Saturday, March 03, 2007

RIAA Student Extortion Letters Online at p2pnet

The RIAA's new "Student Extortion Letters" are now available online. This is part of the big 4 record labels' attempt to get colleges and universities to act as their enforcers and collection agents.

Thanks to "alter_fritz" for the news tip.

Commentary & discussion:

p2pnet.net

Keywords: digital copyright online download upload peer to peer p2p file sharing filesharing music movies indie label freeculture creative commons pop/rock artists riaa independent mp3 cd favorite songs

10 comments:

Alter_Fritz said...

actually it seems the original credit (beside to the guy that recieved this 321 files letter and allowed it to be posted) must go to Justin McElroy, The Herald-Dispatch for posting it first here:
http://www.herald-dispatch.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070302/NEWS01/703020385/1005/NEWS10

StephenH said...

I think that the RIAA should PAY the colleges for the extra time they spend on searching their logs. I feel that this campaign is costing colleges and universities enormus sums of money, as well as time. Additionally, this campaign is doing NOTHING to get artists paid. It might be interesting to do a study of where this money actually goes, and see if the RIAA can name an artists or songwriter who got a penny or more of this money.

It might be interesting to see if there is grounds to pursue a class action lawsuit against this program. Colleges could sue for the additional costs of being their agents, and students could sue for unlawful search and seizure and racketeering, as well as violation of the computer fraud and abuse act.c

Anonymous said...

Thank you thank you.
I read ALL 163 pages of the jacobson deposition.

I am not a licensed, nor professional Engineer, nor a Dr. of Philosophy, nor an practicing professor.

Nor am I someone who is new to computing.

Nor am I someone as stupid to presume that when conducting a forensic investigation of a HD with ENCASE, that I would NEVER make reports.

This shoddy workmanship is stunning in its own right!

Anonymous said...

Nice quote in the article, always nice to see a lawyer who doesn't pull punches. I like how, instead of suing people who might actually have enough money to fight them, they extort money out of poor college students and then claim they are educating them by putting an undo burden on the school.

I just can't wait until they try to bite off more then they can chew. I know that if they try to sue someone at my college (University of San Francisco) they will get a lot more then they where expecting. As a school with a good law program and an excellent IP school (that supports both EFF and Chilling Effects) the law program is probably salivating over a chance to try one of these cases. And even if USF doesn't fight it one of these big liberal law schools will, I bet Stanford with CIS (Center for Internet Society) or perhaps Harvard with the Berkman Center would be willing to stall delay and make the RIAA's life a living hell in every way possible. In fact I was hoping USC would at leas mount some sort of counter claim to the letters (especial with Corry Doctorow on staff). Looks like they folded though.

Also, I heard that some schools actually responded to the letters with the identities of the students at those IP addressed. If this is true wouldn't it be against some sort of student rights act? Couldn't the school only send the students identity once they received a court order and not just at a threat of suit?

AMD FanBoi said...

Ray, you've made it d@mn difficult to post to your blog. It just coughed up and said my request couldn't be processed, deleting said comment in the process.

What I was trying to say was that if the RIAA will settle for substantially less at this much earlier phase, does this mean that their true claimed damages are much less as well? And if someone did go to trial and lose, could this be used to reduce any award to the RIAA because they are indicating that their damages from such activity are truly quite small, if any at all?

Scott said...

It seems to me that the RIAA's target universities are arbitrary. I don't think they will pick a school that is likely to put up a fight, or one that's close to the lead counsel's office in Denver, Colorado. Like any schoolyard bully, they pick on the weakest targets.

Scott said...

UPDATE: Checking the University of Colorado's web site today for "RIAA", there are only five documents that turn up in a web search -- and three of them were posted on or after last Friday (March 2). Interpret this as you will.

qitaana said...

I'm a grad student at UC Berkeley. Out of curiosity, I went to the main page of the university (www.berkeley.edu) and entered RIAA as a search term.

While the overwhelming majority of hits were relevant, the first hit was (and I kid you not....)

"Harnessing the Horsepower of Pond Scum"

I've not laughed this hard in days. Perhaps the search engine employed by UCB is more aware than we thought...

Ray Beckerman said...

thanks, alter, my source for it was p2pnet.... of course whoever first posted the letter deserves credit for doing that too...

amd, settlements don't count as evidence...

anonymous, i hope you're right, but you never know who you can count on to really fight back until the fighting begins.... i believe that as more & more people fight back, the more difficult this whole thing becomes for the riaa....

scott, i think you're right... HRO wouldn't want people in their hometown to know what they do....

quitaana...they're not comparable...pond scum has a purpose...

StephenH said...

Maybe you should suggest to EFF to have them send letters to colleges asking them NOT to cooperate and particpate in the program unless ordered by a court.