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RIAA Adds 23 Colleges to Hit List, Avoids Harvard 282

Posted by Zonk
from the actually-has-some-educational-value dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The RIAA has added 23 new colleges and universities to its hit list, but deliberately omitted Harvard, apparently afraid of the reaction it's likely to get there, having been told by 2 Harvard law professors to take a hike. 'Under the new scheme, the RIAA sends out what it calls 'pre-litigation' settlement letters. Actually, they're self-incrimination documents and they're designed to extort preset amounts of around $3,000 from students with the empty promise that by paying up, they'll remove the threat of being hauled into court on charges of copyright infringement. In reality, all the students are doing is providing the RIAA with personal and private information which can conceivably be used against them ...'"
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RIAA Adds 23 Colleges to Hit List, Avoids Harvard

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  • Illegal? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dotslashdot (694478) on Monday July 23, 2007 @01:38AM (#19952543)
    This is nothing short of extortion. I never download music w/o paying for it, but now this just makes me want to bleed them to death by a thousand cuts--or megabytes.
    • This won't cause them any loss of profit. Much better would be to PRETEND you download stuff, by going to known RIAA honeypots. Then hire a good attorney :)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jez9999 (618189)
      But you won't do it, because downloading music, as opposed to stealing, doesn't harm them.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by torokun (148213)
      What happened to all those engineer-type people who used to hang out on slashdot? They tend to be more rational than this bunch I see.

      Let's think about this logically.

      RIAA has a right to sue anyone they think has committed copyright infringement against one of their members. This is because there is a _law_ that was passed by _congress_ supported by the _constitution_ that gives them this right. Unless you completely reject our system of government, you can't argue that a company is evil for suing someon
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by misterjbryan (1130431)
        I'll agree with you that the arguments presented here, whether or not founded logically, often fail to present their logical foundation and end up sounding like emotional drivel. That being said, stating that a person or entity is 'evil' implies that what they do is somehow immoral. Morality and Legality are two very distinct concepts, and neither is entirely inclusive of the other. In a democratic society, it is true that we strive to make the legal system reflect our collective moral standards and expe
      • I agree.

        People can also go for civil disobedience for bad laws (tho these days they forget that includes accepting the punishment).

        Riaa are a bunch of thugs and the terms of copyright are unreasonable these days-- however using brand new works without compensating the creators is equally immoral. I remember 7 years ago folks like the ones here were saying on boards like this "well sue the people who are infringing".

        They emotionally "want it" so they rationalize their acts. The main problem there is, if th
      • Let's think about this logically.
        RIAA has a right to sue anyone they think has committed copyright infringement against one of their members. This is because there is a _law_ that was passed by _congress_ supported by the _constitution_ that gives them this right. Unless you completely reject our system of government, you can't argue that a company is evil for suing someone who violates their rights in this manner.

        illegal != evil;
        legal != !evil;

        Logically, just because the law allows you to legally do something evil doesn't make you immune from being called evil when you choose to act on it.

      • Re:Illegal? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AusIV (950840) on Monday July 23, 2007 @11:19AM (#19956513)

        RIAA has a right to sue anyone they think has committed copyright infringement against one of their members.

        Not quite. The RIAA has a right to sue anyone against whom they have evidence suggesting copyright infringement against one of their members. In the past, they've sued someone who didn't own a computer [slashdot.org], continued suits knowing their target was not responsible [wikipedia.org], and deliberately target people who would be least able to defend themselves [blogspot.com].

        The RIAA doesn't have a track record of playing fair in their suits. They've sued people using very little evidence, and have persisted in their cases, often driving innocent people to settle to avoid legal fees.

        I'm currently attending one of the schools on the list (not surprising, considering the rampant amount of file sharing that goes on there). I haven't shared music online since the ninth-circuit court of appeals handed down the Napster decision, but if I'm targeted with one of those letters, I suspect my parents will encourage me to pay up rather than face the stress and legal costs of fighting it.

