james.davis at st-peters.oxford.ac.uk
Thu Nov 1 18:38:07 GMT 2001
It would seem that someone here in Oxford that someone has acted upon
NetPD's e-mails. The following is from this weeks Oxford Student, one of
the weekly student papers, that was published today. Standard disclaimer,
I'm not a representative of the University or of the Oxford Student. Just
passing this on due to its relevance to the discussion.
SONY SOUGHT TO SUE
Music giant threatened to bring legal action over student's illegal breach
Natalie Toms & Thomas Whitfield
SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT Ltd last week threatened Oxford University with
severe legal action as a result of one student sharing MP3 music files
over the Internet.
The claimed that both the college of the offending student and University
at large were liable under new American copyright laws as well as the
individual involved, for the breach of copyright. Only four individual
tracks has been downloaded, and college authorities are of the belief that
had an entire album been downloaded implications could have been much more
The student had been using the "Aimster" portal on the Oxford University
network, which works in an almost identical way to the now blocked
"Napster" utility. As well as allowing the user to download music files
from other users, it also automatically uploads files already on their
computer and shares them with other users around the world. This leads to
potentially hundreds of breaches of copyright.
Only one week after the student in question had installed this system into
his computer, Sony sent a "Cease and Desist" notice to the Chancellors,
Masters and Scholars of Oxford University as the owners of the ox.ac.uk
domain, requesting that they stop the suspected breaches of copyright.
Failure to do so could have resulted in legal action potentially worth
tens of thousands of pounds.
The University immediately complied, shutting down the network connection
in question and then locating the college, who did the same. The students
computer was confiscated, the offending data removed and the college had
to supply Sony's lawyers with a written notice to this effect. This is
compulsory under American law in such a situation.
Whilst the student had an unpleasant meeting with the Dean the next day
and with the University Proctors , no fine has yet been imposed.
Law of Continuity:
Experiments should be reproducible. They should all fail the same way.
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