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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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  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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?
  • by mpapet ( 761907 ) on Friday May 02, 2008 @09:14AM (#23273398) Homepage
    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 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.

    Bottom Line: The moral indignation is ridiculous. Grow a pair and stop consuming their products.
  • 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?
  • 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.

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.