The ninth wave of pre-litigation letters has been sent by the RIAA to administrators at 19 universities. The letters are part of the ongoing campaign to offer those using university networks to illegally share music to settle claims before they are named in a lawsuit. The 411 letters bring the total sent to 3,740.

The ongoing initiative comes as federal lawmakers continue to examine the state of copyright theft on college campuses nationwide. This summer, Congress convened a hearing focused on the technological tools that can prevent or curtail illegal file sharing.

The RIAA has also developed "best practices" information, based on the tools and practices initiated by schools experiencing fewer incidences of piracy on their networks. Specifically, universities that have experienced the most positive results have instituted specific reforms that educate students on campus network use and enforcement policies, offer affordable legal alternatives that give students access to their favorite music, and implement appropriate technological tools that protect the integrity of their networks.

"The music marketplace is a rapidly expanding landscape with legitimate new digital services emerging on almost a daily basis," says Steven Marks, RIAA executive VP/general counsel. "While it's undoubtedly our last preference to bring legal action against students, music theft remains particularly acute on college campuses. This theft triggers a harmful domino effect throughout the music community -- thousands of regular, working class musicians and others out of work, record stores shuttered, new bands never signed. When faced with this reality, we have no choice but to hold those individuals responsible for ignoring the law and all the great new legal ways to get affordable, high-quality music."

A survey by Student Monitor from last year found that more than half of college students download music and movies illegally. According to market research firm NPD Group, college students alone accounted for more than 1.3 billion illegal music downloads in 2006.

The RIAA this week sent letters in the following quantities to 19 schools including: Drexel University (17 pre-litigation settlement letters), Indiana University (23), Northern Illinois University (25), Occidental College (19), State University of New York at Morrisville (18), Texas Christian University (20), Tufts University (15), University of Alabama (14), University of California, Berkeley (19), University of Delaware (18), University of Georgia (13), University of Iowa (18), University of Michigan - Ann Arbor (20), University of Nebraska-Lincoln (13), University of New Hampshire (30), University of New Mexico (17), University of South Florida (43), University of Southern California (37) and Vanderbilt University (32).

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