bugger off" to the RIAA, why doesn't the RIAA go after the University as a contributor?

Re:Why not earlier? (5, Insightful)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768261)

So if the University says "bugger off" to the RIAA, why doesn't the RIAA go after the University as a contributor?

Because
(a) it has no legal basis for doing so, and
(b)universities fight back. The RIAA lawyers don't know what to do with people who fight back. Their game is picking on the defenseless.

Re:Why not earlier? (2, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768297)

Of the 2006-2007 list I posted I googled 5 of them...1, 2, 3, 13, and 22.

Only 22 had no law school. My pals who are/were in law school cited money and prestige as primary reasons for attending, and given that most of these schools have their own law department...what the hell?

Are the aforementioned top-25 lists results of left arms(regents and admin) not talking to the right arms(legally-schooled staff) or should we continue to despise 99% of lawyers(except Ray and the proud attorneys at EFF and other like-minded organizations)?!

Re:Why not earlier? (1)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 5 years ago | (#25769145)

Comon, don't leave out Eben Moglen by name, he's one of the most entertaining [youtube.com] .

Re:Why not earlier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25768543)

its a little bit confusing RIAA cant stand a chance winning with their students?
Zimmer in Rieth [seefeld.com] just relax

Re:Why not earlier? (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25769691)

This is encouraging. It always is when the previously defenseless dig in their heels against standover artists.

I wonder if a certain amount of this new-found courage is coming from the subtle tides of a nation changing direction?

Sometime during the recent campaign marathon I heard one sound bite that made a difference to me -- "I will reinstate Habeas Corpus". Five words, that's all it took.

Re:Why not earlier? (4, Insightful)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768281)

Something tells me it's a bad idea to sue a school full of law students, law professors, and likely a few more lawyers on retainer or payroll, when you don't have a legal leg to stand on.

Re:Why not earlier? (-1, Troll)

monxrtr (1105563) | more than 5 years ago | (#25769055)

Something tells me it's a bad idea to sue a school full of law students, law professors, and likely a few more lawyers on retainer or payroll, when you don't have a legal leg to stand on.

That's when I whip it out. The Constitution, that is.

Don't get me wrong, I know your wet spot is Big. "Just them Good 'Ole Boys, Never Meanin' No Harm, beats all you ever saw, been in trouble with the LAW, since tha dayz they waz born!"

Now. I Am, Sorry. Cunt-sular. ...Sorry, I was busy with the Federal Reserve. Now what about this Dumb Ass University? Tell me from the beginning ...

Duke has a very good Law department, i would hope that they are the ones that are going to : A) Advice the school administrators to not take the completely ridiculous claims made by the RIAA , B) Defend the university if (better yet, when) a law suit comes. But, as everyone knows, something more needs to be done against the enormous irrational power known as the RIAA, but as long as there are ignorant masses in this country who do not know the vast amount of unconstitutional acts the RIAA is doing then forever will they be a power.

Objection Your Honor. Defendant continues to breath my air! WTF, and whom and what, are "the ones"? I did not see any of these imaginary "friends" on any prior lists. Perhaps Your Honor wishes a Seance to approach the Bench? The Faculty has already taken a Writ Poll of Guilt, to be submitted according to Section B, Paragraph Three, Lines 2 thru 4.

I mean, ok, fine, we all know Duke is a mid level university. It doesn't necessarily mean they should have a free unimpeded ride to making their nipples harder through media exploitation of incompetent prosecutors. Your Honor.

"Infringement"? Property Law 101. Physical vs. Imaginary. Stop Sucking My ... Space.

Anyways. Good Luck to the General Lee Foundation holding out ... oh whatever, there's over 1,000 Uncle Jesse Farm Foreclosure notices already enclosed.

Excuse Me your Honor, but if forwarding is not significant, than how is any "Person" supposed to "spell" r-e-l-i-e-f? ... Duke was targeted ... weak ... suk ... can't repeat Case Studies ... some sort of "degree" Fraud ... wow, go away for a lil' and they just drop down with their legs spread wide open ...

"TACTICS!" I saw the Word "Tactics"! "Stealing" from both simultaneously here and there. Tuition. Free. Legal. Foundation.

Boo. Hoo.

Duke has a very good Law department, i would hope that they are the ones that are going to : A) Advice the school administrators to not take the completely ridiculous claims made by the RIAA , B) Defend the university if (better yet, when) a law suit comes. But, as everyone knows, something more needs to be done against the enormous irrational power known as the RIAA, but as long as there are ignorant masses in this country who do not know the vast amount of unconstitutional acts the RIAA is doing then forever will they be a power.

Good Statement. Opening. Closing. Media. Or Otherwise. ...Takes Forever for the RIAA to Surface and /Target these days!

Re:Why not earlier? (-1, Troll)

monxrtr (1105563) | more than 5 years ago | (#25769157)

Good Statement. Opening. Closing. Media. Or Otherwise. ...Takes Forever for the RIAA to Surface and /Target these days!

