The Tacoma News Tribune is reporting that the University of Washington will be passing on pre-settlement letters from the RIAA to its students, using server and DHCP logs to identify anonymous students tagged by the recording industry watchdog.
UW officials state that
“This isn’t a matter of the university cooperating with the recording industry,” [Vice Provost for Student Life] said. “We all concluded that to not pass these along to our students would be unacceptable and more costly to them.”
Students reacted with concern, particularly citing the casual way in which so many users share files:
A lot of them just offhandedly download a song and put it on their MP3 player, or even have a friend who downloads something on their computer,” he said.
UW sophomore Jenny Gawf said most of the file-sharing at UW involves just students or residents of a particular dormitory, making the offense less blatant.
“It’s really no different than me burning a CD and running it down the hallway,” said Gawf, who lived in a UW dorm last year. “It’s not like I’m downloading things from some weirdo in Iowa.”
While this casual attitude hardly excuses breaking the law, it points to the much larger problem on college campuses and even in secondary institutions. /Students simply don't care, nor do they consider the consequences of file sharing to be realistic or relevant. While other schools are taking a much more educational approach to stem this extraordinarily cavalier attitude that pervades most student bodies (or an IT approach to simply throttle file sharing), the UW is taking quite the non-Seattle road.