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Your child could be arrested at college! Life ruined.

concernedparentconcernedparent Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
edited July 2005 in Parents Forum
I heard of a recent situation at the University of Rochester.
From what I understand, a student that had recently graduated got on the library's computer and used a program called Bittorrent. The University called this program an illegal hacking program, and had the person arrested. Their life is ruined. Now, the thing is, other colleges allow the use of the program and even host it on their servers. Seems like the U of R likes to shoot first, ask questions later.
They block the use of the Bittorrent program in some places, and leave it allowable on the libraray computers.
This seems like leaving a loaded gun on the desks in the library.
I hope your child doesnt get hurt........
I would suggest that your child should move off campus as soon a is allowable, and avoid use of the colleges facilities. Colleges are not what the were when you were in school. They will easily turn students in for using napster, kazaa, etc. to download. If these same students were off campus, they would have the same rights as they do in your home. Buyer beware.
Post edited by concernedparent on

Replies to: Your child could be arrested at college! Life ruined.

  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Registered User Posts: 35,861 Senior Member
    Bit Torrent I thought was something that is peer to peer file sharing
    I have used it legally to down load large files that had no copyright.
    I wonder if there is more to the story.
  • concernedparentconcernedparent Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    How do you know that their is no copyright *before* downloading?
    Is the file a beta?
  • harry3734harry3734 Registered User Posts: 513 Member
    lol thats so stupid! you could never use bittorrent to hack, its just used to d/l movies, games, and music. a lot of colleges allow it
  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Registered User Posts: 35,861 Senior Member
    what I usually download are music "bootleg" files of a band that encourages and allows bootlegs both audio and video to be made at their concerts. They are not infringements on any publishing company.

    Authorized Live-Taping Downloads - Etree.org

    Another legitimate use of BitTorrent is by the Etree community, music fans that freely trade and distribute the music of bands that allow the audio taping of their live performances for non-commercial use. The Etree site lists over 100 bands or musicians who have policies that allow and encourage fans to tape and trade their performances, including major artists such as the Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam, Tenacious D and others2. Sanctioned distribution of live show tapes has been a tradition starting with the Grateful Dead, and many bands are realizing that having a loyal following is very valuable and that they can both support their fans and still sell records. Because the live taping community usually opts for lossless compression over lossy mp3 compression, the files involved are much larger than with normal music sharing. Because of this, BitTorrent is now the preferred solution for almost all of these legitimate music-sharing communities.

    another use of BitTorrent would be when I have my own video/audio file to share .
    Internet browsers are beginning to provide support for Bittorrnet in the browser
  • concernedparentconcernedparent Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    It seems as though the punishment is random. The program and the downloaded files are all over the university, the students *and* faculty are using these files, but again, it is Russian Roullete as far as consequences. Ironicly, one of the students advisors was from communist China, and said that if it had happened in China, there would be no problem. Anyone know of good universities in China? It seems like more freedom there, and, a promising economy....
  • mikemacmikemac Registered User Posts: 9,551 Senior Member
    I heard of a recent situation at the University of Rochester.
    From what I understand, a student that had recently graduated got on the library's computer and used a program called Bittorrent. ...
    unless you have a link to a newspaper article or other story about this, I'd take this with a few pinches of salt. People have been sued in civil court for using file-sharing, but I doubt there's been criminal prosecution for just that. If there was an arrest perhaps it was due to something else like sharing stolen credit card info, etc.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 24,328 Senior Member
    unfortunately, all schools are under extreme pressure from Hollywood (among others) to minimize, if not, eliminate illegal downloading, under threat of legal action. Thus, don't blame the schools, they are only trying to reduce their risk of monetary losses.

    Concernedparent: many countries do not have the type of intellectual property rights that we do in the US. If you were the patent holder or owner of intellectucal property designed, built and manufactured by your own blood, sweat and tears, would you be willing to give it away, free, to 1 billion people?
  • calmomcalmom Registered User Posts: 18,619 Senior Member
    I, too, am skeptical -- but I'd like to point out that no one's life is "ruined" because of an arrest. If the story is anything close to what you say it is, the charges would never stand up in court - at worst it would be a minor offense that probably would result in payment of a fine. At worst, he probably could be convicted of violation of S 156.05 of the NY State Penal law - Unauthorized Use of a Computer - which is a Class A Misdemeanor. See:

    So let's not get too excited over this. Either the case is going to be dropped or else the kid is going to end up with consequences which bear a reasonable relationship to the offense that he actually committed (as opposed to the one that you "heard" about) ... and presumeably he will learn from the experience.... but again, his life is not "ruined" because he got caught at whatever it is he really was doing. The issue probably is not the use of the file-sharing program, but rather what he was trying to share with it - he was probably trying to use it to access & distribute copyrighted material.
  • RefreshF5RefreshF5 Registered User Posts: 242 Junior Member
    If it led to an arrest my guess would be he was using it to download copyrighted material. I use bittorent all the time for downloading my favorite iptv shows and lots of sites use bittorrent files to lower bandwith costs.

    Also is napster is no longer a filesharing progam. Its a music store similar to iTMS
  • citygirlsmomcitygirlsmom - Posts: 13,158 Senior Member
    Doesn't getting arrested seem a bit exreme...and really scary

    How was the student caught?
  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Registered User Posts: 35,861 Senior Member
    this does seem really extreme- did you read about this in the student paper?

    It seems that U of R is charging students to use Napster- which isn't the same thing

    I also found some arrests but they had to do with a rape suspect and a purse snatcher, not anyone who was working with computers
  • hazmathazmat User Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 8,435 Senior Member
    University, county, city, state???
  • Roger_DooleyRoger_Dooley Founder Posts: 106,392 Senior Member
    >>if it had happened in China, there would be no problem

    No kidding... intellectual property rights are not particularly well respected there at the moment.

    I'd guess that to be arrested, some kind of copyright issue was involved; being at home wouldn't provide much protection, as individuals sharing music illegally have found out.

    In any case, I doubt if the student's life is ruined.

    I couldn't find any documentation of this topic; Rochester was an early Napster signee, though.
  • citygirlsmomcitygirlsmom - Posts: 13,158 Senior Member
    Getting arrested for COPYRIGHT!! Imagine, you have a party at your house and the FBI crashes in cause you play a downloaded movie

    I mean if he was selling it...sure, I have made mistakes on this very website, not being careful enough to note my sources for a quote or article, a copyright infringment
  • lderochilderochi Registered User Posts: 2,035 Senior Member
    cgm, just to nitpick not noting sources isn't copyright infringement. Using copyrighted material without permission (of in a manner that falls within one of the categories of permitted use) is infringement whether the source is cited or note.
This discussion has been closed.