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Bill Would Tie Financial Aid To Anti-Piracy Plans 425

Posted by kdawson
from the finest-congress-money-can-buy dept.
theodp writes "The MPAA is applauding top Democratic politicians for introducing an anti-piracy bill that threatens the nation's colleges with the loss of a $100B a year in federal financial aid should they fail to have a technology plan to combat illegal file sharing. The proposal, which is embedded in a 747-page bill, has alarmed university officials. 'Such an extraordinarily inappropriate and punitive outcome would result in all students on that campus losing their federal financial aid — including Pell grants and student loans that are essential to their ability to attend college, advance their education, and acquire the skills necessary to compete in the 21st-century economy,' said university officials in a letter to Congress. 'Lower-income students, those most in need of federal financial aid, would be harmed most under the entertainment industry's proposal.'"
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Bill Would Tie Financial Aid To Anti-Piracy Plans

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  • by OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @09:02AM (#21312653) Homepage
    So no worries right ? After all they're socialists. Using the governments power to mandate good behavior is very un-social right ? And forcing centrally made decisions upon everyone in the country is very unlike the democrats, right ? Oh wait ...

    Don't worry democrats won't let you down (*cough*)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pallmall1 (882819)
      Looks like we've been fooled again [thewho.net].
    • Well in reality Bush is more Democrat then Republican... The reasons Democrats hate him is the majority of Democrats are Liberal Bias too. But Bush is Neo-Conservative, So it is all the big Government of the Democrats with the Neo-Conservative values. You listen to the rants some of the people do like on Digg, about Bush and you read what they should do. It is almost like reading from the Republican Guideline book... They just don't realize it because hatred of Bushes "Ethical Views".
      Republicans can be A
      • Exactly. All of these NeoCons are more "down" than "right", and most Dems these days are leaning "down" too, though they are still more true to their liberal roots than Reps are to their conservative.

        And what is this NeoCon/"down" position called? Authoritarian [ninjawords.com].

        This is why people are so confused by Ron Paul and asking if he's running in the right party. He may lean Libertarian ("up"), but he's more Republican than any of those other bozos.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by spud603 (832173)
          Political parties change. If most Republicans are neo-cons, then the Republican party is a neo-conservative party. The sooner people realize and accept this, the sooner we'll stop electing fascists (yes, look it up) like GW Bush simply because of his party. "I've always voted Republican" is not a reason to do so again.
    • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @09:42AM (#21312867) Journal

      If you think democrats are socialists, you have some really screwed up vision of what it means to be a socialist. From a european view, the democrats are right wing, just a bit shy of being extreme right wing (neo-nazi). Republicans would come dangerously close to extreme right wing.

      The most liberal democrat would still be considered a right-winger.

      A true socialist believes in universal healthcare, a minimum wage that you can support a family on, maximum working week, state funded education for everyone, unions (not US style unions), equality, taxing the rich to support the poor.

      Not exactly stuff the democrats seem to care about. No, not even hillary.

      To be fair, the US is a totally different culture then western europe. You made your system work, we made our system work. One of the biggest culture clashes is that neither side seems capable of understanding that the other side LIKES their system.

      If you tell the swedes that they are insane that they have their working population support a segment that could work but doesn't, they wouldn't understand what you are on about. They think their welfare system makes for a nice place to live in. If you told a working american that X% of his taxes went to a career student the ceiling would hit the roof.

      The french LIKE their huge goverment system.

      One of the most serious errors you can make in the world is to try and force your countries system on another (Oh yeah, Iraq is a very definite example of this.)

      But even so, allowing democrats to be called socialists is going to far, just because they make up the US political left, does not make then socialist. By european standards they would definitly be on the right end of the spectrum and be dangerously close to the far right.

      Far right is NOT extreme right, it is the difference between being loving your country, and hating foreigners.

