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Congress Asks Universities To Curb Piracy 405

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the hey-cut-that-out dept.
The Illegal Subset of the Integers writes "According to Ars Technica, Congress has sent letters to 19 universities identified by the RIAA and MPAA as havens for copyright infringement. In it, they not only seek to discover what these universities are doing to dissuade students from infringing activities, but give the implied threat. House Judiciary Committee member Lamar Smith (R-TX) was quoted as saying, 'If we do not receive acceptable answers, Congress will be forced to act.' One wonders, though, what the universities are supposed to do when international disrespect for imaginary property rights is so widespread that there are currently over two million hits on Google for a certain oft-posted illegal number, up from the three hundred thousand hits from sometime yesterday."
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Congress Asks Universities To Curb Piracy

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  • by vought (160908) on Friday May 04, 2007 @01:23PM (#18991043)
    To curb the bullshit. (And they seem to be off to a good start during the past few months, except for this.)

    I mean, as long as we're asking for stuff we're not going to get...
    • by Anonymous Coward
      The HJC has no business being a mouthpiece of the MAFIAA.

      The fact that such corruption is now being done so openly highlights how bankrupt our public institutions have become. This is going to end in civil war.
    • by megamerican (1073936) on Friday May 04, 2007 @01:35PM (#18991299)
      I completely agree. Congress needs to work on more attainable issues, like bringing peace to the Middle East.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by networkBoy (774728)

        I completely agree. Congress needs to work on more attainable issues, like bringing peace to the Middle East.
        I don't think that word means what you think it means...
      • Step 1: Create broken legislation
        Step 2: Appeal to government funded institutions to provide free customer service
        Step 3: ???
        Step 4: Profit!!!
      • by TooMuchToDo (882796) on Friday May 04, 2007 @02:44PM (#18992595)
        Agreed. Obviously, threatening schools is a higher priority then:

        1) Dealing the the Iraq war
        2) Dealing with the Afghanistan war
        3) Dealing the the swelling public debt
        4) Dealing with poverty in america
        5) Dealing with the issue of healthcare
        and so on...

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Guuge (719028)
          To be fair, those issues are difficult if not impossible to resolve without some level of cooperation with the administrative branch of the government. Until 2009, the best we can hope for is that congress and the president deadlock, preventing further disaster. If that means that we don't get another Iraq War spending bill passed then so be it. I'm sure the American people can put the money to better use than Bush can.
    • by geekoid (135745)
      Did you ask them? You can you know.
    • Lamar Smith (R-RIAA) (Score:5, Informative)

      by rsborg (111459) on Friday May 04, 2007 @02:15PM (#18992107) Homepage
      Isn't this the same Asshat who was involved in creating a NEW DMCA type bill? Oh yeah, He was. [slashdot.org]. If that's the case, why does the story say "Congress" and not more specifically "Republican Congressman" or "Lamar Asshat"?

      That said, I think the Military Industrial Complex [wikipedia.org] is a far more insidious and dangerous entity and poses a much stronger threat to Democracy in the United States. The problem is that they have infested many of the congressional districts and states so that no lawmaker will deny their spending (as it means jobs and constituent happyness for the politico).

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Red Flayer (890720)

        That said, I think the Military Industrial Complex is a far more insidious and dangerous entity and poses a much stronger threat to Democracy in the United States.

        Not anymore. Now the biggest threat is the borrower-industrial complex [intmag.org]. Finance has overtaken military as the industry with close ties to government and the largest ability to further destroy the American economy and democracy. Soon we'll be indentured servants to the banking industry, who the government has sold its assets to foreign nations i

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gad_zuki! (70830)
      >To curb the bullshit.

      Congress is a product of the people. People in general need to curb the bullshit, that includes things such as assuming its okay to download music in lieu of buying a CD and saying stuff such as 'imaginary property rights.' One group of morons is feeding the other. If people actually believed in free culture they would only consume free items. RIAA artists want you to pay them. Posting keys isnt some glamorous civil-rights disobedience its saying "Dude, now I can totally download
      • by fyngyrz (762201) * on Friday May 04, 2007 @03:29PM (#18993303) Homepage Journal
        Congress is a product of the people.

