Taylor Carlson May 7, 2007 Final Feature Do the Crime, Pay the Time? College students have fine tuned the motto “just because I’m not supposed to do something, doesn’t mean I can’t get away with it.” The motto covers many bases that may include drinking, sexual activity, law breaking and, in this case, downloading copyright material. Illegal music downloading, also called file sharing or trafficking, has become a popular trend across the nation. File sharing originally began in colleges with the creation of Napster, a popular file sharing program developed by a college student; however, it has quickly become an epidemic of sorts with children, teenagers and adults contributing to the rise in file trafficking. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) do as much as they can to enforce copyright laws to minimize, and eventually eliminate, illegal downloading of copyright files. In an article on the RIAA website it was stated that, “One of the most important jobs of the RIAA is to investigate the illegal production and distribution of sound recordings. It is estimated that such illegal product costs the music industry more than 300 million dollars a year domestically.” In similar association to the RIAA, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), passed in 1998, enforces the rights of artists and labels to be paid and to assist the artist in controlling the access to their copyrighted work according to This Business of Music by M. William Krasilovsky and Sidney Shemel. In an interview with John Campbell, Director of Academic Computing at NAU, he said “Since we are not monitoring [student network use] we only respond when we receive a copyright complaint through the process set up by the [DMCA] or, alternatively, when we receive a subpoena from a judge requesting the identity of a student.” Campbell also stated, “In 2003… a court decision resulted in clarifying the limits to which we could protect students' network identities. When served a subpoena we must respond. I sent a message at the time to all students warning them that the law was now clear and we could not protect students as much as in the past.” “I see nothing wrong with file sharing, however I’m not the one that’s getting jipped out of money,” says eighteen-year-old Glendale, Arizona resident Lindsay Galvan, a freshman at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute. “But I see it as there is always going to be a way people can get away with out having to pay for stuff.” “First offenders are given a chance to refute the allegation…and, if they agree the content list includes copyrighted material, the student is given a severe warning... A second offense goes immediately to the Dean of Students. Increasingly, however, some copyright holders are using subpoenas and exercising their rights to sue the offenders. We handle these a little differently. We turn off access and have a discussion but we also notify the student officially that the university is legally required to release their identity to a third party and that the third party is intending legal action. In these cases student should really get their own lawyer,” said Campbell about the actions taken when copyright infringement is suspected. More than 300 notices have been received at Arizona State University (ASU) for students pirating since August 2006 according to an article in ASU’s State Press Newspaper by Sam Good. NAU has received 347 since August 2006 according to John Campbell. “Under the DMCA we must stop illegal file transfers when notified in a timely manner. To accomplish that legal requirement we try to immediately suspend the student's network access,” said Campbell. File-trafficking is not only affecting the artists and labels but record companies who sell the albums.” “I've seen the numbers and I've watched countless record stores close down because record sales have dwindled,” said twenty-two year old Ashley Whittier, a graduate of ASU with a Bachelors Degree in English. “But the reality is, I'm not paying $15.99 for a CD that features Madonna rapping about pilates and coffee. I'm too cheap to lower myself to that standard.” “Between the courts cracking down on every site that endorses file-sharing, the RIAA suing anyone with an illegal copy of the song and being too lazy to find a new search engine, iTunes really has become my best friend,” Whittier said. “I can download 20 songs for the same price of a CD basically and make it a more mixed CD to reflect my diverse taste in music.” There are so many programs available on the internet to download that allow file sharing. Programs that still offer free downloads include LimeWire, Kazaa, and Morpheus. Some programs involve monthly, yearly, or per file payment. These programs include Apple’s iTunes, the reformed Napster, Walmart.com, yahoo.com, and Rhapsody. College students need to realize the risks they are taking by violating copyright laws, however, there will still be those who proceed to live by the motto “just because I’m not supposed to do something, doesn’t mean I can’t get away with it.” www.RIAA.com http://www.riaa.com/issues/piracy/riaa.asp This business of Music: the definitive guide to the music industry. 8th Edition. M. William Krasilovsky and Sidney Shemel. Billboard Books, New York. 2000. John Campbell, Northern Arizona University Director, Academic Computing (928)523-6259 email@example.com Lindsay Galvan, 18, Glendale, AZ- firstname.lastname@example.org Ashley Whittier, 24, Glendale, AZ – Ashley.email@example.com Arizona State University, The State Press Newspaper. Friday February 23, 2007, “ASU ranks 24th for illegal downloads” by Sam Good.
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