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Stanford To Charge Reconnect Fee For DMCA Notices 344

Posted by kdawson
from the your-tuition-dollars dept.
theantipop writes "Stanford didn't like appearing on the MPAA's list of 25 worst offenders. Last week the university issued notice of a new policy in which students are charged a reconnection fee, ranging from $100 to $1000, if they fail to respond quickly enough to a DMCA complaint. The policy is to take effect September 1 this year. As a show of 'good faith' they are graciously allowing all students to start at the $100 fee level for subsequent notices."
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Stanford To Charge Reconnect Fee For DMCA Notices

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  • by AP2k (991160) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @11:58AM (#19163253)
    I mean its not like we wont have that money lying around from all the DVDs we sell, right? Right?
    • by Dimentox (678813) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @12:10PM (#19163527)
      But they assume you have the billions that it "costs them" from your alledged piracy. What gets me is that people seem to want to be able to get their content via internet.. So why the hell does the MPAA and riaa not see this as a sign to tell them where to switch their buisness model to. They have switched their business model but not to the right place. They switched it to no better than the mafia give us your lunch money. What i would like to see is Digital Streaming broadcasts of movies where you can buy a viewing ticket and watch it on opening night from your home. The movie theators suck, they are overpriced and i dont wanna sit next to some stinky person who talks on the cell phone.
      • by nurb432 (527695)
        No, they know the average Joe copying an occasional song or movie isn't making money off it, nor are they actually losing much, if anything.

        They just use that as the excuse to get uninformed people ( and the government ) to support their actions.

         
  • by unity100 (970058) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @11:59AM (#19163305) Homepage Journal
    Just roll Stanford down in your list of preferred colleges/universities.

    A university/college which gives more crap for what money bosses think than its students think is a one that is down the drain. Their reputation and quality of graduates tend to deteriorate rapidly in 5-10 years, which affects even old time graduates.

    Just choose a university that cant stomach being a bitch to big buck.
    • Just roll Stanford down in your list of preferred colleges/universities.

      While I believe that Stanford buckling to "Big Buck" pressure is lame beyond belief, I can't agree with your argument. For prospective students to ignore Stanford because for the next four years they wouldn't be able to easily torrent some movies and risk their future and/or proximity to home by attending another college that happens to ignore the DMCA notices is just shortsighted.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Retric (704075)
        Why, I avoided MIT because their campus sucks. When you're going to spend 3 - 5 years of your life at college why not look at the "little things" and chose one that meshes with what you want?
        • by badasscat (563442) <basscadet75&yahoo,com> on Thursday May 17, 2007 @01:21PM (#19164845)
          Why, I avoided MIT because their campus sucks. When you're going to spend 3 - 5 years of your life at college why not look at the "little things" and chose one that meshes with what you want?

          Your implication that 3-5 years of campus life means a hill of beans to the 50-60 years you're likely to spend afterwards suggests to me that you're a recent graduate, if even that.

          Let me put it this way. Within 5 years of graduating college, you will have forgotten what it was even like. (That's especially true if you spend the entire time drunk like a lot of college kids do.) So it's a huge mistake to base your choice - which affects your entire life afterwards - on whether or not you like the campus. Ditto for DMCA policies, which are just as irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

          You should be basing your college choices on three things, and only three things: a) quality of education, b) reputation in your chosen field, and c) networking opportunities. Using any other criteria is sacrificing decades of your life for a couple of good years that you will probably just forget about once you get out into the real world. The last thing you want is to be stuck in some dead-end job when you're 30, feeling like you have no future and thinking "maybe if I'd gone to a different school, I'd have a better job, more friends and more money right now..."

          The good news for you is that it sounds like you may still have time to transfer to MIT. That's assuming you actually got accepted there, of course.
          • by Retric (704075) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @02:04PM (#19165657)
            Ok, I graduated 5 years ago so I have a little more perspective than you're implying. Right now I am making good money working at Booz Allen so I not exactly in a dead-end job. Granted, I am making less than 2 collage dropouts I know but they over 26 so I am fine at under 170k for now.

