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RIAA Announces New Campus Lawsuit Strategy

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the tell-us-everything dept.

Music 299

An anonymous reader writes "The RIAA is once again revising their lawsuit strategy, and will now be sending college students and others "pre-lawsuit letters." People will now be able to settle for a discount. How nice."

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Pre-lawsuit letters are cool (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18188160)

Tom Cruise delivers them in a cool black jumpsuit.

Re:Pre-lawsuit letters are cool (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18188334)


Tag this article: thievingcunts

Re:Pre-lawsuit letters are cool (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18188550)

So much for the female readership of this site.

Oh wait... ;p

Re:Pre-lawsuit letters are cool (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188614)

Do you mean the students, or the RIAA?

Re:Pre-lawsuit letters are cool (-1, Redundant)

shark72 (702619) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188772)

"Do you mean the students, or the RIAA?"

I think the Slashdot zeitgeist is that the appropriate tag for the students would be they-probably-already-had-the-CD-anyway-and-the-ar tists-have-enough-money-already-and-information-ju st-wants-to-be-free. Not sure if that would fit, though.

Re:Pre-lawsuit letters are cool (0, Troll)

gordgekko (574109) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188848)

Yet another reason not to take Slashdot as a serious venue of news, nor its members as valuable commentators.

Re:Pre-lawsuit letters are cool (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188808)

Tom Cruise delivers them in a cool black jumpsuit.

I thought the SeaOrg [wikipedia.org] uniforms were blue.

A Rose by Any Other Name... (4, Interesting)

Bonker (243350) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188168)

Demanding money with an accompanying threat is still EXTORTION, whether there's an actual lawsuit or not.

Re:A Rose by Any Other Name... (3, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188214)

Where's the Mafia? I mean, do the RIAA have a list of college-kids-not-to-sue, cause I would have expected one of these executives to have gotten "wacked" by now for threatenin' a mob boss' kid.

Re:A Rose by Any Other Name... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18188290)

SPOILER: You watch too much TV

Re:A Rose by Any Other Name... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18188322)

Ha, my thoughts exactly.

Re:A Rose by Any Other Name... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18188362)

I would have expected one of these executives to have gotten "wacked" by now for threatenin' a mob boss' kid.

The verb is "whacked". "Wack" is an adjective.

Re:A Rose by Any Other Name... (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188258)

So, to protect against a lawyer, you must hire a lawyer. Old old saying... "To catch a thief.." This whole circumstance does quite the job cheapening the whole legal system. Using what proports to be the mechanics of the law as a revenue stream, and the fact that other lawyers, judges and members of this so called profession condone this by their silence says buckets about the profession itself.

Re:A Rose by Any Other Name... (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188338)

and the fact that other lawyers, judges and members of this so called profession condone this by their silence says buckets about the profession itself.

And the fact that the most prominent critics of the RIAA and their tactics are frequently lawyers kind of contradicts you, huh? As for judges, most of them would probably (rightly) say that it's inappropriate for them to make public statements about cases like that.

Re:A Rose by Any Other Name... (0, Flamebait)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188756)

and the fact that other lawyers, judges and members of this so called profession condone this by their silence says buckets about the profession itself.

And the fact that the most prominent critics of the RIAA and their tactics are frequently lawyers kind of contradicts you, huh?
No, jackass. I quote the OP: "..by their silence". Prominent critics of the RIAA are hardly silent on the subject, now are they.

Re:A Rose by Any Other Name... (1)

MoriaOrc (822758) | more than 7 years ago | (#18189004)

Prominent critics of the RIAA are hardly silent on the subject, now are they.

The OP says (as you so helpfully quoted) "lawyers and judges .. condone by their silence ..".
The GP says that their are many lawyers who criticize this tactic. The implication here is that they are not silent, therefore the assertion that they condone the RIAA's tactics with their (non-existent) silence is not true.

The point the OP was asserting was that other lawyers are not criticizing the RIAA's tactics. The GP is making his assertion about who the critics are (specifically that they are mostly lawyers), not what they are doing.

Re:A Rose by Any Other Name... (1)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188932)

well, if they feel constrained to hand out morally indefensible penalties under the guise of 'statutory damages' and don't feel that they should be speaking out about it, they should be resigning. "I was just doing my job" hasn't been a valid excuse since 1946.

Re:A Rose by Any Other Name... (3, Insightful)

planetwc (1040394) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188696)

So to protect against a vampire, hire a vampire? Either way, your financial blood gets drained.

Re:A Rose by Any Other Name... (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188296)

They are going this route because people are starting to get their legal fees paid [slashdot.org] when the RIAA loses.

What better way to stop that from even happening by not taking them to court?

