Kalamazoo College's Student Newspaper
By Camden Krusec Staff Writer
When the Internet stood against and subsequently delayed the passing of SOPA (the Stop Anti-Piracy Act) and PIPA (the Protect IP Act) in mid-January, many were keen to recognize that anti-piracy bills would never stop being a threat to illegal means of obtaining digital information. But now, merely two months after SOPA and PIPA were indefinitely halted, it has been announced that starting July 12th, the large ISPs (internet service providers) will install programs to catch digital pirates and stop illegal file sharing.
Notable ISPs that will enact these programs include Comcast, Cablevision, Time Warner, and Verizon. This has nothing to do with judicial legislation. Those caught will merely receive warnings, and, if the customer continues to pirate, will be suspended from the service.
When 70% of 18 to 29 year-olds pirate music, it is no surprise that colleges do a lot to combat piracy. Here at K, punishment for pirating goes as follows:
1. A student pirates any digital piece of content (usually a BitTorrent client is used)
2. Copyright holders send the school a notice of alleged infringement they find through an elaborate tracking method that involves seeing who is seeding the file
3. The school is also given information on what was pirated and the IP address of the computer used
4. The school tracks the IP address to the student on the school network
5. A notice of the violation is sent to the student, and the student’s access to the network is suspended until further notice
6. The Residential Computer Consultant is dispatched to terminate the file and the means by which said file was pirated
7. If second violation occurs, the school may be open to punishing the student legally, by suspension, or expulsion
With roughly one hundred students caught per year, it is safe to say that illegal file sharing is still an issue here at K. Junior Khaliah Griffin finds piracy morally permissible. “I don’t think it will stop any of the people who have Comcast or Time Warner. Those people will just cause problems. When you restrict people from something they commonly love and use, it sometimes causes some kind of a rebellion. Look at what happened with SOPA.”