      IF the US has a problem (IF, it is kinda like saying, Oh Bill Gates is no longer number 1, he is in trouble, I would like to have his troubles) it is that its two party system has resulted in people having a choice between a moderate right winger who leans a bit to the left and a moderate right winger who leans a bit to the right. The end result is that whichever you pick, you get a compromise candidate who is always a rightwinger trying to appeal to both leftish right wingers and right wing right wingers.

      That doesn't leave a lot of room for trying a new direction. The dems can't go to the center, for fear of alienating the right wing, and the republicans can't go to far too the right for fear of alienating the moderates on their side.

      From a EU perspective it is often very hard to spot the difference between US presidential candidates.

      But make no mistake, none of them is a socialist. Read up on what it means and you might see why the US can never go for it. It ain't in your countries culture. An american would recoil at the state providing for him from grib to grave. In the EU, we thing that is nice and exactly what we have goverment for.

      (Please note I am being very generic here, so please don't tear my head off because you live in the US and are a communist or you live in the EU and want bushes baby).

      • by Palpitations (1092597) * on Sunday November 11, 2007 @12:27PM (#21313943)
        I couldn't agree more... That said, at the extreme ends of both parties you'll find some interesting choices.

        Whether it's Kuninich or Gravel on the left (both of whom are bat-shit insane if you believe the hype - and both of who are probably the best thing that could happen to America), or Ron Paul (the closest thing to a true Republican running, instead of the neo-con asshats that dominate the party).

        I hate the two-party system we have, and would love to see proportional representation and a condorcet voting system put in place nation-wide... But really, I think even if we just went from a 2-party system to a 4-party sytem (Democrats and Republicans as they are generally accepted, plus "progressive democrats" like Kucinich and Gravel, as well as a more Libertarian party like what Paul represents), and if all parties were given the same attention my the main stream media and voters in general, a lot of people would be surprised at the results.

        Voting in America is viewed by so many as choosing the lesser of two evils... And when the two evils have so much in common, well, it's not much of a choice unfortunately. A little diversity in the field would do wonders, and I have a feeling it would drastically change the political scene. Of course, that's exactly why those who are entrenched in the system as it stands will never allow a change in the status quo.

        About time for a revolution if you ask me.

        Now if you'll excuse me, I need to get back to my daydreams of a Kucinich vs. Paul election.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by jamstar7 (694492)

          I hate the two-party system we have, and would love to see proportional representation and a condorcet voting system put in place nation-wide... But really, I think even if we just went from a 2-party system to a 4-party sytem (Democrats and Republicans as they are generally accepted, plus "progressive democrats" like Kucinich and Gravel, as well as a more Libertarian party like what Paul represents), and if all parties were given the same attention my the main stream media and voters in general, a lot of p

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by goldspider (445116)
          But of course, both major parties have engineered the system to neatly exclude any serious opponent to their way of rule. It isn't random circumstances that got the Libertarian and Green candidates in the 2004 election ARRESTED FOR TRYING TO PARTICIPATE IN A PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE.
  • by Ckwop (707653) * <Simon.Johnson@gmail.com> on Sunday November 11, 2007 @09:03AM (#21312663) Homepage

    This is shocking. I really mean that in the full sense of the word. This has completely and totally shocked me. It's not necessarily the actions the media-industry that have disappointed me; that was no surprise and this sort of behaviour is totally expected of them.

    It's the out-and-out corruption of the people who hold office. They don't even try to conceal the fact they're bought and paid for. It's completely obscene. There is no way that any rational politician would draft such a proposal.

    What the hell do you do about it? Like the United Kingdom [1] you have a first-past-the-post system of electing government. What this means is that you have two parties who exchange power at regular intervals with very little prospect of a third, forth or fifth party getting in to the running.

    In my view, this is no improvement whatsoever on the aristocratic feudal system that the whole American enterprise was meant to fix. In the United Kingdom the Catholic aristocracy and the Protestant aristocracy fought for political supremacy down a number of centuries.

    You might have different names for them, "Republican" and "Democrat", and their values are different to our aristocrats but the mechanics are fundamentally the same. I mean, you're on your second aristocrat from the Bush family and you're likely to get your second helping of from the Clinton family. Without wanting to flame-bate: Does that sound like the American dream to you?

