IBJNews

Purdue steps up efforts to halt illegal downloads

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Federal rules aimed at cracking down on illegal downloads are prompting Purdue University to limit students' bandwidth and step up efforts to educate students about the penalties for violating copyrights.

The efforts aren't resonating with some students, who say they'll continue to share electronic data and aren't worried about getting caught.

"Everyone does it, and really there are only a few anywhere who get caught," said recent graduate Teresa Brecht.

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 wants universities to help change that attitude.

The act requires schools to fight illegal distribution of copyrighted material and educate campus communities about the issue, including offering legal alternatives to downloading. Schools that don't comply with the new rules risk losing their eligibility for federal student aid.

Purdue spokeswoman Jeanne Norberg said the university has been preparing for the new rules since the 2008-2009 academic year.

"We have found that our students respond best when they hear from their peers who have made illegal choices and now are facing costly penalties," she said. "Piracy may seem easy, but the consequences are not."

The university displays posters about piracy and illegal downloading year-round. A university website also offers links to legal alternatives for downloading media content.

Students are warned of the consequences of violating copyright law before they log on to the campus online residential network called ResNet.

Since October 2008, the Recording Industry Association of America has sent 269,609 copyright infringement notices to colleges and universities. Purdue has received 474 copyright-related alerts since January, and students have paid thousands in fines for illegal downloads in years past.

Campus officials also comply with court-issued subpoenas requesting names of students whose computers have been identified as downloading illegal items.

But Purdue isn't likely to police what students download itself. The act gives schools flexibility so long as they use at least one technology-based deterrent, such as products to block illegal file sharing.

Purdue limits students using the university network to 5 gigabytes of data to outside websites per day.

Students say that's still enough to download movies.

"Everyone my age has grown up doing this," junior Ben Parniuk said. "I've been downloading since the fifth grade, and I've never been worried about being caught. I don't see anything changing that for me or anyone else my age."

Steven Worona, director of policy and networking programs for Educause, a higher education tech advocacy group, said there's only so much universities can do.

"The problem campuses have is that commercial network providers are not doing anything to limit the amount of infringement on their networks or educate their customers about copyright law," Worona said. "Every fall, a new cadre of students arrives on campuses who have been engaging in infringing activity since the third grade."

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Proper Role of a Univ
    Gee, now the entertainment industry wants univeristies to police for them what they themselves cannot do. Somehow I don't see any reason or role for universities to somehow step in and protect the music and movie industry. They need to be spending their resources continuing to educate their students and building their libraries. Somehow I don't punk rock, and skin flicks having much to do with education.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...

ADVERTISEMENT