So you’re telling me that I can download The Lion King, Dark Side of the Moon, 3 Encyclopedias, AND Beyoncé’s new album, all for FREE?
Yes, according to sites such as The Pirate Bay and TAKE.FM, all sorts of media are available via peer-to-peer file sharing. From textbooks to full soundtracks, just about anything that you could be looking for is there for you on the internet—at what price though?
It all seems too perfect, and that is because it is. This sort of peer-to-peer downloading of copyright material is known as torrenting and the lawsuits you can receive are not worth the $6.99 you could have paid for that DVD.
As I dug through the Catalyst archives, I ran across an article from 2012, the very year that the Colorado College Technology Board was created and the year that the school put up it’s immense block to monitor and prevent this sort of activity.
“We haven’t increased efforts since 2012. Things have been fairly steady and working in terms of the block,” said David Ziemba, Network Engineer.
Back when the block was just coming up, the number of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notifications that Ziemba was receiving, even on a weekly basis, was becoming alarming to him.
Once an infringement upon the block occurs, be it by student or faculty, Network Services receives a notification. Protocol is then to, “follow a procedure outlined by the DMCA. We have to forward a letter to the person notifying them, and then notify the DMCA of this, all without mentioning their name,” said Ziemba.
Within a certain amount of days, however, the DMCA will demand to hear a name and ask for the school to cease service for the individual.
“In all of the years leading up to 2012, the numbers increased—now, we have barely had one since then,” said David Ziemba.
All legal problems put aside, pirating files through these sorts of sites can overload Tigernet’s bandwith, causing network errors for all who are connected.
“We have the new and wireless infrastructure for CC and hopefully, we can implement it by the fall. Even if we had a brand new system, it could take 100% of the system; there’s no doubt in my mind, even if we had a multi-million replacement for our current system,” said Ziemba.
There is no such thing as an obtainable perfect system, and working with the one that the College has right now, Ziemba agrees that there are probably ways around it.
“I don’t believe any system is perfect and it’s just the same viruses—there’s always something more new, more powerful, more stealthy. With torrenting, it’s always just a behind the curve kind of innovation,” said Ziemba.
With a new system in the works and this evidently fortified block the College has in place, torrenting does not seem like a familiar thing on campus nowadays.