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Massive Increase in RIAA Copyright Notices 179

Posted by Soulskill
from the harnessing-the-power-of-spam dept.
According to Wired, universities in the US are experiencing a "20-fold increase" in the number of takedown notices from the RIAA in the last ten days. Indiana University reports 80 notices a day, but they say their traffic hasn't increased significantly over the same time period. It will be interesting to see if the affected schools join the legal battle against the RIAA, or cave under the increased pressure. "University of California at Berkeley's chief information officer Shel Waggener confirmed he'd heard of the spikes and suggested there was a political purpose driving them. 'Public universities are in a unique position since the industry puts pressure on us through state legislatures to try to impose what are widely considered to be draconian content monitoring measures and turn us into tech police forces in support of a specific industry,' Waggener said. The RIAA is also backing legislation in states such as Illinois and Tennessee that would require schools that get a certain number of notices to begin installing deep packet monitoring equipment on their internet and intranets, according to Luker."
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Massive Increase in RIAA Copyright Notices

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  • It seems to me... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ta bu shi da yu (687699) on Friday May 02, 2008 @08:27AM (#23273046) Homepage
    ... that they are shooting themselves in the foot. The more they annoy the Universities, the more likely they'll believe the effort and cost is too great. Hopefully they will then be forced to defend themselves.

    I do hope they call the RIAA's bluff. What's happening now is modern-day extortion!
    • by rvw (755107)
      This is typical for an organization (or person, animal) realizing that it is in big trouble. This looks like a struggle to survive. So it might be a good sign. On the other hand, it doesn't mean that they will loose all the way. And for the ones being attacked it can be a nasty experience.
      • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

        by hvm2hvm (1208954)
        Lose=misplace something, defeat, etc.
        Loose=something not tight, not restrained, etc.
        Not trying to flame or bitch about anything, just trying to put an end to this spelling error.
        • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

          by Stanislav_J (947290)
          Don't waste your time...anyone who has reached adulthood misspelling a word is probably never going to change. A Freshman English professor once said: "If someone has reached the age of 18 utterly convinced that the possessive form of the pronoun 'it' is formed with an apostrophe, nothing you do will ever dissuade them from the notion."
          • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

            by electrictroy (912290)
            Give them an 'F'.

            They'll learn quickly.

        • by Sancho (17056) *
          You forgot the verb form of the word loose:

          20. to let loose; free from bonds or restraint.
          21. to release, as from constraint, obligation, or penalty.
          24. to shoot; discharge; let fly: to loose missiles at the invaders.

          From http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=loose&x=0&y=0 [reference.com]

          Though I doubt that most people are confusing this form with the adjective form, it bears mentioning if only because the verb forms are fairly similar--in each form, something is lost. Only in one of the forms, it's intentional.

          • ...in each form, something is lost. Only in one of the forms, it's intentional.

            I was under the impression that, in the form you cited, something was loosed, not lost. ; )

            • by Sancho (17056) *
              Yes, it is. I was having trouble coming up with concise way of saying "a person no longer has direct possession of the item."

              But that goes to my argument about the loosening of language, in general. When there aren't good synonyms for words with specific meanings, I hate to see those words take on additional (and particularly similar) definitions. Take ironic, for example. Alanis Morisette killed that word. A whole generation of people now think that ironic means an amusing or unfortunate coincidence.
    • by jriding (1076733)
      I agree this will annoy the Universities more, the problem is that they are doing this for the legislation. "see senator we had to send 500,000 letters and the schools still won't do anything. Can't you stop school funding unless they police this for us?" That is what this is about and the issue that go along with that. just my 2c
    • Re:It seems to me... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by yog (19073) * on Friday May 02, 2008 @10:12AM (#23274124) Homepage Journal
      I don't understand why the RIAA is still at it. Their mission should be to increase the market for their members' goods and services, not to litigate against thousands of customers over a period of many years.

      If I were them I would be promoting sub-$10 DVDs and sub-$6 CDs and items that add value to movie packages--pictures, 2nd disks packed with extras, subscriptions, etc. In fact they should be sending free promos to the young people who are prominent bloggers and promoters of the music.

      Surely they realize that most college students aren't about to spend $18-$25 on new DVD movies, so why not cater to this market with a reduced cost product rather than sue the hell out of them for sharing media?

      When I was in college it was all about sharing music--our roommates had a record we liked, so we taped it--we didn't run out to the store and spend $8 that I didn't have in order to possess a legal copy. We taped albums off the radio, too. I don't think for a minute that this hurt the music industry; it spread the music around and generated more enthusiasm for the artists. We went to the concerts and we got excited when new records came out. The music was being played, people were singing it, what more could they ask?