            Anyway, the quality of education at most top tear schools is extremely over rated. Most of a schools reputation is based around the quality of students they admit not the quality of education they supply. As to networking it's more important to connect with the right type of person than people at the right school. My older sister went to Washington and Lee and avoided connecting to people with money and spent most of her time with the international students and she is making around 1/2 what I do right now. On the other hand, I got my first 2 jobs because I had good connections.

            There are a lot of great schools in the US spending a lot of time ranking which is 1st though 15th is a waste of time. Back in HS most people only have a vague understanding of what they want out of life so picking the best CS school is silly when you might end up studding math and getting masters in neuroscience. I think it's most important to pick and environment and social group that you're comfortable with vs. some extremely arbitrary school rank.

            PS: In 5 years people look at you funny when you include your collage GPA and in 20 years the collage you went to is little more than a foot note when compared to your work history and grad school. How far you go is more about when you decide to cost than which scool you went to.
            • by boyko.at.netqos (1024767) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @04:40PM (#19168865)
              I concur - and have more to add. Ultimately, the college education you get starts to level out. Sure, Harvard might open some doors the first year out of college, but the 5th year out of college, everyone's going to be looking at the past five years. Is academic reputation important? Absolutely. But you know what's more important? Being in an environment where you can A) Bring your skills to the table, B) Be comfortable, C) Try out many new things without feeling threatened.

              While avoiding Stanford for DMCA reasons may ultimately be a trivial reason, it does show that Stanford puts it's own interests above the education and well being of it's students. Do you really think that this place will have good academic counciling, will encourage you to study what you find interest in, etc.?
          • by Dragonslicer (991472) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @02:04PM (#19165659)

            You should be basing your college choices on three things, and only three things: a) quality of education, b) reputation in your chosen field, and c) networking opportunities.
            Yeah, I can't believe that I took into consideration the fact that the college I went to had a decent music program, even though it was purely a hobby for me, where I ended up meeting people that will probably be my best friends for the rest of my life. I'm such an idiot for that.
          • yes it does (Score:5, Insightful)

            by unity100 (970058) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @02:13PM (#19165881) Homepage Journal
            3-5 years of life in a campus that you do not like, but in a good university can ruin/change your life fundamentally.

            you are making a mistake of evaluating human beings like machines - better in environments that will bring 'optimal' results for some standard goal.

            it is not as such. humans are emotionally, psychologically complex creatures.

            spending 3-5 years in an environment that excites you, fires you up, is fun and fulfilling with good atmosphere and social company that SUITS oneself, and in youth years of 18-22, the "free" years, which fundamentally and finally shapes and molds one's character, outlook on life and approach to life makes great positive difference than spending 3-5 years in an environment in which you will live indifference or dislike.

            the former makes one into a happy persona that will sail easily through life, the latter makes one into an automaton.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Kjella (173770)
            Everything in balance - some people go through life always looking for the "next" thing.

            They spend too much time on grades so they'll get into a good grad school
            They spend too much time getting a good degree to get a career started
            They spend too much time working to raise up through the company ladder
            They spend too much time earning money for their retirement

            And in all that, they fail to live in the moment. Those are the prime candidates for a mid-life crisis or ending up old and bitter. people that realize
      • by n00854180t (866096) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @12:46PM (#19164193)
        I think it's perfectly reasonable to de-rank Stanford because of this. If they're willing to harass their own students based on the whims of a private company, it's a short shot to doing more than just harass. Stanford (like others that seem to be more aware and responsible) has the clout to completely ignore the RIAA (as other universities have done), but instead it chooses to 1) harass students and 2) charge them arbitrary fees. All at the whims of a totally unrelated private company. Pretty dodgy if you ask me.
      • by TheMCP (121589) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @01:04PM (#19164535) Homepage
        Okay. Let's say you're my Stanford roommate, and I hate you because you snore loudly. All I have to do is file three DMCA complaints against you (or get a friend off campus to do so) and Stanford will zap you with $1600 of fines and you'll be brought up for disciplinary action. (Think you're gonna *want* to stick around after that?)

        The policy fines students for being accused. THE KID DOESN'T HAVE TO BE GUILTY OF ANYTHING, THEY GET FINED FOR BEING ACCUSED. Do *you* want to go to a school where you're not innocent until proven guilty, you're not even guilty until proven innocent, you're just automatically and permanently guilty the moment anyone makes an accusation?

