We at the RIAA are concerned that an increasing and significant number of students
are using university networks to engage in online piracy of copyrighted
creative works. We believe there must be a substantial effort, both
disciplined and continuous, to bring this piracy under control.
Students must know that if they pirate copyrighted works
they are subject to legal liability. It is no different from
walking into the campus bookstore and in a clandestine manner walking
out with a textbook without paying for it.
More Than 2.6 Billion Files Are Illegally Downloaded
The explosion in illegal copying is affecting the entire music
community. And contrary to what some people would tell you, it’s
having a very real and harmful impact on countless musicians, songwriters,
and performers—virtually everyone, from recording engineers
to record-store clerks, who dreams about making a living providing
music to the public.
When you make illegal copies of someone’s creative work,
you are stealing and breaking the law. Most likely, you’ve
seen the FBI warning on a movie DVD or VHS cassette—well,
the same applies, with equal force, to music. If you make unauthorized
copies of copyrighted music recordings, you’re stealing. You’re
breaking the law, and you could be held legally liable for thousands
of dollars in damages.
We at the RIAA understand that many students who download music
illegally do not mean to steal. Peer-to-peer systems and campus
networks are simply a matter of convenience and easy access to creative
works. At the same time, we know that you understand how important
it is for us, and the artists we represent, to sell our creative
works, both to recoup the costs involved and to fairly compensate
the many creative individual who have worked hard to create the
music that you listen to every day.
While we could use this system, Boogle, to prosecute each student
who is sharing files, we have decided that a better approach is
possible. Utilizing the scanning capabilities of Boogle, we
have recorded the contents of every computer hard drive at Brandeis
University. We have cataloged and recorded every song that
you have on your computer. In conjunction with the Business
Software Alliance and the Motion Picture Association of America,
we have also made a listing of every movie and program on your computer.
Our goal is not to cause you harm, but simply to help you make
the right choices. Therefore, we have arranged with Brandeis
University to place a new line-item on your tuition statement for
this semester. In order to fairly compensate the artists and
creators of the music, movies, and software that you use every day,
each unlicensed song is being billed at $1.00, each movie at $20.00,
and each program at its full retail value.
These costs will conveniently appear in an itemized list on your
tuition bill. There is no need to delete or remove these songs,
movies, and programs, as we are granting you, in exchange for your
payment, the full rights to use them individually in accordance
with all relevent local, state, and federal laws.
For those of you using unlicensed copies of Windows XP, there will
be an $89.00 charge. For Microsoft Office XP, an additional
$299.00 will be added. All other illegally obtained software
will be billed in a similar manner.
In the coming weeks we will bring the Boogle web site back online
with new and exciting features, including free promotional tracks
and full albums in a protected Windows Audio format available for
download for a low monthly fee. For your convenience, this
fee will be automatically applied to your credit card on record
with the University and you will be enrolled in a risk-free one
month trial subscription.
We hope you enjoy these exciting new services.
Hilary Rosen, President
Recording Industry Association of America
01 April, 2003