Wednesday , July 17 2024

Sucking Up the Pipe or Creating Demand?

File-sharing is sucking up the bandwidth at universities. Art Jahnke is against it:

    a recap. When we last left the embattled recording industry, it had sent a letter to administrators at 2,300 colleges and universities, calling on them to crack down the downloading of copyrighted music and video files and to find ways to punish students who disregard copyright laws. Next, a civil liberties group, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), responded to the industry demand by sending 50 colleges a message of its own: Think twice before following the advice of entertainment industry.

    “Under current law,” the EPIC letter notes, “educational institutions are required to take down infringing content hosted on a university Web server.” And that, says EPIC, is quite enough. The privacy group argues that the industry effort to “shift the burden to colleges and universities to devote scarce resources to monitoring online communications and to identifying and ‘prosecuting’ individuals suspected of using P2P networks to commit copyright violations” is “neither reasonable nor appropriate.”

    The entertainment industry says jump. EPIC says not so high. What’s a modern college to do? Richard Wiggins, a writer and information technologist at Michigan State University, has a suggestion: Take a look at how much of your school’s bandwidth is being sucked up by Eminem wannabees downloading bootleg copies of “8 Mile.” Commenting on the Internet list known as Interesting People, Wiggins, directs our attention to a series of graphs depicting performance statistics for the network at the University of Wisconsin. For most readers, the picture is a revelation: Over the 24-hour period shown, nearly a third of the university’s bandwidth appears to be devoted to Kazaa and other file swapping applications. Wiggins says that’s nothing: Several colleges have reported that P2P applications routinely consume more than half of their network bandwidth. [from Darwin]

There are various ways to look at this: if the practice isso pervasive, the increased cost to the university will simply be folded into increased tuition/fees and the students will end up paying for it en masse. If the universities want to make the effort to determine who is using what and charge individuals accordingly, they must be aware there will be additional monitoring/bookkeeping costs associated with that effort.

From an industry standpoint, the ISPs must be thrilled that so many are becoming reliant upon broadband, and when they “grow up” today’s students will view it as another necessary utility.

It’s all a matter of perspective.

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,, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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