[unisog] Recent increase in RIAA complaints

Craig Brown cbrown at uark.edu
Fri May 2 12:09:38 GMT 2003


We've seen a dramatic increase in legitimately filed complaints this 
semester, almost entirely from Universal Studios.  The vast majority of 
the complaints are against machines in residence halls.

We use an approach where each student uses their campus ID to 
authenticate a connection to the network.  When we receive a complaint, 
we send a 24-hour advance disconnect notice to the student and refer 
them to our Student Judicial Affairs department.  We disable their 
ability to authenticate a resnet connection until they satisfy the 
sanction requirements imposed by Judicial Affairs.  Ususally, the 
student either has to right a paper or create some sort of 
anti-copyright infringement poster.  Sometimes they get some real 
punishment and have to interview me  :-)

We're changing the process a bit.  Most students are getting the poster 
assignment.  Next Fall, they'll be required to do a presentation in 
their residence hall.  We're also going to have a fairly short digital 
copyright workshop a couple of times a month, and each student will be 
required to attend that before a connection is restored.

Different Issue

Due to the supernode issue, has anyone been able to get any details on 
how Universal Studios is gathering there data?  Since we're 
authenticating end-user connections, we have a log that shows when each 
IP address was in use and which ID was used to authenticate that 
connection.  We've had two instances where the IP address in the 
complaint was not in use any time within a couple of hours on either 
side of the complaint time stamp.  My guess is they're gathering at 
least some of their data from a supernode.  This makes me question the 
validity of their process.  I'm considering working through our legal 
counsel to come up with a statement telling Universal Studios that 
based upon their questionable ability to properly identify 
infringements, we will ignore their complaints until they can provide 
details to us that illustrate the consistent validity of their data.

Anyone else tried anything like this?

-- Craig



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