        If they send 20 letters to random college students, they'd probably get 15 settlements and 5 court cases - they would then drag out the 5 court cases as long as possible to drive up the legal costs for the defendants in hopes of reaching a settlement. Once it becomes clear they won't reach a settlement and have very little hope of winning their case, they'll ask to dismiss with prejudice so they can avoid paying the legal fees of the defendant. Of all of the 20 original letters, they probably got $45,000 from the 15 who settled right away, and another $30,000 or so from those who settled after going to court - a pretty good haul for random letters.

        The reason I vilify the RIAA is not that they are enforcing their copyright, but because their approach does not necessarily target the guilty, and the innocent have almost as much incentive to settle as the guilty. They can rake in the cash by making it more costly to fight a bogus case than to settle, and it's very rare that they're made to pay legal fees. Now, if they were collecting as much evidence as possible and verifying it before pursuing settlements, you wouldn't hear me complain, but their tactics have been much less admirable.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by russotto (537200)

        Let's think about this logically. RIAA has a right to sue anyone they think has committed copyright infringement against one of their members. This is because there is a _law_ that was passed by _congress_ supported by the _constitution_ that gives them this right. Unless you completely reject our system of government, you can't argue that a company is evil for suing someone who violates their rights in this manner. If you disagree with the law, then the _logical_ thing would be to argue for or work towar

  • by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Monday July 23, 2007 @01:40AM (#19952553) Homepage Journal
    You know what? If you all actually cared, you'd be spending less time on WoW, and more time writing your senators/organizing festivals to educate the public/burning crosses/whatever it takes. It is obvious the court system doesn't have a clue about the whole picture... how many of them do you think read slashdot a day? Probably -2. They need to get the info from somewhere. Make it common knowledge.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Vaticus (1000378)
      Hey, here in Australia, It's not really our place or even possible for us to write to U.S. Senators and Congress people about the state of the law in your country! I completely disagree with what the RIAA is doing, but somehow I think that the members of parliament here will quite happily ignore the state of the 'states, and won't get involved, even if everyone here wrote them about the issue!
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SolitaryMan (538416)

        Hey, here in Australia, It's not really our place or even possible for us to write to U.S. Senators and Congress people about the state of the law in your country! I completely disagree with what the RIAA is doing, but somehow I think that the members of parliament here will quite happily ignore the state of the 'states, and won't get involved, even if everyone here wrote them about the issue!

        Be patient, my friend! These stupid laws will be dumped on your country really soon.

      • Here in Oz they go by the name ARIA, they are not a great deal different to the US version. The laws are also just as fubar'd as in the US - just ask the lawyer in Melbourne who has a patent on the wheel.

        Fortunately the PBS was quarantined from the free trade agreement so we still have reasonable prices for prescription drugs, however everything else covered by IP laws is in the process of being "harmonised with the US" with Ruddock leading the charge ( For non-aussies: Ruddock is our Attorney General an
    • by syousef (465911)
      Have you ever written to your representative? If you have has it ever made a difference? What chance do you think you have against someone that's donating money to his or her next campaign ?
    • by thc69 (98798)
      Thinking that the RIAA could conceivably stop attacking their customers: Ok, I suppose it's possible.

      Thinking that WoW addicts can pull away from the game long enough to write to congress, or even long enough to read through Slashdot until they get to your comment: Totally unrealistic.

      Forget the WoW addicts, they're a lost cause. They don't care anyway, all they want to listen to is the WoW music that they already get as part of their paid WoW subscription.
  • They are... (Score:5, Informative)

    by akkarin (1117245) on Monday July 23, 2007 @01:45AM (#19952575)
    The universities are: State University of New York at Morrisville, Georgia Institute of Technology, Pennsylvania State University, University of Central Arkansas, University of Delaware, Northern Michigan University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, George Washington University, Ohio State University, New Mexico State University, Eckerd College, University of Minnesota, California State University - Monterey Bay, University of Kansas, University of Missouri - Rolla, University of San Francisco, Case Western Reserve University, Northern Arizona University, San Francisco State University, University of Tulsa, Franklin and Marshall College, Western Kentucky University, and the Santa Clara University.
    • Sigh....

