The Real Facts about Gustavus and the RIAA

There have been some pretty wild rumors going around campus, so we wanted to get out some accurate information about the College's dealings with the RIAA.

Interactions the College has had with the RIAA

  • For several years the RIAA has been sending Gustavus e-mails letting us know that specific computers are sharing specific files and requesting that we ensure that those files are taken down. Referred to as a DMCA Notification. In general we have cooperated with the RIAA by taking away Internet access from those computers until the user says they are not sharing that file anymore. We have received very few of these notices this school year.
  • Sometime in March, we received a letter from the RIAA informing us of their intentions to ask for a subpoena that would require Gustavus to reveal the identity of a specific computer's registered owner. They also indicated that a settlement letter would be sent to the college that was to be forwarded to the user, providing the user the option to settle the case.
  • We have not received either a subpoena or a settlement letter. We have not sent any information back to the RIAA.

File sharing using Gustavus' network

  • When you download something using a Peer to Peer file sharing program, your computer is connecting to computers whose owners you don't know. Some of those computers might be owned by other students, but some could easily be owned by the RIAA or companies working for them.
  • When you make a connection to another computer on the Internet, the computer on the other side of the connection can identify your computer.

Some clarifications

  • Gustavus is not giving the RIAA any sort of special monitoring capability or otherwise helping the RIAA target Gustavus students.
  • Gustavus does not intend to give the RIAA any information about our students until required to by law.

Useful resources

If you have any questions about Peer to Peer file sharing or Gustavus' technology policies, please feel free to stop by and make an appointment with Bruce Aarsvold or the Systems Administrators who would be happy to talk to you.