Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

University of Washington Will Aid RIAA

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the in-loco-prosecutor dept.

Music 406

Several readers let us know that the University of Washington has announced that it will pass on RIAA settlement offer letters to students identified, presumably by IP address, as suspected file sharers. "The notices say offending students have 20 days to settle with the association by paying it about $3,000 to $5,000 or be taken to court without possibility of a settlement." The Vice Provost for Student Life sent an email to all students saying, "The University has been notified by the RIAA that we will be receiving a number of these early settlement letters. After careful consideration, we have decided to forward the letters to the alleged copyright violators."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

This just in... (0, Flamebait)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657253)

The MAFIAA is evil, and colleges and universities are spineless. Film at 11:00.

I still remember the... (5, Interesting)

stelmack (620196) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657291)

...free speech, protect our rights and the war protests at the UW. Ii sort of saddens me to see the management, who must have been in those protests, now lookig for the easy way out. How times have changed.

FR2FR2FP (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19657603)

This is the first reply to the first reply to the first post. Good day to you, sir.

Re:I still remember the... (5, Interesting)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657723)

>>free speech

Not anonymous speech. IF you say something, be prepared to stand up and back it up. Just because you *can* say something does not mean you can say something and will never be found. Just as you have a right to say whatever you want about me, I have the right to find out who you are and confront you about it.

>>protect our rights

Like the rights of the copyright holders? Who protects their rights? Oh yeah, the RIAA does. You do not have the right to distribute copyrighted works without permission of the copyright holder. If you are using bittorrent to download copyrighted music, then you are, at the same time, uploading that same music.

>>war protests

I really don't see how that factors in. I guess if you want to link the military-industrial complex and the Illuminati, then maybe it makes sense.

>>Ii [sic] sort of saddens me to see the management, who must have been in those protests

The things they protested were thousands of times worse. Whites openly killed blacks. The government openly forced young men into military service. Women had few, if any, rights. Homosexuals were harshly persecuted.

We have it pretty good today. It'd be better of people voted, but I digress.

>>now lookig [sic] for the easy way out

How is having you fight your own battle the "easy way out"? A third party comes forward and advises that IP 10.10.10.200 was downloading "Hit me baby one more time" from IP 20.20.20.200 at 11:30 GMT on 1 June 2007. They are requesting the user's contact info for that IP lease at that time.

That's all.

If you want to argue about whether or not you were downloading a "real" copy of a copyrighted song, then you still get to do it in court.

If you want to argue about whether or not you were also uploading that same copyrighted song, then you still get to do it in court.

If you want to argue about whether or not you were the actual owner of that IP at that time, then you still get to do it in court.

If you want to argue about whether or not someone behind a NAT you run was downloading, then you still get to do it in court.

If you want to argue about whether or not the evidence was collected properly, then you still get to do it in court.

The point is that you actually have to stand up as a named person and defend your good name. Mom, dad, and the University will not take care of you for the rest of your life. College is the best time to learn that.

Now, if you want to argue that the legal system is broken, then I'll agree. But, within the confines of the game, the RIAA is playing the hand they were dealt. You must do the same. If you want to change the rules of the game, then get out and vote. If that isn't fast enough, then shoot some RIAA lawyers every time they file a suit.

But, do not, under any circumstances, be mad because mommy isn't wiping your ass anymore...

Re:This just in... (2, Insightful)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657473)

Or perhaps the folks at the University of Washington simply don't feel comfortable using their network as a haven for illegal filesharing. Seriously, if it was my network I would do the same thing. I'd send out a flier to all of the students telling them that the University would cooperate with the RIAA and then I'd watch network utilization drop. There will be some students that are so ridiculously retarded that they continue to use the university network to distribute files on unencrypted networks, but they aren't likely to be the sort of folks that you want graduating from your institution anyhow. No screening process is perfect, and this simply adds one more failsafe in the UW's screen processing. Think of it as one of those signs keeping small children off of rides ad Disneyland.

You must be at least this smart to graduate from the U of W.

I can sort of understand why it is that the ISPs shield their customers. After all, downloading illegal content is one of the primary draws of broadband connections. To a certain extent ISPs profit off of illegal filesharing. Universities, on the other hand, aren't selling bandwidth, but are instead paying for it.

Don't get me wrong, I personally think the RIAA is evil. However, I don't think that distributing the RIAA's copyrighted material illegally is the best use of the University of Washington's resources, or even the best way to bring down the RIAA.

Re:This just in... (4, Insightful)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657555)

Actually the students are the ones paying for it with their insanely high tuition rates. They pay more for that access than John Q Public pays for their broadband.

No students = No Money = No School = No Bandwidth.

Schools should have a backbone and tell the RIAA to fuck off. After all the RIAA wont sue something that has money and resources to dedicate to a fight like a school or big company (like schools or the RIAA)

Re:This just in... (5, Insightful)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657693)

You are kidding right.

The University of Washington is heavily subsidized by the government. The students aren't paying for bandwidth, taxpayers are paying for bandwidth, and I can guarantee you that they aren't paying for the bandwidth so that college students can distribute the latest pop albums.

Besides, why precisely should the schools get tangled up with the RIAA. The University of Washington has copyrighted material that it wants protected, why should it aid students in distributing someone else's copyrighted materials illegally? I can't believe that *all* Universities, or at least all public Universities, don't do the same thing. When you consider the wasted bandwidth, and the increased likelihood of viruses and other malware that invariably follow online filesharing it is a wonder that this isn't the status quo.

I don't like the RIAA either, but I protest by not listening to its copyrighted material, not by trying to make their material even more popular by distributing its wares.

Re:This just in... (2, Insightful)

scatters (864681) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657841)

Not to mention that I'm pretty sure that all the people who donate money to the school for grants, etc., would prefer to see their money actually benefiting eductation rather than funding the university's pissing match with the RIAA. Is copyright violation theft in the same sense as stealing a tangible asset, not really, but should it be illegal, definately. I have no problem at all with U-Dub forwarding these letters to the offending student providing that appropriate processes are followed - the sooner that people learn that their actions have consequences, the better.