Now stop making excuses.

This is, OF COURSE, kick ass legal defense practice for fun. Versus live target practice /RIAA. I'll blame every other of the highest legal institutional learnings and leanings if you lose. /Yawn.

Objection Your Honor, if we were to submit Downloaded Evidence that would just be further exhibition of indecent acts, which have, for good reason, remained on the books since the turn of the last century.

If you lose to the RIAA, and by definition they thing you are weak ass PUSSIES by definition of suing you, instead of doing twenty push ups why don't you do .. fuck it ... why don't you just fold as a University. No Information over your Border. I do not believe the RIAA has the authority, both implicit or futuristic explicit, to regulate interstate "commerce".

They don't literally send a letter addressed to "John Doe." They send a letter to the University with a time and IP address and ask the University to forward the letter to whichever person had that IP at the time.

Installed a without regard to age DICK camera in a public urinal! Your Honor, Defense Rests.

Re:Why not earlier? (-1, Troll)

monxrtr (1105563) | more than 5 years ago | (#25769269)

Invisible "Troll" just like that. I apologize. For making you put forth the effort, DUMB ASS!

Re:Why not earlier? (2, Funny)

Chrisje (471362) | more than 5 years ago | (#25769273)

Buddy, I was thoroughly amazed by the fact that you actually got a serious reply to your post. Because I didn't understand a bloody word you said.

What are you smoking? The other day, when I was in Amsterdam, I bought me a couple of grams of good Skunk and I couldn't manage to sound as incoherent, disjointed and whimsical as you just did.

When they tried to make you go to rehab, don't you think you should have said "Yes, yes, yes"?

Re:Why not earlier? (-1, Troll)

monxrtr (1105563) | more than 5 years ago | (#25769361)

Just Proper Law School Training. The difference between a plain old witness and an expert witness is just more mounds of incoherent, disjointed, whimsical verbiage, of which I'm Southern Proud!

"They". "You". "Rehab". All these l00se (:P) undefined words.

Forget sports. Forget pep talks. Forget the line between winning and losing. Time out. There's a bloody word bleeding on the field! Pffft .... "RIAA" .... Re-Hab. Nice Word. What's the Difference between a Drachma and a Fishing Lure?

Re:Why not earlier? (-1, Offtopic)

monxrtr (1105563) | more than 5 years ago | (#25769293)

Minus One Troll. Evacuate. Rrrr-eeahh! Evacuate. Rrrr-eeahh!

Beware the "Irrational Power" known as the "Rate-Down".

"ITS" Students? You mean no North Carolina students want free tuition for being victims of, for opposing, negligence? For accusations without some sort of legalese bullshit basis? Well, rate dat down den!

Exactly. Let the big bucks universities settle first. Then collect room and board and tuition times ... arbitrage says ... X 4!

Re:Why not earlier? (1)

IHC Navistar (967161) | more than 5 years ago | (#25770133)

"Something tells me it's a bad idea to sue a school full of law students, law professors, and likely a few more lawyers on retainer or payroll, when you don't have a legal leg to stand on."

-It's like knocking on Death's front door and asking to come in. .....Especially when you've pissed them all off by making a mockery of their profession.

Re:Why not earlier? (1)

seriesrover (867969) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768289)

If the University doesn't deliver the mail isn't that some sort of mail fraud? Or am I missing something...

Re:Why not earlier? (5, Insightful)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768315)

From what I understand, the RIAA doesn't have a specific name they are sending to, they get it down to a room at best, with a "John Doe".

Then they send a form letter with a settlement, and try to get the individual to give up who they are and pay up. It's more like mail fraud on the RIAA's end, really.

So if the mail isn't addressed to anyone, who isn't getting their mail?

Re:Why not earlier? (5, Informative)

esocid (946821) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768899)

They don't literally send a letter addressed to "John Doe." They send a letter to the University with a time and IP address and ask the University to forward the letter to whichever person had that IP at the time. This is what Universities are so pissed about. They are the ones who have to investigate and provide proof that this person did what the MAFIAA's letter described. They put an undue burden on them and strong-arm them, and then the student into rolling because it's worked for this long.....Even though everyone knows the little proof that they have is most likely not even proof at all, or points the finger at the wrong person.
Now Duke is growing a pair and saying, 'you do your job and we'll do ours: provide education and experience.' This should have happened a long time ago, but at least it's happening, right?

Re:Why not earlier? (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 5 years ago | (#25769151)

If the University doesn't deliver the mail isn't that some sort of mail fraud? Or am I missing something...

The university is not the post office, nor are the RIAA paying them to operate a private courier service.

Re:Why not earlier? (1)

jopsen (885607) | more than 5 years ago | (#25769477)

If the University doesn't deliver the mail isn't that some sort of mail fraud? Or am I missing something...

