This was a trap - rather than resolve the problem in a proportionate manner, the RIAA clearly decided to make an example of four college student with a multi-billion dollar lawsuit. For this they are contemptible scum. Curtis J. Tompkins, the president of Michigan Technological University is no more happy than I am:
- Michigan Technological University has been a partner with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) since the inception of the Soundbyting campaign. We have used your materials, methods and procedures to help educate our students on all aspects of copyright law.
We have programs in place to help educate our students on their responsible use of the Internet and its technologies with respect to intellectual property issues.
....In your letter dated April 3, 2003, you refer to a letter of October 3, 2002,
sent to all university presidents. Your last line in that letter reads
"We stand ready to be of assistance in any way you might find helpful."
Our Information Technology department, upon receiving this letter, contacted
your office twice by phone (leaving messages for Jonathon Whitehead) and three
times by e-mail in an effort to update our reference materials and procedures
Your organization responded to none of these messages.
I believe that we would not be facing this situation with Joseph Nievelt today
had we been able to gain your help in providing additional information to our
student body. We have cooperated fully with the RIAA, but in recent months,
have not seen the same from your organization.
You have obviously known about this situation with Joe Nievelt for quite some
time. Had you followed the previous methods established in notification of a
violation, we would have shut off the student and not allowed the problem to
grow to the size and scope that it is today.
Yeah, but then the RIAA wouldn't have laboratory rats for their test case. This is disingenuous, callous, overbearing, appalling: whatever lingering respect I had for this organization and their approach to troubled times has now evaporated. They have sealed their own doom. They suck balls.