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University of Ohio Abandons Students Attacked by RIAA

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the just-have-to-run-faster-than-the-hafling dept.

Music 242

newtley writes "The University of Ohio was putting a brave face on being #1 on the RIAA hit list, but it now appears they have caved in to RIAA intimidation. Now, 'It appears that many institutions are simply prepared to wash their hands, refusing even to question the tactics of the industry,' let alone giving students meaningful legal assistance, says Ohio lawyer Joe Hazelbaker. He's written to OU associate director of legal affairs Barbara Nalazek saying, 'Ohio University has an obligation to protect the privacy of its students and their records, which includes directory information.' The Recording Industry vs. The People blog is hosting a letter universities whose students being attacked might want to consider."

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242 comments

How It Went Down (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19283909)

I saw them take the virgin filesharers to the middle point of the campus. The school administraters tied them down to a large stake. Then they hit a large gong and a terrible rumbling was heard from within the Law School building ...

Slashdot's hugely biased reporting (0, Troll)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284627)

Let's examine the headline and summary for key words intended to scapegoat the RIAA to make pirates feel less guilty about what they do:

"Attacked"
"hit list"
"intimidation"
"tactics of the industry"
"attacked"

Now, what's funny is that all those emotional buzzwords ignore that these students were caught illegally ripping artists off. It's not intimidation or attacking if you defend your own intellectual property--WHICH SLASHDOTTERS SAID THEY SHOULD DO BACK IN 2000! Guess what, kiddies. If you don't want to be "attacked" for violating someone else's rights, don't break the law in the first place. You don't have my sympathy just because your university gave you a broadband connection and you made sure System of a Down didn't get paid today.

Re:Slashdot's hugely biased reporting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19284695)

Looks generated, Troll. No matter what was done though, you are an ignorant fool. Contracts, etc. leave majors with little from sales, most goes to record companies working by models that are outdated. Give artists money? Go to their concerts and buy all the junk there.

Re:Slashdot's hugely biased reporting (0, Flamebait)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284749)

Yet another pro-piracy argument intended to make pirates feel better about what they do: "Artists don't make any money from record sales anyway."

Pirating an artist's music because you don't think they make enough money makes as much sense as fucking for virginity.

You're just making sure they get NO money at all. You also want to ignore that they willingly signed their contract, and that they will have reduced sales figures which means they risk getting dropped from the label due to lack of sales and inability to recoup the recording and marketing costs that were agreed upon in the contract.

Give artists money? Go to their concerts and buy all the junk there.

Ah, the ol' classic "someone else will pay them for their work" canard.

Re:Slashdot's hugely biased reporting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19284793)

Unless sales numbers are taken in some sort of draconian manner then there are statistical errors anyway that account for more than trading outside of crime syndicates.

Not outers giving them money, that each person doing that is obligated to do that more so than paying for record producers. The artists that signed were not capable of other choices, I do not dispute that they are still foolish from the current perspective though. All need to be dropped and those producers bankrupt, the others will succeed independently with concerts.

Re:Slashdot's hugely biased reporting (4, Informative)

BakaHoushi (786009) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284727)

Practice what you preach. They "broke the law?" No, they did no such thing. They allegedly "infringed on a copyright." They are two separate things for a reason. copyright infringement != theft. That's why people aren't locked up for it. They're sued.

And mind you, many of these words may be buzzwords, but at their heart, can you honestly say this is not intimidation? How many people who have NOT downloaded anything illegally have been sued? How many laws (note, LAWS) has the RIAA tried to bend/break in order to GET information on people?

And one last bit that gets said over and over again:
When you pay for that System of a Down CD, 95% of that money (number made up off top of my head, point is, vast majority) goes to... the RIAA/its affiliates. Bands make money off of tours, merchandise, etc.

And for the record, no, I don't pirate music. Or anything, really. I simply don't really care for most music, and my last album (Weird Al's Straight Outta Lynwood) I did get in physical form.

Re:Slashdot's hugely biased reporting (-1, Troll)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284799)

Practice what you preach. They "broke the law?" No, they did no such thing. They allegedly "infringed on a copyright." They are two separate things for a reason. copyright infringement != theft. That's why people aren't locked up for it. They're sued.


Uh, you don't explain how they're separate things simply because you believe it's not theft (even though it 100% is, just like stolen GPL code is always called "stolen").

And mind you, many of these words may be buzzwords

Excellent, we already agree.

but at their heart, can you honestly say this is not intimidation?

Yes. Protecting your own rights isn't intimidation.

How many people who have NOT downloaded anything illegally have been sued? How many laws (note, LAWS) has the RIAA tried to bend/break in order to GET information on people?

Since you're making the implication, it's up to you to tell me. As for breaking laws, copyright infringement absolutely is breaking the law. That's why the FBI shuts down piracy rings, but because they can't go after every individual infringer, that is left up to the copyright holder.

And one last bit that gets said over and over again:
When you pay for that System of a Down CD, 95% of that money (number made up off top of my head, point is, vast majority) goes to... the RIAA/its affiliates. Bands make money off of tours, merchandise, etc.

Ah, the ol' "They don't get paid much anyway" routine. Pirating music because you don't like the contract the artist willingly signed is like fucking a woman to give her virginity. The truth is that it's hardly 95%, and there is usually a recoup cost for recording and marketing followed by a percentage on future sales.

Artists don't make the majority of income on their expensive tours. Tours cost money and require a bunch of employees, equipment, and advertising to keep running. Tours are advertising to support the album and are scheduled based on the sales of an album in a given region. For example, Metallica's old Black Album tour schedule changed often when they wanted to push sales of the album in a given European country.

Stop Downloading Crap Music? (4, Interesting)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#19283927)

The RIAA only cares about popular "artists", after all...

