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RIAA Targets New Colleges, Still Avoids Harvard

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the back-up-off-of-the-uw-if-you-don't-mind dept.

Education 159

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Billboard reports that the RIAA has filed its eighth round of 'early settlement' letters to twenty-two colleges. Continuing its practice of avoiding Harvard, the RIAA's new round does not include any letters to that institution, where certain law professors have counseled resistance to the RIAA and told the RIAA to 'take a hike'. The unlucky institutions on the receiving end of the 403 new letters include Arizona State University (35 pre-litigation settlement letters), Carnegie Mellon University (13), Cornell University (19), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (30), Michigan State University (16), North Dakota State University (17), Purdue University — West Lafayette and Calumet campuses (49), University of California — Santa Barbara (13), University of Connecticut (17), University of Maryland — College Park (23), University of Massachusetts — Amherst and Boston campuses (52), University of Nebraska — Lincoln (13), University of Pennsylvania (31), University of Pittsburgh (14), University of Wisconsin — Eau Claire, Madison, Milwaukee, Stevens Point, Stout and Whitewater campuses (62)."

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first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20713139)

ha ha ha fuckers! you are all bitches. Bitches come and go. yOuo will all die.

403 Error: (5, Funny)

creativeHavoc (1052138) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713155)

403 new letters
I accidently associated the 403 letters with the 403 error, and thought it was some geeky way of describing them, haha. 403 letter: Forbidden You may not download our musics!

Re:403 Error: (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20713429)

Go die in a fire. Your unfunny humor is unwelcome here.

Re:403 Error: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20713515)

you have to be one of the dumbest motherfuckers i've ever seen on slashdot. why don't you just go fuck yourself and die? we really don't need morons like you around, fucktard asshat bitch.

Quality of posts (MOD OFFTOPIC) (1)

Propaganda13 (312548) | more than 6 years ago | (#20715387)

I accidently associated the 403 letters with the 403 error, and thought it was some geeky way of describing them, haha. 403 letter: Forbidden You may not download our musics!

you have to be one of the dumbest motherfuckers i've ever seen on slashdot. why don't you just go fuck yourself and die? we really don't need morons like you around, fucktard asshat bitch.


Hmmm, which one of these is the lower quality post? At least the OP was a coward on top of it all. If you're going to complain at least take responsibility and burn a little karma.

Re:403 Error: (4, Funny)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713809)

Now it is, this will forever be apart of geek lore like the 419 scams, in Korea jokes, in Soviet Russia jokes, goatse.cx and most of all the Cowboy Neal option.

I guess now every nerd will be sending the MafIAA a 404 reply letter saying sorry resource not found, go blow smoke up somebody Else's ass because it wasn't me.

Re:403 Error: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20714017)

You are the cancer that is killing slashdot.

Dangerous move... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20713157)

Cornell University (19), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (30), Michigan State University (16)
They should be careful. Didn't they hear that MIT students are Fearless [slashdot.org] , bomb-wielding [slashdot.org] , genetic-mutant creating [slashdot.org] hacking [slashdot.org] terrorists?

Re:Dangerous move... (2, Insightful)

SmackedFly (957005) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713421)

And that MIT is located right next to Harvard...

Re:Dangerous move... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20715309)

And that MIT is located right next to Harvard...

Correction: Harvard is located right next to MIT.

This only means the RIAA has no case (4, Insightful)

mind21_98 (18647) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713163)

If the RIAA really had a case, they'd talk to kids from Harvard too. And since the Harvard kids were told to say no, the RIAA could sue the Harvard kids to oblivion. This only means one thing: the RIAA letters are extortion, plain and simple.

Re:This only means the RIAA has no case (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713287)

Duh! Everyone knows this. It is just that most people have second thoughts when they are facing the dripping fang vampire all alone. Harvard just let the students know they would not be alone. The other schools are willing to throw the students under a bus. Not surprising, really...

Re:This only means the RIAA has no case (4, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#20714795)

Duh! Everyone knows this. It is just that most people have second thoughts when they are facing the dripping fang vampire all alone. Harvard just let the students know they would not be alone. The other schools are willing to throw the students under a bus. Not surprising, really...
One interesting note on that point is that the Chairman of the Computer Science Department at Boston University is acting as an expert witness on behalf of the students [blogspot.com] .

