September 27, 2004

Issue No. 66

Table of Contents

Highlights and Features

Grokker at Stanford
CourseWork-Fall 2004
File-Sharing Myths
File-Sharing Resources
IT Open House October 28
Tech Help for Faculty
Essential SU Software
Desktop Computer Security
Security Self-Help Tool
Wireless Access-SU Visitors
SULAIR Home Page Update
SU Course Support Web Site copy

Library Resources

SULAIR Image Collections
SKIL Tutorial Enhanced
Scholars Workshops for Fall
Social Science Data
Literary Studies Database
New Lane Library Web Site
Firing Line TV Program
ArcGIS 9 Available
SSRC Past Events Online
BIOSIS Changes
HighWire Press-New Journals
EuroNews Web Site

Computing News

Accessible Web Pages
AFS Disk Quota Increased
Online Lecture Assessment
Teaching with Technology
Resources for SU Webmasters
ATS Program-New Projects
ATL Project Showcase
Spam Deletion Tool
ITSS Training Services
Training Registration
HelpSU Streamlined
New Webmail Is Here
Printing in Sweet Hall
Sweet Hall Consulting
Mac OS X Migration
PeopleSoft System Upgraded
Bookstore Computer Store
Courselets for SU Community
Sundial Calendar Changes
TeamSpace in Meyer Library
Meyer Classrooms
Meyer Tech Desk Update
Technology Help on Web

File-Sharing Myths

Given that the consequences are so high, unlawful file-sharing is not worth the risk. Perhaps it continues in spite of the high risk becaue of some long-standing myths about file-sharing, which need to be debunked:

It's OK for me to download or share 999 songs, because the RIAA is only going after those with 1000 or more songs.

Reality: Unlawfully file-sharing one copyrighted work is against the law, and you run the risk of discipline at Stanford and facing a civil lawsuit claiming up to $150,000 in damages. Suits have been brought, including the one involving a user of the Stanford network, for a dozen or less songs.

It's OK for me to download songs or movies that I paid for at one time, but have since lost.

Reality: While it's almost certainly a fair use (within the bounds of copyright law) to convert a copy of a song or movie you own into another format for your own personal enjoyment, having paid for a song or movie at some point in your life does not give you the right to free downloads of it in the future.

It's OK for me to download a copy of a television program because, after all, I could have recorded it legally if I had remembered to set my VCR.

Reality: It is NOT OK to download television programs off of the Internet , absent the express consent of the copyright owner (e.g., Fox Television). In Stanford's experience television producers are being extremely proactive in going after unlawful file-sharing. Star Trek fans should be especially aware!

I'm perfectly safe using KaZaa, Gnutella or another P2P every once in a while to download a song or two, because I never share my music and that is what really catches the attention of the RIAA.

Reality: Many P2P services include a default setting to share all music in the folders into which you place your downloaded songs.

So, while you think you're downloading one or two songs, you may actually be sharing your entire music collection with everyone logged onto your P2P service. Even if you somehow disable the uploading of your songs, the downloads you do can be caught by a scan.

Stanford doesn't care too much if I file-share and if I do get caught, I won't get into too much trouble.

Reality: Stanford complies with all copyright laws. Stanford owns many copyrights as do its faculty, students and staff. The University expects its intellectual property to be respected and is, in turn, respectful of others' intellectual property rights.

Further, the DMCA provides that ISPs cannot be subject to liability for infringing activities that take place on its networks, provided that the ISP (e.g., Stanford) complies with the DMCA and has a policy in place to terminate repeat violators of copyright law. So, under the DMCA Stanford must terminate Internet connectivity to repeat violators in order to avoid liability.