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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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  • Due Process (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21, 2007 @04:53AM (#19936433)
    Is there any clause to protect the due process rights of students?
  • Oh crap... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FrostedWheat (172733) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @04:57AM (#19936443)

    From the universities page: (which I downloaded into my browser...)

    If you are caught downloading copyrighted material, you will lose your ResNet privileges forever

    And further down, on the same page! (Which my browser downloaded, remember)...

    Copyright © 2005 by the University of Kansas

    Wow, that is harsh! I guess that's me banned then :-)

  • Lack of Caring (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bios_Hakr (68586) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [lacitpx]> on Saturday July 21, 2007 @04:57AM (#19936447) Homepage
    If the students care enough, they will all cancel their accounts. When the University sees a drop in revenue, they will have to decide.

    Pulling authoritarian crap like this in a place where people are naturally rebelling against everything and anything is a good way to get egg on your face.
  • by SamP2 (1097897) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @05:13AM (#19936521)
    It's not that I support RIAA or anything, but your argument is invalid.

    Saying "The measure changes statistics but not attitude" does not mean the measure is bad.

    For example, if you have tough sentences for violent robbery, it won't change the attitude of the would-be robbers, just make them more afraid, and thus less robberies are committed.

    Let's not get start on the whole "copyright infringement is not a crime" stuff, OK? Crime or no crime, it's something RIAA and co. want to root out. You can have an entirely unrelated argument whether it's morally right or not, but you do have to admit that it does work to that end -- sometimes making people afraid of doing something is the best way to ensure it doesn't get done.

    Rules must be *fair* to be *respected*, but being *tough* is fine if all you care is about them being *effective*
  • How will they know? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by taxevader (612422) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @05:14AM (#19936525)
    Will they kick out students simply because the MAFIAA sent them a strongly worded letter? It would be the simplest and cheapest thing for them to do, and it wouldn't surprise me one bit.

    Even if they are 'guilty'.. what if someone downloaded a ROM of a NES game he has in his basement at home? A track from a CD that doesn't play anymore? A no-cd patch for a game so he can play it on his laptop wherever he goes? According to their draconian proposal, all of these would mean you are cut off from the internet.. forever. Is it me or is that f&*king crazy?

    A University should be fighting the powers that be, not aiding and abetting them.
  • Abuses? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21, 2007 @05:25AM (#19936553)
    Imagine you don't like some students, and send them some mp3s by email and then report them, will they get their account banned?

  • Re:Due Process (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21, 2007 @05:49AM (#19936641)
    Sure, as agreed upon and detailed in the plethora of documents they sign - which now include this notice.

    Just because you put something in your TOS does not make it legal or enforceable. IANAL, but I am an admin on a university network and we are frequently reminded that the students are paying customers with rights and as such we cannot arbitrarily ban them from using the system. Without some kind of watertight right of appeal someone probably will get caught as a false positive by this policy, sue, and win.
  • Re:Lack of Caring (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ash Vince (602485) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @06:11AM (#19936735) Journal
    I think the slashdot needs similar policy to the uni of kansas:

    One stupid moderation of a valid point gets your moderation privelidges removed forever.

    But lets face it, if you were too stupid to make a valid poitn wouldnt you just hide behind the moderation system by using it to disagree with other people too?
  • by Cheesey (70139) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @06:19AM (#19936777)
    Students often need to download copyrighted material to support their work. I wonder if Kansas U has considered the implications of their policy: if the RIAA can get you disconnected instantly for downloading an MP3, surely other publishers can do the same.

    In my own work, I often have to fetch journal and conference papers from digital libraries, e.g. a good one [acm.org]. Often I will find a paper is not available to me because it isn't covered by my University's subscription, like many of the papers here [ieee.org] or here [springerlink.com]. That situation is supposed to force a trip to the brick-and-mortar library (if it has the document), but sometimes you can find the paper online anyway, using a search engine. It might be on the author's website or Citeseer [psu.edu]. Sometimes people seem to "accidentally" leave copies of papers where a search engine can find them. This is extremely helpful for a researcher, saving much time, and it is known that online articles are more likely to be cited [psu.edu].

