Scroll down a little bit to section "" of this page to read a letter from a couple of Harvard law professors telling the RIAA to "take a hike".
This Spring, 1,200 pre-litigation letters arrived unannounced at universities across the country. The RIAA promises more will follow. These letters tell the university which students the RIAA plans on suing, identifying the students only by their IP addresses, the "license plates" of Internet connections. Because the RIAA does not know the names behind the IP addresses, the letters ask the universities to deliver the notices to the proper students, rather than relying upon the ordinary legal mechanisms.
Universities should have no part in this extraordinary process. The RIAA's charter is to promote the financial interests of its corporate members â€“ even if that means preserving an obsolete business model for its members. The university's charter is quite different. Harvard's charter reflects the purposes for which it was founded in 1636: "The advancement of all good literature, arts, and sciences; the advancement and education of youth in all manner of good literature, arts, and sciences; and all other necessary provisions that may conduce to the education of the ... youth of this country...."
The university strives to create knowledge, to open the minds of students to that knowledge, and to enable students to take best advantage of their educational opportunities. The university has no legal obligation to deliver the RIAA's messages. It should do so only if it believes that's consonant with the university's mission.
We believe it is not.
They rightly point out that the RIAA's business model has been outdated by technology and that legal bullying will only extend its lifespan for a limited time. I'm often hard on our "elite" universities, but good for Harvard.