RIAA College Student Settlements: Round 2

After blanketing 25 American universities with pre-litigation letters in February, the Recording Industry Association of America announced late last week that it was launching a second round of letters. A total of 408 notices will be sent to a new batch of 23 separate schools, including:

  • State University of New York at Morrisville (34)
  • Georgia Institute of Technology (31)
  • Pennsylvania State University (31)
  • University of Central Arkansas (27)
  • University of Delaware (23)
  • Northern Michigan University (20)
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (20)
  • George Washington University (19)
  • Ohio State University (19)
  • New Mexico State University (17)
  • Eckerd College (16)
  • University of Minnesota (16)
  • California State University – Monterey Bay (14)
  • University of Kansas (14)
  • University of Missouri – Rolla (14)
  • University of San Francisco (13)
  • Case Western Reserve University (12)
  • Northern Arizona University (12)
  • San Francisco State University (12)
  • University of Tulsa (12)
  • Franklin and Marshall College (11)
  • Western Kentucky University (11)
  • Santa Clara University (10).

Notably missing from the new list is the legal powerhouse Harvard, which some industry commentators speculate the RIAA is intentionally avoiding due to the resistance it may encounter there. In May, Harvard law professor Charles Nesson called on the university to protect its students from the RIAA in an op-ed article published by the Harvard Crimson.

The RIAA’s practice of asking universities to distribute letters demanding $3,000 settlements from students on its behalf has been criticized in the past, since it dodges the legal measures normally necessary to pry identities out of ISP hands. In the past, when colleges have refused to voluntarily comply, the RIAA’s attempts to use legal force have sometimes ended up empty-handed.

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