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Copyright Lobbies Threaten Federal College Funding 277

Posted by Zonk
from the i-went-to-school-in-a-very-different-time dept.
plasmacutter writes "The EFF is raising the alarm regarding provisions injected into a bill to renew federal funding for universities. These new provisions call for institutions of higher learning to filter their internet connections and twist student's arms over 'approved' digital media distribution services. 'Under said provision: Each eligible institution participating in any program under this title shall to the extent practicable — (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. Similar provisions in last year's bill did not survive committee, it appears however that this bill is headed toward the full house for vote.' Responding to recriminations over this threat to university funding, an MPAA representative claims federal funds should be at risk when copyright infringement happens on campus networks." We've previously discussed this topic, as well as similar issues.
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Copyright Lobbies Threaten Federal College Funding

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  • {sigh} (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ScrewMaster (602015) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @09:32PM (#22121884)
    Really ... it's enough to make you want to throw up.
    • Re:{sigh} (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PachmanP (881352) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @09:35PM (#22121910)
      No it's enough to make you wish you had enough money to buy your own politicians, so you could write the laws you wanted.
      • It's enough to do both of those things, really. Fucking politicians should work for us, not the people with the most money.

        I mean, seriously, I could deal with it if it was just "crack down on piracy harder", but mandating alternatives?? What the FUCK.

        • Re:{sigh} (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ScrewMaster (602015) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @09:45PM (#22121998)
          These guys seem to think they are the government ... or at least, in their own minds, they feel they should be.
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by bigstrat2003 (1058574)
            Well, they apparently are, as evidenced by this piece of legislative shit.
          • Re:{sigh} (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 20, 2008 @10:17PM (#22122236)
            According to the DMCA's anti-circumvention clause, they are. Through the elimination of independent engineering of standard compliant hardware/software, they have legislative control over the entire consumer electronic sector through their licenses. Because they made it illegal to implement a playback device through other means, they can put any outrageous demand on their license agreements they wish, and CE firms have to eat it whole and raw, to the detriment of the customers.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by moosesocks (264553)
        The sort of people who oppose this sort of payola are powerless to stop it, as that would require them to bribe some politicians themselves. A sort of insidious catch-22.

        We could vote 'em out of office, but that didn't work too well either last year. The new ones quickly became just as evil and corrupt as the old ones.

        Sigh.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by jayp00001 (267507)

          We could vote 'em out of office, but that didn't work too well either last year. The new ones quickly became just as evil and corrupt as the old ones.

          Sigh.

          That's because we didn't vote the corrupt ones out of office, we voted already corrupt ones in to office. What should have happened is that we should have talked to our party chairperson (on whatever party that we wanted someone out of) and explained that they had 2 choices- make that guy not run for re-election and we'd stick with that party or let that

          • Re:{sigh} (Score:4, Interesting)

            by webmaster404 (1148909) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @11:21PM (#22122652)
            Its not really that but no congressman (here in the USA) runs a campaign in technology. Very few will openly state their feelings on the DMCA, Software Patents and fair use. While they are always telling voters of their views of the war, taxes, greenhouse gasses, abortion, the second amendment, finding out where they stand on any technology issues is nearly impossible. How I wish we had a pirate party.... or at least RMS as a senator (now that would be a sight....)
          • Re:{sigh} (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Wildclaw (15718) on Monday January 21, 2008 @12:51AM (#22123284)
            The biggest parties (usually two) in any goverment are mostly equally corrupt. Losing votes to their opposite big party doesn't scare them that much. They are simply two sides of the same coin. If they lose in one election, they will simply adjust their stances a little to gain back the voters they lost. It is just ordinary politics.

            The real solution is to vote for third parties.. What really scares mainstream politicians is losing votes to someone who isn't well known, because that means that people are beginning to notice that the mainstream parties are two sides of the same coin and rejecting that coin.

            Of course, before every election you will hear how you should vote for one of the big candidates, because other votes don't matter. In actuality it is the opposite. Votes for big candidates don't matter since they are all votes for the same coin. They simply reinforce the opinions that the current politicians in power have.

            There are of course times when voting for the lesser of two evils has its purpose, but it is far less often than most people would think. To avoid this completly it would of course be better to have a system where you could rank your candidates, but try getting that into the law.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by hey! (33014)

              The real solution is to vote for third parties..

