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Bill Would Tie Financial Aid To Anti-Piracy Plans

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the finest-congress-money-can-buy dept.

Education 425

theodp writes "The MPAA is applauding top Democratic politicians for introducing an anti-piracy bill that threatens the nation's colleges with the loss of a $100B a year in federal financial aid should they fail to have a technology plan to combat illegal file sharing. The proposal, which is embedded in a 747-page bill, has alarmed university officials. '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,' said university officials in a letter to Congress. 'Lower-income students, those most in need of federal financial aid, would be harmed most under the entertainment industry's proposal.'"

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425 comments

But don't worry ... the democrats are in control (4, Insightful)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312653)

So no worries right ? After all they're socialists. Using the governments power to mandate good behavior is very un-social right ? And forcing centrally made decisions upon everyone in the country is very unlike the democrats, right ? Oh wait ...

Don't worry democrats won't let you down (*cough*)

Re:But don't worry ... the democrats are in contro (2, Insightful)

pallmall1 (882819) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312689)

Looks like we've been fooled again [thewho.net].

Re:But don't worry ... the democrats are in contro (1)

McFadden (809368) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312997)

Looks like we've been fooled again.
There's an old saying in Tennessee... I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee... that says, fool me once, shame on... shame on you. Fool me... you can't get fooled again.

Re:But don't worry ... the democrats are in contro (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312727)

Well in reality Bush is more Democrat then Republican... The reasons Democrats hate him is the majority of Democrats are Liberal Bias too. But Bush is Neo-Conservative, So it is all the big Government of the Democrats with the Neo-Conservative values. You listen to the rants some of the people do like on Digg, about Bush and you read what they should do. It is almost like reading from the Republican Guideline book... They just don't realize it because hatred of Bushes "Ethical Views".
Republicans can be Against Big Business, Pro-Choice, Pro-Gay, Anti-War, Against Dethpenality... It is just that most of them arn't.

Re:But don't worry ... the democrats are in contro (1)

WedgeTalon (823522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21313057)

Exactly. All of these NeoCons are more "down" than "right", and most Dems these days are leaning "down" too, though they are still more true to their liberal roots than Reps are to their conservative.

And what is this NeoCon/"down" position called? Authoritarian [ninjawords.com].

This is why people are so confused by Ron Paul and asking if he's running in the right party. He may lean Libertarian ("up"), but he's more Republican than any of those other bozos.

Democrats are socialists? (5, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312867)

If you think democrats are socialists, you have some really screwed up vision of what it means to be a socialist. From a european view, the democrats are right wing, just a bit shy of being extreme right wing (neo-nazi). Republicans would come dangerously close to extreme right wing.

The most liberal democrat would still be considered a right-winger.

A true socialist believes in universal healthcare, a minimum wage that you can support a family on, maximum working week, state funded education for everyone, unions (not US style unions), equality, taxing the rich to support the poor.

Not exactly stuff the democrats seem to care about. No, not even hillary.

To be fair, the US is a totally different culture then western europe. You made your system work, we made our system work. One of the biggest culture clashes is that neither side seems capable of understanding that the other side LIKES their system.

If you tell the swedes that they are insane that they have their working population support a segment that could work but doesn't, they wouldn't understand what you are on about. They think their welfare system makes for a nice place to live in. If you told a working american that X% of his taxes went to a career student the ceiling would hit the roof.

The french LIKE their huge goverment system.

One of the most serious errors you can make in the world is to try and force your countries system on another (Oh yeah, Iraq is a very definite example of this.)

But even so, allowing democrats to be called socialists is going to far, just because they make up the US political left, does not make then socialist. By european standards they would definitly be on the right end of the spectrum and be dangerously close to the far right.

Far right is NOT extreme right, it is the difference between being loving your country, and hating foreigners.

IF the US has a problem (IF, it is kinda like saying, Oh Bill Gates is no longer number 1, he is in trouble, I would like to have his troubles) it is that its two party system has resulted in people having a choice between a moderate right winger who leans a bit to the left and a moderate right winger who leans a bit to the right. The end result is that whichever you pick, you get a compromise candidate who is always a rightwinger trying to appeal to both leftish right wingers and right wing right wingers.

That doesn't leave a lot of room for trying a new direction. The dems can't go to the center, for fear of alienating the right wing, and the republicans can't go to far too the right for fear of alienating the moderates on their side.

From a EU perspective it is often very hard to spot the difference between US presidential candidates.

But make no mistake, none of them is a socialist. Read up on what it means and you might see why the US can never go for it. It ain't in your countries culture. An american would recoil at the state providing for him from grib to grave. In the EU, we thing that is nice and exactly what we have goverment for.

(Please note I am being very generic here, so please don't tear my head off because you live in the US and are a communist or you live in the EU and want bushes baby).

Re:Democrats are socialists? (1, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 6 years ago | (#21313043)

The french LIKE their huge goverment system.
Incorrect. A lot of them - in particular, the unemployed who get paid for doing nothing and large numbers of public sector workers who get paid for doing very little - like the system.