        I had to write up the policy for a university dealing with the question of what to do with RIAA complaints a few years ago. In my opinion, Stanford is being *monumentally* stupid. I told the university I worked for to become an ISP and start charging students for internet access if they wanted it, and put no restrictions on that access aside from what minor restrictions an ordinary residential ISP might place. Then it would all be *their* problem, not the university's.
    • Examples?

      I tend to disagree a bit here. A universities reputation is based on the quality of its research and how well it's graduates to in the work force. Research is paid for by outside companies which ARE concerned about their IP. A company will not want to be associated with a "pirate" university.

      • > A universities reputation is based on the quality of its research and how well it's graduates to in the work force.

        Last I checked Stanford was a liberal arts university, not a trade school. Their reputation is based on their scholastics, not how much money their graduates make.

        jfs

    • I wonder how Stanford would react to unauthorized duplications of that university's publications...
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by nanosquid (1074949)
        They'd probably cheer; academics tend to hate the restrictive policies of academic publishers.
        • No, they don't. They quite enjoy the copyright-driven royalties, or else they'd sell everything at printing cost (or less) and put it all on the internet (after that became feasible). Your statement is only valid for scholars writing articles for journals, but even then I'd have to ask why they don't ditch the for-profit publisher.
    • Spoken like a true Yale man
    • Just roll Stanford down in your list of preferred colleges/universities.

      What and just let the MAFIAA have Stanford and everything it does? NFW. It is outrageous that people can be thrown off their network, fined and out of school without a trial on the word of a big dumb company that's got a reputation for suing innocent people. This needs to be fought at every level. We can't let big dumb publishers destroy public institutions over their pop proffits. Pop music and movies are not worth this. Lawre [wikipedia.org]

    • by Simonetta (207550) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @12:41PM (#19164079)
      Universities tend to be sluggish in the internal politics of their administrations, despite their reputation of being progressive and cutting edge. There seems to be a time lag of about ten years between the opinions of most of the students on an issue and that of the university administration. But when the administration does change, it often seems to go overly towards the opinion that the previous university administration was so against. There seems to this pattern of bonehead inertia followed by a swing too much in the other direction ten years later. I noticed this during the Vietnam War protests of the 1960s when lots of quality professors were being fired for protesting the war in its early years and then having universities go strongly anti-military in the 1970s. This pattern also showed up in the 1980s with resistance to 'political correctness' in the 1980s followed by a stiff overreaction towards PC mentality in the 1990s.
          So if there is any validity to these observations, then there may be a complete change of view against the RIAA and restrictive copyrights on the part of university administrations in about ten years that will last for another twenty or so afterwards. This pattern of overreaction to extremes followed by an idealogical reversal in the other direction seems to be the general dynamic of university administrations as the younger people who suffered from their positions in the beginning take control of the administrations through the long personnel change process. Often they are the only ones interested in gaining control of universities given the tediousness of administrative processes. Revenge seems to be a good motivator and would explain this tendency to shift between extremes.
          So don't worry too much about your university being a poodle to the RIAA cokeheads. It will most likely change over time. In the meantime, set up websites where you can support the fellow students who have been randomly selected for RIAA extortion.
  • PDF Dump (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 17, 2007 @11:59AM (#19163307)
    1
    Student DMCA Complaint Policy & Reconnection Fee
    May 11, 2007
    Background
    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=196 9). 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 - 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 Stanford's resources--your tuition dollars--to spend so much staff time
    responding to copyright violations.
    To defray these costs while underscoring Stanford's stance on copyright,
    beginning September 1, 2007, Stanford will charge violators an Internet reconnection fee.
    2
    Student DMCA Policy
    1st DMCA Complaint: The Information Security Office will forward a copy of the
    complaint to the student, with an email instructing the student to
    remove copyrighted content and respond to the Information
    Security Office. A student has 48 hours to respond to the
    Information Security Office (ISO) and attend to the DMCA
    complaint. If the student addresses the DMCA complaint within
    that time, there will be no disconnection, and no reconnection
    fee. But if the student does not respond within 48 hours, the
    student will be disconnected from the network. Once the DMCA
    complaint has been addressed, the student will be charged $100
    to be reconnected to the Stanford network.
    2nd DMCA Complaint: The Information Security Office will forward a copy of the
    complaint to the student and to the student's Residence Dean.
    The student will be disconnected immediately from the network.
    Once the DMCA complaint has been addressed, the student will
    be charged $500 to be reconnected to the Stanford network.
    3rd DMCA Complaint: The Information Security Office will forward a copy of the
    complaint to the student. The student will be disconnected
    immediately from the network. Network privileges will be
    terminated. The Information Security Office will file a
    complaint with Judicial Affairs for disciplinary action. New
    network privileges may be granted at Stanford's discretion upon
    the student agreeing to indemnify Stanford against any further
    copyright violations, and paying up to $1000 to establish new
    privileges.
    Fees
    Students may pay fees directly to the University within 30 days of the
    reconnection; fees remaining unpaid after this time will be added onto monthly
    University bills.
    Although the purpose of these fees is to discourage piracy and compensate the
    University for resources spent dealing with DMCA complaints, for the first year of the
    program, the affected departments have agreed that these fees will be transferred to
    ASSU's general operating budget to enhance Stanford student activities.
    3
    Reconnection Fee Effective Date
    The imposition of the reconnection fee is the only substantial modification to
    Stanford's treatment of DMCA complaints against studen
    • Re:PDF Dump (Score:4, Insightful)

