Hi, everyone. I work for SRJC, and I have a bit more knowledge about what's going on here than was posted. Yeah, this whole thing sounds stupid, but there's another side that wasn't posted in the Press Demo article:
On the surface, this sounds like a slam-dunk case of big-government run amok. "Sue anyone who uses 'srjc' in their email address? Preposterous! Water-cooler-bureaucrats thinking they can control the internet! What a waste of my tax-payer's dollars!" Etc.
Unfortunately the truth isn't nealy as exciting.
First off, the college has had, and continues to have, isolated incidents of people trying to use the campus identity for their own personal needs, be it political, commercial, or otherwise. Yes, it's easy to make fun of people who don't understand how email addresses work ("firstname.lastname@example.org isn't from the school? I don't get it. And yes, I'll email you my bank login and password
So, if it's your school/company/etc. that this is happening to, what do you do? I'd hope you'd first try to be reasonable and try to get the offending party to stop doing it, which in fact it what the college tried to do. After all, legal is messy, legal is expensive, and 99% of the time it's just a misunderstanding that's easily corrected. But what if even that doesn't work?
Well, before going nuts and trying to take someone to court, how about giving a Cease and Desist letter a chance? It doesn't mean that you're going to sue someone, but it does show that you're serious about an infraction. Great idea, right?
One big problem, though (besides it getting posted to Slashdot and getting blown out of proportion) - you can't just arbitrarily single someone out. If you're going to try to use enforcing some code to get someone to stop doing what they're doing, it has to apply equally to everyone. In for a penny, in for a pound
That's what happened here. About a hundred or so people (not several hundred as the article states - I know, I helped compile the list) received a letter asking them to stop using "SRJC" in their email address. There was no favortism in who received this letter - I got one for my email address as well.
Yeah, it stinks. Yeah, I get how people can be upset about this. But is it really worth the hubub? I don't think any reasonable person would think that, if they knew all of the facts.