              Mathematically this is provable to be incorrect. The rational choice is to vote for the lesser of two evils, provide that the evils are at least somewhat distinguishable. As long as one or the other of the "evils" prevails, neither has much motivation to change the status quo, so voting for a non-viable third party actually reinforces the marginally greater of the evils, both in its evil tendencies, and in keeping the status quo intact.

              Basically, the situati

          • by Danse (1026)

            What should have happened is that we should have talked to our party chairperson (on whatever party that we wanted someone out of) and explained that they had 2 choices- make that guy not run for re-election and we'd stick with that party or let that guy run and we'd switch. Party chairs have far more influence than any lobby rep. Believe me these guys will listen when their phones start ringing.

            The problem is getting enough people in any given district to complain about this. If it's just a drop in the bucket, which it very likely would be, even if every Slashdotter called tomorrow, then it won't have any impact. Too many people are ignorant of what is happening. You think this is getting any kind of coverage in the mainstream news?

      • Re:{sigh} (Score:5, Interesting)

        by novakyu (636495) <novakyu@member.fsf.org> on Sunday January 20, 2008 @10:22PM (#22122262) Homepage

        No it's enough to make you wish you had enough money to buy your own politicians, so you could write the laws you wanted.
        But we do! Where do you think these MPAA and RIAA guys get their money? Us!

        It doesn't matter what kind of laws they write—if we stop buying their stuff, they will eventually go out of business, fascist laws and draconian enforcements notwithstanding.

        Ever since I found out more about the copyright industry vs. the public struggle, I made sure I spent absolutely nothing on what's produced by MPAA and RIAA members—no music sold through a major record label, and no movies (I used to go to theater once every month or so—not anymore). Of course, one man not handing money over to MPAA and RIAA may not make a difference, but if you and I stop making them a profit and tell everyone we know not to, one day we just might.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dryeo (100693)
          No, everyone stops buying their stuff and they'll just use it to prove that piracy is that bad and they should get paid by the government. Pretty soon everything you buy that is even remotely connected with content will have a levy that goes straight to the *AAs. And they will get very creative about what is connected to content. I don't want to have a levy on my eyeglasses or my bathroom mirror.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by novakyu (636495)

            No, everyone stops buying their stuff and they'll just use it to prove that piracy is that bad and they should get paid by the government.

            While that is true to some extent (such as the media tax on blank CDs in Canada), at some point, they are going to run into a wall—another business cartel/union as large and powerful as themselves. Right now, they are fighting against individual (suspected) copyright violators and occasional universities that refuse to bend over to their demand. When they tick off a larger industry, such as ISPs, with some unreasonable demand of profit-sharing, they will have a real fight then, and, eventually, after

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MrCopilot (871878)
        No it's enough to make you wish you had enough money to buy your own politicians, so you could write the laws you wanted.

        Umm, we don't have to buy them, we already pay for them. We just have to act like it. Money does not keep them in office we do.

        A group of voters from their district in any significant number scares the sh!t out of most Congressmen. Especially when they have petitions, signs and a few soccer moms.

      • I mean, the whole country is locked in the hands of an investment class that frowns upon any enterprise that even smacks of productivity. They would rather rake the poor over the coals with high interest just because it has a higher return. They seek to restrict and restrain any trade that offers meaningful competition. They seek to make the people believe that their subjugation is moral, and they seek to use cultural preferences to divide the nation and hide any real agenda.

        Show me the candidate that wants to ban credit cards, reduce the terms of patents, or do any structural thing designed to break up the current moneyed class. There isn't one. There's no political party seeking to benefit the American people, merely, a set of dueling soulless juggernaughts, jousting, half drunk with power, over whose lords will crush the masses the most.

      • by Columcille (88542) *
        It is so terrible how people these days want to, you know, enforce the law!
        • Re:{sigh} (Score:5, Insightful)

          by eggnoglatte (1047660) on Monday January 21, 2008 @12:17AM (#22123066)
          I have been consistently arguing in favor of copyright on slashdot and elsewhere. But this is not about enforcing existing laws, it is about tying college educational funding to policing of the students by their colleges. That is something the colleges have neither the mandate nor the expertise to do. Also, depriving an already underfunded public education system even more just because some students violate copyright laws strikes me as a really dumb idea.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        It's enough to make one believe that there should be a separation between Politics and Education (an unrealistic ideal admittedly). It's like equating federal highway funding to a state's right to impose a minimum drinking age; they are attempting to impose influence where they have no legal authority otherwise. But then again, if one has a criminal conviction for smoking marijuana, then that person will be denied a student loan (Hypocrisy speaks [norml.org]). Politics and education just don't mix.

