The RIAA has released figures regarding its recent campaign against file sharing at US colleges and universities: only 116 students of 400 have used their new web site to settle copyright infringement claims, meaning 284 (71%) of students contacted are undecided or aren't going to pay up. Students who ignore the pre-litigation letters are just asking the RIAA to pursue them more, so many find the money and put the problem behind them. The average settlement amount offered by the RIAA is about $3,000. According to the Associated Press, one student received a letter demanding $590,000 in payment. Public image hasn't been something that appears to concern the RIAA, but with music sales on the decline, perhaps they ought to be taking this more seriously.
The current approach by the RIAA is to simply tell students that each song shared is a $750 violation, so one's fine is often calculated based on the number of songs the RIAA says that they've shared. Yet the RIAA offers no proof of their claims, while sometimes trying to make students feel like they're getting a deal. Despite the low response, the RIAA believes that the program is going well, and they have sent another 405 pre-litigation letters to students at 23 universities. "This is not our preferred course, but we hope that students will understand the consequences of stealing music and that our partners in the college community will appreciate the proactive role they can play," said Cary Sherman, President of the RIAA.
News source: Ars Technica