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Senate majority leader withdraws Anti-P2P Amendment from Higher Education Reauthorization Act

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) withdrew a controversial new amendment from the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act Monday afternoon. Reid’s amendment would have required the Department of Education to compile an annual list of 25 colleges that were considered the worst culprits in file-sharing, based on the volume of letters received from RIAA and MPAA enforcers--letters that are not subject to judicial oversight, and are considered opinions of the RIAA and MPAA.

Universities appearing on the list would have been put “on probation” with unknown consequences and forced to demonstrate a plan of action detailing how they planned to stop piracy on their networks using technological means.

While Reid withdrew the amendment without comment, it would seem the withdrawal was the result of a fierce outcry from concerned individuals and groups such as the university coalition EDUCAUSE. EDUCAUSE last week issued an urgent call to action to its members: “CALL, not write, your state’s U.S. senators’ staff members … and tell them how much higher education opposes this amendment.”

The Reid Amendment was just one amongst a flurry of others added on to the Higher Education Act of 1965, a process that Inside Higher Ed described as “fast and furious” and those close to the situation described as “fluid.”

Moments after Reid announced the withdrawal, an e-mail circulated around the senate floor saying the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass), had agreed to incorporate a modified version of the Reid amendment. Under the new version, universities would be required to warn students of the penalties of illegal file sharing, outline campus policies on file sharing and describe what is being doing to stop it on campus networks.

The bill, more formally known as the Higher Education Amendments of 2007, passed the Senate yesterday and is now currently awaiting a House vote.


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Crazy...
By OblivionMage on 7/25/2007 8:07:13 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Universities appearing on the list would have been put “on probation” with unknown consequences and forced to demonstrate a plan of action detailing how they planned to stop piracy on their networks using technological means.

How much power does the RIAA have? Dictating what every university in the United States must do. It seems more like censorship, rather then law enforcement. Absolutely crazy after the Russian MP3 case. What are they going to do, sue and threaten people until things work out for them? Why not actually do something innovative to try to stop piracy, rather then hiding behind threats and having other people do their work for them.

I don't know, just my thoughts on the issue.




RE: Crazy...
By Scabies on 7/25/2007 8:57:49 PM , Rating: 2
put on probation...
"We're watching you!"
(aren't we then ALL on probation?)


RE: Crazy...
By JTKTR on 7/26/2007 1:14:27 AM , Rating: 5
It's not just probation, it's DOUBLE SECRET PROBATION!


RE: Crazy...
By smitty3268 on 7/25/2007 9:13:56 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
What are they going to do, sue and threaten people until things work out for them?

That's been their plan for a while now, yes. It seems they're starting to realize it isn't working and are trying to escalate the situation.

quote:
Why not actually do something innovative to try to stop piracy

Because innovation necessarily implies change, which creates risk. They are extremely profitable with no real end in sight under the current system so why bother changing? If there were real competition in the market then they would be forced to in order to be competitive, but without that the question they are asking isn't "Why not change?" it's "Why change?" and they haven't really come up with an answer yet.


RE: Crazy...
By Etsp on 7/25/2007 10:09:44 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
They are extremely profitable with no real end in sight under the current system so why bother changing?
they don't think that way, they see the "end" of their current system as piracy, and the internet in general. They're making it their most hated enemy, desperately clinging to an old business model in an industry that can move onto the internet and be even more profitable, but they fear it and misunderstand it far too much to begin to utilize it.


RE: Crazy...
By Noobsa44 on 7/25/2007 10:54:12 PM , Rating: 5
There is an old quote that I think of whenever the RIAA/MPAA try to change policy in America....

There has grown in the minds of certain groups in this country the idea that just because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with guaranteeing such a profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is supported by neither statute or common law. Neither corporations or individuals have the right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back.
- Life-Line (Robert A. Heinlein)

The sad thing is, I fear that perhaps our senators have not read this quote, nor would they consider this a correct interpretation of policy or history.


