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Congress to Fight Piracy with Education Funds 163

Posted by Zonk
from the wait-we-need-those-for-books dept.
Nomihn0 writes "The RIAA has announced that the House Education and Labor committee is considering an amendment, HR1689, to the Higher Education Act of 1965. The proposal would allocate federal education funds to anti-piracy measures on college campuses. Most concerning is the bill's wording. It's claimed that the proposal would 'save telecommunications bandwidth costs.' In other words, the government will fund private packet filtering and preferential bandwidth allocation. 'The Higher Education Act (HEA) generally allows schools to spend the money they receive only on certain prescribed areas such as financial aid grants and Pell loans. The new bill would allow that money to be used for more things, but does not contain a request for additional funding. Whether schools would be interested in using a limited pool of federal money to police student file-swapping remains to be seen.'"
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Congress to Fight Piracy with Education Funds

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  • It makes sense. If they can cut off the larger usage things, such as downloads of this nature, then the bandwidth usage will go down, resulting in cheaper bandwidth bills if they have the contracts setup that way.
    • No it doesn't (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Spending tax dollars to protect the interests of a specific private business (or set of such businesses) does not make sense.

      Oh, and by the way, it is not "piracy." It is not even like piracy. It is data duplication. We should call it that.

      • "Spending tax dollars to protect the interests of a specific private business (or set of such businesses) does not make sense."

        So true. What sucks is that -- if you count any reasonable portion* of the defense department's budget -- a huge number of American tax dollars are spent on precisely this. I mean, like about a third. And the pseudoconservatives pretend that $121M for the National Endowment for the Arts is the biggest problem. sigh.

        *Anyone want to debate what the reasonable portion would be?
      • Oh, and by the way, it is not "piracy." It is not even like piracy. It is data duplication. We should call it that.

        Actually, it is a very important subset of data duplication called copyright infringement. Data duplication, in and of itself, is legal. However, if that duplication infringes on someone else's legal copyright, its a crime. Just as I can't legally go and copy (insert popular book name here) and hand it out on the street, I can't copy (insert popular CD/DVD title here) and hand it out for free

    • Re:It makes sense (Score:5, Insightful)

      by beakerMeep (716990) on Friday April 06, 2007 @11:11AM (#18634469)
      Even if what you said is true, which I highly doubt (since from what I understand packet filtering and QoS is more expensive to run than adding bandwidth, and end to end encryption would defeat it I would think), who is to say the money saved from such an endeavor will go back into the Pell grants and the like?

      Technical arguments aside, taking money away from student loans to finance this seems risky at best. If there is no clause that requires accounting of the money saved, and it's redirecting back towards student loans, this is certainly a Bad Investment(tm).

      That also doesnt even begin touch on how it's morally wrong to use education money for the private interests of copyright holders.
    • by hpavc (129350)
      It makes sense as in giving money to the RIAA's machine as extortion to keep them from attacking schools. It doesn't make sense otherwise, the RIAA can print their legal claims all they want. They don't need high techology means to do it.
  • by CogDissident (951207) on Friday April 06, 2007 @10:28AM (#18633877)
    Anyone noticing that the RIAA and their associated music companies (keep in mind that their name is supposed to be hated, we're not supposed to hate sony/universal/emi and warner) tend to do things to piss off the most educated people, while the least educated don't notice? Also notice that the least educated people tend to listen to rap "music", and the associated pop music that these companies churn out? Personally, I'm sure that some executive is thinking, somewhere, that having a less educated country means more people to listen to their music. Besides the fact that they're using someone else's money to fight their battles for them.
    • Why was this marked flamebait? This is fact. Uneducated folks make easy targets, since they cannot fight back. Remember the time some record company exec had a kid who pirated music. (Can't find article on it). You don't see him getting arrested.
    • Good point there about RIAA (sony/universal/emi/warner). I think I'll refer to RIAA (sony/universal/emi/warner) that way from now on.

