Facebook returns to its roots with Groups for Schools

Facebook will alert students when their college joins Student Groups.

Facebook has a peace offering for every college student who resents the social media giant for opening the site to their parents: new pages known as Student Groups that will only be accessible for Facebook members with official “.edu” eMail addresses.

In a throwback to the nascent days of the world’s most popular social networking website, Facebook announced April 11 that its newest feature, Student Groups, would create specific pages that could only be joined by students or faculty members from that campus.

Students will be able to share files—including lecture notes, schedules, assignments, and photos—on their university Facebook page. Students who register on their college or university Student Groups page can communicate with group members without being their friend on Facebook.…Read More

RIAA asks court to close down LimeWire

The music industry has asked a federal court in New York to order a shutdown of the LimeWire file-sharing service, CNET reports. Lawyers working for the Recording Industry Association of America, the trade group for the four top record companies, filed documents on June 4 requesting that a U.S. District Court in Manhattan grant them a permanent injunction against the country’s largest commercial file-sharing service. “Every day that Lime Wire’s conduct continues unabated guarantees harm to plaintiffs that money damages cannot and will not compensate,” RIAA lawyers wrote to U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood. “The scope of the infringements that Lime Wire induced … boggles the mind.” Last month, Wood granted summary judgment in favor of the music industry’s claims that Lime Group and founder Mark Gorton committed copyright infringement, engaged in unfair competition, and induced copyright infringement. According to legal experts, Wood’s decision was probably “fatal” for the nearly 10-year-old file-sharing service…

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Schools fall victim to P2P security breaches

Sharing files over unsecured P2P networks can result in data breaches.
Sharing files over unsecured P2P networks can result in data breaches.

Peer-to-peer file sharing in schools and colleges has come under scrutiny again after a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) probe turned up massive security breaches that made student grades, Social Security numbers, and medical records accessible to anyone connected to the peer-to-peer networks at several institutions.

The FTC sent letters to 100 schools and companies Feb. 22, warning them of data breaches that made sensitive information vulnerable to an unknown number of people on open P2P networks.

P2P networks, when working correctly, allow groups to share information online, such as software, music, videos, and documents. The openness of these networks, however, can leave sensitive data available to people who are supposed to be barred from seeing that information if the file-sharing software is not configured properly.…Read More

UCLA partners with Clicker to fight campus file sharing

Students at UCLA don’t have to rely on illegal file-sharing sites to get their fix of online TV anymore, reports the New York Times, thanks to a new partnership with Clicker, a programming guide for online TV content that launched in November. Through this partnership, UCLA students soon will be able to use a co-branded version of Clicker that will give them convenient access to student-generated content, university-generated content, and regular online TV content and music videos from services such as Hulu. The service indexes TV shows from most American broadcast and cable networks, as well as web originals. UCLA students also will be able to access proprietary UCLA content, including videos of lectures and university events. Clicker currently indexes more than 400,000 episodes from more than 7,000 different TV shows. One organization that’s happy about this new collaboration is the Motion Picture Association of America. The organization said it applauds Clicker and UCLA “for fostering a campus culture that respects creativity and supports the livelihoods of the millions of people across the United States and around the world who create the movies and TV shows that we love, and for helping to ensure that these great jobs will be there for future college graduates.”

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