    However, except in special cases (e.g. the author has retained the copyright and distributed it for free), this is technically copyright infringement. The publishers want you to get everything through their paywall. That would be fine if everything was accessible, but the exhorbitant fees charged for full access by some organisations prevent that. Therefore, copyright infringement actually helps scientific research by allowing information to flow. At my University, nobody seems to notice (or care about) students digging up papers from elsewhere. But if the Kansas U management style spread here, a publisher could presumably get students instantly disconnected for "bypassing the paywall". You might lose your Internet connection -- for studying.

    Is this close to a situation where research is actively inhibited by greed [gnu.org]?

    "The content you requested is not part of your subscription, please pay $30 to download this 10 page article".
  • Re:Lack of Caring (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21, 2007 @06:24AM (#19936795)
    "If the students care enough, they will all cancel their accounts. When the University sees a drop in revenue, they will have to decide."

    You wish. Students NEED those accounts and the "drop in revenue" is NOTHING compared to what record companies may sue for.

    Instead the students will behave. If they're in University, it's because they don't want to be burger flippers or janitors. Their future is at stake. They will suck it down and deal with it.

    Corporate America has them by the balls.
  • by PaintyThePirate (682047) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @09:13AM (#19937419) Homepage
    Actually, while my university has authenticated logins to access the network, the bans for copyright infringement (40 days) and exceeding allocated bandwith are based on MAC addresses. Which, since my school is also very geeky, has the effect of making the ban simply for show, presumably so that it looks like they are doing something about copyright infringement.
  • by TheGreatHegemon (956058) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @09:28AM (#19937489)
    Which is why we should all send the University DMCA notices for the University of Kansas RESNET staff.
  • Re:Due Process (Score:3, Interesting)

    by I'm Don Giovanni (598558) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @12:29PM (#19938639)
    The rule is new, but it's summertime. Students will be well aware of this rule before paying tuition for the fall term, so you can thow that excuse out. It was smart of KU to announce this policy during the summer, when only those few students taking summer classes will be able to use the "you changed the rules after I paid" excuse.

    We've seen articles like this on slashdot regading Stanford, U. of Washington, etc (those KU's looks to be the harshest), and slashdotters say, "boycott the school, attend colleget elsewhere; that'll teach them a lesson when their enrollment plummets!!". The fact is, colleges are tired of students using the college network (paid for by tax payers, in the case of public schools) for piracy by spoiled brats. Then risk of enrollment decrease is insignificant (and those that think otherwise are living in a fantasy land).
  • Re:Due Process (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mdmkolbe (944892) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @02:08PM (#19939407)

    I am a recent graduate of KU. They pay around $75 or $150 per semester for the network connection. (I don't remember the exact figure.) Far worse than the money is that if you live in the dorms, there are no other Internet options. (Well maybe dial-up, but you roommates wouldn't be to happy about you tying up the phone.)

    This is just the latest in ResNet's abuse of students. They have consistently treated students as either the enemy to be assaulted or their employee to be ordered around. They have yet to learn that students are their customers.

    They've blocked outgoing port 25. They say it is intended to block spam, but it prevented me from using my departmental or work e-mail accounts. They won't let you on the network unless you run their setup program that fiddles with who knows what configurations in your system (unless I can look at the source it is a security risk). Finish that all up with a little bit of traffic shaping and we have a monopoly abusing it's powers. They claim all these are necessary, but their ISP friends in the real seem to manage without such draconian measures.

    I love the school and the campus, but I'm glad I don't have to deal with ResNet any more.

  • Re:Due Process (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sumdumass (711423) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @05:29PM (#19940997) Journal
    The candidate is always more qualified. It just might not be the level of schooling that makes them qualified. In the example I gave, the morals and ethics the school taught and how they taught the students it was proper to treat people under their control was insufficient or improper for the job I offer and where the other guy prevailed.

    In this case, the education of stopping an activity in favor of just a claim and showing the students that this behavior is acceptable isn't the same values of ethics I want working at my firm. If everyone at my firm has a change to defend their actions first, this type of learning would clash with the system in place. Before you know it Unions would be there and they would be driving me out of business just like with every other company going overseas to escape.

    Ok, maybe not unions but it wouldn't be run like I wanted it to be run. And what the owners want is more important then where someone got educated at.

If A = B and B = C, then A = C, except where void or prohibited by law. -- Roy Santoro

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