RIAA Sues Usenet, More College Students
October 17, 2007 at 11:45 AM (PT)
As predicted, the calls for music purchasing boycotts by the enraged P2P music community has not stopped the RIAA to continue its litigation campaign. It has targeted USENET as being a NAPSTER-like facilitator of digital piracy, and it has sent out more "settle or else" letters to college students on a bevy of college campuses.
In its lawsuit against USENET, filed with U.S. District Court for the Southern District of NEW YORK, the RIAA declared that "Defendant provides essentially the same functionality that P2P services such as NAPSTER, AIMSTER, GROKSTER and KAZAA did (prior to being enjoined by the federal courts) -- knowingly providing the site and facilities for users to upload and download copyrighted works -- except that defendant goes further than even the P2P services to facilitate and encourage copyright infringement by its users ... Defendant customizes its service to make it as convenient and seamless as possible for subscribers to distribute and obtain copyrighted music without authorization and without paying for that music."
UseNet practically boasted that it 'gives you access to millions of mp3 files and also enables you to post your own files the same way and share them with the whole world.'
As evidence of facilitating digital piracy, the RIAA cited USENET's promo pitches where it practically boasted that using its service "gives you access to millions of mp3 files and also enables you to post your own files the same way and share them with the whole world." This type of statement was used effectively against NAPSTER in an AUSTRALIAN trial that also went in the labels' favor.
Back To Schools
At the same time, the RIAA has revved up its litigation efforts against college students from coats to coast. Among the school that have been notified that their students are being targeted are MIT, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY, PENN, KANSAS UNIVERSITY, UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA, SWARTHMORE, ITHICA COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSON and several smaller schools in that state.
What's more even though there is a considerable debate within the campus administrations about whether to comply with the RIAA's demand for specifics names of the students whose computers were snared, the RIAA continues to take it up a notch. THE MICHIGAN DAILY reports that "THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN received more than quadruple the notices by FEBRUARY of the 2006-2007 academic year than it did during the 2005-2006 academic year."