Re:This only means the RIAA has no case (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20713459)

Following a shipwreck a lawyer, priest, and newspaper reporter were stuck in a raft close to shore, but in waters clearly infested by sharks. After many hours of miserable huddling the lawyer screamed "I can't take it any more!", dove into the water and swam towards shore. The others shouted protests, but to everyone's surprise the sharks parted and let the man swim safely to land.

"It's a miracle!" exclaimed the priest.

"No... professional courtesy", explained the journalist.

And that also explains why the RIAA isn't going after the Harvard kids.

Re:This only means the RIAA has no case (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20713545)

What's the alternative? That RIAA is prejudiced against Harvard? Not likely. When you have a trademark, you can't make the decisions about who you enforce it against. You have to treat all cases without prejudice and enforce it across the board. Why is it not the case here?

Re:This only means the RIAA has no case (5, Insightful)

Frank Battaglia (787673) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713613)

For starters, it's different here because Copyright and Trademark law are completely different, with different justifications and goals.

Re:This only means the RIAA has no case (2, Insightful)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713749)

>When you have a trademark, you can't make the decisions about who you enforce it against.

Of course you can. You're confusing doctrines related to defenses, with obligations.
There's not a word in the law that supports your exaggerated view on trademark enforcement.

Re:This only means the RIAA has no case (4, Insightful)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713847)

Maybe potential law students would be wise to consider which school's the RIAA consider's easy pickings and which ones are untouchable when sending out applications.

On way... (4, Interesting)

eggoeater (704775) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713165)

This wouldn't exactly do the torrent community any favors, but if I were running a torrent client from a campus LAN, I'd block inbound connections from IPs not on my campus. If they cant see me sharing, they cant sue me.

Kinda find it interesting that one of the best law schools in the country isn't receiving these threats.

Re:On way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20713237)

They'd still see your ass on the torrent, though. It's not like they have to actually test to see if you're actually sharing real chunks.

Re:On way... (1)

dattaway (3088) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713261)

They'd still see your ass on the torrent, though. It's not like they have to actually test to see if you're actually sharing real chunks.

A person can't run a honeypot and learn about networking and security anymore?

Re:On way... (4, Funny)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713325)

A person can't run a honeypot and learn about networking and security anymore?

Only if you are a media company. ;)

What is the role of PeerGuardian? (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#20714209)

What is the role of PeerGuardian [phoenixlabs.org] in all of this?

I'm not sure I know how PeerGuardian works, but Wikipedia has an explanation: PeerGuardian 2 [is a] free and open source program developed by Phoenix Labs [wikipedia.org] .

Wikipedia also says, "There are many trojan websites that look identical to PeerGuardian's website, but the installers come pre-packaged with spyware." Wikipedia also says Azureus requires the "SafePeer Azureus plugin".

ProtoWall? (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#20714299)

Also, what about ProtoWall [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:On way... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20713241)

Just because *they* can't directly see you violate copyright, doesn't mean other people can't report you. I'm sure the RIAA/MPAA isn't below hiring a bunch of 'snitches' or setting up 'snitch' lines to report ANti-American behaviour. Respecting copyright is the American way, sharing is communism!

Re:On way... (1)

PlatyPaul (690601) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713329)

Sadly true. I attended Purdue myself and (years before the RIAA started mailing out these letters) knew several people who had received notices that they must cease and desist or face the possibility of not graduating. To support this effort, certain parties [sony.com] would periodically identify Purdue IP addresses on common sharing grounds (i.e., Kazaa) and notify the school. To their credit, the official use policy of on-campus internet included a "I will not pirate" paragraph, and the administration only seemed to target the excessive bandwidth users.

Re:On way... (1)

Phroon (820247) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713409)

This wouldn't exactly do the torrent community any favors, but if I were running a torrent client from a campus LAN, I'd block inbound connections from IPs not on my campus. If they cant see me sharing, they cant sue me.
That's exactly what the network topology is like at the University of Illinois, all incoming connections that aren't on campus are automatically firewalled, unless you convince everyone in your dorm room to agree to move you to the 'Mostly Closed' network, where a few major ports (22,80,ect.) are open to incoming traffic. Each computer does get it's own public IP, though.

