Magazine article Technology & Learning

Fingerprinting the Web

Magazine article Technology & Learning

Fingerprinting the Web

Article excerpt

No question, plagiarism has always been on the radar of educators. But it wasn't until Napster that the world saw the wide-scale effects of copyright infringement and music executives began knocking at the doors (large fines in hand!) of people illegally downloading or file-sharing songs. And they've continued to make good on their threats, particularly with teenagers. This past February, in fact, the Recording Industry Association of America issued 400 lawsuits against college students nationwide.

Now it looks like there's an additional concern for schools and students alike. "Fingerprinting" is on the brink of being adopted by several of the largest Interact sites. The computer code, imprinted in copyrighted work, essentially trolls the Web looking for anyone who's posted illegal material online.

Instead of being sued, though, violators are likely to be handed a bill. At least that's the message delivered by Thomas Rubin, Microsoft's associate general counsel, who spoke at Stanford University April 25th. Rubin made nationwide news in March with his public criticism of Google's lax copyright interpretations, which, he said, essentially violate creators' rights.

He echoed those concerns, without naming Microsoft rival Google, in front of Stanford Law students, telling them that without stringent enforcement artists and writers me missing an opportunity to "monetize their work"--in other words, charge people money should work be "lifted. …

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