[unisog] Shutting off sharing capacity of PtoP applications

H. Morrow Long morrow.long at yale.edu
Wed Nov 28 23:12:33 GMT 2001

I would seriously recommend to anyone to "run" any such web pages by their
legal department these days.  But I'm just being extremely cautious.

We (and most likely Indiana as well) believe that we were targeted by
Metallica in their suit vis-a-vis Napster specifically because we had
discussed Napster and P-2-P filesharing apps and then put up web pages 
describing how to alleviate the network impact of the client precisely
by disabling the server/sharing functionality within it (Napster).

We are very wary of doing anything these days which might contain even the
barest 'whiff' of appearing to condone the use of such programs (which
primarily appear to be almost solely used for swapping pirated copyright
material) -- as we do not want to condone the use of these programs and
we are very serious about copyright infringement.

If you do put up instructions on how to configure P2P clients I'd recommend
putting very strong warnings (approved by your legal counsel again of course)
vis-a-vis copyright infringement law and local penalties ( I see that that
Larry Lidz has done that at U Chicago via the link on the page to the letter
to the U Chicago community as well as some wording on the page) to provide some
cover against any charges by anyone that your school is appearing to condone
the use of such tools (tools don't steal intellectual property of course, 
people do).

Note that under DMCA, if you are a registered agent for a 'higher-ed'
network provider you are also supposed provide web pages on your site 
which describe US Copyright law -- see US Title 17 Section 512c. Putting
a link to such pages on copyright law along side the instructions on how
to disable filesharing in P2P clients would appear to be ideal.

"E. Larry Lidz" wrote:
> Joshua Wright writes:
> >A while ago, I thought I saw mention of some schools that maintained a list
> >of PtoP applications with steps to shut off the sharing capacity of those
> >applications.  Unfortunately, I cannot locate that e-mail now, and there
> >doesn't seem to be an archive publicly available.
> >
> >Would someone mind reposting such a list?  We are seeing more outbound
> >utilization lately and inbound utilization, and are thinking of asking
> >students to voluntarily shut off sharing to the PtoP applications.
> We've got our at:
> <http://security.uchicago.edu/peer-to-peer/no_fileshare.shtml>.
> -Larry

- H. Morrow Long
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