Re:On way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20713597)

Unless your torrent server is on campus and refuse to connect to anyone outside of campus, this won't work. Remember bit torrent do not hide IP address.

Re:On way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20714007)

Interestingly, at least in the last round of suits involving the University of Wisconsin, not a single person who was getting the letters was using Bittorrent. They were using other protocols.

Wait a second... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20713175)

...didn't you guys all get up in arms a few years back when the music industry was trying to sue the companies reponsible for developing the apps used to illegally distribute intelelctual property? Wasn't the argument that it's the users responsible, not the tools? Now they'rer after those responsible and you want them to stop. All the while you guys complain when the GPL is infringed. Hypocrite much?

Re:Wait a second... (4, Insightful)

HiThere (15173) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713251)

Different group of guys. Just because they all have Slashdot accounts doesn't make them the same.

Personally, if it hurt the RIAA I'd be all in favor of distribution of their copyright works. Unfortunately, I don't think it does, it only exposes you to risk (not much, but some). As such I think it's stupid. (OTOH, you'd need to pay me large sums to listen to most of what they release as music. $100/hour might do it, if it weren't too loud...and I could play computer games at the same time. So my opinion of relative worth vs. risk may not be normal.)

Re:Wait a second... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20713335)

The GPL-hypocrisy troll is some fucking old material. Do you still tell the same jokes at parties as you thought were funny when you were fifteen? What's that? You are fifteen?! Nobody invites you to any parties?! Well shit, son, maybe it's time to buck up and get some new tricks. Head on down to dashnigger and we'll set you straight. Oh, wait, you've never heard of dashnigger because you're SMALL-FUCKING-TIME. I tell you what, you come back in a couple years when your balls have dropped and you've gotten laid once or twice, and we'll see if I can't find you some work over on bsd.slashdot.org.

Re:Wait a second... (5, Insightful)

Arramol (894707) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713469)

The problem is that the RIAA has a long history of filing lawsuits based on little or no evidence, which is how they've ended up suing at least a few families that have never owned computers and a dead grandmother who lived a similarly PC-free life. We're up in arms because of their shotgun, witch-hunt style tactics, especially since the cost and difficulty of defending yourself in court over something like this means that many people end up having to pay for crimes they never committed.

Re:Wait a second... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20714291)

But, this doesn't quite add up. If their big plan is to milk people for money and scare the general public, and they are so sure that this plan will work, shouldn't they be aiming all of their legal prowess *at* Harvard, to prove they are right? I mean, think of all the "damages" they would get from (stereotypically rich) Harvard kids, as opposed to UPenn...

Re:Wait a second... (2, Informative)

icebrain (944107) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713501)

Having seen many discussions along this line over the past year or two, I've picked up on a couple of different motivations from people opposing the RIAA/MPAA. Most opposition appears to fall into these (simplified) categories:

The first group is the "all information should be free" group, and seems to see all manner of copyright to be immoral, unjust, and responsible for the deaths of babies.

The second group seems to not mind copyright, but is bothered by the poor quality of the product (especially music) and the exorbitant costs associated. They just want to punish the RIAA for stupid pricing and turning out crap, or to "stick it to the man."

The third group doesn't care about the copyright issue as much, but is more concerned with the appalling tactics used by the **AA groups. Filing lawsuits without proof, continuing to press suit on little old ladies without computers, unlawful search, threatening letters, invasive computer code, purchasing of legislators, etc.

Re:Wait a second... (4, Interesting)

adminstring (608310) | more than 6 years ago | (#20714513)

Sounds like a good subject for a Slashdot poll: What is your least favorite thing about the record companies that make up the RIAA?

For me, it would be hard to choose, although my choices would probably be these (in this order:)
  1. They screw the artists with contracts which basically amount to indentured servitude.
  2. They screw the consumers with excessive markups (made possible by # 3 below)
  3. They have destroyed the integrity of radio with the ongoing practice of payola
  4. They engage in mean-spirited legal attacks against defenseless people
  5. They eat babies.
Well, that about sums it up for why I don't like major labels. Luckily, there are tons of great bands putting out their own stuff, so I can support the bands directly and avoid giving any cash to Their Satanic Majesties. Really we don't need these companies. We can support our local music scenes and independent touring bands. Do it for the poor little babies that the RIAA would purchase and eat if they got your money. That's right - think of the children!

