FW: Torrents and public PCs

Riley Childs riley at TFSGEO.COM
Wed May 21 06:28:53 EDT 2014

But unfortunately the risk outweighs the reward, we block torrents, except for IT Staff.... We use a SonicWall appliance, but want to move to Smoothwall, if you are looking for a firewall I highly recommend Smoothwall.

Riley Childs
Asst. Head of IT Services
Charlotte United Christian Academy
(704) 497-2086
 Sent from my Windows Phone, please excuse mistakes

-----Original Message-----
From: "William Gunn" <william.gunn at MENDELEY.COM>
Sent: ‎5/‎21/‎2014 4:19 AM
Subject: Re: [WEB4LIB] FW: Torrents and public PCs

I think that's a great response, Phil. You might want to add that there are significant non-infringing uses for the bittorrent protocol, for example Bittorrent Sync, which is a service similar to Dropbox, but more secure in that it syncs directly between computers without cloud storage.


William Gunn | Head of Academic Outreach, Mendeley | @mrgunn
http://www.mendeley.com/profiles/william-gunn | (650) 614-1749

On Tue, May 20, 2014 at 9:10 AM, Phillip Whitford <PWhitford at braswell-library.org> wrote:

We support 15 libraries, some of which get their Internet access via government networks and some which use commercial ISPs. We block torrent sites and torrent applications at our firewalls but some traffic still gets thru and we get to deal with a number of compliance requests or DMCA violation notices from movie companies and entertainment industry groups (or more accurately their lawyers).   We have never gotten a compliance request from a commercial ISP but we get them all the time via the government networks. The government network folks usually remind us that we can lose our Internet access if such behavior continues and forward us the compliant for a reply.
We verify the date/time stamp and IP address the complaint notes (twice the complaints did not apply to us) and  we verify that no offending software is being kept on library owned equipment then we send a response back to the complainant and the government agency providing the access which reads like this (library name and location redacted):
“The IP address in question is assigned to the Whatever Branch of the Whatever Library System. This is a public library in Wherever, NC. The alleged infringement occurred (according to the timestamp in the copyright holder's agent's email) when the library was open.  The library offers computers to the public,  however all such computers are locked down and file sharing or other software cannot be installed on them. In addition when the computers are rebooted security software restores them to their approved configuration so even if someone managed to install software on them or download copyright protected material to them it would be automatically removed upon shut down or reboot which happens at least once, and usually more often, per day.  Staff equipment is not locked down in this manner but a review of staff computers did not indicate any of them had been used for improper purposes.
The library also offers public wi-fi access and it is most likely this was used for the alleged download by someone using a privately owned device. Library staff have been briefed on this matter and will try and be vigilant to unauthorized use of library networks.   The library employees firewalls and other technological means to block or filter unauthorized traffic but as you know such measures are not foolproof.
Whatever  Library supports the rights of copyright holders and does not condone illegal or improper use of its networks or equipment for copyright infringement and will take all reasonable steps to prevent such abuse from occurring.”
So far this process has served us well.  
Phillip B. Whitford
Associate Director for Support Services
Braswell Memorial Library
Rocky Mount, NC
Opinions expressed are my own.
From: Wright, Jen [mailto:WrightJ at FREELIBRARY.ORG] 
Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2014 11:25 AM
Subject: [WEB4LIB] FW: Torrents and public PCs
*apologies for cross posting*
Are any libraries blocking access to torrent files or torrent sites due to ISP pressure or compliance requests from movie companies?  
Is there a standard response to these complaints that other libraries are willing to share?
Jennifer Maguire-Wright
Special Projects Director
Information Technology
Free Library of Philadelphia
wrightj at freelibrary.org
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