Re:Stop Downloading Crap Music? (3, Informative)

shmlco (594907) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284023)

And if you have to have it, a used cd is often only $4 or so on half.com.

Re:Stop Downloading Crap Music? (5, Insightful)

Odiumjunkie (926074) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284297)

I have a friend who doesn't approve of illegaly downloading music. He occasionally buys a second hand CD for a couple of bucks, then immediately downloads high-bitrate rips of the same album from bittorrent, because more often than not the disks are scratched and he can't be bothered spending hours trying to make a decent rip of his own. I always wonder, what exactly is he giving back to the artist? Aside from a few fairly abstract arguments to do with the price point being higher if consumers know they can sell CDs they buy second hand, in what way does buying second hand CDs benefit the artists/RIAA more than just downloading the damn thing?

Re:Stop Downloading Crap Music? (4, Interesting)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284577)

The money gets passed on. Think of it like momentum.
I buy a CD, artist gets their $0.50. I sell the CD to a friend, artist doesn't get a cut but now I have another $9 to spend on another CD.

Compare this to only downloading.
I buy a CD, artist gets their $0.50. I upload the music and half a million people get the song; artist gets nothing, I never get an additional cent to buy another CD.

Re:Stop Downloading Crap Music? (4, Insightful)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284703)

The money gets passed on. Think of it like momentum. I buy a CD, artist gets their $0.50. I sell the CD to a friend, artist doesn't get a cut but now I have another $9 to spend on another CD.

Actually, the existence of a second-hand market is part of what allows them to sell the CD for $9 (or whatever) in the first place -- people will spend more up front if they believe they can get some of it back later. The value of the used CD is factored in to the price of the new ones.

Compare this to only downloading. I buy a CD, artist gets their $0.50. I upload the music and half a million people get the song; artist gets nothing, I never get an additional cent to buy another CD.

Going by your original logic, half a million people now have an extra $9+ to buy another CD. This would seem to be an improvement from the "available money" point-of-view.

Re:Stop Downloading Crap Music? (0, Troll)

BakaHoushi (786009) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284781)

Wait, so, this guy's plan gets EVERYBODY $9+?! SOLD!

And, hmmm, when you buy a CD used, no one but the store gets money. Clearly, these used record stores aren't supporting the artists. Do I smell money in the air?

In fact, new idea. When you play a CD more than once, you're diminishing the amount the artist makes per performance. If you play 10 songs 10 times, for a $15 CD, that means the band played 100 songs for .15 EACH, or $1.50 for the album! You, awful, horrible slavedriver! Obviously, a band should be paid at LEAST $15 per performance, so from now on, all CDs are a 1-time use item. After you play it, it self-destructs. Everyone wins!

Re:Stop Downloading Crap Music? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19284803)

And, hmmm, when you buy a CD used, no one but the store gets money.

No; as a dozen different posts have already pointed out, the fact that you can resell a used CD used adds significant value to the initial purchase. Fewer people would pay $15 for a CD they knew would lose all of its resale value the minute they took it home.

"First God made idiots. That was for practice. Then He made school boards." -Mark Twain

And like Microsoft, He finally got it right the third time, when he made you.

Re:Stop Downloading Crap Music? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284643)

It reduces the number of secondhand copies by one, thus meaning that the next guy might not find one for sale and would end up buying a new copy. Legally, the number of copies floating around on the market is constant or decreasing (ass copies are destroyed) except when they do a pressing.

Using P2P for avoiding trying to rip a scratched CD does not change the number of copies floating around. It merely delays the amount of time before the number of copies decreases. Using P2P to download it outright effectively increases the number of copies floating around by one.

Re:Stop Downloading Crap Music? (1)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284655)

Maybe your friend goes to concerts? Maybe by buying a used cd from some guy, that guy has the money now to buy a new cd? If your friend is listening to a band, it's benefiting that band from word of mouth and mindshare. Sure, those are the abstract arguments you refer to, but does it matter if he's not directly putting a buck into the band's pocket? If I sell a painting for a couple of hundred bucks and someone sells the painting for a thousand - should I be getting a share because I'm the original painter? Should I get a share of what that painting goes for at every sale? "Intellectual property" the way the media companies want you to believe it to be is that the artist should be benefiting from every use of their intellectual property for the life of the artist. That's not the case for any other facet of our lives - why is it so for IP? You do the work once, you sell it, and it's no longer yours. That's how it works. I would prefer it that the artist didn't benefit from second hand cd sales directly because they already benefited from the original sale.

How backwards! (1)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284689)

Programs like Exact Audio Copy are able to painstakingly rip even the most scratched CDs very well when in secure mode. A friend of mine left a CD behind his computer desk for several years. Over time, the wheels on the desk would run over the CD and grind parts of it away. He found the CD while cleaning one day, and decided to see whether EAC could recover it. The CD was badly scratched and had dust all over it. After cleaning the dust off, and leaving EAC to run overnight, he was able to extract all of the music! So give it a try.

I call it backwards because if your hard disk dies, you don't have a hard copy of the music. I insist on having a lossless copy of the music I buy so I can format shift it without degrading quality. I rip to 256kbps VBR MP3 - it works on everything, sounds great, but is a bit large. For right now, that means I continue to buy overpriced CDs.

Re:Stop Downloading Crap Music? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19284811)

Aside from a few fairly abstract arguments to do with the price point being higher if consumers know they can sell CDs they buy second hand, in what way does buying second hand CDs benefit the artists/RIAA more than just downloading the damn thing?
This is kind of a stupid thing to say. You basically say, "Aside from the real answer to my question, what is the answer?"

The real answer is that it is an abstract argument about the secondhand market increasing the value of the disc and therefore the price which people will pay for it. It's also an abstract argument about increasing the price and decreasing the supply of secondhand discs which makes it more likely that other people will buy new instead.

