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The University of Nebraska has complained that the Recording Industry Ass. of America wants it do its work of tracking down file sharers.

The University IT system assigns a new Internet Protocol number to a computer everytime it is switched on. But it only stores this information for a month so. Although the RIAA can track people sharing music to individual IP numbers, it cannot link that number to an individual student.

So although the RIAA is ready to sue 36 students for sharing music files it can only identify nine of them, and it regards this as a problem for the university.

A spokeswoman for the RIAA said: "One would think universities would understand the need to retain these records," according to the Omaha World Herald.

But the university made clear it did not believe it had any role in doing the RIAA's work for it. In fact, a lawyer for the university wrote to the RIAA asking to be reimbursed for the cost of tracking down students.

The university's chief information officer Walter Weir told the paper: "We're spending taxpayer dollars tracking down RIAA problems. Are we an agent of the RIAA? Why aren't they paying us for this?"

The university said each requests costs it $11 to deal with - and the RIAA has sent the university over 1,000 such requests.

The lobby group advised the university to block all peer-to-peer software to combat the problem, but the university refused because such programmes have academic uses too.

More from the Omaha World Herald. ®

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