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Australian Record Labels Want to Scan School Systems for Copyright Breaches
By Jon Newton, p2pnet.net
(more articles from this author)
2003-02-21
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If Australia's record labels get their way, their computer experts will be allowed to scan systems at the University of Melbourne for sound files and email accounts to gather evidence of alleged copyright breaches.

The move is another part of desperate entertainment industry attempts to salvage their rapidly dissolving empires.

The RIAA (Record Industry Association of America) and MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) have been issuing thinly veiled threats to major corporations around the world under the guise of distributing brochures 'requesting' them to prevent employee copyright abuse.

And both trade organs have already suborned schools across America into acting as industry p2p cops. In addition, various entertainment industry bounty hunters such MediaForce, hired by Warner Bros, have been attacking individuals through their ISPs.

At the end of January, news came that the movie and record labels were trying to intimidate 10 South Australian and New South Wales universities by threatening claims for compensation and possible legal action for allowing students and staff to copy music.

Now, it seems, Hollywood is escalating the pace in Australia with attempts by Sony, EMI and Universal - the country's top three labels - to seize what they say is evidence of song swapping by students using the computer networks at universities in Sydney, Melbourne and Tasmania.

But, says a February 18 report in Australia's f2) network, Cameron Murphy, president of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, said the industry was wrong to target students, going on, "The focus of these organisations should be on people who are running or pirating music for clear commercial benefit. I don't think there is any benefit to the community in prosecuting individuals who do this as a one-off. I mean, we'd have half the students in Australia in jail."

In a February 19 story, f2) network says the labels have asked the Australian Federal Court to let their computer experts to check all computers at the UofM for sound files and email accounts so they can gather evidence of claimed widespread breaches of copyright.

"In Sydney yesterday, the companies - Festival, Sony and EMI - reached agreement with the University of Sydney and the University of Tasmania to preserve the files as evidence," says the report, continuing, "The universities have not agreed to hand over the information.

The judge refused to issue an interim order for the university to preserve the files until a hearing scheduled for January 21.

SOURCE: p2pnet.net


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