You might not like those answers because they're "abstract", but economics is very abstract in a lot of situations and that's how it is.

Another one bites the dust (4, Informative)

ajanp (1083247) | more than 6 years ago | (#19283931)

I guess they decided to not to take the advice from our favorite anti-RIAA Harvard professor http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/05/05/04 13249 [slashdot.org]

I'm going to go ahead and take a wild guess that a couple hundred University of Ohio students will be receiving some pre-litigation notices in the mail sometime next week.

Re:Another one bites the dust (2, Insightful)

shmlco (594907) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284111)

Actually, I'm not sure what legal assistance they're supposed to be giving. I mean, what brain-dead college student doesn't know that downloading copywritten music and movies is legally wrong? Who hasn't been told? Who didn't get the memo?

Or is using the school's network the determinant factor? If I commit a crime on the school's streets or property, can I assume that I automatically should get "legal assistance" too?

Re:Another one bites the dust (4, Insightful)

Firehed (942385) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284165)

If students get sued into oblivion, they can't pay tuition. And if the college does something meaningful and beneficial for their students, they're a lot more likely to actually see donations later on.

I'm by no means suggesting that the college has any obligation to provide any assistance, but it's certainly to their benefit in the long term.

Re:Another one bites the dust (1)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284231)

1. Most schools have way more applicants than they accept. If one drops out cause they can't afford it anymore than they have hundreds waiting in line to replace that student.

2. If the person is too cheap to buy a $99 iTunes download then what makes you think they're going to make an alumni contribution later on?

Re:Another one bites the dust (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19284357)

> If the person is too cheap to buy a $99 iTunes download then what makes you think they're going to make an alumni contribution later on?

How about because many students worry week-to-week about money for food, let alone for luxuries like DRMed 128kbps iTunes tracks?

And I know, I know, if music is a luxury, why don't students just do without? Well, my first year at University, I didn't live in halls and I couldn't afford DSL, so no high-speed downloading for me. And guess what? I didn't spend a dime on music the entire year. This year, I'm in University halls and enjoy free high-speed net access, so download tons of music for free. How, exactly, is anyone any worse off? Come up with something that can't be reproduced infinitely at effectively zero cost, then you can start bitching about people stealing it.

Most students are poor. When they're a couple of years out of University and are making comfortable salaries, then you can start calling them cheap for not paying for digital content.

Mod Parent Up, more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19284597)

If students get sued into oblivion, they can't pay tuition. And if the college does something meaningful and beneficial for their students, they're a lot more likely to actually see donations later on.

I'm by no means suggesting that the college has any obligation to provide any assistance, but it's certainly to their benefit in the long term.
Parent makes good points.

Maybe it is time to inform your alma maters people. Send along Mr. Beckerman's letter and whatever else you may deem appropriate. If you are a regular contributor to your alma mater and they have cooperated with the *AA's then you should consider whether or not you should not send them the next donation while telling them why you are not going to give them money. Speaking of donations maybe some alumni associations should consider setting up legal funds specifically for this type of student protection. Alumni should look into whether or not the *AA or their members have made university contributions too.

Lawyers around the universities should look into this and consider the public good it could do if they volunteer to help the affected students, I am not sure if such Pro Bono work would bar them from collecting legal fees from the *AA or not. Of course there are probably some legal dodges for this such as "if we lose, I will forego my fees" which they might add if they study this well "but I doubt we will lose".

University students and alumni, congratulations, you are now probably of voting age or beyond, study how this can be used to your advantage. How many votes could universities account for to take down the "Senator Disney"s of the country?

This issue probably isn't so clear to the universities, perhaps the way to get things started is to have an open and evolving symposium series on the subjects. Of course this would burn a lot of time, but it could be a good tool to develope better raport with the students as well as generating a lot of tools for the defense of the students and the university. When things start to clarify, invite some congressmen.

Next song on the affected students download list Welcome to the Real World [lyricsdir.com]

Existing donation base issues. (1)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284717)

One problem I see with your point: The existing donor base for a major uni like OU is gonna be massive because they have been feeding grads into it for about two centuries.

This link: http://www.ohio.edu/foundation/about.cfm [ohio.edu]

indicates a history of private sector donations going back to 1816. 2006 saw roughly 25 thousand people donate a total of $35 million USD. In 2004 the 'Bicentennial Campaign' concluded after bringing in 221 million USD.

How many successful alumni over the age of 50 are going to be clued into the details of current RIAA battles and tactics. How much do you think OU wants to avoid alienating the old school donors that, given the age of the campus and their long history of massive private sector fundraising, are probably a bit out of the demographic that cares enough to educate themselves on the RIAA related issues.

My grandma thinks downloading multimedia is stealing and would accuse you of trying to sell her snakeoil if you tried to convince her that absence of marginal costs for reproduction of the works changes the arguement. She is also very involved in alumni programs from another uni, including community charity and fund-raising activities. She has spent her retirement 'giving back' to the communities that had supported her throughout her life, and many of her friends did the same.

These people are *worth* more than a couple years of grads leaving with a bitter taste.

Regards.

Re:Existing donation base issues. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19284817)

How many successful alumni over the age of 50 are going to be clued into the details of current RIAA battles and tactics.

Over 50? That would be Vietnam veterans, Vietnam protestors, Civil Rights Movement, and some of those OU alumni might have transferred in from Kent State. Over 50 would also include a few that were in public schools at the time and watched all this as it happened with developing minds. Don't underestimate these people!

Re:Another one bites the dust (2, Informative)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284241)

Yeah, what a joke. "Let alone provide meaningful legal advice" - that's your counsel's job, not your damn schools. Some of the points made in the article are somewhat valid, but definitely not anything down this track. "Whine, poor students doing something illegal, and their school isn't shielding them from it!"