Far right is NOT extreme right, it is the difference between being loving your country, and hating foreigners.
Far or extreme right are subjective terms depending largely on what your own views are. To a communist, the centre appears extreme right.

Re:Democrats are socialists? (0, Troll)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 6 years ago | (#21313163)

The french LIKE their huge goverment system.

Incorrect. A lot of them - in particular, the unemployed who get paid for doing nothing and large numbers of public sector workers who get paid for doing very little - like the system.

Irrelevant. The majority of French voters like their system. That's called a democratic republic in action.

Far right is NOT extreme right, it is the difference between being loving your country, and hating foreigners.

Far or extreme right are subjective terms depending largely on what your own views are. To a communist, the centre appears extreme right.

To any outsider, the US political system appears far right. The fact you think the rest of the world are communists is again irrelevant.

Re:Democrats are socialists? (-1, Flamebait)

SQL Error (16383) | more than 6 years ago | (#21313195)

A true socialist believes in universal healthcare, a minimum wage that you can support a family on, maximum working week, state funded education for everyone, unions (not US style unions), equality, taxing the rich to support the poor.
Also free love, free beer, and the tooth fairy.

Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21312655)

I believe the obvious reply is "wtf?"

The United States is throughly corrupt. (5, Insightful)

Ckwop (707653) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312663)

This is shocking. I really mean that in the full sense of the word. This has completely and totally shocked me. It's not necessarily the actions the media-industry that have disappointed me; that was no surprise and this sort of behaviour is totally expected of them.

It's the out-and-out corruption of the people who hold office. They don't even try to conceal the fact they're bought and paid for. It's completely obscene. There is no way that any rational politician would draft such a proposal.

What the hell do you do about it? Like the United Kingdom [1] you have a first-past-the-post system of electing government. What this means is that you have two parties who exchange power at regular intervals with very little prospect of a third, forth or fifth party getting in to the running.

In my view, this is no improvement whatsoever on the aristocratic feudal system that the whole American enterprise was meant to fix. In the United Kingdom the Catholic aristocracy and the Protestant aristocracy fought for political supremacy down a number of centuries.

You might have different names for them, "Republican" and "Democrat", and their values are different to our aristocrats but the mechanics are fundamentally the same. I mean, you're on your second aristocrat from the Bush family and you're likely to get your second helping of from the Clinton family. Without wanting to flame-bate: Does that sound like the American dream to you?

Once you have accepted the difficult fact that you are under the thumb of two aristocratic bodies then corruption is essentially impossible to eliminate without a revolution. Corruption just comes at twice the price.

How we fight them? I am not an expert on the political structure of the United States, but could the recent Real ID rebellion be expanded in to a more protracted battle? I broadly think that the threatening the cut of funds to a state to ram through some policy decision from Washington offends the nature of the Constitution. If the forefathers wanted an Omnipotent Congress they would have adopted a Parliamentary system like our own.

In a sense, Congress has exploited a hole in the Constitution via a broad interpretation of the Interstate Commerce clause and using the stick of withholding funds to pressure state legislatures.

I think the states are the solution to this problem but it will require radical swift action to succeed.

Simon

[1] - I want to preface it with this comment with this - our country is no better and everything I say here can be said of the United Kingdom.

Re:The United States is throughly corrupt. (4, Interesting)

aurispector (530273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312703)

You must be young because this kind of crap has been going on for ages. The worst part is that while the people are saying the bush presidency has been a catastrophe, congress is really the one to blame.

The only difference between the crap going on now and in previous eras is that all the easy ways of cheating have been used up, so congress has to push the envelope in order to serve their corporate masters.

Nobody in congress is serving the interests of the people. Even Ron Paul is more interested in ideology. I'm tired of visionaries; I want someone practical.

Re:The United States is throughly corrupt. (3, Insightful)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312719)

Politicians ARE practical. It is very practical to line your pockets with money when you have some power.

Ideology is what makes a society better(or worse, depending on your pov).

Re:The United States is throughly corrupt. (1)

aurispector (530273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312791)

What I mean is ideology is useless if it doesnt serve the interests of the people. When the economy finally implodes and everyone is out on the street, we MIGHT see real change if the american people havent been so thoroughly sheepified that they realize a revolution is the only real solution.

Thomas Jefferson said it first.

Re:The United States is throughly corrupt. (1, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312717)

you have a first-past-the-post system of electing government. What this means is that you have two parties who exchange power at regular intervals with very little prospect of a third, forth or fifth party getting in to the running.
It means nothing of the sort. And the UK system isn't much like the US one either. Where's the UK electoral college, for one?

Re:The United States is throughly corrupt. (1)

ZombieWomble (893157) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312777)

Where's the UK electoral college, for one?
I think the Queen would object a little if we set about putting together the mechanisms for the election of a president. GP was comparing elections to Parliment with elections to Congress/Senate.

