At least the RIAA hasn’t tried to press criminal charges against university administrators yet for file sharing:
- THE British record industry is to prosecute universities that allow students to copy music over the internet through their computer networks.
Heads of universities will face criminal sanctions if they collude in the illegal downloading of music files – “copyright theft” – that is costing the music industry [an alleged] £2 billion a year. [this is bizarre: an apparently sympathetic report toward file sharing still relates the industry’s fanciful “losses” as though it were fact – it’s not]
The industry believes that universities, which offer students unlimited access to computers, are producing a generation of fans who believe that music is a commodity available free of charge. Websites such as kazaa and grokster allow internet users to download digital copies of the latest hits and produce their own compilation CDs for nothing.
Universities countered that it was not their job to police the internet on behalf of a record industry that is suffering a slump in CD sales.
Every university in Britain will today receive a letter from the British Phonographic Industry and its sister organisation, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, reminding them that unlicensed internet copying is a breach of legislation. The federation quotes studies conducted at universities showing that 50 to 100 per cent of the institutions’ internet capability had been taken over by illegal file-sharing traffic.
Academic institutions now face legal action. The federation said: “The legal risks include injunctions, damages, costs and possible criminal sanctions against the institutions and their heads where systems are used for copyright theft.” It was in the interest of academic institutions to crack down on illegal copying. [Times Online]
There is no way administrators could be convicted for “collusion” for copyright violation under these terms in the U.S. – we will see if the British universities cave to this kind of a threat.