Re:Another one bites the dust (1)

Evilest Doer (969227) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284625)

Yeah, what a joke. "Let alone provide meaningful legal advice" - that's your counsel's job, not your damn schools.
Actually, there are a lot of universities that provide legal counsel for free to their students (unless, of course, you are suing the univerisity). At my undergraduate school, the attorneys would even represent you in court if you needed it. At my graduate school, even though the attorney would not represent the student officially, you could still get tons of free helpful legal advice to use. It came in handy for me during a landlord/lesee dispute (there are tons of dishonest/shady landlords at my old school).

Re:Another one bites the dust (1)

hxnwix (652290) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284397)

There's a reason that Harvard has a better rep than the University of Ohio.

And it's not just that Ohio sucks. Aye, the home of Blackwell, the black heart of voting fraud, poll taxes and electorate purges... If you live in Ohio, particularly on a state campus,

GET OUT

In other news... (3, Funny)

no_pets (881013) | more than 6 years ago | (#19283961)

In other news... enrollment drops at the University of Ohio.

Re:In other news... (2, Informative)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284139)

In other news, it's not the Univeristy of Ohio. It's Ohio University.

Re:In other news... (1)

no_pets (881013) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284193)

Blame the editors. I cut and pasted. And no, I didn't RTFA.

Re:In other news... (1)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284261)

I know you only cut and pasted. The editors are indeed to blame, but so is the submitter. One of the sites linked in the article appears to be his and it makes the same bloody error, so in effect, the person who submitted the story didn't read any of the freaking real news stories either.

In a greatly ironic and humorous twist of fate, apparently either the editors knew what he was talking about and didn't do any actual editing or slashcode automates a whole lot (and does it well) because all of the related stories are about Ohio University :P

Re:In other news... (1)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284767)

Yes, because people enroll at a University to download shit, instead of working for a grade to be more competitive in the job market.

Get your head out of your ass and flush it down the toilet.

Victims? (4, Interesting)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 6 years ago | (#19283975)

It sounds to me like we're making a classic stupid military mistake: we keep on defending ourselves, at our homes, schools, and workplaces.

So let me ask: how do we take the fight to them? How do we start fscking over the RIAA / MPAA / Disney / NJ Turnpike Authority?

Class Action... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19283995)

Somehow I don't think a class-action lawsuit against them for extortion would work; you'd need to sue congress for being complicit, and since they're complicit, they've made it legal.

Re:Victims? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19284053)

First, campaign contributions to the best opponent of the Senators Disney. Make it perfectly clear that you're contributing against Senator Disney. If you've got some extra time in the summer, volunteer for one of their campaigns.

Re:Victims? (1)

gsn (989808) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284195)

Everybody who downloads music or movies via p2p/IRC, or rips next-gen formats or captures internet radio streams despite knowing that they *might* get sued is fighting them. They may all be pirates and are breaking laws but that is nevertheless how they are fighting them. Death by a thousand cuts just takes a while.

Re:Victims? (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284339)

That's not really fighting them, that's helping them.

I suspect "the People" would grow very tired of DRM, insane media prices, and ridiculous advertizing if not for the pirates making these things just tolerable enough.

Same with Microsoft piracy; I bet Bill loves the fact that most of Third World countries' student and engineers are exposed to Windows because once they get hired for a decent wage, Windows/Net++ is the only thing they will demand.

Re:Victims? (4, Insightful)

servognome (738846) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284439)

Everybody who downloads music or movies via p2p/IRC, or rips next-gen formats or captures internet radio streams despite knowing that they *might* get sued is fighting them. They may all be pirates and are breaking laws but that is nevertheless how they are fighting them. Death by a thousand cuts just takes a while.
I disagree. Everybody who downloads is giving them ammunition to continue. A download to the RIAA equals an uncompensated demand, so they will push for more invasive and unfair laws. Hell if things get bad enough they'll just switch to the SCO model and secretly encourage illegal downloading so they can make their money suing people.
The best way IMHO to really beat the RIAA is to not consume their products in any form. If DRM prevents you from making a backup copy, don't buy the CD, don't download, listen to something else. Then if their revenues drop, the execs can't point to the evil pirates as scapegoats to appease the shareholders.
To take a page from Oscar Wilde, "The only thing worse than being pirated, is not being pirated"

Re:Victims? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19284269)

So let me ask: how do we take the fight to them? How do we start fscking over the RIAA / MPAA / Disney / NJ Turnpike Authority?

You bring the torches, I'll bring the pitchforks?

Re:Victims? (3, Funny)

Evilest Doer (969227) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284685)

You bring the torches, I'll bring the pitchforks?
Yes, I can just see thousands upon thousands of bespeckled geeks with plastic, red pitchforks and toy lightsabers descending upon RIAA headquarters thirsting for blood. Gottfrid Svartholm can lead the troops shouting "Downloaders! Tonight we Bittorent in Hell!"

Re:Victims? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19284285)

It sounds to me like we're making a classic stupid military mistake: we keep on defending ourselves, at our homes, schools, and workplaces.

So let me ask: how do we take the fight to them? How do we start fscking over the RIAA / MPAA / Disney / NJ Turnpike Authority?


Well, don't lump every Slashdot reader in with "we", as a lot of us don't download music and find the whole issue a big murky grey area best avoided..

But the way to fight back is to, well, fight back. The university has a law school, put it to use. Every single case should be disputed (as long as the student is willing) in a protracted legal battle. Send in the would-be lawyers to do the grunt work. Make every case a long painful debacle with endless deliberation before it even gets to court. And try to get them to try them in Ohio, because those big-city RIAA lawyers are not going to want to camp in the Midwest for a long trial (or pre-trial process.)

If their students are being singled out the University may have a case, too. Targeting a particular institution with endless lawsuits could possibly be considered some sort of harassment, as it certainly will turn away potential students who don't want to be randomly and possibly mistakenly targeted by a RIAA lawsuit (I certainly would take that into account if I was choosing a college, or my child was.)

