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Universities that don't, or won't, comply with copyright takedowns could risk losing government funding

The College Opportunity and Affordability Act (PDF) is a monster of a document, weighing in at 747 pages. The bill aims to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965, and buried deep inside is a nasty secret sponsored by the entertainment industry: universities would be required to help fight piracy or risk the loss of federal funding.

One section of COAA would force universities to publicly disclose their policies and procedures relating to copyright enforcement, and to develop plans for exploring “technology-based deterrents” and alternatives -- like Napster or the ad-supported Ruckus service. These requirements would be backed up with federal grant money, which would be authorized for the purchase and implementation of whatever programs a university may try to implement.

Another section of the bill is more familiar, as it bears a striking similarity to some additions attempted in the Higher Education Amendments of 2007. Under the new text, universities would be required to annually inform students of the “civil and criminal liabilities” of file sharing, provide a summary of the consequences for violating copyright laws, and provide a description of the university’s disciplinary policies if they’re caught.

Universities would also be required to tell students about the various countermeasures they may use to “prevent and detect” unauthorized file sharing.

University officials have been understandably alarmed, as the above provisions would put a potential $100 billion each year in federal aid at risk; failure to comply would cause the school to lose all of its financial aid for students, affecting even those students who don’t own a personal computer.

In a letter written on Wednesday and signed by the presidents of Stanford University and Penn State, and the chancellor of the University of Maryland system, university officials wrote:

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 … lower-income students, those most in need of federal financial aid, would be harmed most under the entertainment industry's proposal.

Officials also noted that while the higher education systems does indeed recognize the “seriousness of the problem of illegal peer-to-peer file sharing,” it noted that schools and universities represented only a “small fraction” of the overall P2P ecosystem.

University leadership is overreacting, said the MPAA, and noted that schools that actively implement P2P counter-measures see far fewer copyright complaints — sometimes as little as zero per month.



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I love deceptive legislation names
By JasonMick (blog) on 11/12/2007 3:26:16 PM , Rating: 5
The College Opportunity and Affordability Act <- HA!

This reminds me of the Bush administration's "Clear Skies" proposal, which cut air quality protection set in place with the Clear Air Act.

I think the sign of true political zen mastery is being able to take a bill which is completely despicable, like the one in this article, retitle it into something that sounds all nice and happy and get it passed.

Sort of like if you had a bill for taxing everyone on walking down the city street and you called in the "Clean and Safe Streets Proposal".

Ah to be a politician....




By TomCorelis on 11/12/2007 3:40:01 PM , Rating: 3
Well the file-sharing part of the bill amounts to maybe 2 pages out of the total 747. It covers most everything as it adds a lot to the Higher Education Act.


RE: I love deceptive legislation names
By clovell on 11/12/07, Rating: 0
RE: I love deceptive legislation names
By mdogs444 on 11/12/2007 3:53:51 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, lets not get into that scam. childrens health insurance my a$$


RE: I love deceptive legislation names
By mcnabney on 11/12/2007 11:36:16 PM , Rating: 5
The US Congress.

The best congress that money can buy.


RE: I love deceptive legislation names
By stmok on 11/14/2007 6:06:37 AM , Rating: 2
From what I hear, US politicians rarely read these Bills.

A trick that some use, is that they set the draft out really early in the morning. Since no one reads the Bill in the morning, it gets passed onto to someone else who doesn't give a damn.

Of course, it also helps if you make "financial contributions" to a senator's campaign. :)


RE: I love deceptive legislation names
By Polynikes on 11/12/2007 4:17:25 PM , Rating: 2
Well it's the politicians who vote on this crap, and most of them know all about nasty details like that embedded in the bill.

The simple fact of the matter is, they don't care, so they pass it. The name is irrelevant to them.


RE: I love deceptive legislation names
By Ringold on 11/12/2007 4:36:10 PM , Rating: 4
Oh, they care -- about campaign contributions, which is probably how this was inserted.

Reminiscent of how the national drinking age of 21 is enforced; if its not state law then the spigot for highway money is closed.


RE: I love deceptive legislation names
By rudy on 11/12/2007 6:21:05 PM , Rating: 2
What does the drinking age have to do with campaign contributions. I think that the alchohol companies could beat anyone for controbutions. And they would probably want less enforcement and lower drinking ages.


By Ringold on 11/12/2007 7:36:17 PM , Rating: 2
I was refering, in the second sentence, purely in the way in which this rule is being enforced. If it were the same idea, I'd of probably not skipped a line. Microparagraphs?


RE: I love deceptive legislation names
By TomZ on 11/12/2007 6:07:10 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Well it's the politicians who vote on this crap, and most of them know all about nasty details like that embedded in the bill.

Actually it's pretty well known that politicians rarely ever read the legislation they are voting on. Pathetic if you ask me.


RE: I love deceptive legislation names
By Ringold on 11/12/2007 4:33:58 PM , Rating: 1
"The College Opportunity" <snip>

If I apply to a university, with a given set of grades, testing scores and other pieces of background information, and anyone other than a non-white male also applies with identical grades, scores and similar background, guess who gets in? In many universities it's not a a coin toss; it's the minority. In fact, the white male could probably have slightly better scores, and depending on how race is weighted, he could still get shafted.

Still, it's basically a meritocracy. I see no problem here..

"and Affordability Act" <snip>
The substantial evidence has been that by throwing cheap subsidized loans, grants, and other forms of financial aid at college students has simply fueled the wild above inflation rate rise in tuition costs. Are you suggesting throwing more money at it, such that those that don't qualify for government hand outs pay even higher rates, especially out of state kids? More easy money just desensitizes kids and families to the cost, keeping demand at expensive instiutions high, giving none of them an incentive to keep costs low. Does it remind you of health care? It should.

The extreme, like France, where its essentially free and open to everybody, just produces mediocrity by the class full.

Of course, any Act, bill, or legislation that is 700 pages long is a monstrosity, probably made so long in the hopes that the public never understands it, but still. Things arent bad. I'm just assuming from your ire you think the systems borked.

From the Chairman of the Education and Labor committee:
quote:

Streamline the federal student financial aid application to make it easier for all eligible students, especially from low-income households, to apply for financial aid;
Make textbook costs more manageable for students by helping them plan for textbook expenses in advance of each semester;
Expand college access for low-income and minority students by allowing students to receive year-round Pell Grant scholarships and strengthening college readiness programs;
Increase college aid and support programs for veterans and military families to help veterans, active duty military personnel, and their family members attend college and succeed;
Create safer college campuses for students and faculty by developing campus safety and disaster readiness plans for all colleges and helping schools recover and rebuild in the event of a disaster;
Ensure equal college opportunities and fair learning environments for students with disabilities to provide them with the resources and support they need to stay in school and graduate; and
Help strengthen our nation’s workforce and economic competitiveness by boosting science, technology, and foreign language educational opportunities, by providing public service loan forgiveness to encourage and reward students who enter critically needed service fields and by enhancing teacher training and development programs.


Throws more money at them and continues discrimination against white folk, but I'm probably in a minority as seeing this as bad. :P


RE: I love deceptive legislation names
By fk49 on 11/12/2007 4:53:29 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
and anyone other than a non-white male also applies with identical grades, scores and similar background, guess who gets in?


Just wanted to add that if the white male is up against any Asian American, whether from Eastern Asia, Southern Asia or Indian-subcontinent, the white male will get in. If being white is a neutral factor in decisions, being Asian seems to be a negative. It's making my life tough as I'm applying to colleges right now..


By clovell on 11/12/2007 5:10:21 PM , Rating: 2
Some of that has to do with the particular program you're applying for. Lots of unviersities try to fill some sort of racial quota to be diverse. As such, competition for admittance is stratified across race - which for fields like say, mathematics, can raise the bar for Asian applicants far above that for white applicants.


By mindless1 on 11/12/2007 6:21:16 PM , Rating: 2
You have it backwards.


RE: I love deceptive legislation names
By Exodus220 on 11/12/2007 6:22:17 PM , Rating: 2
You would have to supply me with factual evidence that supports your idea that it is more difficult for Asians to get into college before I would consider this an intelligent statement. Currently I just hear somebody crying about their ethnicity...and I hate hearing ethnicities always complaining their problems on the white man - just pathetic.

In many places the Affirmative Action plan is unconstitutional (California did away with it recently) because it discriminates against whites and in certain situations made it more difficult for them (Caucasian) to be hired or admitted.


By Master Kenobi (blog) on 11/12/2007 6:37:14 PM , Rating: 3
Works that way here in the DC area, females and minorities are given first shot at hired positions with many companies. When I apply I better be able to rock my competition by a mile or I won't get it.


By Ringold on 11/12/2007 7:38:34 PM , Rating: 2
Your experience manages to be the polar opposite of every asian friend I had going in to college, not just in admission but in financial aid.

I think you might be doing something wrong, bud, if equivalent white males are beating you. It's a fact; non-white males get extra points at most universities in the rubric used to sort those who are accepted from those who are not.


By ScythedBlade on 11/12/2007 5:10:35 PM , Rating: 3
No, you're actually LUCKY.

In response, take a Asian kid from the New York City Stuyvesant High School, ranging in around 60% Asian Population. Details aside, most of the kids are overqualified, but still don't get in. GGed ... I'd wish I was white XD.

But, race aside, this is a really, really, crappy bill. We all don't like the RIAA and MPAA ... Economics withstanding, it'd be better for less enforcement. Clearly, music's a pretty elastic good.


RE: I love deceptive legislation names
By Haltech on 11/12/07, Rating: 0
By Ringold on 11/12/2007 7:40:32 PM , Rating: 2
I was probably within 5% of some of the people I graduated with, and for a whole set of people applying during one year there are likely some matches, but I was refering to the extra weight given to race in the admissions process.


RE: I love deceptive legislation names
By Ringold on 11/12/2007 7:57:46 PM , Rating: 1
I like how my post hit -1 at warp speed, but asides from two asians voicing an opinion roundly rejected by other people as being out of the ordinary, not a single post as to where I went off track.

http://repositories.cdlib.org/ucdsoc/declinerace/

I looked at several links, but this one fits best; note somewhere between page 20 and 30 the mention that as the required average SAT score for admission goes up, the reliance on racial consideration goes up as well. Also, looks like roughly 40% of universities still discriminate based upon race -- and I don't mean against minorities.