      And RIAA (sony/universal/emi/warner) is kind of easy to remember. RIAA(S/U/E/ W?) not sure about the W but RIAA (sony/universal/emi) forms a nice mnemonic!

    • by Poppler (822173) on Friday April 06, 2007 @01:05PM (#18636071) Journal

      Also notice that the least educated people tend to listen to rap "music", and the associated pop music that these companies churn out?
      I also notice that quite a few educated people listen to pop music as well - it's just a form of pop that's more acceptable in their social circles. Of coarse, that doesn't stop them from condescending to people with less politically correct tastes.
    • by icedcool (446975)
      Your point is good except for the stereotype that less educated people listen to rap. I'm very educated, and I listen to rap. I would agree that most people eat what is given to them, regardless of the flavor.

      "Its on tv/radio, it must be true."
    • by hackstraw (262471)
      Anyone noticing that the RIAA and their associated music companies (keep in mind that their name is supposed to be hated, we're not supposed to hate sony/universal/emi and warner) tend to do things to piss off the most educated people, while the least educated don't notice? Also notice that the least educated people tend to listen to rap "music", and the associated pop music that these companies churn out?

      Unfortunately, it appears to be human nature for those that are higher up in the social hierarchy to ma
    • by RoboOp (460207)

      Also notice that the least educated people tend to listen to rap "music", and the associated pop music that these companies churn out?

      And if you think the audience is an uneducated, violent gang of criminals, you should see the hard core thugs [youtube.com] that produce it!

  • Hmmm.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Otter (3800) on Friday April 06, 2007 @10:29AM (#18633887) Journal
    Remember when Ars Technica used to be 20 page articles about the details of new processor designs...?
    • Remember when Ars Technica used to be 20 page articles about the details of new processor designs?

      They still do that but those details don't mean a thing when bad laws get in the way of your using that processor the way you want. Bill that threaten the freedom of the internet are news worthy. You need to stand up and express your concern while you still can. QoS and similar programs are designed to lock you out of the digital future the way your parents were locked out of publishing in the analog past

      • by jb.hl.com (782137)

        Remember when Ars Technica used to be 20 page articles about the details of new processor designs?

        They still do that but those details don't mean a thing when bad laws get in the way of your using that processor the way you want. Bill that threaten the freedom of the internet are news worthy. You need to stand up and express your concern while you still can. QoS and similar programs are designed to lock you out of the digital future the way your parents were locked out of publishing in the analog past.

        Talk

  • Yuk. (Score:4, Funny)

    by flitty (981864) on Friday April 06, 2007 @10:29AM (#18633893)
    In the year 2000, in the year 2000!

    Students will learn from virtual classrooms, because the RIAA had taken all of the money for real campuses to fight online piracy.

    In the year 2000, in the year 2000!
  • So instead of... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cyphercell (843398) on Friday April 06, 2007 @10:30AM (#18633905) Homepage Journal
    ... financing education we will spend tax dollars on policing students, in order to save a dying industry? This is heavily F'd up, pell grants and loans don't pay for that much as it is. This deal must be great for the RIAA, less students receive funding to get into school (less piracy), and that money is spent harrassing those that can still afford to get there. Once again our tax dollars are going to work for industry rather than the people.
    • It's even worse than that. This will not stop the RIAA from trying to sue college students. So, they are removing funds that would to towards grants and they could potentially sue the effected student. Just another reason for me not to purchase their crap.
    • Re:So instead of... (Score:5, Informative)

      by El Torico (732160) * on Friday April 06, 2007 @10:47AM (#18634103)
      Here [house.gov] is the website of the Congresstoady who sponsored this bill.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Link to their explanation of the bill. [house.gov]

        "Illegal downloading of music and movies on college campuses is harming their computer networks by consuming a huge amount of education-related bandwidth"

        "There are numerous options to download music legally - online retailers such as iTunes, Napster, Rhapsody and eMusic charge varying amounts for song and album downloads."