Bascially, generate a lot of negative press for the RIAA by causing them to drop or lose a lot of lawsuits. Because that's what all of this is, a massive PR campaign on their part to stigmatize downloading music. The RIAA is not doing this for the money; they do not care about the college student's $5000. That's petty cash, one of their typical A&R guys or lawyers blows that in a weekend. Even lawsuit played out to the end against a college student with $60-100k in damages will most likely be defaulted on. They are losing money by suing random downloaders... But they are generating a lot of news, and a lot of fear.

What needs to be done, in my opinion at least, is make the lawsuits no longer worth the effort. They've been successful as a PR campaign-- casual downloaders now think twice, parents and institutions are now keeping an eye on what their children/students/employees are doing. I don't think further lawsuits are going to change anything (but remind people that yes, it can happen, which I suppose is the point) as the kind of people who think "it won't happen to me" are going to keep doing it.

Re:Victims? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19284295)

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Re:Victims? (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284385)

Keep your filthy, beige PC fingers to yourself.

Someone's memory only goes back about ~10 years [wikipedia.org], and completely ignores another 20. [wikipedia.org]

I know, I know, don't feed the trolls.

Re:Victims? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19284471)

If you weren't such a brickheadedly literal-minded PC user, you'd realize beige is not just a color, but also a state of mind.

Re:Victims? (1)

Torvaun (1040898) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284697)

Ah yes, lets all redefine words so that we can accuse people of not using them our way. Dictionary.com talks about a color and a fabric.

Here, I'm going to use the word 'economics.' What I mean when I use this word is Mac doesn't have enough market share to turn away users. Feel free to dis my non-iPod mp3 player, there you've got enough. Elitism only works when you have to turn people away, like MIT, or nobility. You've taken a company that makes a decent product, I'll admit, but made poor decisions early on, economically. Now you've decided that the fact that they had market share and lost it, and are only recently creeping back, means that you're better than the rest of us because we had successful marketing back in the day.

Keep your minority-based prejudice to yourself, you give the rest of the Mac users a bad name.

Re:Victims? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19284725)

A) Civil Disobedience

Write 09 F9 ... on money. For bonus points, put it on a campaign contribution to some politician against their encroachment. I believe that Rep. Boucher is probably one of the most aware of copyright law's unreasonableness.

B) Help defeat DRM

Stay educated about the newest forms of DRM. When people need help, teach them about all the ways they're being screwed over and show them how to defeat the DRM.

C) Make your own works available on reasonable terms.

Whether CC licenses or the GPL, make sure that people know that art won't just up and vanish without unreasonable copyright laws by making your own works available on reasonable terms.

Maybe it's not quite what you wanted, but things banding together to null route the RIAA, MPAA & co.'s internet traffic would probably be useless, illegal and counter-productive, as much as I like contemplating being able to permanently banish them from the internet.

As someone who works on the inside (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19283987)

All I'm going to say is that MAC addresses are easy to spoof, so if your school uses those for computer authentication (especially using wireless)...

Re:As someone who works on the inside (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284661)

Unless they lock the MAC down to a specific port on the switches. Sure it doesnt prove it was "you", but using your MAC in your room is sort of hard to deny.

A more viable defence is that you were hacked/virus/trojaned. Since this happens every day it makes sense..

Re:As someone who works on the inside (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19284755)

But who would have more access to your computer in your room than your roommate?

Punishment doesn't fit (0)

zymano (581466) | more than 6 years ago | (#19283989)

Downloading music = photocopying a page in a book.

Corrupt Congress works for the Riaa ( China by the way.)

Re:Punishment doesn't fit (1)

Peppersnail (894892) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284147)

Downloading music = photocopying a page in a book.
Yes, if that one page encapsulates at least one entirely complete piece of work. Otherwise, photocopying a page in a book would be likened to perhaps downloading a snippet of a song. Depending on how you use that snippet, it may be covered by fair use. Get your analogies straight. Oh, wait...this is Slashdot. Nevermind...let fly with the inane analogies!

Re:Punishment doesn't fit (1)

zymano (581466) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284167)

your awesomely bad at this.

It's still copying.

Do you think the Riaa cares if you copy a 1/4 of the song?

Thanks for your contribution , dumbass!

Re:Punishment doesn't fit (1)

zoogies (879569) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284377)

That's why 30-second clips are freely available almost everywhere? For instance, Amazon soundtracks? Photocopying a chapter in a large book for a class and for educational purposes is not really the same thing as downloading a song to listen to that could have been purchased.

Re:Punishment doesn't fit (1)

Odiumjunkie (926074) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284391)

> Yes, if that one page encapsulates at least one entirely complete piece of work. Otherwise, photocopying a page in a book would be
> likened to perhaps downloading a snippet of a song. Depending on how you use that snippet, it may be covered by fair use. Get your analogies straight.
> Oh, wait...this is Slashdot. Nevermind...let fly with the inane analogies!

Actually, IIRC, for things like anthologies of poems and short stories, you are permitted to copy one complete story or poem, at least in under UK law. So, photocopying a page in a book might not be a terrible analogy for downloading one song from an album.

What is the RIAA accomplishing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19283999)

They're suing undermatured people who are paying for

1. School
2. Dorms
3. Alcohol

If they're trying to have schools clamp on filesharing, the pirates will just move on to other networks. Kids who are trying hard to accomplish things are just going to stagger at a fine early in their adult development.

I fucking hate this stupid company.

Re:What is the RIAA accomplishing? (3, Insightful)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284665)

If they're trying to have schools clamp on filesharing, the pirates will just move on to other networks.

That's the point. At the least, they can make it more difficult for pirates to rip artists off.

