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After issuing a subpoena to the MIT, the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) finds itself in yet another legal battle as university officials have refused to divulge their students' names. MIT is protecting students suspected of trading copyrighted files, citing privacy concerns and improper legal tactics by the RIAA as a defense.

"MIT of course has a policy of complying with lawfully issued subpoenas," the school said in a statement. "But in this case we have been advised by counsel that the subpoena was not in compliance with the court rules that apply to these subpoenas, and did not allow MIT time to send any notice as the law requires."

In its haste to fine and/or imprison music fans, the RIAA did not give MIT ample time to contact students about the subpoenas.

"A different federal law, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, prohibits colleges and universities from disclosing information about students except in certain situations. One of the situations is when an educational institution is served with valid subpoenas. However, even when valid subpoenas are served, the law requires the educational institution to give students advance notice of the existence of the subpoenas, so that they can take whatever action they may choose to try to protect their information from disclosure," MIT said.

After suing one P2P site after another, one would have thought the RIAA had mastered the art of IP litigation.

Even Michael Jackson is concerned about the war on music fans. Why do the labels need such aggressive measures in their pursuit of our youth? Why not give universities a bit of time to look after the concerns of their students?

Have we missed something? ®

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MIT release

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