RIAA Ups Settlement Offer

In a move to decrease the amount of cases that lead to litigation, the RIAA has instituted an escalating system of monetary penalties for college students who refuse their initial settlement offer. Previously, the RIAA has issued pre-litigation letters that inform students of their legal rights and offer a settlement offer, typically around $3,000.In a move to decrease the amount of cases that lead to litigation, the RIAA has instituted an escalating system of monetary penalties for college students who refuse their initial settlement offer. Previously, the RIAA has issued pre-litigation letters that inform students of their legal rights and offer a settlement offer, typically around $3,000. While many students do settle, there are many who try to overturn the subpoena in an attempt to prevent the RIAA from learning their identity in court. Although some cases are still pending, no student has yet successfully quashed an RIAA subpoena. Instead, these cases typically end when the college student settles for an amount higher than the initial offer, due to the now-added legal fees.

Recent circumstances have forced the RIAA to reevaluate the way it processes a claim due to the increase in the number of cases that move beyond the pre-litigation letters. Under the new plan, if a student fails to respond to the original pre-litigation letter, the settlement rate increases to $4,000, as this forces the RIAA to go to court to obtain the identity of the accused violator. In addition, if the student challenges the suit, the settlement rate increases up to $8,000.

The RIAA claims that these rate increases are in the best interest of all involved parties since students who now challenge a case may pay additional court costs higher than $4,000. The recent challenges to the RIAA suits regarding making files available for download, however, are causing many to question exactly whose best interests the policy actually protects.

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