According to an increasing number of administrators and IT chiefs at public universities in U.S., the music industry’s pursuit of students indicted of illegal file sharing is cutting into their faculty’s work day. It seems that lately, some universities have refused to send “pre-litigation” letters to students proposing them a settlement out-of-court with the RIAA.
“This is between the recording industry and the people who may be violating their copyrights,” said Brian Rust, marketing manager of the University of Wisconsin at Madison’s Department of Information Technology, which has been witnessing a constant growth of the number of subpoenas and “cease-and-desist” notices forwarded from RIAA officials in recent years. “But public institutions are an easy target. We’re very transparent about access to our network.”
Although the recording industry has relied on the higher education’s support in its battle against illegal file sharing, according to university officials, over the last year some considerable tension has built up.
One of the issues that emerged from this “partnership” regards filtering or monitoring technologies. Since they are indispensable to detecting the occurrence of illegal downloads many colleges found themselves forced to hire people full-time just to identify the IP addresses of network users who might have infringed copyright laws, search if those offenders are still enrolled in the university, and make sure the alleged infringers get warned that the RIAA is after them. After the recording industry has intensively lobbied for better network monitoring the software has been installed at campuses nationwide.
Denise Stephens, vice provost for information services and chief information officer at the University of Kansas, pointed out to this practice of monitoring students for online piracy as losing touch with the responsibility and duty of an university. Further on, Stephens ensured that Kansas’ new policy is not directed against the RIAA and that the college still keeps “a zero-tolerance file sharing policy,” which will have any student found guilty of illegal file sharing deprived of his or her network access.
“We really had to make a decision philosophically about what our role was in this whole issue,” said Stephens, who also has seen a rise in RIAA “cease-and-desist” notices. “We’d be acting as a go-between for an external party seeking to get information about our students. … We decided that was not our role.”
(photo credit – http://clumpy.blogspot.com)
The Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform has issued a consultation paper addressing the matter of copyright infringing peer-to-peer file sharing of music, films and videos.
The document aims to launch a “co-regulatory approach that could be adopted in order to facilitate and ensure co-operation between Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) and rights holders to address the problem of illicit use of Peer-to-Peer file sharing technology to exchange unlawful copies of copyright material.”
The issue of copyright and whether it still plays a major protective role to right owners in an ever increasing digital era, has triggered numerous debates. No doubt copy holders must be protected but how and at what cost? This year, the Government wrote in its Creative Britain strategy document – “The Government recognises the value of the current discussions between internet service providers and rights holders; we would encourage the adoption of voluntary or commercial agreements between the ISPs and all relevant sectors. While a voluntary industry agreement remains our preferred option, we have made clear that we will not hesitate to legislate in this area if required. To that end, we will consult on the form and content of regulatory arrangements in 2008 with a view to implementing legislation by April 2009.”
As reported by p2pON six of the largest ISP providers, namely Virgin Media, Sky, Carphone Warhouse, BT, Orange and Tiscali have inked a deal (‘Memorandum of Understanding’) with the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and the Motion Picture Association which stipulates that the ISPs will collaborate with right-owners in fighting illegal file sharing.
In the eventuality of a failure it’s very likely that the Government will soon be adopting new laws and regulations to deal with what proves to be a persistent problem.
ZvBox is a product able to broadcast your computer’s video output to various HDTVs in the house, allowing you to watch any video playable on your PC without having to leave your sofa. For the sake of an improved PC navigation on TV, the ZvBox comes with an RF remote with cursor control to let you access the desktop.
Overall, there’s a good concept behind the system and it mostly does a good job liberating your computer-based video content. However, the ZvBox does have some attributes that make it rather indesirable (as it presents itself for now) – first of all the spicy price – $500, then the relatively complicated setup structure, and a sometimes annoying remote control lag.
How does it work? – Just connect the monitor output of your PC to ZvBox, then connect ZvBox to your home’s cable TV wiring. What ZvBox does is take the high resolution output of your computer (Dolby Digital 5.1 sound included) and create a new HD channel that you can tune in together with your other TV channels from whatever HDTV you have. ZvRemote, joint with a ZvReceiver that is connected to your computer, offers total control of your computer from anywhere in the house, with multimedia and cursor control making no exception. Apart from that, you can also opt for ZvKeyboard, available August 2008, which turns emailing, surfing the web, and typing text for desktop apps into something very simple.
Specifications: Dimensions (WxDxH): 11.4 in x 4 in x 1.4 in; Weight: 1.2 lbs See full specs
Price range: $499.99
Filed under: Announcements & Events, Downloads, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services
Chicago-based Yazsoft announced yesterday that in one month’s time (until Sep 30, 2008), it will be offering 10 people a chance to win a brand new iPhone 3G (8GB). All it is required of you is sending an email with the subject line ‘I want that iPhone 3G’. The company also invites people to take a look at their brand new software release, ShareTool. To read more details about ShareTool service check out a previous post from P2PON.
Note: Everyone that registers either Speed Download or ShareTool during this period received three entries per license purchased as a modest token of thanks from us.
Getting Speed Download or ShareTool:
Both Speed Download 5 and ShareTool are available immediately through the new Yazsoft website. Free demos to both applications is available. More information is readily found throughout our website.
Filed under: Announcements & Events, Downloads, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services, Movies, MP3, Digital Audio & Games
Awaiting its annual shareholder meeting on September 18, the once digital-music pioneer, now legal service aspirant Napster announced its stakeholders in a letter Friday that it’s still employing investment bank UBS and may be planning some “strategic alternatives” in seeking a buyer.
The purpose of the letter was to determine shareholders not to give their vote to three activist candidates for the board. “The press release recently filed by the dissident group appears to imply that your board is not willing to consider a sale of the company,” the letter read. “This is not true.”
The recommendation further implied that shareholders re-elect current board members, namely Richard Royko, Philip Holthouse, and Robert Rodin and not the opposing candidates.
Napster was the first to break onto the digital music ground and the first to pay the price. The free p2p service was taken down after a high-profile trial. Since then it has perseveringly tried to make a comeback as a legitimate subscription-based music service but without too much success. Perhaps adding 6 million DRM-free MP3s would’ve made a difference, the problem was Amazon MP3 had the offer covered already.
Napster’s letter to shareholders focused on the wrong track the proposed new board members would put the company on “The dissident group’s nominees have no relevant experience in the digital-music industry, have no public-company board experience, and the dissident group has not put forth any substantive plan for how their nominees will enhance value for our stockholders, if elected to the board,” the letter read.