Here's how we can fight back (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19657783)

Hermione dies in Harry Potter 7.

result of years of lawsuits against custumers (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19657265)

do they really expect says to go up.

Or is the lawsuit tactic the new sales method.

Re:result of years of lawsuits against custumers (1)

packeteer (566398) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657335)

It's a scare tactic. They lose out WAY more money paying their lawyers than they will ever recover. You think once they get a judgment for $5,000 the will ever collect that? No way. The RIAA is losing money suing people. The only reason they do it is to scare people. All they have to do is go around and ruin a few hundred college students lives by ruining their credit before they are 25 and people might stop downloading. It's pathetic that it comes to this. They place their bottom line over anything in their path. They will cause terrible strains on the lives of students in the period in their life when they should be studying, not worrying about the future of their credit.

Re:result of years of lawsuits against custumers (2, Insightful)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657569)

Said students perhaps shouldn't be pirating music then, hmm? There's lots of ways to get DRM-free music (often of high quality too) for cheap or free legally.

Re:result of years of lawsuits against custumers (4, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657707)

Said students perhaps shouldn't be pirating music then, hmm? There's lots of ways to get DRM-free music (often of high quality too) for cheap or free legally.

...and if you get hit in spite of not pirating? The wonders of DHCP coupled with the notoriously insecure networks that most colleges run* tend to make it drop-easy for innocents to get snagged by this dragnet of theirs.

Given that a typical college student has zero cash to spare for a settlement, let alone to fight back and proclaim their innocence if they do get accidentally snagged? It's a disaster waiting to happen, and woe betide any Uni who not only finds that an innocent student was hit, but that said student fights back... because now (IIRC) the RIAA and UW may wind up on the wrong end of a lawsuit. (Unless the Uni would be willing to help defend any provable innocent students who accidentally get targeted).

* yes, I said notoriously insecure. When one can literally sit across the street from a major university in Utah (I won't mention which) with a Pringles Can rig and get full Internet access in no time flat, it can't be secure... and odds are VERY good that they aren't alone in having such gaping holes in their network.

/P

Re:result of years of lawsuits against custumers (4, Insightful)

packeteer (566398) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657773)

Your right they should not be pirating but do they deserve to get what the RIAA is going to do? Do we as a society chose to chop off a hand of a thief? No way. Do we as a society want to punish extremely harshly for what is a small crime? No way.

LOL BUTTSECKS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19657267)

BALKAN STYLE!

Sigh... (1, Interesting)

_Griphin_ (676977) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657269)

And I thought the University of Washington had a pair. :(

Re:Sigh... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19657379)

No, that's Wazzu.

Do they get "funding" from Redmond? (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657501)

This is possibly one of those cases where "funding" from Microsoft becomes a two-edged sword. Don't bite the hand that feeds. (Assuming for a moment that they do get some MS dollars...)

Re:Sigh... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19657663)

Ironically, if women ran the university, this might not happen. They don't just take this kind of thing lying down, you know.

Thanks, I'm here all week.

Your Rights Online (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19657271)

I've noticed that articles in the YRO category lately aren't what articles in this category used to mean. As in, maybe this belongs in "Your Rights [to Steal Music Online]"... I think many articles in YRO are misplaced.

Re:Your Rights Online (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657469)

I've noticed that articles in the YRO category lately aren't what articles in this category used to mean. ... I think many articles in YRO are misplaced.

"Your right to due process when sued over allegations of illegal online activity" doesn't qualify?

Maybe you need to adjust your filters.

Re:Your Rights Online (1)

budword (680846) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657737)

They stole the music ? You mean the original copyright holders can't listen to their own songs anymore ? Man, that's just criminal. I guess the rest of us can't listen anymore either, if it's already been stolen. Damn. I'll miss Britney Spears.

Forwarding, not revealing. (5, Insightful)

saintlupus (227599) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657277)

Most universities will do this sort of thing, forwarding along the letters so that the students have an inkling of what's going on if/when they get their subpoena.

Those of you calling colleges "spineless", would you rather the kids were blindsided by the legal system instead?

--saint

Re:Forwarding, not revealing. (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657327)

Actually, I was at my daughter's "pre-orientation" for college last week, and at the IT presentation, I was asking "Are you doing port blocking/packet shaping?", "What's your policy on RIAA threats?", "How many laptops were stolen last year?", "Are you using static IPs in the dorms?", etc., etc., etc. After that, I had enough information to properly warn my daughter what to expect, and what not to do.

Re:Forwarding, not revealing. (4, Funny)

robbiethefett (1047640) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657439)

It used to be that when shipping a daughter off to college, one had to warn her of things like date rape and underage drinking. Now it seems like son and daughter alike are getting fucked and all the pepper spray in the world won't going to fend off the rapist known as the RIAA.

Re:Forwarding, not revealing. (3, Insightful)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657459)

After that, I had enough information to properly warn my daughter what to expect, and what not to do.

While I think the old model of the music industry is dieing and mp3s will eventually all be free, you already had that information before you went to the presentation. "Listen kid, every band signed on to a RIAA label is backed by rabid lawyers. The bands that made the music have a right to decide what to do with it, and they chose to sign on to labels that sue fans. Don't buy or steal their music. Even if you don't get called into court there is no sense in supporting a band that would allow their management to abuse their fans. If you want music to be free support and listen to free music."

of course what kid ever listened to their parents about music?

