May 6, 2008

Universities and the RIAA Suits [3:50 pm]

A new game challenging the “making available” argument? Mysterious Multiplication of Copyright Complaints (pdf)

[...] Indiana officials are now discussing whether they should continue to respond to complaints from the recording industry with the same aggressiveness. It’s not that university leaders have suddenly decided that illegal behavior isn’t wrong; instead, they are beginning to question the legitimacy of the notices the Recording Industry Association of America sends accusing network users of illegally sharing music.

That’s because, like many colleges and universities, officials at Indiana have seen an eye-popping increase in the number of complaints they’ve received at a time when campus administrators say they have not seen any sort of rise in traffic that would suggest more piracy. Instead, college technology experts — lacking an explanation from industry officials for the upturn — suspect that the recording industry has altered the standards it uses to allege illegal behavior, targeting not only instances in which computer users have actively shared music illegally, but instances in which they have stored downloaded music in a folder visible to other users, opening the way to a potential violation.

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