[Libs-Or] Bittorrent downloading in libraries--Any solutions?

GIBBON Cindy cindyg at multcolib.org
Mon Jun 28 16:19:26 PDT 2010

Greg, we aren't blocking bit torrent downloading, but we might consider
it if we could figure out a good way to do it.  Aside from all else, it
takes an awful lot of our wireless bandwidth and leaves other users
sometimes unable to do what they need to do.  However, our legal counsel
did suggest we add this statement to our Acceptable User of the Interent
rules and our click-thru agreement that all patrons must agree to at
log-in.  Our understanding is that from a legal standpoint, we do not
need to be concerned about library/county  liability in these
situations.  I think the principle is similar to the warnings that we
post a copy machines.  This statement comes out of a manual on copyright
issues for libraries which is sitting in my office (and I'm not) so I
can't dredge up the title right now.  Anyway, here are the words we

Notice: Warning of Copyright Restrictions 

As a patron, your ability to post or link to copyrighted material is
governed by United States copyright law. The library reserves the right
to delete or disable any post or link that, in the judgment of library
staff, violates copyright law. In accordance with 17 USC S 512
(i)(1)(A), the library may terminate a patron's access to the system or
network for disrespect of the intellectual property rights of others, or
for repeat infringements of copyright. The library has adopted this
policy and will make all reasonable effort to enforce it in appropriate

If your legal counsel wants to talk to ours, let me know.
Cindy Gibbon
Senior Library Manager for 
Access and IT Services
Multnomah County Library

	-----Original Message-----
	From: libs-or-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us
[mailto:libs-or-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us] On Behalf Of Martin,
	Sent: Monday, June 28, 2010 3:04 PM
	To: 'libs-or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us'
	Subject: [Libs-Or] Bittorrent downloading in libraries--Any

	Hi All,


	I'd like to throw out a couple of questions about bittorrent
downloading in Oregon's libraries. Our own library's free and open
wireless access sometimes plays host to nefarious copyright scofflaws
who download copyrighted files, leading to threatening legal notices
being received by our fair city, as the owner of the IP range.


	Question #1: Does anyone know what, if any, legal penalties face
the library (or the city) for this activity? I've understood it to be
something of a gray area in the recent past. Has that changed?


	Question #2: Are there any technological fixes that can be
instituted to stop or sabotage our moustache-twisting villains? We have
our wireless router broadcasting only when the library is open.
Additionally we have our wireless upload rate choked off, but I've been
told that the servers can't distinguish between bittorrent downloading
and 'regular' downloading, meaning that there is no effective means to
limit bittorrent downloads without negatively affecting our system as a
whole. True? 


	Further, I'm given to understand that although Multnomah County
(public) has a click-through agreement prohibiting illegal activity,
bittorrent downloading still works just fine there. I'd suppose if
anyone would have a technical solution in place, they would.


	Any answers much appreciated. Please copy the list, if possible.




	Greg Martin

	Adult Services Librarian

	Wilsonville Public Library


	martin at wilsonvillelibrary.org


	P.S. I wanted to check the libs-or archives
(http://listsmart.osl.state.or.us/pipermail/libs-or/) on this question,
but can't figure out any way to do a global archives search. Am I just a
chowderhead, or is there really no way to do that? And if not, can there


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