        I guess the legal music services don't use up bandwidth.
      • Just remember. Dead trees with a postage stamp attract vastly more attention than e-mail.
        -nB
        • by sadler121 (735320)
          By the time it gets through security on the hill, the bill would have been voted into law.

          If you want to contact your representative, and want to use paper, fax it.
        • by jank1887 (815982)
          Possibly true. That said, every message I've sent to a Congress person via their website's email form has gotten a response. (likely canned but directly responds to the issue). Likely because to submit, you have to enter a valid zip code to id your representative (trivial capcha, but enough to keep out the botspam)

          If nothing else, it does give them a count of constituent opinion on a matter (10000 emails for, 12 against...). Likely their all handled by staff members too (as would be their paper mail).

      • by Nexcis (962706)
        Just wrote my rep. Oh and, FUCK YOU RIC KELLER.
      • by rajafarian (49150)
        Thanks. I called and left him a message. I really tried hard to not sound derisive but I ended up using the word "moron" right at the moment when I spoke with someone.
    • by Kohath (38547)
      This is heavily F'd up

      Unlike the usual government spending. That's why we send the government our money. Because they are so much better at spending it than we are, with their vast wisdom, ruthless efficiency, and sterling track record for absolute success.

      Once again our tax dollars are going to work for industry rather than the people.

      So... Um... Maybe stop sending them? Perhaps try keeping the money in the hands of the folks who earned it?

      (Oh, then it won't be working for "the people" either I guess,
    • ... financing education we will spend tax dollars on policing students, in order to save a dying industry? ...

      It doesn't appear to be about policing but oriented toward technological 'solutions'. Basically it appears a way of mandating DRM, perhaps M$ DRM, into all the classrooms at taxpayer expense.

      I have a better idea. Let's disband the RIAA and each of it's members, selling off the assets for Pell grants and interest-free study loans.

  • Why not (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kassemi (872456) on Friday April 06, 2007 @10:32AM (#18633915) Homepage
    use this money to start classes covering how to fight back against multi-billion dollar corporations who instead of update their business legitimately, find a way to exploit, burden and profit from our legal system and government (be it through lobbying or mass no-name lawsuits).

    Heck, just start a class that teaches "musical awareness," where you learn more about bands who distribute their music without the aid of said corporations.

    • by Kohath (38547)
      Why not use this money to start classes covering how to fight back against multi-billion dollar corporations ...

      Why not earn your own money and use it for your own reasons on whatever you want?
  • hmm (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mastershake_phd (1050150) on Friday April 06, 2007 @10:36AM (#18633979) Homepage
    Maybe they should take away your federal student loans if your caught downloading music, they do it if your caught with pot.
    • Re:hmm (Score:5, Interesting)

      by delirium of disorder (701392) on Friday April 06, 2007 @10:44AM (#18634075) Homepage Journal
      Maybe they should take away your federal student loans if your caught downloading music, they do it if your caught with pot.

      Downloading music is perfectly legal. Perhaps you refer to downloading copyrighted music from RIAA signed bands? Why anyone would want to download music from major label musicians (much less buy that shit), is beyond me. I want to relate to an artists view of the world; I want to share their experiences and ideas through their music. Knowing that they signed to the RIAA disgusts me so much that I just can't listen to them anymore. They become corporate shills instead of real human beings.

      Why should you get kicked out of school for smoking pot? It's safer than alcohol and tobacco.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Silver Sloth (770927)

        Why should you get kicked out of school for smoking pot? It's safer than alcohol and tobacco.
        Because the drug laws are about perceived risk, not actual risk. No politician in his right mind is going to risk being seen as 'soft on drugs' - look at the fuss when canabis was downgraded from class B to class C her in the UK.

