USF Law's Internet/Intellectual Property Justice Clinic will provide counseling for those targeted by the RIAA. Very cool. The RIAA often sends out
pre-litigation letters to suspected infringers, demanding individuals fork over a few
thousand dollars to settle or face litigation. The threat of litigation
is often enough to force settlement, even if the individual is innocent.
Litigation sucks and at the very least this service should go a long way to assist recipients of the pre-litigation letters. One individual currently receiving help from USF is "a 60-year-old Haitian woman who speaks broken English, works six days a week for $8.50 an hour, and has never used a computer who is defending herself against charges that she is an 'online media distributor.' " Nice move, RIAA.
No matter how you feel about the their tactics, at least a large portion of the $400,000,000.00 that the RIAA has raked in through litigation threats was distributed to the artists, right? Oh, apparently not.