Not if it's addressed to a specific IP on their internal network :)

In fact many would probably argue that an IP address is personal data, and shouldn't be given out public unless a warrant is present.
E.g. Sharing means given name and address of those who have been using a specific IP.

Somehow I don't get the EU, they don't like it when Google stored peoples IP forever... But when ISPs shares peoples IP with counter piracy organizations like the RIAA, nothing happens...

Re:Why not earlier? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25768285)

Advice from Harvard [thecrimson.com] perhaps? Whom, as you pointed out before, the RIAA seemed to be avoiding. Maybe they finally read the advice you sent out too. The government dropped those weighted hints that the universities should work against copyright infringement in an overly broad manner and threatened funding, but if institutions like Harvard who could live without government funding for prolonged periods of time are willing to take up the fight then other institutions are more willing to stand up with them perhaps.

Re:Why not earlier? (2, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768897)

Harvard and other big-name schools like that, especially Ivy schools which are older than the Revolutionary War, have endowments in the tens of billions. As you can see here [boston.com] , Harvard has nearly $40 billion on hand -- more than the GDP of some [cia.gov] countries in the world.

Who the hell is going to try and push back against Harvard and why would they need government support? I think that's hardly a fair indicator.

Re:Why not earlier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25769119)

Who the hell is going to try and push back against Harvard and why would they need government support?

Never said they did need government support, but that doesn't mean they don't get some and therefore can attempt to file suit on the federal government if the government gets too out of hand with restricting funding to universities that fight back against the MAFIAA. Some students at Harvard get Pell grants (interestingly Harvard accepts those but plans to make grants [fund-myeducation.com] to their students in the amount of federally insured student loans they qualify for) and probably they accept some other federal funding.

What I said in my previous post indicates recognition that Harvard don't need the money. The fact they don't depend on federal funds for survival and their vast array of lawyers and alumni willing to go to battle for them allows Harvard to take it to the US Government in the courts, the media and even to the halls of congress. Other institutions of their stature may well join them quickly and others of gradually lesser stature might well join in. State universities who need both state and federal funds plus being ruled by state appointed committees are less likely to do so without the state's approval and support.

Things like this helps keep the Ivy League it its honored position in the eyes of many. If things go that far they may well make the MAFIAA's minions jesters at the highest court in the lands. Even academic types like to be thought of as knights in shining armour sometimes, especially to current and future alumni.

Curious... (1, Troll)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768597)

Ray, you're obviously very well versed in all of this. Put aside the question of tactics used by the RIAA for a moment.

What do you think about people who are pirating music and/or movies? I looked on your website and found lots about the RIAA tactics, suing individuals, presenting evidence, etc., but nothing about whether you think music/movie piracy is right or wrong. Morally.

Do you think it's justifiable? Wrong? Slightly naughty but not a big deal? I'm really curious... I'm also curious about the legion of /. readers who spring to argument upon argument over any detail when this topic arises. Forget the question of tactics, of who's being mistakenly sued for an impossible amount of money, etc., etc. What do think about people who are pirating music and/or movies?

Re:Curious... (5, Insightful)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768673)

What do think about people who are pirating music and/or movies?

The term "piracy" in the world of copyright infringement means:
-large scale
-commercial
-running off of exact copies for commercial gain.

I have never met anyone who is doing that so I have no real opinion of them as people.

I have seen poor people going around in the streets selling pirated copies, and they do not seem like evil people. They seemed a lot more decent than the people I've seen from the RIAA. They don't even seem to be aware that what they are doing is contrary to copyright law.

Re:Curious... (4, Funny)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25769089)

They seemed a lot more decent than the people I've seen from the RIAA.

It's a low bar.

Re:Why not earlier? (1)

actionbastard (1206160) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768221)

"...Note the geographic locations of the majority of the list..."

Because, brah, out here on the coast, stealing music is so totally heinous.

Re:Why not earlier? (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 5 years ago | (#25769501)

I was wondering what 'geographic location' he was referring to. All I could tell was that they were in the USA. Is it really a 'coastal' thing me meant?

Re:Why not earlier? (3, Informative)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25769755)

Let's see, most of the colleges listed are East of the Mississippi river, so I'd assume that yes a reference to the eastern USA is what was intended.

Re:Why not earlier? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25768251)

Because the Universities knew damn well their students were illegally sharing music, and they feared facing consequences for not doing a damn thing about it.

Revile though we may the RIAA's tactics, they're not completely off-base.

Re:Why not earlier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25768471)

Revile though we may the RIAA's tactics, they're not completely off-base.

While they might not be off base... the way they conduct business is.

Bankrupting people with their extortionate settlement fees.
Using unlicensed investigators who at best are incompetent, at worst blatantly lie & decieve in court.
Dont seem to share the money they're making off this with the 'poor starving artists' they claim to represent.
Are trying their best to support their fatcat bosses and their dying business model.

