An Alaskan journalist's perspective on local and national issues

Posts tagged ‘IT Services’

UAA, Bandwidth, and a lack of understanding

Amidst all the controversy that is going on here on campus about the bandwidth that is wrongfully going to be lowered, there is one perspective that is being lost – that piracy is good for business.

When Napster began in 1999, it revolutionized the way that business was done in this country.  All of the media sites like Hulu, Netfli, and iTunes can thank their lucky stars that Napster opened the floodgates.  They brought down the record companies in just two years.  It created a new massive paradigm of online business, and taken away the monopoly that companies had on entertainment.

One of the biggest positive effects that piracy has had has been it’s usefulness as a market tracking device.  Napster was one of the best.  It showed that there was a huge demand for online music.  Rather than being sold plastic CDs for $20, one could simply get the one song that they wanted.  It was a revolutionary idea.  Napster was able to give insight into the music industry that had never existed before then.  Next up, let’s examine the Usenet groups.  These are sites that offer a wide selection of an entertainment product and you pay for use.  Sites like Spotify, MOG, Hulu, Netflix, and iTunes are among these.  Even YouTube owes part of its creation to online piracy.

The model of all these sites is that people pay very little and can get whatever they want.  While many would still opt to get it for free, there are many others who wants to stay within the bounds of what is ethical and pay, but don’t want to pay much.  Piracy created competition that we didn’t see before.

And the greatest success story of all is that piracy can evolve into legitimate business.  YouTube has been proof of that.  Clips, trailers, songs, and other things are being shown on YouTube, and getting royalties on it as well.  The fact is that piracy is something that is good for us, but when you listen to people like Richard Whitney talk about it, it is pure evil.

The University has a responsibility under federal law to be responsive to any reports of copyright violation.  The primary organization involved is the Recording Industry Association of America, RIAA, but individual complaintants (complaintants?) are, there’s a long list of them, that sent us complaints.

There you have it.  The RIAA.  The record companies.  These people still aren’t getting it.  The success of iTunes just hasn’t sunk in with these people.  It is almost pathetic how ill-informed these people are.  However, what is interesting are some of the outright lies that Whitney has told in his statements.

For people that are doing legitimate services, we wanted to make sure that people who are streaming Netflix and Hulu and things of that nature have absolutely no implications for if we were to ratchet back the rates.  And we know, absolutely without a question that Netflix and Hulu will work just fine at 768k…

Oh?  That’s why Netflix says that the minimum speed should be 1.6 Mbps for streaming, while Hulu stands at 1m for streaming.  You gotta love when hypocrisy is exposed by the companies themselves.  For HD quality, on either side, 4 to 5 Mbps.  Oh, and what about if you want 1080 screen on Netflix?  Well, that says that you should have at least 8 Mbps.

So, Whitney is lying to the students, and is trying to say that he has assurances that it will work.  Might want to check your facts, Rich.

Here is the fact – piracy is not bad.  The government needs to get with the program and learn that not only is piracy a good for business, but creates business.  And the University needs to be fair, and not punish all of the students for the few who are breaking an archaic law.

Peace out,


UAA makes all the students suffer for the actions of a few

There is a recent decision that was made here on campus that is more than a little disheartening.  It is kind of upsetting, because it establishes a horrible standard, and it makes everyone a victim for the crimes of a few.  Here at a place that is supposed to be open to all people – the University of Alaska Anchorage, this is not something that they need.  Those who are affected should have the ability to get their money back at least, for the cost of what this is.

The crime that has been done is that the people at IT, along with Residence Life, have decided to majorly slow down the processing speed for all students in the Residence because a few students have been engaged in pirating.  Now, regardless of what one thinks about piracy online, this is an issue that needs to be discussed, because the students have a right to have a decent connection.

Given the fact that a student is paying between $4000-5000 a semester, there really is no acceptable reason why ever single person needs to be afflicted because of the actions of a couple people.  There is no good reason why IT and Res. Life can justify charging so much for internet usage if they are going to deliver a lackluster product to the students.

This is going to be short and sweet.  If you are a student in the Residence, be it the dorms, MAC, or Templewood, you should go to IT and Res. Life and demand they lower prices, or give you your money back.  If enough students made enough noise to USUAA, Res. Life, IT, and to the higher administration offices, that this will not stand, and if it does, we want the money we paid for a quality product back.

If you want more information, go to the group TAKE THE INTERNET BACK!, on Facebook.  Look up George Brandenburg, the head follower.  He can give you more info.

Peace out,


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