Re:Wait a second... (1)

Loconut1389 (455297) | more than 6 years ago | (#20715007)

change #5 or add #6 and you might have something there:
#5) they ate cowboy neal
or
#6) they sued cowboy neal
or something.

Re:Wait a second... (1)

Khaed (544779) | more than 6 years ago | (#20715487)

5 isn't a problem if they only eat ugly babies.

Seriously, of the other four:

1 doesn't concern me because I have no sympathy for artists who sign with the RIAA.

2 bothers me only a little, because I very rarely purchase RIAA music anymore.

3 bothers me, but less since I got an MP3 player.

4 is the one that really pisses me off. They never seem to target people who can fight back -- and this case of avoiding harvard is a perfect example of that fact.

Good For Them (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20713183)

I think this is fine. Universities are prime locations where copyright infringement continues unabated, and it seems ok with me if the media companies try to end it and fight it. Students trade copyrighted material like baseball cards. I would think slashdotters would be in support of this, since they are specifically going after abusers at schools instead of p2p tools or websites.

Stopping copyright infringement at the university level also deters this unlawful and immoral activity of these young people when they graduate, and teaches them a lesson that this is not right.

Re:Good For Them (1)

anarking (34854) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713257)

Simply enable file sharing on your computer drive, irregardless of your intent, and they will come after you suing for everything you have, just to make an example of you, even though you shared nothing and broke no copyrights (case of the cleaning woman that was near a computer with a shared drive). They assembled task forces to go out impersonating police officers using force to intimidate people into stop sharing anything. This is the out-of-control RIAA people are dealing with. Do you want to have a lawsuit like that around your neck for enabling file sharing on your drive so perhaps people on your own network can have access to whatever files you wish them to, personal mp3s or otherwise? Do you want to live in a world where these type of Gestapo tactics are accepted? Don't be so complacent, Wake Up to what they're doing to ordinary innocent American Citizens before it's too late and you're their next fodder to set a deterrance example.

Re:Good For Them (0, Flamebait)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713691)

"Irregardless" isn't a real valid word. I think you mean "regardless".

Re:Good For Them (2, Informative)

anarking (34854) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713819)

Those who must address miniscule grammar mistakes (it is a real word, however erroneous) can formulate no real point to make themselves. Go worry about something else, like getting sued by the RIAA for accidentally sharing your personal porn collection that you hid in a BritneySpears.mp3 file.

Re:Good For Them (4, Informative)

Debug0x2a (1015001) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713915)

Actually irregardless [reference.com] is a nonstandard word meaning irrespective and regardless.

Re:Good For Them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20715467)

"Non-standard" is dictionary writer code for wrong but common enough to justify including.

Re:Good For Them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20713341)

The big guy has lobbyists and senators and lawmakers and lawyers in their pockets in their efforts to fuck over society and the citizens of this country in their own favor. We have file sharing. It's our little way of being able to say "yeah? fuck you too"

Active Music Trading on Freenet 0.5 and 0.7 (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20713187)

Music and movies are being traded on Freenet under a 'culture freedom' movement. You shouldn't be able to be caught if you don't want to be, it's all a matter of your risk tolerance.

Re:Active Music Trading on Freenet 0.5 and 0.7 (1)

morcego (260031) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713911)

If you call that "culture"...

Re:Active Music Trading on Freenet 0.5 and 0.7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20714755)

"If you call that 'culture'..."

I'm sure they have Classical music there for you too ;)

More Absurdity (3, Interesting)

anarking (34854) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713207)

UMASS Boston doesn't even have dormitories, so how do they expect to be targeting specific students?! These blanket accusations to "set examples" and try to deter file sharing is absolutely despicable, and more colleges need to take hints from Harvard and not be intimidated by baseless claims that are already crumbling in the courts. All colleges that don't stand by their students and hand them over to the pack of lying dogs at the RIAA are complacent with the same absurdities and the students ought to wonder what they've been paying for at their respective colleges. The insanity continues, Fight the RIAA, Fight for your Rights!