The sooner that organizations like the RIAA are gone, the better it will be for the artists and more importantly the customers.

Re:Why not earlier? (3, Insightful)

mombodog (920359) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768255)

"why the hell didn't universities see the RIAA's challenges for what they were(bullshit) and begin to fight against the RIAA for their students much sooner?"

One word, FEAR

Seems to be in fashion these days, it even works on our Congress, Senate and the President(s).

You can sell anything with Fear.

Oh, I forgot the Fear cousin "Intimidation"

Re:Why not earlier? (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768335)

...and fear's partner-in-crime, greed.

Re:Why not earlier? (5, Interesting)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768403)

Damn straight. From your original post, let's do the math.

1287+1068+1002+959+914+897+753+572+550+513+490+488+487+473+470+457+424+400+371+360+353+353+338+336+331=14646 letters sent to the top 25 universities in 06-07.

14646*($3000) (the typical settlement amount) [arstechnica.com] = $43,938,000

Sure beats working for a living, doesn't it? Greed personified.

Re:Why not earlier? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25768605)

Run the numbers from the more recent list in the pdf he linked and you will find their pay about doubled during the 2007/2008 academic year, if you assume as you apparently did that each settlement offer brought an average of $3,000 per.

Re:Why not earlier? (2, Insightful)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768641)

I seriously doubt that each letter costs less than $3000 to send out, when all of the legal and P2P spying costs are factored in.

From what I've heard, the money "earned" from the legal crusade of the RIAA mostly goes right back into the costs incurred in perusing new victims. Not a cent goes to artists, but I highly doubt that any of it does to the executives either.

Re:Why not earlier? (2, Insightful)

Dgawld (1251898) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768685)

3,000$ = typical settlement amount.. READ THE POST!!!!!!!!!!

Re:Why not earlier? (1)

bohemian72 (898284) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768761)

.. READ THE POST!!!!!!!!!!

I think he did. He's simply pointing out that since it doesn't cost that much to send the letters that the RIAA is making a packet off this racket but none of that is likely going to the artists. Just funding the legal and technical aspects of this scam operation.

Re:Why not earlier? (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25769719)

RIAA is making a packet off this racket

But the hassle is their vassals have the DRM that is FU!

Re:Why not earlier? (5, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768971)

The same spies that push porn spam while they "investigate" [torrentfreak.com] or that use automated "investigation" [arstechnica.com] that can't tell the difference between a file sharer and a printer? Yeah I kinda doubt it is really costing them much for their "investigation work" there.

But let us be honest here,this has absolutely NOTHING to do with artists or creators,and is nothing but unrestrained greed from non producing middlemen. How else can you explain getting up in court and with a straight face saying Ripping your CD to your iPod isn't fair use [eff.org] because you didn't get prior "authorization"(in the form of giving them another check) first.

And finally,since we always have at least a few "get the dirty evil pirates" every time we have this conversation,I am going to say this again: There is NO WAY that anyone can stand up here and with a straight face say that copyrights are anything but broken. If you try,I have one sentence for you: Steamboat Willie is still under copyright. The man has been dead for half a century,and yet his FIRST work,one that was made when most cars had to be started with a freaking handcrank,is still under copyright. I think we can all agree that is severely fucked up. Copyright was supposed to be a contract,nothing more or less. We got a richer public domain in return for a LIMITED monopoly on a work. The fact that Steamboat Willie is still under copyright should prove the contract is broken and not worth the paper copyright laws were written on.

Re:Why not earlier? (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 5 years ago | (#25769203)

And finally,since we always have at least a few "get the dirty evil pirates" every time we have this conversation,I am going to say this again: There is NO WAY that anyone can stand up here and with a straight face say that copyrights are anything but broken. If you try,I have one sentence for you: Steamboat Willie is still under copyright. The man has been dead for half a century,and yet his FIRST work,one that was made when most cars had to be started with a freaking handcrank,is still under copyright. I think we can all agree that is severely fucked up. Copyright was supposed to be a contract,nothing more or less. We got a richer public domain in return for a LIMITED monopoly on a work.

Once copyright terms are greater than about two thirds of the average human lifespan they are for all practical terms unlimited.

Re:Why not earlier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25768803)

Wrong math, these are DMCA complains not ESLs.
and ESLs now are $3000 - $7500, depending on when you settle.
Rule of thumb, ESL are ~10% of DMCAs so your math would come to ~$4.4M

Re:Why not earlier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25768265)

The question is, why the hell didn't universites see the RIAA's challenges for what they were(bullshit) and begin to fight against the RIAA for their students much sooner?

And what makes you think we weren't? Every other admin I know in higher ed has done their best to not roll over on these.

Re:Why not earlier? (1)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768303)

Mmm many of them in Midwest... remember midwest has the lowest GNP.

Re:Why not earlier? (3, Insightful)

SergeMan1 (1141683) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768411)

Location is not the point here. Much more telling is noting the lack of significant law school.

