p2pnet.net news:- America’s “democratic decision-making process is in danger of being undermined,” writes first year political science doctoral student Kai Stinchcombe in the Stanford Daily Online, Stanford University’s newspaper, going on:
“If the RIAA lawsuits continue to intimidate millions of music-swappers, more and more of them will choose anonymous, encrypted technology that allows them to swap music even more confidently. The only effect will be that other encrypted traffic, such as communication among terrorists, will also become impossible for the U.S. government to trace. If we are going to blindfold the NSA at the cost of our national security, it should be a deliberate decision rather than an unintended consequence of an RIAA ‘sue your fans’ policy that is already doomed to failure.”
RIAA is short for EMI (Britain), Vivendi Universal (France), Sony BMG (Japan and Germany) and Warner Music’s (US) Recording Industry Association of America. It’s called a trade association but in fact, it’s an enforcement agency used by the Big 4 record labels to force their will on their own customers, with American students currently bearing the brunt of the attention.
The focal point is a ‘settlement’ self-incrimination site through which students are expected to provide details about themselves and to pay upwards of $3000 to avoid being sued.
The RIAA has been able to intimidate an alarmingly high number of senior American universities into acting against their student bodies on behalf of the Big 4.
Now Stanford University says it plans to penalise students, “jeopardizing the Stanford network by using it as platform to steal songs, movies, TV shows, video games, books and software”.
Recording Industry vs The People has a copy of the letter detailing Stanford’s position >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Student DMCA Complaint Policy & Reconnection Fee
May 11, 2007
While file-sharing technology has revolutionized our ability to share information with one other, its illegal use for pirating copyrighted materials is at unacceptable levels at Stanford. On March 30, 2007 Stanford was listed as one of the Motion Picture Association of America’s top 25 worst offenders
(http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=1969). We have also had a steep increase in the number of piracy complaints filed against us by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
From September 2006 Ã¢â¬ January 2007, Stanford received nearly as many Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaints as we received in the entire 2005-06 academic year. Of these complaints, 90% are directed at undergraduate and graduate students: students who are jeopardizing the Stanford network by using it as platform to steal songs, movies, TV shows, video games, books and software.
As of May 2007, the RIAA has identified seven Stanford network connections that have been targeted for its ‘pre-litigation’ notification program
(http://www.riaa.com/news/newsletter/022807.asp). The RIAA has said that it will continue to send out pre-litigation notices each month.
Keeping up with the number of file-sharing complaints coming in under the DMCA has required almost three full-time Stanford employees. It is an irresponsible waste of StanfordÃ¢â¬â¢s resourcesÃ¢â¬your tuition dollarsÃ¢â¬to spend so much staff time responding to copyright violations.
“To defray these costs while underscoring Stanford’s stance on copyright,” beginning September 1, Stanford will charge violators an Net reconnection fee, it says.
It’s interesting to note the university wants to pass the costs created by the Big 4 onto students and/or their parents instead of onto the RIAA.
Ironically, in 2005 Stanford made a deal with Apple to use its iTunes downloading service, going so far as to tie directly in with Stanford on iTunes.
At least part of the reason for this was, presumably, to provide students with direct access to Big 4 product, the idea idea being they’d download from iTunes instead of the p2p networks, in the process of avoiding the wrath at the Big 4.
Stanford Daily Online – RIAA lawsuits help terrorists, April 6, 2007
self-incrimination site – RIAA college settlement plan, February 28, 2007
Stanford on iTunes- Stanford U joins Apple sales, November 5, 2005
If your Net access is blocked by goverment restrictions, try Psiphon from the Citizen Lab at thIs the endSurvey: How Did Copyright Infringement Become Equated with Robbery? (of the Net) nigh?zze University of Toronto’s Munk Centre for International Studies. Go here for the official download, here for the p2pnet download, and here for details. And if you’re Chinese and you’re looking for a way to access independent Internet news sources, try Freegate, the DIT program written to help Chinese citizens circumvent web site blocking outside of China. Download it here.
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Tired of being treated like a criminal? They depend on you, not the other way around. Don’t buy their ‘product’. Do bug your local politicians. Use emails, snail-mail, phone calls, faxes, IM, stop them in the street, blog. And if you’re into organizing, organize petitions, organize demonstrations and then turn up on your local political rep’s doorstep, making sure you’ve contacted your local tv/radio station/newspaper in advance. Don’t just complain. Do something!