What is the RIAA?
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is the trade organization that supports and promotes the creative and financial vitality of the major music companies. Its members are the music labels that comprise the most vibrant record industry in the world. RIAA® members create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 85% of all legitimate recorded music produced and sold in the United States.
In support of this mission, the RIAA works to protect the intellectual property and First Amendment rights of artists and music labels; conduct consumer, industry and technical research; and monitor and review state and federal laws, regulations and policies.
What is the MPAA?
The Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA), originally the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA), was founded in 1922 and is designed to advance the business interests of its members. MPAA is a United States non-profit business trade organization and administers the voluntary, but dominant MPAA film rating system. MPAA ratings carry no force of local, state, or federal law anywhere in the United States. They only serve as a consumer suggestion by a group of corporate analysts. After screening films, the selected viewers arrive at one of five ratings. Theater owners agree to enforce corporate film ratings as determined by the MPAA, which in turn facilitates their access to new film releases.
As part of its campaign to curb copyright infringement, the MPAA fights against sharing copyrighted works via peer-to-peer file-sharing networks. The MPAA's anti-piracy campaign has gained much publicity and criticism.
This is what is says about higher education & copyright violations
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
The DMCA is legislation enacted by the United States Congress in October 1998 that made major changes to the US Copyright Act. These changes were necessary in part to bring US Copyright law into compliance with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances Phonograms Treaty. The DMCA also strengthened the legal protection of intellectual property rights in the wake of emerging new information communication technologies
What is Online Piracy?
Music theft is a real, ongoing and evolving challenge. Both the volume of music acquired illegally without paying for it and the resulting drop in revenues are staggering. Digital sales, while on the rise, are not making up the difference.
Common Examples of Online Copyright Infringement:
* You make an MP3 copy of a song because the CD you bought expressly permits you to do so. But then you put your MP3 copy on the Internet, using a file-sharing network, so that millions of other people can download it.
*Even if you don’t illegally offer recordings to others, you join a file-sharing network and download unauthorized copies of all the copyrighted music you want for free from the computers of other network members.
* In order to gain access to copyrighted music on the computers of other network members, you pay a fee to join a file-sharing network that isn’t authorized to distribute or make copies of copyrighted music. Then you download unauthorized copies of all the music you want.
* You transfer copyrighted music using an instant messenging service.
* You have a computer with a CD burner, which you use to burn copies of music you have downloaded onto writable CDs for all of your friends.
* Somebody you don’t even know e-mails you a copy of a copyrighted song and then you turn around and e-mail copies to all of your friends.
Who are the MPAA and the RIAA? Are they spying on me?
The University of Arizona explains it best:
Major owners of copyright materials -- including movie studios, record labels, software and entertainment companies -- all routinely use "sniffers" (technology that detects patterns of computer use that are consistent with downloading and sharing movies, songs and other content). The interests of these copyright owners are protected by trade and advocacy organizations like the MPAA and RIAA
10 Copyright Myths Explained
Check out this article for great explanations of the common myths surrounding copyrights