      Why do Harvard (and the other Ivies) receive so much more sympathy from the media and general public than these sort of anonymous, (and mostly small) state colleges?

      Does this mean that the RIAA is deliberately avoiding chasing after those with money? Because, by avoiding the Ivies, that's exactly what they're doing. (GWU being the exception here -- their tuition is frightening)

      Even so, given that we're talking about the RIAA, I'd love to see them try to target one of the more high-profile schools,
      • Playing devil's advocate here for a moment: most college students are willing to settle for 3 grand given their finances. Their parents' money doesn't (generally) come into play here. Of course, if you had a lot of it you could fight the claim. But only if you were provably innocent AND were willing to spend more money on lawyers than it would cost to otherwise settle the case.

        If anything, the RIAA is chasing after larger schools. More students leads to more profit with less expense.
      • by Fred_A (10934)

        Why do Harvard (and the other Ivies) receive so much more sympathy from the media and general public than these sort of anonymous, (and mostly small) state colleges?
        Because politicians will come out of them ? And they don't want to alienate the ones who's support they'll need later ?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by chazzf (188092)

        The RIAA may have over-reached this time. I'd be impressed if they can even find Northern Michigan University, let alone transport themselves there.

        Hope you boys like US 2!

  • I Can Only Hope... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CWRUisTakingMyMoney (939585) on Monday July 23, 2007 @01:52AM (#19952615)
    As a student at one of the named universities, I can only hope, for their sake and for the students', that the schools take a good hard look at their situations and view their internet account holders as paying customers and not criminals upon first accusation (looking at you, University of Kansas!). Throwing their own students in front of the RIAA bus would only lose them potential (and maybe current) students, and all the revenue they represent.
    • by Bacon Bits (926911) on Monday July 23, 2007 @01:58AM (#19952651)
      Good luck. Every higher education institution I've ever been to (a total of five) has treated the student as a terrificly inconvenient debtor and nothing more.
    • by TheMeuge (645043)
      The obvious solution to this is to change the logging policy and erase the IP logs after a few days. Since there are no laws (yet) that require you to keep any sort of logs, changing this policy would instantly relieve the universities of this uncomfortable position.
    • by zCyl (14362)
      Customer? How about considering students members, since after all, they do "apply" and are then "accepted" as a member of the student body. And most colleges and universities have some sort of charter which makes the education of these students the primary goal and focus of the institution.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      As a student at one of the named universities, I can only hope, for their sake and for the students', that the schools take a good hard look at their situations and view their internet account holders as paying customers and not criminals upon first accusation (looking at you, University of Kansas!). Throwing their own students in front of the RIAA bus would only lose them potential (and maybe current) students, and all the revenue they represent.

      And my hope is that the administrators and legal counsel at your school, and the others, take a good hard look at:
      -Interscope v. Does 1-7 [blogspot.com] throwing out the RIAA's motion
      -the article by Profs. Nesson and Palfrey [blogspot.com] telling the RIAA to take a hike
      -Capitol v. Does 1-16 [blogspot.com] holding that it's impermissible for them to proceed ex parte and
      -the article by Prof. Nesson and Wendy Seltzer [blogspot.com] urging Harvard to use its clinical legal programs to resist RIAA subpoenas and defend targeted students.

