RIAA Files 23 "John Doe" Lawsuits Against NC State Students

Making good on their promise to file lawsuits against students who did not take the settlement offer, the RIAA has filed 23 lawsuits against NC State students who declined to identify themselves and pay the $3,000.
From the Technician Online:

Pam Gerace, the director of Student Legal Services at the University, is fighting the lawsuits for her student clients. She advises that the students should remain anonymous.

“The RIAA actually said they might have use for the names in the future,” Gerace said

Gerace goes on to say that NC State Student Legal Services will help students fight their subpoenas. “If someone is subpoenaed and they say they don’t want to comply, the subpoenaed party says they can’t come for a certain reason,” Gerace said. “Then it goes to the federal court who could take a year to make a decision… but if they do nothing and it is valid, then the University would have to give out their names and addresses,” Gerace said.

This is exactly what you should be worried about when you’re 19. Dodging subpoenas. —MEGHANN MARCO

RIAA files 23 lawsuits against NCSU [Technician Online]
(Photo: hyku)


Edit Your Comment

  1. cracker002 says:

    Um, 19-year-olds are adults, and as such don’t get a pass on anything. Including getting supoenas from nasty, litigious corporate associations.

  2. Stepehn Colbert says:

    Pfft..next you’ll hear something like “RIAA offering free pizza and scholarships to students on campuses who turn others in for copyright infringement.”

  3. r81984 says:

    What does the RIAA expect to gain from a poor college student.

    I bet every one of those students is in debt with loans or they have no job and no money.

    Either way is the RIAA just doing this to force them into bankrupcy and to ruin their credit for 10 years.

    How do you sue someone for money when they have none?

  4. bravo369 says:

    What could the RIAA do if universities all started doing what U of Nebraska does? Just have dynamic IP addresses and then purge your records of who had that IP after a week. They can’t force you to change your policies. Wouldn’t this just save the U from any lawsuits or having to comply with subpeonas?

  5. @Cracker002

    So far EMI, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and Buena Vista Music Group (Disney) (I refuse to let them try and hide behind the RIAA logo) seem to have a “no pass” age window that starts at 10 and goes to just over 1 year dead.

  6. SexCpotatoes says:

    Remember, mommy and daddy have money, and the RIAA is just looking for a parental bailout. Mommy and Daddy paid for the clothes, cars, credit cards, and classes, so why shouldn’t they pay for this?

  7. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    Why sue college students? Well, it looks like the RIAA wants to “teach” them an early lesson in life. This is a letter from the CEO and President..

    This is about a generation of music fans. College students used to be the music industry’s best customers. Now, finding a record store still in business anywhere near a campus is a difficult assignment at best. It’s not just the loss of current sales that concerns us, but the habits formed in college that will stay with these students for a lifetime. This is a teachable moment – an opportunity to educate these particular students about the importance of music in their lives and the importance of respecting and valuing music as intellectual property.

    Rest of the letter here..


  8. mac-phisto says:

    hmm. exactly what is the legality behind a “john doe” subpoena. last time i checked, you can’t file a court claim against someone unless you have their name & address.

    the courts have repeatedly ruled that an ip address is an invalid way to prove identity, & there is also ground for fighting against the amount the riaa claims it is owed. more than one case that i came across notated that the fair market value of a song is between $0.99 – $1.50 (or something close to that). charging as much as $750/song is ludacrous.

    if it were me, i’d tell them to stick it.

  9. methane says:

    Recording Industry Ass. of America CEO must not know that SchoolKids Records is right across the street from NCSU. And, BTW – it’s awesome. Of course, they sell used CDs too, which I bet the RIAA hates!!!

  10. chimmike says:


    Uh, in a lot of cases, that’s not true. I paid my way through college with scholarships and by working. What does RIAA have to gain from a student who owns nothing? They can’t place a lien on any property if the student doesn’t own anything.

    Their main purpose is to scare people.

    Applause to NC State for helping their students.

  11. some_stupid_nut says:

    Way better than Virginia Tech who just handed over their 26 students names.

  12. some_stupid_nut says:

    Correction, 16 students.

  13. Trai_Dep says:

    “College students used to be the music industry’s best customers.”

    You mean, back in the days of college radio stations, free-format stations and before broadcaster consolidation? Back when ugly-yet-talented-singers had a prayer of getting exposure?

    Oh yeah, back in those days.

    Swear to gods, the music industry raises barrier upon barrier to decent new music getting heard, produces polished crap, then blames US for their mistake.


  14. strandist says:

    NC State’s Student Legal Services kick ass. They helped me out a couple times while I was there. Makes me proud to be an alum. NCSU was always one of those schools who seemed to look the other way until someone complained and then they followed the letter of the law as far as they were required to. Go Pack!