Re:Forwarding, not revealing. (4, Insightful)

robbiethefett (1047640) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657611)

You don't have to be so harsh on the bands.. I have an MCSE cert, that doesn't mean I get together with steve balmer on the weekends and shoot penguins. There are many musicians that are truly brilliant that do studio work for major labels. If i were a good enough musician, i would love to have the opportunity to work with a lot of other musicians without committing to a band. When it comes to the groups that sign, I doubt many of them have the slightest clue about the politics. Those that do are most likely "coached" into the mindset of "downloading is stealing." A producer can have a hell of an impact on a young musician. It's like a father figure. I've been in a band that was approached by a major label, and I have to say, if the front man didn't end up getting too strung out on coke, there's a good chance I would have ended up playing in one of those bands that "chose to sign on to labels that sue fans." When you drive a beat-to-shit Chevy van that you bought with money from working in a butchers shop, the prospect of getting the largest paycheck of your life looks pretty damn good, no matter what your ideology.

Re:Forwarding, not revealing. (1)

qzulla (600807) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657795)

When you drive a beat-to-shit Chevy van that you bought with money from working in a butchers shop, the prospect of getting the largest paycheck of your life looks pretty damn good, no matter what your ideology.

I think there are better links out there but this one will do. [salon.com]

qz

Re:Forwarding, not revealing. (4, Insightful)

ClaraBow (212734) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657353)

Those of you calling colleges "spineless", would you rather the kids were blindsided by the legal system instead?

I would rather have the University give the students a head up and tell them that the University is doing all they can to help the students, instead of aid the music industry. The University should look after their interests: the students.

Re:Forwarding, not revealing. (1)

Like2Byte (542992) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657481)

I'd personlly like to see the entire student body finish their semester out and transfer to another college.

Re:Forwarding, not revealing. (1)

kegghead (1069556) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657623)

The interests of the University of Washington are most certainly NOT to blindly support their students.

I don't buy the whole privacy facade. If you engage in illegal activity, regardless of what it is, then fess up to it when you're caught. Don't cry when the university refuses to hide your identity for your own careless acts.

Regardless of guilt or not, it's the court's responsibility to make the decision, not the university's. They shouldn't choose to hide the identity of the offenders if the means exists to track them.

Re:Forwarding, not revealing. (2, Interesting)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657729)

Copyright infringement isn't criminal matter, it is a civil violation.

Your line of thinking reminds of the people who say "Well, you should let the police search your home without a warrant if you have nothing to hide."

The University's job isn't to assist a private corporation nor "hide" anyone. If there is a civil violation, it is the RIAA's job to demonstrate who did it, or get a subpeona for the information. If they can't get a subpeona, then that should tell you something.

Re:Forwarding, not revealing. (4, Informative)

saintlupus (227599) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657837)

The University's job isn't to assist a private corporation nor "hide" anyone. If there is a civil violation, it is the RIAA's job to demonstrate who did it, or get a subpeona for the information. If they can't get a subpeona, then that should tell you something.

Maybe you should have actually read my initial post.

Most universities, including the one that I work for, do just that. We forward these letters from the RIAA on to the students, but we do _not_ reveal any information back to the RIAA without explicit legal action. This is not only what you're suggesting, it's standard procedure for any institution of higher education that I'm familiar with.

(Sorry if I sound a little strident, but I'm chafing at all of the "Universities are pussies selling out to The Man!!" rhetoric around here whenever this comes up. I'm not wearing jackboots, I'm not kicking down doors, but I'm also not going to defy a judge so that you can download free Usher tracks.)

--saint

Re:Forwarding, not revealing. (1)

timholman (71886) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657857)

I would rather have the University give the students a head up and tell them that the University is doing all they can to help the students, instead of aid the music industry. The University should look after their interests: the students.

Why do you think the university would aid the students? The students are not employees of the university; at best, they can be considered customers, but even then the school has no obligation to legally defend them if they are sued for actions that are not officially sanctioned by the university.

Any college student who has read the news for the past three years has to know that the RIAA has been suing filesharers. If they choose to download music without paying for it, they should also know better than to complain if they're served with a subpoena. It doesn't matter whether they may feel that they're justified in downloading the music, or that the RIAA is evil - the reality is that downloading music is a legally risky proposition right now, and it's naive for anyone to think otherwise.

Re:Forwarding, not revealing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19657367)

Given that file sharing is illegal[1], I'd rather the colleges assisted law enforcement in catching the assmunches pushing up prices for all legitimate customers who actually pay for their music and movies.

But that's just me, and I know no one on Slashdot will agree.

[1] Please, no one be an ass and point out legal file sharing. You know that's a fraction of file sharing and not what I'm referring to.

Re:Forwarding, not revealing. (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657435)

Just because it's illegal doesn't mean the RIAA needs to force the kids to pay thousands of dollars (nowhere near the value of the music) or risk paying hundreds of thousands in compensation for copyright infringement. The point isn't whether what the kids are doing is wrong, the point is that the RIAA / Congress Incorporated are far too heavy-handed and use illegal methods to discover file sharers.

Whack-a-mole with big hammer. (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657561)

Just because it's illegal doesn't mean the RIAA needs to force the kids to pay thousands of dollars (nowhere near the value of the music) ...

Back in the print days the chance of catching any particular copyright violator were pretty slim (much like today). In compensation, congress set the penalties at draconian levels, so they would serve as a deterrent despite the low chance of getting caught.

The issue with the RIAA is not that they're playing whack-a-mole with a big hammer. The issue is that their aim is bad and when they've stunned an innocent rabbit or squirrel they keep on hitting until it's a road-waffle.

Re:Forwarding, not revealing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19657445)

Fuck you, "illegal" does not mean "wrong".

Re:Forwarding, not revealing. (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657767)

Yes, but in this case it IS wrong. Regardless of whether you are depriving the record companies of money (not entirely disagreeable) you are actually depriving the talented people who wrote and performed the music too. That's utter crap, and I see you're too damn frightened to post that behind an actual identity (mostly because you're opinion is bullshit).

Re:Forwarding, not revealing. (1)

RelaxedTension (914174) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657463)

The only problem with your statement is the "the assmunches pushing up prices for all legitimate customers". The prices were outrageous long before file sharing existed as it does today. If the prices were reasonable, file sharing would not likely be the problem to the record companies that it is today.

