WXOU reclaims its Web stream


Senior Reporter

Student-run radio station WXOU will likely begin streaming their programming again later this week, said WXOU Web/IT director Chuck Kanouse.

WXOU lost their streaming capabilities after an unknown person downloaded “Jackass 2.5” on Jan. 2 from the computer the station uses to put their programming online at www.wxou.org.

A representative of Paramount Pictures Corporation, which produced the direct-to-video release of footage that was cut from “Jackass 2,” contacted Oakland University later that day, requesting that the university “immediately remove or block access to the infringing material” and “insure the user refrains from using or sharing with others Paramount’s materials in the future.”

Kanouse said no legal threats were made.

According to a letter sent by OU to WXOU general manager Dave Kim on Jan. 3, the university disabled the offending computer’s access to the OU network. As a result, the computer has been unable to stream since then.

Although the most obvious suspects were originally staff members, according to Kim security footage shows no one was in the station at the time of the download. The evidence is corroborated by records from the station’s security keypad.

Kanouse said that University Technology Services now suspects a hacker accessed the computer externally, a process Kanouse said would be fairly easy for “anyone with an Internet connection” because of the firewall rules on the streaming computer, which differ from those on others on the network.

As part of the process to regain access to the network, the station paid $100 into a fund set up to deal with on-campus piracy of copyrighted materials, said Assistant Dean of Students Karen Lloyd. “The idea is to work with students so that students can regain access to the Internet,” said Lloyd.

Still, Kim is a bit irritated by the fee. “If we got hacked into, how is it our fault?” he said. “Are we going to be reimbursed? More than likely not.”

Lloyd said that any reimbursement would have to be handled through an appeals process.

There seems to be some confusion over what exactly remains to be done before the computer is reconnected.

Dean of Student Affairs Glenn McIntosh said it was a matter of making sure the copyrighted material was no longer on the computer. “It’s in effect a cleansing process that has to be done,” he said.

Kim and Kanouse said they believe better firewall protection is going to be installed on the computer.

Fourier Ross, director of secure client services at UTS, declined to comment, saying the information was confidential.

Regardless, the general understanding, according to WXOU and McIntosh, is that streaming should be resumed by the end of the week.

“It still doesn’t settle with me right,” said WXOU faculty advisor Christine Cronauer, because they still don’t know who was responsible for the illegal download. “If it’s outside our control, we still get the penalty.” She added that copyright infringement can cost a radio station their broadcasting license.

Kanouse does have an idea of what he’d like to say to the person who downloaded

the movie. “Probably ‘Don’t do it again, you bastard,'” he said, laughing.