        One would think that
    • "Develop a plan" (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Dada Vinci (1222822) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @09:43PM (#22121966)
      To keep the "throw up" metaphor going, all that a university has to do to comply is to throw some ideas up in the air and call it a "plan." The key language is that a university needs to DEVELOP a plan. There's nothing saying they have to IMPLEMENT that plan. A lot of schools have started offering subsidized Yahoo!Music and Rhapsody subscriptions as a way to give their students music without having to file-share to get it. Everybody get something out of the deal--the university pays lower upstream bandwidth costs and the students get legal access to bazillions of songs. Maybe actually paying for Yahoo! isn't great for the university's budget, but nothing says they have to actually DO anything--they just have to PLAN to.
      • Re:"Develop a plan" (Score:5, Interesting)

        by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Sunday January 20, 2008 @09:54PM (#22122074) Journal
        Rather than weasel around the requirements, I'd like to see colleges take them head on. Just whip up a one line plan that says "We're not going to do anything to comply with these laws because they are impossible." Maybe a few will have the guts to go that route should this actually be passed.
        • I'd like to see a load of colleges come up with the same plan - compulsory licensing - and present it to the government and the MPAA.
      • Re:"Develop a plan" (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Comatose51 (687974) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @10:05PM (#22122156) Homepage
        IANAL but trying to weasel your way out of a law usually doesn't work in the court system. American laws follow the tradition of "spirit of the law" rather than "letter of the law". This is why we have judges and why jurists argue over the intent and motivation behind a law. For example, the first amendment's guarantee on freedom of speech and press would not extend to digital formats if not for this tradition since digital formats can include neither speech nor printing presses.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by gotzero (1177159)
      I think this is fantastic, but only because of the massive backlash that is going to come back from universities! They have been targeting specific ones, and in many cases getting beaten back by law schools, general counsels, etc. I am going to sit back and watch with glee as the heavy hitters from academia decide the RIAA finally overstepped too much. I do feel that I have to say that I am sure many of the people on the campus networks are doing things they should not be, but this has NOTHING to do with
    • by Stripe7 (571267)
      And here is another reason why the American Educational system has been on a downhill slide for years. They are so busy with crud like this to teach. More emphasis is given to bureaucracy than to education. This means that even more tax monies that go to schools has to be funneled into corporate pockets to buy even more crud to "protect" the corporate interests.
  • by blcamp (211756) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @09:39PM (#22121934) Homepage
    ...continue to do things that merit 4-letter words directed at them.

    They need to learn another 4-letter term: RICO.
  • by Senes (928228) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @09:39PM (#22121938)
    This is just another act of the **AAs wanting to bludgeon people over the head for their own profits, and whether we give them what they want or not their response will just be to want more bludgeoning. They're going to push for a copyright term extension and tougher penalties every year, there is no right amount they are shooting for but just to keep increasing them at any cost.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Lunarsight (1053230)
      This is yet another reason to boycott the RIAA. I heard that music industry album sales took a real dive last year. Let's assist them going down even further for 2008.

      As far as the MPAA goes, perhaps they also need to be reminded what happens when they bite the hand that feeds them. (Of course, if the writer's strike lasts long enough, it will leave them very economically vulnerable. What better time to boycott the bastards?)
      • No that won't work, any loss in sales is always, always the "pirates" fault. Same thing with how poorly Vista has been doing, its piracy not that no one likes the songs/software you have, its always the "pirates" how dare they try to break our monopoly!!!
    • This is just another act of the **AAs wanting to bludgeon people over the head for their own profits, and whether we give them what they want or not their response will just be to want more bludgeoning.

      The simple solution is simply not to consume what they produce. If nobody buys / downloads / watches what they output, they will go away.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Vombatus (777631)
        The simple solution is simply not to consume what they produce. If nobody buys / downloads / watches what they output, they will go away.

        Not true.

        If no one is buying their product, they will claim that it is due to the illegal copying of their product - proving that they need more stringent laws.

        Ad infinitum.

        • by ATMAvatar (648864)

          If no one is buying their product, they will claim that it is due to the illegal copying of their product - proving that they need more stringent laws.

          That may be true, but in the absence of federal subsidies, they will still go away.

