Students paying big bucks in penalties for sharing music files

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is serving 'pre-warning' litigation letters to thousands of students on college and university campuses. These letters are served to campus IT departments, which in turn are obligated to deliver them to students. They indicate that the computer at a specified internet address has been serving up copyrighted materials illegally. If that internet address is assigned to you, you're on the hook. The letters warn that a civil law suit will follow. Students, however, have an option to settle in advance at a discounted rate, often for several thousand dollars. (Read more)

Regardless of what you think of the tactic or the music industry, they mean business. If you are using a music file sharing software and you're sharing those files with others, you are vulnerable. PSU does not condone or support file sharing. It is wrong and illegal.

Please stop! In addition to the RIAA, Congress is starting to get involved, too. If the practice continues, higher ed institutions may be required to exert controls around specific types of traffic on our network. That will have consequences for legitimate file sharing and traffic as well.

You have alternatives! Use your iTunes for music streaming. Go to or another free music service. Share your CDs. But stop grabbing and sharing music for free with file sharing programs!

If you don't, you may pay dearly.