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University of Kansas Adopts 'One Strike' Copyright Infringement Policy 397

Posted by Zonk
from the hope-you-really-liked-that-cher-album dept.
NewmanKU writes "Eric Bangeman at Ars Technica writes that the University of Kansas has adopted a new, and very strict, copyright infringement policy for the students on the residential network. The university's ResNet website states that, 'Violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is against the law. If you are caught downloading copyrighted material, you will lose your ResNet privileges forever. No second notices, no excuses, no refunds. One violation and your ResNet internet access is gone for as long as you reside on campus.' According to a KU spokesperson, KU has received 345 notices in the past year from organizations and businesses regarding complaints about copyrighted material downloading."
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University of Kansas Adopts 'One Strike' Copyright Infringement Policy

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  • Re:Due Process (Score:2, Informative)

    by giorgiofr (887762) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @05:36AM (#19936587)
    Sure, as agreed upon and detailed in the plethora of documents they sign - which now include this notice.
  • Re:Lack of Caring (Score:4, Informative)

    by OverlordQ (264228) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @05:57AM (#19936673) Journal
    If you check the wording properly you'll notice a rather large problem. Almost every web page you visit has copyrighted material in it that you automatically download just by visiting the site. So by definition what you're saying is basically "Don't use the Internet".

    This is typical slashdot behavior. Take everything out of context so everybody can get riled up about it. Sure the front page says 'copyrighted material', you think they'd put the full legalese on the frontpage or just a blurb saying "Its Bad, mkay"?

    But if anybody would take the time to actually *READ* the subject at hand, you would find this paragraph:

    If the University of Kansas receives notice of a copyright violation (downloading or uploading copyrighted material including music, movies, games, software, etc.) tied to the IP address registered in your name, you will receive an email and written notice that your access to the ResNet Network has been temporarily suspended for 5 business days, during which time you may appeal if you believe the copyright infringement notice was received in error. You have 5 business days from the date of notice to provide written documentation supporting your appeal to the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Success, describing the nature of the error. If your appeal is denied, your ResNet service will be permanently deactivated for the remainder of the time you live in KU's residential housing facilities. The ResNet fee is primarily a connection fee and not a usage fee. If your service is permanently terminated, there will be no subsequent refund of the ResNet activation fee, regardless of when the violation occurred.


    And even if you fail your appeal, you just lose your ResNet access, you can still use computer labs on campus.
  • Re:Oh crap... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Karellen (104380) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @06:11AM (#19936739) Homepage
    No, someone isn't violating copyright by viewing your page, but the rule doesn't talk about *violating* copyright, it talks about *downloading copyrighted materials*.

    *All* works, unless they carry a notice explicitly putting them into the public domain, are automatically copyrighted by the author[0]. They do not need a copyright notice for them to be copyrighted.

    Now, as the author, you may make your work (web page) available for people to download for free; that is your right. And because you, as the copyright holder, are the one who has made the work available, the end users aren't breaking copyright by downloading it.

    *However*, they are still *downloading copyrighted materials*. They may be doing so legally, but that is not what the rule cares about. The rule states that merely downloading copyrighted materials is grounds for account termination.

    [0] Or, if it is a work-for-hire or similar, the work might be copyrighted by an entity other than the author. But it is still copyrighted.
  • by OverlordQ (264228) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @06:14AM (#19936753) Journal
    Typical Slashdot sensationalist story about the DMCA and people get all uppity before checking the facts of the case.

    Let's take a look shall we:

    If the University of Kansas receives notice of a copyright violation (downloading or uploading copyrighted material including music, movies, games, software, etc.) tied to the IP address registered in your name, you will receive an email and written notice that your access to the ResNet Network has been temporarily suspended for 5 business days, during which time you may appeal if you believe the copyright infringement notice was received in error. You have 5 business days from the date of notice to provide written documentation supporting your appeal to the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Success, describing the nature of the error. If your appeal is denied, your ResNet service will be permanently deactivated for the remainder of the time you live in KU's residential housing facilities. The ResNet fee is primarily a connection fee and not a usage fee. If your service is permanently terminated, there will be no subsequent refund of the ResNet activation fee, regardless of when the violation occurred.


