Purdue University releases student’s name to adult film company

Purdue University has released the name of a 19-year-old student to an adult film company who has been trying to track down users who have downloaded their films illegally, the Huffington Post reports. The student is alleged to have downloaded a film illegally last year from his dorm room. Purdue spokeswoman Jeanne Norberg said Tuesday the university has provided the student’s name to Third Degree Films. The university disclosed the name after U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew Rodovich on Oct 6 denied a request to quash a subpoena to protect the student’s privacy…

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Removing restrictions could help campuses decrease music piracy

Campuses have seen dramatic drops in illegal file sharing after adopting anti-piracy software.

A group of Rice and Duke university researchers say doing away with Digital Rights Management (DRM) restrictions could be the next step in fighting illegal downloads on college campuses.

Campus technology officials have used myriad methods to combat the use of college networks to rip copyrighted files from the internet without permission, and while these strategies have often curbed the frequency of illegal downloads, research published Oct. 7 challenges the theory that strict digital restrictions are a surefire way to cut down on piracy and increase profits for rights holders.

Removing DRM restrictions, according to the research, can decrease internet piracy because that makes the “product more convenient to use and intensifies competition with the traditional format (CDs), which has no DRM restrictions.”…Read More

Internet censorship one step closer to law

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to pass the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), moving the legislation one step closer to reality, reports ReadWriteWeb. The law would give the U.S. Attorney General’s office the right to shut down websites that it deems are participating in piracy and “infringing activities” without due process or proof that a copyright “crime” has been committed. The law would allow the government to blacklist a website that had “no demonstrable, commercially significant purpose or use other than” sharing unauthorized copyrighted material. Sites would be blacklisted from the Domain Name System, credit card companies would be forbidden to process payments, and advertisers would be banned from placing ads on the site. Techdirt has the list of the Senators involved in today’s vote, and notes that, “What’s really amazing is that many of the same Senators have been speaking out against internet censorship in other countries, yet they happily vote to approve it here because it’s seen as a way to make many of their largest campaign contributors happy.”

The proposed legislation is supported by groups like the RIAA, MPAA, and Screen Actors Guild. But many free speech advocates see the move as a violation of the First Amendment and dangerous first step down the road to censorship. The EFF responded to this morning’s vote saying that it is “deeply disappointed to report that the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the COICA internet censorship bill this morning, despite bipartisan opposition, and countless experts pointing out how it would be ineffective, unconstitutional, bad for innovation and the tech economy, and would break the internet.”

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Ten ways to combat illegal file sharing

Knowing how to comply with HEOA may take more than a simple read-through of the very flexible definition.
Knowing how to comply with HEOA might take more than a simple read-through of the law.

As colleges and universities prepare to meet a new federal directive to curb illegal file sharing, one expert has a list of 10 suggestions for higher-education technology officials.

In a recent webinar hosted by Audible Magic, a company that sells content protection technology and content information services to schools, participants learned that as of July 1, colleges and universities must comply with the peer-to-peer (P2P) provisions of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), a federal regulation that aims to stem illegal file sharing.

“This is an important issue,” said Jay Friedman, vice president of marketing for Audible Magic, “because [according to a report by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts], in just the last year, the number of lawsuits filed by the U.S. Copyright Group alone has jumped. In 2009, there were 2,000 lawsuits filed. In just the few months in 2010, 14,000 have been filed.”…Read More

Warner Bros. recruiting students to spy on illegal file sharers

Warner Bros. Entertainment UK is providing internships to students in the United Kingdom with a computer or IT-related related degree to help the company reduce online piracy—in part by spying on their fellow students, ZDNet reports. The internships pay 17,500 pounds a year (around $26,000), and a notice of the opportunity was posted at the University of Manchester. Warner Bros. says it will give participating students the tools, knowledge, and training to search the internet for links, posts, torrents, and information that will help the company issue cease-and-desist notices and other legal means to remove pirated content. The job description says students would be asked to “monitor local internet forums and IRC [channels] for pirated Warner Bros. … content in order to gather information on pirate sites, groups, and activities,” among other responsibilities…

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