Eastern Illinois University's administration has come up with a novel solution to dealing with those thousands of letters the RIAA and other rights holders have been sending complaining about copyright infringements: The school started to block all P2P traffic - except Bittorrent. From an article in the Daily Eastern News:

"Unlike other engines that provide little to no legally shared content, BitTorrent has been deemed a cost-effective alternative capable of delivering legitimate files to large audiences. The decision to exclusively support BitTorrent software on the school's network was put into effect over the summer in preparation for the fall term in compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008."

I'm not exactly sure that's what the authors of the law had in mind, but it does make sense, in a way. Not only is Bittorrrent used for a more diverse set of content than most traditional P2P networks, but it also changes the way people download files. The Daily Eastern News article features a RIAA letter complaining about the download of an individual Kate Perry song. The paper is reporting that Eastern Illinois University received at one point 2,200 seperate emails about such acts of infringements.

Bittorrent users on the other hand tend to download complete albums instead of individual songs, which means that at least in theory there should be fewer emails complaining about each single song at a time ...

What are you saying, my "wholesale infringement reduces the number of infringing acts" argument doesn't make any sense? Well, it's at least as logical as the approach Eastern Illinois University is using to educate people about file sharing. From the article:

"As with any file-sharing application, students need to be sure that the movie, music, book or application they are downloading through BitTorrent is a legal copy," (Adam Dodge, Eastern's information security officer) said. "Always remember, if you are downloading something for free that you would normally have to pay for, there is a 99.9 percent chance that it is an illegal copy."


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