RE: Crazy...
By HVAC on 7/25/2007 11:14:15 PM , Rating: 3
The sad thing is that law works EXACTLY this way. It is supposed to be "once decided...always decided".

We keep inventing and discovering at a rate that makes entrenched interests nervous, so they grab ahold of the thing that is eternally stable...the law...to try to eradicate opposition or delay opposition until they can adapt.

The double-edged drawback to progress it that it doesn't wait for you to readjust your 401k investments before ... well ... "progressing".


RE: Crazy...
By Gatt on 7/26/07, Rating: -1
RE: Crazy...
By TomCorelis on 7/26/2007 1:13:58 AM , Rating: 5
People have been pirating books far longer than digital media. It just goes to show that if something has value people will find ways to counterfeit and copy it--especially if it's something "the common man" pines for but is not always able to afford (Gucci bags, music CDs, videogames, etc).

The government can legislate the matter til they're blue in the face for all I care, it's not going to stop people. I'd much rather people find ways to embrace this and try and legally profit from the wave of piracy... iTunes is an excellent example of capitalizing on the download scene.


RE: Crazy...
By smitty3268 on 7/26/2007 2:47:24 AM , Rating: 2
It's exactly like prohibition in that there is a ton of demand, and the supply is easy enough to come up with if you know how but just labor intensive enough that people would rather buy the prepackaged format if it is cheap and convenient enough. Heck, there were people who took the harry potter book and manually typed it up. How can you possibly stop people from doing that?

When prohibition ended, the alcohol companies sold superior products to the public and the homemade stuff basically died out. Media companies could do the same, but for now they're afraid of changing their business.


RE: Crazy...
By invidious on 7/26/2007 10:33:33 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It costs them money to make this stuff, and they have every right to expect to be paid for it's use.


They do NOT have the right to expect people to pay them a large handling fee for music created by other people solely because they have a monopoly on the recording industry.

They can charge whatever they want, but they need to be prepared to have people boycott their goods and find music elsewhere, illegally if necisary.

No other industry has such highly inflated prices, no other industry has as rampant "theft". and its not just because its digital media, the video and concole gaming industry has the same problems but deals with them in an innovative way by embracing the technology. they offering content online that only authorized purchasers can access. its not 100% effective buts its more effective than suing people.

for instance im sure most people would gladly pay a monthly fee to download music from a vast high quality library. with rates determined by the amount of music. the only current systems like this are too small to have the selection desired by most, or are too expensive to be embraced by anyone (ie $1 a song on itunes).


RE: Crazy...
By TomCorelis on 7/26/2007 12:24:59 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
They do NOT have the right to expect people to pay them a large handling fee for music created by other people solely because they have a monopoly on the recording industry.

No, they do, market and government willing.


RE: Crazy...
By fic2 on 7/26/2007 2:31:13 PM , Rating: 2
They should be seeing the end in sight as bands not resigning with them. I saw a program on music/labels/bands/internet/etc on CNBC (I think) and one of the bands that they talked to was Bare Naked Ladies. The group said that when their contract came up for renewal one of the members asked the question - what happens if we just go on our own? They looked at it and decided to do it. They said that they sell less CDs, but they make more money because instead of making $2/CD they make $6. Plus all they own all the songs and rights. Basically, they cut out the greedy middleman record company.

THAT should be the record companies biggest fear - their bands saying well, we can sell online and on iTunes why do we need you?


RE: Crazy...
By Ringold on 7/26/2007 3:22:58 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
and they haven't really come up with an answer yet.


They have changed; there's been huge changes in how artists contracts are formed. Instead of just CD sales and perhaps a couple promotionary things, now they have 'full' contracts that include a full set of concerts, promotions, t-shirts, the whole deal. It's been done out of recognition that concert revenue has exploded over the same time period where CD revenue has stagnated. At least, that's the music industry's change. The Economist hasn't yet detailed what change the movie industry has made (though they seem to be doing dandy regardless), and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn last night..

At any rate, they're adapting more than you think, but still want to litigate media pirates to oblivion. I personally feel this particular amendment would've crossed the line but it's still within their legal right to *try*, and within ours to complain about it.