        Congress is a product of a process controlled by the political parties. The political parties are in turn controlled by monied and powerful interests who let the parties know who they will back, and who they will not. The parties pick from candidates that can get backing, of course, otherwise they will be picking candidates who cannot advertise, campaign and travel freely - in other words, losing candidates. Once acceptable candidates are chosen, then they let the people vote on which one of these hand-picked people is to continue in the (very, very expensive) process. Once elected, carrying out any promises made during the political campaign is strictly optional.

        In this way, congress (and the senate, and the presidency) end up being 100% made up of people selected by those same monied and powerful interests. "the people" do not control the type of person, or the obligations of that person. Once in power, the usual currency of politics - being supported to run again by the party, junkets, "fact-finding" trips, dinners, appointments to powerful committees, visits to the white house, campaign contributions, rubbing elbows with the powerful, pork for their district, commitments for speaking engagements, returning as a lobbyist, employment at a think tank, tips on everything from stocks to escorts - these, and more, are the "currency" of "elected" government service. It also doesn't hurt to remember Orwell's assertion that "the purpose of power - is power."

        Aside from those people, there is a vast army of unelected, but very powerful individuals who manipulate our daily lives with absolutely no requirement to, or evidence of electing to, pay any attention to public input. Not that such input is lacking; they just don't listen. Examples abound; the FCC with its censorship and pandering to the rich for broadcast (broadcast speech belongs to the rich - period), the FDA with its holding back of therapies even to those who are about to die, the US park service which takes homes from people by force (eminent domain), the Supreme Court, with its topsy-turvy interpretation of the commerce clause, disingenuous support for ex post facto laws, craven ducking of the religion issue, and of course, just generally trampling the constitution left and right. And of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

        So when you talk about the government - any of it - as being "the people" - you're speaking of a situation that doesn't exist in the United States of America. Our federal and state governments are operating broadly outside the bounds of its constituting authority, within a cycle that is entirely controlled by special interests who have money and power. There are absolutely no signs that this situation is going to change. In the specific case of music and video, the people have already made it quite clear what they want, and they are being roundly ignored by government. Business is showing some movement because their hand is being forced, but legislatively speaking, it is only getting worse on all fronts - patents, copyrights and IP law in general. These laws are not made to benefit the people, and sure enough, they generally don't. As soon as you look to see how they benefit industry, however, the light will begin to dawn.

        You may wonder why free speech is allowed with a government gone so catastrophically wrong. The answer is simple: It is far better for them to let you vent than it is have you smolder and suddenly show up on some politician's doorstep with what used to be your second amendment rights in hand. Between that and making sure you achieve a general level of complacency, while being distracted by the current round of boogymen (Terrorists! Pedophiles! Immigrants! Global Warming!), they can keep the population from getting out of hand, even as they trample constitutional rights, engage in broad repression of personal, victimless choices, and pursue military adventures on sovereign foreign soil for the benefit of industry.

      • by compro01 (777531) on Friday May 04, 2007 @04:41PM (#18994547)
        Posting keys isnt some glamorous civil-rights disobedience its saying "Dude, now I can totally download more hollywood crap now and act righteous!"

        lemme ask you, if you're downloading the movie, what the heck do you need a key for? the movie you download will be an DivX or XviD file, not an encrypted disc image.

        the keys are for those of us who still like to exercise our fair use/fair dealing rights and want to watch our legally purchased HiDef movies on whatever device(s) we want.
      • by DamnStupidElf (649844) <Fingolfin@linuxmail.org> on Friday May 04, 2007 @05:46PM (#18995587)
        Posting keys isnt some glamorous civil-rights disobedience its saying "Dude, now I can totally download more hollywood crap now and act righteous!"

        FUD. Once movies have been ripped they can be downloaded and played by anyone without needing the AACS keys. The only people who need the decryption keys already have a physical copy of the movie (presumably they bought or rented it, or received it as a gift). The spread of AACS keys is specifically for being able to play movies on non-windows boxes, rip movies to media servers, or make backup copies for kids who can't watch a movie without scratching the hell out of it. Real pirates keep the keys they extract secret so that their players won't be revoked by the MAFIAA.
  • DC++ (Score:5, Funny)

    by SpeedyDX (1014595) <speedyphoenixNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday May 04, 2007 @01:23PM (#18991059)
    I just searched on DC++ for "Spider-Man 3" and the results gave me "Nothing for you to see here. Please move along."

