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Massive Increase in RIAA Copyright Notices 179

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 M1rth ( 790840 ) on Friday May 02, 2008 @08:29AM (#23273054)
    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 increase their ticket count.
  • Desperate Much? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Aranykai ( 1053846 ) <slgonser@gmCOLAail.com minus caffeine> 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 Anonymous Coward on Friday May 02, 2008 @09:15AM (#23273408)
    Why would piracy be sky rocketing? There hasn't been new material worth sharing in how long?
  • by palewook ( 1101845 ) on Friday May 02, 2008 @09:33AM (#23273578) Homepage
    exactly. this is a move to smokescreen support on the hill for the new IP bill.
  • by monxrtr ( 1105563 ) on Friday May 02, 2008 @10:38AM (#23274448)
    "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 $150,000 per copyright infringement. Your emails, your papers, your .mp3 discussions on topics including your musings on pop_song.mp3 are copyrighted, including fair use excerpts in those files.

    The thing is, if these "deep packet inspection" programs are legal, then they are legal for EVERYONE! And P2P programs are nothing more than "deep packet inspection" programs. Downloading and listening to files to determine whether they are copyright violations is LEGAL activity. I'm sure the NSA, CIA, DOJ will be thrilled to know that we as citizens can infiltrate their networks with "deep packet inspection" programs. Such progress will avoid future embarrassments such as the White House losing its emails as it's perfectly ok for private entities to inspect, log, and back up that information, in order to discern that the Government and RIAA are not violating your copyrighted material, including email writings, /. posts, etc.

    So everybody, fire up those P2P applications and download/upload EVERYTHING, and then look at those files to make sure these entities like the RIAA are not violating your copyrights. Uploading is legal because you are merely enlisting assistance from your fellow citizens for the purpose of "deep packet inspection", which is LEGAL! "Deep packet inspection" programs are nothing more than wholesale uploading of files which do not belong to you, which may or may not be copyright violations. We can't be 100% sure until we download and look and listen. And our peers need to download and look and listen too, just in case we missed something.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 02, 2008 @11:22AM (#23275194)
    1.) To take (the property of another) without right or permission.
    2.) To present or use (someone else's words or ideas) as one's own.
    3.) To get or take secretly or artfully: steal a look at a diary; steal the puck from an opponent.
    4.) To give or enjoy (a kiss) that is unexpected or unnoticed.

    1.) To make a reproduction or copy of.
    2.) To follow as a model or pattern; imitate

    Funny how those two words are pretty much nothing alike in real world definitions. I even double checked each word's synonyms and, to no one's surprise but yours, neither showed up on the other's list.

    Perhaps you'd like to restate your silly little RIAA bullet point without trying to equate a copied version of a song to actual physical theft. It's funny and quite ironic that you mention self inconsistency given that the act of theft is a criminal offense punishable in a criminal court of law; which does not apply at all to copyright infringement. Inconsistent much?

    Now, I do not condone downloading of songs illegally. I'm well past my college days where this sort of thing was cool and I was so broke that it was my only option for most of my music. That said, I think the rampant idiocy in this argument by folks like you deserves to be shot full of holes with sound logic and reason. Trying to equate 1 download = 1 lost sale is foolish and is an exercise in complete and total illogical bullshit. If copying songs were theft, these people would have subpoenas to criminal trials for theft of goods and services.

    I'm at the point where I feel that the RIAA has made their bed. They have given the population at large absolutely zero acts of good faith and have even, very recently, lobbied to REDUCE the money that the actual artists receive. In light of such irrational, greed-fueled detrimental behavior, I'm willing to look the other way as people pilfer the shit out of their "property". Hell, I even applaud them.

    They've been given a thousand different chances to show they are a legitmate business in today's world and have literally thrown every single ounce of good will out the window and resorted to the bottom barrel extortion tactics.

    Do you see the MPAA taking as much flak as the RIAA? No. Do you know why? Two very simple reasons really.

    A) They, by and large, put out a product that people want at a price that consumers are willing to pay. There's absofuckinglutely zero reason why a DVD of a full length feature film is within a few dollars of a single artist's 60 minute audio recordings on CD.

    B) The MPAA is spending their resources and lawyers going after the actual pirate problem, namely large foreign bootleg traficking which results in very real and very detrimental effects on the industry as a whole. Something Johnny Suds the college kid does NOT do to the music industry. And yes, I know the MPAA has made some bad decisions in the past, (i.e. the PirateBay fiasco) but overall they are MUCH better behaved then their RIAA cousins).

    The more they continue down this path of self destruction, the more normal (I use that word very loosely!), honest, upstanding guys like myself start to cheer for the "bad guys" in this argument.

    That's my long winded take on the situation anyways.
  • by Lijemo ( 740145 ) on Friday May 02, 2008 @11:41AM (#23275434)

    Thank you.

    Sounds like that 101 prof has absorbed more cynicism than is healthy. It's an important nutrient in small doses, but toxic at higher levels. Since people in teaching professions who have accumulated dangerous concentrations of the toxin have been known to transmit it to susceptible students via osmosis, he should probably take a break. That's what sabbaticals are for, right?

    It's true that you can't teach people who have decided they don't care. But if someone has reached the conclusion that no one cares about learning, or that everyone stops caring at a certain age, that person needs to take a breather and chill out for a while. seriously.

  • by monxrtr ( 1105563 ) on Friday May 02, 2008 @12:07PM (#23275846)
    Your University needs to bill the RIAA for your time (actually have the RIAA pay for another full time/part time subpoena processing position), otherwise the RIAA is siphoning off educational resources for non-University purposes. Give me the name of your University so I can report this illegal use of taxpayer subsidized funding for inappropriate non-educational purposes. Your University is complicit with the RIAA, and you may as well be using taxpayer dollars to purchase illegal vacations in the Bahamas for University Staff.
  • by cavis ( 1283146 ) on Friday May 02, 2008 @12:48PM (#23276418)
    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 other records so they can charge the students with a crime. The universities typically will comply (due to administration pressure) and turn the student information over to the RIAA. The students don't want a black mark on their record before starting their career, and the students don't have money to begin with (remember eating all those ramen noodles so you could buy books?), and the RIAA gets either a settlement or a conviction. Win-win for the RIAA.

    So why doesn't that model work for the general public? Because the ISPs are much more protective of their information, willing to fight the RIAA to protect the privacy of their customers. They can't get the same information from major ISPs, or not as easily. Major ISPs take great pride in thumbing their noses at the RIAA, and in many instances, at the PATROIT Act.

    So, it is survival of the fittest. Colleges and universites are easy targets, and the RIAA gets to add momentum with every settlement or conviction.

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle