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Congress to Fight Piracy with Education Funds

Zonk posted about 7 years ago | from the wait-we-need-those-for-books dept.

Music 163

Nomihn0 writes "The RIAA has announced that the House Education and Labor committee is considering an amendment, HR1689, to the Higher Education Act of 1965. The proposal would allocate federal education funds to anti-piracy measures on college campuses. Most concerning is the bill's wording. It's claimed that the proposal would 'save telecommunications bandwidth costs.' In other words, the government will fund private packet filtering and preferential bandwidth allocation. 'The Higher Education Act (HEA) generally allows schools to spend the money they receive only on certain prescribed areas such as financial aid grants and Pell loans. The new bill would allow that money to be used for more things, but does not contain a request for additional funding. Whether schools would be interested in using a limited pool of federal money to police student file-swapping remains to be seen.'"

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163 comments

This is SO gay! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18633817)

Incrrrrrrredibly gay. I can't stand the federal government. Congress needs to have its balls cut off with a scalpel or rusty machette.

It makes sense (0)

1155 (538047) | about 7 years ago | (#18633853)

It makes sense. If they can cut off the larger usage things, such as downloads of this nature, then the bandwidth usage will go down, resulting in cheaper bandwidth bills if they have the contracts setup that way.

Re:It makes sense (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18633969)

It makes sense. If they can cut off the larger usage things, such as downloads of this nature, then the bandwidth usage will go down, resulting in cheaper bandwidth bills if they have the contracts setup that way.
Nice try to get the first post! You didn't get it though, and your post still sucks, so you hopefully won't be modded up.
 
I have one concept that you should think of before you blurt out some stupid attempt to gain karma: Cost of Overhead

No it doesn't (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18634359)

Spending tax dollars to protect the interests of a specific private business (or set of such businesses) does not make sense.

Oh, and by the way, it is not "piracy." It is not even like piracy. It is data duplication. We should call it that.

Re:No it doesn't (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18634953)

And according to my mother, it's "getting things for free which *aren't* free, which is stealing no matter how much you try to hide behind loopholes and semantics, and whine about 'b-b-but nobody's being deprived of their property!,' you fucking faggot." Okay, I added that last part myself, but seriously. I'm so tired of the whole "it's easy for me to get shit for free, so it's THEIR problem!" argument. If my farm-raised mother can see that it's wrong, then I don't know how the fuck you uber-geniuses can't figure it out.

Re:No it doesn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18636325)

Right, and my farm-raised mother can see that 0.999... != 1, so I don't understand why you can't figure that out yourself.

Copyright infringement is not theft in the same way that rape is not drunk driving.

Re:It makes sense (5, Insightful)

beakerMeep (716990) | about 7 years ago | (#18634469)

Even if what you said is true, which I highly doubt (since from what I understand packet filtering and QoS is more expensive to run than adding bandwidth, and end to end encryption would defeat it I would think), who is to say the money saved from such an endeavor will go back into the Pell grants and the like?

Technical arguments aside, taking money away from student loans to finance this seems risky at best. If there is no clause that requires accounting of the money saved, and it's redirecting back towards student loans, this is certainly a Bad Investment(tm).

That also doesnt even begin touch on how it's morally wrong to use education money for the private interests of copyright holders.

Re:It makes sense (1)

hpavc (129350) | about 7 years ago | (#18634681)

It makes sense as in giving money to the RIAA's machine as extortion to keep them from attacking schools. It doesn't make sense otherwise, the RIAA can print their legal claims all they want. They don't need high techology means to do it.

Students can't read, helps rap industry. (5, Insightful)

CogDissident (951207) | about 7 years ago | (#18633877)

Anyone noticing that the RIAA and their associated music companies (keep in mind that their name is supposed to be hated, we're not supposed to hate sony/universal/emi and warner) tend to do things to piss off the most educated people, while the least educated don't notice? Also notice that the least educated people tend to listen to rap "music", and the associated pop music that these companies churn out? Personally, I'm sure that some executive is thinking, somewhere, that having a less educated country means more people to listen to their music. Besides the fact that they're using someone else's money to fight their battles for them.

Re:Students can't read, helps rap industry. (0)

superpulpsicle (533373) | about 7 years ago | (#18634601)

Why was this marked flamebait? This is fact. Uneducated folks make easy targets, since they cannot fight back. Remember the time some record company exec had a kid who pirated music. (Can't find article on it). You don't see him getting arrested.

Re:Students can't read, helps rap industry. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18634845)

Flamebait? So far, this is the only comment I've read that actually makes any sense. Looks like someone's using the moderation system for political purposes, and not for fostering any meaningful discussion.

Re:Students can't read, helps rap industry. (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 7 years ago | (#18634981)

Good point there about RIAA (sony/universal/emi/warner). I think I'll refer to RIAA (sony/universal/emi/warner) that way from now on.

And RIAA (sony/universal/emi/warner) is kind of easy to remember. RIAA(S/U/E/ W?) not sure about the W but RIAA (sony/universal/emi) forms a nice mnemonic!

Re:Students can't read, helps rap industry. (1)

Valtor (34080) | about 7 years ago | (#18636133)

We could just say sony/universal/emi/warner. It's even shorter and reminds us of who the bad guys are.

