RIAA ships out prelawsuit warnings


WASHINGTON -- The recording industry continues to push its legal remedies on campuses as the RIAA said Thursday that it has sent out a new wave of prelitigation settlement letters as part of the ongoing campaign against online music theft.

"While it's undoubtedly our last preference to bring legal action against students, music theft remains particularly acute on college campuses," RIAA executive vp and general counsel Steven Marks said. "This theft triggers a harmful domino effect throughout the music community -- thousands of regular, working-class musicians and others out of work, record stores shuttered, new bands never signed. When faced with this reality, we have no choice but to hold those individuals responsible for ignoring the law and all the great new legal ways to get affordable, high-quality music."

Thursday's 411 prelitigation settlement letters to 19 universities nationwide marked the ninth time the RIAA has sent the notices on behalf of its members, the major record labels.

Under the legal process, the letters give students the opportunity to resolve copyright infringement claims, logged at P2PLawsuits.com, at a discounted rate before a formal lawsuit is filed.

Each prelitigation settlement letter informs the school of a forthcoming copyright infringement suit against one of its students or personnel. The letter requests that university administrators forward the letter to the appropriate network user to allow the individuals the opportunity to resolve the matter and avoid a lawsuit.