UO Refuses to ID Music Pirates

The University of Oregon is challenging a lawsuit against 17 of its students for online music piracy. The Recording Industry Association of America filed the lawsuit in August and asked the university to identify the students based on their internet addresses. However, university officials now argue that this would violate students' rights to privacy.

From the Statesman Journal:

A lawsuit brought by the recording industry is pitting piracy against privacy.

Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers filed court papers this week seeking to free the University of Oregon from having to identify students who illegally downloaded music.

In August, a group of recording companies filed a lawsuit accusing 17 Oregon students of music piracy. The students are identified only by an Internet address, and industry lawyers have asked the university identify the students.

Similar suits have been filed across the U.S., and universities and colleges have been cooperating. The University of Oregon has traced the file sharing to dorm rooms and users of a wireless network, but officials can't be sure who shared the music without interviewing students and examining their private computers, The Oregonian newspaper reported.

University officials contend that would violate privacy rights.

"University (officials) feel like they are being asked to do the investigation on behalf of the company when it's not really their role," said Stephanie Soden, spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Justice.

Read the rest. Is the University right to challenge the lawsuit?


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    "Read the rest. Is the University right to challenge the lawsuit?"

    You bet your ass they are.

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    A more comprehensive article exists here.

    This is becoming typical RIAA action: malicious prosecution, racketeering, illegal snooping, etc.

    For those interested in the battles for the electronic frontier, another noteworthy dispute is Atlantic v. Andersen, in which an OREGON disabled single mother and her daughter were sued for supposedly hording a cache (pun intended) of gangsta rap.

    After having her case dismissed with prejudice (first of its kind in RIAA disputes), she is now attempting to recover attorneys' fees and bring a countersuit including counts of malicious prosecution and violation of the RICO federal racketeering act against the RIAA and their online watchdog, MediaSentry.

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    RIAA are thugs, no two ways about it. MPAA too.

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    I hope U of O is successful in fending off the recording industry. If they haven't already, they should issue a general warning to people using the wireless network not to download stuff. It's too bad the school gets caught in the middle of the whole thing.

  • jaybeat (unverified)

    Go DUCKS!

    <h2>Seriously, any industry that thinks it is in its own best interests to sue its own CUSTOMERS has got some serious, er, issues... the more people and organizations that stand up to their bullying, the more obvious that will become.</h2>
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