Re:Students can't read, helps rap industry. (5, Insightful)

Poppler (822173) | about 7 years ago | (#18636071)

Also notice that the least educated people tend to listen to rap "music", and the associated pop music that these companies churn out?
I also notice that quite a few educated people listen to pop music as well - it's just a form of pop that's more acceptable in their social circles. Of coarse, that doesn't stop them from condescending to people with less politically correct tastes.

Re:Students can't read, helps rap industry. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18636171)

Yeh, uz only unedumacated and ig'nant folks listen to rap!

Dumb ass.

Hmmm.... (2, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | about 7 years ago | (#18633887)

Remember when Ars Technica used to be 20 page articles about the details of new processor designs...?

Re:Hmmm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18634311)

Because you load 20 times more banners, not because the actually said anything that couldn't be put on one page.

Yuk. (4, Funny)

flitty (981864) | about 7 years ago | (#18633893)

In the year 2000, in the year 2000!

Students will learn from virtual classrooms, because the RIAA had taken all of the money for real campuses to fight online piracy.

In the year 2000, in the year 2000!

ObTag (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18633895)

obtag: arrrrghmemateys

So instead of... (5, Insightful)

cyphercell (843398) | about 7 years ago | (#18633905)

... financing education we will spend tax dollars on policing students, in order to save a dying industry? This is heavily F'd up, pell grants and loans don't pay for that much as it is. This deal must be great for the RIAA, less students receive funding to get into school (less piracy), and that money is spent harrassing those that can still afford to get there. Once again our tax dollars are going to work for industry rather than the people.

Re:So instead of... (1)

ShadowsHawk (916454) | about 7 years ago | (#18634019)

It's even worse than that. This will not stop the RIAA from trying to sue college students. So, they are removing funds that would to towards grants and they could potentially sue the effected student. Just another reason for me not to purchase their crap.

Re:So instead of... (5, Informative)

El Torico (732160) | about 7 years ago | (#18634103)

Here [house.gov] is the website of the Congresstoady who sponsored this bill.

Link to explination of the bill (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18634787)

Link to their explanation of the bill. [house.gov]

"Illegal downloading of music and movies on college campuses is harming their computer networks by consuming a huge amount of education-related bandwidth"

"There are numerous options to download music legally - online retailers such as iTunes, Napster, Rhapsody and eMusic charge varying amounts for song and album downloads."

I guess the legal music services don't use up bandwidth.

Re:So instead of... (1)

networkBoy (774728) | about 7 years ago | (#18635453)

Just remember. Dead trees with a postage stamp attract vastly more attention than e-mail.
-nB

Re:So instead of... (1)

sadler121 (735320) | about 7 years ago | (#18636255)

By the time it gets through security on the hill, the bill would have been voted into law.

If you want to contact your representative, and want to use paper, fax it.

Re:So instead of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18636251)

I swear, if people looked like human organs, this guy would be nearly, but not quite as attractive as a inflamed colon.

Re:So instead of... (0, Offtopic)

benj_e (614605) | about 7 years ago | (#18634279)

Why should the Federal government pay for anything related to education? It has no Constitutional role in education, and I resent my tax money being spent on education.

Re:So instead of... (1)

garcia (6573) | about 7 years ago | (#18634919)

Why should the Federal government pay for anything related to education? It has no Constitutional role in education, and I resent my tax money being spent on education.

Why is the Federal Government collecting tax money at all? I resent my hard earned dollars being taken from me (a $1600 swing this year because I got married late in 2005) when they have no right to do so other than having the power of force that we citizens don't possess.

Re:So instead of... (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | about 7 years ago | (#18635329)

Yes, things sounds much better in your happy world of no taxes where every road is a toll road and where you have to give your credit card to the Fire Department before they'll put out your house.

Re:So instead of... (1)

castle (6163) | about 7 years ago | (#18636161)

Arguably a good criticism of the libertarian utopia, but assuming income tax is the only way to fund government provided service is implied in your statement. Trade tariffs were the way in which the federal government was supposed to obtain revenue. This provided a natural incentive for the government to encourage trade (making more revenue for more international trade) and provided a natural constraint on intruding in the state citizens lives. A state government could institute something like an income tax for its citizens to pay for roads and schools and nice fire departments that don't require repayment from fire sufferers. Most fire departments where I live survive with money generated by citizen donations as well as state and federal grants. Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volunteer_Fire_Depart ment [wikipedia.org] (if it is to be believed) seems to verify my assertion indicating that 73 percent of all fire departments being volunteer fire departments, though I'm not an expert capable of verifying the accuracy of the statement.

How this all would relate to the RIAA legislation is not entirely clear. But the Feds have their interstate commerce clause to use with anything occurring over the wires, and the education department mandates the existence of a pool of money for educating students to be misused in this manner. Assuming the lack of an income tax would result in a completely dog-eat-dog society appears to be your position, I disagree. I say it is an oversimplification and is a sign of a lack of understanding of how a libertarian society would settle out.

Re:So instead of... (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 7 years ago | (#18636331)

"Why is the Federal Government collecting tax money at all? I resent my hard earned dollars being taken from me (a $1600 swing this year because I got married late in 2005)..."

Whew...man, you did it to yourself. Not only is the gov. taking a $1600 cut off you, but, you JUST effectively signed over half your shit to the lady you just married. If things go bad for her, or you decide you want to 'trade up' for a newer model...you lose half of your stuff...even if you had it before tying the knot.

Remember campers...at the most, just live with them, it is like leasing with an option to buy.

:-)

(do find out if you live in a common law type state...you might have time limits on how long you want them living with you...they can still get half)

Re:So instead of... (1)

Kohath (38547) | about 7 years ago | (#18634767)

This is heavily F'd up

Unlike the usual government spending. That's why we send the government our money. Because they are so much better at spending it than we are, with their vast wisdom, ruthless efficiency, and sterling track record for absolute success.

Once again our tax dollars are going to work for industry rather than the people.

So... Um... Maybe stop sending them? Perhaps try keeping the money in the hands of the folks who earned it?

(Oh, then it won't be working for "the people" either I guess, only for, you know, people.)

mandating DRM at taxpayer expense (1)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | about 7 years ago | (#18634849)

... financing education we will spend tax dollars on policing students, in order to save a dying industry? ...

It doesn't appear to be about policing but oriented toward technological 'solutions'. Basically it appears a way of mandating DRM, perhaps M$ DRM, into all the classrooms at taxpayer expense.

I have a better idea. Let's disband the RIAA and each of it's members, selling off the assets for Pell grants and interest-free study loans.

Why not (3, Interesting)

kassemi (872456) | about 7 years ago | (#18633915)

use this money to start classes covering how to fight back against multi-billion dollar corporations who instead of update their business legitimately, find a way to exploit, burden and profit from our legal system and government (be it through lobbying or mass no-name lawsuits).

Heck, just start a class that teaches "musical awareness," where you learn more about bands who distribute their music without the aid of said corporations.

Re:Why not (1)

Kohath (38547) | about 7 years ago | (#18634811)

Why not use this money to start classes covering how to fight back against multi-billion dollar corporations ...

Why not earn your own money and use it for your own reasons on whatever you want?

hmm (4, Interesting)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | about 7 years ago | (#18633979)

Maybe they should take away your federal student loans if your caught downloading music, they do it if your caught with pot.

Re:hmm (4, Interesting)

delirium of disorder (701392) | about 7 years ago | (#18634075)

Maybe they should take away your federal student loans if your caught downloading music, they do it if your caught with pot.

Downloading music is perfectly legal. Perhaps you refer to downloading copyrighted music from RIAA signed bands? Why anyone would want to download music from major label musicians (much less buy that shit), is beyond me. I want to relate to an artists view of the world; I want to share their experiences and ideas through their music. Knowing that they signed to the RIAA disgusts me so much that I just can't listen to them anymore. They become corporate shills instead of real human beings.

Why should you get kicked out of school for smoking pot? It's safer than alcohol and tobacco.

Re:hmm (2, Interesting)

Silver Sloth (770927) | about 7 years ago | (#18634239)

Why should you get kicked out of school for smoking pot? It's safer than alcohol and tobacco.
Because the drug laws are about perceived risk, not actual risk. No politician in his right mind is going to risk being seen as 'soft on drugs' - look at the fuss when canabis was downgraded from class B to class C her in the UK.

Meanwhile the lawmakers are drinking their double brandies and smoking their cigars (and tooting a little coke on the side) ...

Re:hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18634283)

Oh yeah, pot's so much safer than tobacco. It only contains far more carcinogens, isn't smoked through a filter, and has been linked to mental illness.

While I don't have a problem with pot (and alcohol and tobacco certainly do kill a lot of people and are as dangerous), it definitely has ruined more than a few lives. Just because the government shouldn't barge in our lives and tell us what to put in our bodies doesn't mean you shouldn't be informed about what pot actually has done to people.

Re:hmm (1)

delirium of disorder (701392) | about 7 years ago | (#18634389)

Oh yeah, pot's so much safer than tobacco. It only contains far more carcinogens, isn't smoked through a filter, and has been linked to mental illness.
Weed may have more carcinogens and no filter, but who's ever heard of a pack a day pot smoker? Marijuana users don't need to smoke as much as tobacco users to get the desired effect. Pot is also less addictive than tobacco. The link to mental illness hasn't been proven to be causal, just a correlation. Perhaps the population of weed users has a higher incidence of mental illness than the general population because people who are already mentally ill are more likely to use pot as a means of self medication?

Re:hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18635963)

tobacco addicts are ill - they're physically addicted to one of the most pointless drugs (pointless: doesn't give significant buzz or advantages except reversing that which it's taken away in the first place, unlike virtually every other drug!) to be addicted to on earth for chrissake!

Re:hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18636281)

"[Marijuana] contains far more carcinogens, isn't smoked through a filter"

You may be surprised to hear that there is no link [sciam.com] between marijuana use and lung cancer.

Re:hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18634119)

How about they actually "catch" some students, rather than just levying accusations and extorting a settlement under pain of being burried in lawyer's fees.

Re:hmm (3, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | about 7 years ago | (#18634521)

I know this is a joke, but this is precisely the sort of solution that appeals to a certain mentality.

Zero tolerance is the favorite strategy of the self-righteously stupid.

The reason for education grants is that the nation needs an educated citizenry to compete in the global economy. The days when our competitors were either bombed out or lacking a pot to piss in are over. There's nothing like feeling you are striking a blow for justice, even if you're only shooting yourself in the foot.

Re:hmm (1)

yoder (178161) | about 7 years ago | (#18634593)

Smoking pot = downloading music? Tax dollars taken away from education to pay for Corporate indoctrination?

This country is not going to hell. We're there already.

books (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18633989)

>from the wait-we-need-those-for-books dept

eh? just download the audio books off p2p. oh.. right.

Fascists (4, Interesting)

delirium of disorder (701392) | about 7 years ago | (#18633991)

When the state and the corporations work tirelessly together to control our lives, we live in a fascist society. Smart people are unable to go to college because of lack of funds, and congress wants to waist money earmarked for education doing the RIAA's bidding. If the filtering is implemented, no doubt it will block all sorts of legitimate p2p usage, create further surveillance of student usage, and be one further step in eliminating free speech on the Internet. I don't know how anyone can still buy major label music without a heavy burden of guilt weighing upon them, nor can I understand how anyone can continue to vote for the two corporate backed parties.

Re:Fascists (1)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | about 7 years ago | (#18634225)

Smart people are unable to go to college because of lack of funds, and congress wants to waist money earmarked for education doing the RIAA's bidding.

Would you happen to be one of those "smart people" who couldn't go to college because of lack of funds? The reason I'm asking is that you think the word is waist instead of waste .

Re:Fascists (1)

delirium of disorder (701392) | about 7 years ago | (#18634269)

Ya...I realized that mistake after I hit submit. No, I'm not one of those people. I don't plan to enroll in university. (Besides, I didn't graduate high school)

Simply limit bittorrent? (0, Flamebait)

twoallbeefpatties (615632) | about 7 years ago | (#18634045)

This seems to be a reaction with a full lack of understanding about how campus internet works. If too much money is being spent on bandwidth, then why not simply save money by placing bandwidth limits on each student and limiting access to common bittorrent ports and the like, instead of spending money to create a task force? LOL politics~

Re:Simply limit bittorrent? (1)

delirium of disorder (701392) | about 7 years ago | (#18634179)

This seems to be a reaction with a full lack of understanding about how campus internet works.
YOU seem to have a full lack of understanding about how the Internet works.

Why not simply save money by . . . limiting access to common bittorrent ports and the like. . .? LOL politics
Portblocking is totally ineffective at stopping file sharing. If you understand anything about TCP/IP, you realize that it's trivial to run any service on any port, or to use some kind of packetfilter to dynamically redirect port usage. You can also tunnel many services through a single channel (ssh for example).

Re:Simply limit bittorrent? (1)

Lumbergh (1053438) | about 7 years ago | (#18634209)

Shut off BitTorrent and you'll seriously aggravate all the WoW players on campus when Blizzard releases an update. Their update downloader uses torrenting to increase speeds.

Blocking protocols is a wrongheaded way to approach this kind of issue.

Re:Simply limit bittorrent? (3, Interesting)

witwerg (26651) | about 7 years ago | (#18635083)

If bandwidth is the problem it is better to attack that problem if you can because in order to ID P2P you would need at least a Layer 7 flow analysis to be done which is high tech voodoo and relies on the traffic protocol not being encapsulated in an encrypted layer. I have seen schemes where long term and short term data transfer tallies were used on a group of MAC addresses registered to user to dynamically limit bandwidth. If done right most users are unaffected and abusers of shared bandwidth get a 56k connection.

Carrot and Stick (1)

boyfaceddog (788041) | about 7 years ago | (#18634065)

Congress always provides a carrot and a stick. The carrot is ALWAYS funds and the stick is always penalties on funds.

The real question is - where's the stick?

This is ridiculous (5, Insightful)

Paulrothrock (685079) | about 7 years ago | (#18634071)

Kids will not listen to the federal government telling them not to steal music. They're used to "music as commodity." In fact, I'd say most of the kids in college today never used a computer without knowing you could get "free" music off of it. To them, this is like the federal government telling people to stop using cell phones because landlines are losing money.

The content industry needs to pull its head out of its ass. Times have changed. Your monopoly and ridiculous, antiquated system of telling people who gets what music or movies where is untenable in this day and age. Now that people have the ability to get the content they want from wherever it's produced, they'll do it. Why can't I buy Dr. Who from iTunes the day after it's released? I'd gladly do it. But because of an agreement that was struck decades ago, I have to wait for a butchered version to show up on Sci Fi if I want to get it legally. Why should Australians have to wait a year to get BSG on their TVs?

The content producers seem to have chosen to sue their fans rather than provide them with the content they want. And if they want too long, other, independent, content providers are going to eat their lunch.

(I know I'll get modded insightful, but I don't understand why. I'm just pointing out the obvious.)

Obvious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18634743)

I know I'll get modded insightful, but I don't understand why. I'm just pointing out the obvious.

If it truly was obvious, it would be unquestionable, and not even worth stating; However in doing so, you must be the only one able to answer this quandry. Do you know why you are posting?

Seriously though, it is worth stating because it isn't obvious. If it were, the situation would be different today. Hell, most people aren't even aware of their rights and how to protect them. This should be taught in school, but it isn't. Getting a job and finding what you want to do in life should be taught in school, but it isn't.

I don't reply to Anonymous Cowards.

Well la-de-da. Hopefully you still read 'em. Really... why limit yourself?

Re:This is ridiculous (1)

dpilot (134227) | about 7 years ago | (#18635221)

Because in spite of everything you say being "Score:5, Insightful/Obvious," the sticky point is being missed.

How do we make sure the artists get paid, so they can afford to keep being artists? Otherwise they need to pay the bills too, and may more likely end up in retail sales, slinging burgers, etc. Some say "concerts" and maybe that's the right model. But maybe not, because from what I've heard, some types of tours are so inherently expensive to pull off that they basically don't make significant money - they publicize album sales.

Actually, from what I've heard the existing recording industries don't do a very good job of this, most of the time. Now that I think of it, I wonder how much the movie industry is like the record industry... a few highly-paid superstars, and the vast majority struggling to make ends meet.

Re:This is ridiculous (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | about 7 years ago | (#18635559)

But maybe not, because from what I've heard, some types of tours are so inherently expensive to pull off that they basically don't make significant money - they publicize album sales.
Sure, you can't pull off a huge spectacle with lights and pyros and dancers maybe, but then again if your music is any good you don't need any of that stuff to entertain people anyway. Good musician's will find a way to make their music no matter what. They always have.

Re:This is ridiculous (2, Interesting)

Paulrothrock (685079) | about 7 years ago | (#18635571)

I think the way we get artists paid is two fold.

First, I think that iTunes showed that if you make the online store easy enough to use, people would rather buy from there rather than steal music. I know that I'd much rather spend a buck to get a song I like there than hunt down a good copy on a P2P service. And now that I can get certain songs DRM free and at virtually CD quality, why would I even use a P2P service?

Second, the Internet has empowered artists to go directly to the people. Folks like George Hrab and Jonathan Coulton have made enough money on their "side projects" to quit their day jobs. In fact, Jonathan Coulton has said that he makes more per month than the Dresden Dolls, who are signed to a major label.

So by making a distribution method easy for customers and artists alike, we create an environment where artists get money directly from the customers without going through hoops. And because the overhead is extremely low, there's no reason a good artist couldn't make a decent living.

The reason the record industry is failing to help smaller artists is because the old record industry had so much overhead. Between studio time, promotions, pressing the albums, and having so many people at so many levels taking a cut, the artists never really got rich unless they sold millions of albums.

Granted, this new music industry, and indeed the new content industry as a whole, won't make anyone super rich, but it will spread the wealth amongst many more artists, and create a system where exposure to artists is mostly word of mouth.

That is if the record companies don't succeed in smothering it in its crib.

College Costs (1)

rlp (11898) | about 7 years ago | (#18634077)

With college tuition costs going through the stratosphere, this is a really great use of public education money. I'm so glad that once again our public officials are looking out for the interests of their constituents.

Common carrier. (5, Insightful)

failure-man (870605) | about 7 years ago | (#18634115)

"Whether schools would be interested in using a limited pool of federal money to police student file-swapping remains to be seen."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the school "is your ISP", and therefore has common-carrier status. Why would they want to go to the trouble of censoring you? They would become liable for mistakes in doing so.

Not a common carrier (4, Informative)

hellfire (86129) | about 7 years ago | (#18634423)

If a college being your ISP is a common carrier, then the network at any business would be a common carrier. It's not.

It's not a common carrier because the only people who have any access to the network are people who attend the school or work there. In dorm rooms, the university simply extends the privilages to those in the dorms and provides you a more liberal usage policy as compared to a business.

John Q. Smith on the street can't simply walk into campus and say "give me a connection." There may be some gray areas here, such as extending service to alumni or some other groups, but in general campus ISPs are not considered common carriers.

This is ridiculous...a few questions... (2, Insightful)

Vokkyt (739289) | about 7 years ago | (#18634173)

First off, how exactly would it be possible to enforce this other than through willing submissions from universities? Short of a bunch of Men in Black (mibs) physically checking the server to ensure that these funds are going to implement the said packet filtration system, is there really a way to remotely check and/or enforce this? Would there have to be only one unified method used to perform the filtering, and if so, what about colleges with a system that is incompatible with that unified method?

I'm not really too keen on student money being sent towards incriminating students and limiting bandwidth, but I'm really wondering about the realism behind this bill; how the hell would it be enforced with private colleges and universities?

The title says all you need to know (5, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | about 7 years ago | (#18634177)

"Congress to Fight Piracy with Education Funds"

Why is Congress fighting anything? They are a legislative branch, not a law enforcement branch! Yes, sure, they have to be informed to create appropriate legislative action, but NO NEW LAWS are required.

Federal financial aid to educational institutions should not be messed with to "fight piracy"

If they want to fight piracy, authorize some more money. When new taxes are levied to 'fight piracy' perhaps joe public will pay attention. Additionally, like the war on drugs, this war on piracy is misguided at best.

Copyright laws seem to be working just fine for everyone but the **AA. Why is that? This is what Congress should be doing; asking why the **AA are having so much trouble when other people are not.

Re:The title says all you need to know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18634645)

like the war on drugs, this war on piracy is misguided at best

Except that it hasn't exactly caused the violent crime rate to skyrocket, locked millions of peaceful human beings in cages, and seeded quite as much corruption in government as the war on drugs has.

With that said, I do agree that this latest "war" will only result in bigger government and more injustice, same as any expansion of government.

Re:The title says all you need to know (1)

theoddball (665938) | about 7 years ago | (#18635773)

Why is Congress fighting anything? They are a legislative branch, not a law enforcement branch! Yes, sure, they have to be informed to create appropriate legislative action, but NO NEW LAWS are required.

Setting aside for the moment the efficacy of this bill (questionable at best, idiotic at worst), Congress has every right (and duty) to fight crime. Who do you think makes penal statutes? Defines civil infractions? That'd be the legislature. They're not a law enforcement branch--that's the executive--but they do a lot of agenda setting.

If they want to fight piracy, authorize some more money.

Uh...you know how Congress allocates funds? By passing laws. They legislate it; it's what they do.

That said, I don't know if I'd bet on this to pass. The lone sponsor is a junior Republican -- which is to say, the only support this bill has is from a low-ranking minority rep. Congress is unwieldy, but at least that stops junk like this from making it onto the books as law sometimes.

Can any one say D.A.R.E.? (3, Funny)

Starteck81 (917280) | about 7 years ago | (#18634185)

That'll be about as effective as the Drug Abuse Resistance Education class that taught all the pot heads in high school new ways to make a bong from a tin can. I mean common, it's not like people don't know what they're doing. They are either mad at the industry for all the DRM bull shit or they are just cheap and steal. Schools have never been super effective in teaching morals on stuff like this. In the end a person will do what ever is in their nature whether that means they'll pay for music or download it P2P.

I foresee class going like this.

Teacher: Class stay away from Bittorrent, Limewire and other P2P programs. You can download movies and songs without paying and that's bad because you're stealing.

Student: Wait, you don't have to pay?...How do you spell Bittorrent, I'm gonna go look that up!

Can I borrow your iPod? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18634265)

"Sure! Yours?"

"Of course!, MP3 right?"

"20,000 files, see you here tommorow"

"Bye"

"Bye"

Give it up RIAA, you can't win.

Wait till BlueRay drives are popular...

The bandwidth savings a real (3, Insightful)

Florian Weimer (88405) | about 7 years ago | (#18634289)

If you don't deploy some kind of filtering or attitude readjustment, most of your traffic will be file sharing (and the majority of that will be of questionable legality). If you can slash your network traffic to one fifth or even less, you can delay the provision of new equipment and new connectivity for quite some time. Traditionally, this means that the nominal bandwidth you can offer to students and researchers is no longer competitive, so there is a strong incentive not to police traffic too much. Nobody will fund you 10GE if you are running at less than a third of GE (peak of the five-minute average).

It could well be that the public as a whole is better off if this vicious circle can be broken. Diverting funding might be an option to achieve that. But HR 1689 doesn't really address the core issue. Saving bandwidth doesn't cost money, just reputation.

RIAA sensing the end? (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | about 7 years ago | (#18634293)

This seems so desperate... How scared must the recording industry be of losing profit if they are willing to slap schools in such a roundabout way? They must be aware that an election year is coming, and all their bill-passing supporters may be on the way out, so they're trying to sucker-punch us all one last time before they lose all ability to influence govt policy.

So what? (2, Insightful)

igotmybfg (525391) | about 7 years ago | (#18634339)

This amendment was introduced by Rep. Ric Keller (R-FL). Given that he is in the minority party, and the bill apparently does not have a Democratic co-sponsor (although I didn't look very hard), it is likely that it will die in committee, as most bills do.

I surely hope so... (1)

FatSean (18753) | about 7 years ago | (#18634733)

...The Democrats aren't much better than the Republicans at this part of the game however. I'll have to keep an eye on this.

As opposed to other wastes like... (1)

MikeRT (947531) | about 7 years ago | (#18634365)

Great, near hotel room level accommodations for students? My alma mater got, IIRC, about $100M from the state to spend. It basically wasted it on things that were not even needed like renovating student housing to make it look great to middle and upper class parents, not be safe, clean and functional. They spent God only knows how much money on decorations like flower beds, and this was a "good school!" Waste, waste, WASTE! And they didn't even fix the parking.

So why am I not outraged? This **MIGHT** actually cut back on how students use the network. We had two T3s that were constantly choked by student file sharing. It got to the point for a while before they put the traffic shapers in place that you couldn't even reliably get to anything on Google half the time.

This is just plain wrong (2, Interesting)

kurt555gs (309278) | about 7 years ago | (#18634385)

First off, this really shows who congress serves, large contributors, and not the people. "Piracy" is being defined as the use of copyrighted works for any purpose without paying some big company. This is not the case, Fair Use allows many types of copying and use of copyrighted materials without any royalty being due.

This is the problem of the RIAA and MPAA not the government.

If the &^AA thinks they find individual probles , let them take action using civil law.

Subsidizing the biased terror tactics of the &^AA's and the BSA is clearly using our government power to unjustly enrich these greedy and evil entity's.

Public Funding of elections is what is really needed to stop this.

Cheers
   

Re:This is just plain wrong (1)

darjen (879890) | about 7 years ago | (#18634987)

Subsidizing the biased terror tactics of the &^AA's and the BSA is clearly using our government power to unjustly enrich these greedy and evil entity's. Public Funding of elections is what is really needed to stop this.
So, you are advocating that it is not ok for the government to use our money to support the RIAA. Yet, the government should be allowed to take people's money and spend it on politicians, some of whom the said people are very likely to disapprove of. I am personally horrified that they have the ability to spend my tax dollars on Republicans who support bombing Iraq, or Democrats who insist I live my life in certain ways. I don't see any way to reconcile your statement. Furthermore, it is not clear at all how public funding would stop this RIAA madness.

Re:This is just plain wrong (2, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | about 7 years ago | (#18635031)

Public Funding of elections is what is really needed to stop this.

If you want politicians to be even more insulated from the needs of their constituents, public funding is the way to go. If you want elections to be even more biased in favor of incumbents, public funding is the way to go (unless you somehow believe the politicians would setup a funding source that puts themselves at a disadvantage).

The way to stop things like this is to limit power and cut budgets. The government shouldn't have the power or the money to do something like this in the first place.

dum dum (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18634411)

Maybe they should make sure the students can READ before they start sucking money up for this.

What about real piracy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18634417)

What about the piracy of publicly funded works being privately owned? What about the piracy of ideas, where an entity (such as a corporation) can claim to "own" an idea, and enforce it?

Oh no! QoS and packet filtering! (1)

FDDIcent (1085001) | about 7 years ago | (#18634503)

Let's just get this disclaimer out there: I am no fan of the RIAA. I am however disturbed by what appears to be a recent trend on Slash/Digg badmouthing bandwidth allocation by ISPs, colleges and publicly accessible corporate networks. Do you guys think the RIAA invented DiffServ, IP Precedence and CBWFQ? Do you guys not realize what would happen if college campuses took an egalitarian approach to bandwidth allocation? "Gee, BiTtorrent deserves just as much bandwidth as our campus wide VoIP network and H323 lectures from foreign universities". You're average college kid is going to treat your bandwidth like free beer and suck up every last drop they can. It's called the Tragedy of the Commons.

Go, go, go! (1)

DimGeo (694000) | about 7 years ago | (#18634619)

War on education and young people, go! Those filthy young ones, all they think of is the initial sin, right? <rant>Although the initial sin was trying to be equal to God (pride), not sex. By the way, Adam and Eve couldn't have been adulterating if it was just the two of them, and they were married, right?.</rant> Anyway, let's sue them kids, let's take their money away, let's brainwash them, let's put them in jail, that will teach them, right? They need to learn that being younger than us power people never pays.

That means that if I go back to Europe, my kids will have much better chances in life than any of yours... Oh well, so be it then.

iPhone batteries "die in 40 minutes" (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18634641)

iPhone batteries "die in 40 minutes"

Apple fanboys kill the messenger

By Nick Farrell: Friday 06 April 2007, 07:14

APPLE FANBOYS have really been going for hack John C Dvorak after one of his sources in Cingular told him the iPhone's batteries lasted just 40 minutes.
During Episode 93 of the spodcast this Week in Tech (TWiT)Dvorak said he received information from "a guy at Cingular who's testing the product." The unnamed, male Cingular employee told Dvorak "there's lots of issues" with the iPhone.

Dvorak said that the iPhone was blighted with not having a removable battery, so "you run 20 minutes and you're using up half the battery power. You get 40 minutes total talk time. And the interface fouls up constantly."

The Cingular geezer or geezerette asked Dvorak not to tell anyone. OK it is a "man in the pub told me" style story, but it does not mean that there is no truth behind it. Certainly it is an odd thing to make up.

But the fan boys are up in arms about the comment and every where the story appears on the interweb there is a diatribe from at least three fanboys about how unreliable Dvorak is as a reporter.

One post said that Dvorak had a background in news and was therefore not qualified to write about technical stuff. Others sited a 1991 prediction he made that didn't come true.

One poster said that if Steve Jobs said that 40 minutes on the phone was long enough to speak to someone that must be OK and he would curtail his usage immediately. Another added that if people used their phones longer than 40 minutes there must be something wrong with them.

More here: http://www.twit.tv/93 [www.twit.tv] [www.twit.tv] [www.twit.tv] [www.twit.tv] [www.twit.tv]

Problem with Congress' Legislative Infrastructure (1)

rewinn (647614) | about 7 years ago | (#18634667)

IS2M a deeper issue is not whether the policy of discouraging downloading is good or bad, but whether Congress should combine that issue with the issue of funding Pell grants. These are really two separate matters that could be addressed in different bills.

It is as if Congress were to put 2 different bugs into a single bug ticket. Trying to figure out whether the proposed fix will work gets harder the more things you put into a single fix.

Yeah, and...? (1)

Mr_eX9 (800448) | about 7 years ago | (#18634707)

This isn't news. Ridiculous bills like this get considered all the time. Hasn't some congressman sponsored a bill to re-initiate the draft within the last year?

This amendment to the HEA is completely ludicrous--I trust our lawmakers to strike it down.

Great... (3, Funny)

djones101 (1021277) | about 7 years ago | (#18634751)

So my federal student aid, which I amazingly want to use to actually finish my education, can now be used to sue one of my classmates to the point that they are forced to drop out of school, which reduces job income, and eventually works through the cycle into the fact that I get even less student aid than I got before. Self-perpetuating destruction of the college education system...brought to you by the RIAA/MPAA/MAFIAA!