All the other links were primarily legal scholars or activists pointing out that affirmitive action is state sanctioned racism and, beyond being unconstitutional, is divisive.

The economics I wont go further to defend; if throwing money being inflationary doesn't make sense to someone then it's beyond my ability to help. Likewise, if one thinks college shouldn't be a meritocracy, then we would simply be so far apart in ideology as to not possibly be able to find a middle ground.


RE: I love deceptive legislation names
By bobbronco on 11/12/2007 9:10:24 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
if throwing money being inflationary doesn't make sense to someone then it's beyond my ability to help.


Actually, government subsidies primarily at the state level are largely responsible for keeping tuition at many public universities in check. -Don't belive me? Look up the details behind nearly every state budget. So, quite the opposite to your point could be argued as well.


By Ringold on 11/13/2007 12:39:54 PM , Rating: 2
My quote you selected was directed dead-center at student loan subsidies, pell grants, and so forth; student aid, an indirect funding of colleges. There's a reason every student probably every year fills out FAFSA -- and what does the second F stand for? Yep. Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

That said, yes, I'm aware of states heavily funding colleges. I never said otherwise. In fact, the source of the free money from which ever level of government doesn't particularly matter to my argument; inflationary pressure is inflationary pressure.


By Adonlude on 11/14/2007 1:09:06 PM , Rating: 2
It is disgusting that we still practice affirmative action in this country. How can anyone take racism/discrimintation, rename it to "affirmative action" and act like it is a good kind of racism/discrimination?


By phil126 on 11/12/2007 8:23:11 PM , Rating: 1
If you have a hard time, go to grad school (in a technical field). US univeristies will throw money at you if you are a domestic student white or otherwise.


By Terberculosis on 11/12/2007 5:24:41 PM , Rating: 3
Current Congress is Doubleplusgood double speaker.


By Screwballl on 11/13/2007 9:57:02 AM , Rating: 2
yep... someone got paid off here...
The problem is that the universities can block this in one swipe if they chose to. Any packet of the bittorrent or file sharing type and its blocked before it ever reaches the students computer.
Lets hope that portion gets killed before it really causes a problem.


By encryptkeeper on 11/13/2007 2:06:55 PM , Rating: 2
I think the sign of true political zen mastery is being able to take a bill which is completely despicable, like the one in this article, retitle it into something that sounds all nice and happy and get it passed.

The Patriot Act.


By GlassHouse69 on 11/14/2007 1:43:14 AM , Rating: 2
clear skies is the new STALKER game comming out soon.

It is about the village of Chernobyl

yay!

:D


Universities overreacting? I think not.
By akugami on 11/12/2007 3:29:31 PM , Rating: 5
I am alarmed at this bill as much as others. I don't plan on doing anything from the school networks (I plan to go back to college either in the spring or fall of '08) that I wouldn't do from home. However, school is a time for experimentation and sometimes laws are unjust.

I also do not believe it is a school's job to monitor and play traffic cop to what students are doing. Certainly a bit of monitoring is necessary but if the MPAA and RIAA had their way, schools would be in deep deep crap. I don't believe for a minute that Big Media won't wield this law like a sledgehammer. We've already seen how the DMCA has been abused.

I think Big Media is not happy that some schools have the gall to tell Big Media they are not throwing their students under a bus with nothing more than an IP address. This is their way of rectifying the situation.




RE: Universities overreacting? I think not.
By mdogs444 on 11/12/07, Rating: -1
RE: Universities overreacting? I think not.
By clovell on 11/12/2007 3:44:55 PM , Rating: 2
I agree in concept, mdogs, but I don't think it's the jobs of the Universities to police the internet - we have enforcement agencies that already hadnle this.


RE: Universities overreacting? I think not.
By mdogs444 on 11/12/2007 3:52:12 PM , Rating: 4
enforcement agencies do not handle private networks.


RE: Universities overreacting? I think not.
By clovell on 11/12/2007 4:01:41 PM , Rating: 1
But P2P doesn't operate on a University's intranet - it passes through the world wide web.


RE: Universities overreacting? I think not.
By mdogs444 on 11/12/2007 4:11:06 PM , Rating: 2
True, there are also programs out there for internal sharing - that are not open web based.


By clovell on 11/12/2007 4:14:45 PM , Rating: 1
Ah, okay - I didn't know there were such things that were widespread. In those cases, then, the University should be responsible for making sure that doesn't happen.


By gamefreak32 on 11/12/2007 5:02:46 PM , Rating: 2
We have a P2P going on in our intranet, just for the fact that we can't p2p through the world wide web.


RE: Universities overreacting? I think not.
By mindless1 on 11/12/2007 6:34:26 PM , Rating: 5
There is more substantial evidence that college kids speed on campus than share files. Based on your biased argument schools could not exist, could not receive the funds at all because someone, somewhere, breaks some law.

Just as enforcement agencies don't handle private networks, colleges aren't enforcement agencies. It is wrong to punish all students for the actions of a few which is exactly what the proposal aims to do, because we know it would cause large tuition increases. Essentially the end result is even worse than the prior proposal for a welfare system where the college just charges each student a media fee assuming they must all be infringing.