    Then I come to /. and click the link to this article, and I got a page saying "Nothing for you to see here. Please move along."

    They're out to get me. *huddles in a corner, grasping at his tinfoil hat*
  • by zehnra (1076641) on Friday May 04, 2007 @01:25PM (#18991095)
    I believe that a number of universities have taken this approach and left it at that. There are a number of things that are done in a university setting that would be considered illegal anywhere else. From what I understand, the general consensus is that this should fall under the same protection. After all, isn't college a collection of curious students trying to learn?
    • by squidfood (149212) on Friday May 04, 2007 @01:51PM (#18991639)
      There are a number of things that are done in a university setting that would be considered illegal anywhere else.


      That's more of a "don't ask, don't tell, and don't abuse the privilege", and it doesn't make the activity legal. For example, underage drinking, recreational drugs... many colleges don't want to police it on a room-to-room level, but will if parties are spiraling out of control or it comes to media attention. And this issue has media attention.

      • by squidfood (149212)
        Followup here: What universities loathe is bad publicity. For alcohol, it's a matter of perceiving to do something about the "problem". The filesharing is a more delicate balance. As you can't point to a "binge-drinking think-of-the-children" reaction to copyright infringement, what will give press in the eyes of alums/parents/students/media: "illegal" filesharing or draconian policing?
      • by garcia (6573) on Friday May 04, 2007 @01:59PM (#18991799) Homepage
        That's more of a "don't ask, don't tell, and don't abuse the privilege", and it doesn't make the activity legal.

        I think someone is confused about what copyright infringement is. Copyright infringement isn't theft, has nothing to do with drugs or underage drinking, and while it might have to do with partying as people may play the infringed music during, I won't put it in the same ballpark and neither should you.
        • by squidfood (149212) on Friday May 04, 2007 @02:06PM (#18991935)
          Copyright infringement isn't theft, has nothing to do with drugs or underage drinking, and while it might have to do with partying as people may play the infringed music during, I won't put it in the same ballpark and neither should you.


          Actually, I would, because I find laws on drinking age and (certain) recreational drugs as unjust as current copyright laws, as do many in acadamia and acadamia admin. All of these issues are a matter of separating "fair/reasonable/moderate" use from abuse. The analogy from a university standpoint is quite apt (I am involved in such institutions and have seen many cycles of this go though).

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by garcia (6573)
            Irregardless copyright infringement isn't theft and thus isn't criminal. Illegal drugs and underage consumption, regardless of our personal feelings on the subject, are criminal and are handled in criminal court. *That* is the big difference and why they shouldn't be compared.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by squidfood (149212)
              Irregardless copyright infringement isn't theft and thus isn't criminal. Illegal drugs and underage consumption, regardless of our personal feelings on the subject, are criminal and are handled in criminal court.

              Ah, you are distinguishing between civil and criminal proceedings. Point taken... the universities should be, and should be permitted to be, more protective of students facing civil issues that criminal ones. Unfortunately, it will come down to protecting school reputations, and congress can app

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by mcguiver (898268)
        College is the fountain of knowledge and the students are there to drink
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        it doesn't make the activity legal

        Assuming that the copyright law itself is legal to begin with.

        From the Constitution [cornell.edu]:

        To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries

        Current copyright law does nothing to protect authors and inventors from profiteers.

    • by ameoba (173803) on Friday May 04, 2007 @02:04PM (#18991901)
      Why should universities be under any more of an obligation to stop copyright infringement than any other ISP?
  • by DragonWriter (970822) on Friday May 04, 2007 @01:26PM (#18991111)
    TFA isn't clear if the letters were sent by Congress as a whole (unlikely, that would take a joint resolution of both houses), by a particular Committee, or by a handful of members of Congress. The only member clearly involved is a member of the minority party who isn't even in the minority leadership on the Committee mentioned, who is also, apparently, the source of threats of action.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 04, 2007 @01:43PM (#18991465)
      The Consumerist had a more detailed take on the letter/survey here. [consumerist.com]

      Howard Berman (D-Calif.), a co-signer of the letter told Variety: "By answering the survey, universities will be required to examine how they address piracy on their campuses."