Act now (1)

luckymutt (996573) | about 7 years ago | (#18634821)

This is bullshit. Here are the members of the House Education and Labor committee:
Committee members [house.gov]
Please, start to express to these people how misguided this effort is NOW before he can get a co-sponsor and take it further.
Ric Keller is a member of the Pell Grant Caucus, and as such, he will need to drastically re-write This Page [house.gov] if this thing goes through.

There is a bigger problem (3, Interesting)

darjen (879890) | about 7 years ago | (#18634887)

I can definitely appreciate the many posts so far on this story that condem this blatant corporate/government abuse of our education system. However, it's too bad that many people don't see the root of this problem. This type of philandering has been the modus operandi of our government for years, in just about every industry. The government's interference in the technology and entertainment markets are just as heinous as paying farmers not to grow crops in order to keep prices up, or appropriating money from social security into their pet pork projects. I look forward to the day when peaceful citizens do not have their resources forcibly taken from them in order to fund completely irrelevant ventures that mostly profit the wealthy, moneyed interests of our country. Unfortunately, it is all too easy to mis-use money when it is not yours to begin with. Especially when it is almost never in line with the "public interest", whatever that means.

I'm All For IP Law Education! (3, Insightful)

Greyfox (87712) | about 7 years ago | (#18635457)

Everyone should get at least a semester of it! Start with the history -- original copyright and patent lengths and intentions, the subversion of those intentions by corporate lobbies and what you are and are not allowed to do with various media. There's a lot of ignorance surrounding the current situation and I think that people do need to be educated about it. I think that if a lot more people were aware of what a tangled mess the current set of laws are, they'd get straightened out eventually. Oh wait... that's not what the industry wants?

Stupid. (1)

L4m3rthanyou (1015323) | about 7 years ago | (#18635573)

Apparently the RIAA thinks the flood of subpoenas and "pre-settlement letters" it's sending out isn't enough to encourage universities to fight piracy on their own... idiots. UCLA was spewing anti-piracy crap all over even BEFORE they started targetting colleges.

College vs ISP (1)

iamcledus (1085041) | about 7 years ago | (#18635895)

As an employee within the higher education system, it certainly seems as of late that the RIAA is targeting colleges and relaxing their stranglehold on private ISP's. Are others seeing this as well?

No Record Company Left Behind (2, Insightful)

sizzzzlerz (714878) | about 7 years ago | (#18635965)

The NRCLB Act of 2007 will ensure that under-performing record companies get their fair share of taxpayer funds in order to prop up their dying business models. A Congressional Spokeman stated "this act guarantees that these poor companies and their starving executives continue to provide campaign funds to us congress-critters that are so desperately needed during these lean times." He added "its a win-win situation for them and for us." When asked about how this impacts actual funds for higher education for actual students, he quipped "for who?".

Bill Introduced by Lone Republican (2, Insightful)

AlbionTourgee (918996) | about 7 years ago | (#18636007)

Hey, this bill was introduced by an anti-labor, pro-war Republican, with zero co-sponsors. Yes, the RIAA might dream of using educational funds to prevent sharing of information, but what with even major music companies bailing out from RIAA, I don't think they can strong-arm anything through. What with guys like the sponsor of this stupid bill in the minority, it really is worth slashdotters who obviously feel strongly about this to take a few minutes to let the members of the committee know how you feel.

Sample letter for your Rep (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18636101)

http://www.house.gov/writerep/ [house.gov]

Here's what I wrote to my House Rep, I urge you to do the same:
--------
I am writing you today to urge you to OPPOSE the recently introduced bill "H.R. 1689: To provide support to combat illegal downloading on college and university campuses".

I'm dismayed that the House is wasting time and taxpayer money with this bill, who's real purpose is clearly the support the dying business model of much of the American entertainment industry. While the bill is ostensibly purposed to reduce computer-bandwidth costs at large universities and increase computer network security at these campuses, I believe those reasons do NOT match its real purpose. There are many high-bandwidth applications college students make use of which are NOT illegal and do NOT support educational initiatives, such as streaming internet radio, online software installers and updaters (like Steam), online video (like YouTube), and many others. I don't see any House bills introduced to top the use of *those* services to decrease band-width usage.

In addition, we should not be taking federal funds away from *real* educational initiatives to teach college students that, essentially, "stealing is bad", a concept they should have learned in kindergarten. If I had to choose between that message and a more worthwhile educational message (like real college classes, perhaps?), I'd choose the later any day.

I'd also like to take issue with item 3 in "SEC. 2. FINDINGS": "(3) Additional staff and resources are required to respond to notices of illegal downloading, costing more money." There is NO need for colleges to respond to these notices in any way, shape, or form. They are merely threatening letters designed to extort money from college students who the sender (RIAA, MPAA, etc) believes downloaded materials illegally. If the student pays a few thousand dollars, the sender won't take them to court (not that they'd win anyway, these are just fishing expeditions). A subpoena is an entirely different matter, and these notifications are NOT subpoenas.

In conclusion, please oppose H.R. 1689.

In other news, kindergardeners taught safe driving (1)

iamacat (583406) | about 7 years ago | (#18636221)

Abstract and artificial concepts like IP is not something college students can comprehand. Lets hope they don't get in trouble with basic things such as using birth control or knowing their alcohol tolerance. Just exempt anyone under the age of 25 from copyright laws and let them not get into a habit of pirating in the first place. Of course current copyrights last way too long to make sense to anyone, not just kids.
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