I fucking hate this stupid company.

Why do you "fucking hate" a company legally protecting the rights of its represented artists? We go after stolen GPL code violations all the time here on Slashdot. But piracy of music artists, game developers (like John Carmack at id), movie studios, and so on is okey-dokey?

No such thing as "University of Ohio" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19284057)

Later on in the blurb you see they're really talking about Ohio University (OU). Talk about confusing! Why the hell would somebody just make up a name for a college?

dom

file Wipe (1)

Ep0xi (1093943) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284081)

It seems that the file wipe is a software tool used by VIP people, and not by insurgents...

Go get em... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19284085)

1. Organizations are made up of people.
2. Find out exactly who those people are.
3. Then legally go after them.

How about personal responsibility (4, Insightful)

Yath (6378) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284095)

University students are adults. Why should Ohio University - or any other nearby entity with deep pockets - step in to help them?

Re:How about personal responsibility (2, Insightful)

Thexare Blademoon (1010891) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284283)

Reason 1: Because if the students end up losing all their money, they can't pay more tuition.

Reason 2: Because sometimes when hatred for the RIAA and reason get into a fight, reason gets its ass kicked.

Pick one, or both. Personally, I'm going with the second one.

Re:How about personal responsibility (1)

mschuyler (197441) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284417)

I agree--unless legal help is part of the tuition. To say it's because if the students get sued they won't have money to pay tuition? Mommy and Daddy do that a lot of the time, and if not, there're always more students who will fill an empty spot.

Re:How about personal responsibility (1)

hxnwix (652290) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284451)

Professor Charles Nelson, Harvard School of Law:

One can easily understand why the RIAA wants help from universities in facilitating its enforcement actions against students who download copyrighted music without paying for it. It is easier to litigate against change than to change with it. If the RIAA saw a better way to protect its existing business, it would not be threatening our students, forcing our librarians and administrators to be copyright police, and flooding our courts with lawsuits against relatively defenseless families without lawyers or ready means to pay. We can even understand the attraction of using lawsuits to shore up an aging business model rather than engaging with disruptive technologies and the risks that new business models entail.

But mere understanding is no reason for a university to voluntarily assist the RIAA with its threatening and abusive tactics. Instead, we should be assisting our students both by explaining the law and by resisting the subpoenas that the RIAA serves upon us. We should be deploying our clinical legal student training programs to defend our targeted students. We should be lobbying Congress for a roll back of the draconian copyright law that the copyright industry has forced upon us. Intellectual property can be efficient when its boundaries are relatively self-evident.
Perhaps Ohio doesn't have a law school that would enable students to defend other students. Perhaps Ohio just doesn't give a shit. Perhaps Ohio is complicit. Take your pick.

Re:How about personal responsibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19284721)

Because universities are constantly trying to raise new generations of liberals who believe in a nanny government always stepping in to "fix" things. They don't want to believe in personality responsibility because that's too darned hard. Instead, they want to drunkenly lounge around in dorm rooms thinking they're god's gift to Chomsky while pirating everything under the sun, and if the copyright owner steps in to protect himself, it's an "attack" or an "intimidation" (according to the goofy Slashdot summary).

It's Ohio University (5, Informative)

Eldred (693612) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284121)

Correction: The school referred to in the story is called "Ohio University," not "University of Ohio."

Re:It's Ohio University (1)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284169)

I don't know how they get Univeristy of Ohio out of this. I've never heard *anyone* call it "Univeristy of Ohio" before (I went there and grew up in the general area).

The funny thing is that we can blame this one not only on the editors but also on the story submitter who apparently didn't read the actual news stories himself (and calls it "Univerity of Ohio" in his own site which, by the way, he uses as one of the links in his story). :P

It may sound quaint... (3, Insightful)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284179)

But whatever happened to taking responsibility for what you do? Why would the university expose itself to lawsuits unnecessarily?

Yes, the lawsuits are a bunch of bull, and yes, the RIAA is a bunch of thugs. But I have no doubt that the university told people that file sharing is a good way to get sued, and they went ahead and did it anyway. I have no sympathy for these people. As unfair as it is, they should suffer some consequences to what they did. Most anyone knows that file sharing can make you the target of a lawsuit, but most believe that it won't be them. If you think it is unfair, then actually get up and move to somewhere where it isn't considered illegal. And I'm willing to bet that 99% of the students did it because they wanted free music, not because they somehow believed they were sticking it to the man.

If you want to change the situation, downloading files and trying to get sued isn't going to fix anything. Donate to EFF, move near the RIAA headquarters and intimidate them directly, or some other more direct means would be more effective.

Re:It may sound quaint... (5, Insightful)

geoskd (321194) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284409)

But whatever happened to taking responsibility for what you do? Why would the university expose itself to lawsuits unnecessarily?

Because the university put themselves directly in the middle of the situation by agreeing to act as *the* ISP for their students. They include the cost in tuition and provide the service for "free". The result is that the students have no choice but to pay the university for Internet service. Consequently, the university has a responsibility to protect those same students from the dangers of the net.

Additionally, most college students are *not* adults when they start at a university, which is when most of them will run afoul of the RIAA / MPAA / Drinking laws. The university has agreed to act as the reponsible party for those students who are still minors, but instead of acting responsibly and defending the students from harm, they are actively handing over the students and the parents' to the Mafiaa. You tell me how many parents are going to let their kids attend a university that is abdicating the responsibility they agreed to take on, and leaving the kids and parents exposed to this kind of trouble.

-=Geoskd

Re:It may sound quaint... (1)

mschuyler (197441) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284555)

Oh, Okay. I get it. Since Qwest is my DSL provider and since they take my money for it, and since I don't really have a choice, then Qwest is responsible for defending me when I use their services to commit a crime. makes sense to me.

