The University of Oregon (my alma mater, coincidentally) is believed to be the first US educational institution to refuse an RIAA demand to hand over the names of students alleged to have illegally downloaded music. Detailed reporting and lengthy discussion can be found at SlashDot – one alumni tech blogger’s perspective below.

The Oregon Attorney General, working with the University, has filed a motion in court to quash the legal move by the Recording Industry Association of America, which the University says is trying to force the educational institution to perform a legal investigation for the benefit of a private corporation. The agrieved parties ought to perform their own investigation, the University argues.

A number of the names requested are of students living in University of Oregon dorms, making it impossible to determine which of the students living there downloaded the music, representatives of the school said. The U of O is infamous for its inhumanely cramped dorm rooms, though, making it improbable that one resident could have committed such an act without the other being intimately aware.

According to the elderly gentleman in line at the coffee shop this morning who first told me about the news (we were discussing In Rainbows, which was playing on the stereo there) – the music industry needs to get with the times and stop taking their giant profits from the old business model for granted.