      These days it's like this dark, evil robotic machine floating overhead, waiting to zap anyone who gets out of line. So foolish. I miss the old days.
  • by AstrumPreliator (708436) on Friday May 02, 2008 @08:28AM (#23273052)
    Perhaps because of the recent legal blows they've received in court they're trying to hasten their tactic. Maybe if they make it look like piracy is sky rocketing all of a sudden the legislators will hastily pass some laws to help them out. The courts are onto them, so the legislators might wise up next. If that happens the RIAA may be screwed.

    Or perhaps I'm reading too far into this, meh.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Why would piracy be sky rocketing? There hasn't been new material worth sharing in how long?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by palewook (1101845)
      exactly. this is a move to smokescreen support on the hill for the new IP bill.
  • by M1rth (790840)
    legislation in states such as Illinois and Tennessee that would require schools that get a certain number of notices to begin installing deep packet monitoring equipment

    Meaning, the RIAA can send a bunch of fraudulent notices, and then have added pressure on the overworked IT guys.

    "Nice network youse gots here... pity if something should... HAPPEN... to it..."

    MafiAA can rot in hell along with the assholes who put up red-light cameras and then drop the yellow light time below the state safety requirements to
    • by Missing_dc (1074809) on Friday May 02, 2008 @08:40AM (#23273132)
      So, since they seem to have a plan for pushing their agenda, we should start an anti-MafiAA group, form counter strategies to push our anti-AA agendas like letter campaigns to senators, lawyers and universities. Or we could just fight dirty and hijack their sites, turn their servers into FTP shares of the most popular songs, destroy the officer's credit, burn their houses, rape, pillage.... Oh sorry, getting a little carried away. The above would never happen. Organizing nerds is like trying to herd spastic epileptic cats. Just look at the variety of open source projects and the speed at which things get done there.
      • by Aranykai (1053846)
        Consumer
        Interest
        Activist
        Association

        Hm.. Oh yeah, if we actually use that, I want 12% of any profits made. Copyright's a bitch baby:P
      • by H3g3m0n (642800)
        There are quite a few anti-MafiAA groups, things the the EFF stop corporations from abusing copyright laws, they also support thing like anonymous internet usage so if they MAFIAA groups win filesharing can switch to encrypted darknet systems similar to Freenet (but hopefully faster and less painful). The Piratebay have a few legal cases coming up and when the only witness and the policeman responsible for recent Piratebay stuff happens to now be employed by the opposition they have a fairly good chance of
  • Desperate Much? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Aranykai (1053846) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `resnogls'> on Friday May 02, 2008 @08:30AM (#23273058)
    The actions of the RIAA are becoming increasingly desperate in my opinion. Taking a look at the utter failure of suing individuals for infringement, they are turning to these organizations where they can use pressure from the public to get their way.

    Its time for the rest of the universities to step up and put and end to this extortion.
    • by mpapet (761907)
      1. I get a huge kick out of this Shel person quote. Since when is plain-speaking rewarded or even sanctioned in big-school politics? Shel must be planning to move onto a much smaller school.

      2. Shel's got it right in the sense that public-ish universities like Berkeley are the softest target for the RIAA. It's the public money and accompanying political pressure the media conglomerates can easily exert that will win the RIAA another battle.

      3. If the RIAA's behavior is so offensive, then what exactly will
      • If the RIAA's behavior is so offensive, then what exactly will anyone do about it? You'll keep buying their movies
        I have never bought a movie from the RIAA.

        I have a feeling a lot of other people haven't bought movies from them, either...
      • Grow a pair and stop consuming their products.

        Totally agree... I havent paid for a CD/Movie in well over a year, with the exception of some independant lables and artist releases like the new NIN cd. For me, its not an issue of cost its a matter of principle. I refuse to support a hoard of corrupt business men and polititans. I might watch the occasional free broadcast or rent a movie from blockbuster every now and then but I otherwise dont even watch TV.

        Honestly, my life otherwise hasnt changed much; its not difficult to boycott the RIAA if you d

      • 3. If the RIAA's behavior is so offensive, then what exactly will anyone do about it? You'll keep buying their movies, keep buying their media with rare exceptions, keep watching their entertainment spew on the rented cable/satellite device.


        I haven't bought music in 5 years, and I don't pirate music either. Instead I gave $100 to the EFF.
    • by uncreativ (793402)
      I've noticed a huge up tick in take down notices as well, but my service is a private ISP, not affiliated with a university. I think you are right that they are increasing pressure due to their losing ground. They are casting a wide net and applying it everywhere, not just on Universities.
  • "Death Throws?"
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by noidentity (188756)

      These may be what you call "Death Throws?"

