RIAA Offers 'Deal' to College File-Sharers

The Recording Industry Association of America is sending letters to students at universities across the country, urging them to settle suits over illegal downloading of music. If students pay now they can avoid much bigger obligations later, the RIAA says.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

Our business news starts with a deal college students should not refuse. A recording industry suit has threatened college students hundreds of thousands of dollars for illegally sharing music on the Internet. But the group says it's willing to download a smaller chunk of the violators' wallets.

The Recording Industry Association of America told one student at Ohio University that she was liable for nearly $600,000 in fines for distributing copyrighted songs on the Web. In many cases, the RIAA is offering to drop its lawsuit for as little as $3,000.

The association is sending letters to students at universities across the country, urging them to settle now or pay even more later. Currently the fine is $750 for each illegal song.

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