Dammed File Sharing

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The potlatch begins at the University of Florida – how much damage can we do to the marketplace of ideas in order to satisfy the RIAA?

    Many students moving into UF dorms this week were confused and frustrated after their Internet access was cut off by a new program designed to protect students and administrators from lawsuits.

    UF programmers wrote the Integrated Control Application for Restricting User Services, or ICARUS, to stem file sharing after receiving warnings that UF students were transmitting copyrighted music and movie files.

    “The impetus behind putting this kind of program in place was warning letters from lawyers representing the copyright owners of music property and other movie properties and things like that,“ said Sharon Blansett, Assistant Director of Housing at UF.

    “It detects computers who are sharing a large number of files and cuts off the student’s data port for communication outside of UF.”

    But, like its mythological namesake, ICARUS might be overreaching in its ambition. The program seems to be shutting down legitimate users who didn’t realize they were breaking network rules.

    ….During Summer A, when the program was first put into place, 110 of the 600 students living on campus – more than 1 in 6 – had their Internet access suspended, though there were no repeat offenses. [Independent Florida Alligator]

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About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted, Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.