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It's not enough to raise our fees and tuition yearly.

It's not enough to outsource our housing bus service to a company that has cut the shuttle service to the point where it is easier and faster to WALK to campus.

Now, our school has decided to fully cooperate with the RIAA in hunting down and prosecuting its students for file sharing.

my college's lovely little love note

Oh it gets better:

(More on the flip.)

You see, I used to do a web show, and I reviewed bad movies.  Faster than you can say "Fair use" I get a "unofficial" note that posting my older videos is a violation of the schools policy.

That video I did for Computer Gaming class?  It used footage from video games, which means I'm distributing copyrighted material according to the official "policy" email I received.

Just waiting for the next little bombshell.  So, torrents go bye, bye, just in case.  I don't trust my school, since they've told me that excessive bandwidth usage is "cause for concern."  I am actually a little worried about the next game I download from steam, since that's A LOT of info coming to me...

The thing that gets me is...  "The majority of violations are occurring in East Campus Housing and in dorms."  So, that means that it's happening in students own living spaces.  I wasn't aware that by living in student housing I had given up my fourth amendment rights.  Oh but WAIT!  I hear them cry!  It's OUR housing!  It's OUR property, therefore... blah blah...

That's nice.  It's also the reason the RIAA has been going after college students the last  4 YEARS!.  Since they get "Use Policy" on their side, a school policy allows them to gather evidence for criminal prosecution, neatly sidestepping any laws about invading privacy.

Well, that's great.  Our students don't have enough to worry about with actual LEARNING, let's make em look over their shoulder in fear that the download of Lady Gaga might get em expelled, sued and imprisoned.

As always the rich go after the defenseless.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 02:03:27 PM PST

  •  Heh. (4+ / 0-)
    So, that means that it's happening in students own living spaces.  I wasn't aware that by living in student housing I had given up my fourth amendment rights.
    By living in campus housing? You didn't.

    By using their network? You probably did.

    Every time I sign on to the wireless network at the school where I teach, there's that little fine print down at the bottom telling me that my network use is subject to the school's Terms of Use.

    I haven't read the terms because the school network isn't my primary network, but I'd wager that among those terms, is their right to shut me down if I'm sharing copyrighted material without permission.

    I'd be shocked if your school didn't have something similar for their network.

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

    by JamesGG on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 02:17:45 PM PST

    •  Got nothing against them... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tonedevil, Brown Thrasher, BusyinCA

      shutting me down if they feel I've used their network improperly.

      I DO have a problem with them sending the data to a third party so that party can sue me.

      I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

      by detroitmechworks on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 03:07:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And you have every right... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        detroitmechworks, charliehall2

        ...to have a problem with it. Handing over network data to a third party like the RIAA is a terrible idea.

        But that doesn't make it a Fourth Amendment issue.

        In all likelihood, you've already agreed to let them send anything accessible over their network to the RIAA.

        If you don't want them sending your data to a third party, don't use their network.

        "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

        by JamesGG on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 03:16:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Will they refund me the part of my tuition (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Caj, G2geek

          That goes to pay for my network access if I use another server?

          Will they offer me alternate ways to turn in my assignments that do not require accessing the universities computers?

          Of course not.  

          They may have the "Right" to do what they do, but that doesn't make it right.

          I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

          by detroitmechworks on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 03:30:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You can always pay for alternative internet access (0+ / 0-)

            I pay for broadband wireless to avoid work computers.

            You can, too.

            Stop whining.

            •  No. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek, Brown Thrasher, Caj

              this is not whining.  This is bitching.  

              If I had said they had no right, there outta be a law, somebody DO something! That would have been whining.

              As It is, I'm saying, it sucks.  And it's wrong.  End of case.

              Stop judging.

              I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

              by detroitmechworks on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 06:37:12 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  No its not wrong. (0+ / 0-)

                It is the university's servers. They can do what they want with them. And you can use another method to access the internet.

                •  Talking morally? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Brown Thrasher

                  Hell yeah it's wrong!

                  Free exchange of ideas, college environment, broadening the mind, the list goes on.

                  They wanna go with Property rights trump all in a public university?

                  Servers that belong to the public?

                  That's hypocrisy.  And it's wrong.  But the laws on their side, so I won't argue legality.

                  I will argue morality on this one.

                  I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

                  by detroitmechworks on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 06:44:15 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No, YOU are immoral (0+ / 0-)

                    The university set ground rules for you to follow when using their property. You broke those rules.

                    Hey, can I come into your apartment and mess up your kitchen some time?

                    •  I see our disagreement. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Brown Thrasher

                      You are of the "Property rights trump everything" school of thought.

                      Even when such things are public property, and the rules are not voted on, instituted by appointed bodies with no recourse for those affected by them other than strongly worded letters to the editor.

                      And it's not my kitchen.  It's OUR kitchen, and they're telling you that you aren't allowed to make scrambled eggs because that's what the head chef decided.   In fact they are going to give information about what you do in the kitchen to Frank over there, who will SUE you if you make scrambled eggs.  No, you don't get to vote on who the head chef is.  No, even if you do everything right they're going to give the info to Frank.  The chef and Frank are appointed by people.  Smart people.  People smarter than you, don't worry your head about it.