      So, it looks like this a bi-partisan effort to do the MPAA/RIAA bidding. Gee, isn't it great when the representatives of the two parties can put aside their ideological differences and work together being complete whores to monied interests?
  • Response (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Guppy06 (410832) on Friday May 04, 2007 @01:26PM (#18991115)
    University students ask Congress to shorten copyright terms.
  • by markbt73 (1032962) on Friday May 04, 2007 @01:26PM (#18991123)

    If Congress is forced to "act" by re-evaluating the entire copyright system, discovering the unfairness and complete futility of the DMCA, defining fair use, and shifting the balance of power back to the citizens (not "consumers"), then that could be a good thing...

    ...but I'm not holding my breath.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by peipas (809350)
      Considering that we have a congress that is by the people, for the people, I assume it's just around the corner.
  • Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gilesjuk (604902) <giles,jones&zen,co,uk> on Friday May 04, 2007 @01:29PM (#18991165)
    The students at University will often end up in Software Development, Law, Arts etc.. they know what they are doing. Students don't have the spare cash that employed people have.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 04, 2007 @01:29PM (#18991169)
    there is nothing imaginery about the fact that if you work for years producing some digital content, you have the right to decide what to charge for it. The fact that a lot of people willfully ignore the law and take what isn't there's anyway does not make the property rights 'imaginery' any mroe than the preponderence of people breaking the speed limit makes the speed limit imaginery either.
    I guess the submitter would prefer it if the whole concept of copyright and IP did not exist, but I wouldn't get your hopes up for any new movies, TV, music, softwre or games in that case.

    I wish all the people moaning about the fact that 99% of entertainment content is commercially produced and requires payment would stop moaning and just produce some free content instead. Could it be that its way easier to complain about the content produced by other people than it is to actually contribute anything yourself?
    • by kahei (466208) on Friday May 04, 2007 @01:35PM (#18991297) Homepage

      Yeah, fair point.

      But consider this: if a number can be illegal to distribute, how do you know your post was legal? Maybe some part of that post is some part of the key to something. It's impossible to know until someone accuses you. Maybe some bit of information in your post facilitates the cracking of some form of protection on some content. Or maybe someone just *thinks* it does. Maybe your post is actually the encrypted version of some illegal data -- can you *prove* it isn't? (that last one is UK-only)

      See the problem with indiscriminately criminalizing more and more simple actions in order to enforce existing (and justified, though sometimes abused) rights?

      I think it's that, rather than the fact that some things are copyrighted and you have to pay for them, which is bothering people.

    • by geekoid (135745)
      "I guess the submitter would prefer it if the whole concept of copyright and IP did not exist, but I wouldn't get your hopes up for any new movies, TV, music, software or games in that case."

      This is a fallacy. Please stop spoutting it.

      In fact, all the media venues have things which are free of restrictive copyrights.

    • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday May 04, 2007 @02:37PM (#18992467)
      There is a difference between a ROI and milking your customers.

      I think the majority here will agree that a ROI is important. No ROI, no creation. If I can't make what I invest into a piece of work, I won't make it. Simple as that. No more movies, no more commercial music (...ok, that might not be the worst development, but...), and most of all no more commercial software. Yes, OSS is very cool, but I doubt the gamers here would be too happy with that development.

      Someone who creates work, someone who comes up with some ingenious design or a really cool invention should get his dues.

      But the point of balance between consumer and producer has been left years ago. When the producer dictates how, when and why you may use his creation, things get out of balance. I do agree that a movie maker should have the right to get his money from me watching and enjoying it. But I do not agree that I should only be allowed to watch it where and how HE decides. I do gladly pay him the amoung of money he deems right for the movie, if I do the same (but, frankly, most movies ain't worth the 10 bucks you pay now in cinemas here). What I don't agree with is the kind of restriction imposed on me. I can't use some music in my portable player. I can't watch new videos off my computer. I have to insert CDs or even plug in pieces of hardware to my machine, or allow the installation of spyware, to use computer programs.