Re:Why not earlier? (2, Interesting)

winwar (114053) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768449)

Because they don't give a damn about their students?

The same way most CEO's and boards don't care about their customers (or employees). It's actually surprising that the University isn't giving in. Probably has something to do with the cost of complying.

Re:Why not earlier? (1)

Schus459 (1302447) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768651)

The question is, why the hell didn't universites see the RIAA's challenges for what they were(bullshit) and begin to fight against the RIAA for their students much sooner? Last I checked, students pay the tuition, not the *AA's. Here's [engadget.com] the top-25 universities which handed out copyright infringement notices during the 2006 - 2007 academic year.Note the geographic locations of the majority of the list. 1. Ohio University - 1,287 2. Purdue University - 1,068 3. University of Nebraska at Lincoln - 1,002 4. University of Tennessee at Knoxville - 959 5. University of South Carolina - 914 6. University of Massachusetts at Amherst - 897 7. Michigan State University - 753 8. Howard University - 572 9. North Carolina State University - 550 10. University of Wisconsin at Madison - 513 11. University of South Florida - 490 12. Syracuse University - 488 13. Northern Illinois University - 487 14. University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire - 473 15. Boston University - 470 16. Northern Michigan University - 457 17. Kent State University - 424 18. University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - 400 19. University of Texas at Austin - 371 20. North Dakota State University - 360 21. Indiana University - 353 22. Western Kentucky University - 353 23. Seton Hall University - 338 24. Arizona State University - 336 25. Marshall University - 331 From the 2008 list [dispatch.com] we see that the RIAA seem to be bolder, but the trend as before remains the same, for the most part. Texas Christian university? Thou shalt not steal ;)

Go Big 10!

Re:Why not earlier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25768829)

f@ck em I bet the admin is student too. /dev/null the logs...

Note the location (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25769977)

Ahh, yes. I see. Many of them are at the university.

Duke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25768185)

Duke now needs proof before taking action against students? When did this policy change? Did they inform the faculty?

Re:Duke (2, Interesting)

ITEric (1392795) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768319)

I would imagine they were tired of tracking down all of these students in order to forward the RIAABS. I doubt they're really thinking of the students, they're just saving themselves a little work. If the RIAA has any actual proof they'll come up with a court order, then Duke will track them down. In the end, Duke will likely have to track down fewer students that way.

Re:Duke (1)

beadfulthings (975812) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768493)

Well, Duke is certainly well endowed financially. But why should they spend even one minute of administrative time, or one dollar of university resources, to serve as the RIAA's flunky and errand boy? I'd have to guess that they're more than tired of it. Without some kind of concrete evidence in hand, it's a complete mis-allocation of their time and money.

Dang (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25768207)

For a minute there I thought this meant Duke Nukem Forever had been released, and it was about Duke fighting the RIAA in a court of law. Man, that would kick ass.

Re:Dang (3, Funny)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768439)

For a minute there I thought this meant Duke Nukem Forever had been released, and it was about Duke fighting the RIAA in a court of law. Man, that would kick ass.

From what I heard, someone from Duke administration stopped by the RIAA office and said "I have come here to chew bubble gum and to kick ass, and I am all out of bubble gum."

Can we get a new tag? (1, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768219)

This might be better filed under fsckthatyoudontmakesense instead of suddenoutbreakofcommonsense

Too late.... (5, Interesting)

chefmayhem (1357519) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768227)

Now, if only Duke could retroactively do this. I know one of the people at Duke who got bullied into paying the RIAA money last year. Being an international student, he felt he couldn't risk having a lawsuit on his record, so he paid a few thousand dollars, stressed out about it, and I do believe his grades suffered as a result. Duke has a Law school. Why doesn't it (and other similar schools) just make defending students against the RIAA part of the law school curriculum? Sounds like great practice, and it would do some good!

Re:Too late.... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25768301)

couldn't risk having a lawsuit on his record
 
What? It's not a criminal suit. And it's not like having a civil suit filed against you means anything at all, since just about anybody can do it to anybody else. Sounds like his grades suffered because he was a dumbass, really.

Re:Too late.... (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768405)

make defending students against the RIAA part of the law school curriculum

I've never studied law in my life, but "RIAA Defence 101" is a course i'd sign up for!!!

Re:Too late.... (5, Interesting)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768705)

make defending students against the RIAA part of the law school curriculum

I've never studied law in my life, but "RIAA Defence 101" is a course i'd sign up for!!!

Actually Prof. Nesson once assigned his students the task of drafting a motion to quash an RIAA subpoena [blogspot.com] . Now his law students are fighting the RIAA in SONY BMG Music v. Tenenbaum. Also law students at the University of Maine and University of San Francisco law schools have been fighting the RIAA, and I believe law students at the University of California are going to be getting into the act as well.

