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College Students (Don't) Respond to RIAA Threats

As I posted earlier, the RIAA is stepping up its pressure on college students who they claim are infringing record companies’ copyrights by sharing files. Ars Technica has a follow-up report that concludes 71% of students contacted by the RIAA have not settled (yet).

A student who received a pre-litigation letter told Ars that he refused to engage their offer because they offer zero proof of what is alleged. “It’s like receiving blackmail. ‘We know what you did, pay us’ is the message, but they don’t really know me or what I have done,” he wrote.

Defending against “piracy” charges in court is just too uncertain and costly for many people to take the risk, even when they know they haven’t done anything wrong. Which is why this result is interesting: it seems many college students are not willing to accept defeat so easily. We’ll see whether the RIAA decides to proceed legally and if so, whether they have the evidence to back up their claims. While more risky to the defendants, this strategy may have the broad effect of reducing RIAA litigation.

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