Libraries Defend File Sharing

A group of university libraries is urging college presidents to stand up to increasing pressure from entertainment companies and think carefully before cracking down on peer-to-peer file sharing, which often is used by students to swap copyrighted music.

The letter from the Assn. of College and Research Libraries came in response to efforts by the Recording Industry Assn. of America and other entertainment groups to warn college administrators that they may face legal liability for illegal file sharing on their networks.

The library group, which increasingly is at odds with entertainment companies over copyright issues, urged its members to remind college presidents that file-sharing networks have legal uses for research, teaching and document transfer.

"While piracy is wrong and infringers should be held accountable, we must ensure that decisions made today do not adversely affect education and research for years to come," the library group said.

An RIAA spokesman said the group welcomed librarians to the copyright debate on college campuses.

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