Removing restrictions could help campuses decrease music piracy

College IT officials have found ways to streamline the processing of notices received from digital movie, book, and music publishers warning institutions that students have used the campus network to illegally share copyrighted material on the web.

Instead of sending hundreds of individual eMails to students and faculty members violating federal file sharing restrictions, many schools have turned to software that automates the warnings.

Digital rights management company Audible Magic last year released CopySense DMCA Service, which helps IT staffers to dispatch dozens or hundreds of file sharing warnings across the campus every month.

Large media companies use a similar system dependent on software that searches the web for anyone exchanging copyrighted material.

To learn more about how colleges and universities are curbing illegal file sharing on campus networks, register for the FREE webinar “Addressing Music and Movie Piracy on Campus” to be held Nov. 3.

Universities have also looked to digital copyright monitoring service Red Lambda to help control digital piracy on campus.

The University of South Florida (USF), a Tampa-based school with more than 45,000 students, uses Red Lambda’s Integrity program to police piracy after the university continually made the Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA) list of schools with the highest number of DMCA complaints.

Illegal network activity plunged in USF’s first month of using Integrity, according to a Red Lambda white paper. The number of illegal file shares dropped from 116 to 22 across USF’s campuses.

Programs like Integrity and Audible Magic’s CopySense DMCA Service haven’t just streamlined the warning process for colleges monitoring illegal file sharing—the systems warn network users of what constitutes illegal network use and the consequences for violating campus and federal rules.

Steve Bourdon, chief information security officer for South Texas College, which uses CopySense on its five campuses, said a proactive stance against on-campus digital piracy and illegal file sharing is much preferred to the disciplinary approach.

“We can take advantage of the teachable moment to provide information to our students on copyrights and intellectual property rights—we much prefer educating our students rather than punishing them,” he said. “We are able to apply a consistent set of rules to everyone.”

Read more about illegal file sharing in higher education…

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