Why are they targeting college students? Not because they are the biggest file sharers but because they have the least amount of money.

Re:A Rose by Any Other Name... (1)

lcohiomatty86 (985176) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188640)

I would disagree with you on "not because they are the biggest file sharers".. people at colleges/universitys generally have access to LOTS of bandwith, and are generally well educated, so they have the ability and knowledge to want to aquire content illegally, also, how u mentioned they have the least money, well of course that plays a part.. if you have no money.. but u want music and movies.. wat better way than to download it? im not saying its right to do, but it makes the most sense for a poor college student.

Re:A Rose by Any Other Name... (2, Insightful)

Clock Nova (549733) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188748)

Don't forget that many college students also have parents who are putting them through college, and will be the ones to foot the bill for these "offenses." That fact could be playing a large part in this.

Re:A Rose by Any Other Name... (3, Insightful)

Goeland86 (741690) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188818)

Except when they target students on financial aid, whose very education could be depending on the few thousands of dollars they're demanding!
If anything, the RIAA is going to create a whole generation of people who could've afforded school, but thanks to those annoying bastards can't really finish their degree, are left with huge loans and don't have a degree allowing them to pay their debts. The RIAA is really pissing me off, they're not helping educate people, they're helping them drop out of school and get even further into debt!
If the RIAA had any kind of patriotic interest whatsoever, they would stop suing students right NOW and instead try to have lotteries for scholarships for people who legally buy music. That'll get any students' attention, and they'll want to buy music in the process!

Re:A Rose by Any Other Name... (1)

Clock Nova (549733) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188886)

That's actually not such a bad idea. Don't know how it would be implemented, but it might help them extend the life of their dying business model for a few more years.

What I want to know, however, is what they hope to gain by extorting money from people who don't have it. If, for example, they sent me such a letter, I would simply wipe my ass with it and send it back (obviously, an email wouldn't be tactile enough, but you get the idea.) Now, what would they do then. I own almost nothing of value - no home, no stocks, a virtually worthless car - and I make very little money. My savings account has less than $1000 in it, and I can make that disappear quickly if I have to. Jail time is not something I'm particularly afraid of either, not that I think they could bring it to that. So what can they really do if I refuse to play ball?

Re:A Rose by Any Other Name... (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188330)

If the ??AA would actually sit down with people, listen to why they didn't do it, and resolve such cases (where the person really didn't do it) out of court without money changing hands, it would be fine. But they don't, which is why they've earned the moniker "Mafiaa" on /.. Instead, they go through a protracted legal battle (due to the ??AA's attorneys dragging their feet and filing countless ridiculous motions) in a feeble effort to try to claim their money by presenting incredibly flimsy evidence. On the plus side, it looks like you'll generally be able to claim attorneys' fees from the ??AA when you win your case.

Wrong, clearly you don't know the law (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18188394)

Legally, extortion is the unlawful taking of property or money by force, or threat of violence, property damage, harm to reputation, or unfavorable government action (acting under color of law). The Hobbs Act defines extortion as the obtaining of property from another, with his consent, induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear, or under color of official right.

None of this applies to RIAA's actions in this case. Threatening you with a civil suit for the commission of a tort is not a crime; it happens every day.

Re:Wrong, clearly you don't know the law (3, Insightful)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188508)

None of this applies to RIAA's actions in this case. Threatening you with a civil suit for the commission of a tort is not a crime; it happens every day.

Threatening you with a civil suit for the commission of a tort is not a crime when all you demand is a cease and desist. Demanding monetary compensation I would think would be a different matter. If not extortion, how about blackmail? "We know you've committed a crime. Pay us to keep quiet about it or we'll see to it that it goes on your criminal record, which you'll have to disclosed to any future employer preventing you from getting any well-paying job in the future."

And such payment won't be legally binding, so they could still press charges, and your payment will be used as evidence of your guilt.

IANAL.

Re:Wrong, clearly you don't know the law (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18188662)

No "crime" has been committed. The action is a tort. The violation of the Copyright statute for non-monetary gain is a civil matter, not a criminal matter.

So the wronged party (RIAA in this case) is approaching the wrongdoer and saying "look, we can sue you for $X in damages, but we'd like to spare you and us the trouble of a court proceeding to collect said damages. Sign here, pay us $N in reduced damages to cover what we feel are reasonable damages in this instance, and in this contract you are signing you will see that we voluntarily give up the right to sue you for this particular infringement in the future."

Just as if your kid broke one of my windows accidentally with an errant baseball. I could sue you, but I'd probably propose that we settle out of court for reasonable damages. Hardly a crime for me to propose that. And if you choose not to pay, I can of course take you to court.

