Like the fact Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG’s RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) continues to target college campuses for hundreds of new lawsuits everymonth.
“Meanwhile, under pressure from the recording industry, universities are instituting draconian punishments for students suspected of sharing music files. At the same time, the RIAA continues to sue file sharers off campus,” says the EFF.
But, “Despite the RIAA’s legal campaign, file-sharing is more popular than ever,” states EFF senior staff attorney Fred von Lohmann.
“History will treat this as a shameful chapter in the history of the music industry, when record companies singled out random music fans for disproportionate penalties. Artists must be compensated, but these lawsuits aren’t putting money in any creator’s pocket.”
The EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) has just released RIAA v The People: Four Years Later” tracing the vicious sue ‘em all campaign from its beginnings in 2003 against a handful of students at Princeton, Rensselaer Polytechnic, and Michigan Tech, “to the current spate of ‘pre-litigation settlement’ letters being sent to universities nationwide”.
“The crackdown on Internet file-sharing has already driven music fans to technologies that are harder to monitor – for example, burning and exchanging CDs among friends and sharing on members-only ‘darknets’,” says the EFF, adding:
“Universities should insist on a blanket license for their students, collecting a reasonable regular payment – for example, $5 a month – in exchange for the right to keep sharing music with their classmates.
EFF – Back to School for Reading, Writing, and RIAA Lawsuits?, August 29, 2007