Tufts University Tells RIAA To Piss Off – Cites Antiquated Technology
Tufts University is rebuffing efforts by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to learn the identities of students who allegedly were file-sharing copyrighted works. Tufts claims that their antiquated network infrastructure makes it impossible to link the identity of a student to a specific IP address.
University spokesperson, Mary Jeka, informed the federal judge presiding over the case that “[Tufts] recognizes the inherent limitations of the network data retention system that [they] are currently using, and are actively looking at possible adjustments.” It is unknown whether this is simply a stalling tactic, or a real issue, but linking an IP with a particular student shouldn’t be too hard to tackle, if enough time was invested in the endeavor.
A precedent set in a prior court decision demands that network administrators must submit all possible suspects identified. However, Tufts is reluctant to release groups of student names – up to seventeen in one case. “It would be unfair to identify all possible individuals meeting the plaintiffs’ criteria, given the low likelihood of identifying the guilty party.”
The Future: It seems likely that the judge will side with the earlier decision and command Tufts to turn over the names. The question is how much bad publicity can the RIAA stand during this obvious “witch hunt.”