The answer is to just say no. Special interest groups should not be in control of our legislature and especially not educational policies.


RE: Universities overreacting? I think not.
By mdogs444 on 11/12/2007 7:38:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There is more substantial evidence that college kids speed on campus than share files. Based on your biased argument schools could not exist, could not receive the funds at all because someone, somewhere, breaks some law.


Actually, its quite common for colleges to have their own "campus police" just for that type of infraction. Remember, that campuses do lie on city grounds, and their streets are stilled monitored by both campus & local police. So they are making a point to deter those actions. Your argument on that part makes no sense.

quote:
Just as enforcement agencies don't handle private networks, colleges aren't enforcement agencies. It is wrong to punish all students for the actions of a few which is exactly what the proposal aims to do, because we know it would cause large tuition increases. Essentially the end result is even worse than the prior proposal for a welfare system where the college just charges each student a media fee assuming they must all be infringing.


Im not saying I agree with all parts of the proposal. But I dont think that putting on filters and monitoring students abusing the intranet for file sharing is something that would punish the rest of the students.

quote:
The answer is to just say no. Special interest groups should not be in control of our legislature and especially not educational policies.


That I would agree to an extent, but lets not forget that often times the teachers themselves are part of those "special interest groups" Its well known that a majority of teachers do lean to the left and many of them have tendencies to preach that stance. So it does help to have special interest groups pushing back. For example, its wrong to teach the theory of evolution to every student when some students are religious. Its also wrong to force every student to study religion when they are not religious. If we left the decision up to the the teacher alone, we would then turn into a socilistic state in which whats right and wrong would be determined by one person - the teachers opinion.


RE: Universities overreacting? I think not.
By Spuke on 11/13/2007 12:59:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Your argument on that part makes no sense.
Actually it makes sense. If you are caught speeding on campus, YOU get a ticket. Under this new act, if you are caught downloading illegal content, then the SCHOOL doesn't get its money and ALL of the students suffer.

Both are illegal acts but the punishment for one of them is greatly exaggerated. I would say that speeding on campus is worse given the close proximity of students on foot and the possibility of property damage.

Why won't the government retain the schools funding for speeding? Why is downloading illegal content worse than endangering the lives of others?


By clovell on 11/13/2007 5:21:31 PM , Rating: 1
No no - the bill doesn't really say that. It says that if schools don't act to detect and prevent illegal file-sharing as per certain guidelines, they won't get funding. that's very different from cutting off funding to a school who catches a student illegally sharing files.


By tmouse on 11/13/2007 1:44:59 PM , Rating: 2
I just do not see the big thing here. Music "sharing" is illegal no ifs ands or buts. ALL schools have policies regarding illegal activity. In earlier bills schools were required to more formally codify their policies on sexual harassment, drugs ect. Each year they have to supply this information to the students or risk losing their funding. I have seen nothing REQUIRING them to monitor, the excerpt from the article mentions “exploring technology-based deterrents and alternatives" not making it a requirement. It also involves funds for this purpose so it’s no cost to the university. Formally codifying their policy does make them more responsible so I guess that is what is scaring them. Just as companies are responsible for what happens from their own intranets, universities should also be responsible; this is FAR from any intrusion on academic rights.


By soxfan on 11/13/2007 7:31:57 AM , Rating: 2
Policing the internet and policing your own network are not the same thing.


RE: Universities overreacting? I think not.
By erikejw on 11/12/2007 4:25:57 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Not sure what planet you grew up on. But the facts are facts, if you want to keep getting free money from the government, you better do everything in your power to willingly enforce the laws at hand.


Of course you are right, RIAA and MPAA and media money is so important that student must have education on it at the university.

Petty things like murder, kidnapping, rape, terrorism and other minisculur things should not be tought or be important for university funding.
I understand your concearn.


By clovell on 11/12/2007 4:29:14 PM , Rating: 1
Petty things like murder, kidnapping, rape, terrorism and other minisculur things should not be tought or be important for university funding.


I know lots of colleges that teach a short course in safety during orientation. I don't think anyone is overlooking serious crimes here.


By AntiM on 11/13/2007 2:44:48 PM , Rating: 3
The other thing that alarms me is .... "These requirements would be backed up with federal grant money, which would be authorized for the purchase and implementation of whatever programs a university may try to implement."

It's ok that a child dies from a tooth infection because he can't get proper medical care, we have no funding for that, but God forbid that a few highly paid music execs loose a few bucks. Now they're trying to spend our tax money so a college kid can listen to music while he should be studying anyway.

These people are selling shoestrings in a world that's wearing loafers and they want the American taxpayer to pay for their stupidity.

I have a proposal they can put into the bill... outlaw the *selling* of all music. If you intend to make music, you can't charge money for it. And if you don't want your movies stolen, then don't make anymore.


How?
By Lonyo on 11/12/2007 3:52:39 PM , Rating: 2
How does the RIAA/MPAA have enough power to be able to get away with doing this?
Seriously, it's insane that the requests of corporate entities should be able to influence government funding in the manner in which it is implied.




