Some colleges backing student file sharers

North Carolina State University's Student Legal Services Department has advised students to push back on the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) as they offer them settlement deals on piracy suits.  The group has been sending notices to universities and requesting that these notices be forwarded to offending students based on IP-related information provided to the schools.

North Carolina State University's Student Legal Services Department has advised students to push back on the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) as they offer them settlement deals on piracy suits.  The group has been sending notices to universities and requesting that these notices be forwarded to offending students based on IP-related information provided to the schools.  According to ars technica,

"While some universities were quick to comply with the RIAA's request to forward the notices onto students, others were not, insisting that they were not capable of identifying the individuals within the university system based on the information given to them."

In fact, because students at NCSU and elsewhere have refused to step forward and accept the settlements offered, their identities remain protected.  However, the long-term ability of these students to hide their identities, as well as potential legal ramifications for the universities remains to be seen.  RIAA has already filed "John Doe" lawsuits against these students since they cannot determine who they are.  However,

"The John Doe suits are the first step in discovering the identity of a suspected file-sharer. After the suits are filed, the ISP (in this case, NCSU) that owns the IP address block is served with a subpoena. NCSU could then fight either the subpoenas or turn the names over to the RIAA."

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