          Businesses cannot survive without money. It may certainly take quite some time before they finally keel over, but if people stop buying their products, RIAA/MPAA member companies will eventually die off.

  • by dpilot (134227) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @09:45PM (#22121988) Homepage Journal
    Apparently it's simply more important to protect ??AA profits than it is to have an open and freethinking educational system. Signs of this are all over the place, from both parties. Evolution, anyone? Anyone wonder how soon teaching that the universe is older than 6000 years will be challenged, or Galileo will rejoin the ranks of heretics?

    We're on the road!
    • Apparently it's simply more important to protect ??AA profits than it is to have an open and freethinking educational system. Signs of this are all over the place, from both parties. Evolution, anyone? Anyone wonder how soon teaching that the universe is older than 6000 years will be challenged, or Galileo will rejoin the ranks of heretics?

      We're on the road!

      Okay, did you skip contemporary history in school? There is very little going on in the manipulation of Colleges and universitys that isn't the same as was being done 35-40 years ago, in America. Hell some of the topics are even the same.

    • by Technician (215283) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @11:26PM (#22122676)
      Apparently it's simply more important to protect ??AA profits than it is to have an open and freethinking educational system. Signs of this are all over the place, from both parties. Evolution, anyone? Anyone wonder how soon teaching that the universe is older than 6000 years will be challenged, or Galileo will rejoin the ranks of heretics?


      Who cares? The next generation won't need a college education unless they want to move to a technology leader country such as Japan or China. The US will simply move down the ladder to 3rd world status. When the out of work Americans can't afford iPods and high speed internet anymore, the problem will go away.
      (end rant)
      It is important to have universities teach. This attack on education (it isn't support in any way) is outside the scope of what a university is all about. I hope this doesn't get traction and stuff that helps higher learning instead of attacking it gets traction.
  • Old News (Score:3, Informative)

    by techno-vampire (666512) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @09:48PM (#22122020) Homepage
    The story links to an article that was posted on November 19, 2007! From what it says, the bill's already been debated. Isn't this just a tad out of date?
    • Nope.. (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The main story [eff.org] from the EFF blog is dated jan 14th '08
  • by cbart387 (1192883) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @09:49PM (#22122030)
    Here is the segment in question. It doesn't look as dire as what the summary makes it out to be ... at least to me

    SEC. 494. CAMPUS-BASED DIGITAL THEFT PREVENTION.
                (a) In General- Each eligible institution participating in any program under this title shall to the extent practicable--

                            (1) make publicly available to their students and employees, the policies and procedures related to the illegal downloading and distribution of copyrighted materials required to be disclosed under section 485(a)(1)(P); and

                            (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.
    • So to for fill part 2 the college could start their own record label, providing a massive discount to students of the college, and selling the product on iTunes to make more money, out of the mums dad, and younger sibling who want to be cool like thier Elders.

      It's not like they have to go far to find bands to sign up, and sure most of them are utter crap. Still most signed artists are.

      If they want to have fun they could take technological measure to stop peer to peer of RIAA music.
      Then sit back an watch RIA
    • by vux984 (928602) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @11:51PM (#22122884)
      SEC. 494. CAMPUS-BASED DIGITAL THEFT PREVENTION.
      (a) In General- Each eligible institution participating in any program under this title shall to the extent practicable--

      1) make publicly available to their students and employees, the policies and procedures related to the illegal downloading and distribution of copyrighted materials required to be disclosed under section 485(a)(1)(P); and

      (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.


      Ok, what do you mean it doesn't look dire?

      Number 1 is already borderline in my books, number 2 is right over the top.

      Number 2 says the university must both actively promote some sort of legal alternative, while simultaneously seek technology to filter illegal activity. In order to qualify for federal funding.

      Don't let the 'develop a plan' phrasing lull you. They want a strategy, with a timeframe, and deadline for implementation. You aren't getting off the hook with: "My plan for curbing torrents: 'put a port block on XXX'. To be implemented by the year 2058. The end."

      There is no simply justification for federal funding to hinge on pandering to an industry lobby group. Not ever.

      What's next? MADD gets to ram through some legislation where the university will have to develop a plan to prevent drinking and driving, including instituting technological measures to prevent it [just imagine what that would look like!], if they want federal funding.

      And then the religious right wingnuts get theirs... the university has to develop a plan to ensure illegal sexual behaviour* is technologically prevented...

