It's easy to hate the RIAA these days, especially because of how close-minded they seem and the bully tactics they employ to get their way. That's why seeing an interview with the RIAA was extremely interesting to me. CNET had an interview with Cara Duckworth of the RIAA, and they asked some hard-hitting questions and came to some interesting conclusions. The most notable of those was that the RIAA actually wants to be perceived just as people see them today – as an organization that relies on lawsuits.
Many good questions are asked, such as why they focus on college students. The answer is blunt: They claim college students don't “appreciate” intellectual property and essentially need to be taught stern lessons. They also ask why the RIAA is so universally loathed, which the RIAA dodged. They claim it's really only “online” that they are hated, and that in the general public they are well received. Somehow, I doubt that. It's a very interesting short interview and definitely worth a read.