Wednesday, April 04, 2007

RIAA/IC Update

The meeting last night was quite different from what I'd expected.

I went in there expecting carnage, expecting to tear someone apart, but the three people who led the meeting were informative, helpful, kind, and more knowledgeable than I expected them to be.

They provided students with resources across the board... from free music alternatives to links to EFF and Creative Commons... also, it turns out that they did NOT divulge ANY personal information to the RIAA. What had happened was that Apogee, their ISP, received a series of pre-litigation letters. These letters were NOT DMCA COMPLIANT and, therefore, based on Apogee policy, were sent back undelivered. However, the college received copies of all paperwork regarding it as a part of its deal with Apogee. So, when the college received the pre-litigation letters, they held a long debate that culminated in them deciding it was their moral obligation to pass these letters on to the identified students (bearing in mind that all this time, all the RIAA has ever known is those students' IP addresses), as a means of making them aware that they were being legally targeted.

It is both the college's and Apogee's policies to divulge no personal information unless issued a proper, legal subpoena, which they have not as of yet been issued at all with regard to this matter.

In My Opinion, the college did a pretty good job handling things overall. The one thing I think they failed at was EDUCATION. They said that a few years ago the RIAA came to all colleges to discuss what could be done about the mass copyright infringement. They came to the agreement that colleges would set their judicial policies about it, and they would provide education. However, that never really happened.

So last night I, and others, strongly suggested a new wave of education where they not only inform students of copyright law and how to deal with this current RIAA matter, but also discuss the future of copyright law and perhaps how to change it.

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