        Meanwhile the lawmakers are drinking their double brandies and smoking their cigars (and tooting a little coke on the side) ...
    • by Adelbert (873575)
      And now there's no problem with pot usage amongst the student population!
    • Re:hmm (Score:4, Insightful)

      by hey! (33014) on Friday April 06, 2007 @11:14AM (#18634521) Homepage Journal
      I know this is a joke, but this is precisely the sort of solution that appeals to a certain mentality.

      Zero tolerance is the favorite strategy of the self-righteously stupid.

      The reason for education grants is that the nation needs an educated citizenry to compete in the global economy. The days when our competitors were either bombed out or lacking a pot to piss in are over. There's nothing like feeling you are striking a blow for justice, even if you're only shooting yourself in the foot.
    • by yoder (178161) *
      Smoking pot = downloading music? Tax dollars taken away from education to pay for Corporate indoctrination?

      This country is not going to hell. We're there already.
    • I'm sick of paying on them anyways!

  • Fascists (Score:5, Interesting)

    by delirium of disorder (701392) on Friday April 06, 2007 @10:37AM (#18633991) Homepage Journal
    When the state and the corporations work tirelessly together to control our lives, we live in a fascist society. Smart people are unable to go to college because of lack of funds, and congress wants to waist money earmarked for education doing the RIAA's bidding. If the filtering is implemented, no doubt it will block all sorts of legitimate p2p usage, create further surveillance of student usage, and be one further step in eliminating free speech on the Internet. I don't know how anyone can still buy major label music without a heavy burden of guilt weighing upon them, nor can I understand how anyone can continue to vote for the two corporate backed parties.
    • Smart people are unable to go to college because of lack of funds, and congress wants to waist money earmarked for education doing the RIAA's bidding.

      Would you happen to be one of those "smart people" who couldn't go to college because of lack of funds? The reason I'm asking is that you think the word is waist instead of waste .
      • Ya...I realized that mistake after I hit submit. No, I'm not one of those people. I don't plan to enroll in university. (Besides, I didn't graduate high school)
  • This seems to be a reaction with a full lack of understanding about how campus internet works. If too much money is being spent on bandwidth, then why not simply save money by placing bandwidth limits on each student and limiting access to common bittorrent ports and the like, instead of spending money to create a task force? LOL politics~
    • This seems to be a reaction with a full lack of understanding about how campus internet works.
      YOU seem to have a full lack of understanding about how the Internet works.

      Why not simply save money by . . . limiting access to common bittorrent ports and the like. . .? LOL politics
      Portblocking is totally ineffective at stopping file sharing. If you understand anything about TCP/IP, you realize that it's trivial to run any service on any port, or to use some kind of packetfilter to dynamically redirect port
      • by RockoTDF (1042780)
        Hah! And how many students on any given campus know what a port is, what TCP/IP is, what ssh is, etc? Very, very few. I work for a campus IT department (as a student) and as annoying as port blocking is, its pretty damn effective. Yes, I know people who change the ports around or in one case have an FTP server that torrents from home, but the bulk of the students just deal with it and hit up iTunes or wait until they are home.
    • by Lumbergh (1053438)
      Shut off BitTorrent and you'll seriously aggravate all the WoW players on campus when Blizzard releases an update. Their update downloader uses torrenting to increase speeds.

      Blocking protocols is a wrongheaded way to approach this kind of issue.
      • Isn't that the point? He's saying that the basic problem here is that too much money is being spent on college campuses on bandwidth. So instead of trying to run some kind of strict enforcement, why not just limit bandwidth? After all, it's only an internet line for schoolwork, so it shouldn't be needed for anything more than the basics. At least, that's what this senator in question is saying, and thus his argument holds about as much water as a sieve.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by witwerg (26651)
      If bandwidth is the problem it is better to attack that problem if you can because in order to ID P2P you would need at least a Layer 7 flow analysis to be done which is high tech voodoo and relies on the traffic protocol not being encapsulated in an encrypted layer. I have seen schemes where long term and short term data transfer tallies were used on a group of MAC addresses registered to user to dynamically limit bandwidth. If done right most users are unaffected and abusers of shared bandwidth get a
  • Congress always provides a carrot and a stick. The carrot is ALWAYS funds and the stick is always penalties on funds.