RE: Crazy...
By HighWing on 7/26/2007 2:44:23 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
They are extremely profitable with no real end in sight

As someone else already said they do see an end. though I'm inclined to think it has more to do with digital music sales. While on the whole there is a lot of money being generated, on a per sale basis, it is rather small compared to the sale of a CD. With the trend going towards more digital sales and sales of single songs vs albums, the RIAA is looking to loose a lot of per sale money. But because of public demand for it and the large amounts of digital music players, they can't really fight that battle. So they go after the only other thing that cause's them a loss that just happens to also be illegal.


RE: Crazy...
By RW on 7/26/2007 6:36:33 AM , Rating: 2
Now let's see the options we have:

You fuck the whole world because of RIAA and MPAA
or
You fuck only the RIAA and MPAA and let the world enjoy

wich one of 2 options you would chose ?
the second option sounds way more better


Harry Reid Is Evil
By TomZ on 7/25/2007 10:51:24 PM , Rating: 4
see subject.




RE: Harry Reid Is Evil
By Fnoob on 7/25/2007 11:23:18 PM , Rating: 1
Dunno why you got downrated for the obvious.

Clearly the fascination certain factions within our gov't has with the legislation of morality is one of the greatest dangers our country faces.


RE: Harry Reid Is Evil
By Ringold on 7/26/2007 3:37:45 AM , Rating: 3
I love how Reid continuously either makes outrageous statements or plans only to later withdraw them when people listen and realize he's unhinged.

Honestly, there are *some* decent Democrats in this world. Why they had to pick the most hard-core partisan to lead the House and Senate I don't understand, not when they point to Republican's as polarizing and partisan. And nearly the only one among them in the Senate that wasn't a partisan hack but a respected moderate, Lieberman? The national party tried it's best to take him out behind the Primary shed and execute him last year, forced him to run (and win as) an independent.

Keep an eye peeled, guys. Harry Reid will be with us until 2010 at the earliest, probably 'till 2012.


RE: Harry Reid Is Evil
By themadmilkman on 7/26/2007 4:14:19 AM , Rating: 2
Right... since Nevada has been so keen on voting him out, despite multiple opportunities to do so.


RE: Harry Reid Is Evil
By jay401 on 7/26/2007 7:13:22 AM , Rating: 5
Don't miss that it was Teddy Kennedy behind the bill. He seems to back an awful lot of the worst bills in Congress.


RE: Harry Reid Is Evil
By blaster5k on 7/26/2007 9:48:42 AM , Rating: 2
I can't stand the guy. Unfortunately, he runs unopposed in this one party state and my write in candidate, "Bozo the clown", can't seem to pull off a victory.


RE: Harry Reid Is Evil
By fic2 on 7/26/2007 2:40:12 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
my write in candidate, "Bozo the clown"


That's your problem - they are misreading it as Boozo the clown and figure you mean Kennedy.


RE: Harry Reid Is Evil
By Ringold on 7/26/2007 12:56:54 PM , Rating: 2
Another Democrat known for his moderation, both in booze and legislation! :D


Internets purpose
By rdeegvainl on 7/26/2007 2:44:15 AM , Rating: 2
Wasn't the internet created mainly for sharing info between universities. To bad they told the RIAA and MPAA about it.




RE: Internets purpose
By MaK2000 on 7/26/2007 8:49:37 AM , Rating: 2
I believe the original purpose was something along the lines of military being able to communicate in the event of mass phone outage. Something similar to a nuke attack scenario. The world leaders needed a dependable way to communicate and ARPA gave them it.


RE: Internets purpose
By nekobawt on 7/26/2007 11:38:55 AM , Rating: 2
Wait. Dial-up used to be the only way to connect in the first place, right? So how would the Internet be useful "in the event of mass phone outage"? (That wasn't rhetorical, btw--was there a separate network or something?)


RE: Internets purpose
By darkpaw on 7/26/2007 1:15:07 PM , Rating: 2
Dial-up is all home users had.