Re:The United States is throughly corrupt. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21312801)

What the fuck is a "parliment"? I don't think either the UK or the US has one.

Re:The United States is throughly corrupt. (2, Funny)

ZombieWomble (893157) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312819)

It's a typo. From what I've seen on the internet, both the UK and US are chock full of them.

Re:The United States is throughly corrupt. (1, Interesting)

thue (121682) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312893)

IMO the US needs to switch to some form of proportional representation [wikipedia.org], which would make it possible for new parties to establish themselves.

Right now a party needs a plurality in a district to get a representative, which sets the bar for entry very high. With proportional representation a party with 5% national support spread out over the whole nation would still be represented.

Re:The United States is throughly corrupt. (1)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 6 years ago | (#21313045)

The last time I remember a third party candidate getting more than 5% was Ross Perot. I can't think of many before him. Nader didn't do it despite all the rallying... so I don't see that forming a multi-party system.

Re:The United States is throughly corrupt. (1)

doggod (1081287) | more than 6 years ago | (#21313019)

How we fight them?
My current favorite is http://downsizedc.org/ [downsizedc.org].

They take the position that since the structure for people to enter the political game (elections) is, as you say, totally rigged, there's no point in expending effort in it. Instead, they have set up a system for steadily, incrementally hammering away at the quasi-royalty in power to bring about change.

Interestingly, it seems to be working so far, and the bigger they get the more it's working.

Re:The United States is throughly corrupt. (2, Insightful)

darjen (879890) | more than 6 years ago | (#21313261)

That sounds all well and good, but IMO the only real way to fight them is to hit em where it hurts - their pocketbook. In other words, stop paying taxes to the federal government. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_resistance [wikipedia.org] The more people who resist, the more they will have to change their utterly, completely corrupt policies. How can you honestly say it's working when crap like this story keep coming up? Don't get me wrong, I love Ron Paul, and contributed to his campaign, but I still don't think it's possible to place any faith in honest politicians to really change things.

Re:The United States is throughly corrupt. (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 6 years ago | (#21313121)

Like police and other officials in authority, shouldn't the government not accept funds that go to individuals, but use any money given to them for example to pay off the debt or to reduce taxes or to give grants? Shouldn't the president live on minimum wage, if that's only what's necessary to live? Shouldn't the president be monitored by the people 24/7 to make sure they're doing a good job, to keep our interests at the forefront? The president is a public servant, so shouldn't their lives be dedicated to the public they are serving for the period of time that they are in office? After they are out of office, why do they still receive salaries? If all of this stuff didn't happen, then maybe the person who would take the job would do it because they really want the job badly, and not because of any other incentives, as there should be no other incentives. For the person that's supposed to run the country, shouldn't they do it out of purely wanting to improve things and wanting to be in that position?

When a company tries to attract employees, they try to foster an environment that would be best for who they want. Look at Google, for example. They give their employees time to tinker with hardware and software that geeks would wet their pants for, so they attract bright minds that would work there even if there wasn't a high salary (but you gotta live). There's a lot of stuff I really don't get about the government. To attract a good president for that position, shouldn't they have to live by the rules they set (i.e. minimum wage is supposed to be enough for the cost of living, and why should the president live in a medium that isn't equivilant to that of the average american?), and shouldn't they have to want to do well in that position (i.e. their incentive to get into that position is to change things for the better, not to get paid and have it made in the shade)?

The environment we have created for president and I guess for a lot of the federal government is not condusive to what they are supposed to accomplish. It's more like dropping some people off at playland... I believe that they're severely out of touch with reality because they don't live like real people and aren't subject to real conditions with real consequences, and they don't have enough of a stake in normal every day lives that they would want to protect normal every day lives, or think about how people live and how to improve the situation for citizens.

Am I making sense? Cause honestly I can't even believe the government exists as-is today... considering what they are supposed to stand for and considering what would be ideal for the people and also considering many of the people we consider heroes in political history and the history of creating the american dream and what it's supposed to stand for.

That's why they are politicians and you are not (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21312671)

They find ways to cut education spending and make it look like it's someone else's fault.

Re:That's why they are politicians and you are not (1)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 6 years ago | (#21313249)

This move just goes with my belief that the US government truly wants the American population to become less educated. Ignorant people are much easier to manipulate and control then people who think for themselves.

Not that big a deal. (5, Insightful)

WK2 (1072560) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312673)

We already knew that the MPAA would want something like this, and that they are willing to draft congressional bills. We also knew that plenty of politicians, including democrats, are owned by them.

This is only a proposal.

It Really IS NOT that big a deal. (2, Insightful)

ubuwalker31 (1009137) | more than 6 years ago | (#21313243)

SEC. 487. INSTITUTIONAL AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS.

