RIAA Brings Attack To Customers, Sues College Students

In the everlasting struggle to hang onto its business model in the face of changing technology, customers, and reality, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has taken a new tack: suing its customers. According to an article at C|Net, the RIAA is going after four college students that it claims are "operating a sophisticated network designed to enable widespread music thievery." From C|Net:

The lawsuits, filed against two students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), and one each at Princeton University and Michigan Technological University, ratchet up the pressure that the Recording Industry Association of America recently has been putting on universities to block campus file-trading. The trade group still has not filed suit against average file-swappers who use more common services such as Kazaa, however.

"The people who run these (campus) networks know full well what they are doing--operating a sophisticated network designed to enable widespread music thievery," RIAA President Cary Sherman said in a statement. "The lawsuits weive filed represent an appropriate step given the seriousness of the offense."

University students have been widely viewed as the core of the various file-swapping networks ever since the appearance of Napster on the digital scene in late 1999. Universities have seen half or more of their network bandwidth used by people uploading and downloading songs, software and movies over the past few years.

You can read the full article at C|Net News.

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