View Full Version : How should I respond to university copyright policy?

10-07-2008, 11:21 AM
I'd like to let the people in charge of the university I attend know how I feel about copyright policy. Here's a message all the students of our university received recently.

(university) Students

This message is going out to all students for your information and education about copyright abuse.

As you may be aware, the downloading of audio and video files on the Internet continues to make local and national headlines. I am writing today to clarify the legal implications and explain our policy as it relates to copyright law and provide alternative legal options for downloading.

It has always been against the law to copy someone else's work without permission and downloading songs from the Internet for personal use without permission and/or without paying the owner is considered theft. While not all material available on the Internet is protected by copyright, much of it is.

The U.S. Copyright Law, also found under Title 17 of the United States Code, contains serious penalties for violation of the law. Fines are assessed on each illegal copy of an item. Copying more than $1,000 worth of material can bring criminal penalties and include fines of up to $250,000 and prison terms of up to ten years.

The recording, software and movie industries have stepped up their efforts again to enforce copyright laws and are able to easily track people who maintain servers with illegal files. (university) has had hundreds outside copyright complaints since 2001 that have been handled within the (university) student judiciary system.

Our policy is to immediately block your network access if we are notified that a violation has occurred. You may be exposed to a civil lawsuit from the holder of the copyright and/or a criminal charge from the federal courts. Should you lie about your having the legal right to the material in question you may also face perjury charges. Complaints are referred to the Dean of Students office and can result in penalties of suspension.

Information on anti-piracy and lawsuits can be found at:

RIAA - Recording Industry Association of America - October 07, 2008 (http://www.riaa.org) ( RIAA - Recording Industry Association of America - October 07, 2008 (http://www.riaa.org/) )
Motion Picture Association of America (http://www.mpaa.org) ( Motion Picture Association of America (http://www.mpaa.org/) )
www.p2plawsuits.com ( http://www.p2plawsuits.com/ )

Please review the policies listed below for complete understanding of your rights, responsibilities and ownership of the accounts granted to you through the Information Technology department at (university). All policies can be found at:

(university website)

then select Services, Resources and Policies, click on Policies.

Electronic Media Intellectual Property Rights Policy
(university) - Conditions of Use
(university) Computing Account Agreement
(university) Electronic Mail Policy

(university) has partnered with Ruckus to provide legal music download and listening for (university) students. For more information on
Ruckus, please go to the web site at:

(university website)

If you have any questions about this subject please contact (name protected for privacy), Associate Director of Academic Systems at (phone number blocked for privacy) or (email protected for privacy).

I'd especially like to focus on the RIAA's dodgy legal tactics, bullying of the American people, and lies about where the money they get from lawsuits goes. I've already got some material to send to the university, but are there any sites or resources you can think of that will really spell out for them what's really going on?

10-07-2008, 11:39 AM
you dont. its not going to do anything but make you a suspect

10-07-2008, 11:45 AM
you dont. its not going to do anything but make you a suspect

I know how to anonymize myself so that they won't be able to track me (Tor, a MAC address change, and a fake email is all it really takes, I can send the response from my home internet connection). I just need to know what to say to them.

10-07-2008, 11:50 AM
why waste your time though? there just going to delete it without thinking

10-07-2008, 12:55 PM
Yeah, they probably won't do much about it. No matter what you say to them, they are a University that has to find a way to deal with it, and that's how they decided. One "customer" (you) of theirs is not going to change the way they handle piracy. They will not simply ignore the piracy that goes on, because there are legal ramifications for them as well. Don't waste your time.

10-07-2008, 01:03 PM
They won't listen to you.
Use a proxy or otherwise conceal yourself.

10-07-2008, 01:03 PM
I'm with el-camino-ss - either you make your self a suspect by using your name, or your objection is pretty much worthless from an anonymous/un-traceable person. Even if they would listen to you, they still have to obey (and enforce) the law... regardless of the RIAA's tactics. I very much doubt a university is going to take on the RIAA because of a single objection.

Not trying to knock you down, I just think it's not worth the time or effort (and possibly risk) :|

10-07-2008, 01:22 PM
Double your downloading habits and DDoS the school's website.

10-07-2008, 01:26 PM
no worries, its not like they can prove you dont own the music, use peerguardian more, and break into the wireless system, then your good to go.

but yeah, its like trying to tell a christian god doesn't exist, they just dont listen to facts.

10-07-2008, 01:31 PM
Classic example of FUD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt) at work. FUD is actually the entertainment industry's most successful weapon thus far against illegal file sharing, and you should probably read this page (http://torrentfreak.com/tackling-campus-piracy-with-fud-081005/). As for speaking to the people who run your school about this, it will most likely be a complete waste of time - they don't really care about their students (at least not those in administrative positions, trust me, I teach at the University of North Florida and they are all elitist politically correct cutthroat drones). I suggest you get your own network (I assume you're currently accessing the net from a proprietary network owned by the school, who leases the access to the net from their ISP), and pay for your own ISP service. This means that your internet activity can't be monitored by the school, and if it were, you could actually sue them for breaking privacy laws and any evidence that came from their spying would be tainted and unusable in court.