RE: How?
By darkpaw on 11/12/2007 4:21:20 PM , Rating: 5
You must not understand how government works very well do you? America's laws are written by people and or groups with money, including corporations.

Thats one reason NOTHING gets accomplished in congress any more. Both sides have are too busy trying to please the groups stuffing their pockets that nobody gets anything good in the end.

Oh, and piracy sucks, stop downloading shit and buy it if you want it.


RE: How?
By Lonyo on 11/12/2007 5:56:42 PM , Rating: 2
They shouldn't be able to dictate federal funding for educational institutions is what I mean.
I do understand that money means power means laws, but they shouldn't be able to affect funding for things like education.
I'm not saying piracy is good, but threatening to stop money for education because of piracy is also not good.

In the long run you could even argue it would lead to people who don't get the funding being unable to go to university, getting a lower paying job, and being less able to afford to purchase music/films/etc legally.


RE: How?
By mdogs444 on 11/12/2007 7:41:50 PM , Rating: 2
They arent threatening to cut off funds because someone committed piracy. They are threating to cut off funds if the institutions dont put in place a method to try and stop piracy from their intranets.

Big difference.


RE: How?
By Christopher1 on 11/12/07, Rating: 0
RE: How?
By mdogs444 on 11/12/2007 10:13:42 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, actually its a big difference between letting your students do whatever they want on YOUR intranet, or controlling what can be done on YOUR intranet.

Behind the times or not, and whether you and whoever else deem the product is worth the price is not the point. It's a free market, and supply/demand determine the prices.

You are quite wrong on who pirate. People pirate becuase they CAN, not be because they think the product is too expensive. Its easy, and readily available. Dont make excuses by trying to saying that $15 is so is expensive that no one can afford it. If they cannot afford $15, then music should be the last thing they are worrying about.


RE: How?
By Spuke on 11/13/2007 1:12:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yes, actually its a big difference between letting your students do whatever they want on YOUR intranet, or controlling what can be done on YOUR intranet.
I can see why there are so many "feel good" laws on the books. He's right, there is NO real way to stop this from happening. You simply create Wile E Coyote vs the Roadrunner situation. Each person or group (the students and the campus IT staff) continually "one-ups" the other, forever and ever, and NOTHING is accomplished other than someone, somewhere feels good about what's happening.

IMO, trying doesn't do anything and is worse than not doing anything. With trying, you waste time and money. Of course you'll attack this point so I will say this: if the MPAA and RIAA REALLY want something done about this, hire some supernerds to find a technical solution to this, THEN offer that solution to their customers (universities in this case).

Threats don't work, period. And jeopardizing our future education is just plain retarded. You and I both know that if this is passed, some future college WILL have its funding revoked even though they have proper measures in place to prevent illegal downloading.


RE: How?
By clovell on 11/13/2007 5:25:12 PM , Rating: 1
> Not a big difference, because there is NO foolproof or even half-assed way of doing that, in all reality.

The how are ISPs able to throttle bandwith to chronic P2P users? There must be some sort of method of detection...


What?
By FITCamaro on 11/12/2007 3:42:53 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Under the new text, universities would be required to annually inform students of the “civil and criminal liabilities” of file sharing, provide a summary of the consequences for violating copyright laws, and provide a description of the university’s disciplinary policies if they’re caught.

Universities would also be required to tell students about the various countermeasures they may use to “prevent and detect” unauthorized file sharing.


I thought schools already did this. It's called the student handbook. I would assume every college gives one out. I know my college had explicit wording in its handbook that it was illegal. They just didn't enforce it much. They really only cared if you were sharing so much that you exceeded a certain download threshold in a given month (like 25GB).

If you're too stupid to read it, thats your fault. Ignorance does not equal innocent.




RE: What?
By mindless1 on 11/12/2007 6:47:55 PM , Rating: 2
I feel you are missing the point in that it is attempting to shift the burden to the school and then punish the school which primarily means punishing economically challenged students, the very ones would could not be causing the RIAA loss because they don't have the disposible income to buy all this content the RIAA feels they can insist (we'd?) buy otherwise.

Even if P2P sharing were decreased by 70%, the RIAA is still going to try to impose itself and lay blame elsewhere that they "should've made more money and it's all those damn pirates' faults". This attempt at passing the bill does not help the RIAA it only has the potential to cause harm. If the RIAA sees a large market in colleges then it's about time their marketing department instead of their legal department started targeting students instead trying to manipulate a legal system because the truth is it is a democracy and that means we the people including pirates are the majority, not the RIAA. Let them pursue when laws are broken but do not let it become the burden of others.


RE: What?
By mdogs444 on 11/12/2007 7:52:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I feel you are missing the point in that it is attempting to shift the burden to the school and then punish the school which primarily means punishing economically challenged students, the very ones would could not be causing the RIAA loss because they don't have the disposible income to buy all this content the RIAA feels they can insist (we'd?) buy otherwise.


So are you saying that since these people do not have the money to buy it, then they also are not committing copyright infringement by downloading it?

Whether they are causing potential losses or not is a topic to take against the RIAA/MPAA. The point is copyright infringement, not potential losses. And harboring those infringements while receiving federal money is a no no.


