The music industry has tripled the number of copyright infringement complaints sent to colleges and universities this year over last, with some receiving more than 1,000 notices on individual students since the beginning of the school year this fall, according to an AP report .
According to information the RIAA provided the AP, the top five schools targeted are Ohio, Purdue, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of Tennessee and the University of South Carolina. In total, the RIAA has identified 15,000 students at 25 universities this year.
Universities are left up to their own devices to punish students, which generally escalate from an e-mail warning, to forcing students to watch an anti-piracy video, to disconnecting a student's Internet connection and even suspending them from school for the semester.
While universities may bristle somewhat at being forced into this role, they are all-too aware that federal law allows the RIAA to sue them if they don't take steps to resolve the complaints. Purdue officials, for instance, says it rarely notifies students identified by the RIAA.
"In a sense, the (complaint) letter is asking us to pursue an investigation, and as the service provider we don't see that as our role," a university spokesman told the AP.