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Windows Thread, Can staff/students listen to music from their own pen drives? in Technical; I am trying to crack down on MP3's being stored in peoples H: drives as i know it is illegal ...
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    Can staff/students listen to music from their own pen drives?

    I am trying to crack down on MP3's being stored in peoples H: drives as i know it is illegal anyway.
    So if they have them on a pen drive and listen to it, is there any difference as it is stored on their hardware and not the schools or because it is being played on, and i imagine copied to a default location on the C: drive, just exactly the same and no different?

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    mthomas08's Avatar
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    Well surely it is stored on their Pen Drives, they are the 100% owners of that piece of equipment. It would be the same if some one brought a copied CD round your house and played it on your CD Player. It is not your CD so surely nothing wrong with it? Think it is one of those things that is on the line.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    It's a good question, but I would say the fact they're listening to the music on school equipment would still be illegal. The problem you have though is with DRM pretty much a thing of the past, there's no way to tell whether an MP3 is legal or not and it is set to get worse.

    To give you another comparative how the law is a little crazy - most people have TV licenses, however with online BBC content it is possible to view it without a TV license. On top of this, if you were to save the online content to a portable media player and then watch it at work, your place of work would also need a TV license.

    What no one at the BBC has thought about is more and more people will watch BBC content online and not bother with a TV license anymore and it's a problem set to get worse. There are also VPN type services which also allow people abroad to watch BBC online content, without paying a TV license. If you're abroad (say in France) and you point your satellite dish at Astra 28.2, again you can watch BBC TV channels, again without paying a TV license.

    In your position, I think the best procedure would be to update your terms of use for the school network. The school should then reserve the right to delete content if no license or proof of ownership can be supplied.

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    As some mp3 players show as a portable drive, I would say it is fine to use. If they copy the contents on the network then it's different because they are breaking copyright. You can provide the facility for users to access their own music via your equipment, but this can allow users with both legal and ilegal music to use your system. In the analogy above, you provide the facility to listen to CD's, but it doesn't stop people bringing copied CD's to play.

    But then you are putting the emphasis back on the user to take some responsibility for their actions.

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    Face-Man's Avatar
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    Is this just the same as if they brought a CD in and listen to that ? would they be breaking the law ? well if they broadcast it (ie listen without headphones or in some cases with headphone turned up very load ;-) the school need to have a PPL PPL : Educational Establishments most school have these so in that case no.

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    joe90bass's Avatar
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    I view it as the onus being back on the user, if it isn't on 'my' network I can't be held responsible. Though updating your Terms of use as mentioned above to cover the school just in case wouldn't hurt!

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    enjay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joe90bass View Post
    if it isn't on 'my' network I can't be held responsible.
    Ah, but... once the pen drive is connected to a computer, it IS on your network. The Computer Misuse Act states that a device becomes part of 'the computer' when it is connected - this is what permits us to run virus scans on pen drives. Therefore for the duration that the pen drive is connected to a school computer, it is technically the school's property. That doesn't necessarily mean the school becomes legally responsible for the content though. Or does it?!

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    Quote Originally Posted by enjay View Post
    Ah, but... once the pen drive is connected to a computer, it IS on your network. The Computer Misuse Act states that a device becomes part of 'the computer' when it is connected - this is what permits us to run virus scans on pen drives. Therefore for the duration that the pen drive is connected to a school computer, it is technically the school's property. That doesn't necessarily mean the school becomes legally responsible for the content though. Or does it?!
    this is the bit i had my doubts about

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    joe90bass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enjay View Post
    Ah, but... once the pen drive is connected to a computer, it IS on your network. The Computer Misuse Act states that a device becomes part of 'the computer' when it is connected - this is what permits us to run virus scans on pen drives. Therefore for the duration that the pen drive is connected to a school computer, it is technically the school's property. That doesn't necessarily mean the school becomes legally responsible for the content though. Or does it?!
    Point taken! To be more specfic, I meant if it isn't saved on 'my' network I can't be held responsible - though more likely a mentioned it'll be a grey area....

    I'm guessing as well as the risk of viruses, etc, this is another reason why some organisations block access to USB devices, CDs, etc

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    enjay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joe90bass View Post
    Point taken! To be more specfic, I meant if it isn't saved on 'my' network I can't be held responsible - though more likely a mentioned it'll be a grey area....
    That's the thing - if it were saved on your network, you'd be responsible, so since their pen drive becomes part of your when connected, why would you not be liable for its content? We're not just talking MP3s here, of course, but any illegal content on the pen drive.

    I suspect this is one of those instances where it is illegal by the letter of the law, but no action will ever come of it. That doesn't mean we shouldn't follow the law anyway, mind you.

    As for blocking pen drives, I can see the reasons behind doing that. We have remote access and everyone has email addresses, so what purpose are pen drives serving? They are unmanaged, potentially leave us vulnerable to unknowingly breaking the law and pose data security risks (and potential further legal issues) when lost. If it wasn't for the uproar it would cause, I would block them tomorrow.

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    chazzy2501's Avatar
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    You could (just guesssing here) add a software restriction policy to usb drives (e:,f:,g:,) and add mp3,aac,wma to the executables extensions and then they couldn't be accessed on the PC. So it wouldn't be worth bringing them in anymore

    might work?

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    enjay's Avatar
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    @chazzy2501 - I suspect that would just make people copy the MP3s onto the network and play them, at which point it really does become the school's problem.

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    chazzy2501's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enjay View Post
    @chazzy2501 - I suspect that would just make people copy the MP3s onto the network and play them, at which point it really does become the school's problem.
    Use FSRM on the network share...

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    What do you guys use to run a report of the MP3? Windows Search is a little basic.

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    enjay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazzy2501 View Post
    Use FSRM on the network share...
    Can't stop people having MP3 files - the Music teachers would (quite rightly) string me up.

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