RE: What?
By Christopher1 on 11/12/2007 10:06:25 PM , Rating: 1
Only in your mind, and you are only 'harboring' when you know that someone is doing that. Now, do they know that some people are infringing on copyright? Yes. Can they reasonably stop it without spending massive amounts of money (re: the DRM mess)? No, they cannot, and should not be forced to even try if these companies THEMSELVES cannot do anything about it.

It is as I keep on saying: the prices have gotten too high, and consumers are voting with their wallets and with their modems. It's time for the companies to get the message, and change their prices and tactics.


RE: What?
By mdogs444 on 11/12/2007 10:16:15 PM , Rating: 1
The prices have been pretty constant for many years when it comes to CD's and Movies. This dates back to cassettes and VHS tapes. SO im not sure where you are getting this information.

If you cannot afford a $10 cd, then music should be the least of your worries.


RE: What?
By Spuke on 11/13/2007 2:03:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you cannot afford a $10 cd, then music should be the least of your worries.
Maybe afford is the wrong word here. But I think you understand the meaning. I can "afford" a $1000 Bluray player, does that mean it represents a good value for my money? I honestly think the actual $15 to $20 for a music CD is WAY too much.

Pricing seems to depend on who's doing the selling. A particular store VA charged $10-$12 for a CD but other stores charged $15-$20. I bought A LOT of music CD's for $10 from that store. I moved to CA and it's more like $20 for a CD so I don't buy them anymore. I buy individual songs from iTunes and Amazon's new site instead.

I haven't bought a CD in 7 or 8 years and that will continue until prices are dropped. If they never drop then I'll never buy a CD.


RE: What?
By clovell on 11/13/2007 5:36:15 PM , Rating: 1
And none of that addresses the point that piracy is illegal.


RE: What?
By mindless1 on 11/14/2007 5:15:35 AM , Rating: 2
Actually the point is that in a democracy the majory is supposed to rule and far more people share files than claim losses from file sharing!

This is a clear sign the industry is corrupt, when it can't exist based upon the choices of consumers and/or tries to increase profits against the will of consumers.


RE: What?
By mdogs444 on 11/14/2007 12:09:20 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Actually the point is that in a democracy the majory is supposed to rule and far more people share files than claim losses from file sharing!

That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard.
You are a complete idiot for even typing that.

quote:
This is a clear sign the industry is corrupt, when it can't exist based upon the choices of consumers and/or tries to increase profits against the will of consumers.

Um, have you ever heard of the term "FREE MARKET". It means you can charge as much as you want to for your products, and if people dont want them, they wont buy them. There is obviously a big enough market for $10-$15 music CD's, and $10-$25 movies. The consumer does have a choice here - if you dont think its worth it, then dont buy it.

If you seriously believe the bullshit you wrote, then you are so freakin retarded.


Taxes?
By raphd on 11/12/2007 3:24:41 PM , Rating: 2
So in the states you pay taxes to the RIAA/MPAA and the government gets funding from them....?




RE: Taxes?
By mdogs444 on 11/12/07, Rating: 0
RE: Taxes?
By Spivonious on 11/12/2007 3:29:59 PM , Rating: 3
Well, not directly. We pay taxes that go towards the federal financial assistance for college. The schools have to follow certain regulations to get this money and now the regulations include certain conditions on slowing file sharing among students. The RIAA probably pays a lot in lobbying costs to get these conditions into law so what you say is true in a roundabout way.

Personally, I don't see why colleges are balking at this. Most schools already disclose their methods.

If colleges limited their Internet bandwidth to something more reasonable, it would probably kill any and all filesharing as no one would want to wait to download.


RE: Taxes?
By TomCorelis on 11/12/2007 3:52:24 PM , Rating: 3
Never underestimate the power of patience and dial-up...


RE: Taxes?
By Spivonious on 11/12/2007 4:03:24 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe a few years ago, but nowadays any person who considers themselves even mildly "tech-savvy" has a broadband connection. Going from 6000Kbps to 56Kbps sure would kill my Internet addiction. :)


RE: Taxes?
By TomCorelis on 11/12/2007 7:15:52 PM , Rating: 2
All I can say is, from experience, you learn to deal with it :-) Then again I grew up on computers that were at least 5 years behind the times.


Pot
By tim851 on 11/12/2007 4:17:28 PM , Rating: 2
Since when is it the job of the university to check on their students' activities?

According to the logic of the bill, there should also be no funding if the kids on campus smoke pot. Which means no money for any college, not even the jesus ones.




RE: Pot
By Homerboy on 11/12/2007 4:21:30 PM , Rating: 1
Uhh that pot wasn't supplied to the students and controlled by the University. If the University was handing out pot to the students I think the government may cut funding.

HORRIBLE analogy.


RE: Pot
By tim851 on 11/12/2007 5:34:31 PM , Rating: 4
First of all: What university did you attend that supplied students with warez? Call me old fashioned, but we still had to pirate ourselves.

Secondly, it's not a horrible analogy just because you don't get it. It was meant to stress the people are responsible for their own actions.
Universities don't have networks for people to share their stuff. And people have been "stealing" intellectual property since long before every dorm room was online.

