In Congress's Crosshairs
by ELIZABETH REDDEN and DOUG LEDERMAN
Inside Higher Ed, publication date: 9 March 2007
"Throughout the hearing, members also alluded to the possibility that safe harbor requirements — those minimal standards a college must meet to combat piracy in order to avoid risk of litigation at an institutional level under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act — could be expanded. If that happened, universities could face a bigger burden of responsibility, particularly when it comes to installing technology that could block peer-to-peer file sharing.
College leaders say there’s a good reason why such technology isn’t already commonly in place. Although a new “University Task Force on Requirements for Filtering Networks” has been established to facilitate the development of new filtering technologies, John Vaughn, executive vice president of the Association of American Universities, said that to date, no technology exists that satisfies the three-pronged test. Colleges, Vaughn said, want filtering technology that is cost-effective, protects student privacy, and can discriminate between illegitimate file sharing and legitimate uses of peer-to-peer technology for research and other academic purposes.