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University of Wisconsin-Madison Bucks RIAA 203

stephencrane informs us of an interesting development at UW Madison. The school, along with many others, has been sent "settlement letters" by the RIAA with instructions to forward them to particular students (or other university community members) that the RIAA believes guilty of illegal filesharing. The letters order the assumed filesharers to identify themselves and to pay for the content they are supposed to have "pirated." The university has sent a blanket letter to all students, reiterating the school's acceptable use policies, but has refused to forward individual letters without a valid subpoena. This lawyer's blog reproduces the letter. The campus newspaper has some coverage on the university's stance.
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University of Wisconsin-Madison Bucks RIAA

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  • by Gus ( 2568 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @02:05AM (#18411085) Homepage
    In Wisconson, "UW" refers to Madison. "UW-M" usually refers to Milwaukee.
  • Re:That's nothing! (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @02:29AM (#18411209)
    the big question now of course is are you male or female....

    and those students should have gotten one of these: [] :)

  • Original Email Text (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @03:14AM (#18411365)

    I didn't RTFA, but I did get a chance to RTF email!

    Subject: UW-Madison copyright compliance notice
    Date: 03/16/2007

    The recording industry is threatening lawsuits against those who may have engaged in illegal file sharing. They are currently targeting students who live in university residence halls. Recently, UW-Madison and other universities have been notified that they will receive settlement letters that are to be passed on to the individuals whom the senders believe to be guilty of copyright infringement. Consistent with current network management procedures and our understanding of federal law, UW-Madison does not plan to forward these letters directly to campus network users. We will, of course, comply with a valid subpoena.

    However, if the UW-Madison is given cause to believe that a student, faculty or staff network user may have infringed on copyrights, it will take action. University network policies empower the CIO to terminate that person's network access until the matter is resolved. The Dean of Students office (for students) or supervisors (for employees) will be notified and other disciplinary action may be taken, as appropriate.

    Unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing of copyrighted works is illegal in many circumstances, and a violation of the university's Appropriate Use Policy. Please be advised of your rights and responsibilities under these rules. For more information, see: iate_use.asp []

    Fun stuff--Pretty glad I'm out of the dorms. Maybe I'll get one of these from Charter...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @03:34AM (#18411437)
    UW in Washington is the Seattle campus.
    UW in Wisconsin is the Madison campus.

    other campuses are referred to with the location appended ie: UW Bothell or UW Whitewater

  • Re:in other news... (Score:2, Informative)

    by freehunter ( 937092 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @07:02AM (#18412183)
    Actually, my school (Ferris State in Michigan) did this as well. I got a letter on my desk at work saying the school had been sent settlement letters and that Ferris does not monitor the network, so they would not release the names of students. Of course, we are most likely going to get sued for it, bu our lawyers are ready, I imagine.
  • by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @09:42AM (#18413305)
    Ahh, Madison.

    The only place where someone can bomb a University building [], killing a postdoc getting ready to go on vacation with his wife and three children, and then come back to the city to open a popular deli in the heart of the city, blocks away from his murder, and be welcomed back with good reviews and a healthy patronage. The Radical Rye, as it was called, was displaced by the $200M Overture Center for the Arts [], but he still has a juice cart called Loose Juice that you can patronize []. A this 4-out-of-5 reviewer notes, even though he "bombed the Physics building called Sterling Hall, killing a young graduate student who was unfortunately doing research in the building" it's apparently okay because it was to "protest against military research done at the school". Oh, the postdoc wasn't involved with military research? "Oops!" Hey, this guy even had a beer with him! As this reviewer notes, "you should go by and have a smoothie at Carl's stand." One of the other bombers, still at large, was a writer for the campus paper [].

    Come to think of it, there must be a die-in somewhere on campus I can go to today...all I need is a unicycle, maybe a pig's head to use as a mask, some fake blood, and some artful montages of Bush and Hitler intertwined.

    FYI, the Stone Hearth isn't around anymore, but Cheap Trick, among others, played at the Nitty Gritty, too [].
  • by Jeff Ballard ( 25222 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @10:01AM (#18413573) Homepage
    UW warned 68 may face lawsuits on downloads []

    The Recording Industry Association of America says it is targeting 68 people on University of Wisconsin System campuses for litigation over copyright infringements.


  • by 1729 ( 581437 ) <slashdot1729&gmail,com> on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @11:28AM (#18415057)

    Another incident I remember is a student body president who raided the student association funds to create a life size copy of the head of the Statue of Liberty and the torch and park it out on the frozen lake one winter. Instead of getting kicked out for wasting funds, they were re-elected by a landslide and followed that trick by covering the commons with pink plastic flamingos. The details are hazy but that's mostly accurate.

    The Wisconsin State Journal recently did a "where are they now" type of piece on Leon Varjian, who was behind these pranks. It details some of his best mischief: 2007/02/11/0702100316.php []
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @11:47AM (#18415377)
    The correct term is "Wisconsinite".
  • Re:That's nothing! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Wisconsingod ( 995241 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2007 @11:47AM (#18415381) Journal

    I love reading the funny comments many users place on slashdot. However, I prefer that Facts are available to those that want the truth.

    1) The RIAA has jurisdiction over RECORDINGS as given to them by their members. Nothing else. The have jusrisdiction over Britney Spears' recording of " more time", but they cannot prevent you from singing it yourself.
    2) Thus, Given singing in the shower, or any other acapella public performance, is not a recording, RIAA has no Jurisdiction. The rights infringed on in this circumstance belong to the Songwriter or Publisher. Their rights are protected by BMI, ASCAP, or other similar organization. However, the difference between these rights is that you inherently have the right to perform and record these songs yourself, all that is required is that you pay performance fees to the publisher for it's use. They cannot deny that use.
    3) If I sell albums of my favorite Bon Jovi songs, that I recorded myself singing and instrumentally performed myself, I can do that. No matter if it sounds almost identical to Bon Jovi's recordings, the RIAA cannot prevent me from distributing those albums. However, Bon Jovi (who writes most, if not all of their own songs) has the right to sue me for their due right to use roalties.

    I hope that clears a few things up..... Thanks for your intelectual understanding of the issue.

    PS. I only referenced Britney Spears as she was one of the only artist that I could think of that everyone knows, but doesn't write her own music (I could have used any of the the teeny bopper artists of the late 90's, but chose the beautiful, bald one)

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