      What's death throwing? A dictionary [thefreedictionary.com]?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Cheesey (70139)
        You do a death throw after you've failed your saving throw. Roll 3d6, then look up the number in your rulebook to see how you died. In this case the RIAA has rolled 18, so it's... ah, one moment... ah, here it is.

        I'll just roll the dice again a few times. Oh no! The RIAA comes back as an army of fifty immortal Zombie Lawyers, each with a +2 damage modifier against Pirates. And they're resistant to damage from illegally copied spells.
        • by Pojut (1027544)
          "Sometimes we'd roll a critical success on our avoid traffic check..." -Wil Wheaton
    • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

      by ryants (310088)
      Throes, dude, throes. http://dictionary.die.net/death%20throe [die.net]
  • by sm62704 (957197) on Friday May 02, 2008 @08:38AM (#23273116) Journal
    The RIAA is also backing legislation in states such as Illinois and Tennessee that would require schools that get a certain number of notices to begin installing deep packet monitoring equipment on their internet and intranets, according to Luker."

    I'll be scribbling a note to my legislators today, and maybe another one to the Illinois Times, too. Oh yeah, the Trib and the St Louis Post Dispatch. Might be nice if someone would post a comprehensive list of states so other slashdotters can slashdot their congresscritters' email servers.

    Why is it that we never heard about this crap in the Trib or the Post? Never ascribe to incompetence that which can be explained by malice.

    -mcgrew
    • by Logic (4864)
      http://digg.com/tech_news/University_of_Illinois_joins_the_RIAA_and_MPAA_against_Piracy [digg.com]

      Sent Mar. 31, 2007, over a year ago. It's not exactly news that the great state of Illinois is rolling over on this. :p Heck, one of their extortion centers operates locally: http://www.p2pnet.net/story/15512 [p2pnet.net]

      That being said: I can't find a reference to the legislation being referred to in the article; does someone have a link?
    • by poetmatt (793785)
      Yep SM,

      I'm in Illinois and I really want to know where this magic legislation is, because I've never heard anything about it either. If you find anything please email me at slashdot.9.antispam1@spamgourmet.com or kick me a blog comment on it.
      • by sm62704 (957197)
        Somebody posted something from DIGG but its title says it's about U of I vs RIAA. Funny, besides tech sites I read the Tribune, the St Louis Post Dispatch, Springfield State Journal register, and the Illinois Times and none of them has said a peep.
    • by dmn (855563)

      Why is it that we never heard about this crap in the Trib or the Post? Never ascribe to incompetence that which can be explained by malice.
      Malice ? Nah. The internet is not their medium and the defendants are not their audience. They just don't give a fsck.
      Stories like that are bread and butter for slashdot, but for paper-based mainstream media that's hardly even news.
      I'm not saying I agree, or that's it's good, but that's how it works.

    • Yes, if anyone had the reference # for the bill that would be awesome. I don't really want to write to my state legislator and be like, "Don't vote for that bill that is nice to the RIAA, you know the one I mean!"
    • I'll be scribbling a note to my legislators today, and maybe another one to the Illinois Times, too. Oh yeah, the Trib and the St Louis Post Dispatch. Might be nice if someone would post a comprehensive list of states so other slashdotters can slashdot their congresscritters' email servers.

      You mean legislators actually care about what their constituents think? When did this start?

      Why is it that we never heard about this crap in the Trib or the Post?

      Maybe because apart from slahdotters, libertarian

      • by sm62704 (957197)
        You mean legislators actually care about what their constituents think?

        Slashdotters for the most part don't care what I think, but that doesn't stop me from mouthing off.

        Rising health care costs -- pretty much everyone cares. Out of sight gas prices? Ditto. War in Iraq? Oh, yeah.

        Not to mention American Idol, Britney Spears drug problems and custody battles, baseball steroid "scandals", Paul McCartney's divorce, etc. You know, all that important news.
    • The material you are looking for via Ars:

      Big content goes after colleges through funding bills
      By John Timmer | Published: April 15, 2008 - 10:50PM CT
      http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080415-big-content-goes-after-college-p2p-through-funding-bills.html [arstechnica.com]

      Full Text of HB4380
      http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=09500HB4380ham001&GA=95&SessionId=51&DocTypeId=HB&DocNum=4380&GAID=9 [ilga.gov]
      Higher Education Committee
      Filed: 4/1/2008