The cut-off date for kindergarten in most places is October 1st. Some places it is November 1st. You must be five by those dates to enroll that year. The definition of adult is 18 and over. Most students are 18 by the time they enroll in college, or within a month or so. So, yes, most students ARE adults when they enroll, and that means taking legal responsibility for yourself.

Re:It may sound quaint... (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284601)

The result is that the students have no choice but to pay the university for Internet service. Consequently, the university has a responsibility to protect those same students from the dangers of the net.
The university shouldn't protect anybody from the "dangers of the net," otherwise that would give them license to censor which is not conducive to the open learning environment they try to promote. Should the university ban P2P services to "protect" the students? No, the students are given all the tools, it's up to them to decide whether to use it responsibly or not.

Additionally, most college students are *not* adults when they start at a university, which is when most of them will run afoul of the RIAA / MPAA / Drinking laws.
College is not another level of the K-12 babysitting service. Most students are adults, and the sooner they learn to take responsibility for themselves the better off they will be.

"But they're just kids!" (1)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284605)

Did you even read my post?

First, you argue that the university is supposed to "protect their students from the dangers of the net." How much protection do they have to offer? If a student gets phished, should they refund their money? Should the university police networked computers and remove malware for them? Can you show me where in the Ohio University's computer policy they promise to do this? And since when does "protecting" students involve spending thousands of dollars in legal fees for something that the student is directly responsible for?

But then you try to argue that college students should be able to do all the things that adults do, but still be treated like minors. And THAT is the sort of harmful thinking I was advocating against in my original post. If we want to advance as a society we need to realize that everything we do has consequences. I'm sick of people assigning blame to everyone and everything but themselves. Yes, the lawsuits are a bunch of crap, and the amount of damages the RIAA seeks are asinine. The whole point of them seeking absurd damages is to scare off people! If the student is unlucky enough to be the target of this, they knew it was possible. It was entirely preventable - they are not 'victims.' We don't want the kids to think, "oh, poor me! All I was doing was breaking the law, and the evil RIAA actually sued me like a bunch of other people! It just isn't fair!"

If you play with fire, don't complain when you get burned.

Re:It may sound quaint... (5, Funny)

Odiumjunkie (926074) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284487)

> As unfair as it is, they should suffer some consequences to what they did. Most anyone knows that file sharing can make you the target of a lawsuit,
> but most believe that it won't be them. If you think it is unfair, then actually get up and move to somewhere where it isn't considered illegal.

As unfair as it is, they should suffer some consequences to what they did. Most anyone knows that [practising homosexuality] can make you the target of [the death penalty in Iran], but most believe that it won't be them. If you think it is unfair, then actually get up and move to somewhere where it isn't considered illegal. And I'm willing to bet that 99% of the [homosexuals] did it because they wanted [to have homosexual sex], not because they somehow believed they were sticking it to the man.

As unfair as it is, they should suffer some consequences to what they did. Most anyone knows that [taking drugs] can make you the target of [the death penalty in Thailand], but most believe that it won't be them. If you think it is unfair, then actually get up and move to somewhere where it isn't considered illegal. And I'm willing to bet that 99% of the [drug users] did it because they wanted [to take drugs], not because they somehow believed they were sticking it to the man.

As unfair as it is, they should suffer some consequences to what they did. Most anyone knows that [not wearing religiously sanctioned clothing] can make you the target of a [being raped with no legal recourse in more than one Middle Eastern country], but most believe that it won't be them. If you think it is unfair, then actually get up and move to somewhere where it [won't result in you being raped with no legal recourse]. And I'm willing to bet that 99% of the [women] did it because they wanted [to wear clothing that was not religiously sanctioned], not because they somehow believed they were sticking it to the man.

Nice try. (2, Insightful)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284639)

Nobody is dying or being raped. They are downloading music for free. The two are very different things. Nobody is being oppressed here. They're merely suffering consequences for breaking [mostly unfair] laws.

Re:Nice try. (1)

Odiumjunkie (926074) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284713)

> Nobody is dying or being raped. They are downloading music for free. The two are very different things. Nobody is being oppressed here. They're merely suffering consequences
> for breaking [mostly unfair] laws.

You're quite right! My analogy is flawed because it isn't exactly the same situation as the situation it attempts to describe.

To be serious, if you hold "People who suffer consequence Y deserve no pity because they performed action X while knowing about consequence Y" to be true, it doesn't matter if consequence Y is being slapped on the wrist or being taken out and shot. If the degree to which you hold that argument to be true varies based on your distaste for consequence Y, then you're basing your statement on something other than logic.

true if.. (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284229)

But whatever happened to taking responsibility for what you do? Why would the university expose itself to lawsuits unnecessarily? that would be true if the RIAA did good research on who it goes after but it doesnt. the RIAA goes afgter people to scare any real pirates into not stealing music. if the university just sits back and watches people [many times innocent no less] they run the risk of losing students and that of course is much worse for them than fighting with the students. they have a lot more power to step in and stop the RIAA's somewhat illegal tyranny.

Joe Hazelbaker is wrong (1)

dharbee (1076687) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284239)

Or that summary is. If he said that the school is required to protect directory information, he needs to check the law.

FERPA is quite clear on this.

http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index .html [ed.gov]

"Schools may disclose, without consent, "directory" information such as a student's name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them."

It's possible that he means something else, or that I misunderstood, but in my time at student affairs, this came up a few times, and "directory information" was exactly what the link I posted says. Does he maybe mean something else?

If he doesn't, then the law disagrees with him.

