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, 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.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) applauded the proposal, which is embedded in a 747-page spending and financial aid bill. "We very much support the language in the bill, which requires universities to provide evidence that they have a plan for implementing a technology to address illegal file sharing," said Angela Martinez, a spokeswoman for the MPAA.

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.

The prospect of losing a combined total of nearly $100 billion a year in federal financial aid, coupled with the possibility of overzealous copyright-bots limiting the sharing of legitimate content, has alarmed university officials.

When did shame become an extinct species?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it possible that you didn't understand that the students, the RIAA and indeed virtually the entire population of the U.S. is singing from the exact same page of the exact same hymnal? When everyone is raised in a culture which has whole professional cheerleading sections for all kinds of get-your-own-first-and-fuck-the-rest-of-'em contests, what is there to be surprised or shocked about when the behavior is carried to a logical extreme? Indeed, the carrying of that type of behavior to logical extremes is the finest, purest example of that kind of behavior. There is NO REAL humility in any corner of America. If you dare try not to fight for more than your fair share of the pie you are left in no doubt that you are defective, weird, un-American even. Since it requires an incredibly strong sense of self to withstand that onslaught, I am correct in asserting that there are effectively no non-"players" in the U.S. That acknowledged (I know, you'll never acknowledge it publicly) the working out of the details of this "life" style is left as an exercise for the class. But there should not be any surprises, no real ones anyway, no matter how shocked you pretend to be. Virginia Tech shootings, RIAA breaking your door down, telcos fucking you electronically and getting ex post facto absolution, routine strip searches at the airport, submachine toting guards to 'protect' the subways; take your pick. They're all just scenes in one smooth unblemished picture of a giant pimple on the face of humanity. Not that others elsewhere are better, but the U.S. has made it a point of pride to be the worst, about everything. I mean, being number one in some area must count. Right?


8:46 AM  

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