      by anexium (591672) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @12:05PM (#19163435)
      so they get an immediate disconnect with a $500 fee on the second dmca? but what if the 1st one was bogus/wrong/malicious?
      • Well then it serves them right for not being able to explain the first incident when they are given the opportunity to rebutt the accusation.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by natet (158905)
        That was my thought too. They allow you to respond within 48 hours for the first one, and if you do, you don't get disconnected, but on the second notice, it's an immediate disconnection. Seems rather draconian. And, given the RIAA's track record of mis-identifying "offenders," I would say that there would be a fair chance that a user on the Stanford network could be incorrectly named.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by theantipop (803016)
      I suppose it's worth mentioning that the $100 fee isn't automatic (I forgot to mention that in the summary). You have a window, albeit short, to respond before you get cut. Still, the notice seems to be cut and dry with harsh punishments despite the validity of any complaints received.
      • I was thinking the same thing, but then noticed that there is no such response window for the 2nd or 3rd DMCA notice. So not only does the fine increase substantially, guilt is assumed, and the network connection is cut immediately. If I accuse someone of the same crime a second time (even if they were found innocent the first time around), does that make them more guilty?
  • Due diligence. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AltGrendel (175092) <ag-slashdot@exit0.COMMAus minus punct> on Thursday May 17, 2007 @12:00PM (#19163313) Homepage

    Of course, they checked to make sure the charges were real before the instituted the fines, right?

    I mean, these wouldn't possibly be trumped up charges after all.
    • by Kjella (173770)
      No, that's not their duty under 512. To put it very briefly:
      1) The service provider must act 'expeditiously' to remove access/content ynder various subsections of a)-d).
      2) The service provider has in general no liability: g) 1)
      3) If the allegations are false, you can send a counternotice and go after the accusing party for damages: f) 2)

      Basicly the service provider is just forced to disable/reenable access/content and relay various notifications according to the rules set out in the law. Their job is not to
      • If I understand what you write here correctly, does this mean that after just 2 false accusations, Stanford can start charging the RIAA $1000.00 for each false accusation? This sounds like an overall win for reducing incoming riaa infringement spam to me as they will have to be very careful with their claims.
  • by garcia (6573) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @12:00PM (#19163317) Homepage
    Just because Stanford's name is at risk students, who aren't guilty of a *crime* and have no way to prove their innocence, are being dropped from the campus network and having money extorted from them by the University to reconnect?

    That's a bunch of horseshit. The MPAA and RIAA are winning at their game with colleges when more should be turning to the legal minds on campus to see what they can do to shut this finger pointing media game that they are playing.
    • Apparently, if within 48 hours of receiving the notice, the student responds to the Stanford Information Security Office and explains that he has a right to host the content, there is no disconnection and no $100 fee.
      • by garcia (6573)
        Apparently, if within 48 hours of receiving the notice, the student responds to the Stanford Information Security Office and explains that he has a right to host the content, there is no disconnection and no $100 fee.