(a) DISCLOSURE OF POLICIES AND SANCTIONS RELATED TO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT.
--Section 485(a)(1) (20 U.S.C. 1092(a)(1)) is amended-- ....
"[incorporate] institutional policies and sanctions related to copyright infringement
(i) including--distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject the students to civil and criminal liabilities;
(ii) a summary of the penalties for violation of Federal copyright laws;
(iii) a description of the institution's policies with respect to unauthorized peer to-peer file sharing, including disciplinary
actions that are taken against students who engage in unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using the institution's information technology system; and
(iv) a description of actions that the institution takes to prevent and detect unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material on the institution's information technology system.".

---

So, basically, the way I read this, the legislation is a hat-tip to the MPAA...but it has absolutely no teeth. It requires colleges to basically hand out a pamphlet about the "evils of file-sharing" and to have some sort of INTERNAL system up to punish file sharers and an INTERNAL technological system to prevent unauthorized file sharing. Effectively, if the MPAA comes to the University saying "give us the names of the students", the college can say "we have disciplined the student internally, and it won't go on his record, and now go away, so we can finish educating our student without the interruption of a lawsuit."

Of course, this proposed bill (which hasn't even hit THOMAS yet) completely ignores the fact that the university might use peer to peer file sharing to exchange free software for classes, for students to exchange pictures of extra-curricular activities, scholarly collaboration, or use of bittorrent or file sharing technologies for medical doctors to be able to help isolated Tibetan doctors perform complicated surgeries, etc.

Yep, take the internet away from US control! (4, Funny)

Teun (17872) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312675)

If this isn't the perfect example why nations like China and Russia want control of the internet not to be with the US, now you can't even trust them Democrats!

;)

747 pages? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21312677)

I find the page count to be more ridiculous than the proposal itself.

Re:747 pages? (5, Insightful)

Palpitations (1092597) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312853)

For those keeping track, the PATRIOT Act was only 342 pages [epic.org] (PDF warning) - and wasn't really read by anyone who signed off on it because it was long, had a nice name, and there was a sense of urgency to pass it.

I get the feeling that with more than twice the pages and a nice name attatched to it (College Opportunity and Affordability Act), this will get a similar reception. "Oh, well, it has a nice name - and it's far too long to bother reading and understanding... Plus, if I vote against it I'll be mentioned as voting against opportunity and affordability for students!"

Sad, but true.

Re:747 pages? (1)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 6 years ago | (#21313231)

i I get the feeling that with more than twice the pages and a nice name attatched to it College Opportunity and Affordability Act this will get a similar reception. "Oh well it has a nice name - and it s far too long to bother reading and understanding... i
" Do they put the proposed bills online for constituents to read and comment on? Heck, a system with a kind of 'dig' where important clauses can be 'thumbs up'd' to the top so they get the attention they deserve would be great.

[sarcasm] As long as industry draft the bills, and the people in power sign off on them, and you continue to elect people that do not read the legislation that they are voting on... this must be the system that you want. [/sarcasm]

Re:747 pages? (1)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 6 years ago | (#21313263)

My guess is that this particular bill will be shot down, but congress needed to propose it to show that the MAFIAA's bribes are being put to good use. The actual meat of this bill will most likely be tacked onto something that is sure to pass, like spending bills for the war in iraq.

go figure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21312679)

This is so typical of politicians these days,out of control presidential branch,economy going to hell,environment following, I know lets vote on a bill that gives the MPAA just what they want

When in doubt... (1, Interesting)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312685)

When in doubt, punish everyone - students guilty of illegal downloading and hardworking students who've never downloaded a thing in their life and need loans and grants to be able to afford to go to school alike. Yeah. Great idea that.

Re:When in doubt... (1)

hlope003 (1186913) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312897)

This has to be the greatest idea in US history...NOT.. its true politicians are only interested in lining their pockets with money. So much so, that they are willing to punish hard working students, who may have never downloaded illegal media.

As to be expected... (5, Interesting)

Palpitations (1092597) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312693)

From the office of naming-things-for-exactly-the-opposite-of-what-they-do:

This is part of the "College Opportunity and Affordability Act". Mmhmmm. Because the rising cost of higher education, coupled with a failing economy, additional costs for universities, and a chance to deny students financial aid really gives more people opportunities and certainly makes it more affordable.

The United States is in a race to the bottom. Every great empire falls - I just wish I wasn't stuck in the middle of this one. I'm just glad I'm about to start learning a second language (I know a bit of Spanish, but not enough to call it my second language). Hopefully I'll be able to jump ship before it goes under.

For many years, I've heard the chants of the "if you don't like it, leave!" crowd. For a long time, I fought back. I believed that the right thing to do if you loved America was to not leave, but to fight for a better nation. I'm afraid I've lost that faith. Unless things drastically change over the next few years, as a freedom loving individual, I'm sad to say I'll have no choice but to leave and watch the country implode from the sidelines.

Re:As to be expected... (3, Interesting)

elixin77 (1086785) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312757)

It's really sad that this nation has come to this. The US has never had a decent congress ever since the mid 60's at the latest; most of the representatives and senators are corrupt, doing everything in their power to remain in office, and not getting a damn thing done. Me and my girlfriend are sick of this bullshit. I used to believe that congress was there "for the good of the country," and all that bullshit. Now, congress is "how much money can I make on top of my already ridiculous income?" We've both given up on this country, and we are moving as soon as we can afford to. I'm sick of this nation. I used to love it, now I despise it. I think I'm starting to understand why the world hates us...

