October 13, 2004

UCLA Educational Processes [12:36 pm]

The RIAA helping higher education to set important educational goals: UCLA File Swappers in Quarantine

Entertainment and higher-education officials have been working together toward two objectives: to bring low-cost music download services to campuses to give students an alternative to P2P networks, and to develop technological measures to stem the tide of copyright violations occurring over file-trading networks.

UCLA Quarantine focuses on the second issue: The school developed a system that automatically alerts students to copyright violations. Since it debuted in the spring, the system has been successful, according to Davis.

When a person is flagged for a copyright infringement violation by a copyright holder, like a music label or movie studio, their IP address is automatically cut off from all network access except university resources, ending the student’s ability to swap files.

Students are able to get themselves out of quarantine quickly by visiting a web page, agreeing to the school’s acceptable-use policy and removing the copyright material. After a student takes these steps, their computer is automatically taken out of quarantine, and full network services are restored within a day. The school stores data about the students, who are identified by IP address, in case of a future offense.

On the other hand, it’s clear that the students are learning something — the question is whether they are learning not to infringe or how to infringe without being detected:

Wada said students who receive the notices tend not to repeat the offense. Davis reported there have been no second offenders since Quarantine went into place. But if a student feels he has been mistakenly targeted, he can talk to the dean of students. In case of a repeat offender, the student is also referred to the dean.

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DoJ Cybercrime Report [7:23 am]

Report of the Department of Justice’s Task Force on Intellectual Property — note that this is a PDF that has been “protected” from things like copy and paste, in keeping with this administration’s positions in this area.

Lots to read here, but in “Principles for Pending Legislation” and “Principles for Future Legislation” we find these sweeping recommendations:

The circumvention of technological safeguards protecting copyrighted works should be subject to prosecution. [...]

The passive sharing of copyrighted works for unlawful duplication should be trated as the distribution of those works and should, where appropriate, be subject to prosecution. [...]

Copyright law should recognize the premium value of a copyrighted work before the work is released for sale to the general public. [...]

The law should provide a remedy against those who intentionally induce infringement. [...]

Counterfeit and stolen intellectual property should not be permitted to flow into or out of the United States. [...] The Task Force recommends further consideration of a proposal to criminalize the importation and exportation of counterfeit goods and unauthorized copies of copyrighted works into and out of the United States.

See Crackdown urged on copyright piracy; Justice Dept. wants new antipiracy powers

As Derek says, this ain’t pretty.

Update: Following a couple of email exchanges, it turns out that if you have access to the link the DoJ gave to government librarians, you can get a copy of the report without the password protection that makes cutting and pasting so difficult. Thanks, Eli!

Later: Derek Slater’s thoughts: More on the DoJ Report

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