Why the RIAA sucks.

I found this article from The Technician – my alma mater's newspaper – via Boing Boing today. While the students were knowingly involved in illegal file downloading, I think the RIAA has really missed the mark here. From what I understand, the settlement the students usually have to pay is $3,000, and they are scared into paying with the threat of a certain amount per file, which can end up being hundreds of thousands of dollars. To a college student, $3,000 is a rude awakening, and I would think they would no longer download illegally after that. The RIAA doesn't care about actually teaching them a lesson apparently because they will not make the settlement letters confidential, meaning that record companies could get the students' information and go after them separately. I won't even get into the argument over illegal file downloading, but I think that is proof that the RIAA only cares about bleeding these kids dry.

I'm obviously no lawyer, but is it really permissible for the RIAA to settle with someone and another company go after them for the same crime?

RIAA continues crack down

3 additional students faced the RIAA this summer, N.C. State remains one of top

According to Gerace, the RIAA also would not include a confidentiality
clause in the release of their letters to the students, which she said is
important so that neither party will release any of the terms of the

settlement or lawsuit.

"We got in touch with the record industry because we were really concerned
because we wanted one in there," Gerace said. "They told us to send them

one, and we did, and they promptly told us 'no.'"

Gerace said this caused a problem for the students because they now have
to face the possibility that if they settle, the RIAA may release
their names and IP addresses to other record companies that aren't part of

the settlement.

"So students were stuck between a rock and a hard place," she said. "I
have not been real pleased with how they've conducted this anyway, so I
honestly can not say at this point that I would trust them not to [release

  blog it

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