Media Experts Discuss Ethics of File Sharing

Posted: October 10, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

More than 600 Mason students have received notices to uninstall their sharing programs, according to the University Copyright Office, and most students don’t think they’ve done anything wrong. On Wednesday, Oct. 11, as part of “Myth and Ethics on Campus: P2P File Sharing, Round 3,” a diverse panel of experts will discuss the myths that characterize the “free music, movies and software” culture and explore the ethical implications of file sharing.

The concerns surrounding peer-to-peer sharing in higher education encompass more than the theft of personal and intellectual property. The passage of Senate Resolution 488 in May adds an ethical component with institutions of higher education being urged to institute policies and programs to “deter illicit copyright infringement.”

The panel, moderated by Mason’s copyright officer Rosemary Chase, will feature

  • Mitch Glazier, senior vice president, Government and Industry Relations and Legislative Counsel at the Recording Industry Association of America;

  • Alex Curtis, government affairs manager for Public Knowledge;

  • Fritz Attaway, executive vice president and head of the Washington office of the Motion Picture Association of America;

  • James Gibson, director of the Intellectual Property Institute and the National Cyber-Education Project at the University of Richmond, School of Law; and

  • Tom Sydnor, attorney for international relations, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The discussion will take place at 1:30 p.m. in the Johnson Center Cinema and promises to dispel some of the myths of fair use and provide a forum for debate on the freedom of information in the Internet age. The panel, cosponsored by the Universities Libraries Copyright Office and Department of Communication, is free and open to the community. For more information, call 703-993-2544 or e-mail copyright@gmu.edu.

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