The RIAA sends out over 1 million copyright warnings per year, mainly initiated by companies the RIAA hires to scour the Web for violators. Once a copyright violation is suspected a warning is sent to the violator’s ISP who than passes it on to the violator. But the RIAA has kept quiet about the procedures and how it attempts to stop those that infringe on its copyrighted material.

A recent article stated:

This week the RIAA revealed that, since October 2008, it has sent out infringement warnings to 1.8 million Internet subscribers and 269,609 to colleges and universities in the United States. This translates into an average of well over a million infringement warnings a year.

Since the RIAA stopped pursuing individuals for sharing music online a long time ago, these infringement notices are merely a warning. However, the RIAA is confident that a significant number of the recipients will change their downloading habits once they’re notified.

An RIAA spokesman declined to inform TorrentFreak whether the number of infringement notices sent out are increasing or declining. The RIAA has no hard facts on the effectiveness of the notices either, but told us that university administrators usually see “very few” repeat offenders.

RIAA’s openness with regard to their infringement notices comes right after the US put into effect a new requirement for colleges and universities to stop illicit file-sharing on their networks.

Starting this month, a provision of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 puts defiant schools at risk of losing federal funding if they don’t do enough to stop illicit file-sharers on their campus.

The article also stated this conclusion:

Whether the measures installed at colleges and universities are successful has to be doubted. We’ve reviewed the effectiveness of a few of the measures in the past and they provided little hope. If we add that users of file-hosting services such as Rapidshare and Megaupload are untraceable by the RIAA and its partners, the newly installed anti-piracy measures seem to be just symbolic.

Which made me wonder. Just how effective are these notices? Do they really scare folks into stopping what the RIAA copyright infringement, or is it just a waste of time?

What do you think?