News From Terre Haute, Indiana

News Columns

May 16, 2007

B-Sides: College students in musical crosshairs

I’m not implying this ever really happened, but …

Just suppose, hypothetically of course, that a friend slapped down $8.99 and bought Eric Clapton’s “Slow Hand” album, brand new — so new that the vinyl LP (yes, this scenario would happen in 1977) crackled with static when it first slid out of the jacket. Then, that friend dubbed a copy onto one of those new-fangled cassette tapes and gave it to you. (Probably because he owed you money for, say, pizza.)

Think that was OK?

Well, you might as well have just ripped the tag off a mattress in a department store, because it was against federal law.

Turn the clock forward 30 years. A college kid goes to the CD shop, looking for The Disturbed (that’s a band) and buys it. The kid takes it back to his dorm room and makes an MP3 copy of that CD, which is perfectly legal. But then he decides to put that MP3 copy onto the Internet through a file-sharing network, allowing thousands, maybe millions, of other network users to download it for free. That’s perfectly illegal.

What’s the difference between the 1977 and 2007 instances? Ethically, it’s probably a draw. But 21st-century technology makes it possible to cross that line without ever spending a dime.

And it is those temptations that have placed college students squarely in the crosshairs of the recording industry.

On Tuesday, the Recording Industry Association of America — the enforcer for major labels — filed lawsuits for illegal file sharing against 23 network users (presumably students) at Indiana University. On May 3, the RIAA filed 21 similar lawsuits against network users at Purdue. Since it began an “anti-piracy initiative” in January, the RIAA has sent litigation warnings to more than 1,600 people on college campuses around the nation. These students could end up paying thousands of dollars (up to $750 per song) in damages for infringing on music copyrights.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
News Columns
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo Raw: Earthquake Rocks Mexico's Gulf Coast US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Raw: NH Man Held on $1M in Teen's Kidnapping Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Fox Dons 'Bondage Strap' Skirt at Comic-Con
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Broken Water Main Floods UCLA "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH)

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010