Picture the scene. You are lying in your dorm room of a weekend, a cool, refreshing breeze, carrying the first hints of spring, drifts through your window. You savour the sense of freedom and decide that, in lieu of doing any course work that may meaningfully contribute toward your own education, you will treat yourself to a film. You peruse the precincts of your mind, trying to recall whether anyone had mentioned anything particularly worthwhile recently that you ought watch. For whatever reason the only recent conversation about film you can is from when you got cornered at that house party by the guy, who it turned out didn’t actually know anyone but had somehow ended up there at 4 in the morning, who spent 20 minutes explaining to you, in turgid detail, that Kung Fu Panda 2 is the seminal work of art from the 21st century. He may’ve even used the phrase ‘our generation’s Sistine Chapel’ – but you can’t be sure if you’re just adding that in hindsight.
So, you prise open your laptop and begin to traipse through some of the nefarious corners of the internet, looking for a suitable torrent to download of the aforementioned film. After spending a truly harrowing amount of time dealing with an assortment of pop-up advertisement windows, concerning everything from low-quality gambling websites to lurid pornography, you find a passable link. You stare at the button, ‘Download Kung_Fu_PandaHD_[English].mp4’ and press your finger down on the trackpad to click it, and set the wheels in motion.
The moment you do this your door bursts open, glass shatters as your window is smashed to pieces by the bodies pouring into your room – a crack team of highly-trained and weaponised commandos from your university’s IT department. These IT specialists are as hard-nosed and trigger-happy as they are competent with various forms of computer-coding. In a sea of screams and exhortations to ‘put your hands in the air’ you drop to the floor as an IT technician thrusts a high-powered light assault rifle in your face.
“Why,” you think, “Why did I decide to illegally download Kung Fu Panda 2!? I haven’t even seen the first one and would thus presumably have been at a loss, narratively speaking, even if I had been able to download and watch it.”
One of the IT commandos mounts your back. You feel your chest compress against the floor and you struggle to breath. Craning your neck up you manage to watch on in horror as one of the IT commandos solemnly picks up your complimentary modem, provided free by your university, before throwing it to the floor and stamping on it with his large, thick-soled rubber boot, about 17 times. Even the other IT commandos actually think this is a bit excessive and start to tell him to ‘chill out’ after about the 12th stamp. The commando then takes a second to compose himself, before cancelling the download on your laptop and disconnecting you from Eduroam.
…It’s a situation that I think we can all relate to.
Or at least one person may be able to, as a student in the University of Sheffield has been banned from Eduroam for attempting to download Kung Fu Panda 2.
A Freedom of Information request, by The Tab, revealed that 93 students in the University of Sheffield had their access to Eduroam – a popular internet provision service used by many universities in Ireland and the UK – cancelled due to their downloading films and television shows illegally.
As reported by The Tab, the most popular files that were illegally downloaded by students of this university, who had their internet access cut off, were Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (6) and Rick and Morty (5). There was one student who downloaded Kung Fu Panda 2 resulting in their internet being cut off.
It is difficult to conceive of a less-worthy film for you to be apprehended for illegally downloading.
It is illegal to download or stream free copyrighted music, films and television from unauthorised websites.
H/T: The Tab