                      I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

                      by detroitmechworks on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 08:01:49 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                •  That's not actually true. (0+ / 0-)
                  It is the university's servers. They can do what they want with them.
                  Can your landlord covertly install a camera in your showerhead?  After all, it's his building and he can do what he wants with it.

                  In fact, there are many things you are not allowed to do with your servers.  For example, it is illegal to save and improperly handle certain personal information of your users.  You are required to obey certain laws and respect certain rights, even though you own the infrastructure and users agree to abide by your rules.

                  Linking to a news article is journalism in the same sense that putting a Big Mac on a paper plate is cooking.

                  by Caj on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 07:16:51 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I'm with you. Fight back: just say "EFF." (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                detroitmechworks, Brown Thrasher, Caj

                The idea that an institution of whatever kind, can use its control over someone's physical location as a means of enforcing policies that infringe privacy and freedom of speech, is disgusting.  

                Something else you can do: start a membership drive for EFF on your campus.  http://www.eff.org    And start spreading EFF materials around to educate people about the issues.

                "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                by G2geek on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 07:01:55 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  what to do about this: boycott the bastards. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brown Thrasher

        The ONLY (nonviolent) way to get rid of RIAA is to stop buying their product.  MPAA too.

        So organize a boycott.  Promote independent music and film that has nothing to do with either of those monsters.  There's enough good indie content out there to keep anyone happy for the rest of their lives.  Get your fellow students to sign a pledge swearing off RIAA & MPAA content and committing to seeking out independent content.  

        As for the school's network, there are potential technical solutions to that, though they would require a lot of cooperation by students who are sick of having their privacy invaded.  

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 06:59:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  How do we boycott at the university level? (0+ / 0-)

          What you really need is to convince the University to stand up to lawyerly demands of outside entities.

          Note that this isn't just about the Internet and downloads.  Universities get threatened with legal action over all sorts of things, for example clinical studies that question the efficacy of a commercial pharmaceutical, security research that makes a commercial product look bad, libel suits by random crazies or even helicopter parents, efforts by denial movements to remove the requirement of evolutionary biology from science classes, etc.  

          As part of the committment to academic freedom, a university's legal department should be ready for this stuff, and should be prepared to take a firm stance by default, rather than freaking out, running in circles, and agreeing to cancel someone's account or fire an adjunct or hire an extra staff member to do secretarial work for the MPAA.

          Linking to a news article is journalism in the same sense that putting a Big Mac on a paper plate is cooking.

          by Caj on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 07:25:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Welcome to the DMCA... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    detroitmechworks, charliehall2, Caj

    also known to those of us who value fair use of copyrighted material in education as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, AKA "Your ticket to Bizarro World". Basically, because you used digital rather than print material, you've been caught by the massive squeeze on fair use the RIAA and the MPAA managed to get through back in 1998 and that has been a plague on fair use for years. But there may be hope for you in fighting back against what your college is doing.

    In July 2010, the Copyright Office issued a new set of exemptions to the DMCA, as they do every three years (under the guidance of the Librarian of Congress.) The current set seems to me to exempt exactly the things your college is coming after you for, though not some of the things you're complaining about.

    For instance, that computer gaming class video would likely fall under the exemptions, since it is a non-commercial work using short section of video for clearly educational purposes. This should include your posting of it online. Your college may still not allow this for other reasons (like the bandwidth it could take up) but they don't look like they have a leg to stand on as far as copyright infringement goes.

    Downloading movies or music, however, is clearly a copyright violation and they are required by the DMCA to try and stop you, since they are (effectively) your service provider and can be held legally accountable if they don't. This has been challenged before in court, but not successfully. Essentially, the network does belong to the school and that is the medium by which the copyright infringement takes place, so...

    Unfortunately, whatever we may think of the DMCA and the rapacious nature of the RIAA and MPAA (and it sure isn't much on my part), your college is doing what they must do when it comes to file sharing of copyrighted materials.

    Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzu The Art of War

    by Stwriley on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 03:36:02 PM PST

    •  You'd THINK that... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NoMoreLies, G2geek, Stwriley

      the people who would be on the forefront of fighting for the students would be the colleges.

      Yeah, I'm bitching.  Ironically enough, I DON'T download movies via torrent, because Netflix is faster, more convenient, and better quality.

      My torrents are for the most part games that are out of print which I play via emulator.  It's a great way to get examples of older work for gaming classes.  Of course it's a copyright violation, even if the game is out of print and they have no intention of releasing the game for sale.

      (Reason I LOVE sites like GOG, which sell legal copies of old games.  AAAAND it's faster, better quality, and more convenient than pirating.)

      Sorry, Copyright law is not something I am a big fan of, BECAUSE of the sheer stupidity in what qualifies as a "violation."

      Thanks for the clarifications though.  

