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School ICT Policies Thread, MP3's - the legalities in School Administration; Originally Posted by GrumbleDook Correct. We tell teachers to work from original CDs rather than MP3 if they are doing ...
  1. #31
    petectid's Avatar
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    Re: MP3's - the legalities

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook
    Correct. We tell teachers to work from original CDs rather than MP3 if they are doing work with classes.
    I know that here we pay a fee for showing DVDs, all titles of which are added to a form and sent with a payment, where I do not know as the finance manager deals with this. We can then display all the DVDs on the list in school. Would the same not apply to Audio CD Roms used by schools?

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    Re: MP3's - the legalities

    Quote Originally Posted by tosca925
    If i did search through just one year group i would guarantee that over 98% of the mp3's would be illegal.
    Unfortunately, the other 2% are not only legal but part of some coursework they're currently working on. Delete at your peril...

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    Re: MP3's - the legalities

    and your suggestion on how we differentiate this? :-)

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    Re: MP3's - the legalities

    I had two staff laptops in yesterday and found about 50 mp3s in a folder called 'bearshare' and several movies in a folder called 'bittorrents' on the first. All were deleted immediately and threatening messages left in a readme file in their place.

    On the second I found a large amount of MP3s that had been downloaded, but others appeared to have been ripped from CDs legally via windows media player. Unsure of what to do, I left a message in the startup folder (where they can't miss it) asking them to sort out and delete the illegal content. If they don't do it soon, I'll just delete the lot anyway.

    I'm going through the rest of the laptops soon and I'd make a guess and say I'll be deleting most MP3 files that I find, especailly if it is in a folder such as limewire "shared".

    It's not the teachers doing it incidently... it's their children. However, for the first time I've decided to adopt a BOfH style approach to this because I think if I don't, it'll get out of hand.

    Do you think I am wrong to just delete without warning? Maybe I'll back them up before deleting in future just in case (not for my own music collection, honestly ).

  5. #35

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Re: MP3's - the legalities

    Quote Originally Posted by _Bat_
    On the second I found a large amount of MP3s that had been downloaded, but others appeared to have been ripped from CDs legally via windows media player. Unsure of what to do, I left a message in the startup folder (where they can't miss it) asking them to sort out and delete the illegal content. If they don't do it soon, I'll just delete the lot anyway.
    That's the thing though - ripping from CD's isn't legal.

    It's not the teachers doing it incidently... it's their children. However, for the first time I've decided to adopt a BOfH style approach to this because I think if I don't, it'll get out of hand.
    But their kids shouldn't be using the computer should they?

    Do you think I am wrong to just delete without warning? Maybe I'll back them up before deleting in future just in case (not for my own music collection, honestly ).
    No, you are in the right. The laptop belongs to the school and as such you are The Law when it comes to their contents.

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    Re: MP3's - the legalities

    So if they have lots of ripped mp3's on their school laptop (possibly illegal) could the school get into trouble for this or the indiviual, possibly abusing the use of a school laptop.?

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    Re: MP3's - the legalities

    Quote Originally Posted by tosca925
    So if they have lots of ripped mp3's on their school laptop (possibly illegal) could the school get into trouble for this or the indiviual, possibly abusing the use of a school laptop.?
    As far as I am aware, the school gets fined and possibly worse happening to both me as the person responsible for the laptops and the person who downloaded it in the first place.

    @localzuk

    Are you sure it's not legal? Windows media player has a whole section dedicated to ripping CDs. Why do they allow this? What about MP3 players? Surely this requires you to rip music off CDs?

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    Re: MP3's - the legalities

    I am 100% sure. Ripping music from cd's is not legal in the UK due to our outdated copyright laws. This has been confirmed to me by a couple of copyright lawyers. The only thing is that there have not been any prosecutions for doing it... But this isn't something a school should consider, we should just consider the actual law.

    The only way music can be put on MP3 players, legally, in the UK is by downloading it from legal download services.

  9. #39

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    Re: MP3's - the legalities

    Okay, I'll bear that in mind. Thanks for the advice.

    As for teachers children using the laptops, the head teacher is angry that this is happening. An AUP is being written which will hopefully put a stop to this. Some teachers (and their children) obviously become so used to having their laptop that they think it is theirs and not the schools.

    In the AUP, it will state the consequences of anyone disobeying it. It will also make it clear what software/media is illegal etc.

    However, even though we have no AUP at the moment, I am still going to delete any downloaded music/movies etc without prior warning as it breaks the law. The teachers have been made aware that laptops will be coming in for inspection in a rota each week so the sensible ones will hopefully get any illegal content removed before I get hold of the laptop. The really sensible ones won't have to worry anyway .

  10. #40
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    Re: MP3's - the legalities

    still on a 'music' theme I'm constantly being asked by staff and the head to copy cd's, the cd is owned by the school but they want copies for other classes in the same yeargroup. I have pointed out it's illegal but that seems to fall on stony ground. (I have made copies of our assembly cd's and keep them in a safe place because the teacher in charge of them kept losing them)

  11. #41

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    Re: MP3's - the legalities

    Quote Originally Posted by NickJones
    Let's also bear in mind the ownership question. Jump forward in time a few years to the point where the outdated copyright laws have been revised to take MP3s into account. It is the teacher who owns the CD and therefore the rights to use the MP3, however it is the school which is hosting the MP3 and the school does not own the track so has no legal rights to the MP3.

    Here's a curly one to throw in to the debate. Our A-Level Music students are required to rip entire tracks and extracts of tracks from CDs to accompany their dissertations - they must compare two recordings of the same piece of music, and the exam boards request the recordings on CD. I am assured by the Head of Music that this is done under a strict and very specific re-negotiation of the copyright laws by the exam boards so I am happy with this on the face of it, but it does mean that I can't run blanket sweeps across the network removing all MP3 files!
    Ensure that these files in kept in very specific locations within home areas, or better still put them on a server that will stream them to students (actually using iTunes is possible for this!)

    That way you are able to scan and not delete files that are needed, and not have lots of unnecessary copies of the files.

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    Re: MP3's - the legalities

    With regards to the legallity of ripping music cd's I THINK it only legal to MP3 them if you have a legitimate, shop bought, CD - in which case you are then entitled to MP3 it to your PC/MP3 Player for your own personal use.

    If, however youthen stick those MP3's on P2P or on a school PC (technically not yours) then thats a different matter entirely...

    Most schools usually have some license (public entertainment??) that allows them to use music for education, and I think another one license is needed for using music during assemblies, etc....

  13. #43

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    Re: MP3's - the legalities

    Quote Originally Posted by Gatt
    With regards to the legallity of ripping music cd's I THINK it only legal to MP3 them if you have a legitimate, shop bought, CD - in which case you are then entitled to MP3 it to your PC/MP3 Player for your own personal use.
    That would still be illegal under the definition of the law, but as I said, there have not been any prosecutions for it. I won't go as far as to say 'and their won't be' but the CPS would, according to my source, likely not proceed with a case due to it not being in the public interest.

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    Re: MP3's - the legalities

    Quote Originally Posted by tosca925
    and your suggestion on how we differentiate this? :-)
    Easy. Do they do A-Level Music?!

  15. #45
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    Re: MP3's - the legalities

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook
    Ensure that these files in kept in very specific locations within home areas, or better still put them on a server that will stream them to students (actually using iTunes is possible for this!)
    If we said "we will delete all MP3 files except those in a folder called 'I Need These MP3s', they would simply put all their MP3s - legal and otherwise - in that folder. Our users aren't stupid!



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