Perfect picks. (5, Interesting)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713211)

Wonderfully, it seems the RIAA is picking a bunch of colleges with both the money and the staff to assist in defending their students. With other colleges already taking similar stances, I expect that many of the current round will do so as well. Thus, I expect the RIAA to soon learn that this method is fraught with enough reasons to ensure they fail.

My only worry is their attempts at creating circumstances and/or laws that "coerce" the colleges to give up their (possibly) innocent (or not) students without due process.

Re:Perfect picks. (2, Informative)

krayzk9s (993828) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713279)

I go to the University of Pittsburgh, and they want no part of getting in the way. If the RIAA files a notice the University will tell them whose IP it belongs to and even assist them.

Re:Perfect picks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20714935)

good.maybe students at that establishment will grow up realizing that taking other peoples work for free is not some fucking human right.

Re:Perfect picks. (1)

jo7hs2 (884069) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713295)

Plus, they've decided to pick out quite a few public institutions of higher learning, who will bring to bear their considerably larger legal resources, being both entities of the state AND members of large university systems. On a side note, I was wondering what took so long to get the University of Maryland on there. Um, Go Terps?

Re:Perfect picks. (2, Interesting)

Mark Programmer (228585) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713357)

In the case of Carnegie Mellon in particular, I remember the policy being that CMU will pass the information requested by the RIAA right through to them, and has explicitly told its student body that it will not shield them from investigation and prosecution. I wonder if these institutions were cherry-picked for having such policies. Can anyone comment on (a) whether CMU's policy is unchanged, and (b) whether the other schools operate to a similar strategy?

Situation at Purdue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20713495)

Here at Purdue, the RIAA sends a letter to the University citing an IP. The University then forwards the letter to the student they match with the IP. Students can then settle or wait for the lawsuit. The University isn't really offering any type of resistance to the RIAA, though they aren't actively turning students over, either.

I've heard our "IT czar" speak on the issue of copyrights, and his various opinions did not seem consistent.

Re:Perfect picks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20713555)

That's more or less how I understand it. I think there is also an official policy that they will defend you if you're innocent, but I imagine that by the very nature of you getting sued the university will consider you guilty (and, realistically, you probably ARE, even if the MPAA/RIAA has no real proof).

OTOH some of the SCS (School of Computer Science) people are very very knowledgeable, so it might be worthwhile for such a targeted student to talk to professors and such there, and see if they can swing their weight around on the administration to help.

This is basically my speculation, of course, as a freshman who's been on campus for only about a month now. It's certainly what I'd do if I were caught, though I honestly haven't had nearly as much time to actually watch half the stuff I used to download, so my illegitimate usage has decreased to near zero.

(And some clever person has a setup of DC++, I think, available for download which is configured to only connect to other CMU IP's, so its usage doesn't count against bandwidth limits nor can the MPAA/RIAA find you with it. IMHO students so inclined should just use that.)

Anonymous because I'm paranoid... CMU allocates static IP's on the wired network so it really is trivial to trace such a person; whether that should hold up in court is another matter.

Re:Perfect picks. (1)

Knytefall (7348) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713697)

Indeed, there are knowledgeable people in SCS, but CMU's administration never fails to bend over when asked to.

Re:Perfect picks. (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713815)

In the case of Carnegie Mellon in particular, I remember the policy being that CMU will pass the information requested by the RIAA right through to them, and has explicitly told its student body that it will not shield them from investigation and prosecution. I wonder if these institutions were cherry-picked for having such policies. Can anyone comment on (a) whether CMU's policy is unchanged, and (b) whether the other schools operate to a similar strategy?

I think it is time colleges (like CMU)understand that "not shield(ing) them (the students) from investigation and prosecution" is far different to caving in to requests that the colleges have no legal requirement to fulfill. The colleges should be forcing the RIAA to follow the law - to the letter - and then after that (or during that process) fulfill their (the colleges) obligations under the law.

Just my one cent on the matter - that I wish the colleges (and every other OSP/ISP) would consider. I'll leave the other cent on another post later... ;-)

Re:Perfect picks. (1)

the_ed_dawg (596318) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713565)

Wonderfully, it seems the RIAA is picking a bunch of colleges with both the money and the staff to assist in defending their students.
Unfortunately, it has been my experience that universities have money for everything except the students. (Yes, I attend one of the universities in the notice.)