      I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

      by detroitmechworks on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 03:46:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  the obnoxious part is: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brown Thrasher, Caj

      A private party finds a way to coerce a large class of other private parties to engage in broad-spectrum surveillance of the general public.

      By analogy as if a church found a way to coerce pharmacies to report any instance of non-married people buying contraceptives.  

      To which I say:

      = Boycott RIAA/MPAA content.

      = Seek out independent content for your viewing & listening pleasure.

      = Join EFF: http://www.eff.org

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 07:25:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What a phenomenally dumb idea. (4+ / 0-)

    All over the country, universities have been country-clubbifying their dorms and charging exorbitant room and board fees.  

    By way of example, our local university charges about $11K for 10 months in the dorm.  Here, a 2-3 bedroom apartment is $500-600 per month.  That's $200-250 per student in rent, and factoring in utilities and food it's about half price compared to the dorms.  

    That difference is starker than it sounds, because a traditional college student working crap jobs full time in the summer and part-time during the year can make more than enough to afford $5500, but not enough to afford $11000.  Now that kids are getting wiser about college costs and loans, it's going to get harder and harder to convince kids to spend money on the luxury digs they have built.

    So what better time to tell students that they can't do regular things with the Internet if they live in the dorms?  

    Linking to a news article is journalism in the same sense that putting a Big Mac on a paper plate is cooking.

    by Caj on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 03:47:32 PM PST

    •  Since the RIAA wanted to justify its budget... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, Brown Thrasher

      at least that's the way I figure it.

      I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

      by detroitmechworks on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 03:49:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  More likely the university caved... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        charliehall2, G2geek, Brown Thrasher

        ...because universities are prone to caving under well-organized legal threats.  Especially when it comes to the Internet:  providing Internet service isn't the university's main business, so they don't push back hard if the RIAA wants them to ban some applications or otherwise help them play cop.

        In contrast, a private broadband provider like Comcast tries pretty hard to keep the content industry at bay.  They make concessions anyway, but they know if they concede too much then they are killing their business and sending customers to another provider.

        Linking to a news article is journalism in the same sense that putting a Big Mac on a paper plate is cooking.

        by Caj on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 04:17:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Illegal downloading isn't "regular things" (0+ / 0-)

      sorry, but it is theft, pure and simple.

      And the university can get sued because of it.

      The university has every right to cooperate and the students doing illegal downloading have no business doing it.

      •  Illegal as defined by the RIAA. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brown Thrasher

        In legislation written by the dinosaur media, to protect their business model.

        Some even define downloading something via "Torrent" to be illegal, and consider having software like "Vuze" or "Azureus" to be criminal acts.

        Legislation by the ignorant does not make it right.

        I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

        by detroitmechworks on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 06:48:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

          •  It's not illegal (0+ / 0-)

            It's not illegal to use a clip of a movie in a movie review, so there is no law to change.

            The problem is that industry groups either think it's illegal to use their stuff without permission, or think that it should be, and they bluff their way into getting something banned from campus that is perfectly legal.

            Linking to a news article is journalism in the same sense that putting a Big Mac on a paper plate is cooking.

            by Caj on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 07:27:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  so let's shove a flashlight up everyone's arse. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        detroitmechworks, Brown Thrasher

        Underage drinking is illegal, and it gets people killed: through alcohol overdoses and through drunk driving fatalities.

        It's also pandemic on college campuses.

        O Noes! Someone could get SUED! Eeeeeek!

        So let's put video cameras in every student's room and everywhere else, so we can immediately send the campus police to bust any student seen with a beer.  

        Not to mention illegal drugs: so let's have all the students line up one a week and bare their abdomens like defeated dogs, and demonstrate their ability to urinate on command, to make sure they aren't smoking pot or whatever.

        Some students probably shoplift, so let's put RFID tag scanners all over campus, and require students to keep all receipts for merchandise, and then randomly check their receipts against the RFID tags found by the scanners.  

        Then when President Romney throws a bone to the base and installs two Supreme Court justices who reverse Roe, we can have regular vaginal checks of women on campus to be damn sure they haven't gotten an abortion.

        And when the Romney Court overturns Griswold, we can randomly search rooms for illegal contraceptives.  Better yet, just use those ubiquitous video cameras, the ones that were originally installed to catch under-age drinkers.

        And then when Romney makes his re-election bid in 2016 and fends off Santorum and Palin by going on a moral crusade against the Sin of Onan....

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 07:36:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Nothing this guy did was illegal. (0+ / 0-)

        Using a clip of a movie in a review is not illegal.  It's not infringement, and not "theft" by any stretch of the imagination.

        Don't fall into the trap of thinking that you must be breaking the law if the content industry is trying to shut you down.  The content industry tries to ban all sorts of perfectly legal behavior.

        Linking to a news article is journalism in the same sense that putting a Big Mac on a paper plate is cooking.

        by Caj on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 08:36:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  BTW are you attending a state university? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, Brown Thrasher

    If so, they can ignore copyright law. They can't be sued.

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