Re:Too late.... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25768721)

Look, I once worked for a university, and I was asked to comment on a policy about this. What I told the university's lawyer was, we did not have any way to associate an actual person with an IP address, we didn't even have any way to associate a specific computer with an IP address because they changed from time to time, we had no business reason to implement this sort of tracking, and so if the RIAA came knocking, all we could tell them was "sorry, can't help you"... and doing so would be completely honest.

Any university that is keeping enough tracking information to be able to say, upon receipt of a letter from the RIAA, who was using what IP address when, is wasting too much time and money tracking information it doesn't legitimately need.

I don't approve of infringement. (3, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768229)

I prefer disarmament [abolishcopyright.com] .

Nerve (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768271)

let's hope this sends out a ripple of nerve to the other universities and more of them have the guts to stand up. If nothing else, this would skyrocket the administrative costs of these previously cheap mass shakedowns and hopefully put a stop to them.

Now that the heavy lifting is done... (4, Insightful)

cenonce (597067) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768395)

Sure, Duke is bold now that NewYorkCountryLawyer and other lawyers stood their ground in a proverbial Battle of Thermopylae defending a bunch of homemakers and retirees against the RIAA army! While it certainly helps now, we needed the universities' collective might in 2005, not 2008, and perhaps a lot of people wouldn't have been put needlessly through the wringer!

Re:Now that the heavy lifting is done... (4, Funny)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768723)

Sure, Duke is bold now that NewYorkCountryLawyer and other lawyers stood their ground in a proverbial Battle of Thermopylae defending a bunch of homemakers and retirees against the RIAA army!

Why thank you, cenconce. I've always found inspiration from the brave men who resisted the Persian empire at Thermopylae.

Does that mean.... (1)

Enter the Shoggoth (1362079) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768859)

that when I download the movie version of the comic version of the Themopylae inspired battle with Gerard Butler cast as NewYorkCountryLawyer and Jack Valenti as Xerxes that I'll get a John Doe leter?

Re:Now that the heavy lifting is done... (1)

cenonce (597067) | more than 5 years ago | (#25770097)

Ray,

I was dying to have one of these cases cross my desk, though frankly, I was a solo and it probably would have killed me to take it. I can't stand injustice like what the RIAA is doing... guess that's why I became a Public Defender. :)

Regardless, like many Slashdot readers, I've followed your work over the years, and you have certainly brought a number of smiles to my face from the documents you have posted on your website.

Regards,

Anthony

How long before the dorms are nat'ed so the ip goe (2, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768433)

How long before the dorms are nat'ed so the ip goes to a lot more then just 1 person?

Re:How long before the dorms are nat'ed so the ip (2, Informative)

ion.simon.c (1183967) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768759)

If they're anything like my dorms, every machine has an Internet-facing IP.

Re:How long before the dorms are nat'ed so the ip (2, Insightful)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25769773)

And if anyone's smart enough, they've dropped their own router on that line to help obscure everything.

"Yea, my router has that IP Address, but there's over four hardwired computers and six laptops connected to it. You got a MAC address identifying which computer was doing what? No, my router doesn't keep logs. No, I will not turn logs on, you cannot tell me what to do with my legally-purchased hardware."

Re:How long before the dorms are nat'ed so the ip (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25769537)

Universities tend to have lots and lots of public IPs to throw around. Mine (Penn State) does, at any rate.

cue vague legal question (4, Insightful)

Eil (82413) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768445)

When I hear about these RIAA letters-of-doom-death I always wondered, are the Universities even legally required to forward them to students? Why don't the Universities say, "no way, you deliver your own threat letters to people."

Re:cue vague legal question (2, Funny)

shentino (1139071) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768503)

It could be "cooperate with us or we'll sue the crap out of you. Nice school, would be a shame if it went bankrupt in court wouldn't it"?

Re:cue vague legal question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25768849)

They wouldn't touch a school with quite a few lawyers (likely) on retainer, a bunch of law students, and quite a few law professors.

Re:cue vague legal question (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768571)

I think that if they were legally required to, they would do so. The RIAA is acting on the basis that "we haven't got a court order or anything, but how about you do as we say anyway and nobody has to get hurt?". The University, while initially bending over, has now taken the stance "show us some actual evidence first, eg something that wouldn't get laughed out of court if you went to try and get a court order".

As someone else pointed out, if only they'd stood up to the RIAA a few years earlier...

um, yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25768467)

Um, dmcas....
hrm....
What constitutes solid evidence for illegal activity?

If there is no guideline for evidence for dmca violations I can't really comment on this.

Not the best option but... (1)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768475)

If I was target of so many accusations I'd simply would somehow block my students from being able to host files somehow, even if its by simply blocking upload torrent traffic (or whatever other tool is accused of being used) from reaching the outside world at least for uploading.

Time to kick ass and chew bubble gum... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25768483)

I was mistaken, thought this was about Duke Nukem for some reason.

