The Daily Princetonian – Students raise funds for roommate sued by RIAA

Delwin Olivan ’08 might be luckier than the other 23 University students charged with music piracy by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) last spring — his friends created a website and t-shirt line to defray the cost of his settlement.

Olivan stands accused of distributing songs via the file-sharing network i2hub, which closed in November following a cease and desist letter from the RIAA.

Delwin Olivan, is apparently, just one of nearly 25 students being charged. But his situation may be a little different as his friends have set up a website to help raise money to pay the $5,000 he has been ‘offered’ as settlement by the RIAA.

Olivan stands accused of distributing songs on the file-sharing network i2hub, which closed in November following a cease and desist letter from the RIAA.

The fact that the i2hub system has been shutdown has not stopped the RIAA from continuing their attacks against individuals who had made use of the system. They have not counted their blessings that further filesharing on the system is no longer possible. Instead, they continue to go after individual users of the now defunct system.

Olivan, according to the article doesn’t even have $5,000 in his bank account to cover such a charge. He is apparently not from a family who would have money to be of any real help in this situation.

According to the article posted at The Daily Princetonian above, an RIAA representative phoned Olivan on November 5, and told him to settle the case for $5,000 within 60 days or face far greater claims in court.

James Hamm ’08, a friend down the hall, registered the domain name freedelwin.org. Gleason designed the website. Olivan posed for t-shirts. The roommates then proceeded to flyer Forbes.

Delwin Olivan does not deny his filesharing or his innocence, only his financial need.

The site further states that,

“The money is all going to the RIAA. We set up separate PayPal accounts for students who have PayPal accounts and students who donate through PayPal with credit or debit cards. We keep cash donations locked in a box. It’s completely legitimate,” Gleason said.

Olivan and Gleason said donations and student interest have exceeded their expectations; they will probably order a second batch of t-shirts. Still, they doubt Free Delwin will raise enough money to fully cover Olivan’s $5,000 settlement.

The closing statement is telling:

“How many people have really never shared music? Delwin was just one of the unlucky ones who got caught.”

Just another in the long list of individuals being pursued for filesharing in this country.

I think it is such a sad thing that the RIAA, which consists of such a small percentage of the population of the USA has had such a devastating effect on the individual lives of so many of their fellow Americans whether they have the money to pay it or not.

The RIAA’s expectations of when these monies should be paid to them is absolutely unflexible. They set deadlines like they are the government themselves. No, actually, the government is more forgiving on timeframes for even IRS tax payments, particularly in cases where the money is not there and would hurt the ability of the payor to meet their everyday needs.

I truly believe that the artists have a right to say what should be done with their music, but I also feel that this course of action against individuals by the RIAA is totally unjustified and unjust.

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Comments on: "The Daily Princetonian – Students raise funds for roommate sued by RIAA" (1)

  1. […] Steve Schwartz, a Junior at Columbia University about his plight with the RIAA. He, like Delwin Olivan ‘08 on The Daily Princetonian, understands that he should not have been filesharing. He furt […]

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