  • Extortion... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by drosboro (1046516) on Monday July 23, 2007 @01:55AM (#19952639)
    Extortion sure does sound like the right word for these "pre-litigation letters". Makes me glad I'm Canadian. We just have to pay a ridiculous levy on our iPods and CD-Rs because we're bound to use them to pirate music.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by AngryJim (1045256)
      If I lived in Canada and purchased an iPod that included a fee that went straight to the record companies, I'd naturally assume this gave me immunity and just pirate to my hearts content. It's just logical because I've already paid my pirating fee. But hey that's just me.
      • by shark72 (702619)

        "If I lived in Canada and purchased an iPod that included a fee that went straight to the record companies, I'd naturally assume this gave me immunity and just pirate to my hearts content. It's just logical because I've already paid my pirating fee. But hey that's just me."

        Good news: most of the Canada levies go directly to the artists and bypasses the record labels. The bad news... only Canadian artists.

        Assuming the levy gives you immunity is a bad, bad idea. It's a common misperception that the Cana

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by basic0 (182925)
      This is totally off-topic, but I don't remember anyone asking me or any other tax-paying Canadians if we approved of a tax on our iPods.

      AFAIK, legally, corporations have all the rights that a person does. They are essentially a "person". You're a person too, try going to the government and demanding they do anything and see where you get. I remember 10 or 15 years ago, almost half the population of Quebec (that's ~3 million people) wanted to separate from Canada, which ended up in a referendum on the matter
      • AFAIK, legally, corporations have all the rights that a person does. They are essentially a "person". You're a person too, try going to the government and demanding they do anything and see where you get.
        We need to do this scientifically: I'll try it, and then we'll get someone with as much money as these corporations to try it, and compare results.
    • Re:Extortion... (Score:5, Informative)

      by thegrassyknowl (762218) on Monday July 23, 2007 @02:43AM (#19952909)
      When you wish to take somebody to civil court you must first show them your intention to do so.

      You must clearly state your grounds for claim and allow the other party reasonable time (weeks to months, usually) to either counter your argument or settle your claim.

      If the other party disputes your claim you should attempt to resolve the issue by negotiation before you file. If you make it to court without proof that you attempted to negotiate and the other party claims you refused to enter into negotiations you'll usually get ordered to seek mediation and lose costs as well.

      If you have not made steps to solve the matter out of court then you usually cannot take anyone to the civil court. There are, of course, a few exceptions to this rule. This rule exists to prevent every RIAA, Dick and Head from suing every random person for which they can find a name and residential address.

      "pre-litigation" letters are the first step before even attending the court registry to file papers.

      That said, you also need to be able to identify the person(s)/entity you are filing against along with their residential address. An IP address is not sufficient information to do that. This seems like another RIAA scheme to kill two birds with one stone; fish for information about IP address holders and also cover the pre-litigation step required to actually haul them into the court.

      With all that's going on in this industry it makes me sad that so much is being invested in tracking down people who download copyrighted music and movies yet there's millions of unsolved actual crimes including kidnapping, rape and murder each year. What about the drug dealers on the streets?

      Q: Why aren't we investing more time and money into catching all the really bad bastards?
      A: Because it doesn't help corporate suit-wearing wankers get ever fatter pockets and make ever larger "donations" (s/donations/bribes/) to candidates.
      • by IronClad (114176)
        When you wish to take somebody to civil court you must first show them your intention to do so.

        You must clearly state your grounds for claim and allow the other party reasonable time (weeks to months, usually) to either counter your argument or settle your claim.


        IANAL. Clearly, by your misguided assertions you are not either.

        One does not need to look far to see numerous counter-examples. SCO Group's suits, for example.

        There may be some venues where your descriptions begin to apply, but not in US Federal cou
    • drosboro said: "Makes me glad I'm Canadian. We just have to pay a ridiculous levy on our iPods and CD-Rs because we're bound to use them to pirate music."