No "crime" is being swept under the rug. Just because you wish it was extortion or blackmail does not make it so. You ANAL and all of the moderators here clearly ANAL ;)

Re:Wrong, clearly you don't know the law (1)

Dread Pirate Skippy (963698) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188834)

I'd say to mod you up, but you posted AC... jeez...

Re:Wrong, clearly you don't know the law (2, Insightful)

shark72 (702619) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188912)

"Threatening you with a civil suit for the commission of a tort is not a crime when all you demand is a cease and desist. Demanding monetary compensation I would think would be a different matter. If not extortion, how about blackmail?"

Listen to the AC; he's right on this one. Settling out of court happens all the time. Even "good" companies and people do it.

The trouble with calling this "blackmail" or "extortion" is there may be a day down the road when you think you've been wronged, or you know you've wronged another person, and settling out of court is the quickest and cheapest way for you to get things right.

""We know you've committed a crime. Pay us to keep quiet about it or we'll see to it that it goes on your criminal record, which you'll have to disclosed to any future employer preventing you from getting any well-paying job in the future."

Huh? I've read TFA; the RIAA isn't threatening (either explicitly or implicitly) to ask the feds to press federal charges in these campus cases. While the amounts of the purported infringement may technically fall into criminal infringement territory, the feds have better things to do; they tend to go after cases where the amount of infringment is in the high five figures and beyond. You know this; I know this; the RIAA knows this and the kids doing the file sharing probably know this.

Re:Wrong, clearly you don't know the law (1)

Rudisaurus (675580) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188916)

Demanding monetary compensation I would think would be a different matter. If not extortion, how about blackmail?
And the difference would be ... ???

Webster [m-w.com] , Dictionary.com [reference.com] , and The Free Dictionary [thefreedictionary.com] all use the term "extortion" to define blackmail.

Re:A Rose by Any Other Name... (1)

penguinbrat (711309) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188856)

I can see the legit/legal argument about settling out of court for X amount, and just by coincidence it happens to be a flat rate regardless if you downloaded 3,000 or 3 songs - or even if you flat out didn't for that matter. Although, I can not see how in the hell this could be legal - isn't this blackmail? You pay me, or I'll bring legal action for something I'm assuming you've done? If this is legit - what is stopping any of us /.'ers or anyone for that matter - going around with flyer's saying give me a grand and I won't pursue legal action for something I just know you did.

IANAL, but I would think that since they are calling this a "discount" that comes before any kind of legal action, that there would be some kind of loop hole that you twist around, especially if they didn't file "on" the date 20 days following this discounted "rate". What is this discount for? If it's for getting out of a law suit - isn't that what the "settlement" is for? Which goes back to what is this stupid discount really for?

And out of curiosity - what would happen if you ignored everything and absolutely refused to pay them anything or cooperate, including the law suit that you more than likely can't afford to fight in the first place? Jail time from contempt of court or something?

Signed - puzzled and tired of this bull shit arrogance >.

Is different than the same letter sent before? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18188186)

I thought they were doing this anyway (old news). I guess when the RIAA or MPAA does anything slashdot shits a brick. I forgot slashdot is now a RIAA sponsored news source (mediawhoring). ;) Go ahead mod me down!

Re:Is different than the same letter sent before? (-1, Flamebait)

LostIt1278 (1056780) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188392)

99% of this site is news I've already read. I only come here anymore for the (mostly) entertaining comments. This site use to have breaking news (or so I thought at the time.) Now they only promote themselves or rely on real news sources. Instead the section 'Old Stories' maybe they should just rename the site OldNews.org? MediaWhore.org maybe?

Piracy is hurting? (1, Redundant)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188246)

Almost four years later, the file-sharing population has continued to grow, while CD sales continue to fall. Digital music sales have grown since their introduction, yet have failed to make up for the loss in sales

Is this true? Does anyone have sales or statistics?

Re:Piracy is hurting? (4, Insightful)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188370)

Is this true? Does anyone have sales or statistics?

Who cares if it's true? They say it is, and there's not exactly a pirate's lobby to refute them. Truth is completely and utterly irrelevant. It's not a question of what's right or wrong, it's a question of what you say and how loud you say it. And the media cartels own the conventional news sources.

Re:Piracy is hurting? (3, Interesting)

hooded_fang (964565) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188382)

Interesting. The Canadian music industry has actually benefitted from downloading. Even my cat knows that an MP3 is not the real thing and Im not planning on shelling out any money for a cd with 1 or 2 good songs. I end up test driving a lot of stuff before surprise, surprise I end up buying it. It just makes sense. This whole thing could have been done differently if the RIAA hadn't listened to the "wisdom" of people like Lars Ulrich. Sell Mp3s super cheap right off the start with a online purchase coupon that gives them a discount on buying the cd copy. Incentive marketing but the RIAA would rather be a fat old dinosaur. And we know what happened to the dinosaurs... Okay Im out of here before that Archangel Michael guy gets all preachy and self-righteous on me. I can already hear him saying "be a good boy and stand in line, individual thought is bad"

Re:Piracy is hurting? (2, Informative)

SirTalon42 (751509) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188410)

A while back Slashdot posted some articles which confirmed that RIAA's profits were up, but their growth was slower than the rest of the economy so they use that to say their profits are 'down'. I think the last article I saw Slashdot post about it was several months ago.