    The real question is - where's the stick?
  • This is ridiculous (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Paulrothrock (685079) on Friday April 06, 2007 @10:44AM (#18634071) Homepage Journal

    Kids will not listen to the federal government telling them not to steal music. They're used to "music as commodity." In fact, I'd say most of the kids in college today never used a computer without knowing you could get "free" music off of it. To them, this is like the federal government telling people to stop using cell phones because landlines are losing money.

    The content industry needs to pull its head out of its ass. Times have changed. Your monopoly and ridiculous, antiquated system of telling people who gets what music or movies where is untenable in this day and age. Now that people have the ability to get the content they want from wherever it's produced, they'll do it. Why can't I buy Dr. Who from iTunes the day after it's released? I'd gladly do it. But because of an agreement that was struck decades ago, I have to wait for a butchered version to show up on Sci Fi if I want to get it legally. Why should Australians have to wait a year to get BSG on their TVs?

    The content producers seem to have chosen to sue their fans rather than provide them with the content they want. And if they want too long, other, independent, content providers are going to eat their lunch.

    (I know I'll get modded insightful, but I don't understand why. I'm just pointing out the obvious.)

    • by dpilot (134227)
      Because in spite of everything you say being "Score:5, Insightful/Obvious," the sticky point is being missed.

      How do we make sure the artists get paid, so they can afford to keep being artists? Otherwise they need to pay the bills too, and may more likely end up in retail sales, slinging burgers, etc. Some say "concerts" and maybe that's the right model. But maybe not, because from what I've heard, some types of tours are so inherently expensive to pull off that they basically don't make significant money -
      • But maybe not, because from what I've heard, some types of tours are so inherently expensive to pull off that they basically don't make significant money - they publicize album sales.
        Sure, you can't pull off a huge spectacle with lights and pyros and dancers maybe, but then again if your music is any good you don't need any of that stuff to entertain people anyway. Good musician's will find a way to make their music no matter what. They always have.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Paulrothrock (685079)

        I think the way we get artists paid is two fold.

        First, I think that iTunes showed that if you make the online store easy enough to use, people would rather buy from there rather than steal music. I know that I'd much rather spend a buck to get a song I like there than hunt down a good copy on a P2P service. And now that I can get certain songs DRM free and at virtually CD quality, why would I even use a P2P service?

        Second, the Internet has empowered artists to go directly to the people. Folks like George

  • With college tuition costs going through the stratosphere, this is a really great use of public education money. I'm so glad that once again our public officials are looking out for the interests of their constituents.
  • Common carrier. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by failure-man (870605) <failureman@@@gmail...com> on Friday April 06, 2007 @10:47AM (#18634115)
    "Whether schools would be interested in using a limited pool of federal money to police student file-swapping remains to be seen."

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the school "is your ISP", and therefore has common-carrier status. Why would they want to go to the trouble of censoring you? They would become liable for mistakes in doing so.
    • Not a common carrier (Score:5, Informative)

      by hellfire (86129) <deviladv.gmail@com> on Friday April 06, 2007 @11:08AM (#18634423) Homepage
      If a college being your ISP is a common carrier, then the network at any business would be a common carrier. It's not.

      It's not a common carrier because the only people who have any access to the network are people who attend the school or work there. In dorm rooms, the university simply extends the privilages to those in the dorms and provides you a more liberal usage policy as compared to a business.

      John Q. Smith on the street can't simply walk into campus and say "give me a connection." There may be some gray areas here, such as extending service to alumni or some other groups, but in general campus ISPs are not considered common carriers.
  • by Vokkyt (739289) on Friday April 06, 2007 @10:52AM (#18634173)
    First off, how exactly would it be possible to enforce this other than through willing submissions from universities? Short of a bunch of Men in Black (mibs) physically checking the server to ensure that these funds are going to implement the said packet filtration system, is there really a way to remotely check and/or enforce this? Would there have to be only one unified method used to perform the filtering, and if so, what about colleges with a system that is incompatible with that unified method?

