Looks like my Alma Mater is getting a taste of the RIAA's latest campaign to generate ill will amongst its consumers. 12 students at Brown University have been targeted and will be given 20 days to cry uncle and settle at a discount, before the RIAA actually files any sort of law suit. From the Brown Daily Herald:
The University received pre-litigation settlement letters yesterday from the Recording Industry Association of America accusing 12 undergraduates of illegally downloading copyrighted music. The letters give the targeted students a 20-day window to settle with the record companies out of court before they will subpoena the University for the students' names and file lawsuits against them.

The letters are part of a "third wave" of RIAA action that includes 413 letters sent to 21 universities in the United States, according to a press release from the RIAA, an industry group representing the major record labels. The letters inform the students that they will be sued if they do not settle by paying a reduced amount to prevent the issue from going to court.

I know this has been done to death already, but when is someone with some real influence finally going to stand up and tell the RIAA that abusing your customers is bad business? The deafening cacophony from the bloggers seems to fall on deaf ears. I sometimes wonder if it even emboldens these people.

The consumer, not the corporation, drives the market. This may not always have been the case and 10 years ago Warner Music may have been able to make a stink-load of money on a CD full of dreck with one hit mixed in. This will never, ever, EVER be the case again. Ever. Ever ever ever. Stop suing your customers and listen to them. You'll make a lot more money.

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