        What if the student isn't around for 48 hours (busy drinking, studying at the library, or fucking their SO at an off-campus location)? They should be given a chance at an in-person interview to explain the situation and fight the "charges" of IP infringement brought before they are charged any
  • by Adam Zweimiller (710977) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @12:01PM (#19163327) Homepage
    At my University, they took to blocking BitTorrent traffic, and the traffic of most popular P2P apps. This was pretty effective at stopping 99.9% of students from using the aforementioned services. So, with far more effective methods of counteracting this, why resort to billing students for what may or may not be a legitimate DMCA complaint? Seems like they are just inviting **AA to abuse this.
    • The one thing I've discovered while working at UCI (As student staff) is that each department is greedy. For instance, one year a bus had to be redirected from its normal route due to construction. When we requested them to move it back, the transport service wanted us to pay them for the extra maintenance fees, employee hours, etc. the old route would cost. (Note, the route was about a minute or two longer). Both were university departments, and I'd not be surprised if some departments instead try to leech
    • by dfoulger (1044592)
      Its a very bad solution because it support to the RIAA's deep agenda of preserving the music industries oligopoly on music distribution. When you block P2P you block lots of legitimately shared music (from individuals, garage bands, etc) as well. Others have already noted that P2P has other legitimate uses. Blocking the technology to block a subset of content is a very bad solution.
    • by Abcd1234 (188840)
      Until the users start selecting random ports and turning on encryption (my ISP throttles BT traffic, and I quite neatly get around it using these two measures).
  • abuse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lehk228 (705449) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @12:02PM (#19163357) Journal
    so if someone from Stanford pisses me off i can send a fake DMCA letter and cost them $100?

    sweet.
    • by zappepcs (820751)
      Not that I'm supporting this sort of thing..... BUT it would be damned funny if Stanford suddenly received 2,000,000 DMCA letters from the RIAA or some friends of the RIAA. Does anyone know the IP address range for Stanford?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by SlayerofGods (682938)
      Actually you'd end up costing yourself some money...

      (f) Misrepresentations.-- Any person who knowingly materially misrepresents under this section--
      (1) that material or activity is infringing, or
      (2) that material or activity was removed or disabled by mistake or misidentification,
      shall be liable for any damages, including costs and attorneys' fees, incurred by the alleged infringer, by any copyright owner or copyright owner's authorized licensee, or by a service provider, who is injured by such mis
      • by Skapare (16644)

        You actually believe this law is enforced? Silly person. You obviously have not been keeping up with the news.

      • Yes, because nobody on /. knows how to make virtually untraceable email spam. Heck, a good percentage of us could set up a few dummy bots and flood someone if we really had an inclination to do so.
      • by dfoulger (1044592)
        So the trick, if you really want to do this, is to install a piece of file sharing code on their machine (if you know what you are doing, an e-mail with the right attachment will do), request the song you put there over the net, and then file your DMCA notice. I'm not advocating doing this, but the event series would null the conditions of the provision you point to. My real point is that DMCA really does open the door to malicious attacks on innocent third parties. File sharing botnets are simply a sem
        • Well unless it's your song it would be perjury to file a DMCA notice on behalf of someone else's work.

          And you are right in that it does open the door for abuse, but I see it less as an avenue for malicious attacks and more of a way of easily filing nuisance lawsuits (cheaper to settle than to fight). The same kind of law suits that big business has been putting up with for years basically extended down to the individual.
  • Secure transfers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by farker haiku (883529) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @12:04PM (#19163407) Journal
    The solution is of course to use a program like WASTE and create a small network of friends (and by friend I mean non-leech).
    • WASTE is a great option for darknets. It not only features traffic encryption, but may optionally generate fake random traffic when no files are being transferred. That's a good way to make Stanford spend their $100 fines.
  • Wow, just wow (Score:4, Interesting)

    by travdaddy (527149) <<gro.liamxunil> <ta> <ovart>> on Thursday May 17, 2007 @12:04PM (#19163421)
    So not only is Stanford graciously enforcing the RIAA's copyrights for the RIAA, but they are also joining in on the payday for the pirates that are caught? Bad Stanford!
    • by Grashnak (1003791)
      Ya, pretty sad. Its like coming upon someone being raped and instead of calling the police, dropping your pants and waiting your turn. Blech.
    • Re:Wow, just wow (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Hatta (162192) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @12:28PM (#19163899) Journal
      I'm not sure this is even legal. Under the DMCA safe harbor [chillingeffects.org] provisions, network operators are supposed to take down material upon receiving notice from a copyright holder. If the customer disputes this, they can provide a counter-notice that the material does not infringe upon copyright. The ISP is then required by law to reinstate service, unless the copyright holder proceeds with a lawsuit.

