Copyright Silliness on Campus
This Washington Post article discusses the intensity of the RIAA in their fight against illegal downloading of music and movies. The article explains how the Record Industry Association of America is questioning 19 major American Universities regarding their actions against students who download. One of the major questions being asked is whether or not these universities are expelling students who practice peer-to-peer file sharing and illegally download. The RIAA claims that certain universities are not expelling enough students for these causes. It seems that even with the RIAA attempting to control universities, they continue to sue and threaten individual students. The monitoring techniques the RIAA wants universities to utilize are not only costly, by also ineffective. Students will be able to outsmart the monitoring system either through the internet or simply with blank CDs and hard drives. Music and movies can be shared even with the RIAA’s “copyright hall monitor”. This article recommends a blanket license that would allow students access to music and movies from whatever source they choose. This blanket license would be similar to that used by universities for a cappella groups that perform on campus and cable television subscriptions. The article concludes claiming that universities have more important things to worry about than the RIAA’s fight for money.
This article supports my thesis. It provides a variety of reasons why the RIAA is losing control over their copyright battle. Not only is the RIAA threatening students, but it is also attempting to discipline major American universities who do not follow suit in acting against their own students. The author offers another option of blanket fees as opposed to suing every student and threatening universities. This way of handling the file-sharing phenomenon supports my own argument for promoting awareness as opposed to financially attacking students.