University Bans BitTorrent Sites

While students at universities in the US are pressured by the RIAA, Cardiff University citing pressure from increasing numbers of copyright infringement notices, has taken out a blunt instrument and banned it's students from accessing some of the world's largest BitTorrent sites, regardless of the legitimate content they contain.

The Information Services department of Cardiff University in the UK has notified 25,000 students of its intention to protect the university from a rising tide of copyright infringement notices due to ‘inappropriate use’ of P2P. It will accomplish this by the wholesale banning of a whole range of BitTorrent search engines and trackers from the university network.

Dear All,

Following receipt of a number of copyright infringement notices, Information Services is taking steps to protect the University.

The principle source of these copyright infringements is inappropriate use of peer-to-peer file sharing, for example Bit Torrent.

A number of web sites have been identified which primarily provide access to a high proportion of copyrighted, pornographic or offensive material. Access to these sites, listed below, will be prohibited.

This policy is not aimed at restricting legitimate academic investigation. Should access be required please contact insrvAssist.

Sites with prohibited access:

http://www.torrentsearch.com/

http://isohunt.com/

http://torrentscan.com/

http://www.torrentspy.com/

http://torrent-finder.com/

http://thepiratebay.org/

http://www.torrentreactor.to/

http://www.torrentportal.com/

http://www.mininova.org/

http://skflan.nl.tp

http://www.onlytorrents.com/

http://www.mybittorrent.com/

http://www.torrentz.com/

http://www.torrentradar.org/

http://www.demonoid.com/

http://www.smaragdtorrent.org/

http://www.fulldls.com/

http://www.torrents.to/

http://www.torrentvalley.com/

http://www.torrentshub.com/

http://fenopy.com/

http://extratorrent.com/

http://btjunkie.org/

http://www.bittorrent.am/

http://www.astatorrents.com/

http://www.meganova.org/

http://www.bitdig.com/

http://torrentattack.org/

Your insrvAssist contact for this message is XXX XXXXX.

Thank you,
Security Team

Previously, students using P2P applications Aimster, LimeWire, KaZaA, Mactella, Morpheus, Phex, iMesh, Qtella, Audiogalaxy, SwapNut, NeoModus, XoLoX , BitTorrent, WinMX, Gnutella, Gnotella, BearShare, Gnucleus and GTK-Gnutella had been told: “IMMEDIATELY ensure that your system is set to prevent the application from acting as a provider of unlicensed materials to other users.”

Its quite obvious that this message did not stop students from continuing to share files and the banning of the above sites is unlikely to stop them either. New sites appear all the time and although the blocklist takes out some major torrent sources, there are many hundreds more – e.g TorrentReactor.to is blocked but not TorrentReactor.net.

The excellent Yotoshi gets no mention and even President Bush’s torrent site is unbanned and fully available. Interested students will find the Linux stuff here.

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