“Dear Dad, Don’t Get Mad, But…

I need $3,000 to settle with the RIAA for the music I downloaded on the computer here in my dorm room. I’m sorry to have to ask this, but if we go to court and fight a lawsuit, it’ll probably cost a lot more…”

Not a real e-mail, but you can bet ones very much like it are being written, or emotional phone calls being made, from Syracuse University and many other campuses over the Recording Industry Association of America’s continuing campaign against peer-to-peer music downloading.

Here’s where action against one SU senior stands, according to the Daily Orange student newspaper:


“Her computer was quarantined and prevented from accessing Syracuse’s computer network and Internet. She was required to sign a pledge promising never to illegally download copyrighted material again.

“My computer was quarantined about three weeks before; they told me to erase the software and songs,” she said. “I had already gotten rid of everything, they said it was a warning, and then three weeks later I got this letter.”

The student, who was accused of downloading about 200 songs, said her settlement offer was $3,000.”

She’s one of 37 SU students in the same jam. Multiply that by hundreds. on campuses across the country. Speculation is that DRM (Digital Rights Management)  copy protection on online music is going to go away in the not-too-distant future. But until it does, taking free downloads is legally risky. Students are being pushed into paying a high price for their tunes when the RIAA singles them out, and makes them sing a sad song to their families.


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