Re:Perfect picks. (2, Informative)

derflammenhund (768851) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713813)

Granted, I haven't read the fine print on OIT's position, but based on their ads on the busses and what's been run in the Diamondback (school paper), the University of Maryland will be doing absolutely no assistance for students whatsoever.

This is good for the institution overall because we already don't have any money left over, but OIT has been warning students for quite some time that they're not invincible or invisible, and it's only a matter of time before someone gets upset at them.

Looks like that time has come... Here, have fun with this, too - http://www.oit.umd.edu/PlayFair/index.html [umd.edu]

Re:Perfect picks. (1)

mayoZ (1160411) | more than 6 years ago | (#20714123)

Wonderfully, it seems the RIAA is picking a bunch of colleges with both the money and the staff to assist in defending their students. With other colleges already taking similar stances, I expect that many of the current round will do so as well. Thus, I expect the RIAA to soon learn that this method is fraught with enough reasons to ensure they fail. My only worry is their attempts at creating circumstances and/or laws that "coerce" the colleges to give up their (possibly) innocent (or not) students without due process.
From experience, most university officials will protect the university itself and the university's computing assets before protecting the students. This is the smartest move for them, although maybe not the most popular. The first line of defense will be some sort of network or computing usage policy that the student agreed to upon enrolling at the university.

No one likes the RIAA (4, Funny)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713247)

If The RIAA were an ice cream flavor, they'd be pralines and dick.

Re:No one likes the RIAA (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 6 years ago | (#20714707)

If The RIAA were an ice cream flavor, they'd be pralines and dick.
Yes, but without the pralines.

This can only mean one thing... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20713249)

...that the RIAA is run by Harvard grads.

Figures, corrupt lawyers and all...

Re:This can only mean one thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20714783)

Well, considering Harvard happens to be one of those colleges that you have to buy your way into...

In related news... (2, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713255)

Harvard professors receive 22 requests for counsel about 403 RIAA letters ...

How to beat the RIAA (2, Interesting)

kimvette (919543) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713319)

* Don't listen to artists from member labels. Well, at least not new artists
* Don't buy their product. If you MUST buy, find a way to buy directly from the artist, or download artist-authorized bootlegs and send your money to the artist.
* Don't download RIAA product. Downloads only help them to justify their whining.

Re:How to beat the RIAA (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713849)

I got a gift from Universal. A Gwen Stefani CD. So I did not pay for it. So am I now allowed to listen to it or not? I am confused.

Re:How to beat the RIAA (3, Funny)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 6 years ago | (#20714075)

For your own sake, don't listen to it. This applies regardless of the RIAA's tactics.

Re:How to beat the RIAA (4, Funny)

adminstring (608310) | more than 6 years ago | (#20714557)

I would advise against it. 4 of 5 backup singers say that "that shit is B-A-N-A-N-A-S."

Re:How to beat the RIAA (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#20714045)

I have to agree, there is enough bad music out there that we don't need the RIAA lables to force-feed their bad music to us. It's not like your favorite club-band's can't self-produce and sell direct.

If you're wondering how to follow the instructions (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 6 years ago | (#20714521)

... RIAA Radar [riaaradar.com] to the rescue!

Harvrd Legal Counsel (4, Insightful)

rbabb (134729) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713323)

If Harvard's professors really do have a valid defense that is intimidating the RIAA from suing them, they should do some pro-bono work for the other schools that ARE getting sued! Help out your fellow institutions for the betterment of everyone!

Bullies (5, Insightful)

tomz16 (992375) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713377)

Perfect life lessons in this one...

- Bullies won't go after you if they are afraid that there's a chance of getting their nose bloodied.
- Don't have to run faster than the bear... just faster than the slowest guy running from the bear.

Harvard students are excluded from these notifications, not because of their innocence, but because of the fact that there are literally thousands of easier targets to go after that have no chance of fighting back!

Re:Bullies (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#20714823)

Bullies won't go after you if they are afraid that there's a chance of getting their nose bloodied.
That is exactly what this is about. They don't like picking on people who can fight back.

Re:Bullies (2, Insightful)

DavidShor (928926) | more than 6 years ago | (#20715447)

Does anyone?

So I am on the list. (1)

f4hy (998452) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713387)

My university is on the list. What slash /.ers want to give advice for what I can do about it?

