p2pnet news | RIAA News:- We’ve instructed our RIAA to harass another 403 students in 22 universities nationwide, say Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG proudly, going on that to coincide with the new academic year, they’re also about to cause further serious teaching interruptions through an escalation of their university sue ‘em all campaign.
The ramped up attacks will feature full-page advertisements made by college students they’ve managed to scam into acting for them.
They’ll be, “published in college papers across the country” to “encourage fans to enjoy online music legally and remind students of the legal, privacy and security risks associated with illegal downloading,” says the Big 4′s RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), which is fronting the assault.
Some considerable time ago, the members of the Big 4 music suborned Penn State University as their first self- and parent-funded scholastic sales and copyright enforcement division, installing Napster II (the corporate version, not the original P2P file sharing application which started started at all) as their download vehicle.
The labels fully expected other universities to immediately follow suit, but the scheme was a complete failure and this year, they tried to correct the situation by specifically targeting senior teaching institution across America, using school staffs as copyright enforcers tasked to deliver RIAA extortion letters to the students they’re supposed to be instructing and protecting.
24 copyright infringement lawsuits
Twenty-two schools have been selected for this latest attack.
They are: Arizona State University (35 pre-litigation settlement letters), Carnegie Mellon University (13), Cornell University (19), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (30), Michigan State University (16), North Dakota State University (17), Purdue University – West Lafayette and Calumet campuses (49), University of California – Santa Barbara (13), University of Connecticut (17), University of Maryland – College Park (23), University of Massachusetts – Amherst and Boston campuses (52), University of Nebraska Lincoln (13), University of Pennsylvania (31), University of Pittsburgh (14), University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, Madison, Milwaukee, Stevens Point, Stout and Whitewater campuses (62).
“In addition to the new round of pre-litigation letters, the RIAA also today filed 24 copyright infringement lawsuits against previous recipients of letters who have ignored settlement opportunities,” say Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG.
“The lawsuits were filed in federal court against students from University of California Santa Cruz, Florida International University, University of South Florida, Cornell University, Morehead State University, University of Maryland College Park, North Carolina State University, North Dakota State University, Syracuse University, Ithaca College, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Columbia University, Ohio University, Kent State University and Marshall University.”
The American Public Media Marketplace had just finished airing an excellent presentation discussing the corporate music cartel’s attempts to blackmail and extort its own customers into once again becoming compliant ‘consumers’ and industry product.
Meanwhile, in July, p2pnet ran a story which we’re repeating, once again, in full below >>>
RIAA student victimisation campaign
The pleasure of enjoying music has become seriously tainted by the venality of EMI (Britain), Vivendi Universal (France), Sony BMG (Japan and Germany) and Warner Music (US), the members of the Big 4 organised music cartel who together control the corporate music industry.
Aided by so-called trade organisations such as their RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), which is currently terrorising music lovers in the US, they’ve succeeded in using their financial clout and elements of the mainstream media to escalate copyright infringement, originally a purely civil matter, to the level of major crime.
Until fairly recently, their practice was to have about 750 subpoenas aimed every month not only at adults they were accusing of being massive online distributors of copyrighted music, but also very young children.
The Big 4 imply these subpoenas equal successful prosecutions.
However, a subpoena is merely an instruction to, “appear at a certain time and place to give testimony upon a certain matter,” as the Wikipedia sums it up.
It is not a court case.
It is not a lawsuit.
It is not a prosecution, successful or otherwise.
It is not a suggestion that someone has been, or will be, found guilty of something.
This particular aspect of the campaign, Part I, was brought to a halt in February, 2006, after around 20,000 people had been subpoenaed, and this year Part II was implemented, following the same basic pattern.
But this time, American students in universities across America are the targets with school staffs used as corporate copyright enforcement cops.
Pay up. Or else …..
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 at some point in the future when the Big 4 agency ramps up to a new level of intimidation.
In the sixth wave of blackmail, the RIAA is targetting 23 universities nationwide with 408 ‘settlement’ letters. “Since launching its deterrence program in February 2007, the RIAA has sent approximately 2,423 pre-litigation settlement letters to universities nationwide,” it boasts without shame.
“The letters are in addition to the lawsuits that the RIAA continues to file on a rolling basis against those engaging in music theft via commercial Internet accounts.” Singled out for special attention this time around 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 Santa Clara University.
Colleges and universities should be ashamed
“Students on campuses throughout the United States, many of whom are experiencing their first year as members of university communities, are facing unprecedented legal intimidation at the hands of the recording industry,” says Ohio lawyer Joe Hazelbaker.
“It appears that many institutions are simply prepared to wash their hands, refusing even to question the tactics of the industry, let alone providing meaningful legal assistance to their students,” he told p2pnet, going on:
In fact, one university has advised its students that they could use the recording industry’s attorney as ‘an information source’ despite the obvious conflicts. This is true despite the fact that the colleges and universities enabled the network on which the alleged activity took place, knew that the alleged activity could take place, failed to educate incoming students regarding the issues, and neglected to use available technology to prevent the alleged activity.
Many of the students targeted were required to live in university housing because they were deemed not mature enough to live off-campus (ie, many campuses require first and second year students to live on-campus). Yet, they are now apparently mature enough to be left on their own to defend themselves against the recording industry. These colleges and universities should be ashamed.
The number of students victimised in this way is infinitesimal compared to the millions of people who routinely share music with each other online.
It’s been estimated that approximately sixty one million people in America alone regularly share with each other online. The RIAA says it’s only managed to send out 2,423 threat letters to students, and yet the mainstream media report this as though significant numbers of people whom they accuse of being illegal file sharers have been identified.
That a subpoena has been sent out doesn’t mean the person on the receiving end will act on it and indeed, increasing numbers of academics in the US are protesting as the labels continue to seriously disrupt classes and lessons by firing these documents at students, and by coercing school staffs into passing on the extortionate ‘settlement’ letters to those whom they’re supposed to be teaching, not intimidating.
Harvard and other universities to which the RIAA sent pre-litigation notices, “ought to take strong, direct action” and “tell the RIAA to take a hike,” believe Charles Nessor, William F. Weld professor of law, Harvard Law School, and founder and faculty co-director, Berkman Center for Internet & Society; and John Palfrey, clinical professor of law and executive director, the Berkman Center. They go on:
This Spring, 1,200 pre-litigation letters arrived unannounced at universities across the country. The RIAA promises more will follow. These letters tell the university which students the RIAA plans on suing, identifying the students only by their IP addresses, the ‘license plates’ of Internet connections.
Because the RIAA does not know the names behind the IP addresses, the letters ask the universities to deliver the notices to the proper students, rather than relying upon the ordinary legal mechanisms. Universities should have no part in this extraordinary process.
And on IP addresses, “by itself an IP number on a packet has only suggestive value and is not reliable evidence at all,” says University of Chicago professor Mike O’Donnell.
Net access blocked by government restrictions? Use Psiphon from the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto. Go here for details. Download here.