      1 (c) Each institution to which su

  • Hey, and let's make laws that compel the phone companies to install deep conversation inspection equipment just in case all these criminals start talking about file sharing ...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    innocent of the allegations, I expect that the RIAA will get a HUGE black over this. I hope those kids along with their colleges sue the shit out of the RIAA!
    • by Kedjoran (812649)
      I am a "college kid" and while I didn't get a letter from the RIAA, I did get from NBC/Universal(Through the university's IT department) for sharing DVD isos of a show I never even seen. I guess fortunately they didn't ask for money like the RIAA and merely to stop sharing, before they took legal action(Which is impossible for me to do since I never did it in the first place, but I guess that never stopped the RIAA) Never heard back from them again, so I guess the issue was "resolved".
  • by glindsey (73730) on Friday May 02, 2008 @09:07AM (#23273338)
    Help start up a public service: make sure to spread the word to every high school student you know, telling them exactly which schools are eavesdropping on all of their Internet traffic. Broadcast it via every means possible. Let them know that if they decide to attend that school, every IM conversation, every email, every website they visit while on campus will be scrutinized by the administration for possible "illegal behavior."

    How many prospective college students are going to choose a university that is actively spying on them 24/7?
  • Maybe it is being already done, but why not just encrypt the info as it is being sent? It appears to me that the RIAA made a mistake blaming their lack of sales on pirating. Once they asserted the idea that pirating is equivalent to lost sales, they now feel compelled to defend their incredible position by becoming the bully. This tactic would only work if they could somehow show that by being a bully sales are returning to "normal." Of course they could have produced better music which would have boosted
    • by vivimage (990766)
      The problem with encrypted p2p is that you have to trust the other peers/trackers because if the RIAA gets into your p2p network they can see what your sharing or just get a nice list of peers for a torrent. All your doing is evading packet sniffing and increasing overhead on the program.
    • by glindsey (73730)

      Maybe it is being already done, but why not just encrypt the info as it is being sent?

      One year later...

      RIAA Lobbyist: Mr. Speaker, I stand before you to inform you of the greatest threat to national security in the history of the United States: encryption. Allowing everyday citizens to have access to encryption, and transmit encrypted information over the Internet, will let Al Qaida, Iraq, Iran and North Korea collaborate right under our noses and lead to massive 9/11's throughout the United States! Also, child pornography.

      Speaker: Goodness! We must outlaw all encryption in the hands of

    • by Dan541 (1032000)
      Encrypting P2P is pointless because the people you share with need to beable to read the data your sharing.
  • I am suspicious of RIAA, not because of Music, but because the things they are pushing for only tangentially have anything to do with Music.

    RIAA is supposed to be a watchdog for a "for profit" business/industry. OK, but all studies conclude that file sharers buy music more than those who do not. File sharing is the new way for people to discover new music. Its replacing the radio. Nothing RIAA is doing is actually helping the industry for which it is supposed to be working.

    If one were to don their tin-foil
  • So, here is the plan as I see it:

    1. Support legislation that requires deep packet monitoring.
    2. Once that is passed, target those universities with tons of takedowns. Start now, so it doesn't seem as if they are ramping it up due to the law.
    3. Make them install packet monitoring software.
    4. Here is the interesting part. Doesn't their "star" IT witness provide this software and/or hardware?
    5. Get kickbacks from star witness' company for the extra software they sell.
    6. Start on the next state, using the exist
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Cryophallion (1129715)

      Verified:
      Jacobson's Deposition [blogspot.com], Pages 5-7 - It says he sells packet monitoring software to universities, through his company Palisade Systems [palisadesys.com]

      .

      I just love how obviously un-impartial this guy truly is (not to mention the well established ineptitude of his methodology and statements, which has been discussed on slashdot a number of times before).

      • Verified: Jacobson's Deposition [blogspot.com], Pages 5-7 - It says he sells packet monitoring software to universities, through his company Palisade Systems [palisadesys.com] . I just love how obviously un-impartial this guy truly is (not to mention the well established ineptitude of his methodology and statements, which has been discussed on slashdot a number of times before).

        Yes, and the letters mysteriously stop [blogspot.com] as soon as the university coughs up $76,000 to buy his software. Definitely something to look into [blogspot.com].

  • ... well, it sounds like they're going to hurry things up - before the tactics they use are declared illegal.
  • Sovereign immunity (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wytcld (179112) on Friday May 02, 2008 @09:43AM (#23273696) Homepage
    Recalling the ruling by the Ninth Circuit recently that states enjoy sovereign immunity from copyright infringement suits, why don't the state colleges and universities extend their umbrella of protection to their students? For instance, what if they hired each student, for $1 a year, to be an "Associate Data Archivist"? Then, in the course of that employment, under the protection of sovereign immunity, each student would be empowered to review and collect any data relevant to his or her broad duties as archivist for the state's premier cultural and educational institutions?
    • by vyrus128 (747164)
      +5! This is the best suggestion I've heard yet in the War On Sharing.
    • by nexuspal (720736)
      Great idea. If this would fly it would be inline with RIAA's tactics, and really a slap to their face...
    • by smaddox (928261)
      That is an interesting idea, but then you are involving book publishers as well.

