Consumerist points to a PDF of the "pre-litigation settlement letter" RIAA lawyers sent to college students accused of copyright infringement. The accused are invited to fess up and pay up in 20 days (at this website, for instance), or the RIAA will sue (and, this FAQ says, tell their parents):
We have asked your Internet Service Provider to forward this letter to you in advance of our filing lawsuit against you in federal court for copyright infringement. We represent a number of large record companies, including SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group, as well as all of their subsidiaries ("Record Companies,") in perusing claims of copyright infringement against individuals who have illegally uploaded or downloaded sound-recordings on peer-to-peer networks.
We have gathered evidence that you have been infringing copyrights owned by the Record Companies. We are attaching to this letter a sample of the sound recordings you were found distributing via the AresWarezUS (Ares) peer-to-peer network. In total, you were found to be distributing 321 files, a substantial number of which are sound recordings controlled by the Record Companies.
The reason we are sending you this letter to you in advance of filing suit is to give you the opportunity to settle these claims are early as possible. If you contact us within the next twenty (20) calendar days, we will offer to settle the claims for a significantly reduced amount compared to the judgment amount a court may enter against you…
Previously on BoingBoing:
Reader comment: Mark Levitt says,
The newly launched RIAA website "p2plawsuits.com" has an FAQ section full of half-truths, at best. I've taken a few moments to comment on the worst ones and written it up on my blog.
UPDATE: Here's an account of university response to the RIAA letters from the USC campus publication, and here's another from Arizona State. A number of schools have already handed over student data to the RIAA, and others are now weighing whether or not to do so. (Thanks, Matt Abney)