      (*in some states anal and oral sex are illegal, but hey this could be expanded to cover anything remotely indecent or other riske mischief that students are particularly famous for...)

      Bottom line, the university is not responsible for policing students. The police are. This is pure and utter bullshit. I sure hope there is some way of challenging the legality of this law itself.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by QuantumG (50515)

      the illegal downloading and distribution of copyrighted materials

      to illegal downloading or peer-to-peer distribution of intellectual property

      1. which is it, copyrighted materials or intellectual property? Are they trying to suggest the two are synonymous?
      2. what illegal downloading are they talking about? Can they state which laws exactly make downloading illegal? Cause if they're talking about the No Electronic Theft act, sorry, that's not relevant to downloading.
      3. haha, your stupid country has laws that deal with civil matters with criminal laws.. how fucked are you?

  • by Doug52392 (1094585) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @09:58PM (#22122110)
    I've noticed this a lot lately, any government agency, lobbyist group, or any group that is supposed to be fighting crime views every single person in the world as criminals.

    In the eyes of the federal government, we are all terrorists, so our Constitutional rights should be taken away.

    In the eyes of Comcast and Verizon, we all use our Internet connections that we pay for to do illegal stuff, so we should have our Internet connections regulated, censored, and spied on.

    In the eyes of the MPAA and RIAA, we are all illegal software pirates that deserve to be sued for millions of dollars.

    And in the eyes of collages and universities across the United States, we are all criminals who are plotting school shootings and bombings, and deserve to have the FBI raid our dorms, be arrested, and be kicked out of collage.

    See the picture here? Everyone thinks that if they label every single person on Earth as a criminal, it will make all our problems go away. But they are wrong. They are all wrong.

    The federal government thinks they are keeping us safe by treating every single American as a terrorist plotting to blow up the country, but what about the people who actually are plotting something like that? They would never catch them because they would be too bush prosecuting innocent people to notice!

    With airports locked down tightly thesse days, travelers are annoyed by all the security checks and security stuff to make sure people don't have weapons. But the people who actually want to do harm could probably easily smuggle that kind of stuff by them.

    And for all the piracy bullshit, they think that shoving the DMCA and RIAA lawyers in everyone's faces will stop the 1% of people who ACTUALLY steal software, movies, and music, while the other 99% of us suffer. But it WON'T! Hell, I'm getting very tempted to start illegally putting brand new movies on BitTorrent just to stick it to the RIAA, MPAA, etc. If we're all criminals in these people's eyes, what would it matter? Personally I don't agree with downloading movies and music (with music sucking with that rap crap, what is there to download?), but I don't think it should be a federal crime punishable with million dollar fines and stuff.

    When will they learn, the government and RIAA can't solve all their problems like this!
    • I've noticed this a lot lately, any government agency, lobbyist group, or any group that is supposed to be fighting crime views every single person in the world as criminals.

      Not quite. The idea is to curtail the rights that we don't use much in order for increased security. In the case of the government, it's at least directly for our own protection. No-one actually believes that everyone on Earth is a terrorist. OTOH, I can imagine some deranged person believing that everyone with an internet connection ha

      • by aussie_a (778472)

        I can imagine some deranged person believing that everyone with an internet connection has pirated something at some time...
        You wouldn't have to be deranged, just slightly over zealous, as most people on the internet have pirated at one time in their life.
    • As a student at an "institution of higher learn" (guess which one) I have experienced these attempts to control filesharing. There was a point where internet connections were being turned off due to high traffic, assuming 4GB over bittorrent was always "evil." I am a CS student, and I have several distros on my computer. I heard about this just in time to stop sharing them, as I can't afford to lose my connection to the internet or the internal Unix machines (our programs must run on them). They have ba
  • by Deathlizard (115856) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @10:02PM (#22122136) Homepage Journal
    Frankly there's only two ways you can stop piracy from happening on college grounds.

    1) Buy everyone in the school music accounts to download music thus rasing the tutition, Which enrages students and punishes students who prefer going to buy their music at music stores, and will ultimetly result in retention levels dropping in an already competitive market as it is.

    Or

    2) The Amish Method. Cut the internet cable since there's nothing on the market that can assure 100% piracy free internet, ban all computers since they can make MP3's using a line in jack and a CD player, and ultimely ban electric power from everywhere on campus, since they could possibly use electricy to copy a tape with a boombox or operate an electric guitar.