Re:Piracy is hurting? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188424)

Even if it's true, it doesn't mean there's a connection. Some people never pirate, some only pirate, and yet more buy and pirate depending on cashflow, availability, mood etc. I love music, but there's only so much good music being released at the moment (I know - it depends what you're into). I tend to buy a lot of older music, and there's so much stuff that's legally available for free, or very cheaply (Miles Davis, Glenn Gould's famous 1950's recording of Bach, the Avant Garde and Vinyl Flac projects (search for AGP or VFP)) that there's little need to spend £14 or whatever on a piece of plastic you might only listen to once.

Not Piracy, DRM hurting, Suing customers hurting. (2, Insightful)

openright (968536) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188694)

"Pirates" can not be blamed for the failure of media companies to adapt to and profit from the Internet.
DRM was an attempt to put the Internet back in the bottle.

People expect to be able to download stuff at a reasonable cost, (and some amount of information people expect for free).
People expect to to their play and copy purchased media without barriers.
College students will "copy tapes", as they have no spare book or beer money to spare. if you use legal threats or take money from them, this will not increase sales, or create new fans.

The story has not changed since the days of Naptser and mp3.com. People would buy DRM-free media over the Internet for a reasonable cost.

But if MAFIAA refuses to sell unencumbered media, it is hard to buy it.

People do not want to go back to CD's and people do not want to go forward with DRM.

Pre-letter responses. (5, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188256)

> The RIAA is once again revising their lawsuit strategy, and will now be sending college students and others "pre-lawsuit letters." People will now be able to settle for a discount. How nice.

Slashdotters are once again revising their RIAA strategies, and will now be sending RIAA extortionists and barrators "pre-letter responses." Barrators and extortionists will now be encouraged to go fuck themselves sideways with a bowling pin. How goatse.

Re:Pre-letter responses. LO0OL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18188274)

wetted my pants laughing!!!1

Re:Pre-letter responses. LO0OL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18188644)

wetted my pants laughing!!!1

Great! Now do it while sitting on a RIAA pre-lawsuit letter!

Re:Pre-letter responses. (1)

BA_Draku (1043900) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188844)

Haha, nice one. Now we just need to wait for them to make pre-pre-pre-lawsuit letters to alert us that they are going to alert us that they are going to alert us that they are going to lawsuit us.

Yay! (5, Funny)

GFree (853379) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188286)

People will now be able to settle for a discount.
Now that's what I call customer service!

Re:Yay! (2, Interesting)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188438)

Mee Too! I've never downloaded any cool, free MP3s yet, but I'd like to. Can I settle in advance, then copy the living crap out of my soon to be new favorite P2P service? How much is that going to set me back to begin with? This may become a viable new distribution model!

College student feeling the wrath (3, Interesting)

kiyoshilionz (977589) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188298)

Well I got hit by something similar. I downloaded a torrent of Green Street Hooligans, didn't even watch it. Recieved an email from the campus computer folk, told me that Universal informed them of my "copyright infringement", and if I delete the file immediately and tell them that I did so, nothing would happen, but if I did it again, I would lose my Internet connection.

I don't remember if they said what would happen if I didn't delete the file (which I did, I'm not going to stick my neck out for the principle of it) but I'm sure it would have been ugly. I wouldn't be surprised if the RIAA is doing this too - intercepting communications out of your friendly campus and then telling the campus to enforce their restrictions. Way to scare your customers. How do they stay in business?

Any other people get busted/almost-busted/pseudo-busted at their university?

Re:College student feeling the wrath (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188404)

That strategy I can almost respect, assuming that Universal isn't using this as a strategy to backstab you for doing the right thing.

Re:College student feeling the wrath (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188418)

Way to scare your customers. How do they stay in business?

Generally, when you have something offered up for sale, and someone finds a way to rip it off instead of paying for it, you don't think of that person as a "customer."

Re:College student feeling the wrath (1)

kiyoshilionz (977589) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188784)

Honestly, I feel like I would be inclined to buy stuff still if I wasn't deathly afraid of getting slapped with a lawsuit. Because they're doing all these deplorable practices against some innocent people, they're losing me as a POTENTIAL customer.

