p2pnet news | RIAA News:- As one major US university after another caves in to the RIAA blackmail campaign, proving bullying and intimidation are effective marketing tools, it’s being increasingly left to students to defend themselves.
One such is an Ohio State student who, with his attorney, Mark Kafantaris, is determined not to let the multi-billion-dollar labels turn him into an RIAA promo statistic.
And interestingly, BitTorrent is named as the P2P file sharing application.
Nine times out of ten, Sharman Networks’ Kazaa, itself the defendent in a class action, thanks to the RIAA sue ‘em all campaign, is cited.
Sharman and BitTorrent are now both working with, and for, corporate entertainment industries.
Meanwhile, “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,” Ohio lawyer Joe Hazelbaker told p2pnet recently, 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.”
Now, in the Ohio case, “The RIAA is targeting college students because they are vulnerable, and they’ve basically been having their way with them,” Ohio State’s The Lantern has Kafantaris saying.
“It’s a highly paid, professional legal team against someone who may barely have enough money for a lawyer. It’s unconscionable.”
And, “”Here, we have the well-oiled and ready legal machine of the music industry poised against … unemployed college students who depend on their parents, the government or benevolent institutions for their very sustenance,” Kafantaris says in the Columbus Dispatch. “It’s an abuse of the legal system.”
‘RIAA — take a hike!’
The earlier Hazelbaker quote comes in a p2pnet story which in July pointed out the RIAA cows university authorities into sending out extortion letters letters to students, and the mainstream media report it, “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 Nesson, 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.
RIAA spin doctor Jonathan Lamy, himself a former Ohio University student, says 3,600 students across America have received RIAA blackmail notes, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
But only 1,700 have been terrorised into paying the RIAA, Lamy admits.
However, paying the RIAA to go away guarantees nothing.
All students who ‘settle’ are doing is admitting they’re guilty of something without ever having been in front of judge or a jury, and providing the RIAA with invaluable personal and private information the organisation might well decide to use against them at some later date.
In the Ohio State case, Doe # 9, the student Kafantaris represents, allegedly made songs by Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Dire Straits and the Grateful Dead available with the file-sharing program BitTorrent,” says the story, adding:
“Magistrate Mark R. Abel, who is handling the case, issued a subpoena to Ohio State ordering the school to provide the Does’ names, addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and computer-identification numbers. OSU officials said they are gathering the information.”
Jon Newton – p2pnet
defendent in a class action – Michelle Santangelo vs the RIAA, July 16, 2007
p2pnet – Ohio U failing students in RIAA attacks, May 25, 2007
The Lantern – Lawyer fights RIAA for student rights, November 28, 2007
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