Re:As to be expected... (-1, Troll)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312865)

You're a cut and runner huh? I think Bush will give you a free vacation to Cuba. Don't worry, you'll get free board, food (except when its withheld), water (except when its withheld) and medical care (trust me, you'll need it).

Re:As to be expected... (4, Insightful)

canUbeleiveIT (787307) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312915)

Clear out your headgear, this isn't about GWB. For that matter it not really about any particular political party. It's about a corrupt system where rich people are allowed to buy politicians.

Of course the Democrats are going to be in on this one--they are owned by the electronic media [opensecrets.org], as the Republicans are owned by big oil [opensecrets.org]. So, don't get on ole George; he's just doing what his masters want, just as the Democrats will do what their masters want.

Re:As to be expected... (5, Insightful)

abirdman (557790) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312803)

From the office of naming-things-for-exactly-the-opposite-of-what-they-do:

That is a deep observation. I've been noticing this more and more lately, and also something else which is related. By giving the bill a false name, when the vote comes to the floor the media can accuse the people who vote against it of voting against "College Opportunity and Affordability." They did the same with the SCHIP bill-- vote against the bill and you're automatically tagged as "against health insurance for poor children," even though you may have been voting against it because it would hurt the current health insurance system (or the economy) in general. This is so blatantly cynical it is sickening, and it rings vaguely of 1984 newspeak.

Re:As to be expected... (5, Insightful)

arethuza (737069) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312887)

"rings vaguely of 1984 newspeak"
Vaguely? The only thing that was inaccurate about 1984 was the date.

"War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength."

Re:As to be expected... (1)

Palpitations (1092597) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312937)

This is so blatantly cynical it is sickening, and it rings vaguely of 1984 newspeak.
Recdep views this as malreported. Please proceed to the nearest joycamp.

Re:As to be expected... (4, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312953)

The problem is that the reason they can name things like this is because the media does not call their bluff.

Media is only 'title-deep', as it seems. What the politicians are doing is a cost/benefit analysis. When the media is so broken, that a blatantly obvious example of Orwellian doublespeak does not get immediately called out as such, with all the consequences, public shaming, carrier-ending weight of a media shitstorm then the media is terribly broken and generally the people shouldn't rely on the media as much as to receive a single, simple factual information like yesterday's date. When the media is so bent that the elephant in the room does not get called out by definition it HAS TO resort to falsifying and lying to cover up the fact that the elephant is in the room.

Re:As to be expected... (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312921)

Well, if you're thinking about that 2nd language, consider chinese (mandarin). That's apparently the rising empire. They have the numbers, and now the're getting some quality, too: some of the best students at my uni are from china. Sure, there are many woodheads, too, but I'd say the chinese guys are pretty good. I am amazed at the thought of what 1.5 billion people can churn out in terms of talent, given the correct education infrastructure. Amazed and worried.

Re:As to be expected... (1)

Palpitations (1092597) | more than 6 years ago | (#21313005)

I was thinking about Dutch or Swedish actually. I have a few friends who are fluent in both, and having someone to converse with and get corrections from should make things much easier.

In addition to the little bit of Spanish that I learned, I also took a year and a half in Japanese in high school... Along with that, I did learn a bit of Mandarin from an old friend of mine. Most of the Chinese is lost for me now - the only phrase that comes to mind has to do with asking Asian girls for a BJ ;)

I may not have learned much Mandarin, but at least the parts I remember are useful.

I Hope They Pass It! (3, Interesting)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312709)

I hope they DO pass this, and I hope a large number of colleges and universities refuse to comply, and many thousands of students lose their grants and aid. This is just the sort of wide-reaching, shocking, horribly unjust-seeming PR disaster that needs to happen to wake up Joe Citizen to what the *AAs and their paid-for lackeys in Congress are doing. Hopefully, this will start an upheaval against all laws that appear *AA-influenced, including the insane copyright length extensions.

I know, I know. Fat chance. One can dream, though.

Cheers!

Strat

Re:I Hope They Pass It! (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312993)

What of the individuals who's futures would be irreparably harmed if this were done? Not everyone can survive even a short term reduction in money at college.

If this passes you might see an upsurge in US students choosing to study abroad. Over here in England we have had a wonderful boom in Chinese students since the US decided, post 9/11 to start making it hard for those students to study in the US. Beats me why they did this, but my university has profited mightily by it, and we are not alone.

Re:I Hope They Pass It! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21313161)

It is always an appealing strategy, but when
has this ever worked? It is especially bad
to try it in any context which involves
legislatures, because the legislative
process is expecially bad at follow-through.
When we expect the obvious bad result to
happen, and a legislative response, the
lawmakers will have moved on to some other
"urgent" issue.