It's like guns don't kill people, people kill people. In that vein: Networks don't pirate mp3s, people pirate mp3s. If we can accept that weapons manufacturers aren't responsible for people killing with their products, we should accept that network providers aren't responsible for what people do with them.


RE: Pot
By Homerboy on 11/13/2007 8:59:49 AM , Rating: 2
The point is this is a universities PRIVATE (state funded) network. If that network is being used to break copyright laws and the University is knowingly doing nothing about it, then it is clearly in the states right and responsibilities to stop funding that school.


RE: Pot
By mindless1 on 11/14/2007 5:19:30 AM , Rating: 1
Bullshit. The state has no responsibility whatsoever to stop funding public education in order to cater to a private interest groups' profit concerns.

The clear thing here is that it doesn't really matter what happens after the RIAA/et al chose to stop producing desirable, profitable content, it only matters whether they choose to change their strategy and start producing content people are paying for instead.


RE: Pot
By clovell on 11/12/2007 4:26:17 PM , Rating: 1
> Since when is it the job of the university to check on their students' activities?

Universites do this lots of times - like no alcohol in dorms.


Not So Sure...
By clovell on 11/12/2007 3:41:42 PM , Rating: 2
On the one hand...
Universities are a hotbed of P2P activity. Some friendly reminders of the potential perils of copyright infringement and some preventitive countermeasures wouldn't hurt anyone.

On the other hand...
It's not the place of a University to enforce copyright laws. Financial Aid should not be contigent on these stipulations -it just doesn't make any sense. It reminds me of when the Federal Government threatened to withold all money for roads until states passed laws raising the drinking age to 21.

The phrase "prevent and detect " is especially unnerving. I wouldn't want Universities turning into the RIAA's Gestapo.




RE: Not So Sure...
By FITCamaro on 11/12/2007 3:44:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It reminds me of when the Federal Government threatened to withold all money for roads until states passed laws raising the drinking age to 21.


It wasn't a threat. They did it.


RE: Not So Sure...
By clovell on 11/12/2007 3:48:23 PM , Rating: 2
They sure did - it's always been a small source of pride that my home state was the last to comply with that law.


RE: Not So Sure...
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 11/12/2007 6:43:56 PM , Rating: 2
The same was done in the Vietnam era when colleges wanted military recruiting offices placed off campus. Or would not allow them to actively recruit people on campus. Government told them if they wanted to keep funding then they were going to allow the Military to have a recruitment office on site and could actively encourage college kids to sign up. They won that too.


They need to watch what they wish for...
By Nik00117 on 11/12/2007 5:10:28 PM , Rating: 2
Ever heard the saying, wheres their a will theirs a way.

Well if you make this happen, it will go even deeper underground and some bright and intellgient college kid will come with a solution to whatever the college comes up with to stop him.

What do you get in return? A even more complicated and advanced way of file sharing.




By AlphaVirus on 11/13/2007 2:05:17 PM , Rating: 2
I was thinking the same exact thing. The RIAA is truly outnumbered and no matter what they do, the public at large will always strike back much harder and stronger.

I am getting tired of them trying to create and dictate these new laws and punishments. Yes they have reason but how far will they go with it?

The way I read it is this,
-Ok so college students are downloading illegal music.
-RIAA jumps in and says universities will get no more grants -and funding if they dont monitor traffic.
-If a college denies, tuition goes up.
-Less people can go to school because they cant afford it.
-Less people will have a better education.
-More stupids in the world.
-Economy will be struck down because not enough smart people to run it.

All of this added to the fact gas prices are constantly rising, the use of E85 is also increasing food prices, Apple is becoming more popular and we all know their prices are always high/increasing....where will the line be drawn to all these big corporations greed? The average person will not be able to suffice much longer.


Real problem
By dagamer34 on 11/12/2007 3:35:08 PM , Rating: 3
The real problem with this is that any time an entity goes in sniffing packets for certain data, it is liable for ALL data that passes through it's networks and can be sued for not taking action. This causes universities to play cop FOR the **IA and use THEIR money, when it could better be spent elsewhere.




Ah.....
By Kefner on 11/12/2007 3:26:10 PM , Rating: 2
Gotta love collective punishment!




Down with the RIAA
By pauldovi on 11/12/2007 4:14:14 PM , Rating: 2
My school's RESNET office has a big sign in the main office that has RIAA with a line struck through it. :)




Cost of implementation
By Rav3n on 11/12/2007 9:46:43 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if the fixed costs associated with implementing this overly-rigorous network policing would outweigh the funds schools get from the government... ok, I am not sure they are entirely comparable, but who intends to cover these costs? How many more people will the university have to hire full-time? How much in software costs? Infrastructure upgrades?

The University of Oregon (http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20071102-quac... ) recently came out against the RIAA's practices, making some pretty valuable criticisms of their own ability to deduce all of the information the RIAA wanted. How much in resources do you pour into this, to reasonably overcome people sharing their computers?

It's a shame the RIAA spends so much lobbying and law-writing/prosecuting when they could be, oh, maybe developing new ways to distribute music, improving websites, and offering consumers something new and enticing...