    At least the english, math and history professors would be happy with #2, since calculators would be banned and people would have to be forced to write their thesis's on parchment. Of course, Victrolas would have to be banned too, but it's hard finding a wind up one these days. Maybe they'll come back in vogue.
    • by MulluskO (305219)
      #2 isn't such a bad idea.

      I worked at a tech for a residential network at a large university. Let the students contract with private providers, some of the students were doing this anyway after the guys in charge of the connection implemented a hare-brained QoS scheme. The cost per student may actually go down, liability is erased, and the students get better service.
      • it doesn't matter. Have a computer lab in the college? well that can be used to download music or burn CD's or even make an MP3 file using the sound card's line in jack. you better have that policy in place to spy / restrict that lab to only authorized personnel. Of course I guess you can disable the Internet and sound card and CDROM's and USB ports so that it's basicially a dumb terminal, or use DOS 6.22 (Can't use Windows. Sound recorder is there and it makes it easy to pirate. Maybe Windows 386 would wor
        • by cdrguru (88047)
          It's not the individual "I'm not gonna pay" pirate that is the problem. It is the "I'm going to give this to the planet" pirate that ensures there is no value to recorded music.

          The sooner everyone is participating in the "buy one, share with the planet" strategy and coordinating media purchases to ensure one and only one copy is sold, then we will finally be free of advertising, promotion and the RIAA.

          Pity about all the jobs, but they are all just leeches anyway, right?
  • I agree with this... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sean22190 (1076889) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @10:03PM (#22122148)
    Messing with college kids always goes over well.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opposition_to_the_Vietnam_War [wikipedia.org]
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mouko (1187491)
      Being a college kid, I can safely say that most of my peers will have no idea about this bill until after it has been passed and the DRM tools are in place.
  • This is a constant problem with life on the government teat. It makes you subject to the control of the government, whether or not the subject at hand is within their constitutional powers to regulate.

    -jcr

  • by paiute (550198) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @10:12PM (#22122212)
    Anyone employed by the RIAA has his or her degree(s) annulled. Let's see how many lawsuits are accepted by the courts from a bunch of laypersons with only high school diplomas.
  • by Comatose51 (687974) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @10:20PM (#22122252) Homepage
    Using the Federal government's power to force universities into compliance with **AA demands is the equivalent of using our collective resources to help/save a company/industry's problems. If we extend the **AA's analogy and reasoning, we might as well go around the world attacking countries that compete with us commercially. GM losing market shares to Toyota? Bomb Japan! Oracle losing to SAP? Bomb Germany! Windows losing to Linux and OSS? Assassinate Linus and arrest Stallman!

    Copyright violations is a problem that affects a group of companies and an industry. Why should we be forced to collectively pay for their outdated business model/practices? How does this benefit the rest of us? If you don't think we'll end up paying for this, imagine what happens when universities don't get their Federal funding and our students don't get their education. Higher education is an absolute necessity for a productive country.

    • If we extend the **AA's analogy and reasoning, we might as well go around the world attacking countries that compete with us commercially.
      Shhhhh!! They can hear you.
    • I've noticed this a lot lately, any government agency, lobbyist group, or any group that is supposed to be fighting crime views every single person in the world as criminals.

      Countries actually do take actions against countries like that if a local industry is threatened. They impose trade tariffs to balance out the difference, so as to encourage back the local industry and help the economy. However, it's been shown time and again that free trade works even better. As for Linus and Stallman, that would be il

      • by QuantumG (50515)

        I also have never been satisfactorily explained why the model is outdated. The model is created on copyright law, which is still very current. Copyright law was created to avert the inevitable cultural disaster that came with increased copying and communication potential. The need for copyright law has significantly grown with the internet and P2P. If anything, copyright law and the business model based upon it are less outdated than ever.
        Living up to your nick I see.

      • by Wildclaw (15718)
        Copyright law was created as replacement for the monopoly that distributors had on printing and distributing information. Distributors, not wanting to lose their monopoly completly, managed to negotiate a law where they got the monopoly on a single work.

        Protecting the rights of artists was the original excuse that distributors had for implementing the law, and it may even have been a good excuse in its time. It even made itself into the US constitution in a slightly edited form. Although to the US forefathe
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          One reason, is that leads to privacy invasion since you have to monitor all communication of private citizens to make sure that they aren't sending copyright information.

