Saturday, July 21, 2007

I don't think we're in Kansas any more...

While some Universities are trying to protect the interests of their students in the face of ever-increasing copyright tightening, others aren't.

The University Of Kansas falls firmly into the "other aren't" side, threatening its students with a 'one strike and you're out' policy:

"If you are caught downloading copyrighted material, you will lose your ResNet privileges forever," reads the notice. "No second notices, no excuses, no refunds. One violation and your ResNet internet access is gone for as long as you reside on campus."

That this is a bit of a short-sighted kneejerk reaction is probably given away by how sloppily the threat of removal of internet access is - if you buy a track off iTunes, you are downloading copyrighted material. Kansas probably means illegal copyrighted material, but even there, the wording is sloppy. No excuses? What if a student believed they were downloading a legally-released mp3 which turned out to be illegal? Any law which doesn't allow the accused at least a vestige of explanation for their actions would seem to be a bad law.

If you're looking for a university this year, and are considering Kansas, you might want to weigh the merits of an institution which puts the interests of record companies ahead those of its students.

1 comment:

M.C. Glammer said...

University of Kansas? Can you download MP3s from a combine harvester, then?

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