A Really Good Question

Siva asks a really important question (Why is it a university’s business to restrict file sharing?) as his way of pointing to to this Chronicle of Higher Education article: Many Colleges Fail to Create Antipiracy Policies to Curb File Sharing, Report Says Siva also points to the report, University Policies and Practices Addressing Improper Peer-to-Peer File Sharing, whose conclusion embeds a certain notion of “mission creep” for the business of universities that is troubling:

The problem of unauthorized P2P file sharing is a significant problem on many college and university campuses. Much of the activity may be unlawful, and it can interfere with the use of campus computer networks for academic purposes. The collective impact of unauthorized file sharing is believed to be harming the entertainment market from which file sharers wish to draw enjoyment, a market that includes creators and artists as well as companies. A concerted and sustained effort by colleges and universities to substantially reduce or eliminate unauthorized file sharing through multifaceted efforts — by continuing education activities, use of network management technologies, and the development of legitimate online entertainment delivery alternatives — holds considerable promise of success. The Joint Committee of the Higher Education and Entertainment Communities will continue to try to assist work in all of these areas. [emphasis added]