RIAA Pressures Students To Stop Illegal Downloads

Thanks to johnathonm for his submission to the front page.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) said it sent 400 letters to 13 U.S. universities advising of potential copyright infringement lawsuits against students who use their computer networks to swap songs they haven't paid for. The industry group is asking the universities to notify students they will be sued, but can settle the cases online, at a site the organization has set up, before any lawsuits are filed. RIAA said it will send out hundreds of the letters each month in an effort to stamp out music theft by students. Under the settlement deal offered by RIAA, students would have to pay a fine and sign a statement promising they would no longer download music illegally. A University of Richmond study found that more than half of college students downloaded music and movies illegally, the RIAA said. "We need to address this demographic. Remember that the habits that they form in college will stay with them for a lifetime," RIAA President Cary Sherman said. "

View: Settling cases with the RIAA
News source: InformationWeek

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28 Comments

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I hate the RIAA as much as anyone but we all know someone has to do something. It's sick that kids (and in this case, students) today think it's ok to steal property just because it's in digital format and they'd rather spend their money on other things. Back in the day, if you wanted music you had to pay for it. If you walked out of the store without paying for it there'd be consequences. Same thing is happening online but with little consequences. It's time for people to stop this immature feeling of entitlement and pay to acquire their music legally like the honest people do. Downloading music illegally is no different that walking out of a 7-11 with a Coke and not paying for it. The only difference is, there are consequences for one situation and not the other.

I'm a 20 year old college student and fully agree. I have an Urge subscription though ... it's quite nice to be able to download all the music you want legally for less than 9$ a month (if you buy year subscription).

C_Guy said,
I hate the RIAA as much as anyone but we all know someone has to do something. It's sick that kids (and in this case, students) today think it's ok to steal property just because it's in digital format and they'd rather spend their money on other things. Back in the day, if you wanted music you had to pay for it. If you walked out of the store without paying for it there'd be consequences. Same thing is happening online but with little consequences. It's time for people to stop this immature feeling of entitlement and pay to acquire their music legally like the honest people do. Downloading music illegally is no different that walking out of a 7-11 with a Coke and not paying for it. The only difference is, there are consequences for one situation and not the other.

Well, just to reiterate your comparison with Coke:

I buy a can of Coke and share it with my buddy. He likes it, next time he buys one himself. Do the mighty grips of law lobbied by corporations sue me for my actions (Coke is a trademark, too, btw)?

P2P right now is exactly the same as audio and VHS tapes were 10-20 years ago, you have to agree on this one (the absence of the physical medium being shared is the only difference, but the idea is the same). Now, with regards to the tapes, RIAA/MPAA were ****ed off about people buying double-decks and copying them, so they imposed a RIAA/MPAA tax on blank media and electronic goods and were sitting still.

Today they want more. We pay RIAA/MPAA tax on blank media, we pay RIAA/MPAA tax on copying equipment (as well as iPods and alike), just like it was back in the days,– so you would think them ******* would be happy. Nah, they want to shove their DRM and pop charts of their crappy music down our throats, tell you how many times you can play this or that song and collect play count for 'marketing purposes and research'. Oh, and still keep the music and movies overpriced, despite of all the above. This is what ****es people off.

Because at the end of the day only crazy movie fanatics want to go though the whole movie again to see the director's commentaries or some other crappy 'value content', as MPAA calls it, on the DVD.

To sum it up, when I put a DVD that I have legally purchased into my DVD player, I don't want to:
1. See logos of half a dozen companies that worked on the movie
2. See the cast and crew names overlaying the movie for 10 minutes - they have a place at the end of the show if I want to know who the supporting cameraman was. Give me 3-4 main actors and the director - in under a minute.
3. See an MPAA ad at the beginning of the movie about illegal copies - it makes me feel like a pirate already after I have bought the thing in the first place.
4. Not being able to fast forward/skip all the above mentioned crap.

All I want is to play the damn thing!

