First take a look at what the RIAA really is: it's a trade organization run by lawyers to represent four corporations who operate in the USA. THAT'S IT! It does not represent the bulk of the music that is being produced worldwide, nor should it have as much influence over laws as it does. At one time it was six companies and it will become three as soon as EMI, already practically on life support, finally kicks the bucket (UPI).
Now, consider this, as explained in The RIAA vs. John Doe (Digital Music Weblog), there is no way for the RIAA to prove their case in any court with the evidence that they can collect.
So the question emerges: "what the hell are they trying to do here?" Possible answers are "it's a publicity stunt to get more people investing in their junk stocks" (see EMI Shares Tumble, AP); "it's yet another scare tactic" (ex: Grokster); or possibly they are finally ready to put themselves completely out of business. (Allegedly major label sales plummited 23 percent from 2003 so it won't be long till there's no major labels at this rate.)
The music industry will continue and the RIAA will be dead before long: judges are throwing out lawsuits, forcing the RIAA to pay wrongfully accused defendant's legal fees, and even the government is tired of this bullshit and trying to pass a new Fair Use Bill, (Wired). This all costs loads of money they simply no longer have.So, college students, and everybody else reading this: download away. Downloading isn't illegal (The Guardian). Sharing without permission might be, so we won't recommend doing that! We'll leave that to the big media corporations like Rolling Stone, Spin, or Pitchfork who are known to be the ones who leak the albums months before they are released, but you know no RIAA lawsuit has been filed yet on their precious, precious press.