      Let me guess, this doesn't mean you're legally allowed to fill your CD-Rs and iPods with pirated music, even though you pay a tax for that.
  • by Aellus (949929) on Monday July 23, 2007 @01:57AM (#19952647)
    I work as an undergrad for the IT office of one of the universities near the top of the hitlist, and I've personally read the letters that they send. To actually read the letter in person really gives you the feeling like "Holy Hell, they're actually doing this." The letters are such bullshit, and it is obviously just a scam to save them the legal fees of taking people to court. The sad thing is that its working for them, and for backwards reasons; In the first batch our school received (which was about 30 letters), only one student didn't respond to the letter. They got sued, and i assume had to pay up in the end. The RIAA got 30 people's worth of payout from the cost of one court battle. Even if they lost that case, they still wound up with 29 payouts for the cost of 1. I'm sure if no one responded that some people wouldn't be sued, but who wants to take that risk? While i have a problem with the strong arm court tactics they've been taking in the past few years, at least the "sue everyone" tactic was still properly using the legal system to resolve their disputes. However, these letters are extortion, and its that simple.
    • by Joebert (946227) on Monday July 23, 2007 @03:07AM (#19953013) Homepage
      I got one of those letters & I've never even been to college.

      to: joebert@gmail.com
      from: riaa2007@hotmail.com

      Dear joebert,

      It has come to our attention that you've been downloading music illegally at school, we have records of you using one of the file sharing programs that can be found at download.com to recieve the files after being tipped off by your schools IT department.

      If you send $3,000 to our paypal account we will not proceed to sue you for upwards of tens of thousands of dollars.
      If you prefer you can send cash to P.O. Box 1234 somewhere FU & nobody has to know about this.

      Thankyou for your prompt action,
      RIAA
    • I'm curious:

      How did the RIAA get the identities of your students?

      If your college's IT people gave the RIAA access to your students identities without a proper subpoena, you guys are every bit as much to blame.

      From what I understand, the subpoena bypasses the extortion letters, and sends the case straight to court where it belongs.
  • The lawyers I've known have been careful about the language they use - the language they quote. The polemic you link to strikes me as singularly adolescent and inflammatory. It will fire up the crowd. Of that much I am sure. But it doesn't tell me what I need to know.
    • by freedom_india (780002) on Monday July 23, 2007 @02:39AM (#19952889) Homepage Journal
      A mafia gang providing high-priced laundry services to a hotel is still extortion if the Feds can prove that cheaper laundry services were the norm in every other laundry company in the same street.
      Similarly, if RIAA tries to sue the student, the student can claim extortion based on false information, even if the student had been downloading music and sharing the same.

      The law works for the student's benefit too.
      Get a lawer like Ray Beckermann (am not benefitted by this recommendation), or someone good enough and sue RIAA under RICO for sending threatening letters demanding payment.

      You don't even need to understand the language written, just highlight words like "sue", "$3000", "failure to pay", etc. with a highlighter and say to the Judge that you received an anonymous note under your door and demand protection.

  • by wanax (46819) on Monday July 23, 2007 @02:13AM (#19952725)
    I think the thing that shocks me most is that many universities law faculties aren't going off on the current cases. I mean, these are supposed to be the 'liberal' part of the law. And ONLY Harvard is PUBLICLY strong enough to defend these charges? Where is that oft touted liberal element in the US university system?

    But getting back to the core of the matter, I have to wonder why colleges are bending over about a matter so core to their own liability:

    Colleges 'pirate' thousands of documents every year in a way that is NOT allowed by current US copyright law.. and they want to believe it's students.. not professors downloading papers that their library hasn't subscribed to? Taking a hard line on music copyright will only kill the colleges that take it up! They won't only drive away students... but also professors who suddenly can't do their research because of miserable libraries (BU COUGH).
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Scudsucker (17617)
      Where is that oft touted liberal element in the US university system?