      We all know that if there is one thing students wish they could break copyright on, it is textbooks.

      I know I've spent several thousand dollars on textbooks over the last few years.
  • ...the only stuff I'm downloading from the BBC. Seeing as I've already asked them to provide their content to aliens for a fee, and they refused, I'll cite "No damages" for my defense should I ever be prosecuted.

    Who's still downloading music, anyways? There's been so very little music that's come out in the past 5 years that's actually worth listening to that you have no reason for not being able to afford buying the album. Besides, you would've thought that people have amassed enough music via downloads
  • Their actions may be legal, but I don't understand what they're trying to accomplish. It's true that I have completely ceased any unlawful downloads (that I ever, ahem, hypothetically performed). It's also true that I have completely ceased all lawful purchases of music. Why would I want to do business with an industry like this?
  • we read yesterday about the PRO-IP act passing the house judiciary committee. Maybe the RIAA is jumping the gun here and trying to get their suit on.
  • I run a fairly large private university network and I have seen a big uptick in RIAA notices lately. Personally I think it has to do with them targeting end of semester/year for some reason.

    However, the increased pressure on me to "do something" about it goes way up when higher ups start seeing 4-5x the amount of notices coming in. They panic because they are a private university and can't stand up to "the man" like these public ones do.

    The bigger problem is that student IP's are NAT'ed so I get notices wit
  • universities. After all, as we recently discussed [slashdot.org] on Slashdot, in a story also posted by Soulskill, they sued an ISP in Ireland [blogspot.com] for not using Doug Jacobson's "Audible Magic" software.
  • I suppose that they just really need more money to mount a defence against all the legal battles they are losing.
  • they took down napster, so file sharing became decentralized. now they go after identity via ip. so identity obfuscation is the next software step

    anyone caught via ip identification is simply collateral damage that drives the development of the next cycle of cryptic clients. and also drives users to the next software cycle out of fear as well

    so thank you riaa, for providing the motivation to develop battle-scarred, robust, secure identity-hiding file sharing

    (rolls eyes)

    you can't win this game, riaa morons.
  • "Deep packet inspection" is spying. Deep packet inspection is COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT! You are basically looking at, reading, and logging copyrighted e-mails and copyrighted files, no matter what extensions those files end with, including .mp3. Fight fire with fire. These programs may also be violating the Patriot Act by "inspecting" sensitive or classified information.

    Hear ye! Hear ye! Students reduce your tuition costs to ZERO! Get a free house paid for by your university when you graduate! Sue them for $1
  • As a former IU student -- I graduated in December -- I must say that Indiana really doesn't do much to help the RIAA. They get a notice that you're pirating an insane amount of illegal music, they cut you off the network, tell you that you're infected with a virus, then ask you to format your computer. All you do is email them back in 24 hours, say you've complied, and they restore your access and go back to normal. They don't verify you've actually done this; they'll just take your word for it. This ha
    • by nexuspal (720736)
      Nice! Instead of accuse their students as ISP love to do to their customers, they ASSUME it is an infected computer doing the sharing. Really a great Uni you have there mate ;)
  • There are now so many viable, free (ad supported) sites which let users listen to music from those big RIAA friendly record labels.

    imeem.com [imeem.com]

    last.fm [last.fm]

    spiralfrog.com [spiralfrog.com]

    deezer.com [deezer.com]

    qtrax.com [qtrax.com]

    And that's even before we get to the ones of questionable legality like muxtape and projectplaylist Yet p2p sharing of music is still huge, youtube and its clones seems to have made a big difference in the amount of movie sharing via p2p, why haven't the music sites done the same?

  • Here is what I think the RIAA is up to and why:

    The RIAA "knows" that there are thousands of students on the university's networks, and many of them may be sharing files "illegially." So, they say that they see a large amount of illegal traffic from the university's network, and the university then does the work to shut down file sharing. So, the RIAA accomplishes what they set out to do, and they didn't even have to get their hands dirty.

    And if that doesn't work, then they subpoena IP addresses and
  • With all the goings on in the media lately about the RIAA; would this not be the equivalent of the swimmer who is drowning, flailing about in a last ditch effort of rescue?? Maybe this is a sign that the end of this nonsense is eminent.
  • Wont do much if we all encrypt.

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