Came across this report in "The Tech", MIT's online student newspaper:
RIAA Sends Institute 19 Settlement Letters Alleging Infringement
By Natasha Plotkin
January 23, 2008
Nineteen members of the MIT community have been asked by the recording industry to preemptively settle lawsuits for allegedly downloading music illegally on peer-to-peer networks, according to a Jan. 10 Recording Industry Association of America press release.
One MIT student who has received a letter from the RIAA said last week that he planned not to settle and that he would fight the RIAA’s attempts to learn his identity. To date, no MIT students are known to have gone to court — all have paid the pre-litigation settlement or have settled after the RIAA has sent a subpoena to MIT.
An MIT student who said he received a demand letter contacted The Tech last week and said he plans to decline an early settlement and to fight the RIAA’s subpoena. He requested anonymity because he wants to keep his identity from the RIAA.
The student, who said he was “the victim of a fishing expedition by the RIAA,” said he did not want to settle because settlement would not prevent further legal action by the individual record labels the RIAA represents.
“I’m disappointed that MIT isn’t going to step up,” the student said. Other schools like Boston University and the University of Oregon have resisted RIAA subpoenas of student records more actively than MIT has, he said. Two BU computer science professors, Azer Bestavros and Jesse R. Stengel, gave sworn statements in July 2007 asking the Massachusetts federal district court to quash subpoenas that sought to identify BU community members. The University of Oregon in November 2007 asked the Oregon federal district court to quash a similar subpoena.
The MIT student who received a letter said he would like to challenge the subpoenas by collaborating with other MIT students who have received letters, but he has been unable to find the names of the other recipients because those records are considered confidential by MIT.
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