Re:Joe Hazelbaker is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19284687)

To be even more specific the Ohio U Policy [ohiou.edu] states:

VII. Release of Student Records
D. The following information will be considered public, and may be published in a University publication: the student's name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student, and other similar information. Relative to such public or directory information, the University shall give public notice of the categories of information which shall be considered public information, and shall allow a reasonable period of time after such notice has been given for a student to inform the University that all of the information designated should not be released without the student's prior consent.

here's a tip (-1, Troll)

ImTheDarkcyde (759406) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284277)

you don't get sued if you don't steal music. (cue the guy who'll link to one of the GRANDMA WITHOUT COMPUTER SUED articles)

Re:here's a tip (2, Insightful)

solevita (967690) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284335)

You can steal CDs, you can't steal music. Just to prove the point, I'm going to go download the Metalica discography again (straight to /dev/null of course).

Summary isn't completely accurate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19284289)

The University of Ohio was putting a brave face on being #1 on the RIAA hit list, but it now appears they have caved in to RIAA intimidation.

While it's true that the RIAA/MPAA organizations are ultimately responsible for universities caving in to their legal intimidation tactics, the TFA forgets to mention the ultimate enforcer of their bullying ways: the whores in Congress. Remember the letters [insidehighered.com]sent out at the beginning of this month by lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee to a list of universities that received the highest number of copyright infringement notices?

The letter is the latest sign that members of Congress have locked arms with the entertainment industries to endorse a crackdown on student downloading of copyrighted material, which they argue is rife on campus networks. The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property held a hearing in March at which lawmakers promised greater scrutiny if they did not see colleges get tougher on illegal downloaders. College officials sought both to show that they took the fight against copyright infringement seriously and to suggest that excessive intrusion could hamper the open dissemination of information that characterizes higher education.


Well, this the result of kowtowing to the ultimate RIAA bullyboy: Congress

Don't give them your money then (3, Insightful)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284319)

Don't buy new albums, and don't download their albums. Try it for a year. You should be able to survive that long.

Interesting - "abandons" (2, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284323)

Almost as if the university is responsible for the students behaviour. Aren't people responsible for their own actions these days?

 

Re:Interesting - "abandons" (1)

Icarus1919 (802533) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284415)

And here I thought institutions of higher learning were responsible for standing up against unjust practices by the government and corporations. The punishments for this crime (I will admit, downloading music is stealing, for what it's worth) are unjust, I think we can all agree. They get this responsibility because when your university teaches subjects such as Ethics, you don't simply teach them in the classroom, you teach them through the actions of the institution. This is why I got in trouble with the university when I was caught drinking under age. While what the students were/are doing is wrong, and yes they are responsibile for that, it is the RESPONSIBILITY and DUTY of the universities in question to stand up on behalf of the students and defend said students against the grossly unjust punishments being meted out against them. Thus, what the universities are doing are a) cowardly and b) negligent in their duties. This is the reason for the outrage many of us feel when we find that universities with the ability (they have reams of law students) and the money (tuition is really high damn it) to defend students have backed down from doing so.

Re:Interesting - "abandons" (1)

mschuyler (197441) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284497)

Typical of the entitlement generation. Unless part of your tuition goes to legal help, the university is not responsible for defending you for stealing music, regardless of the penalty. You're the one who says the penalty is "unjust," but you are also the thief. Last I heard a criminal doesn't get to set his own penalty. You're opinion doesn't much matter here. The University is responsible? You could say the same for Mommy and Daddy. They are in the same position, trying to teach you ethical ways of living. Does that mean they have to bail you every time you screw up? They may have to deal with it before you are 18, but after? Nope, you're a legal adult. Adults have full legal responsibility for themselves. If you don't, no one else is responsible for you. It's called "tough love." You do the crime, you do the time. Tough.

tough love =/= over the top punishment (1)

Icarus1919 (802533) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284671)

http://www.studentlegalrights.org/ [studentlegalrights.org]
Ohio University Center for Student Legal services. Their tuition pays for it. My university has one too. Most do.

Let's take your logic to the next level, shall? Hypothetical (ok, not hypothetical. It's like this some places) situation: When you steal a piece of bread your hand is cut off, as are the hands of all theives. Of course, you knew the law ahead of time but you did it anyway, fine. Unjust law? How about if the law is that everyone who steals something is killed. Unjust law? I don't know, I'm just a thief, my opinion on that law doesn't matter. How about if you steal something, your family is killed. Unjust law?

My opinion matters on laws that I am subject to. Whether someone (ie: you) believes my opinion matters or not is irrelevant. Frankly, I'm love to ad hominem attack your generation as you have mine, but I don't know which one you belong to. But if they all think like you (which they must, since apparently my generation all thinks the same) I'm glad I'm not a part of it.

Re:Interesting - "abandons" (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284743)

And here I thought institutions of higher learning were responsible for standing up against unjust practices by the government and corporations.
Don't you think that is the individual's responsibility? I seem to remember students in the US protesting against the Vietnam war, in China students protesting against government oppression.

Now... We have US students whining about being caught drinking under age and infringing someone's (thousands of people's) copyright.

You see, there's a vital fact that seems to escape many people these days...

Freedom is responsibility. Freedom and responsibility are the same thing. For every responsibility you give to someone else, you are also giving them your freedom.

 

They made their bed so they should lay in it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19284483)

They infringed on someone elses copyrights so they should pay the price. If that means losing out on their education so fucking what, they should have thought of that before uploading music they have no rights to. Truthfully the RIAA should make examples out of everyone that infringes on someone elses copyright and sue them for hundreds of thousands if not millions. If that means they lose out on life so fucking what, they made their fucking bed now they should lie in it.

no sympathy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19284511)

The students are breaking the law and everyone knows it. Its not the universities job to protect the students from being caught. If they dont want to get caught, they can use itunes. Im sick of people blindly defending filesharers. If you want music, buy it. Even students cn afford to buy a few albums.

$ wins every time (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#19284615)

Why be suprised? THe RIAA was going to cost them money and colleges today are not the same as they were decades ago.

There are plenty of other students in line to get in.
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