      In the minds of wingnut Republicans, that's where.
    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      Yale lags behind Harvard yet again.
  • by iamacat (583406) on Monday July 23, 2007 @02:18AM (#19952761)
    If RIAA was to sue the student based on the information in the letter, they would open themselves to counterclaims of deceptive business practices and even racketeering. Given that a student would be able to declare bankruptcy for any significant judgement while RIAA members have billions of dollars in the bank, risks would far outweigh the benefits of such a lawsuit. I say the letters are exactly what they look like.
  • by Aellus (949929) on Monday July 23, 2007 @02:22AM (#19952787)
    As I mentioned in a previous reply, I work for the IT office for one of the universities. Apparently the RIAA has been lobbying congress (duh), as we also received a 20-something page letter from congress which essentially slaps our wrist for being such a naughty school for allowing our students to be such heinous criminals, and provides us with a survey to gauge how we prevent students from committing these crimes. I believe the letter was also sent to all of the top 10 schools in the country. The survey asks questions about how much we limit/filter student access to the internet, whether we monitor student access, whether we report illegal activities, what sort of punishment we inflict on students who get a DMCA complaint, etc. The wording of the letter also seemed to suggest that schools should actually be doing these things. For the record, my school does none of those things, and everyone in the the whole IT and Network office building scoffed at the idea. It's a place of learning, not a prison. I really get the feeling that the RIAA's direct dealings with schools and students wont be a problem in the future if they can somehow convince congress to make it required that schools monitor student access, and prevent students from using certain applications.
  • IP Evidence? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FieroEtnl (773481) on Monday July 23, 2007 @02:24AM (#19952803)

    Elsewhere on the website, Mike O'Donnell, a University of Chicago law professor, gives a good discussion [p2pnet.net] of why the RIAA's policy of identifying people solely by their "unique" IP address is a load of crap. I'm honestly surprised more people haven't used this kind of a defense when the RIAA targets them. Maybe it's because it's not well-known knowledge yet?

    In any case, I'm glad that I'm living off-campus next year as my university is on that list and is now notorious for its one strike policy. WTF is up with the idiots in Kansas anyways?

    • by OverlordQ (264228)
      The IP number given as return address in a packet is provided initially by the actual sender, which may (and in the case of an attacker often does) provide an address used by another interface not at all involved in the production of the packet. So the return IP address in a packet received by an RIAA detection effort does not indicate even the IP address of the actual sender in any reliable way.

      So some how, some magical third party C is somehow able to not only forge packets with my IP, but successfully so
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Garen (246649)
        Think about the bazillions of open unsecured wifi routers out there that people also often use as a network switch. Someone could easily connect to them and download something 'illegal'--meanwhile the externally visible, internet-routable IP that the RIAA identifies is associated with a customer. RIAA then sues said customer, who had nothing to do with the alleged infringement.
  • by Gibbs-Duhem (1058152) on Monday July 23, 2007 @02:29AM (#19952821)

    Just like how they "deliberately omitted" the 5,673 other schools not in the list of 23 they didn't omit?

    Seems strange to assume that the RIAA is scared just because they picked other targets. They're choices in every other instance seem completely random, why would this one be any different?

    This is like saying that MIT is "conspicuously absent" and claiming it is because MIT refused to log traffic for the RIAA on their internal network because of the sheer technical insanity of the request. Correlation != causation.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by c0p0n (770852)
      They deliberately omitted Harvard because Prof Nesson's [wikipedia.org] other activities [wikipedia.org]. They don't have so big a pair of bollocks as to defy the power of the Empire.
    • I couldn't find it in TFA, but my understanding is that Harvard was originally included in the list, but then dropped after it indicated a willingness to fight the RIAA and not sell out its students. I know that Harvard isn't the only college/university fighting the RIAA on this, but I hope that as bigger names start joining the fight, the smaller schools will take their lead and also start saying no to the RIAA.
  • by cheros (223479) on Monday July 23, 2007 @03:13AM (#19953043)
    I haven't seen the letters yet, but it would not be unreasonable to assume that they hold a threat of litigation without there being a factual basis, i.e. an as yet unfounded accusation. IANAL, but if I recall correctly there are laws against that. If their past "evidence" is anything to go by I would actually like to see ONE case that has been proven properly. Just one, to see if they can actually get this to work without abusing the law and mob tactics.