Re:College student feeling the wrath (1)

linvir (970218) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188484)

I don't remember if they said what would happen if I didn't delete the file (which I did, I'm not going to stick my neck out for the principle of it)

And a jolly good thing you did, too. Campus network admins can tap into your computer's mainframe using soviet hacker programs, hack your files right out from under your C drive, and even report their findings to Universal Studios.

I wouldn't be surprised if the RIAA is doing this too - intercepting communications out of your friendly campus and then telling the campus to enforce their restrictions. Way to scare your customers. How do they stay in business?
If by "intercept" you mean "logging IPs using a given torrent", and by "their restrictions" you mean "US copyright law", and by "customers" you mean "pirates", then yes, the RIAA is probably doing that too.

Re:College student feeling the wrath (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188618)

Right out from under my C drive? Well I'm all set - I keep everything on E!

Re:College student feeling the wrath (1)

wes33 (698200) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188794)

for sure that will fool the OP, but I'm not so sure about the riaa

Re:College student feeling the wrath (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18188498)

I was contacted once, but it wasn't for this stuff, it was more hexed binary distribution of stuff, needless to say i took it down, week later re-upped the same stuff build from source and they haven't touched it since.

Re:College student feeling the wrath (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18188512)

I don't remember if they said what would happen if I didn't delete the file (which I did, I'm not going to stick my neck out for the principle of it) but I'm sure it would have been ugly.

This really fucking annoys me. "Principle" of it? What principle? Is the University now a Godless opressor of righteousness because they nailed you for doing something illegal? I know the average Slashdotter has this complex where they feel it is their divine right to pirate simply because they can, but the responses to this article are ridiculous. Yes, the punishment for the crime can be taken too far, but what the RIAA is now doing is probably not too far, and what your University did to you is CERTAINLY not too far. Oh, poor you, you were forced to delete your illegal content because you got caught... good! You're not a heroic crusader for justice here, you're breaking the law. If you think that not being allowed to pirate media, just because you can argue like a five-year-old that you pirating it does not deprive the owners of any physical object, is an unjust law (it's not, in my opinion), then find some other way of protesting it. You can call it "civil disobediance" all you want, but at its core, it's just you being cheap.

Only $$$ speaks to them (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188522)

Way to scare your customers. How do they stay in business?

You are only a customer if you buy something. Have you sent the RIAA a letter telling them that because of this tactic, you will be boycotting? How much did you spend on CDs last year? Here at /. love to hate the RIAA but that only matters to them if they are losing paying customers. If the 1.8 million /.ers actually sent all of these rants to the PR dept of the RIAA, they might care. If they thought they could win us back by stopping.

We're all "customers" (1)

poptones (653660) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188660)

You are only a customer if you buy something.

More from the chorus. Thing is, we ARE customers. Someone may not have paid for every movie on their computer, but most of us DO rent DVDs (often to rip them to our drives), most of us go to movies and a great many even go to concerts.

The problem isn't that the copyright holders are suing their customers - the problem is there's so little opportunity for the competing voice to reach the folks affected by this - to remind them that, while Universal and Sony may sue them into oblivion for helping distribute their content, there's a whole world of stuff out there by folks who WON'T do this. If the people being sued would realize this and look for alternative content they would surely find something they like - but they don't. Everyone seems to want a change, but hardly anyone seems willing to do what it takes to put meaningful pressure on these media conglomerates.

I for one, (3, Insightful)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188876)

Welcome our independent artist labels, err, overlords. Maybe national CD sales aren't down, just "RIAA member" sales are down. I've purchased nothing mainstream for almost a year. I buy all of my CDs straight from the artists. Support your local talent. In New York City Subway, concerts come to you.

Re:College student feeling the wrath (2, Interesting)

twostar (675002) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188592)

Any kind of response probably wouldn't have come from the MPAA it probably would have just been at the university level. I use to work at a ResNet while I was at school. It was a state school and so we were protected by strict privacy laws. We received and processed hundreds of DMCA complaints each year but we never released a name or other identifying information. We even developed special procedures to ensure privacy and compliance with the DMCA.

We would track down students after receiving a complaint letter and make sure the offending material was removed from the network. We would document this process and then a clean version was returned to the complainant. Typically we also showed them how to disable sharing on whatever they were running in order to reduce the likely hood of a repeat offence. The student would also have to have a meeting with a student coordinator for their building and usually ended up making some kind of awareness project.

In the days of Napster, the university was threatened by the RIAA to release student information. Luckily (or not) we had just had an issue with an estranged parent getting information on a student and the lawyers had read up on their state privacy requirements. The university unilaterally said "No". Since the laws haven't changed, the students are still protected from lawsuits from the RIAA/MPAA/BSA using the DMCA to fish for info.