Re:So I am on the list. (1)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713449)

My university is on the list. What slash /.ers want to give advice for what I can do about it?

Organize a protest.

Get everyone to pick a nice day and download something illegal and free. They are not going to go after 5000 students. Maybe even load up the profs computer with a few gigs of stuff.

Set the RIAA up. You download off of someone else's machine. Once they are about to convict has 20 students say they did it as a prank (maybe even true).

Lots of ways, your in college/university -- be creative.

Re:So I am on the list. (3, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713709)

My university is on the list. What slash /.ers want to give advice for what I can do about it?

Go to Ray's blog and read up on the legal motions filed by students at other universities to challenge the RIAA's misuse of the law and true lack of evidence. And them file similar motions for any students sued at this university.

Re:So I am on the list. (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#20714079)

Spoof the Dean's IP address LOL.

Re:So I am on the list. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20714479)

On our campus we block inbound connections to halls. It's an unpopular plan for a few, but as we're not a technical establishment, most are happy that the web is reachable. No inbound connections makes p2p file sharing like walking to the moon through overcooked porridge, and it means that less of the technically inept find themselves at the wrong end of a summons.

If the users... sorry... valued customers (no, really!) want illicit 'choons' or 'warez', then they will soon learn to get it on a stick from an off campus chum, especially since they'll get it quicker that way. This method makes us less likely to get harassed by the riaa (capitalization omitted to please the growling mob, with whose argument I have a smattering of sympathy).

Re:So I am on the list. (4, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#20714827)

My university is on the list. What slash /.ers want to give advice for what I can do about it?
Here [blogspot.com] are my suggestions.

People's Republic of Cambridge, baby. (2, Funny)

PsychosisBoy (1157613) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713399)

God, I love this place. It is the best city in the northeast. Seriously, no one fucks with us.

RIAA does target Harvard... (4, Interesting)

neapolitan (1100101) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713403)

I went to Harvard for college...

http://www.thecrimson.com/archives.aspx?SearchTerms=RIAA&SortField=0&PageSize=10&News=1&Opinion=2&Sports=3&Magazine=5&Arts=4 [thecrimson.com]

I hope the Crimson's servers stand up.

The RIAA frequently targeted students individually, and AFAIK continues threatening letters occasionally to individual students if they can figure out who you are. As you can see from the Crimson archives there was some pushback from the law school profs.

Back in the late 90's, your (fixed, non-DHCP) undergraduate IP at Harvard mapped to username.person.harvard.edu or something like that, making it trivially easy to see who was where, and you would 'magically' get spam for visiting websites, as your email was username@fas.harvard.edu. This was changed around '99 or so, now it is a roamXXX.student.harvard.edu I believe, and DHCP'd to a real IP address. This helps protect anonymity and individual student's activity, and Harvard does not give out the mapping to individual students.

Harvard internally sends curious emails reporting "excessive bandwidth" use to us, which also still continues AFAIK. Several of my friends received these, we think it was in the neighborhood of > 10 GB per day use. They basically said to quit it, or we might look further as to what you are doing, or bring you in front of a disciplinary committee. This was back in the days of i2hub (remember this?), and most of my friends just throttled their bandwidth with no further problems -- very scared of the hassle of defending yourself even if it is "legit" activity.

Re:RIAA does target Harvard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20713489)

Yeah I think most schools give random IPs from a pool that's why they need your school help to sue you. Lucky you have a sane administration.

Wisconsin much? (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713413)

I'm from Wisconsin so naturally I noticed the fact that they apparently focused heavily on UW schools! That's the worst kind of discrimination...the kind against us! Then again it's not much of an "us" since I went to a technical college lol. Take that, universities and your programming theory instead of practical skills ;)

Mickey Mouse... (5, Insightful)

headkase (533448) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713463)

The day I can use Mickey Mouse in my own work is the day I give a damn about the RIAA's "losses".

Re:Mickey Mouse...MOD UP PARENT (5, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713653)

The day I can use Mickey Mouse in my own work is the day I give a damn about the RIAA's "losses".

