This Week in LIS - 10 October 2008

Weekly news and updates from Luther College Information Technology Services. To receive email updates, please sign up here.

Headline of the Week: Luther and File Sharing Update

Yesterday, we received our 60th, 61st, 62nd, 63rd, 64th, and 65th complaints from the Recording Industry Association of America for the 2008-09 academic year regarding claimed unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material. These complaints have been connected to 47 students (a number have yet to be traced). Four students have received multiple complaints. While the weekly batches of complaints has been getting somewhat smaller, it is clear we still have community members who are choosing to illegally share files for which they do not have legal license to distribute.

Luther is now required to prepare a plan to combat unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials by the federal government. We have developed the plan below which includes a number of initiatives designed to education and inform the community of their responsibilities. It also holds those who choose to distribute unauthorized copyrighted material accountable.

Plan to Combat Unauthorized Distribution of Copyrighted Material

Luther College does not support or condone the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials in any form. We follow the policies below to discourage such activities and to educate our community regarding their legal liability in choosing to do so.

  • At the beginning of our fall and spring semesters, a electronic message is distributed to all faculty, students, and staff of the College to remind them of our policies regarding file sharing and unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials.
  • All users are required to change their network credentials every 180 days. In order to successfully change their network credentials, users are required to reaffirm their commitment to and understanding of our use policies regarding Luther data networks. This includes and covers unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material.
  • The College makes statistics and other materials available to campus news outlets on an annual basis to be used in press coverage of file sharing and issues surrounding student computing.
  • Statistics regarding unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material are included in the overall judicial infraction statistics maintained by the College.
  • All complaints registered with the College by outside entities regarding unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials are investigated and these complaints are forwarded to users where positive identification can be determined. Failure to appropriately respond to these complaints can result in loss of certain network-based privileges.
  • The College utilizes network shaping tools to limit the number of maximum connections any given user can make to the Internet. While this does not block file sharing outright, it does significantly reduce the effectiveness.
  • Information on network policies and unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials is shared during our annual orientation for first-year students and their parents.

The plan will be amended or adjusted as appropriate. It remains against Luther network use policies to share any files or data for which you do not have specific license to distribute.

LIS Blog Highlights from the Week

The following articles are sampled from those available on the LIS Blog:

Notes from LIS Council

LIS Council discussed the following this week:

  • Planning for departmental reviews.
  • User Services staffing plans.
  • Instability on our Innovative catalog.
  • Our plan for combatting unauthorized file sharing.
  • Norse App migration.

NITLE Opportunities

As a member of NITLE (National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education), Luther has the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of developmental and training programs intended for faculty, librarians, and information technologists. Events listed at the link below are currently open for registration by Luther participants. LIS Staff who are interested in participating in an event should speak with Christopher Barth. Faculty who are interested in participating should speak with Lori Stanley. Participation is contingent upon available funding and program acceptance.

New information from NITLE includes:

  • Nominations Due Friday, October 31st:
  • Nominations due Friday, December 12th:
    • NEW: Workshop-To-Go: Web 2.0 Storytelling. Program Date: January 13, 2009. Location: St. Lawrence University. 4 program units.
  • Nominations due Friday, April 10th:
    • NEW: Information Services Camp: a place to learn, explore, and expand NITLE Information Services Camp is a collection of 11 events designed for front-line information services staff. Information services leaders can use this four-day intensive learning opportunity to energize their staff members, giving their front-line staff the opportunity to engage up to three important technology services areas within a condensed timeframe. Participants will gain knowledge and skills about new topics, connect with colleagues in similar roles, and have an opportunity to refresh their perspectives. In addition, participants can tailor Camp to meet their needs, engaging only the topics of greatest value to them and their campuses. The Camp events are scheduled for Monday, June 1 – 4, 2009, at Smith College, and include:
      • Sakai’s Open Source Portfolio. June 1. Half-day workshop. 2 program units.
      • Moodle E-Portfolio Options. June 1. Half-day workshop. 2 program units.
      • Using DSpace for Digital Repositories. June 1. Half-day workshop. 2 program units.
      • Digital Repositories and DSpace. June 1 – 2. User community meeting. 4 program units.
      • Sakai. June 1 – 2. User community meeting. 4 program units.
      • Moodle. June 1 – 2. User community meeting. 4 program units.
      • Developing Interfaces and Interactivity for DSpace with Manakin. June 3. Full-day workshop. 4 program units.
      • Digitization Strategies, Technologies, and Practices. June 3. Full-day workshop. 4 program units.
      • Implementing Shibboleth. June 3. Full-day workshop. 4 program units.
      • Cloud Computing. June 4. Half-day workshop. 2 program units.
      • Evaluating and Transitioning to Google Apps for Education. June 4. Half-day workshop. 2 program units.
Call for Proposals

NITLE invites faculty members, directors and staff members of writing centers, instructional technologists, and librarians at participating colleges to submit proposals for presentations that explore how they have encouraged student scholarship. We especially seek presentations that present techniques used and lessons learned (both successes and failures) in a variety of disciplines. Please see the call for proposals posted at

Proposals are due by Friday, November 7, 2008, at Respondents to the call will receive notification by November 15.

Questions? Please contact Rebecca Davis at [email protected]. Those interested in contributing to the planning of the program (e.g., by reviewing proposals) are also invited to contact Rebecca with their interest. “Engaging Student Scholarship: Learning to Write in the Digital Age” will take place on January 16 – 19, 2009, at Wheaton College (Norton, MA). The registration deadline is Friday, November 21, 2008. Registration fee: 7 program units.

Complete List of NITLE Opportunities

Next Week in LIS

Notable Internet Resource of the Week: Typeracer

Did you know that typing is now a competitive sport? Given the amount of time many people spend doing it, it shouldn’t be a surprise that someone found a way to make it competitive online. Typeracer allows you to create an account (or just be a guest) and compete against other typists world wide to see who is speediest without error. Typeracer gives you a little car that you power across the screen with correctly typed words from a randomly selected literary passage. New races begin every few seconds with several other typists. All players type the same text, and the first one over the finish line wins. Scores (in words per minute) are tracked (session to session if you create an account). Latest high scores are also published to the site. Private racing and chat are available, or you can take your chances with whoever else shows up. Be sure to bring your “A” fingers … there are some speedy racers out there …

On the web at

Around the Web

Here are a few links to interesting developments over the past week:

  • Innovation
    • None.
  • Service and User Experience
    • None.
  • Software and Operating Systems
    • None.