      This has nothing to do with a ROI. It's imposing limitations and actual damage to your customer in the name of "protecting" your rights. If I protected my consumer rights the same way the content industry "protects" its content, I'd be in jail because the laws are biased way past any sensible point towards the industry.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by d34thm0nk3y (653414)
      there is nothing imaginery about the fact that if you work for years producing some digital content, you have the right to decide what to charge for it. The fact that a lot of people willfully ignore the law and take what isn't there's anyway does not make the property rights 'imaginery' any mroe than the preponderence of people breaking the speed limit makes the speed limit imaginery either.

      The only speed limit that isn't imaginary is C.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 04, 2007 @01:30PM (#18991181)
    On behalf of universities everywhere, I'd like to ask Congress to stop being the RIAA and MPAA's bitch.
  • by Applekid (993327) on Friday May 04, 2007 @01:30PM (#18991187)
    Last time I was stopped at a light on the perimeter road of my local university a vessel approached me and demanded all the tea and spices in my hull. When I told them I didn't know what they were talking about, they shot a canonball at the side of my car.

    It's about time Congress stepped up to protect the people from these pirates! I had to miss class that day (that's my story and I'm sticking to it.)
  • what does congress expect universities to do short of outright CENSORING school computers? What they don't realize is that it is IMPOSSIBLE to stop students from using other computers that they have no way of controlling. Even if they did CENSOR the students online what can they do to stop encrypted/TOR/off network access? What about the tried and true downloaders who share wifi hot spots at cyber cafes etc. utterly hopeless for them me thinks.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Several high level members of the RIAA and MPAA were reported coming out of the offices of Lamar Smith and several other congress members, smiling and waving, along with an odd white frosting on their lips.
  • Here we go again (Score:5, Interesting)

    by zappepcs (820751) on Friday May 04, 2007 @01:32PM (#18991231) Journal
    Internet Whack-a-Mole is a game that you can not win, not even if congress tries to help you. The problem is that when the **AA tries to play IWaM(TM) they don't have enough hammers, and never will. Colleges are one of those places where people who want to share music can and will share music. Refer back to the sneaker-net theory of file sharing:

    One student and 25 of their best friends join a pool. The pool members make a list of the music they would like to have a copy of. Each of the pool members buys a music CD from the list and 25 blank CDs. After making the requisite 25 copies, they all get together for some beer and a CD swap party. If done with discretion, nobody at the RIAA will ever know. The quality of the music is high, there is no record of the transaction that the school or ISP can hand over to the RIAA, there is no way to detect this copyright infringement. BTW, 26 x 25 = a loss of 650 CD sales in one night, in one location.

    If the RIAA continues on their path to destitution, this is how music will be shared in the future, the same as it was shared in the past. IWaM is stupid, stupid, STUPID.

    If the RIAA member companies were to do something that would make their product (distribution of someone else's content) more desirable, or valuable then they would again see rising revenues. Their business is outdated, and dying. Congress can't save them. God himself (if he exists) couldn't even save that business model.
    • That's how it was done in the 1970s. Of course, it was tapes back then, but the same theory applies. Everybody in the group has a first generation copy, and with metal tape and a good dual deck, the copies were effectively identical. Oddly enough, the "popular" music is very susceptible to this type of piracy since there is such a limited amount to be pirated - and the "first push" is what pays off the recording. The big advantage of the internet for file-sharers is that the entire back-catalog (you know, w
    • by zappepcs (820751)
      Perhaps it's bad form to reply to your own post but I was just thinking. Even before the **AAs revenues started their downward spiral, the sneaker-net file sharing was in full force. That is to say that today's college students are making no more of a dent in their business revenue than college students of 10, 20, or 30 years ago. Any college student with 25000 songs in their MP3 collection wouldn't have paid for that many if buying them was the only method of acquiring them.

      I continue to fail to see the **
    • Correct. Sharing within colleges is difficult to impossible to stop. But colleges could do something about external sharing. When a student at a college can get an uplink of 2-4 Mbps that's relatively untraceable with little effort (like I could do right now if so inclined), that dramatically affects the outside world's download speeds. In theory, said student could easily saturate the top real-world speeds of half a dozen external downloaders. With 4 MB songs, that's 3-7 songs per minute.

