RIAA Begins Round 7 of its Fight Against Campus Piracy

503 "lucky" new students get to start the Fall Semester even deeper in debt.

The RIAA has announced that it has targeted 503 new students in its latest "deterrence program" aimed at eliminating college campus piracy across the country. This brings the approximate number of targeted students to 2,926 and counting thus far.

The pre-litigation "settlement" letters, as it refers to them as, once again target those with the fewest resources and ability to fight the charges in an actual courtroom before a judge and jury. As usual, the RIAA offers a convenient method to bypass the legal system altogether and "…resolve copyright infringement claims against them at a discounted rate before a formal lawsuit is filed." What nice guys right?

Maybe somebody should remind them that you can’t definitively identify somebody by an IP address, that "Many computers can be connected to the Internet with identical IP addresses as long as they remain behind control points such as routers, firewalls, proxy servers, or similar technologies."

In the seventh wave of this new initiative, the RIAA this week sent letters to 58 schools including:

  • Boston University
  • University of Tennessee – Knoxville
  • North Carolina State University
  • Duke University, University of Maine System,
  • Columbia University
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • Boston College
  • Carleton College
  • Georgetown University
  • Indiana State University
  • Marshall University
  • New York University
  • Tulane University
  • University of Virginia
  • Bethel University
  • California State University, Fresno
  • California State University, Sacramento
  • Colgate University
  • Emory University
  • Loyola University Chicago
  • University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • University of Mississippi
  • Allegheny College
  • Gettysburg College
  • Lehigh University
  • Seton Hall University
  • University of Kentucky
  • Washington University
  • Bryn Mawr College
  • Bucknell University
  • California State University, Chico
  • Creighton University
  • Florida Institute of Technology
  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • Rice University
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of Florida
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Bowdoin College
  • Haverford College
  • Mt. Saint Mary College
  • Pepperdine University
  • San Jose State University
  • Smith College
  • Trinity College
  • University of Minnesota – Duluth
  • American University
  • California State University, Stanislaus
  • San Diego State University
  • University of Hawaii
  • Villanova University
  • Oberlin College
  • Swarthmore College
  • Virginia Military Institute
  • Wellesley College.

The RIAA would like to also "kindly" point out that because of the summer schedule it is extending the amount of time that targeted students have to contact its lawyers to work out a settlement.

As usual, the RIAA also tries to claim that it is doing universities a favor by helping them crack down on illegal file-sharing on campus. It tries to emphasize that its lawsuits help curtail the use of P2P and file-sharing programs and therefore assist college administrators by protecting their network from potential viruses and spyware, as well by increasing the amount of available bandwidth. The harm to the fiscal and psychological health of our nation’s students and the danger posed by filtering content via file-sharing restrictions is apparently of little concern.

The RIAA closes its announcement with the same old tired argument as well, that it’s "transforming how it does business and embracing digital distribution models of every kind." Kind of makes you laugh right?

“The music industry is transforming how it does business and embracing digital distribution models of every kind,” said Steven Marks, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, RIAA. “For students, many of these high-quality digital music options are available at deeply discounted rates – or even free. Those who continue to ignore great legal services and the law by stealing music online risk a federal lawsuit that could include thousands of dollars in penalties. With so many simple, easy and inexpensive ways to enjoy music legally these days, why take that risk?”

Simple? Easy? Inexpensive?

The RIAA. Same story, same plan, same way of doing business, and they still can’t figure out why their profits aren’t the same.