The AP reports that the Recording Industry Association of America is focusing its gaze on music swappers at colleges, where fat pipes allow illegally downloaded songs to travel even faster:
The top five schools are Ohio, Purdue, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Tennessee and the University of South Carolina. The RIAA complained about almost 15,000 students at those 25 universities, nearly triple the number for the previous school year.
“They’re trying to make a statement,” said Randall Hall, who polices computers at Michigan State University, seventh on the list with 753 complaints. Michigan State received 432 such complaints in December alone, when students only attended classes for half the month.
Hall meets personally with students caught twice and forces them to watch an eight-minute anti-piracy DVD produced by the RIAA. A third-time offender can be suspended for a semester.
“I get the whole spectrum of excuses,” Hall said. “The most common answer I get is, ‘All my friends are doing this. Why did I get caught?’”
The answer, of course, is “because you didn’t have the foresight to go to Purdue”:
Purdue, which has received 1,068 complaints so far this year but only 37 in 2006, said it rarely even notifies students accused by the RIAA because it’s too much trouble to track down alleged offenders. Purdue said its students aren’t repeat offenders.
“In a sense, the (complaint) letter is asking us to pursue an investigation and as the service provider we don’t see that as our role,” spokesman Steve Tally said. “We are a leading technology school with thousands and thousands of curious and talented technology students.”
And by “curious,” he means “unwilling to shell out $12.99 in order to hear the Hinder record when two burritos from Chipotle cost just as much, and are a lot more satisfying.”