    Once you have accepted the difficult fact that you are under the thumb of two aristocratic bodies then corruption is essentially impossible to eliminate without a revolution. Corruption just comes at twice the price.

    How we fight them? I am not an expert on the political structure of the United States, but could the recent Real ID rebellion be expanded in to a more protracted battle? I broadly think that the threatening the cut of funds to a state to ram through some policy decision from Washington offends the nature of the Constitution. If the forefathers wanted an Omnipotent Congress they would have adopted a Parliamentary system like our own.

    In a sense, Congress has exploited a hole in the Constitution via a broad interpretation of the Interstate Commerce clause and using the stick of withholding funds to pressure state legislatures.

    I think the states are the solution to this problem but it will require radical swift action to succeed.

    Simon

    [1] - I want to preface it with this comment with this - our country is no better and everything I say here can be said of the United Kingdom.

    • by aurispector (530273) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @09:13AM (#21312703)
      You must be young because this kind of crap has been going on for ages. The worst part is that while the people are saying the bush presidency has been a catastrophe, congress is really the one to blame.

      The only difference between the crap going on now and in previous eras is that all the easy ways of cheating have been used up, so congress has to push the envelope in order to serve their corporate masters.

      Nobody in congress is serving the interests of the people. Even Ron Paul is more interested in ideology. I'm tired of visionaries; I want someone practical.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Daimanta (1140543)
        Politicians ARE practical. It is very practical to line your pockets with money when you have some power.

        Ideology is what makes a society better(or worse, depending on your pov).
        • What I mean is ideology is useless if it doesnt serve the interests of the people. When the economy finally implodes and everyone is out on the street, we MIGHT see real change if the american people havent been so thoroughly sheepified that they realize a revolution is the only real solution.

          Thomas Jefferson said it first.
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Daimanta (1140543)
            Revolution is a nasty and bloody business that only needs to be used as a last resort. Simply vote out the old parties and vote in new parties. If that doesn't happen people are so lazy tata even a revolution won't help.
      • by MrSteveSD (801820)

        Nobody in congress is serving the interests of the people.


        Quite true, and it's annoying that the media do not address this side of things. They either talk about Republicans or Democrats but never the issue that neither really serve the peoples interests.
        • Nobody in congress is serving the interests of the people.

          Quite true, and it's annoying that the media do not address this side of things. They either talk about Republicans or Democrats but never the issue that neither really serve the peoples interests.
          That's because the fourth branch of US government is a one party system. (Although the internet has a chance of changing that if it doesn't get locked down soon.)
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I'm tired of visionaries; I want someone practical.
        Then vote for one.
    • Why did you use a footnote for a preface? That does not make sense.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by thue (121682)
      IMO the US needs to switch to some form of proportional representation [wikipedia.org], which would make it possible for new parties to establish themselves.

      Right now a party needs a plurality in a district to get a representative, which sets the bar for entry very high. With proportional representation a party with 5% national support spread out over the whole nation would still be represented.
    • by HalAtWork (926717)
      Like police and other officials in authority, shouldn't the government not accept funds that go to individuals, but use any money given to them for example to pay off the debt or to reduce taxes or to give grants? Shouldn't the president live on minimum wage, if that's only what's necessary to live? Shouldn't the president be monitored by the people 24/7 to make sure they're doing a good job, to keep our interests at the forefront? The president is a public servant, so shouldn't their lives be dedicated
  • by Anonymous Coward
    They find ways to cut education spending and make it look like it's someone else's fault.
    • This move just goes with my belief that the US government truly wants the American population to become less educated. Ignorant people are much easier to manipulate and control then people who think for themselves.
  • by WK2 (1072560) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @09:06AM (#21312673) Homepage
    We already knew that the MPAA would want something like this, and that they are willing to draft congressional bills. We also knew that plenty of politicians, including democrats, are owned by them.

    This is only a proposal.
    • SEC. 487. INSTITUTIONAL AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS.

