The Perils of Downloading Down Under

Brisbane Times reports that Australia’s University of New South Wales has begun issuing fines to students engaged in illegal downloading of copyrighted materials on the university’s computer network.  The fines range from about $480 to $1,000, and the university estimates that it has already levied fines totaling about $100,000.  The policy has stirred controversy among the students, principally because students enjoy illegal downloading, but also because the university has opted to pocket the fines rather than turn them over to the copyright holders.  As a UNSW spokesperson explained, “[t]he university is not attempting to enforce Commonwealth [copyright] law,” and “is not collecting damages on behalf of copyright holders.”  Instead, the fines are based on the fact that “[s]tudents who illegally download copyright material such as movies, video, music or games are in breach of the university's policy on IT use.”  Proceed with caution, students.  Read the full article here.

 Wikimedia Commons.

Wikimedia Commons.

Reposted from Brisbane Times.