ATHENS, Ohio (April 12, 2007) -- In its third wave of a campaign to stop illegal file sharing, the Recording Industry Association of America issued another 50 prelitigation letters to Ohio University's Office of Legal Affairs requesting that it forward the letters to the alleged file sharers.
The university will follow the procedures it developed in consultation with student leaders when the first set of 50 letters was issued last month. Ohio University staff and student leaders agreed that the university would comply with RIAA's request. By forwarding the letters, the university gives the recipients the opportunity to settle the claim within 20 days time period before their cases become official lawsuits in federal court.
The university also will offer information sessions for those who have been accused.
The alleged violations occurred between Feb. 8 and March 31, 2007. Of the 50 instances, 39 occurred before March 1, when Ohio University received the first batch of letters. Only 11 occurred after RIAA made its deterrence program public.
"There has been a marked reduction in the overall Internet activity on the campus network since the first letters were received," said Brice Bible, Ohio University's chief information officer. "We are still analyzing the data to determine if there has, in fact, been a reduction in the use of peer-to-peer software."
Ohio University was one of 22 campuses to receive letters in this latest wave.
"The RIAA is casting a big net. We've improved our ability to cast that net," RIAA Spokesman Jonathan Lamy said. "We are focusing on schools where there is a meaningful amount of illegal exchange of copyrighted material."
Ohio University is not releasing names of the individuals to RIAA or any other source. Students who receive the letters will have the opportunity to decide whether they settle immediately with RIAA at what the industry association is calling a discounted rate. RIAA has said it will initiate "John Doe" lawsuits for any IP address owner who does not settle. It will then request a court order that forces Ohio University to turn over the name associated with that IP address. Ohio University has not yet received subpoenas related to John Doe lawsuits for this campaign.
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