Re:Time to kick ass and chew bubble gum... (1)

Starayo (989319) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768565)

When I read the title, I was sure it was related to some new delay to DNF. -_-

Licensed Investigators Requirement (4, Insightful)

rozthepimp (638319) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768499)

The university should have also stated that the evidence must come from investigators licensed in the state of North Carolina.

Re:Licensed Investigators Requirement (4, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768691)

The university should have also stated that the evidence must come from investigators licensed in the state of North Carolina.

Interesting you should say that, because their "probable cause hearing" [blogspot.com] in North Carolina is coming up soon.

Finally (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25768585)

Finally we see that some folks are recognizing that all this copyright infringement cannot possibly be taking place. The Internet is just way, way too slow to allow anyone to download music. At least with the kind of dial-up connection I have and all that spam.

And why would anyone accuse a college student of doing something wrong? These are the finest examples of humanity that exist on the face of the earth and there is no way any of them could ever be involved with downloading music without paying for it. Right?

So what could the problem be?

Duke supports the accusers (-1, Offtopic)

eskayp (597995) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768617)

Given Duke's actions when members of their lacrosse team were falsely accused of rape it's probably not a wise idea to count on Duke for anything.
It's surprising that students haven't already been publicly villified, programs cancelled, and random suspects and their associates ejected.

Duke Defense (1)

Dgawld (1251898) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768679)

Duke has a very good Law department, i would hope that they are the ones that are going to : A) Advice the school administrators to not take the completely ridiculous claims made by the RIAA , B) Defend the university if (better yet, when) a law suit comes. But, as everyone knows, something more needs to be done against the enormous irrational power known as the RIAA, but as long as there are ignorant masses in this country who do not know the vast amount of unconstitutional acts the RIAA is doing then forever will they be a power.

Hoorah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25768709)

Duke University Forever!

Re:Hoorah! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25768813)

Duke sucks.

What is proof? (1, Insightful)

Casandro (751346) | more than 5 years ago | (#25768857)

I mean seriously, how can you proof that someone at IP-Address X offered a file.

The typical way is that they show a screenshot of some programm as well as someone claiming under oath that it's real. Well let's see where someone evil could modify that information to blame someone else:

1. the application: It can display any IP-Address it wants, even random numbers

2. the video card driver: It gets commands to write strings. It's trivial to exchange strings here and most video card manufacturers refuse to provide the source for their drivers.

3. many routers can simply do some kind of "NAT" to change the address. This could be done, in principle for certain ports and fully transparent.

4. the operating system: Of course that's the easiest place for changing any information going into the application and going out of it.

5. the font: Yes, this is obscure and might be noticed, but if I make a font which makes 8s look like 1s and 1s look like 8s, It will seem as if there is a different IP-Address on the screen.

So, there is no possible way they can actually proof anything. Plus they have a motif to modify their system in one of those ways.

As long as we don't have true trustworthy computing, which would mean we have to cut down the software stack of our computers to less than a kilobyte, it's hard to proof anything with a computer. Should we get TGC-style trusted computing, there will be _no_ proof a computer has been modified.

Re:What is proof? (1)

muuh-gnu (894733) | more than 5 years ago | (#25769403)

What they were actually asked for is to prove that random two people, one of them being a Duke student, communicated over the net and that the content of that communication was file of which the RIAA claims "intellectual ownership". File sharing is, after all, as it's called, peer-2-peer, and is thus private, even if the initial offering negotiation took place in public.

I can't imagine how actually that should work without RIAA having a possibility to monitor _all_ actual communication, not only the offerings, going on on the whole net. In Europe, our oligarchs are already paving the way for such proof by mandating internet providers to log _all_ communication for several months, so that the copy industry has enough time to look through it and find the proofs it needs to fight "theft by communication".

As I always said it, theres just no way to enforce copyright in private communication without a goebbelsian TOTAL SURVEILLANCE of private communication.

What I don't quite understand (1)

jandersen (462034) | more than 5 years ago | (#25769357)

... is this: The RIAA have been proven to break the law as a matter of principle, isn't that correct? If I do that, I end up in jail pretty soon; so why are they not only allowed to go free, but also to continue exactly as if nothing has changed? There ought to be a way for a judge to simply close down a business that repeatedly ignores the law like that. Or slap them with a fine big enough to take them all the way to bankruptcy. And then throw the managers in jail.

USA has a constitution! (1)

Heddahenrik (902008) | more than 5 years ago | (#25769453)

How come the constitution is always brought up when people talk bullshit about they want to have machine guns, but never when it comes to something that is actually important in people's lives?

You have the right to download and upload what-ever you want without getting spied on (unless there is strong reasons to do it like suspected crime), and it's no crime to share information! It's one thing to publish something, but peer-to-peer sharing can't be outlawed. I really doubt that there actually is any law forbidding downloading, and if there is, it's not valid.

You have to remember that judges are humans too, and public opinions matter a lot on how the laws are interpreted, so you can do something about that USA is sinking into the dark age of the Internet.

