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Cal State Order Reinforces State Illegal File Sharing Policy

California State University Chancellor Charles Reed last month issued an executive order that the use of Cal State resources, including computers and Internet connections, must not be used to download, copy, or use copyrighted music, motion pictures, and other content. The order extends to students, staff, faculty, and the general public.

The policy, Executive Order #999, reinforces a similar order made by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2004.

In issuing the order, Reed said, "Technological advances and the advent of peer to peer file sharing applications have created an environment where illegal downloading of copyrighted materials, particularly, but not exclusively, music and entertainment videos has flourished ….
"Abusive use of otherwise legitimate technologies have fostered a lack of respect for the intellectual property of others, particularly among young people. The university must act to ensure that the appropriate safeguards and policies are in place to discourage such abusive use."

Penalties for violating the order will be detailed in the student handbooks on campus.

Vendors are trying to capitalize on the order. In a announcement, Safe Media Inc. said its "Clouseau"  P2P packet sniffing technology "would fully respects academic freedom while (examining) all incoming and outgoing packets on the network, destroying all illegal P2P, while all legal packets including P2P Bit Torrent files pass through to its destination without delay."

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About the Author

Paul McCloskey is contributing editor of Syllabus.

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