What is the big deal?
By soxfan on 11/13/2007 7:29:14 AM , Rating: 2
Ok so part of this bill conditions the allocation of federal aid to a school on that school's willingness to dcomport with federal law. How is this a problem? It has long been held that the government may condition the allocation of federal funds in this way. As the most obvious example, the F1ederal Government conditions state roadway assistance/development dollars on the state setting the minimum drinking age at 21. A less obvious (or at least less well known example) is that the federal government at one point conditioned federal farmer's aid dollars on a farmer's willingness to not plant more than a certain amount of a given crop (essentially paying farmers to artificially restrict supply and prop up prices)

In the present case, the government is merely conditioning certain education dollars on a school's demonstration of cooperation with the RIAA, or in other words, the Federal Copyright laws. Absolutely nothing wrong with this from a legal standpoint. I'm not saying you have to like it, but there isn't much you can do about it except try to change the law.




Last I checked...
By Hieyeck on 11/13/2007 2:38:13 PM , Rating: 2
File sharing on the internet is inherently uncontrollable, as the internet itself is designed to be uncontrollable. So redundant and dispersed that there will always be ways to circumvent any form of crackdown. Torrents spawned from a crackdown of p2p apps. Newsgroups are regaining traction with easier to use interfaces and the implementation of SSL connections. It'll be prohibition all over again, and we know how that turned out.




rofl what an ironic comment
By kotix on 11/14/2007 1:09:32 PM , Rating: 2
"University leadership is overreacting, said the MPAA, and noted that schools that actively implement P2P counter-measures see far fewer copyright complaints — sometimes as little as zero per month."

If universities are so-called overreacting why would the entertainment industry even create an ammendment targeting school systems in the first place? epic lulz. so much effort for a purported low-level threat




It's clear...
By bupkus on 11/12/2007 9:27:35 PM , Rating: 1
The RIAA doesn't want to foot the bill and provide funding to staff the people needed to deal with piracy. They want government to pay. Government then is passing the buck to the universities (no new taxes) and saying basically to take monies from the funds they are currently receiving from Congress to eliminate this behavior.
If funds are diverted from university projects to combat P2P, then the students will receive less funding and resources for their education.
Hence, the students end up paying to fight piracy and the RIAA only spent enough to influence our whore politians.
It must be said somewhere, "spend the minimal [energy or money] necessary to leverage a maximum effect."




By clovell on 11/12/2007 4:32:17 PM , Rating: 4
> Everyone should be held accountable for their actions.

This is more like being held hostage than being held accountable.


By mindless1 on 11/12/2007 6:38:27 PM , Rating: 2
If the students were stealing university property that interferes with the university core mission.

Even so, do you claim no university property is stolen or defaced? Do you claim there are no other laws broken? The distinction is that this one special interest clause(s) are added to the bill when it only serves corporate interests and harms everyone else.


By mdogs444 on 11/12/2007 7:47:46 PM , Rating: 2
This isn't harming anyone. They arent threating to cut off funds because someone downloaded a song. What they are doing is threatening to cut off funds if the institutions do not make an effort to control their intranets and not allow the file sharing to take place. There is a big difference in those two.

Whether you think that downloading the music/movies should be legal or not is a different point that the one being made here because your argument should be taken up in court with the RIAA/MPAA. However, until that happens, it is copyright infringement and it is the responsibility of the university receiving federal money to put in efforts to stop the piracy from happening on their intranet.

It has nothign to do with breaking other laws, or what laws you determine to be worse than this. The fact is that if federally funded universities are providing IT services to students, it is their responsibility to control what those services are used for. After all, it is an educational institution, not an outlet to bittorrent.


By Spuke on 11/13/2007 2:17:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
However, until that happens, it is copyright infringement and it is the responsibility of the university receiving federal money to put in efforts to stop the piracy from happening on their intranet.
Yes it will harm people. You continue to miss the point. The point is that focusing these resources into ONE illegal act WILL affect other areas. AND is it really that important to curb illegal downloading to the point where it affects the education of ours students? You keep saying all the schools have to do is put something in place to reduce illegal downloading but you refuse to acknowledge that this bill WILL enable abuse. You can't tell me that the RIAA/MPAA won't STILL go after a school with these precautions in place. The bill doesn't allow for that distinction.

Some school will get sued and have their funding withheld. I say, illegal downloading is already illegal and there are already laws in place to deal with this without possibly destroying education to get it done.

And yes this does have everything "to do with breaking other laws, or what laws you determine to be worse than this" because there are no other laws that the schools are responsible for enforcing that have this much weight.


By clovell on 11/13/2007 5:46:13 PM , Rating: 1
To a certain extent, I agree. I'd rather the consequences were less draconian. I'd also rather that the bill was explicitly limited to mandating good-faith prevention measures and excluded any sort of specific detection of individuals. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.


By mindless1 on 11/14/2007 5:26:55 AM , Rating: 2
No, it is not "their responsiblity".

Be very very clear on this fact. It is not the responsibility of anyone providing service in any way, to police those using that service. That is why we have a real genuine police force! If you feel otherwise fine, just refund all my tax dollars that paid for a police force. With this extra money the RIAA overhead on media content is easier to swallow.


"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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