Recording and Motion Picture Industries Launch New Anti-Piracy Effort Targeting Colleges and Universities

In letters mailed today [April 27], the two industry associations alerted 40 university presidents about local area network (LAN) piracy problems on their campuses and encouraged immediate action to stop and prevent theft by such means.

According to the two groups, the majority of illegal copying and distribution of music and movies occurs over the public Internet on peer-to-peer (“P2P”) file-sharing systems.  But students at colleges and universities increasingly have been using programs like Direct Connect (DC++), MyTunes and OurTunes to engage in such activity on campus LANs without using the broader public Internet.  The perceived security and privacy of these campus LANs give many students incentive to engage in activity they have otherwise learned is illegal and unacceptable.

“We are appreciative of our partners in the university community and all they have done in recent years to tackle the problem of digital piracy at campuses across the country,” said RIAA President Cary Sherman in a prepared statement.  “Despite the progress achieved by our collaborative efforts, this remains an ever-evolving problem.  We cannot ignore the growing misuse of campus LAN systems or the toll this means of theft is taking on our industry. As we prioritize our focus on campus LAN piracy in the coming year, we hope administrators will take this opportunity to fully evaluate their systems and take action to stop theft by all means.”