Think of it this way (1)

Winckle (870180) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657609)

Given that buying knives is illegal[1], I'd rather the colleges assisted law enforcement in catching the assmunches pushing up prices for all legitimate customers who actually pay for their kitchen utensils. But that's just me, and I know no one on Slashdot will agree. [1] Please, no one be an ass and point out legal knife uses. You know that's a fraction of knife usage and not what I'm referring to.

Academic Freedom? (5, Insightful)

golob (69902) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657851)

So, in full disclosure, I am a human embryonic stem cell (huESC) researcher at the University of Washington.

Let's say Focus on the Family writes a series of letters to the University accusing a "John Doe" embryonic stem cell researcher at the university of violating federal restrictions on the creation of new lines. Mind you, they've shown no real material information that any individual has violated the law, just blanket accusations with flimsy identifying information.

They say to the University "give us personal information on every human embryonic stem cell researcher at the University or we'll subpoena that information."

The University replies: "Well, we can't roll over that easily. Send us letters demanding that the recipient contact you or suffer severe legal concequences, and we'll forward them to everyone working on human embryonic stem cells here. Then you'll get your identifying information, and we'll be off the hook."

Let's be clear about what's being done here. From the original e-mail:

The RIAA is now sending colleges and universities a letter for each instance they find of a student illegally downloading material from the internet and requesting the university to identify the individual student and forward the letter to him or her... The University has been notified by the RIAA that we will be receiving a number of these early settlement letters. After careful consideration, we have decided to forward the letters to the alleged copyright violators. We do so primarily because we believe students should have the opportunity to avail themselves of the settlement option if they so choose.

Whether the University is directly identifying students to the RIAA or indirectly does so by sending the students a letter directing them to contact the RIAA, the net result is the same.

Do people not understand why academic institutions MUST behave differently than this?

What if the coal industry threw letters at climatologists?

What if the junk food industry thew letters at obesity researchers?

The University has access to a massive collection of very personal information, including detailed financial, academic and medical records. It is essential for the primary mission of the University to protect its members against angered outside forces. Without this commitment to protect academics, we'll never be able to get honest answers to questions.

The proper course was to:
1. Not save identifying information in the first place
2. Tell the RIAA to come back with their own damn identifying information.
3. Send letters instructing students to not self-incriminate themselves
4. Provide proper legal services than (borderline negligent) legal advice to settle to any and all demands.

This is how the Nazi's took power... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19657281)

... Its funny cause isnt it said that the Jew's own all of the media? Payback's a bitch

20 Days to pay $3K to $5K or no Settlement? (2)

jwilcox154 (469038) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657289)

Would that mean most if any students that are allegedly copying music will have to pay $150K for each infringement? Looks like there will be some students that will have to pay for the rest of their lives over copying music.

<sarcasm> Isn't it wonderful our courts are trying the real criminals instead of the murderers?</sarcasm>

Sorry, should have read (1)

jwilcox154 (469038) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657307)

[Would that mean any students that are allegedly copying music will have to pay $150K for each infringement?]

*note to self, don't talk on the phone while posting on Slashdot*

How can the University be certain (2, Insightful)

ClaraBow (212734) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657297)

that they identified the correct students? If I were a student who is struggling just to pay tuition and rent, I'd panic. And if the University misidentifies a wrong student, then is it liable for harm done to the student? This seem highly irresponsible to me.

Re:How can the University be certain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19657627)

Based on my own university experience... they don't care if they misidentify you. If you're someone they think might have done it, that's good enough for them. Much like civil court, universities do not operate under an 'innocent until presumed guilty', but rather a 'preponderance of evidence'. Or even 'a hint of evidence', or 'well, I could look for evidence but then I'd have to do work'.

What, me bitter?

Re:How can the University be certain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19657639)

Actually I think this is a valid point. Especially in a situation where people are sharing dorm rooms, internet connections, computers, etc... How can they be sure/even begin to prove that the person who they suspect of being connected to said IP address and downloading music was indeed the person. It wasn't like this for me because I went to community college, but when I visit my friend at university, there were 4 guys living in that room, and as many as 20 people in out of there during a typical week. Which one was downloading the music?

The new STASI (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19657299)

I watched the movie The Lives of Others last night, and I was moved to tears. Moved to tears because I know what it is like to live in a soul-crushing totalitarian state. Only our country is dominated by the shock troops of the RIAA and MPAA.

Instead of obliterating freedom for the lie that was communism, the new STASI obliterates freedom for the lie that is copyright. And there is no Ronald Reagan to save us. So sad.

Correct moderation travesty, please. (1)

alienmole (15522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657823)

So the parent is impassioned and hyperbolic. That doesn't make him a troll.

Dont blame the UW just yet (3, Informative)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657311)

Lets try RTFA.

If the UW didn't do so, the industry would file a lawsuit against a John Doe or Jane Doe and subpoena the university for the person's identity, Godfrey said. "This isn't a matter of the university cooperating with the recording industry," he said. "We all concluded that to not pass these along to our students would be unacceptable and more costly to them."
They are not giving the students names to the RIAA, just letting them know the RIAA intends to file suit if they dont settle now. They are actually giving those receiving these notices time to find representation and legal help. I would prefer having a few weeks to discuss my options with a lawyer rather then get hit with a summons out of the blue.

Re:Dont blame the UW just yet (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19657415)

I RTFA'ed, and there is a big question that still remains unanswered: why is the University of Washington
recording this information in the first place? I know that many other universities committed to student
rights simply do not record the DHCP lease information, so it cannot later be subpeonaed
by the likes of the RIAA.

UW is indeed aiding and abetting the RIAA here, by keeping records they need not be keeping.

To the folks who made the Nazi analogy: It is a historical fact that the Nazis were greatly
aided by careful records on religious affiliation kept in the countries they invaded. That's
why most European countries (namely the ones invaded by the Nazis) do not, in fact, are legally
prohibited from, keeping track of the religious affiliations of their own citizens.