      (a) DISCLOSURE OF POLICIES AND SANCTIONS RELATED TO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT.
      --Section 485(a)(1) (20 U.S.C. 1092(a)(1)) is amended-- ....
      "[incorporate] institutional policies and sanctions related to copyright infringement
      (i) including--distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject the students to civil and criminal liabilities;
      (ii) a summary of the penalties for violation of Federal
      • by djcapelis (587616)
        "Of course, this proposed bill (which hasn't even hit THOMAS yet) completely ignores the fact that the university might use peer to peer file sharing to exchange free software for classes, for students to exchange pictures of extra-curricular activities, scholarly collaboration, or use of bittorrent or file sharing technologies for medical doctors to be able to help isolated Tibetan doctors perform complicated surgeries, etc"

        To be fair, the bill explicitly specifies *unauthorized* peer-to-peer filesharing.
    • by mw13068 (834804)
      Ok. Bend over. I'll just put the tip in.

      What? It's just a proposal.
  • by Teun (17872) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @09:07AM (#21312675) Homepage
    If this isn't the perfect example why nations like China and Russia want control of the internet not to be with the US, now you can't even trust them Democrats!

    ;)
  • When in doubt... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by whisper_jeff (680366)
    When in doubt, punish everyone - students guilty of illegal downloading and hardworking students who've never downloaded a thing in their life and need loans and grants to be able to afford to go to school alike. Yeah. Great idea that.
  • As to be expected... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Palpitations (1092597) * on Sunday November 11, 2007 @09:10AM (#21312693)
    From the office of naming-things-for-exactly-the-opposite-of-what-they-do:

    This is part of the "College Opportunity and Affordability Act". Mmhmmm. Because the rising cost of higher education, coupled with a failing economy, additional costs for universities, and a chance to deny students financial aid really gives more people opportunities and certainly makes it more affordable.

    The United States is in a race to the bottom. Every great empire falls - I just wish I wasn't stuck in the middle of this one. I'm just glad I'm about to start learning a second language (I know a bit of Spanish, but not enough to call it my second language). Hopefully I'll be able to jump ship before it goes under.

    For many years, I've heard the chants of the "if you don't like it, leave!" crowd. For a long time, I fought back. I believed that the right thing to do if you loved America was to not leave, but to fight for a better nation. I'm afraid I've lost that faith. Unless things drastically change over the next few years, as a freedom loving individual, I'm sad to say I'll have no choice but to leave and watch the country implode from the sidelines.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by elixin77 (1086785)
      It's really sad that this nation has come to this. The US has never had a decent congress ever since the mid 60's at the latest; most of the representatives and senators are corrupt, doing everything in their power to remain in office, and not getting a damn thing done. Me and my girlfriend are sick of this bullshit. I used to believe that congress was there "for the good of the country," and all that bullshit. Now, congress is "how much money can I make on top of my already ridiculous income?" We've b
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Opportunist (166417)
        Hate to tell you, but it ain't much different elsewhere.

        After WW2, my home country was destroyed. Economically, socially, politically. But we had one thing we lack severely today: Top grade politicians. Many of them returning from concentration camps (and there finding out that their political opponent ain't so bad after all, he was there with them). Our president gave a stirring speech for Christmas 45 which still gives you shivers when you hear it. Basically, he said he got nothing to give. There ain't an
    • by abirdman (557790) <{abirdman} {at} {maine.rr.com}> on Sunday November 11, 2007 @09:28AM (#21312803) Homepage Journal

      From the office of naming-things-for-exactly-the-opposite-of-what-they-do:

      That is a deep observation. I've been noticing this more and more lately, and also something else which is related. By giving the bill a false name, when the vote comes to the floor the media can accuse the people who vote against it of voting against "College Opportunity and Affordability." They did the same with the SCHIP bill-- vote against the bill and you're automatically tagged as "against health insurance for poor children," even though you may have been voting against it because it would hurt the current health insurance system (or the economy) in general. This is so blatantly cynical it is sickening, and it rings vaguely of 1984 newspeak.