      I don't see any room in this law giving Stanford discretion to make service contingent on receipt of a fee. Of course, IANAL so YMMV.
  • The short version (Score:4, Insightful)

    by orclevegam (940336) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @12:13PM (#19163617) Journal
    Stanford saw the *AA making sweet money on trumped up charges and decided to cut themselves in for a share.
  • It appears to me that a simple response of "I have no illegal copyrighted material and have never participated in any illegal activities of this nature." is a perfectly valid response folks. Remember, the DCMA allows a response. It doesn't assume guilt.
  • IT time? Oh, I forgot. Like most college fees, they can just invent a number and charge whatever they want. It is Stanford (the Silver Spoon Ritz) after all!
    • 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 Stanford's resources--your tuition dollars--to spend so much staff time responding to copyright violations.
      Ah, the problem with not reading the PDF. It is clear that the harrassment by the RIAA is the problem here and not the students however.
    • by Rallion (711805)
      They come right out and say it's a deterrent, and that the money (at least at first) will go to a particular fund. They're not lying and calling it a cost. (At least, not this fee.)
      • They come right out and say it's a deterrent, and that the money (at least at first) will go to a particular fund. They're not lying and calling it a cost. (At least, not this fee.)
        Thanks. I couldn't read the PDF until someone posted it.
  • I see .... (Score:2, Funny)

    by thundergeek (808819)
    I see a new western union commercial here!

    kid: Mom? Dad? I need some cash, quick, before my webiste goes down.
  • by kscguru (551278) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @12:30PM (#19163935)
    Before Slashdot overreacts, I graduated from Stanford two years ago; this policy is more forgiving than what was in place in 2005.

    Read it carefully - roughly, after the first notice, it's a $100 fee. After the second notice, it's $500 plus a notice to the residence dean (like a referral to the principle). After the third, it's $1000 plus a referral to Judicial Affairs (which, given Stanford's honor code, is likely to result in a suspension). The previous policy was a network disconnect until a student certifies offending material is removed, the second offense was another disconnect plus a notice to the residence dean, then after the third, referral to Judicial Affairs and a student was PERMENANTLY BANNED from the Stanford network. (Makes it quite difficult to do classwork.) I'm personally bothered with this new policy; makes it too easy for a rich kid to ignore everything.

    Stanford's networking folks do look carefully at the notices, protect student privacy unless faced with a court order, and a student can contest the DMCA takedown notice without penalty with the eager assistence of Student Legal Affairs - although doing so waives your privacy. As of two years ago, no student had ever contested a notice - they were all clear-cut DMCA violations. And only well-documented violations ever got passed to students.

    Now, let's be honest here ... I have yet to see a single person on Slashdot ever suggest running a file-sharing service from their desktop at work. So exactly why is a university a different story? Regardless of the merits of the DMCA itself (I personally think it's a stupid law, guilty-until-proven-innocent and with punishments far worse than the violation itself), the DMCA is still the law; why should a university be expected to shield individuals engaged in illegal behavior?

    • by dfoulger (1044592)
      I suppose I'm glad to hear that none of the RIAA notices were illegitimate while you were a student, the evidence from elsewhere suggests that they may not be. Stanford is exactly the kind of place that would attract the kind of RIAA allegations that Lessig documents at RIT (no real RIAA violation; just a search database that documents web documents on the net). The result in that case, a student settling to avoid the cost and hassle of litigation could easily have happened at Stanford as well. I guess I
    • by vux984 (928602)
      Now, let's be honest here ... I have yet to see a single person on Slashdot ever suggest running a file-sharing service from their desktop at work. So exactly why is a university a different story?

      Not that I think doing it at a university is necessarily a good idea, but it *IS* a different story from work.