Re:Dont blame the UW just yet (4, Interesting)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657613)

To the folks who made the Nazi analogy: It is a historical fact that the Nazis were greatly aided by careful records on religious affiliation kept in the countries they invaded. That's why most European countries (namely the ones invaded by the Nazis) do not, in fact, are legally prohibited from, keeping track of the religious affiliations of their own citizens.

They were also aided by the careful records on gun ownership. The blitzkreig motorcycled up to the local cop shop, grabbed the records, and went house-to-house collecting guns. Then any resistance movements had to start from scratch with stolen or air-dropped weapons. That's why many gun owners - especially those who were involved in WW II or know its history - are so dead-set against gun registration databases.

Re:Dont blame the UW just yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19657695)

Sounds more like an argument for a big honking red "hit in case of invasion" button :P

Re:Dont blame the UW just yet (1)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657635)

Recording the DHCP lease information is aiding and abetting? Perhaps you should talk to your ISP about how much info they log before you so casually incriminate UW. The students are using their(read: UW's) service, and thusly agree to their terms of use. Its hardly uncommon to log information about which system is using which resources on a network of that size.

Re:Dont blame the UW just yet (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657741)

So it's ok for universities to screw students because if they don't screw them, then some other ISP will, so it might as well be them? You live in a strange moral world.

Re:Dont blame the UW just yet (1)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657787)

The UW admins keep this information because otherwise it is hard to find the guy that trying to DOS your mail server into oblivion. Student networks are notorious for having internal attackers of all different kinds. If you were an admin you'd want to be able to put a finger on the students too.

Take away the anonymity and people start to behave in a civilized manner. That's just how things work.

Full Text of Letter sent to students (1)

tor528 (896250) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657517)

Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2007 16:00:22 -0700 (PDT)
From: registrar-l@u.washington.edu
To: registrar-l@u.washington.edu
Subject: Advance notice to all students of action by Recording Industry
        Association of America (RIAA)

This message is being sent to all students with approval from the Office of the
Vice Provost for Student Life.
_____

Dear Student:

        I am writing to inform you of a development that could become a serious issue
for some of our students--the law governing downloading and sharing of music and
video from the internet. Under copyright law, it is illegal to download or share
copyrighted materials such as music or movies without the permission of the
copyright owner. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in recent
years has taken an aggressive approach to stopping this illegal downloading and
file sharing. This has put many students at the nation's colleges and
universities at some legal risk. I write first to caution you against illegally
downloading or sharing files. Your actions when you do so are traceable and
could result in a significant financial penalty to you. Second, I want to inform
you about a new process the RIAA has initiated and the University's role in this
process.

        The RIAA is now sending colleges and universities a letter for each instance
they find of a student illegally downloading material from the internet and
requesting the university to identify the individual student and forward the
letter to him or her. The letter, called an "Early Settlement Letter" notifies
the student that he or she has 20 days to settle with the RIAA by going to a
designated website, entering identifying information, and paying a set amount,
usually between $3,000 and $5,000, but sometimes considerably more. If the
recipient chooses not to settle, the RIAA will file a lawsuit and the offer to
settle for the amount stipulated is no longer an option.

        The University has been notified by the RIAA that we will be receiving a number
of these early settlement letters. After careful consideration, we have decided
to forward the letters to the alleged copyright violators. We do so primarily
because we believe students should have the opportunity to avail themselves of
the settlement option if they so choose. Not forwarding the RIAA letter to
students could result in their being served with a lawsuit, with no chance to
settle it beforehand.

        The University is unable to provide legal services to students who have
violated copyright law through illegal downloading or sharing. If you receive a
letter from the RIAA, we encourage you to engage a personal attorney. If you
have questions, please let us know.

        We know how tempting it is to download music or movies and share files with
your friends. But you need to know that it is illegal to do so and that the
consequences can be severe. Please inform yourself of the requirements of the
law and please obey it. Otherwise, it may prove costly for you and your family.

Sincerely yours,

Eric S. Godfrey
Vice Provost for Student Life
OVPSL@u.washington.edu

        [ Note: This message contains email list management information ]

Re:Dont blame the UW just yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19657595)

bullshit, they are nothing but lapdogs passing on extortion messages. if you got a threat of legal action or $5000 settlment would you consider it a favour?

Yes, blame the UW (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657699)

They are not giving the students names to the RIAA, just letting them know the RIAA intends to file suit if they dont settle now. They are actually giving those receiving these notices time to find representation and legal help.

Not true.

They are aiding the RIAA in their extortion scheme by forwarding the extortion letters, when they do not need to do so.

As with any other ISP, if they don't forward the letters when asked, the RIAA's next step is to file the John Doe suit, subpoena the records, and obtain the names. The step following that on the RIAA's playbill is to DROP THE JOHN DOE SUIT AND SEND THE LETTER.

The RIAA doesn't want to sue unless they must. Especially in the case of college students, many of which are bankrolled by a deep-pockets family with connections and access to high-powered attorneys. Instead they want to try intimidation first, collect their N grand, and move on.

The UW is not heading off surprise suits of the students. It's just accelerating the timetable on the RIAA's extortion scheme.

If anything it's increasing the risk of a surprise suit. If a student doesn't get the letter or loses it without responding, the RIAA now has reason to believe it was forwarded and deliberately ignored - but doesn't have the student's name. At that point they need to file the John Doe suit to get the name - after which it makes sense for them to immediately pursue the suit rather than dropping it and sending another letter directly to the student.

Re:Yes, blame the UW (1)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657799)

Ok, your logic is confusing.

They are aiding the RIAA in their extortion scheme by forwarding the extortion letters, when they do not need to do so.

As with any other ISP, if they don't forward the letters when asked, the RIAA's next step is to file the John Doe suit, subpoena the records, and obtain the names. The step following that on the RIAA's playbill is to DROP THE JOHN DOE SUIT AND SEND THE LETTER.
Ok, so your saying that if they dont forward the letter, the RIAA will sue anyways. How is the outcome of that any better than if they forward the letter?

