RIAA vs. The People: Four Years Later
This entry from the Electronic Frontier Foundation provides information about the pressures on universities from the RIAA. It explains that the threat to universities’ students makes it probable for universities to become involved. The entry also states that because the letters are sent to the universities before a lawsuit actually begins and is instead only under the threat of legal action, the universities have no legal obligation to forward the letters to students. Most universities have complied with the RIAA’s desire for them to forward the letters informing students of their impending lawsuit and the option of the $3,000 settlement fee. However, there are universities that side on either extreme by refusing to forward the letters, or creating their own policies to prevent illegal downloading. The Universities of Wisconsin and Maine have refused to forward on the letters, claiming that they do not want to be the RIAA’s “legal agent”. Stanford has taken the opposite stance, and fines student if complaints of their offenses are received with a fine for $1,000 for a third offense.
This entry supports my thesis, showing that universities should and may have a choice in how to handle the RIAA’s incessant demands. Even though the students may get the worse end of the deal, it should be under the jurisdiction of the college in deciding whether to be involved or not, mainly, by promoting awareness and not by controlling the situation themselves. The section explaining the pressures from RIAA and the government is also valuable for my topic. It gives a timeline and shows how the relationship between the three main groups (Universities, RIAA, and the government) has evolved which would be helpful in explaining the importance of the government's involvement.