    Add to that the fact that no proceedings exist until the RIAA has all your personal details I think it'll be harder creating something that will stand a chance in Court, especially since recent rulings where judges have started to ask the RIAA to follow proper legal process instead of trying to selectively dodge the bits that allow a recipient to ask some rather painful questions. Oh, and why are people asked to self-incriminate?



    Copyright infringement is *not* good, but there's such a thing as proof and due process. Even if that is inconvenient, it has to be followed.



    With rights come obligations - on both sides.

  • by CaptainPotato (191411) on Monday July 23, 2007 @03:15AM (#19953047) Homepage
    ... I cannot help but think of the Cock Sparrer [fsworld.co.uk] song "Take 'Em All" about record labels:

    We worked our way up from East End pubs
    To gigs and back stage passes
    Ex-boxing champs, West End clubs
    Americans in dark glasses
    Driving ten grand cars, they drink in hotel bars
    They're even making money in bed
    They wouldn't be no loss, they ain't worth a toss
    It's about time they all dropped dead.

    [Chorus]
    Take 'em all, take 'em all
    Put 'em up against a wall and shoot 'em
    Short and tall, watch 'em fall
    Come on boys take 'em all

    Well tough shit boys, it ain't our fault
    Your record didn't make it
    We made you dance, you had your chance
    But you didn't take it
    Well, I gotta go make another deal
    Sign another group for the company
    I don't suppose we'll ever meet again
    You'd better get back to the factory.

    [Chorus]

    Take 'em all, watch 'em fall [x4]

    [Chorus Repeat...]
  • K.U. not O.K. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) on Monday July 23, 2007 @03:38AM (#19953143) Journal
    > The RIAA has added 23 new colleges and universities to its hit list, but deliberately omitted Harvard, apparently afraid of the reaction it's likely to get there, having been told by 2 Harvard law professors to take a hike.

    So I lawyers trained at Harvard Law Degree are pretty sharp. All it took from them was a sternly written letter back, presumably quoting the L.A.W..

    Colleges that cave-in should consider, what sort of a message does it send prospective students? "Get your law degree with us, and you too can learn how to fold like a wimp" Probably not the best places to learn about Constitutional Rights.
  • by Stanislav_J (947290) on Monday July 23, 2007 @04:50AM (#19953407)

    We've seen ample evidence that an IP address does not necessarily correlate to an individual. In an actual court case, the RIAA would have to also show that copyrighted material exists on the computer in question (through an actual forensic search of the hard drive), that the files were placed in a shared folder that can be accessed by others, that those same files have been actually distributed to others through a P2P network, that no one else has access to the computer in question, that the person in question was actually the one who placed the material there and that the computer has not been compromised through hacking of any kind, etc., etc., etc. WAY easier just to extort a quick $3K a pop through fear.

    I wonder why certain schools are targeted, and certain individuals at that school. Are certain universities passed over because they have a law school? A savvy law or pre-law student may well see through the bullshit and give the RIAA a run for its money in court. (And may well have relatives who are lawyers and/or sympathetic professors willing to knowledgably defend them.) Someone in another message said that 30 letters had been sent to the college he works at. Now, unless that is one tiny little college, I find it hard to believe that only 30 students file-share. I wonder if they target specific schools and dorms within those schools because of the type of students likely to be caught up in the dragnet? (I.e., naive freshman, yes; senior pre-law student, no.)

    It's not for nothing that so many of you refer to the RIAA as the MAFIAA. The tactics are the same. Tell me, who does the Mafia go after when they run a protection or extortion racket? The big corporation with a bevy of lawyers and a lot of power and influence? Or the small businessman, the store owner who has few resources, barely keeps his head above water, and may well be an immigrant of questionable status or otherwise afraid of losing what little he has? Bingo -- they go after the weak, ignorant, and vulnerable.

