Jeff (scrumple) wrote in carnegiemellon,
Jeff
scrumple
carnegiemellon

the RIAA is out to get you - are your fellow students?

As you are probably aware, the RIAA has issued a subpoena against 30 Carnegie Mellon students guilty of the heinous crime of sharing music over the peer-to-peer network i2hub. These young criminals will be sued for approximately $15,000 each and will have no choice but to pay, since no one wins against the RIAA. The RIAA itself is glad to have this opportunity to show their dedication to saving their copyrighted material from the lawless anarchy of the web. So important is this goal that the noble RIAA is willing to sacrifice the economic security of thousands of people (especially university students) to ensure their copyrights are not infringed upon. CMU, seeing the merit of such diligent policing, gladly gave the RIAA the requested names of students. It did so wisely and without hesitation, unlike more unruly universities such as MIT, which fought obstinately to withhold the names of its young criminals.

It is all well and good that these lawless music traders be brought to justice for their abominable behavior. But the question remains of how exactly the RIAA is detecting piracy. Even Internet2 officials claim they are unaware how the RIAA traced the purportedly illegal activity on their own network. The RIAA itself won't disclose its methods, but it did say that its actions were lawful. And really, who are we to question?

However, there is speculation that the RIAA has recruited/bribed students at the colleges it targets to monitor file sharing networks, giving the RIAA the access tools it needs to find music traders. While this is yet unproven, it does seem like the sort of tactic the RIAA might employ. The question is now whether CMU students are more noble or broke.

I leave you with the screenshot at right, from a userlist on i2hub. The username "[CMU]RIAA" appeared on i2hub for less than 20 minutes on Monday and has not appeared since. Is this merely a student playing a joke, or perhaps something more sinister?
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