      • by berashith (222128)
        the double plus affordable college opportunity bill will be on the floor next week.
      • by arethuza (737069) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @09:47AM (#21312887)

        "rings vaguely of 1984 newspeak"
        Vaguely? The only thing that was inaccurate about 1984 was the date.

        "War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength."
      • by A beautiful mind (821714) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @09:56AM (#21312953)
        The problem is that the reason they can name things like this is because the media does not call their bluff.

        Media is only 'title-deep', as it seems. What the politicians are doing is a cost/benefit analysis. When the media is so broken, that a blatantly obvious example of Orwellian doublespeak does not get immediately called out as such, with all the consequences, public shaming, carrier-ending weight of a media shitstorm then the media is terribly broken and generally the people shouldn't rely on the media as much as to receive a single, simple factual information like yesterday's date. When the media is so bent that the elephant in the room does not get called out by definition it HAS TO resort to falsifying and lying to cover up the fact that the elephant is in the room.
        • by abirdman (557790) <{abirdman} {at} {maine.rr.com}> on Sunday November 11, 2007 @12:43PM (#21314075) Homepage Journal

          You're spot on about the media caving in. In this case there's an interesting twist-- the major US media outlets are all parts of conglomerates that also own record and movie companies. They are all aware that reporting this kind of shenanigans would be against their other business interests. C|Net can report it, and Slashdot can bring it to people's attention, but you won't see it on cable or the networks or in the major city newspapers, because they're all paying into the MPAA and RIAA.

          This makes Ron Paul's proposal to abolish the Department of Education seem very wise indeed!

    • Well, if you're thinking about that 2nd language, consider chinese (mandarin). That's apparently the rising empire. They have the numbers, and now the're getting some quality, too: some of the best students at my uni are from china. Sure, there are many woodheads, too, but I'd say the chinese guys are pretty good. I am amazed at the thought of what 1.5 billion people can churn out in terms of talent, given the correct education infrastructure. Amazed and worried.
      • I was thinking about Dutch or Swedish actually. I have a few friends who are fluent in both, and having someone to converse with and get corrections from should make things much easier.

        In addition to the little bit of Spanish that I learned, I also took a year and a half in Japanese in high school... Along with that, I did learn a bit of Mandarin from an old friend of mine. Most of the Chinese is lost for me now - the only phrase that comes to mind has to do with asking Asian girls for a BJ ;)

        I may n
  • I Hope They Pass It! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BlueStrat (756137) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @09:15AM (#21312709)
    I hope they DO pass this, and I hope a large number of colleges and universities refuse to comply, and many thousands of students lose their grants and aid. This is just the sort of wide-reaching, shocking, horribly unjust-seeming PR disaster that needs to happen to wake up Joe Citizen to what the *AAs and their paid-for lackeys in Congress are doing. Hopefully, this will start an upheaval against all laws that appear *AA-influenced, including the insane copyright length extensions.

    I know, I know. Fat chance. One can dream, though.

    Cheers!

    Strat
    • by rucs_hack (784150)
      What of the individuals who's futures would be irreparably harmed if this were done? Not everyone can survive even a short term reduction in money at college.

      If this passes you might see an upsurge in US students choosing to study abroad. Over here in England we have had a wonderful boom in Chinese students since the US decided, post 9/11 to start making it hard for those students to study in the US. Beats me why they did this, but my university has profited mightily by it, and we are not alone.
  • FTFA: "Lower-income students, those most in need of federal financial aid, would be harmed most under the entertainment industry's proposal."

    Middle class too! And, WTF, I understand now that any sort of drug offense, you lose your financial aid, student loans are getting harder and harder to pay, and if you have any sort of bad luck and you're stuck with those loans forever - can't get out of them with bankruptcy!

    Why don't our politicians just come out and say "No more financial Aid!"