Lower income and.... (2, Interesting)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312715)

FTFA: "Lower-income students, those most in need of federal financial aid, would be harmed most under the entertainment industry's proposal."

Middle class too! And, WTF, I understand now that any sort of drug offense, you lose your financial aid, student loans are getting harder and harder to pay, and if you have any sort of bad luck and you're stuck with those loans forever - can't get out of them with bankruptcy!

Why don't our politicians just come out and say "No more financial Aid!"

The meritocracy in America is continually being eroded away by special interests.

Re:Lower income and.... (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312879)

If you want all the illegal immigrants to be kicked out of the country then the rich folk need a new lower class. As such, people who would have gone on to become scientists and doctors will now be cleaning shit for the rich. Its simply a price you must pay for freedom.

haha (2, Insightful)

ramul (1103299) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312729)

So it sounds like a lobby group is bribing politicians to blackmail universities to catch students who are copying songs. am i interpreting this properly?

So don't Pirate Materials? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21312751)

It's easy to live life without actively pursuing western media culture.

Re:So don't Pirate Materials? (1)

berashith (222128) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312907)

dumb fucking anon coward troll...

It isn't so easy to live without a degree, and it is very difficult to get a degree without loans. IF the only options for locations to get the degree for some people becomes East City Janitorial and Tech College, there will be no perceived value to the degree.

Those who can afford their own ride already will be fine, and the gap just got enormous.

All of this is pure speculation, but likely and obvious. Whichever scumbag in DC decided to slip this in with no consideration for so much of the population should be the first against the wall.

Re:So don't Pirate Materials? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21312957)

What does that have to do with the parent's comment? The problem here is illegal file sharing. If people stopped doing this, then there would be no problem. Instead, precious bandwidth is wasted on ill gotten leisurely media.

Re:So don't Pirate Materials? (2, Insightful)

berashith (222128) | more than 6 years ago | (#21313007)

The relevancy lies in who is committing an action, and who is being punished for it. The assumption that all students are stealing is absolutely absurd. All students will lose their loans and aid because some are downloading perceived stolen music. The math doesn't add up. As soon as some universities started pointing out flaws in finding the exact student by IP in the shotgun approach, the laws suddenly shift to the entire campus.

Quoting Lewis Black (5, Funny)

denzacar (181829) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312759)

A republican stands up in congress and says 'I GOT A REALLY BAD IDEA!!'
and the democrat stands up after him and says 'AND I CAN MAKE IT SHITTIER!!

This is GOOD, and while we're at it... (4, Interesting)

dpilot (134227) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312773)

Universities should forfeit their federal financial aid if they don't go along with a few other problems:

Abstinence-only approach to sex education, STDs, and birth control.

Just say NO! to drugs.

O heck, that's enough. It's not worth trying to think up any more.

Email the bill's sponsor - George Miller (4, Informative)

Morky (577776) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312799)

George.Miller@mail.house.gov

Re:Email the bill's sponsor - George Miller (3, Informative)

Morky (577776) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312833)

Oh, and Ruben Hinojosa doesn't list his email address, but his Washington office phone number is available: 202-225-2531.

My email to him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21313101)

Dear Mr. Miller,

I find your and Ruben Hinojosa's recent amendment to College Opportunity and Affordability Act, which would require colleges to implement Peer-to-Peer (P2P) controls as a precondition for federal funding, to be utterly despicable.

Apart from the arguments in defense P2P itself, such as the complete inadequacy of technology to differentiate between legal and illegal content, the individual rights of college students to be free from such totalitarian controls, and the total disproportionality of 'solution' to 'problem,' the most disgusting factor about this is as follows: like most MPAA- and RIAA-favorable legislation, the legislation is so lopsided and so utterly irrational as to force an assumption of corruption and quid pro quo financial-support-in-exchange-for-legislation. The fact that you hid such an amendment in an appropriations bill shows that you knew how lopsided and unlikely to pass the legislation was on its own. To put it simply, the only rational conclusion is that you have accepted money or support in exchange for introducing this amendment.

I would just like you to know that your constituents, and anyone else in the country (and even world) who cares to look, can see quite clearly that this is a corrupt act. You are corrupt. I am condemning you. And I and others are now doing so in public forums. You are not worthy of serving your people.

Good day,

Anonymous

Open Letter (3, Insightful)

Kris_J (10111) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312821)

Dear America,
Keep it up!

Love,
Your competitors in the rest of the world.

I wonder if this is how the British Empire collapsed too.

Re:Open Letter (4, Interesting)

15Bit (940730) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312923)

> I wonder if this is how the British Empire collapsed too.

Nah, in that case there were third parties involved - we didn't shoot ourselves in the foot (though arguably we may have assisted in the act). In this case the US is implementing a divide and conquer approach on itself - its purely a domestic issue. However, for those of us who live abroad, i would like to recollect the wise words of Napolean - "Never interrupt your enemy whilst he is making a mistake."

