RIAA Targets University

The University of Maryland is confronted with a wave of copyright infringement claims by the RIAA. In one month they received 130 letters, almost a tenfold of what they receive on average.

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The biggest spike was in September, probably to scare newcomers, and students who returned form their summer break, but in October they still received a considerably higher number of complaints than the monthly average.

Students are an easy target for the RIAA because they do not have the money to fight back. They often offer students a chance to settle for $3000 or $4000, leaving the students broke, but avoiding a real case. This trick seems to work well for the RIAA, they easily collect money without having to prove (they have no clue) that the defendant is actually someone who engaged in peer to peer file sharing of copyrighted music without authorization

Sometimes it looks like the RIAA willingly selects their targets based on their bank account. They try to avoid the mistake the MPAA made earlier this year by suing millionaire Shawn Hogan who allegedly downloaded a film on BitTorrent. Hogan, however, was not easily scared by the MPAA and said “$100,000 in legal fees is a small price to pay to challenge the MPAA’s tactics. They’re completely abusing the system, I would spend well into the millions on this.”

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