I have an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19657365)

Why can't you share like crazy, take out student loans, get sued, and then declare bankruptcy to clean the slate?

Re:I have an idea (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657475)

Why can't you share like crazy, take out student loans, get sued, and then declare bankruptcy to clean the slate?

Leaving school, having a student loan expempt from bankruptcy, having a bankrubtcy on the books, and looking for employment is hardly having a clean slate.

Leaving school and going underground with a stolen identity is more likely. It's no way to live life. Either way, they win. They destroyed your future.

The chilling effects is if I were attending school, I simply would not be on the campus network unless the school provided privacy to its users. Positive ID logging of all users is a privacy issue.

Many places I can get internet without a login. I would use them instead.

Re:I have an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19657591)

Leaving school and going underground with a stolen identity is more likely. It's no way to live life. Either way, they win. They destroyed your future.

Not true. Even though I deplore the RIAA's tactics, I find it unlikely that even one of these Johns or Janes was oblivious to the fact that the RIAA is suing the pants off of copyright violators. They've been doing it for more than a year I reckon. I think they've had plenty of time to catch a clue.

Re:I have an idea (4, Insightful)

drakyri (727902) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657847)

> I simply would not be on the campus network unless the school provided privacy
> to its users.

This is hard to do. I used to work for a university - they didn't habitually identify users, but for various purposes (hacked computers, viruses, people running misconfigured DHCP servers, finding stolen computers, broken equipment), we needed to be able to identify, at least, where a computer is physically on campus.

In order to do this, we used a number of techniques. If a computer is plugged in to the LAN, then we could see its MAC address. There was a database of which switchport goes to which wall jack and where that jack is. Many times, this is a dorm room - and at that point, it's pretty easy to ID the user, if necessary. Most of the time we didn't - we'd instead filter their MAC so that when they tried to use the internet they'd get a notice (i.e., 'You have a virus. Please reformat your computer.').

But for those times when it was necessary, if we couldn't pin it down by room, we also had a tool which would keep records of where people logged in to common campus servers from. If you're claiming that that MAC isn't yours and we could see that you'd logged into the mail server daily from there ... well, that'd be problematic, to say the least.

I'm all for universities protecting their students privacy - but in order to keep everything running, certain measures need to be in place. Sorry.

mod doWn (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19657401)

co8mon knowledge Can be like example, if you Hot on the heels of battled in court, stand anymore, already dead. It is

How should the RIAA defend itself? (1, Insightful)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657425)

So its pretty clear that going after individual copyright violaters is looked down upon on slashdot. I also remember back when napster was big everyone on here was upset that they were getting sued because they werent actually breaking the law, it was just the individual users.

So is it just one group who thinks that indivuals shouldnt be sued and a different group who thinks that the companies should be immune? How should the RIAA protect its intellectual property rights? Is it just a fundamental belief on here that copyright holders should have no recourse against violaters?

Re:How should the RIAA defend itself? (1)

Frostalicious (657235) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657497)

I don't know about everyone else, but I just think the world would be a better place if the music industry underwent a hard reboot.

Re:How should the RIAA defend itself? (1)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657547)

I dont understand this attitude. The RIAA is just a regular business. If you dont like what they sell dont buy it or copy it. I dont like some channels on TV, I just choose not to watch them. (or record their broadcasts and post them on the internet if you want a better analogy)

Re:How should the RIAA defend itself? (1)

jx100 (453615) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657659)

The trouble is that their efforts are influencing people who are entirely unaffiliated with them. The laws they've shoved through congress regarding Internet Radio are a direct attempt to control all music distribution; even those who choose to have nothing to do with RIAA-affilliated music are harshly and negatively affected by this law.

Re:How should the RIAA defend itself? (3, Informative)

thomas.galvin (551471) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657529)

How should the RIAA protect its intellectual property rights?


Well, they have protected their IP righs by purchasing perpetual - and unconstitutional - copyrights from a Congress that is supposed to protect the public good. Ergo, pretty much any sympathy they may have had is gone.

Re:How should the RIAA defend itself? (1)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657587)

So how do you think indie movie companies, small record companies, software companies, etc. should protect their rights then? If you want we can exclude the big RIAA members from this. How should regular companies that thrive by producing copyrighted materials protect themselves when their work ends up on the internet where anyone can get it for free? Do you believe that they should be allowed any recourse at all? Should they be forced to sit back and watch as everyone in the world downloads for free what they invested a lot of hard work into producing?

Re:How should the RIAA defend itself? (1)

djmurdoch (306849) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657811)

Should they be forced to sit back and watch as everyone in the world downloads for free what they invested a lot of hard work into producing?

They should receive fair compensation, as the Canadian record companies do based on the levy on blank media.
The levy is far from perfect: it penalizes people who use CDRs for something other than recording copyrighted music, it doesn't apply to media built in to MP3 players, etc., but I'd still say it's a fair compromise.

By the way, this is only going to last a year or two more, but right now it's a real sweet spot: most people have CD players that can't play music from DVDs, but DVD recorders are cheap, so anyone who just wants backup can record to DVDs instead of CDRs, and not pay the levy.

Re:How should the RIAA defend itself? (5, Insightful)

sssssss27 (1117705) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657585)

So its pretty clear that going after individual copyright violaters is looked down upon on slashdot. I also remember back when napster was big everyone on here was upset that they were getting sued because they werent actually breaking the law, it was just the individual users.

So is it just one group who thinks that indivuals shouldnt be sued and a different group who thinks that the companies should be immune? How should the RIAA protect its intellectual property rights? Is it just a fundamental belief on here that copyright holders should have no recourse against violaters?


I don't think anyone on Slashdot is against the RIAA going after copyright violators it's just how they are going about doing it that bothers people. The RIAA is exploiting the ignorance of the justice system in order to get what it wants. Also, they seem to mostly go after those who lack the ability to adequately defend themselves. Then when someone does try to defend themselves the RIAA tries to have the case dismissed.