This is a very wise, if obscure to many, comment that copyright law has been so skewed towards the big corporations that civil disobedience is more than justified. Study the history of copyrights and you'll understand why the Founders of the USA democracy specified that secure for a limited time was part of the United States Constitution. Unfortunately, Congress (Republicans), the President (Clinton), and most of all, the Supreme Court of the United States have totally let us down on this issue over the last decade. The RIAA is now hard at work to steal back what little of the Public Domain still remains.

At the very minimum, DRM should be legally required to expire on the day that the copyright for the work it's protecting expires!

Re:Mickey Mouse...MOD UP PARENT (1)

eean (177028) | more than 6 years ago | (#20715339)

I'm sure the computers 70 years in the future will have no problem dealing with whatever "DRM" we put on our stuff now.

Granted eventually Moore's Law will end and that principal will no longer be true. Hopefully the charade of DRM will be over by then though...

Re:Mickey Mouse... (1)

stubear (130454) | more than 6 years ago | (#20715415)

Copyrights on Steamboat Willie could expire tomorrow but you'd still need to obtain permission to use a trademarked character. The best you'll ever be able to do is distribute out of copyright Disney films. Also, even if the copyright on Steamboat Willie expired tomorrow and Mickey Mouse was not a trademark, the only depiction you would be allowed to use would be the Steamboat Willie version of Mickey Mouse, not the Red trouser, yellow-button wearing Mickey Mouse we all know and love.

OJ got off because of good lawyers too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20713487)

The RIAA simply doesn't want to deal with them, even though they are wrong.

RIAA Cowards (0, Redundant)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713559)

The RIAA are cowards. The problem is that university administrations by and large are bigger cowards still, hence they act too often as RIAA lapdogs.

The RIAA's growing college problem is that at least 4 groups of students at different universities are fighting back, and creating a info-store of litigation documents that can become a roadmap into defending against future suits. If everyone fought back against the invasions of privacy, and the lack of true evidence at the time the suits are filed, the RIAA couldn't handle the litigation load!

Re:RIAA Cowards (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#20714881)

The RIAA are cowards. The problem is that university administrations by and large are bigger cowards still, hence they act too often as RIAA lapdogs. The RIAA's growing college problem is that at least 4 groups of students at different universities are fighting back, and creating a info-store of litigation documents that can become a roadmap into defending against future suits. If everyone fought back against the invasions of privacy, and the lack of true evidence at the time the suits are filed, the RIAA couldn't handle the litigation load!
Make that five [blogspot.com] . NC State students just jumped into the fray.

It even rimes! (1)

siyavash (677724) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713585)

It even rimes! Riaa... Mafiaa... can somebody please tell those morons to adapt and evolve their business instead of suing their customers? oh wait...

Re:It even rimes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20714067)

LeAnn Rimes? [wikipedia.org]

Must be part of ... (1)

xednieht (1117791) | more than 6 years ago | (#20713643)

the RIAA legal eagles' new strategy... let toss some poop up against this wall and see what sticks.

Genius. Pure undeniable genius.

Go UMass Amherst! (1)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 6 years ago | (#20714057)

Now if only our Comp. Sci. department could work on ways to protect UMass students from the MAFIAA.

Like way can't we run our file-sharing over something like Tor, obscuring the source, destination and content of our packets?

Re:Go UMass Amherst! (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#20714901)

Now if only our Comp. Sci. department could work on ways to protect UMass students from the MAFIAA.
Like the Chairman of the Computer Science Department at Boston University going to bat for the BU students [blogspot.com] .

Re:Go UMass Amherst! (1)

damiam (409504) | more than 6 years ago | (#20715495)

You can do exactly that, but it's really slow and hurts the Tor network by holding up legitimate traffic.

The RIAA is terrified of people with real money (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20715469)

There's a reason that the jails and prisons of America are filled mostly with black and other ethnic minorities. White and affluent minorities have access to the best legal care that money can buy, for both civil and criminal matters. The RIAA knows this, and they're probably running scared, knowing that most of the Harvard students have access to good lawyers who can dash off a quick legal F you letter to the RIAA.

  There are certain legal surnames that terrify greedy pigs, shysters and publicity hounds. Can you imagine the RIAA filing one of their bogus lawsuits against a child or grandchild of someone like Johnnie Cochran? He would have been on the six o'clock news, burning the legal summons with a match, telling the RIAA to stick their phony lawsuit.
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