University of Chicago File Sharing Policy and November 2007 Memorandum from the Vice President and Chief Information Officer to the Campus:
The University of Chicago’s Eligibility and Acceptable Use Policy for Information Technology includes that students comply with their copyright and file sharing laws. The policy asks that students prohibit themselves from participating in peer-to-peer file sharing software as well as not sharing other copyrighted materials through the University network. On their file sharing policy website, the University gives a few different links to the dangers of file sharing and also, how to disable a peer-to-peer file. The letter sent out to the school by the Vice President of the University, has a similar structure to the school’s policy. He reminds students that violating the copyright law has serious consequences, both legal and otherwise, and presents the “no longer hypothetical” situation by claiming that some students have already been sued. He also states that the University complies with valid subpoenas asking for student’s identities.
The policy of the University of Chicago represents a standard, and for my topic, improved university stance on file sharing. They provide information, and comply increasingly with the RIAA and government. They encourage their students not to use peer-to-peer file sharing while presenting them with links and other ways to inform themselves. Unlike Stanford, University of Chicago’s policy has not, as of yet, lead to fines for any students. Neither, however, is it on the opposite end, like the University of Maine who does not, by any means, wish to be the government’s ‘spy’. This information helps to answer my question of how universities are handling the growing pressure from the RIAA and the government while still promoting education and placing their students first.