          That's not true. We don't need total surveillance to monitor You can selectively monitor piracy hotspots, like P2P networks, or illegal websites (think a US version of allofmp3.com, or something akin to that). If people want privacy, it would encourage them to find a network that successfully discourages piracy, or just to stop using the P2

    • by aussie_a (778472)
      When you don't pirate music you have 2 choices:
      * Going with the people that provide what you with legal DRM-free music (sometimes dollars free as well)
      * Going with the DRM-encumbered music that comes at a dollar price.

      If DRM and free music isn't that important to you, you should pay for what you want. Otherwise support those that give you want you want you jackass.
  • Proper Outlets (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kemushi88 (1156073) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @10:22PM (#22122266) Homepage
    Every time something like this happens, I send $20 to the EFF. If you are equally outraged, I would encourage you to do the same.
    • by zsau (266209)
      Leaked email:

      To: Mitch Bainwall <chairman-at-riaa.com>; Dan Glickmann <president-at-mpaa.org>
      From: president-at-eff.org
      Subject: Thanks again!

      Thankyou RIAA & MPAA, keep up the good work. Every time you make one of these moves, we get a little extra money.
    • Last time I got outraged by something like this I sent $100. Coincidentally, I'm wearing the T-shirt they sent me in return right now.

      I don't generally get worked up about the music issue because I believe there IS a lot of copyright infringement. I get worked up by the claim, quickly retracted, that ripping your own CDs for your own use is illegal or otherwise wrong. I appreciated the EFF pointing out that the "making available" argument holds water as well as a bucket with no bottom, though. Busting p
  • by fermion (181285) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @10:29PM (#22122306) Homepage Journal
    Why limit this to filesharing? The only reason that this causes a problem is because it discriminates against other equally vicious crimes. Let's just put a general clause in the student loan and other funding bills that requires colleges to remove funding if colleges do not go to all measures to prevent the illegal activities of the students.

    For instance, no one under 21 is supposed to drink. Most students at colleges are under 21, so clearly colleges should do more to make sure that alcohol is not available to the majority of the students.

    I would also certainly think the software distributors would want the same protections, and representatives like the BSA has a zero tolerance policy. If one piece of pirated software is found on one computer on the campus, revoke all the funding.

    i also know from pretty good sources that our college campuses are swarming with stolen calculators. Underage kids steal them, and then sell to college kids for half price. It is hard to prosecute the college kids for receiving stolen property, btu easy enough to revoke funding if the school does not put into place a program to teach the kids that stealing is wrong. Because, obviously, the problem is not that the temptation of cheap calcultors, but that they students were never taught right from wrong.

    • by XaXXon (202882)
      And drinking underage is actually a CRIMINAL activity. Why don't we get the criminal activities under control first (not that I think underage drinking is a serious issue) before we start worrying about civil offenses by cutting off access to higher education?

      Or we could just deal with the individuals responsible for breaking the law on an individual basis. What a concept.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by lachlan76 (770870)

      The idea that a government should be able to deny access to social services to any citizen/permanent resident is ridiculous. Education is something that should be encouraged, and not denied to anyone.

      I am from Australia---we've had a system of government-funded university tuition for many years, though, in the last 20 years or so, students have been required to pay a contribution (loaned by the government, and repaid through the tax system). An engineering degree currently costs the student AU$7118/year,

  • University Money (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    What they (MPAA & RIAA) want is money from tax payers. The university must subscribe to a solution for all students whether said student uses it or not. Plus filter and turn over to them the traffic records for all student based connections. They don't care about the 98% who they will hurt if funding gets cut.

    write or call you representative and tell them what a crock this is.

  • Not a bad idea?" (Score:4, Interesting)

    by zotz (3951) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @10:44PM (#22122402) Homepage Journal
    "(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."

    Here is the beginnings of one such plan...

    2.a. When it comes to music, music that does not have a Free License is not allowed on the campus networks. Net even legally purchased music if it doesn't have a Free License.

    2.b. The University has set up a server at freemusic.university.edu where we host music with licenses as described in 2.a.

    all the best,

    drew
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Dunbal (464142)
      Here is the beginnings of one such plan...

      2.a A single, purchased copy (at educational discount prices) of all copyrighted works (music and movies) shall be placed in the university library. Additional federal funding will be required to purchase these works, however such funds could be covered by an additional tax on the record labels.

      2.b Students will have 24hr online streaming access to the university library, so long as they play/view one work at a time.

