UAA tries to crack down on music piracy by dormitory residents

November 29, 2011 

For two years, the University of Alaska Anchorage has been working with the Recording Industry Association of America to catch dormitory residents using the UAA network to download illegally distributed music. The situation has not improved, reports the campus newspaper The Northern Light, so the university has decided to limit network speed in dormitories and block access to some media-sharing websites. UAA says the restrictions won't affect academic pursuits, but students aren't buying it. Scores who say they've already noticed Web slowdowns have joined a Facebook group objecting to UAA's plan. But the university says it hasn't put restrictions in place yet.

From The Northern Light:

[George] Brandenburg and the members of Take The Internet Back started sending a stream of emails to IT Services and [vice provost Rich] Whitney detailing the importance of reliable Internet access in their lives and asking what the problem was.

Whitney responded in an email to the group saying, "Basically, there is nothing different for your wired access today than there was 2 weeks ago. We have not yet implemented rate throttling although we notified the community of our intent to do so."

Whitney further went on to explain that sites such as NetFlix, Hulu, and other legitimate streaming websites would work just fine on the 2Mb/s speed that was proposed - addressing a big concern of the group members.

The university received 878 complaints of copyright violation last year. The students say they just don't want to be punished for the actions of a few lawbreakers on campus. Read more at The Northern Light.

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