RIAA Publishes Piracy

    February 23, 2007

In its ongoing battle of futility against file sharing, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has published a list of the academic institutions that the organization has deemed as the top offenders when it comes to sharing music over a peer-to-peer connection.

In total, the RIAA sent out over 14,500 copyright infringement notices during the last academic year, with Ohio University topping the list at 1,287 letters – accounting for nearly ten percent of the alleged illegal music sharing.

What steps have these institutions taken when confronted by the RIAA’s copyright infringement notices?

According to Jacqui Cheng at Ars Technica, the response varies:

Not all schools react the same way to the copyright notices, however, and some appear to take it more seriously than others. Michigan State University forces two-time offenders to watch an anti-piracy DVD by the RIAA, and three-time offenders could face suspension for a semester.

Purdue, on the other hand (my not-so-proud alma mater for today), seems to be taking the "don’t worry, be happy" approach to sitting pretty at the number two spot. The school almost never even notifies the students—of copyright infringement, or much of anything, in my experience. Purdue spokesman Steve Tally told the Associated Press, "In a sense, the (complaint) letter is asking us to pursue an investigation and as the service provider we don’t see that as our role."

Most of the schools in the top 25 are centered within the Midwest, with a few scattered throughout the Northeastern parts of the United States. In fact, west coast universities are completely absent from the list.

Maybe they’re just better at not getting caught.

Anyway, I’ll go ahead and end the suspense and let you check out the copyright infringement notices handed out during 2006 – 2007 academic year for yourself:

1. Ohio University – 1,287
2. Purdue University – 1,068
3. University of Nebraska at Lincoln – 1,002
4. University of Tennessee at Knoxville – 959
5. University of South Carolina – 914
6. University of Massachusetts at Amherst – 897
7. Michigan State University – 753
8. Howard University – 572
9. North Carolina State University – 550
10. University of Wisconsin at Madison – 513
11. University of South Florida – 490
12. Syracuse University – 488
13. Northern Illinois University – 487
14. University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire – 473
15. Boston University – 470
16. Northern Michigan University – 457
17. Kent State University – 424
18. University of Michigan at Ann Arbor – 400
19. University of Texas at Austin – 371
20. North Dakota State University – 360
21. Indiana University – 353
22. Western Kentucky University – 353
23. Seton Hall University – 338
24. Arizona State University – 336
25. Marshall University – 331

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