      Additionally
  • by kebes (861706) on Friday May 04, 2007 @01:34PM (#18991273) Journal
    From TFA, House Judiciary Committee member Lamar Smith is quoted as saying:

    "Universities have a moral and legal obligation to ensure students do not use campus computers for illegal downloading. These schools do not give away their intellectual property for free, and they should not expect musicians to do so."
    So the solution to the problem is either (1) for the universities to act as enforcers of copyright law, or (2) for them to begin giving away their "intellectual property" for free...

    I personally think they should go for option (2). I mean, many universities are already going that route. For example, MIT course material is being made avaiable via Open CourseWare [mit.edu]. Also, many academics are pushing for open access [wikipedia.org] to all academic publications.

    So, really, given that universities are supposed to be (and frequently are) institutions dedicated to dissemination of information, free speech, intellectual progress, and radical ideas... isn't it entirely consistent with the ethos (even their mandate) to not act as enforcers of copyright law? (Note: I'm not claiming that the universities have to actively encourage copyright infringement, merely suggesting that it is not their role in society to enforce those laws, even on their own campuses.)
    • option 2 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rodentia (102779) on Friday May 04, 2007 @01:44PM (#18991483)

      Unspoken is the fact that up to a generation ago, universities did just that. Universities have recently seen an opportunity to monetize their innovation and defray growing costs. There still has not been sufficient public debate about the law and ethics surrounding publicly-financed institutions patenting, licensing and in some cases directly capitalizing IP developed with public funds, often explicitly funded by DAPRA, NIH, etc.

  • Illegal numbers? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tsa (15680) on Friday May 04, 2007 @01:35PM (#18991305) Homepage
    From the blurb: ... there are currently over two million hits on Google for a certain oft-posted illegal number...

    Tell me: how can a number be illegal? What if they had used a normal word as the key, would that word then suddenly be illegal?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MrDomino (799876)
      NB, all digital representations (including, yes, those of songs and movies) are at base level just numbers.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      > Tell me: how can a number be illegal?

      Under the DMCA "trafficking" provisions, they're claiming that the 09 F9 number you've seen if you read Slashdot is part of an illegal circumvention device. Never mind the fact that it's totally useless without some complex software I doubt most of us have a copy of (I sure don't). The one bit of good news is that the DMCA is a US law. The bad news is that the US has a bad habit of "exporting" bad laws and enforcing them against people like Dmitri Skylarov who ar
    • by apt142 (574425)

      Tell me: how can a number be illegal?

      You obviously didn't see that number bust a cap in the two 7-11 clerks and then drive off with the slurpee machine. It plowed through two grandmas and a whole squad of boy scouts on the way out of town.

      I mean really.... Numbers don't kill people. Numbers with a pension for slurpees do.
  • Ugh. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Spazntwich (208070) on Friday May 04, 2007 @01:35PM (#18991309)
    While congress ensures that the rich don't stop getting richer anytime soon, we still have pressing social issues with which to deal.

    The fact that copyright infringement, no matter how widespread, seems to regularly top news feeds lately is just further evidence we as a society are losing sight of our real threats: Further absolution of previously vaunted personal liberties, the lower class continuing their gradual attempts to topple society, and every special interest group out there with their pet right they're trying to get removed.

    Thank you congress, for accomplishing nothing beyond the placation of your idiot single-issue voter bases and largest campaign contributors.
  • by Tokimasa (1011677) <thomas DOT j DOT owens AT gmail DOT com> on Friday May 04, 2007 @01:36PM (#18991325) Journal
    I attend one of these universities. I don't think I should name which one, but I like their anti-piracy policy.

    The university does not monitor student activity. If the RIAA or MPAA determines that a student's activities are possibly illegal, they must formally request the information from my university. Following this, the university will begin an internal investigation to ensure that wrong-doing was going on. If it was, only then will anything be turned over.

