The Recording Industry Association of America sent 50 pre-litigation letters targeting users of USF’s computing network on May 2, accusing them of illegally trafficking copyrighted materials.
The letters were sent as part of the fourth wave of the RIAA’s continuing campaign to stem what it calls illegal downloads on college campuses across the country.
Armed with IP addresses and time stamps, the RIAA sends the letters directly to the University who then forwards them to individual network users. It is the University’s policy not to release any student information under normal circumstances, but if the RIAA gains subpoenas, USF could be forced to.
The RIAA allows students 20 days to contact the group to reach a settlement out of court for a reduced fee. After the 20-day period, the RIAA will file a ‘John Doe’ suit against those students who choose not to settle.
These suits are civil litigation filed under the anonymous name Doe by which the RIAA gains subpoenas to force the University to disclose the names of the accused students.
This marks the second time users on USF’s network have been directly targeted by the RIAA. In April, 31 USF students were targeted by the first wave of the campaign. Of those, 20 settled out of court and 11 Doe lawsuits were filed.