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U Washington To Serve Students Recording Industry Lawsuits

The University of Washington last week said it would charge students it detects are illegally downloading music with copyright violations on behalf of the recording industry.

The university said it will not give students' names to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)  but would identify the students via the server they used to download the audio. The students would be informed of their settlement options before they received a lawsuit, according to the Tacoma (Washington) News Tribune.

The UW decided on the policy after receiving letters from RIAA asking them to identify offending students and notify them of the settlement deadline. The university indicated it wanted to avoid having the RIAA subpoena the school for the students' names.
Standard warnings from the RIAA give the students 20 days to pay penalties ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 or be taken to court without possibility of a settlement.

UW-Seattle informed students of the new policy via a campus-wide e-mail, according to the News Tribune.

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About the Author

Paul McCloskey is contributing editor of Syllabus.

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