    The RIAA has been VERY lucky so far in that they have only in a few cases gone after the "wrong" sort of target that will fight back. No matter how careful they are, hopefully sooner or later they will hit a few more people who can really make trouble for them.

  • by Genda (560240) <mariet@@@got...net> on Monday July 23, 2007 @05:33AM (#19953571) Journal

    Hey Everybody... let's all get together and help out our favorite greedy, draconian, ass monkeys!

    Is there anybody out there who'd like to instigate an attack against Yale, Harvard, and the rest of the Ivy League in the name of the RIAA? I mean if they're so hot to trot, smacking colleges up side the head, they should go straight after the big guys! Put them in their place. Put the fear of God into the rest of the Universities in this country! Yeah, that's the ticket!

    Someone needs to make them put up, or shut up.

    Either their case has merits, and therefore they should be going after every college... or it is groundless, and they're guilty of frivolous lawsuits in the name of extorting those least able to protect themselves from legal harassment. So we need to all step up and let them know, that they can't just go around picking on smaller schools and weaking institutions.

    The RIAA wants to poke a horets nest with a stick, they should get all the stinging their money can buy!

  • Just wondering... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by DeeVeeAnt (1002953)
    How many of the kids of the RIAA/Recording industry/Ruling class elite attend Havard?
  • You know they will. And eventually the 'big' targets will stand alone and they will cave too. I kind of hope that in the end the RIAA figures out a sufficiently robust DRM that coupled with their legal tactics just drives people away from their content and no one pays it any attention at all. Then maybe Jay-Z and the RIAA can sue each other. Because really your only weapon is to stop paying them for anything at any time for any of their 'content'.
  • 1. Attend a $10 online course of some kind at Harvard.
    2. Download your moozik.
    3. ???
    4. Profit!
  • I go to Georgia Tech, which to my surprise was on this list of horribly evil and bad schools. What exactly are the criteria the RIAA used to determine these schools? Tech has a 3-strike policy and has people who actually know what they're doing monitoring the network. First strike = warning, second strike = suspension from network and an interview, third strike = banned from the GT network. Why does the RIAA feel the need to step in on this as well?

    Oh, right... $3000 is a pretty big motivator.

    The RIAA a
  • Of all the Universities listed, none of them are known for their law schools. Who do they specifically exclude? The #2 ranked law school in the US (Source: http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/ usnews/edu/grad/rankings/law/brief/lawrank_brief.p hp [rankingsandreviews.com])

    This only makes the fact that this campaign is based on preying on ignorance all the more obvious. No law students would fall for this, so they go to schools where they don't have to worry about law students.
  • OK, the general attitude here is "I'll have my music and nobody is gonna stop me!"

    The real question is has the RIAA ever won in court? Obviously, the uninformed opinion here is no, but has it happened?

    The second point is can anyone be successfully sued in civil court for anything on the Internet? Assuming they do not brag about it on open forums or otherwise admit their actions, it would seem the general opinion here is that since nobody saw you do it, it cannot be proven who did it. Therefore, no respon
  • by jc42 (318812) on Monday July 23, 2007 @06:21PM (#19962543) Homepage Journal
    In reality, all the students are doing is providing the RIAA with personal and private information which can conceivably be used against them ...'"

    Hey, I get one or two dozen phishing messages per day. What's one more? If the email filters don't catch it, I can flag it as "spam" (and wish they had a separate "phish" category ;-), and I never hear from them again. My gmail account gets about 1200 messages per month in its "Spam" folder, and roughly half of them are now phishing attempts.

    So what's the big deal here? Don't these college students know how to recognize a phishing message when they see it?

    Someone should explain to them that if they reply, their info will just be added to an "easy marks" database that's sold to other companies, resulting in a flood of other such messages from shady companies looking for naive victims.

    We really should be teaching kids to defend themselves on the Net. The first lesson should be not to reply to such solicitations, ever.

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