      1) You live there. Its your home. The expectation of privacy etc in your dorm vs your office/cubicle quite different.
      2) You own the computer, not them.
      3) You pay a fair bit of money for the services you re
    • by Skapare (16644)

      So what happens, under either the old policy or the new policy, if the student certifies that the offending material does not actually exist (they were misidentified), is not actually online (they have it legally, but someone just broke in and saw it there), is their own genuine work they created, or that the complainant is not the actual owner?

      And why does an innocent victim have to give up their privacy just to assert their innocence? If they make a claim to the university and the university can see tha

      • by Kjella (173770)
        And why does an innocent victim have to give up their privacy just to assert their innocence? If they make a claim to the university and the university can see that the claim is correct, then why would the university still want to cause them harm by way of privacy invasion?

        Because the law requires the university to provide the counternotice to the sender of the DMCA notification.

        No student ever contested a notice? How much does it cost to do that?

        It doesn't cost anything, but among the things it must contai
    • Because you live there. You have certain rights when it comes to your residence, and as well you should. My employer is free to search my desk and computer at work any time they wish, it all belongs to them. However they are not free to come in to my house, even though I occasionally do work from home. Well, just because a dorm room is small, doesn't make it any less your residence than an apartment. Cops still have to get a warrant to search it, and such.

      Then there's the problem on non-competitiveness. In
  • Perhaps they should block all promotional movie sites associated with the MPAA and charge them $10,000 to $100,000 per site to reconnect.
  • The real reason (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mrmojo (841397) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @01:13PM (#19164691)
    The reasons Stanford did this are very simple, are explained in detail by Stanford, and were entirely left out of the summary. They have to pay 3 people full time to respond to DMCA complaints, the vast majority of which are caused by students doing something wrong. The salary these three people earn would be better spent on education, and it isn't fair that the entire student body has to pay for the acts of the ones infringing. They're shifting the costs of responding to these DMCA complaints to the students who cause them.

    As a show of good faith, for the first year all collected money will not offset the salaries, but will in fact go directly to the student government.

    To reiterate, they're just shifting the costs of responding to DMCA complaints onto the students too dumb to get their warez and MP3s from usenet like the rest of us ;)
    • The first rule of usenet...

      (it's oosnetyea in pig latin, isn't it?)

      Which reminds me...wtf is everthing doing in boneless? Is there some inside joke I missed when I was offline in the late 90s?
  • Cambridge (Score:2, Informative)

    by carpecerevisi (890252)
    A certain Cambridge college has implemented a similar policy. The fine is a charge of 2 terms' connection fee (totalling c. £50, around $100), and disconnection for 8 weeks of term time. However, this is only after investigation (we've had two cases so far, where both students were asked if the allegations were true, and admitted it). There is no policy, as of yet, for repeat offences.

    However, I don't really, in all honesty, see the issue. The charges are only imposed if the allegations are "proven" t
  • by BearRanger (945122) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @02:12PM (#19165855)
    The reputation of the institution is important, yes. But somewhere along the way someone in the administration must have lost sight of certain principles.

    Piracy is wrong, and Stanford should make every effort to prevent it on their networks. I have no doubt that piracy takes place there. However a review of RIAA court cases would show that they quite often make claims they can't substantiate. In the case of Stanford and its students, where's the proof?

    In essence Stanford is being asked to provide the proof. What's worse, the university is looking to make the accused students pay for the investigation before handing them over to their accusers.

    I know there are legitimate uses for BitTorrent and the like, but I'd feel better if the university simply blocked its use. Make a proactive effort to prevent piracy, and let that be their defense against the RIAA and MPAA. Continue to educate the students in the issues of copyright and enforce that the same way you enforce other issues--through the student code of conduct.

    I understand the need to mitigate the cost of dealing with the RIAA/MPAA. Ideally this would be done by passing the costs on to the people who illegally download copyrighted content rather than all students, which is what this policy attempts to do. That's very difficult when you can't absolutely prove who the pirates are. The RIAA and MPAA have created a climate that adds this additional overhead to the cost of running a large network, and I'm saddened to see that Stanford has decided to pay this tax.

    Making deals with the RIAA/MPAA is like making deals with the devil. On the surface you may benefit but in the end you end up losing your soul.

The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out. Computer translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

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