The RIAA has shown time and time again that their methodology to figure out who is infringing on copyright is flawed at best. I would have no problem with them going after someone if they brought more to the table than just a screenshot with an IP address or at least were held more accountable for when they are wrong. Their so called expert was anything but and they have sued dead people, minors, and those who have never even owned a computer.

Going after college students is just another extension of this. Lets say the RIAA sends some random IP addresses that they know are in use to a university. These are college students, relatively up on todays technology, what do you think is the probability that they will have one or more songs that the RIAA says they have allegedly downloaded? Pretty darn high you think? And if they don't have all of the songs they just say that they deleted them. Just because they have the songs doesn't mean they downloaded/uploaded them from/to a P2P network. Maybe they made a digital copy of a CD they own. So while you ask how can the RIAA protect its property rights I ask how do I protect my rights?

Re:How should the RIAA defend itself? (1)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657631)

Theoretically at least they should only be going after people who were sharing copyrighted files on line. I dont see anything wrong with looking for people who are doing this, downloading the files from them, taking a few screenshots as this is happening to document what happened and sending a subpoena to a university. Do you have a better method? How do you think they should be pursuing violaters?

Re:How should the RIAA defend itself? (1)

sssssss27 (1117705) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657715)

Theoretically at least they should only be going after people who were sharing copyrighted files on line. I dont see anything wrong with looking for people who are doing this, downloading the files from them, taking a few screenshots as this is happening to document what happened and sending a subpoena to a university. Do you have a better method? How do you think they should be pursuing violaters?

I don't have a better method but that doesn't mean I can't say the current method is wrong. A screenshot shouldn't be accepted as proof because it's too easy to fake. What if I were to type up a letter that said, "I have illegal items in my house. Sincerely, jorghis" and then I went to a judge and said look I have proof that he has illegal items lets take him to court and then search his house.

Re:How should the RIAA defend itself? (1)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657755)

A bunch of screenshots with someone who is willing to claim that they took them and how it all happened is as good as eyewitness testimony. I think your example would be more like if you doctored a bunch of photos of stolen stuff in my house and then testified in court that this all happened. It will always be possible to frame someone. At some level you just have to make a reasonable assesment as to whether witnesses are telling the truth in everything from copyright cases to murders. Frankly, I very seriously doubt the RIAA is committing perjury and whatever other host of crimes would be necessary to fake evidence.

Re:How should the RIAA defend itself? (1)

sssssss27 (1117705) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657871)

It will always be possible to frame someone. At some level you just have to make a reasonable assesment as to whether witnesses are telling the truth in everything from copyright cases to murders.

Exactly, at least we are agree on something, lol. I was merely trying to say that past cases have shown the RIAA to be less than credible and that is why they should be required to have more than just a screenshot. I honestly agree with you that the RIAA should defend the rights of the organizations that have employed them but I also feel that they are going about it in the wrong way.

Not quite (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657593)

an IP address does not identify a person.

They need to have evidences of a specific person committing a crime.

Sadly, there due diligences has been somewhat...lacking.

You ahve evidence os a spicific person ciolating copyright, by all means have law enforcement serve a warrent...oh wait, they don't do that? hmm wonder why? COuld it be that law enforcement might need..say evidence? Evidences the RIAA can not provide? why I believe it is!

So the extort people for 3-5Gs with the threat of 'it will be worse for you if you don't.'

and THAT my friend is what is pissing off a lot of people on Slashdot.

They should also only go after distributors, because it is not reasonable for the consumer to know the details of the person distributing.

Example: Lets say it is found out the Sony broke he law when the made the PS2. They get convicted, do they go after the people who bought PS2s? no.

Before someone replies with the same Jackassary comparison that gets used in these discussions, NO it's not the same as drugs because they are illegal to have, where as music isn't.

Re:How should the RIAA defend itself? (1)

jx100 (453615) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657807)

Is it just a fundamental belief on here that copyright holders should have no recourse against violaters?


Those of us who have actually explored the reasons behind copyright know that copyright is an entirely pragmatic solution that mitigates some very real and essential rights and freedoms. There is no fundamental right to copyright. It only exists due to the idea that the removal of those rights is worth the extra money copyright holders get. Most (well, at least some) of us believe that the downsides of the current level of copyright far outweigh the incentive of money that copyright holders get. As such, the extreme amount of legal force the RIAA and its ilk use in protecting their copyright is far beyond what is considered fair and warranted.

In addition, most of us see copyright violations entirely for commercial reasons to be far worse than ones entirely for personal reasons. Commercial copyright violation specifically takes money away from copyright holders and gives it to the violators. Personal copyright violation allows individuals to expose themselves to, increase their knowledge of, and participate in their own culture and that of others. Clearly, one of these purposes is far more noble than the other, and that is why there is a separation between the view of a company breaking copyright and an individual (or a mass of individuals) breaking copyright.

Re:How should the RIAA defend itself? (1)

banuk (148382) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657815)

most people aren't arguing the fact that file sharing is illegal, just that how the RIAA is going about their law suits, the "Pay me or else!" tactics, RICO commonalities, etc

Re:How should the RIAA defend itself? (2, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657849)

So is it just one group who thinks that indivuals shouldnt be sued and a different group who thinks that the companies should be immune?

Welcome to democracy. In a democracy, the interests of one part of the population are to be balanced with the interests of the other parts. Ideally, this happens by each part of the population electing representatives and watching out what laws get passed, etc.

Copyright law is not one of the ten commandments: It's just a law that some people made up at the time because they thought it might have value. Some people today believe it no longer has the same value, and here on slashdot plenty of people think that. Deal with it, move on.

Re:How should the RIAA defend itself? (1)

enrevanche (953125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657853)

Being in the hands of a bunch of nasty lawyers, there is no financially practical way to defend yourself against these lawsuits even thought the evidence would not hold up in court.

The "punishment" is entirely out of proportion for the alleged violations.

Prosecution of things like this should only be handled by government. These are a bunch wild west bounty hunters who have no respect for the rules of evidence and no respect for the rights of those who they investigate.

