Saturday, March 24, 2007

RIAA University Campaign Sputters:
Group Asked To Pay Up For Wasting School's Time

Lately, the RIAA has been on a high-profile campaign to get college students that the RIAA believes have been involved in illegal file trading to settle lawsuits against them at a "discount". As part of this strategy, the company has tried to enlist universities to help them identify and turn over the names of offending students. But it's heartening to see that some universities aren't spinelessly acquiescing to the RIAA's demands. The University of Wisconsin has told the RIAA that it has no obligation to rat its students out unless it's compelled to do so by a subpoena. Meanwhile, the University of Nebraska has told the RIAA that it can't help them identify many of the students accused of file trading. The school's system changes a computer's IP address each time its turned on, and it only keeps this information for month. After that month, the school has no way of associating an IP address with a computer or its user. The RIAA is angry about this, and a spokesman for the group criticized the university for not understanding "the need to retain these records". This is a ridiculous complaint. The university doesn't have a need to retain these records, and there's no reason it should do so out of some obligation to the RIAA. If there were any doubt that the university is really irritated by the RIAA's requests, it has requested that the RIAA pay the university to reimburse its expenses from dealing with this (good luck with that). If all of this back and forth sounds familiar, it's because it very closely resembles what happened a few years ago when the RIAA tried getting ISPs to share data on their users. Fortunately, the ISPs stood up for their users and told the RIAA to get lost. It's too bad the group didn't seem to learn its lesson.

Some of the comments in response to this article are also worth a read.

Also, another RIAA fiasco...

RIAA Can't Wiggle Its Way Out Of Paying Victim's Legal Fees

The RIAA's lawsuit against Patti Santangelo has seen a number of interesting twists and turns, which has made it one of the more high-profile cases out there. If you'll recall, the RIAA tried dropping its case last year when it became clear that it had no chance of winning at trial against the indebted mother of five. But it only offered to do drop the case with the stipulation that it would not have to pay back any of her enormous legal fees. If it got its way, Santangelo's "victory" would have been rather hollow, since it would've left her in pretty bad shape. Fortunately, the RIAA's motion to dismiss the case without prejudice has been rejected by the judge, which leaves the group with two options. It can drop the case with prejudice, which means it would have to compensate Santangelo for her legal fees, or it can proceed to trial, where it's almost certain to lose, and then it would still have to pay for her lawyer. It's not clear which way the RIAA will decide to go, but it's clearly a very bad ruling for the group, as it's finally going to have to pay up for its ongoing abuse of the legal system.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home