Universities not happy with BitTorrent

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It seems that quite a lot of Universities completely ban p2p traffic, without paying attention to the content that's being shared.

P2P often equals piracy and copyright infringement in the minds of some. But it is actually a great tool that can be used to spread knowledge and aid research. In fact, I’m using it every now and then to distribute large audio and video files I use in scientific experiments. Luckily I’m working on a University outside the US, relatively safe from the pressure of the MPAA and RIAA.

But not at USC, according to BoingBoing’s Cory Doctorow:

I’m spending the year at the University of Southern California on a Fulbright chair. Yesterday, some of my students forwarded me a memo sent to them by USC Deputy Chief Information Officer and Vice President for Student Affairs on “Copyright Compliance.” It purports to inform students about the contours and boundaries of copyright, but actually presents a collection of scare-tactic half-truths and astonishing statements about the purpose of the university.

In the letter, USC’s officers promise to spend students’ tuition on policing them on behalf of the entertainment industry, but make no comparable promise to protect them from the thousands of automated, baseless accusations generated by the RIAA, MPAA and BSA.

and in a response to this post:

USC has a pretty crummy track-record here: A USC UALR Bowen School of Law student who was downloading copies of Larry Lessig’s FreeCulture, a book distributed via BitTorrent and Grokster at the behest of its author, was censured by USC UALR Bowen School of Law for installing the app. He got kicked off the campus network and told that he would not be allowed back on until he promised to uninstall all general-purpose file-sharing software. He wrote letters of protest about this, but never heard back.

Will Opera with a built in BitTorrent client, or FireFox with AllPeers extention be banned as well?


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