Re:College student feeling the wrath (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18188870)

My university blocks all P2P traffic, but it's pretty easy to get around using encryption. That also has the upside of them being unable to read the data being transferred, so it's quite safe, and you get to exploit their large bandwidth.

Re:College student feeling the wrath (1)

stubear (130454) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188940)

You're not a customer, you're a free-loader. If you don't want to pay for the entertainment don't consume the entertainment. It's quite simple really and if more asshats like you did this then perhaps things might begin to change for the better for people like me.

Results in court (1)

Tango42 (662363) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188308)

I haven't really been following the whole RIAA suing people thing - have they won any court cases, yet?

Re:Results in court (1)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188674)

They have easily won multiple cases against people, so yeah if they are actually suing you take it seriously. The burden of proof doesn't seem to be on them as much as it would be on the DA in a murder trial.

I guess justice assume your innocent unless it's about pirating music.

Re:Results in court (1)

AusIV (950840) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188896)

I'm not sure they've actually won many cases. Usually one of the following happens:

They get a settlement without going to court.
The defendant doesn't show up and they get a default judgement.
Their case falls apart and they dismiss with prejudice.

Are they winning cases? Not very often (that I'm aware of).

Are they getting money out of people? Yes.

If I'm wrong, please feel free to cite cases, but I've been under the impression that very few cases have been completed in court.

NEW George Foreman RIAA family lawsuits (4, Funny)

linvir (970218) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188374)

Do YOU have illegally stolen music files on YOUR computer? It's more likely than you think! If you do, then our new discount lawsuits could be for you!

Our patented lawsuit technology gives you a quick, easy settlement with no fuss. Order now and we'll even throw in this fantastic desk tidy. That's right: a discount lawsuit AND a desk tidy. All for the low one-time sum of 39.99

Call now, and get your George Foreman RIAA family discount lawsuit settlement. We accept all major credit cards. Get your settlement now and pay nothing for six months. SIX MONTHS!

Se habla español.

Re:NEW George Foreman RIAA family lawsuits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18188698)

Se habla español.
Chinga tu madre.

A letter to the RIAA (5, Informative)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188380)

Dear RIAA,

      I feel that I must point out that the quality of the music distributed by your members has sunk to such depths that if I have to listen to any more of it, I might just gnaw my own leg off in desperation. Of course such a situation would be grounds for an inmediate lawsuit by myself against your members for the sum of $3,000,000 US. I ask that you kindly desist from producing such self-mutilation inspiring music and, failing that, I am willing to settle for ten percent ($300,000 US) in advance in order not to pursue the lawsuit in the event of my loss of a leg. Thank you.

      Sincerely...

Sneakernets: The Original P2P System (5, Interesting)

bluemonq (812827) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188408)

It might not be nearly as convenient, but I've been hearing that in the dorms my fellow students are posting the names of songs that they would like to "buy". Some cheap 32-128MB memory tokens float around; discreet messages are sent telling them to keep an eye on "the SanDisk with a sticker on it" or the "green Dell one that has a crack in the casing".

My laptop sometimes has problems starting up (2, Funny)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188566)

I know what you're talking about, we did that a lot in the 90's and it was a lot more social
meeting face to face with people. And you know you get to meet people and you help them out
and then they help you out.. Like with my notebook lately, it has sometimes problems starting
up with new tunes and a friend of mine will hook it up to his notebook with what I believe is a
starter cable and jumpstart the music machine or the movie engine. Then sometimes its his
laptop that has novelty stalls from time to time and then we hook them together again with the
starter cable.

Re:Sneakernets: The Original P2P System (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188604)

If you are on a captive wan, just use protected shares with encrypted traffic. In theory, the *AA would have violated something if they take a peek inside.. ( cybercrime breaking and entering sort of thing )

The problem is that you still have to get the original file into the 'protected net'. thats where they can nab you.

We Will Sue You (5, Funny)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188428)

Buddy you're a boy, make a big noise
Playing music in school, gonna be a big man some day
You got music on myspace
You big disgrace
Kickin your ipod all over the place

We will, we will, sue you
We will, we will, sue you

Buddy you're a young man, pirate man
Shoutin' in the school gonna take on the MAFIAA some day
You got music on myspace
You big disgrace
Wavin' your napster all over the place

We will, we will, sue you
We will, we will, sue you

Buddy you're an old man, poor man
Pleadin' with our lawyers gonna make you pay today

You lost your court case
You big disgrace
The MAFIAA kicked you off of myspace

We will, we will, sue you
We will, we will, sue you

Re:We Will Sue You (1)

neil.orourke (703459) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188706)

If only I had mod points today...

Did you make this up? Because it's very, very good!