    I'm not really too keen on student money being sent towards incriminating students and limiting bandwidth, but I'm really wondering about the realism behind this bill; how the hell would it be enforced with private colleges and universities?
  • by zappepcs (820751) on Friday April 06, 2007 @10:52AM (#18634177) Journal
    "Congress to Fight Piracy with Education Funds"

    Why is Congress fighting anything? They are a legislative branch, not a law enforcement branch! Yes, sure, they have to be informed to create appropriate legislative action, but NO NEW LAWS are required.

    Federal financial aid to educational institutions should not be messed with to "fight piracy"

    If they want to fight piracy, authorize some more money. When new taxes are levied to 'fight piracy' perhaps joe public will pay attention. Additionally, like the war on drugs, this war on piracy is misguided at best.

    Copyright laws seem to be working just fine for everyone but the **AA. Why is that? This is what Congress should be doing; asking why the **AA are having so much trouble when other people are not.

    • Why is Congress fighting anything? They are a legislative branch, not a law enforcement branch! Yes, sure, they have to be informed to create appropriate legislative action, but NO NEW LAWS are required.

      Setting aside for the moment the efficacy of this bill (questionable at best, idiotic at worst), Congress has every right (and duty) to fight crime. Who do you think makes penal statutes? Defines civil infractions? That'd be the legislature. They're not a law enforcement branch--that's the executive--but t

  • That'll be about as effective as the Drug Abuse Resistance Education class that taught all the pot heads in high school new ways to make a bong from a tin can. I mean common, it's not like people don't know what they're doing. They are either mad at the industry for all the DRM bull shit or they are just cheap and steal. Schools have never been super effective in teaching morals on stuff like this. In the end a person will do what ever is in their nature whether that means they'll pay for music or download
  • by Florian Weimer (88405) <fw@deneb.enyo.de> on Friday April 06, 2007 @10:58AM (#18634289) Homepage
    If you don't deploy some kind of filtering or attitude readjustment, most of your traffic will be file sharing (and the majority of that will be of questionable legality). If you can slash your network traffic to one fifth or even less, you can delay the provision of new equipment and new connectivity for quite some time. Traditionally, this means that the nominal bandwidth you can offer to students and researchers is no longer competitive, so there is a strong incentive not to police traffic too much. Nobody will fund you 10GE if you are running at less than a third of GE (peak of the five-minute average).

    It could well be that the public as a whole is better off if this vicious circle can be broken. Diverting funding might be an option to achieve that. But HR 1689 doesn't really address the core issue. Saving bandwidth doesn't cost money, just reputation.
  • This seems so desperate... How scared must the recording industry be of losing profit if they are willing to slap schools in such a roundabout way? They must be aware that an election year is coming, and all their bill-passing supporters may be on the way out, so they're trying to sucker-punch us all one last time before they lose all ability to influence govt policy.
  • So what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by igotmybfg (525391) <slashdot@@@danielthompson...net> on Friday April 06, 2007 @11:02AM (#18634339) Homepage
    This amendment was introduced by Rep. Ric Keller (R-FL). Given that he is in the minority party, and the bill apparently does not have a Democratic co-sponsor (although I didn't look very hard), it is likely that it will die in committee, as most bills do.
  • Great, near hotel room level accommodations for students? My alma mater got, IIRC, about $100M from the state to spend. It basically wasted it on things that were not even needed like renovating student housing to make it look great to middle and upper class parents, not be safe, clean and functional. They spent God only knows how much money on decorations like flower beds, and this was a "good school!" Waste, waste, WASTE! And they didn't even fix the parking.