    The meritocracy in A

    • by aussie_a (778472)
      If you want all the illegal immigrants to be kicked out of the country then the rich folk need a new lower class. As such, people who would have gone on to become scientists and doctors will now be cleaning shit for the rich. Its simply a price you must pay for freedom.
  • .. America destroy itself from within :)' Easiest victory ever.
  • haha (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ramul (1103299)
    So it sounds like a lobby group is bribing politicians to blackmail universities to catch students who are copying songs. am i interpreting this properly?
  • by denzacar (181829) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @09:22AM (#21312759) Journal

    A republican stands up in congress and says 'I GOT A REALLY BAD IDEA!!'
    and the democrat stands up after him and says 'AND I CAN MAKE IT SHITTIER!!
  • by dpilot (134227) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @09:23AM (#21312773) Homepage Journal
    Universities should forfeit their federal financial aid if they don't go along with a few other problems:

    Abstinence-only approach to sex education, STDs, and birth control.

    Just say NO! to drugs.

    O heck, that's enough. It's not worth trying to think up any more.
    • by Dutch_Cap (532453)
      How about: Don't ask, don't tell.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Opportunist (166417)
      No, but I think you just gave me a great idea. Schools should apply the same strategy to filesharing that they use on drugs and sex: Tell the kids to "just say no" and leave it at that.

      Hey, worked great with drugs and sex, right?
  • by Morky (577776) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @09:28AM (#21312799)
    George.Miller@mail.house.gov
  • Open Letter (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kris_J (10111) * on Sunday November 11, 2007 @09:33AM (#21312821) Journal
    Dear America,
    Keep it up!

    Love,
    Your competitors in the rest of the world.

    I wonder if this is how the British Empire collapsed too.

    • Re:Open Letter (Score:5, Interesting)

      by 15Bit (940730) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @09:53AM (#21312923)
      > I wonder if this is how the British Empire collapsed too.

      Nah, in that case there were third parties involved - we didn't shoot ourselves in the foot (though arguably we may have assisted in the act). In this case the US is implementing a divide and conquer approach on itself - its purely a domestic issue. However, for those of us who live abroad, i would like to recollect the wise words of Napolean - "Never interrupt your enemy whilst he is making a mistake."

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by trawg (308495)
        I am extremely concerned about what will happen to America's output of music, movies and TV shows in the event that it falls apart. While the gradual decline in their civil liberties, freedoms, rights, etc is fascinating, if it affects my TV watching I'll be disappointed.
    • by Znork (31774)
      "I wonder if this is how the British Empire collapsed too."

      At the very least it's very close to how the Soviet Union collapsed.

      Corrupt politicians supporting state granted monopolies while the economy gets less and less competetive, and labour is shifted into non-producing roles such as marketing, administration and legal.
  • Second amendment (Score:2, Insightful)

    by boristdog (133725)
    It's times like these when I am REALLY glad the second amendment to our constitution is still fully in force.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by XiX36 (715429)
      Because you can take out a carrier battle group with a deer rifle? Good luck with that.
  • by DingerX (847589) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @09:40AM (#21312861) Journal
    Isn't that how it works?

    Hey, I hear some congressmen are taking bribes. The next time that happens, let's seize the assets of every congressman and garner their wages for ten years to come.

    Ooh, and all this can go away if the Universities pay Audible Magic. Now, they wouldn't have anything to do [blogspot.com] with the current RIAA shakedowns, would they?
  • Carrot and Stick (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 15Bit (940730) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @09:43AM (#21312875)
    Its the same approach western countries have been applying to overseas aid for decades. "We'll give you this heap of money every year IF you do some stuff that we want". The stuff they want of course, is trade concessions. And, after a few years continuation of the yearly aid involves some inflation of the "IF" clause. Pretty standard, even though its thinly veiled extortion.

