RIAA Aims For More than College Students Lunch Money

It appears that the RIAA is back at it again. This time the music industry is asking 50 Ohio University students to pay $3,000 each to avoid lawsuits for pirating music off the internet. The university was asked to send letters to the offenders on Monday, who's Internet addresses appear to be sharing copyrighted music. This is just part of an ongoing piracy crackdown that's sued nearly 18,000 computer users nationwide since 2003. Including 1,062 uers at 130 universities.

The RIAA said last month that it intended to sue more students in the next three months than it has in the previous three years. I made light of this in my article entitled "RIAA Ranks University of Nebraska #3 is it Preseason Already?" The students are facing punishments that include email warnings, semester-long suspensions and having to watch an eight-minute anti-piracy DVD produced by the RIAA. However, it seems I failed to mention the $3,000 fine they are attempting to take from the pockets of college students.

With this in mind I just think back two years ago to when I was a college student. Living off Ramen, vending machines, and the occasional friends food supply. I didn't have an extra $3,000 to shell out for my activities.

Patrick McGee, a local attorney the university arranged to meet with students, said "$3,000 is the standard offer though cases have settled for as much as $5,000". He has represented four Ohio University students in file-sharing lawsuits and says most college students cannot afford paying the $3,000 fine. Perhaps the RIAA should lighten up and find better ways of going after the already broke college student.

Posted on Mar 09, 2007  Reviews | Share |  Digg
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RIAA Ranks University of Nebraska #3 is it Preseason Already?

I'm a huge fan of the Nebraska Cornhuskers having lived and grown up in Nebraska the past 20 years. College football is without a doubt the biggest sport here. We have zero professional sports franchises here so we eat, breathe, live Cornhusker football in Nebraska. So today, I was interested to see that UNL (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) has the #3 ranking from the RIAA when it comes to illegal music downloads.

Having been in the online music scene since 1996 or so when I first discovered *cough* mIRC *cough* the RIAA just doesn't seem to give up. Every year they report how CD sales have plumitted and blamed it on piracy. Tom Keating writes about Legal vs. Illegal Downloads: What's the Difference and that illegal downloads have less than 1% affect on CD sales. I agree and he provides a nice report in his story explaining it in greater detail.

So here it is 2007 and it seems the RIAA is attempting to flex its muscles again by cracking down on university students who illegally download over campus networks. They've already sent out complaints this year to top universities pressuring schools to be more aggressive against these activities. Students are facing punishments that include email warnings, semester-long suspensions and having to watch an eight-minute anti-piracy DVD produced by the RIAA. (Not sure I could handle an 8 minute video from the RIAA)

"It's something we feel we have to do," RIAA President Cary Sherman said. "We have to let people know that if they engage in this activity, they are not anonymous."

Well I'm proud to announce the RIAA's top 5: Ohio, Purdue, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Tennessee and the University of South Carolina. Now if only this were true for the up coming college football season I'd be even happier. Just know I'll be cheering for you UNL let's take over that #1 spot from Ohio.

I in no way encourage illegal downloads nor do I provide legal advice, however you should cheer for the Cornhuskers.

Posted on Feb 21, 2007  Reviews | Share |  Digg
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Satellite Radio Rivals XM And SIRIUS Merge

The rumors and whisperings have finally come true--XM Satellite Radio and SIRIUS Satellite Radio today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement, under which the companies will be combined in a tax-free, all-stock merger of equals with a combined enterprise value of approximately $13 billion, which includes net debt of approximately $1.6 billion.

Now the big question is, will the merger be approved? The transaction is subject to approval by both companies' shareholders, the satisfaction of customary closing conditions and regulatory review and approvals, including antitrust agencies and the FCC. The issue is that the FCC has already hinted that it might not approve a merger of the two satellite giants.

Pending regulatory approval, the companies expect the transaction to be completed by the end of 2007.

Under the terms of the agreement, XM shareholders will receive a fixed exchange ratio of 4.6 shares of SIRIUS common stock for each share of XM they own. XM and SIRIUS shareholders will each own approximately 50 percent of the combined company.

Mel Karmazin, currently Chief Executive Officer of SIRIUS, will become Chief Executive Officer of the combined company and Gary Parsons, currently Chairman of XM, will become Chairman of the combined company.
Posted on Feb 19, 2007  Reviews | Share |  Digg
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