    It's not the job of a university to police its students. The job of the university is to educate.
  • I'm so tired of watching congress protect the corporations from the people. It's supposed to be the other way around!
  • This would cost an awful lot of money, simply because of scale, and the diverse needs of the community. There are 15000+ students at my (not on the list) school, with at least 7000 of those on campus residents. About 80% of the off-grounds people have laptops, and maybe 15% bring them to class daily. That means that during the day you have in excess of 2000 laptops connecting throughout the day, in addition to the 6000 computers in people's dorms, and the 1000ish in libraries and computer labs, and you h
  • Nice to know (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dunbal (464142) on Friday May 04, 2007 @01:41PM (#18991423)
    It's wonderful to know that what with nuclear proliferation, thousands of Americans dead in Iraq (not to mention the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis), a President that insists on a millitary "carte blanche" despite his downwardly spiraled track record, international tension at its highest levels since the Cold War, and the highest fuel prices the world has ever seen (with no alternative in sight), it's wonderful to know that the US government has time for the really IMPORTANT issues.
  • Oh my, what might congress do. Use this as an excuse to cut taxes even more to the improvised super upper class. Or allow even more banks to cheat students in their quest for education, while increasing the public subsidies to said banks. Or perhaps, they will just take a lesson from Kent State [toledofreepress.com].

    My best hope is that they simply shut down all access to the commercial music that today's kid enjoy so much, so the kids will have to learn to survive on college made jam, and the labels will receive no revenue

  • Haven? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew AT gmail DOT com> on Friday May 04, 2007 @01:42PM (#18991435) Homepage Journal
    Haven for piracy?

    Did that mean they didn't volunteer to hand over private data of their students to the RIAA when asked?

    If that is the definition of a haven for piracy, then I want to attend those schools.
  • by unity100 (970058) on Friday May 04, 2007 @01:42PM (#18991451) Homepage Journal
    And thats that. And apparently RIAA rules united states, not "the people".

    Lamar Smith (R-TX)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      there are thousands dying in an UNJUST war.

      yet our congresscritters spend their time on bullying students on behalf of a mega-evil corp cluster.

      I wish we (as a people) could fix the REAL problems first before worrying about payola and crap like that. PEOPLE ARE DYING and yet we care more about ensuring fatcats get their unfair cut.

      if there is a hell, congress and its sponsors are most surely going there. (I just wish I believed in such a thing)
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by unity100 (970058)

        if there is a hell, congress and its sponsors are most surely going there.


        what goes around, comes around. all causes create effects, and the effects in turn create causes. all chain of events return to their originator nonetheless, during the course of infinity, increased in proportion to the road they traveled. nothing in the universe disperse and vanish, including concepts and acts, they just transform.

        its not a matter of belief.
    • by Applekid (993327)
      "Lamar Smith (R-TX)"

      You really should have stopped after your first two sentences. If there's one thing history has told us is that politicians in both parties have been in favor of perpetually and retroactively extending copyrights, legislation to protect their buddies in big business (DMCA), and trampling on the citizenry.
  • To mirror Texan sentiments from their Revolution against Mexico, "Come and take it"
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Come_and_take_it)
  • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Friday May 04, 2007 @01:43PM (#18991463)

    "Judiciary Committee member Lamar Smith (R-TX) was quoted as saying, 'If we do not receive acceptable answers, Congress will be forced to act.'"

    What the schools should say:

    'Here's what we're doing to curb piracy: we respond to subpoenas signed by a judge to their full extent. We remove infringing content that has been identified by its owner in full compliance with the DMCA.

    Oh, you wanted us to do your job for you? Don't think so.

  • I'm in favor of anything that makes students work harder to get a measurable and meaningful reward, e.g. music & videos. Any barriers schools put up will only encourage students to learn more computer science in order to evade the barriers.

  • by moore.dustin (942289) on Friday May 04, 2007 @01:46PM (#18991533) Homepage
    add this to the list of ways the RIAA/MPAA try to stop P2P but actually end up pissing off its own customers. You know, if they spent half the time and resources they do in their witch hunts on a education/PR campaign they would have much better results. Instead of using FUD, educated the people on what they are doing and what it constitutes. Downloading a CD from thePirateBay is stealing, but copying a CD you bought is not. Draw some lines, let them be known, and maintain your image while still fighting your fight. Probably to late for that now though... oh well...
  • in one corner, grumpy old men who simply don't understand the full ramifications of the internet, issuing law after law after law

    in another corner, technically astute, highly motivated, media loving, and most of all, poor teenagers