    In all cases the problem is how government and business mixes, because they should at least try to maintain some semblance of separation. For foreign stuff they will usually try to claim its for the benefit of both local and american "industry" in a general sense, rather than for the benefit of just one specific company (even if its a lie people don't tend to notice cos it happens abroad, or they ignore it cos they get cheap products as a result). In this case though, the extortion is domestic, with a specific private industry leveraging their business goals onto public institutions via manipulation of federal legislation. Having industry write the laws they want in this way doesn't just undermine the basic concepts of democracy and accountability, it leads long term to a stagnant and non-competitive economy (cos the big industries write laws to stifle competition). In that sense it is actually not in the general interests of industry to be able to write their own laws, because it will lead to even the law-writing industry being uncompetitive on the international stage.

  • They do the same thing with federal funds for roads ( for example ).

    "if you want your citizens taxes back, you will go ahead and agree to do waht we cant constitutionally enforce in the first place" "if you dont, well we will keep the money and you will have to fund the repairs yourself. Oh, and we can mandate that you repair them. Have a nice day"

  • revenues. If it has come to this level, it classifies as not an anti-piracy push, but an assault against the nation itself.

    people ARE going to go on with file sharing. cut the grants if you dare. in 20 years you will be trying to teach english to chinese college graduates you imported from china because american colleges are putting out pathetic amounts.
  • Democracy? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @09:57AM (#21312955) Homepage Journal
    For a while now I have gotten the feeling that the united states is less of a democracy of the masses and more democracy of the rich. Laws such as these further help create an underclass serving the needs to of those with the money an influence. It also helps to further decimate an already fragile and poorly funded education system. Its hardly surprising that there are so many immigrant researchers, since with the education system with they way it is from K12 to university we don't have much better to offer. More money is channeled into the symptoms of the a badly run education system and society, that into what cause the problem.
  • Not universities.

    Forcing universities to police crimes they don't commit and cannot stop or pay a subscription fee ($$$$) sounds an awful lot like blackmail (mafia). In the end, all universities will end up just paying the subscription due to the ever present threat of a student simply tunneling peer-to-peer traffic through standard web protocols.

    Tying funding to regulation completely unrelated to the industry is yet another bad precedent (as well as punishing the innocent along with the guilty as oth
  • by ibsteve2u (1184603) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @10:08AM (#21313033)
    Ok, pass this bill. That is, as long as it has a paragraph that states that if any member of the MPAA is caught evading taxes or any other law, every member of the MPAA is imprisoned.
  • Just curious which "argument" will win. Since college students are technically children (youngins still dependent on parents), "Think of the children!" could apply here given the inevitable sad sob stories due to spring up detailing poverty stricken students losing their college funding and forced to go back to work at McDonald's for life.

  • Anyone actually read the bill? There's 2 things it says.

    1) If they choose to, Schools can spend grant money on technologies to prevent illegal file sharing.

    2) Schools must submit a description of their plan for dealing with illegal file sharing. It says nothing about what the plan must be. So a "We respond to all DMCA takedown notices." could be the extent of their plan.

    If there's a piece I'm missing please let me know.
    • by shark72 (702619)

      I haven't yet read the entire bill, but the first paragraph of TFA calls out another requirement:

      New federal legislation says universities must agree to provide not just deterrents but also "alternatives" to peer-to-peer piracy, such as paying monthly subscription fees to the music industry for their students, on penalty of losing all financial aid for their students.

      Therein lies a problem. Responding to all DMCA requests? Sure, the universities should be doing that anyway. Yes, yes, I know -- the greedy

  • I find it truly astonishing that in today's world, a collection of Industry-leading corporations (i.e. the members of the MPAA) can even have the slightest affect on something so distant in relation to its primary purpose - that a collection of movie companies can affect the outcome of the nation's further educational establishments.
  • by jav1231 (539129)
    This is truly sad. A university is shouldn't be asked to participate in corporate shenanigans like this.
    What they should be doing is pulling funding from universities like U of Delaware for requiring students to adopt the idea that all whites are racists (among other things). Link: http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=58426 [wnd.com]
    They've since stopped this program but why aren't heads rolling over this?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 11, 2007 @11:06AM (#21313337)
    Here are talking points issued by EDUCAUSE on this matter. If you are unsure of what to say when you call your representatives, these may come in handy.