Re:Open Letter (1)

Znork (31774) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312965)

"I wonder if this is how the British Empire collapsed too."

At the very least it's very close to how the Soviet Union collapsed.

Corrupt politicians supporting state granted monopolies while the economy gets less and less competetive, and labour is shifted into non-producing roles such as marketing, administration and legal.

Re:Open Letter (1)

UnxMully (805504) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312999)

Dear America, Keep it up! Love, Your competitors in the rest of the world. I wonder if this is how the British Empire collapsed too.

No, the British Empire didn't collapse, we gave it away. Well, before anyone took it away.

Oh, I see what you mean.

File sharing: the new "weed" (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21312827)

It's official now: file sharing is the new "weed." The penalties for file sharing are rapidly growing, with small impact on how many people actually do it. This should sound familiar, as it is pretty much the same historical track taken by marijuana laws. File sharing isn't quite as far along in the process, but there will be a "War on Piracy" soon enough.

Marijuana laws are generally an easier sell, though, since you can directly see the effect of drug abuse on a person. (Especially if you trot out some of the worst potheads for shock value...) Copying files from other people doesn't turn you into a slack-jawed idiot, unless you count some of those fools who wear an iPod all the time.

Re:File sharing: the new "weed" (1)

Palpitations (1092597) | more than 6 years ago | (#21313065)

Hmmm, I don't know. I've seen some pretty crazy arguments about filesharing, but I don't know that I've ever seen a quote that quite rivals this one [druglibrary.org].

"With all the press present at this flamboyant murder trial in Newark New Jersey, in 1938, the pharmacologist said, and I quote, in response to the question "When you used the drug, what happened?", his exact response was: "After two puffs on a marijuana cigarette, I was turned into a bat."

He wasn't done yet. He testified that he flew around the room for fifteen minutes and then found himself at the bottom of a two-hundred-foot high ink well"

Second amendment (2, Insightful)

boristdog (133725) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312843)

It's times like these when I am REALLY glad the second amendment to our constitution is still fully in force.

Collective Guilt Calls for Collective Punishment (4, Insightful)

DingerX (847589) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312861)

Isn't that how it works?

Hey, I hear some congressmen are taking bribes. The next time that happens, let's seize the assets of every congressman and garner their wages for ten years to come.

Ooh, and all this can go away if the Universities pay Audible Magic. Now, they wouldn't have anything to do [blogspot.com] with the current RIAA shakedowns, would they?

Carrot and Stick (4, Insightful)

15Bit (940730) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312875)

Its the same approach western countries have been applying to overseas aid for decades. "We'll give you this heap of money every year IF you do some stuff that we want". The stuff they want of course, is trade concessions. And, after a few years continuation of the yearly aid involves some inflation of the "IF" clause. Pretty standard, even though its thinly veiled extortion.

In all cases the problem is how government and business mixes, because they should at least try to maintain some semblance of separation. For foreign stuff they will usually try to claim its for the benefit of both local and american "industry" in a general sense, rather than for the benefit of just one specific company (even if its a lie people don't tend to notice cos it happens abroad, or they ignore it cos they get cheap products as a result). In this case though, the extortion is domestic, with a specific private industry leveraging their business goals onto public institutions via manipulation of federal legislation. Having industry write the laws they want in this way doesn't just undermine the basic concepts of democracy and accountability, it leads long term to a stagnant and non-competitive economy (cos the big industries write laws to stifle competition). In that sense it is actually not in the general interests of industry to be able to write their own laws, because it will lead to even the law-writing industry being uncompetitive on the international stage.

Instead of bitching about this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21312877)

Instead of bitching about this, can someone do the following:

1. How do I find who to write to in congress about what my representative is doing on this matter?
2. Is there a way to get in touch with college student organizations across the country to inform them of this?
3. Is there a way to contact local news stations and ask them to cover this story?

Stealing from the poor, giving to the rich... (1)

harvey the nerd (582806) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312903)

Not sure how much this really "just" demanding filter related IT campus, versus really grabbing for mass extortion of (poor) students' funds with some kind of blanket tax when filtering fails on a few, but it is pretty bad either way. The Pell students represent the lowest income where each dollar is going to be a serious item. Stealing from the poor(est) students, perhaps killing the golden goose for many, for shame... We know who the real economic terrorists are. Just wish we could arrange that holiday at Camp X-ray for them.

Re:Stealing from the poor, giving to the rich... (1)

Ada_Rules (260218) | more than 6 years ago | (#21313071)

The Pell students represent the lowest income where each dollar is going to be a serious item. Stealing from the poor(est) students...deleted

Now there is some double speak. The rich/middle class have money taken from them at gun point in the form of taxes-some of which is given to the poor. Now, we are still going to be taking away the money at gun point from the rich/middle class and give less of it to the poor and we define that as stealing from the poor....Sweet. And I thought only congress talked like that.

Typical Federal Extortion (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312909)

They do the same thing with federal funds for roads ( for example ).

