[Smaug] Zero tolerance for P2P?

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Sat, 11 May 2002 20:18:42 -0700

So, John C., it's possible that my earlier point was somehow unclear.
Just in case of that, let's try again:

The SoE Computing Director, Mr. Perrone, claims it's going after certain
peer-to-peer filesharing protocols because they're used to "share
copyrighted material", by which he means share copyrighted material 
whose usage terms do not permit that.

However, by far the most common peer-to-peer file sharing protocol in
general usage -- including for illegal publication of music, movies, and 
propiatary software -- is MS-Windows file sharing.

Just to be crystal-clear about what I'm talking about, I mean the "File
and Print Sharing" feature of the Microsoft Network Client, which runs 
either over a NetBEUI, IPX/SPX, or (somewhat adulterated) TCP/IP network
stack.  This networking protocol is heavily used among Win32 machines on
campus WANs, and somehow these "zero tolerance" martinet bureaucrats are
never bright enough to include it in their witchhunts' ban lists.  By
the same token, they inevitably fail to spot the hypocrisy.

(Yes, I _do_ mean that this scenario has played out at a number of other 
university campuses.  You might want to talk to Don Marti of Linux
Journal about that.)

So, of course, you can point the inconsistency out, politely but
forcefully:  If Mr. Perrone wants to curry brown-nosing points with 
the Regents about how well he stamps out illegal copying, he'll need 
to _also_ sanction everyone who shares out his "C:" drive on Network
Neighbourhood.  Make sure you bring this point of logic up as forcefully
(yet politely) as possible.  

On the record and in public, by the way.  Just sending the guy a letter 
or e-mail after he's already associated himself with a foolish School of 
Engineering policy doesn't do a whole lot of good.

Cheers,               "That article and its poster have been cancelled." 
Rick Moen                   -- David B. O'Donnel, sysadmin for America Online