Re:We Will Sue You (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188998)

It is easy to tweak lyrics for parody, the hard part is finding a good song to base it on.

Re:We Will Sue You (2, Interesting)

jgoguen (840059) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188934)

That's absolutely hilarious, and yet so disturbingly accurate. But what happened to the kids of the RIAA executive who got sued for piracy? A "stern talking to"? Well can't the colleges promise to give the students a stern talking too instead? Or does that only work when someone rich gets sued by accident?

a friend of mine just got one of these (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18188430)

although i believe it was actually 'from' the university.

apparently the university (pueblo) was getting people to try to break into peoples boxes (or just looking at random xp shares that just love to be found).

the weird part? he had at least 80 gigs of movies, some of them still in theatres, but the university didnt crack down on him for those-- ive got the paper here, look at some of the weird stuff they got him on. (the format of the paper is below with other verbose information)

they got him, MAINLY, on old snes/nes/sega roms?!
mega man, duck hunt, super mario bros, metroid, zelda
  why they went for that, i dont know. only 3 movies are listed. and they werent even new at all.

-----
"Summary of "Digital Millennium Copyright Act" (DMCA) Infringement Incidents associated with user "xxxxxxxxxxx"

Student: xxxxxxx,xxxxxx (xxxx) xxx-xx-xxxx

Incident Case# | Date | Time | Entertainment Site | Acting on Behalf of | Infringement Title

xxx-xxxxx | xxx | xxx Entertainment Software Association | Numerous Companies | Metroid

the only time the 'entertainment site' field changes from ESA its to 'NBC Universial' 'BayTSP, Inc', 'Buisness Software Alliance (BSA)'

the only time the 'acting on behalf of' changes from 'Numerous Companies' is to 'Subsidiary and affiliated companies', 'paramount pictures corporation', 'member companies'

Where is the story here? (1, Interesting)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188432)

Really, this is just another incarnation of the 'I'm anonymous on the Internet.... What? I ain't?' You can't just flaunt the law and expect to get away with it forever. Doesn't matter whether you 'feel' you should be allowed to share music/video with a couple million of your best friends, the law in most countries says you can't.

So admit you are breaking the law and do it like a criminal, out of the open and looking over your shoulder. Swap with people you KNOW. If you are doing it online do it in closed groups with crypto and in cells to minimize the damage from infiltration.

With a little thought put into it there could be almost as much file sharing as now, and if the natural urge to go for a hub/spoke arrangement can be curbed there wouldn't be much that could be done to stop it.

Operators are standing by! (1, Redundant)

Dynedain (141758) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188476)

And if you call now, we'll throw in this knife set absolutely free! That's a $400 value!

This offer won't last long, so call now!

Re:Operators are standing by! (2, Funny)

Firehed (942385) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188656)

Tossing it a free knife set to an angry student who's about to meet with a RIAA lawyer might not be the best idea...

Re:Operators are standing by! (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188858)

Making it a standard practice would reduce the number of RIAA lawsuits dramatically, I suspect.

Re:Operators are standing by! (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188704)

O.J.? Is that you?

(sorry. couldn't resist.)

Are they still bothering to obtain evidence? (3, Interesting)

iamacat (583406) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188488)

They could just send a letter to every student and figure the ones with guilty consciousness are going to settle. With all the popups I am getting about winning various sweepstakes, it may even be legal.

Leveraging the university? (2, Interesting)

venicebeach (702856) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188502)

As others have asked, what exactly is new about this?

From TFA, it seems to me that one of the new aspects of this strategy is:

Basically, the letter is sent to the college or university, and is then forwarded to the student.
So the student gets a letter delivered through the university. It's not clear if some kind of university action is implied or explicity stated in this letter, or if the universities have agreed to cooperate with the RIAA. Either way I bet getting the university to communicate with the student is a way of providing additional leverage. Perhaps now you are not only threatened with financial damage but with your educational status being revoked?

Wow... (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188624)

People will now be able to settle for a discount.

It becomes more and more apparent that this is now part of their business strategy, and not primarly to defeat piracy this way. Tomorrow... Local shops with RIAA reps where you can settle lawsuits without going to court for convenience? Advertisements on how to best lower your lawsuit expenses? Lawsuit insurances?

Re:Wow... (1)

rworne (538610) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188928)

No, what you will see are requests for coupon codes for "10% off your next settlement offer" on fatwallet.

Another great idea:

RIAA pre-lawsuit gift cards. Load them up with $10, $40, or $250,000,000 - great gift for college students and little old ladies!

When will we just say enough is enough? (2, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188630)

How long is it going to take before the public has had enough of this garbage and put a stop to it?

it could be stopped tomrrow.

