Legal music to our ears

The RIAA plans to target college students who download music illegally.

Downloading music online is a steady trend for college students across the nation. While many students use programs such as Apple’s iTunes to legally purchase music, many other students use illegal downloading networks to get the music they want for free. The more often a person downloads, the less thought is given to the act being illegal. However, the music industry is planning to continue searching out and filing complaints against illegal downloaders and is targeting college students specifically this fall.

The Recording Industry Association of America has been filing complaints to universities across the nation for each student they catch sharing at least one file over campus networks. Major download offenders are often taken through the court system by the RIAA.

Schools such as Ohio and Purdue have already received over 1000 complaints sent by the RIAA through e-mail. These complaints serve the purpose of telling the respective schools about the offenses of their students and allow the university to make decisions regarding punishment. Punishments have varied from warnings to suspension, depending on the school and the number of offenses.

Students at the University should be wary that the RIAA is targeting its efforts at catching college students who use illegal downloading networks. Popular programs used by students at the University that have the highest likelihood of being picked up by the RIAA are BitTorrent, Ares and eDonkey. Students should always keep in mind that whenever they are connected through the University’s wireless network or ResNet connection, their every online move can be traced to them or their computer.

Downloading songs off programs like iTunes for around a dollar per song can seem unnecessary when music can easily be downloaded illegally for free. However, getting caught by the RIAA isn’t worth it. Students should save money to purchase their favorite music, share music with friends or subscribe to services, which allow students to listen to music online for free.

There are so many ways to listen to music for free. Why continue to take the risk of getting caught for illegal downloading?