The music industry has abused both the artists and the buying public for years. The fact is that all of this shows them to be the leaches on society that they are. They know that they are horribly inefficient and now that distribution of their product is becoming easier and easier, they are trying to hold on to a business model that will not work.

suspected == guilty (4, Insightful)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657461)

students identified ... as suspected file sharers. "The notices say offending students have 20 days to settle with the association by paying it about $3,000 to $5,000 or be taken to court without possibility of a settlement."
Guilty until proven innocent. In related news: Kneecaps may NOT be substituted in lieu of payment.

list (1)

EMeta (860558) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657505)

This is getting to be a good number of institutions. Anybody know of a list of the good and the bad universities, as a cheat sheet of where to send our business/employment applications?

To the freshman and sophomores.. (1)

pickyouupatnine (901260) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657511)

.. transfer while you still can.

I'm surprised nobody's said this yet... (3, Interesting)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657527)

With the advent of Tanya Anderson counter-sueing the RIAA and Safenet, couldn't this just result in n more counter-sueings?

Re:I'm surprised nobody's said this yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19657797)

How many average student file sharers are going to:

a) have the time and money to fight a legal battle (most expensive than the carefully decided settlement sum)

b) know about the Tanya Anderson case in the first place

They're more inclined to freak out because they've only got 20 days "before they go to jail" (fear tactics from the MAFIAA) and failure to pay up may make things worse for them.

It is an extortion attempt from the MAFIAA, so it relies on people to "give in" to the threats. Even if some people fight it, the MAFIAA will keep on doing it as you can be guaranteed some suckers will eventually give in and pay up.

I wonder .... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657549)

what would happen if half or more of the university students suddenly decided to withhold from paying their tuition? I mean, if there is 1% withholding, they university kicks them out. But half or more? It would kill them. It is certainly a lot better than burning down a building like was done in the 'nam days.

Re:I wonder .... (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657601)

The problem with boycotts is always one of organizing everyone to go along with you. It's virtually impossible. You might as well organize a REAL revolution.

      Everyone will nod their heads and say "oh yeah, I agree". But no one will actually refuse to pay their tuition because, after all, they're grateful to have gotten into the university in the first place and won't want to take the risk.

Re:I wonder .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19657743)

what would happen if half or more of the university students suddenly decided to withhold from paying their tuition? I mean, if there is 1% withholding, they university kicks them out. But half or more? It would kill them.

Ever heard of the prisoner's dilemma? Not exactly the same, but same basic principle. If you can't absolutely COUNT on that other 50% to follow through, you're just fucking yourself.

What I want to know is... (1)

Saint V Flux (915378) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657599)

are colleges being paid by the RIAA to aid them in suing students? I wouldn't be surprised if the schools were taking a cut - they'll do anything for money.

girr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19657629)

Wow, just horrible, I mean just how little must a school care about its students to do shit like this. I hope this causes fewer people to enroll there, I hope americans arent stupid enough to just be quiet about it.

dear readers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19657637)

Give University of Washington a pass... there are plenty of fine institutions that aren't so keen to aid the RIAA in their quest to supplement their income stream using their *cough* legal *cough* department at the expense of their own student body.

University is Heavily Funded.. (3, Insightful)

mpapet (761907) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657653)

by Microsoft. Of course they'll play along. Otherwise it's biting the hand that feeds them.

Perhaps this is a good lesson about the perils of privatized funding?

original e-mail (3, Informative)

pfc9769 (1120609) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657749)

For anyone who's interested, here is the e-mail the UW sent out: Dear Student: I am writing to inform you of a development that could become a serious issue for some of our students--the law governing downloading and sharing of music and video from the internet. Under copyright law, it is illegal to download or share copyrighted materials such as music or movies without the permission of the copyright owner. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in recent years has taken an aggressive approach to stopping this illegal downloading and file sharing. This has put many students at the nation's colleges and universities at some legal risk. I write first to caution you against illegally downloading or sharing files. Your actions when you do so are traceable and could result in a significant financial penalty to you. Second, I want to inform you about a new process the RIAA has initiated and the University's role in this process. The RIAA is now sending colleges and universities a letter for each instance they find of a student illegally downloading material from the internet and requesting the university to identify the individual student and forward the letter to him or her. The letter, called an "Early Settlement Letter" notifies the student that he or she has 20 days to settle with the RIAA by going to a designated website, entering identifying information, and paying a set amount, usually between $3,000 and $5,000, but sometimes considerably more. If the recipient chooses not to settle, the RIAA will file a lawsuit and the offer to settle for the amount stipulated is no longer an option. The University has been notified by the RIAA that we will be receiving a number of these early settlement letters. After careful consideration, we have decided to forward the letters to the alleged copyright violators. We do so primarily because we believe students should have the opportunity to avail themselves of the settlement option if they so choose. Not forwarding the RIAA letter to students could result in their being served with a lawsuit, with no chance to settle it beforehand. The University is unable to provide legal services to students who have violated copyright law through illegal downloading or sharing. If you receive a letter from the RIAA, we encourage you to engage a personal attorney. If you have questions, please let us know. We know how tempting it is to download music or movies and share files with your friends. But you need to know that it is illegal to do so and that the consequences can be severe. Please inform yourself of the requirements of the law and please obey it. Otherwise, it may prove costly for you and your family.

Those dastards! (1)

Essequemodeia (1030028) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657751)

Geez, University of Washington! Way to throw your students under a bus. Don't you realize that undergrads aren't yet capable of being responsible for their actions? If the RIAA wants a real challenge let's see them try this bullshit at Virginia Tech.

University of Arkansas (1)

mp3phish (747341) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657765)

Add the University of Arkansas to that list. They are doing it here as well.

brilliant PR move by the campus (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#19657789)

This surely will make the school's enrollment climb just like these lawsuits have helped the recording industry with their sales. I wish well the U of W with their newfounded strategy for prosperity and growth.

DEAD U WALKING.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?