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School ICT Policies Thread, MP3's - the legalities in School Administration; Hi All, I am currently re-writing a very tired AUP in conjunction with a very laid back ICT co-ordinator. I ...
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    MP3's - the legalities

    Hi All,

    I am currently re-writing a very tired AUP in conjunction with a very laid back ICT co-ordinator. I delete all students MP3's and would like to take the same approach with staff MP3's asap.

    If a staff member has bought a legally purchased CD in from home and rips it to their area as MP3's, are they breaking any laws? Staff like to work on for a couple of hours in a solitary environment after school and like to listen to music.

    The ICT Co. want to keep this scenario, but i need to be convinced that copying music to what is technically a 'shared' drive doesnt break any laws.

    I am hoping to find something concrete, because i am never going to be able to tell what has been legally purchased and what has been downloaded from an illegal p2p site.

    I have asked LEA to advise, but nothing back so far.

    How do other people manage this?

    If it was just up to me i would block all MP3's.

    Cheers

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    Re: MP3's - the legalities

    I'd love to block MP3s for staff too, at the moment I ask them not to store them as most of them have removed any that did have. I make it clear that it's not just MP3s it's all audio formats (you'd be amazed how some try to get around it - because it's not a MP3 as such..)

    I remove about 80 MP3s from students folders each week, a more corrupt network manager might use those to stay up to date with the charts.. :-P

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

    I hard link everyones mp3 files to random Spice Girls tracks.

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    Re: MP3's - the legalities

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff
    I hard link everyones mp3 files to random Spice Girls tracks.
    That sounds interesting! How have you linked mp3 files to a file you specify?

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    Re: MP3's - the legalities


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    Re: MP3's - the legalities

    Well as ripping from cd to hard disk is technically always illegal in the UK due to our outdated copyright laws, it would be illegal unless the file was downloaded via a site such as itunes.

    The existence of illegal files on school property is a legal concern for the school, and therefore you. I would simply make it clear that mp3's are not allowed unless purchased by the school for school purposes, and delete away.

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

    If your putting things in your AUP/Policies about this, I suggest you use the phrase 'copyrighted material' rather than specifically referring to any type of format (DVDs/CDs/MP3s/etc).

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    Re: MP3's - the legalities

    MP3's and Your School Do your students store MP3 files on your school's servers? Do they download MP3 files using your school's facilities? If they do, then, watch out! Your school could be in some real legal hot water! Plenty of unwanted negative publicity too!
    I mentioned the issue on the ISED-L mailing list and it touched off a series of responses. For an example of how easily and innocently your school can become an unwitting pawn in this copyright quagmire, see the Op-Ed piece an anonymous trustee wrote. It's pretty chilling!

    We all know that kids love their music. Do you think for a minute that a recording company is going to give its product away? Not likely. Yet that's the essence of the MP3 craze. Kids can download their favorite songs from thousands of sites on the Web. Are the copies which they are downloading stolen? Most kids don't care.

    Now, is the recording company going to go after the end user? That's like looking for a needle in a haystack! But what about going after St. Swithin's Preparatory School for Young Ladies, which just happens to have a few hundred MP3 files stored on its servers, courtesy of its young charges' earnest musical downloading activities? You bet. The lawyer's letter will appear in due course. No doubt about it!

    The recording industry is undergoing some pretty dramatic changes as a result of kids' downloading MP3 files. But until the distribution channels settle down and adjust to the new MP3 download craze, you must be vigilant.

    Speak to your Information Technology professional and see what you can do to block or at least control the illegal downloading.
    Ask your students what they download.
    Ask them if they are aware of the legal issues involved.
    Make them understand that the theft of intellectual property is a serious matter which could land them and their school in serious legal difficulty.

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    Re: MP3's - the legalities


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    Re: MP3's - the legalities

    Haha, i think the spice girls thing is a good idea, that should put everyone off downloading music ever again.

    As far as teachers downloading music i think that if they claim its for educational purposes are they not exempt from the copyright laws? i seem to remember someone saying how you can copy music cds as a teacher and give them to your pupils for educational purposes.

    I think you are probably more likely to win the lottery than actually get caught by any record companies. The way they find people is via insecure p2p programs such as kazaa, limewire, morpeous, or via trickery with edonkey (connecting to fake servers) and bit torrent (downloading from fake trackers).
    Im not saying turn a blind eye, im just saying if you cant run P2P programs through your firewall, then you cant get caught.

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    Re: MP3's - the legalities

    I stick with the policy that MP3's are not allowed on the school network by anyone, due to the amount of space they take up.

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    Re: MP3's - the legalities

    Im not saying turn a blind eye, im just saying if you cant run P2P programs through your firewall, then you cant get caught.
    Indeed, Additionally I'm looking to use packetfence to enforce this. It'll shut down machines network connections (via arp poisioning) when it detects anyone using P2P software (via Snort) and email me.

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    Re: MP3's - the legalities

    Both staff and students are not allowed to put MP3's or any media files in their MyDocuments area. Any I find are moved to a temporary folder and restored if legitamely needed. Every week the temporary folder is cleared. If any files are found in student accounts their accounts are locked and they have to come and find us to enable their account again.

    Students are unable to download from school, and the majority are brought in via Memory Pens / MP3 players that also act as memory pens. I dont see why the students if they carry these things round they need to copy to their MyDocuments.

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    Re: MP3's - the legalities

    What about kids using them for presentations etc. I know a lot of our kids are and its getting out of hand. I know of some of the legalities but the Head of ICT seems to truna blind eye. I know that 99% of thiese mp3s are illegal.

    DOes anyone have a site/document that i can use to show the issues we are opening our selves up to?

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    Re: MP3's - the legalities

    Quote Originally Posted by wil0
    Im not saying turn a blind eye, im just saying if you cant run P2P programs through your firewall, then you cant get caught.
    Isn't that the equivalent of saying 'if you are over the drink/drive limit, take the back road home, as there are never any cops that way?"


    If i knew for a fact it was illegal i would delete them all immediately, not because i may 'get caught', but i because i consider myself a professional.
    We don't use pirated software, and we buy all our licenses for the very same reasons.



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