      After all, turnabout is
  • Special Place (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Twitchie (1023865) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @10:45PM (#22122412)
    Well, that makes me about sick. "Let's sacrifice the education of our youth and the future of the nation by cutting funding to ensure Hollywood makes an extra few dollars." I guess when universities have to reduce programs and students begin getting denies admission, we will be able to more easily secure the "dumbest nation on earth" status. But hey, at least the movie and music industries will get their money. How bright do you have to be to sit in a meeting and say "We can't find anyone smart enough to invent a technology to control this. Well, let's go ahead and stifle education. Maybe increasing the ignorance in a population will create a genius to write the software we need." The more people that complete college = more people with good jobs = less people that feel the need to use p2p for music and movies. Apparently these lawyers are from the future where the education system was butchered. They're obviously products of such a system. Wonder which country we stole the time-travel tech from because we sure as hell didn't invent it. There's going to be a special place for folks someday.
  • by siglercm (6059) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @11:05PM (#22122550) Journal
    I'm afraid (of losing karma because) I'm the one to point out that the emperor has no clothes. Quotes from this article as posted at this moment:

    "These new provision"
    "institutions of higher learn"
    "We've previous discussed"

    (At least) Three gross errors in one posted article. And to think that this is about federal funding for public colleges and universities. I humbly submit we need more.
  • by webmaster404 (1148909) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @11:10PM (#22122576)
    Even if Downloading == Stealing like the RIAA wants you to believe, does the federal government cut off funds to schools with a high rate of crime? What if a group of students steal from a store does that warrant federal funds to be cut off? What about underage drinking and illegal drugs being used? I don't see how the RIAA convinces people that unauthorized downloading is a capital crime, if we don't do it for stealing or substance use, why do it for downloading. If only congress had a mind that could think for itself....
  • Any company that sues a anyone for copyright infringement activity and doesn't actually have a good case should have all of their copyrights revoked, with all intellectual property reverting either to the original authors, or to the public domain if held for a period longer than 15 years.
  • Strange but true (Score:3, Interesting)

    by buss_error (142273) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @11:47PM (#22122856) Homepage Journal
    Something that's pretty strange, and while I'm not licenced to practice law in any state of the Unided States, I don't see where it's illegal to OBTAIN unlicenced intellectual property, only to PROVIDE it. On the other hand, receiving stolen goods IS a crime.

    How I see it is that RIAA and MPAA are failing to provide their content in a way that is easy, free of silly encumbrances, and are guilty of product tying. In other words, their bleetings are a product of their outmoded and protectionist practices, not because they actually add any value.

    Put another way, if RIAA and MPAA are allowed to seek injunctions against receiving their products in a way they don't approve, I'd like to seek injunctions against every power company that provides electricity because it cuts into my profits in selling whale oil and whale oil lamps. Out moded business models should die because of market pressure, not thrive due to political contributions, rigged laws, or "The Disney Copyright Protection Act".

    That said, Intellictual property is property, and depriving those that own it of legitimate compensation is theft. There are many inequities in movies, even more in music. But one cannot legitimately usurp agreed contracts of the creators of that IP, no matter how unfair it is to the creators. They agreed to it, after all.

    I do not have any .ogg (a better MP3) songs that I do not own the CD. I've never downloaded anything that I did not purchase an origianal licenced copy of if it is covered under triditional copyright. That that create a work I apprecite deserve to be conpensated for their effort under the terms they make their work available.

    If you don't like the people or the circumstances the work is made available under, the simple solution is to avoid the work. Don't buy it. Don't download it. Don't view it, and don't support them in any way. This is why I've not see a Sony move, bought a Sony CD, or purchsed a PC with Sony chips that I could avoid. (Not always possible, but you can TRY.)

    For the same reason, I do not own Blue-Ray. I have HD-DVD. I may have to go to Blue-Ray as it displaces HD-DVD, but I'll only go there once HD-DVD is a thing of the past.

    • by cdrguru (88047)
      Unfortunately, the RIAA/MPAA are in the position you acknowledge of content owner. They own the copyrights or at least have the ability to seek enforcement of infringement. The current crop of people railing against copyrights and the lawsuits are not in a position to dictate how the RIAA/MPAA products are to be sold.

      If nobody wanted their products and they were buying government support for their business, that would be different. But obviously there is a market for music the RIAA is empowered to seek e

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