Why don't they band together? (1)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 5 years ago | (#25769543)

All these universities are wealthy.  Why don't they band together to form a serious defense fund?  They probably aren't fighting them serious now because of the potential cost of being a public show trial.  But if all the major unis pooled together, they could each contribute very little (by their standards) but form a walloping defense fund.

Presumption of Innocence? (1)

bxwatso (1059160) | more than 5 years ago | (#25769615)

It looks like sometime since Duke settled with the wrongly accused rugby players, it has changed its legal MO to defending and supporting its students.

I have no doubt that turning on future alumni and trashing them without proof is bad for Duke's business.

Re:Presumption of Innocence? (2, Informative)

icydog (923695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25769693)

It looks like sometime since Duke settled with the wrongly accused rugby players

I know Slashdot users tend to stay in basements, avoid sunlight, yadda yadda etc, but rugby and lacrosse are two very different things...

say what? (1)

weirdcrashingnoises (1151951) | more than 5 years ago | (#25769647)

at first i assumed that Duke ment Duke Nukem, and was rather confused...

Duke Nukem wants none of your bullshit, RIAA!

So Now Duke Cares about Student's Rights? (2, Insightful)

pcaylor (648195) | more than 5 years ago | (#25769655)

I'm surprised Duke is actually doing the right thing here. Based on their track record, I expected the students to be expelled, their sports team disbanded, the coach fired and have full page ads run in local papers signed by their professors denouncing them. I mean, that's what happened the last time Duke students were accused of something based on flimsy evidence.

I guess Duke learned the expensive way that their students don't check all their rights at the door when the are admitted to Duke.

most of this makes sense but: (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 5 years ago | (#25769963)

prior notice and an opportunity to be heard

Sounds like what you'd get if they were using a search warrant IMHO. You don't get an opportunity to defend yourself until they bring suit/charges against you. They are "just looking" so the right to counsel etc isn't really defended as much as once they actually accuse you of something.

Duke & admin don't seem to serve student inter (1)

harvey the nerd (582806) | more than 5 years ago | (#25769975)

This reminds me how poorly the Duke administration and faculty performed with respect to its students' civil rights in the lacrosse team affair. If I had a child enrolled there, with a $50,750 bill (2008-9), I would expect more careful, more effective support from the administration to fulfill the loco in parentis role.

Re:Duke & admin don't seem to serve student in (1)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 5 years ago | (#25770085)

If I had a child enrolled there, with a $50,750 bill (2008-9), I would expect more careful, more effective support from the administration to fulfill the loco in parentis role.

What is the legal age of majority in the US ? In the UK it is 18, and nobody (other than prodigies) attends university before the age of 18. So the university is not responsible for any parental role.

more proof (2, Insightful)

crossmr (957846) | more than 5 years ago | (#25770055)

They should also demand that they don't just download .5% from the student either. They should demonstrate that they actually got a working copy of the song from that individual student.

Resistance isn't futile (4, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 5 years ago | (#25770093)

is the University going to go to bat for the students and fight the litigation on the ground that it's based on zero evidence, and on the ground that the students weren't given prior notice and an opportunity to be heard?

The thing is, the RIAA doesn't really want to sue people. They want people to roll over and pay the $3000. That's almost entirely free money - they pay some small amount per IP to their dogs at MediaSentry, they pay some paralegal to fill in blanks on a form letter, and they pay some postage in order to send them out. Then they just wait until the money starts rolling in. A 10:1 profit margin wouldn't seem unreasonable, even if you factor in the supposed "losses" due to online sharing.

But every time someone fights back, whether it's against the RIAA's ex parte tactics or in a full-blown lawsuit, it costs them big. There are real lawyers getting paid real money to litigate real suits. Any returns are years off, and it's a roll of the dice as to whether they'll see anything for their efforts besides a bill from the defendant's lawyers.

The only reason that the RIAA files these lawsuits is because a few people have called their bluff. Imagine if the mob decided that breaking people's kneecaps was too risky/costly. Once people found out, nobody would pay them the protection money. Very similar situation with the RIAA: if the RIAA started ignoring people who ignored their settlement letters, and other people found out about it, then nobody would pony up the $3000. (Which, of course, is why these articles usually get tagged "mafiaa".)

By not forwarding the settlement letters, Duke complicates the cash cow portion of this formula. Ostensibly, the RIAA could find some way around this, but it'll undoubtedly be more complicated and cut into their settlement revenues. At some point, there's a line at which any hoped-for decrease in sharing is more than offset by the increase in pre- and litigation costs, and once the RIAA actually realizes that, their litigation campaign will stop. While many of us believe that the RIAA has been past that line the whole time, it'll take a lot more people fighting back to convince the RIAA of that.

Oh, and a ruling on unconstitutionally high damages favorable to the public interest wouldn't hurt, either.

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