    Talking Points
    Concerning changes to the House "College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007" as introduced November 9, 2007.

    The House bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA), "College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007," addresses the problem of copyright infringement on campus networks in two parts. The higher education community supports the first part that deals with disclosure of institutional policies and opposes the second part that requires campuses to develop new institutional plans for addressing infringement on their networks.

    Part one occurs in Sec. 485, DISCLOSURE OF POLICIES AND SANCTIONS RELATED TO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT.--Section 485(a)(1) requires institutions to report to their students annually on their policies and practices with respect to copyright infringement on campus networks. This is the same provision included in the Senate HEA bill and the higher education community supports this provision.

    Part two occurs in a new SEC. 494 (A), CAMPUS-BASED DIGITAL THEFT PREVENTION, which requires that all institutions eligible for financial aid under Title IV "(2) develop a plan for offering alternatives to illegal downloading or peer-to-peer distribution of intellectual property as well as a plan to explore technology-based deterrents to prevent such illegal activity." These requirements are unacceptable and the higher education community urges that this section be removed from the bill.

    Campuses that offer legal downloading services typically must charge a student fee to cover the expense. Taken across all campuses, this practice could represent a transfer of over $400 million annually from higher education to the entertainment industry while raising the cost of higher education.

    Most colleges and universities have already considered offering legal, online music or movie services. Their students, however, have often told them they do not want to use or pay for these services because they do not carry musicians that the students want, do not work with Apple iPods, etc. The failure of industry to create and offer attractive downloading services should not lead to a federal solution in which colleges and universities must bear an additional financial burden so that industry can sell more of these services.

    Today's technologies to deter copyright infringement on college and university networks are expensive, do not solve the problem, and fail to meet basic requirements identified by higher education community experts in a workshop of the Joint Committee of Higher Education and the Entertainment Community on April 19-20, 2007. Installing deterrent technology now at every campus would require an even larger increase in the cost of higher education.

    The higher education community is already working with the entertainment industry to explore technology-based deterrents as planned in the next steps of this workshop.

    Campus networks are a small fraction of the copyright infringement problem. The MPAA estimates that 18.4% of copyright infringers are college students and that they are responsible for 44% of revenue lost to copyright infringement. These figures are inaccurate and overstate the case. Yet even by these figures, since less than 20% of college students live on campus and use the residence hall networks, this means that less than 4% of the infringers are using campus networks, and they are responsible for less than 9% of the losses. Over 91% of the claimed losses are on commercial networks. While solving this small part of the problem on campus networks would be desirable, any solutions will be partial, difficult, and expensive, and will only move the problem elsewhere. Campus networks should not be singled out with respect to commercial networks when addressing copyright infringement.

    We oppose the provision in part (2) of section 494 (A) and urge that it be eliminated.
  • The real effect (Score:3, Informative)

    by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Sunday November 11, 2007 @11:35AM (#21313541) Journal
    Students would just transfer to a school that did filter internet content and thus one that could offer financial aide. I was in university when napster was first released. I really wished they would have blocked it. All of the network band width disappeared overnight. I used to send data from the physics lab back to my dorm room file server. That became almost impossible after napster. IF illegal activities are preventing legitimate learning from taking place, it should be blocked. Now, I'm not looking forward to stupid filters ala comcast that cant tell the difference between a linux iso and Britteny spears albumn. I fear thats what everyone would end up with. But you really have to blame the pirates for that.
  • Incomprehensible (Score:4, Interesting)

    by deblau (68023) <slashdot.25.flickboy@spamgourmet.com> on Sunday November 11, 2007 @01:39PM (#21314491) Journal
    Since when has it been the responsibility of Congress to enforce a private property right? If the MPAA or RIAA wants to sue, the law gives them that power, on exactly equal footing with any other copyright holder. Is Congress next going to pass a law that forces recording studios to provide detailed audits to their artists to ensure that the artists aren't screwed on revenues?

    You can't have it both ways.

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.

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