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Business and Policy Areas
Business and Policy Areas
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Paper Outlines Efforts to Thwart Illegal File Sharing

April 8, 2004

A white paper detailing how universities are dealing with illegal peer-to-peer file sharing on campus was released earlier this month by a group of higher education and entertainment industry officials. The paper gives a snapshot of institutional enforcement, education, and network technologies that together may effectively deter illegal file sharing without suppressing legal uses of digital artistic works.

The paper, University Policies and Practices Addressing Improper Peer-to-Peer File Sharing, was authored by the Education Task Force for the Joint Committee of the Higher Education and Entertainment Communities and distributed by the American Council on Education (ACE). This document is a follow-up to a paper distributed by the same group in August 2003, which focused primarily on legal issues of peer-to-peer file sharing.

The newest white paper summarizes the current status of institutional policies governing peer-to-peer activities, and gives numerous examples of institutional response to illegal file sharing on a variety of campuses. Subsections examine efforts to educate campus communities on the consequences of file sharing for the individual, but also for the campus as a whole; new network management technologies designed to thwart file sharers; institutional enforcement activities; and new legal file sharing alternatives to the current model of illegal swapping.

The latest paper as well as the August 2003 paper are available on ACE’s Web site.