The large agencies and universities that were originally on the Internet had dedicated lines. In a way this is what really became the backbone of the modern Internet.


RE: Internets purpose
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 7/26/2007 8:50:20 AM , Rating: 3
The internet was developed by DARPA under the guidance of U.S. Military to develop a system that in the event of disaster, nuclear war, etc... would be able to maintain communications and data connections with military forces globally.

I believe you are speaking of the "Internet 2" which was a high speed subset of the existing Internet that is between some colleges and universities.


RE: Internets purpose
By cbf on 7/31/2007 9:01:57 PM , Rating: 2
One of the purpose of the technology being developed for the "Arpanet" was indeed as you describe -- to explore the idea of packet switched network as being robust and survivable, perhaps eventually to be used for military purposes.

But the Arpanet that existed circa 1972, when I used it from MIT, was indeed mostly about transferring files between university computer researchers. That, and using each user's computers via remote "telnet" sessions. (It may be hard to fathom nowadays, but there were a lot more architectures and OSes around and software wasn't nearly as portable.)

Check out the old Arpanet maps -- it's essentially all universities, or research institutions associated with universities: http://www.computerhistory.org/internet_history/fu... http://www.computerhistory.org/internet_history/fu...


double secret probation!
By Salisme on 7/25/2007 8:35:12 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Universities appearing on the list would have been put “on probation” with unknown consequences...


Double secret probation?




RE: double secret probation!
By spwrozek on 7/25/2007 10:34:47 PM , Rating: 3
...And should that house be on any multiple secret probation it will be lifted and I will be forced to serve as Grand Marshall in a parade honoring them


Something for everyone
By FS on 7/25/2007 9:24:57 PM , Rating: 2
only happens in the US

Ivy League of the P2P

it might help some students to pick the best university for their torrenting needs(legal and illegal).




RE: Something for everyone
By Ringold on 7/26/2007 3:43:54 AM , Rating: 2
To help high school seniors in Florida make their choice, if their choice really hinges on it: The University of Central Florida has ruthlessly blocked every type of P2P traffic known to man. Encryption? Doesn't help. Someone in their IT department is earning their paycheck. I hadn't been there with a laptop for quite a while but I doubt they've somehow become inept.

At least, that was their wifi network on campus. Student housing may be a bird of a different color.


By Master Kenobi (blog) on 7/26/2007 8:48:07 AM , Rating: 3
It's not that difficult to block P2P traffic, most companies do it. It really is childs play when you have the right firewall and router model.


typical democrats
By rika13 on 7/25/2007 10:28:57 PM , Rating: 1
reid and the other democrats get financed by the riaa and mpaa cartels

reid has already stated that making laws that are constitutional is NOT his job when he tried to usurp bush's power as commander in chief (congress can raise an army, but can allocate funds for no more than two years in advance for such purpose and can declare war and create letters of marquise and reprisal [in other words, kick some ass without a "true" war, clinton's operation desert fox would qualify as this], the president is commander in chief, which is why bush gets all the crap from the civilian world when things go wrong with the army)




RE: typical democrats
By smitty3268 on 7/25/2007 10:33:56 PM , Rating: 2
Your first sentence made sense, although you forgot to mention that the Republicans are taking just as much from them. Then the rest of your post went off on some totally off-topic incoherent rant...


hmm
By jay401 on 7/26/2007 7:12:14 AM , Rating: 3
Interesting how Ted Kennedy is behind (or backs) a good 50%-75% of the bullshit that is attempted to get passed in Congress these days.




uh...
By Polynikes on 7/25/2007 10:23:22 PM , Rating: 2
Well it's not like anyone who's on a university internet connection isn't expecting to be watched to begin with.




What they could do
By darkpaw on 7/26/2007 8:52:12 AM , Rating: 2
They could ban all P2P in schools receiving any federal funding. That would keep the RIAA/MPAA's opinions/extortion letters out of it and still allow them to target P2P.

I wouldn't be surprised to see something like this come along next.




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