Solution..... (0, Redundant)

IHC Navistar (967161) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188636)

Tag this article: usewifi

Lawsuit Money (2, Funny)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188648)

I wonder if students can get financial aid to help with this...

Piracy for the Poor (2, Interesting)

Yfrwlf (998822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188654)

Please share with the poor who will never see this stuff any way. Copying isn't stealing, it's sharing ideas. Don't let these dying businesses try for force their old ways upon you. Make them get with the digital age and employ different business practices if they want to continue to have a business. Of course, even with sharing, as we all see, they will still continue to make millions of dollars from their crappy uncomfortable ad-ridden theaters. Don't let their greed fool you.

Profit!! (4, Funny)

teslar (706653) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188690)

Ok, I think I can guess the Powerpoint Slide that led to these letters:

1. Get postal addresses of students accross the U.S. via their University
2. Send them pre-lawsuit letters
3. Wait for a fraction of the students to take up the discount offer
4. PROFIT!!

Note the absence of both an ??? and an "prove that the individual is infringing copyright" steps.

Do you have to.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18188692)

send a rebate to get a discount?

When I was in school (1)

dank zappingly (975064) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188738)

At my college they paid to give us all free Napster (the legal version) to keep us from downloading illegally. It sort of sucked, had a limited selection, and the DRM was so f'ed up that it revoked my rights and no one at the company could figure out how to fix it.

Time to give up! (1)

lordvalrole (886029) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188754)

RIAA you worthless bunch of monkey retards. Just give up. You aren't going to win this. How about spending money on making better albums? How about spend money on advertising your artist? The only way you guys are going to get any huge amount of money is start suing major websites or companies like apple for everything and anything. Eventually you will get a judge that is not tech savy and then you will win, but that only goes so far. The reason why your sales have fallen so much is because your PR campaign against your OWN buyers. Music is just entertainment. I can live with out the next hiphop bullshit album that comes out but you can't live with out your money. Consumers have a lot more power and you will lose. Take a hint and stop annoying your customer base. It goes with the saying, treat your employees right, then you get treated right.

I really would love to see the boardroom meetings you guys have. You guys got some major problems on your hands and you guys just keep digging yourself into your grave. Good luck with that. Haven't bought a CD in years and will not buy one ever. I will not waste my money on you worthless people.

Ed McMahon graces the envelope (0, Redundant)

PoopDaddy (1064616) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188768)

"You may already be a litigant!"

What price (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188780)

What if you could actually do pay off potential lawsuits.

What if you could buy freedom for your media for the next 12 months, how about monthly?
There would be no fear of prosecution just because we happen to like something so we save it.

If doesn't matter where we get it from, it doesn't matter what quality or how often we transcribe it.
Come on media companies and software developers, how much would that cost us?
I want music and ebooks and movies as well - infact just the whole job lot. I might even want to try Vista or OS X.

What price?

Incidentally, I am 100% in favour of a simple payment method for authors and artists and developers and even movie execs where we get what we want and they do too.
I would never want these folks out of a job, as fat and evil some of them are - they have families to support just like us.

biznAtch (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18188792)

on my Pentium P8o progr2ess. In 1992,

sooo.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18188846)

the college i attend doesn't require the students to log into the network on the public computers--which is where everyone downloads music from.

how would the riaa handle that one? hah.

Not to mention the "punishment" by the school is stupid anyway. "Delete your program, and you can have your internet connection back."

pshaw (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18188930)

Not that everyone here doesnt already know why they arent doing as well as they were before the internet is because they are barely able to get any really good artists out to market. Real music fans are tired of crappy airhead pop and unoriginal wanna-be rock and we see no reason to buy their crap or to support and buy any product that assists the RIAA. Intelligent consumers are tired of being told what we should listen to or what we should think is cool. Let the artists do what they want. The only thing labels have to do is get the product out some way and that is increasingly easy with the net and free advertising/word of mouth/myspace...

mod 3own (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18188970)

Turn the tables? (1)

earthforce_1 (454968) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188982)

What if you post your garage band music that may or may not have a similar title to or cover version of something the RIAA would be after? When they send you a notice, you could then point out that their letter is an admission of unauthorized downloading of YOUR copyrighted works? You were just making them available on a shareware basis, right? And didn't their tech read the legal disclaimer on your web page indicating that by downloading this file they agreed to remit $49.95 to your paypal account?

Newsgroups.. (1)

ClaraBow (212734) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188986)

Does any know if the RIAA has targeted Usenet?

Next Step (2, Funny)

rlp (11898) | more than 7 years ago | (#18188996)

The RIAA's Department of Pre-Infringement sends you a letter warning that they know you were planning to infringe and demanding a settlement.

(Oops, I just infringed on the work of Philip K. Dick).
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