    So why am I not outraged? This **MIGHT** actual
    • Two T3's isn't enough bandwidth for any campus big enough to have "student housing" on it. That's not even enough bandwidth for two HD video streams, much less any sort of interesting academic use.

  • by kurt555gs (309278) <kurt555gs@@@ovi...com> on Friday April 06, 2007 @11:05AM (#18634385) Homepage
    First off, this really shows who congress serves, large contributors, and not the people. "Piracy" is being defined as the use of copyrighted works for any purpose without paying some big company. This is not the case, Fair Use allows many types of copying and use of copyrighted materials without any royalty being due.

    This is the problem of the RIAA and MPAA not the government.

    If the &^AA thinks they find individual probles , let them take action using civil law.

    Subsidizing the biased terror tactics of the &^AA's and the BSA is clearly using our government power to unjustly enrich these greedy and evil entity's.

    Public Funding of elections is what is really needed to stop this.

    Cheers
       
    • by darjen (879890)

      Subsidizing the biased terror tactics of the &^AA's and the BSA is clearly using our government power to unjustly enrich these greedy and evil entity's. Public Funding of elections is what is really needed to stop this.

      So, you are advocating that it is not ok for the government to use our money to support the RIAA. Yet, the government should be allowed to take people's money and spend it on politicians, some of whom the said people are very likely to disapprove of. I am personally horrified that they

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kohath (38547)
      Public Funding of elections is what is really needed to stop this.

      If you want politicians to be even more insulated from the needs of their constituents, public funding is the way to go. If you want elections to be even more biased in favor of incumbents, public funding is the way to go (unless you somehow believe the politicians would setup a funding source that puts themselves at a disadvantage).

      The way to stop things like this is to limit power and cut budgets. The government shouldn't have the power o
  • dum dum (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Maybe they should make sure the students can READ before they start sucking money up for this.
  • Let's just get this disclaimer out there: I am no fan of the RIAA. I am however disturbed by what appears to be a recent trend on Slash/Digg badmouthing bandwidth allocation by ISPs, colleges and publicly accessible corporate networks. Do you guys think the RIAA invented DiffServ, IP Precedence and CBWFQ? Do you guys not realize what would happen if college campuses took an egalitarian approach to bandwidth allocation? "Gee, BiTtorrent deserves just as much bandwidth as our campus wide VoIP network and H
  • War on education and young people, go! Those filthy young ones, all they think of is the initial sin, right? <rant>Although the initial sin was trying to be equal to God (pride), not sex. By the way, Adam and Eve couldn't have been adulterating if it was just the two of them, and they were married, right?.</rant> Anyway, let's sue them kids, let's take their money away, let's brainwash them, let's put them in jail, that will teach them, right? They need to learn that being younger than us power
  • IS2M a deeper issue is not whether the policy of discouraging downloading is good or bad, but whether Congress should combine that issue with the issue of funding Pell grants. These are really two separate matters that could be addressed in different bills.

    It is as if Congress were to put 2 different bugs into a single bug ticket. Trying to figure out whether the proposed fix will work gets harder the more things you put into a single fix.

  • This isn't news. Ridiculous bills like this get considered all the time. Hasn't some congressman sponsored a bill to re-initiate the draft within the last year?

    This amendment to the HEA is completely ludicrous--I trust our lawmakers to strike it down.
  • Great... (Score:3, Funny)