    it doesn't matter what some corporation thinks is right and wrong. it doesn't matter what out of touch with reality laws a bought and sold congress passes. it doesn't matter how huge their financial war chest. it doesn't matter how large their army of lawyer whores. it doesn't matter, it doesn't matter

    what matters is what is going to happen, and what is already happening. events now surrounding media and the law and internet seem to have an air of inevitability about them to me. time will simply take care of the details, but the ending in sight seems fixed and immutable: unenforceable and universally ignored and shortcircuited intellectual property laws. a colossal joke. for better? for worse? who knows. but inevitably so

    riaa, mpaa, dmca, etc. used to infuriate me. now i am more sanguine about events. because i don't see how history can be changed, how the genie can go back in the bottle. some old grumpy men simply do not get what is happening, and never will. and the only solution is to let them die off. and so they will. and so time will take care of this problem

    people who get into legal incriminations and moral hysterics about the inevitable unstoppable alterations the internet is making to media and the law just put me to sleep now: they simply don't matter anymore, and they are the only ones who don't realize that. let the dinosaurs die, and simply avoid the swings of the old dumb lizard's faltering weakening tail. let time take it's toll on those with minds too brittle and sight too dim to adapt to the new reality. the new reality: the full ramifications of media on the internet and what it fully means for society and companies and how media is produced and consumed
  • ...Congress is dying.
    • by MadAhab (40080)
      Well done!

      For the record I read the headline as "Congress Asks Universities to Curb Privacy". Same difference, really.
  • by awfar (211405) on Friday May 04, 2007 @01:54PM (#18991705)
    Can it be any clearer to average Americans; Government will allow all your hands-on, technical, dirty, manual, but well-paying jobs go to other countries without hardly a gasp, but fight tooth-and-nail to protect an elite few who own, run, and work in the movie industry. An industry that cannot possibly own all mindshare as globalization continues, a pointless industry that actually produces nothing long-lasting, bankable, and advanced(like a pyramid or a profitable niche industry; just fake sets and technology), an industry that captures, monopolizes, and narrows popular culture draining away money and attention from local venues and real talent, an industry that simply cannot support all Americans.
    • Can it be any clearer to average Americans; Government will allow all your hands-on, technical, dirty, manual, but well-paying jobs go to other countries without hardly a gasp, but fight tooth-and-nail to protect an elite few who own, run, and work in the movie industry.

      Members of Congress want to stay in office. They will do what it takes to get votes. If an issue is one where few people pay attention and vote based on the issue, they'll do whatever will get them the most campaign cash to sell themselves

  • ... and it looks like I probably won't vote for him next time, either.
  • by geoff lane (93738) on Friday May 04, 2007 @02:01PM (#18991867)
    Just because someone is at university, it doesn't mean that they have surrendered their rights. The University can set policy and punishment for misuse of University facilities, but they do not exist to support and prosecute the legal claims of others.


    The university administrations should say a polite "Thank you for your letter" and file it in the round filing cabinet.

  • Their reply (Score:4, Funny)

    by slapout (93640) on Friday May 04, 2007 @02:10PM (#18992007)
    Dear Congress,

        As requested by the MPAA we are currently doing everything we can to ban the numbers 0, 9, 11, 2, 9, 74, 5, 8, 41, 56, 5, 63, 56, 88 and the letters f, d, e, b, and c from our campus. The math and english departments are giving us some resistance, but we should have them under control soon.

    --The University

  • House Judiciary Committee member Lamar Smith (R-TX) was quoted as saying, 'If we do not receive acceptable answers, Congress will be forced to act.'

    It is extremely telling that we do not hear anything like this from Congress on issues that actually matter, such as environmental pollution, sweatshops and child labor in third-world countries, the IMF and the World Bank attempting to privatise, among everything else, the water systems of those same countries, electronic voting, the war in Iraq, violation of
  • A few articles below everyone is up in arms because the Evil Chinese are stealing Disneyland. Oh the shame.

    But stealing thousands of dollars of intellectual property by the college student? A cherished right for all Americans! But the college student is poor you whine. He can only afford to steal music onto his 1000$+ computer, so he can listen on his 100$+ iPod, before he goes to blow a few dozen dollars on beer? You can't take away the rights of "poor" college students to steal IP. Please.

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