Since when have RIAA executives become behavioral psychology analysts? Unless Cary Sherman has a supporting degree, I think this statement can go straight into the toilet (just like pretty much every other one coming from them). This is why real behavioral psychologists have invented the phrase 'talking out of an arse'.

I agree with the RIAA. They really do need to address this demographic.

They need to:

Lower prices on CDs. Or face the RICO act.

End DRM. Stop treating your customers as criminals. P2P is just digital radio. Get over it.

Put their entire catalogue on multiple $1/song music sites. So that the BEST way to get the music you want when you want it is to one-click it.

Shove "legalized payola" ClearChannel up their collective arses. This scam company ended the ability of free thinking DJs with their computerized studio driven RIAA top 40 playlists for ad $. No one is fooled by this middleman con except Congress.

Otherwise, the RIAA and the studios it represents WILL go the the way of the dinosaur. All you have to do is look at Tower Records to see how the dinosaurs have already begun to eat their own young to survive.


They sent a little letter, they're prepared to do their worst
And they stuck it in your mailbox hoping you would be coerced...

but I can think of quite another place they should've stuck it first.

billyea said,
If you don't have a PhD in Applied Poetry, get one, NOW!

LOL!!!!

10.1 Doesn't get the joke.... too bad.

Family Guy rocks.

Mr.Ed

Mr.ed said,

LOL!!!!

10.1 Doesn't get the joke.... too bad.

Family Guy rocks.

Mr.Ed


No, I got the joke, it was a compliment (as in, you should have a PhD 'cause you deserve one)

Heh, so they've set up a site to clear lawsuits now?
What's next, RIAA offering lawsuit insurances?

They're making this as much of a business model they can..

I'm not sure they even *want* to find more competitive ways of selling music to reduce piracy anymore...

I think its safe to say theres nothing to expect anymore, I'm await to hear they are sueing a blind man and his seeing dog for copying his music to his ipod

University of Richmond study found that more than half of college students downloaded music and movies illegally, the RIAA said.

Rofl...

I think it's closer to about 90-95%, if not more...

-Spenser

I would call it extortion. That's what I could call it when someone sends letters to random people (who may not have even downloaded music) claiming to sue them, then offers the victim to pay what they "owe" so they can drop the "lawsuit". The sad thing is people will pay, and the RIAA will make their money this way because it's so much easier than selling music, given the quality of their artists these days. *explatives towards RIAA* If it is illegal for the general public to practise extortion, why should the RIAA or any other company for that matter get away with it?

We need to get out the good ol' lawbook and find all the laws they've broken. I'm sure there's a loophole to nail them somehow.

petroid said,
I would call it extortion. That's what I could call it when someone sends letters to random people (who may not have even downloaded music) claiming to sue them, then offers the victim to pay what they "owe" so they can drop the "lawsuit". The sad thing is people will pay, and the RIAA will make their money this way because it's so much easier than selling music, given the quality of their artists these days. *explatives towards RIAA* If it is illegal for the general public to practise extortion, why should the RIAA or any other company for that matter get away with it?

Correct in all points. They are behaving like the mafia (or even worse) more and more every time.

ugh. Is there anyone who supports the RIAA still? Seriously. To quote star wars, "The more you tighten your grip, the more starsystems will slip through your fingers" only instead of starsystems, its customers.

Nexus07 said,

...when you can't spell "you're"!

Eh, half the people on the internet are retarded so I didn't find it necessary to correct myself. BUT YOU FOUND IT, YES SIR. A cookie for you. :)

It was a joke anyhow. I mean hell, when you quote a retarded Sci-Fi movie.. ugh, nevermind.

Remember that the habits that they form in college will stay with them for a lifetime," RIAA President Cary Sherman said.

That says a lot about your early life... taking advantage of others.

What would students choose? Keeping themselves alive with food, or keeping an ailing group alive. Decisions, decisions.

Right. I remember when I was in college, I spent my money on food and music was a need, not a want, so I was justified in stealing it.

Oh no wait! I was law abiding. My mistake.