RIAA Sues 784 More, But College Students Unafraid
June 30, 2005

The Recording Industry Association Of America (RIAA) has announced its latest round of lawsuits against illegal file sharers. "John Doe" suits were filed against 784 more people around the country. In a statement, RIAA Chairman/CEO Mitch Bainwol said, "On Monday, the Supreme Court provided a real shot in the arm to legitimate online music services and unanimously injected moral clarity into this debate. If there was any doubt left, there should now be none - individuals who download music without permission are breaking the law. Our efforts to defend the rights of record labels, musicians, songwriters and others in the music community from theft will certainly continue and likely be strengthened in the weeks and months ahead."

However, it seems that there is a bit of doubt out there, at least according to a new study from the Business Software Alliance (BSA). According to their results, two-thirds of college and university students do not find illegal download and file sharing unethical, with just over half believe it is an acceptable workplace practice.

Additionally, 45 percent of students surveyed said they use their campus networks for file-sharing. The same percentage believes that campus policies against illegal file-sharing are effective, though almost three-fourths of the schools' academics believe their policies work.

"Generation Y has largely grown up using the Internet and the majority of this group is extremely comfortable with technology. Unfortunately, this survey shows students who engage in these illegal behaviors are likely to continue after college and when they enter the business world," said BSA VP of Public Affairs Diane Smiroldo.

In other digital music news, the European Union is looking into ways to streamline the processes behind online music sales. According to Reuters, a new study for the European Commission recommends a less-complex method of royalties collection. A formal proposal is expected in the fall.

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Jon Zellner
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