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Colleges crackdown on downloads

Greg Corby

With the cooperation of universities across the country, the Recording Industry Association of America hopes that it can put a dent in the ever-growing trend of illegally downloading music.The RIAA is an organization dedicated to helping the music industry prosper.

“Our main goal is to foster a business and legal climate that protects the ability of our members; the record companies that create, manufacture, and/or distribute some 90 percent of all legitimate sound recordings produced and sold in the United States, to invest in the next generation of music,” said RIAA spokeswomen Liz Kennedy.

According to Adrian Sannier, President and University Technology officer at Arizona State University, music piracy is at an all-time high.

Colleges across the country are receiving notices from the RIAA, and ASU is getting as many as 100 notifications a month, claiming they have identified an IP address that possesses incriminating music files.

Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, administrators are required to supply copyright holders with information about users of the university’s ISP who have violated the law.

Illegal file sharing also drains bandwidth, costing schools money and slowing Internet speed for students trying to use the network for legitimate purposes.

According to Sannier, there are two ways the university deals with a student suspected of downloading pirated materials.

First, the RIAA sends a warning letter to the school’s Internet service provider with IP addresses of alleged offenders requesting that they forward the letters to the users whom they believe have infringed upon RIAA copyrights.

The university then decides what type of disciplinary action they’d like to take.
Usually, first-time offenders are let off with a warning, but if it is a second or third offense, that’s when the university’s judicial department steps in.

Some institutions choose to block the student’s Internet access, except for the Internet usage in computer labs.

Sometimes they will go as far as to expel or suspend a student.

Depending on the case, the RIAA will mail a settlement offer to the university with a reasonably lower amount than if it were to be taken to court.

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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