RIAA v. U: The state of file-sharing on campus
This article discusses the actions taken by Missouri’s University of Science and Technology. The University decided to make a quiz on the effects and legal issues of peer-to-peer file sharing pop up on a student's computer screen if they attempt to make an illegal download. This way, the students cannot claim ignorance if they are able to pass the quiz and remove the block on their downloading and are informed of the consequences of their actions. “Be Aware Your Uploading” or BAYU is given as another option for giving students the information they need to avoid ‘accidental downloading’. It acknowledges the fact that not all students are technologically savvy and know exactly what they are doing on the internet. BAYU gives students a warning that they are downloading illegally before they complete the download. The article also discusses the policies adopted by Stanford, Ohio University, University of Colorado-Boulder and the University of Minnesota. The article then states the positions of IT’s and Educause (the group that represents the IT’s) as having serious problems with both the RIAA and total blocking of peer-to-peer. Mainly because the IT’s, like most who work with students, care about the students' education and the internet's role in education has been greatly increasing. The next section of the article provides information regarding how much university students are actually involved in file sharing, and the likelihood that colleges are not actually facilitating this illegal behavior. It claims that the file sharing would start anew each year with the incoming freshman class because of high school experience with downloading.
The article provides valuable information for my question of how universities are handling the RIAA’s increasing demands to impede file sharing. It presents the differing actions and policies implemented by universities, such as BAYU and the pop quizzes before downloading takes place. These different courses taken by the different universities could support my argument that it would be best for universities to provide information for students. The universities’ policies give examples and possible options for file sharing on campuses to be controlled without putting universities against their students.