RIAA Flexes Its Litigious Muscle Against 405 College Students
Today, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced they would be filing copyright infringement lawsuits against 405 college students at 18 different colleges across the country.
Instead of proactively embracing P2P technology, the RIAA continues its practice of reactive punishment for those it deems as copyright infringers. The students are accused of using a high-speed university computer network known as Internet2 in order to share music and movie files amongst one another. To facilitate their file sharing, the students developed a P2P client called “i2hub”.
Cary Sherman, President of the RIAA offers, “This next generation of the Internet is an extraordinarily exciting tool for researchers, technologists and many others with valuable legitimate uses. Yet, we cannot let this high-speed network become a zone of lawlessness where the normal rules don’t apply
“We cannot let rampant illegal downloading on Internet2 jeopardize this collaborative work. By taking this initial action, we are putting students and administrators everywhere on notice that there are consequences for unlawful uses of this special network.”
Not only is the RIAA targeting the 405 students, they also claim to have evidence of P2P using i2hub infringement at another 140 schools in 41 states. “In order to maintain the gains we’ve made, we must move quickly to address this new threat emerging from i2hub and similar applications,” said Sherman. “We know that it’s very difficult for these legal services to gain real traction on college campuses when pirate services with lightning fast downloads are easily available to students with no seeming likelihood of detection or threat of consequences.”
The lawsuits will be filed tomorrow against students of the following schools:
Carnegie Mellon University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Michigan State University
New York University
Ohio State University
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rochester Institute of Technology
University of California – Berkeley
University of California – San Diego
University of Massachusetts – Amherst
University of Pittsburgh
and the University of Southern California.
The RIAA estimates these file sharing communities illegally distributed more than 1.5 million total files, including more than 930,000 songs.