    1) You get a notice
    2) You get a 5 day suspension
    3) You have those 5 business days to submit an appeal if it was erroneous
    4) If your appeal is denied (or you didn't submit one) your ResNet access is terminated.

    It's the end of the world . . . oh wait . . .what's this?

    You will still be able to use computer labs on campus and will retain the use of your KU email account.


    So you lose your dorm access, but can walk down to a computer lab . . .

    So I guess the moral of the story is, don't get caught, or don't use the schools network to download your movies
  • by BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @06:16AM (#19936763) Journal
    > The university's ResNet website states that, 'Violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is against the law. If you are caught downloading copyrighted material, you will lose your ResNet privileges forever. No second notices, no excuses, no refunds.

    We've already seen that anyone outside the U.S can send a bogus DMCA takedown notice without penalty. Not often the US passes laws that prosecute Americans and give non-Americans free reign but there you go. Here are two recent cases showing how easy it is:

    http://www.australianit.news.com.au/story/0,24897, 21563838-27317,00.html [news.com.au]
    http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/2007/pulpit_200 70329_001882.html [pbs.org]

    Now Kansas University has said they'll shut down students account if *anyone* sends a DMCA notice, with right of appeal. So if someone outside the US was to take the University's mailing list and generate a bogus DMCA notice for each one, the
    entire University would voluntarily shut itself down. This hole in DMCA has been suggested before, so it's hardly new.

    Who dreamed up this nonsense? Didn't they think it through to its logical conclusion? Don't Universities teach critical thinking? I mean, Double Duh.

  • by ibn_khaldun (814417) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @07:14AM (#19936947)
    The IT "services" at KU are clueless in general, not just with this, and they consistently appear to have mistaken their windowless cubicles for Olympus/Valhalla. Over the last ten years they have periodically gone through phases of issuing draconian policies, only to find them unenforceable. My favorite (though by no means only) example was a policy that anyone caught writing down a password (passwords, of course, were required to be changed every 42 minutes, contain Mayan glyphs, etc) could be fired. Never enforced, much to the disappointment of local lawyers. They went through another phase of barging into faculty offices and imaging disks, except they would get the office numbers incorrect and leave the faculty member with an inoperable machine. And sometimes really picked the wrong office... The individuals involved are no longer in our employ, as the saying goes (and were last seen staked to the ground near an anthill, I believe...)

    Two or three mistaken enforcements of this -- yes, that will happen with near certainty given past experience -- and the effect of this will be simply to drive students out of the dorms. Someone with an ounce of clue (necessarily, outside of ITS) will figure that it is a whole lot cheaper to stonewall the RIAA on most cases than to deal with the cost of empty rooms, the policy will be quietly dropped, and IT will go in search of something else they can screw up.

  • Re:Due Process (Score:2, Informative)

    by Travelsonic (870859) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @03:52PM (#19940291) Journal

    prob all ready clauses in the contract that prevent them from downloading copyrighted material...

    Only illegally obtained copyrighted material, you mean? I'd sure hate to get in trouble for downloading copyrighted stuff that is legally free/available...


    HINT:Generalizations = fail

  • It's not really different from what happened to RMS at MIT! He too felt so harassed in his freedom to share information that he finally came up with a fantastic alternative. There would be no OSS today, had they been more liberal at MIT AI-lab back then.

    Open Source Software owes at least as much to Berkeley's liberal attitude, *and* MIT's liberal attitude, as to RMS. RMS has effectively and unfairly demonized the AI lab, and he's been given too much credit for being one of the more visible rocks in an avalanche of open source software that was already in motion well before he penned the GNU manifesto.

    The idea that MIT-AI, MIT-MC, and the rest... running an OS that let any user be "root" and giving accounts to outsiders (including Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle)... were insufficiently "liberal", or that there would be no FOSS without RMS... is distressingly common today, and completely at odds with what the growing open-systems and free-source software community was actually like at the time.

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