Monday, November 12, 2007

Democrats: Colleges must police copyright, or else

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

The U.S. House of Representatives bill (PDF), which was introduced late Friday by top Democratic politicians, could give the movie and music industries a new revenue stream by pressuring schools into signing up for monthly subscription services such as Ruckus and Napster. Ruckus is advertising-supported, and Napster charges a monthly fee per student.

According to the bill, if universities did not agree to test 'technology-based deterrents to prevent such illegal activity,' all of their students--even ones who don't own a computer--would lose federal financial aid.

'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,' a letter from university officials to Congress written on Wednesday said. "Lower-income students, those most in need of federal financial aid, would be harmed most under the entertainment industry's proposal."

Click here to read the rest of the article

I hate politics. This is a blatant example of lobyists lining the pockets of our lawmakers, and having them (our government) introduce legislation that benefits the lobyists. I have so little faith in our system in Washington. It's so bloated, so corrupt, and it doesn't seem to change no matter who you put back there. I hate the MPAA, the RIAA, their DRM, etc. It's just pathetic.


Macotar said...

On first blush I have to say I'm not a fan of RIAA MPAA or any other bunch of money grubbing leaches. But then I thought about colleges. Since they get a lot of their money from these grants, it would hurt them a lot more than it would hurt the individual students. I've always maintained that College is a business pure and simple, and this shows it for what it is. The difference of course it that at least College tries to offer an education, where the other bunch of leaches offer...ummm...well we should just be glad they are there to make sure we are properly entertained for a fair price that they deem is fair. Rotten rat bastards.

Scoops Mangum said...

I just love that it's a strong arm attempt to get the colleges to sign up for their online music and movie services. Even if a kid doesn't have a computer, even if they don't download anything, they can lose their grant because the kid next to him downloads a Britney Spears song. Trust me, colleges and universities also overcharge their students...especially text book costs. This is just a strong arm attempt for the entertainment industries to force their services onto campuses and hopefully milk that cash cow for all she is worth. They don't want to spend the time, energy and effort to make a better service that college kids will want to use, so they line the pockets of elected officials, and force their product onto the campuses under threat of removing federal funds to their students. Wow, that was a long run-on sentence. Ok, blood pressure is peaking, so I better hop off the soapbox.