    by djones101 (1021277) on Friday April 06, 2007 @11:32AM (#18634751)
    So my federal student aid, which I amazingly want to use to actually finish my education, can now be used to sue one of my classmates to the point that they are forced to drop out of school, which reduces job income, and eventually works through the cycle into the fact that I get even less student aid than I got before. Self-perpetuating destruction of the college education system...brought to you by the RIAA/MPAA/MAFIAA!
  • This is bullshit. Here are the members of the House Education and Labor committee:
    Committee members [house.gov]
    Please, start to express to these people how misguided this effort is NOW before he can get a co-sponsor and take it further.
    Ric Keller is a member of the Pell Grant Caucus, and as such, he will need to drastically re-write This Page [house.gov] if this thing goes through.
  • by darjen (879890) on Friday April 06, 2007 @11:41AM (#18634887)
    I can definitely appreciate the many posts so far on this story that condem this blatant corporate/government abuse of our education system. However, it's too bad that many people don't see the root of this problem. This type of philandering has been the modus operandi of our government for years, in just about every industry. The government's interference in the technology and entertainment markets are just as heinous as paying farmers not to grow crops in order to keep prices up, or appropriating money from social security into their pet pork projects. I look forward to the day when peaceful citizens do not have their resources forcibly taken from them in order to fund completely irrelevant ventures that mostly profit the wealthy, moneyed interests of our country. Unfortunately, it is all too easy to mis-use money when it is not yours to begin with. Especially when it is almost never in line with the "public interest", whatever that means.
  • Do something about it (or at least try to)

    write your representatives

    http://www.house.gov/writerep/ [house.gov]
  • by Greyfox (87712) on Friday April 06, 2007 @12:18PM (#18635457) Homepage Journal
    Everyone should get at least a semester of it! Start with the history -- original copyright and patent lengths and intentions, the subversion of those intentions by corporate lobbies and what you are and are not allowed to do with various media. There's a lot of ignorance surrounding the current situation and I think that people do need to be educated about it. I think that if a lot more people were aware of what a tangled mess the current set of laws are, they'd get straightened out eventually. Oh wait... that's not what the industry wants?
  • Apparently the RIAA thinks the flood of subpoenas and "pre-settlement letters" it's sending out isn't enough to encourage universities to fight piracy on their own... idiots. UCLA was spewing anti-piracy crap all over even BEFORE they started targetting colleges.
  • As an employee within the higher education system, it certainly seems as of late that the RIAA is targeting colleges and relaxing their stranglehold on private ISP's. Are others seeing this as well?
  • The NRCLB Act of 2007 will ensure that under-performing record companies get their fair share of taxpayer funds in order to prop up their dying business models. A Congressional Spokeman stated "this act guarantees that these poor companies and their starving executives continue to provide campaign funds to us congress-critters that are so desperately needed during these lean times." He added "its a win-win situation for them and for us." When asked about how this impacts actual funds for higher education fo
  • Hey, this bill was introduced by an anti-labor, pro-war Republican, with zero co-sponsors. Yes, the RIAA might dream of using educational funds to prevent sharing of information, but what with even major music companies bailing out from RIAA, I don't think they can strong-arm anything through. What with guys like the sponsor of this stupid bill in the minority, it really is worth slashdotters who obviously feel strongly about this to take a few minutes to let the members of the committee know how you feel
  • Abstract and artificial concepts like IP is not something college students can comprehand. Lets hope they don't get in trouble with basic things such as using birth control or knowing their alcohol tolerance. Just exempt anyone under the age of 25 from copyright laws and let them not get into a habit of pirating in the first place. Of course current copyrights last way too long to make sense to anyone, not just kids.
  • Now the students can have a real highspeed bandwith again. My friend at Northwestern has seen his bandwith go from awesome to barely faster than a 56k modem once Napster and limewire was on every college kids desktop. The costs to upgrade the lan are outrageous and many games such as quake2 became unplayable.

    You can tell by my post that this was awhile back but I remember seeing similiar posts at the time here at slashdot. The lines should be used for academia first off above anything else and maybe wow or
  • While the bill could be better written, the findings are correct and the first subparagraph is a good use of government funds on college campuses.

    The second subparagraph that the OP pointed out would allow federal funds to go to possibly go to college campus use of packet filtering specifically when it comes to illegal downloading of music, etc. This bill does not talk about net neutrality at all, which the OP tried to imply, plus it will also, long term, probably save campuses money. Right now they are sp

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