UCLA Disputes Position on Congressional Piracy List

Administrators from the University of California at Los Angeles are disputing the validity of data used by two congressional committees to identify universities that allowed the most illegal downloading of movie and music content on their campuses.

The House Committee on the Judiciary and the House Committee on Education and Labor recently sent letters to19 universities, asking them to complete a survey about actions they have taken to curb illegal file sharing. The universities had been identified by movie and music industry lobbies based on the number of copyright violation notices they issued to the schools.

But UCLA university officials said last week they believe the data used to determine the prevalence of the piracy on their campus are misleading.

Kenn Heller, assistant dean of students at UCLA, said the school has records for only 200 Digital Millennium Copyright Act violation notices, instead of the 889 notices claimed by the movie and recording industries.

"Our data is far, far less [than the industry's]," Heller told the Daily Bruin campus newspaper. "[We're] in the process of reconciling the data and [figuring out] why there is such a large gap." He said he believes the information was taken out of context by industry officials because they do not factor in how many students attend the university when looking at the number of offenses.

Heller said UCLA does not block peer to peer software because there are legal and academic purposes for file sharing. "It's not an option the university has considered," he said.

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About the Author

Paul McCloskey is contributing editor of Syllabus.

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