"if you want your citizens taxes back, you will go ahead and agree to do waht we cant constitutionally enforce in the first place" "if you dont, well we will keep the money and you will have to fund the repairs yourself. Oh, and we can mandate that you repair them. Have a nice day"

Scuttling education for the sake of entertainment (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312913)

revenues. If it has come to this level, it classifies as not an anti-piracy push, but an assault against the nation itself.

people ARE going to go on with file sharing. cut the grants if you dare. in 20 years you will be trying to teach english to chinese college graduates you imported from china because american colleges are putting out pathetic amounts.

Another proposed item back in the '80's (1)

RedneckJack (934223) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312919)

Back in the 1980's, some group financed by GEICO Insurance proposed banning radar detectors. The group was known as GUARD (Groups United against Radar Detectors). They succeeded in getting them banned from military bases. They also proposed to get radar detectors banned by colleges/universities by using the same method - withholding federal money like this current bill. This was back in the days of 55 mph national speed limit. I noticed a lot of cars had radar detectors in that time. The rule they wanted was the ban on the use and possession.

Hey, Bush haters: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21312931)

aren't you happy the Democrats are in power, now? rotflmao!

Democracy? (3, Insightful)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312955)

For a while now I have gotten the feeling that the united states is less of a democracy of the masses and more democracy of the rich. Laws such as these further help create an underclass serving the needs to of those with the money an influence. It also helps to further decimate an already fragile and poorly funded education system. Its hardly surprising that there are so many immigrant researchers, since with the education system with they way it is from K12 to university we don't have much better to offer. More money is channeled into the symptoms of the a badly run education system and society, that into what cause the problem.

I thought government's job was to police (1)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 6 years ago | (#21312971)

Not universities.

Forcing universities to police crimes they don't commit and cannot stop or pay a subscription fee ($$$$) sounds an awful lot like blackmail (mafia). In the end, all universities will end up just paying the subscription due to the ever present threat of a student simply tunneling peer-to-peer traffic through standard web protocols.

Tying funding to regulation completely unrelated to the industry is yet another bad precedent (as well as punishing the innocent along with the guilty as others mentioned).

time for a final solution to the mafiaa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21312989)

someone needs to kill them. no more tricks. no more legal tactics. they deserve death for even attempting to do this.

harsh yes. but look what they are doing to the future of this country. they will ruin the future to save their own greedy asses and keep their obsolete business going.

enough is enough.

unfortunatly i dont give a crap enough to kill them. this country isnt worth the risk anymore. land of the free, home of the brave. greatest country on earth. not anymore. we are a nation ruled by corporations and clogged with bureaucracy.

its just so damm sad. at least i wont live long enough to see the future this kind of crap creates.

1984 was off by about 30 years.

As long as they apply shotgun punishments equally! (3, Interesting)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 6 years ago | (#21313033)

Ok, pass this bill. That is, as long as it has a paragraph that states that if any member of the MPAA is caught evading taxes or any other law, every member of the MPAA is imprisoned.

Which will win? Think of the children.. or MPAA? (1)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 6 years ago | (#21313035)

Just curious which "argument" will win. Since college students are technically children (youngins still dependent on parents), "Think of the children!" could apply here given the inevitable sad sob stories due to spring up detailing poverty stricken students losing their college funding and forced to go back to work at McDonald's for life.

Welcome to Supercapitalism (1)

beringreenbear (949867) | more than 6 years ago | (#21313049)

In a nutshell, this has nothing to do with which party is in power. The political price for access has been paid and the corporate masters want legislation that gives them a competitive advantage. The *IAA both know that there is nothing they can do about overseas duplication, and that, in the end, there is nothing they can do about "copy sharing piracy" (Notice the quotes, all you literalists. I quote because semantically you're right. It's copyright infringement. Piracy involves theft of actual goods. Now go troll someone else's post.)

This law is all about the horse-trading that goes on in Congress, and political party makes no difference. Members of Congress need enormous amounts of money to effectively run for their offices. Here, in Indiana, I would need $15 dollars to mount a plausible bid against my Congressman. I'd need twice that much to run for Senate. That level of fund raising comes at a cost. Namely access and quid pro quo. I need the same amounts to keep my office as I spent to get it, adjusted for inflation. And I can't do anything politically without seniority, so I have to stick around in Congress for a while.

The solution is a mix of term limits, public funding of elections, and a shorter election season. None of these will happen because the political will simply isn't there. In the meantime, corporations will just buy market advantage in legislature. The *IAA want you to buy their product. They aren't above forcing you by getting their pets to enact laws.

Anything the MPAA are "applauding" is bad (1)

Doug52392 (1094585) | more than 6 years ago | (#21313061)

You know anything the MPAA are "applauding" is bad news for everyone. Why doesn't every single person in every single collage in the US start illegal downloading? I have realized over the past few weeks that the legal system is destroyed. It could be repaired, but no one wants to repair it becuse that would mean they cant sue people for millions of dollars for no reason, or flood Congress to get pointless laws passed that punish everyone.

Meh (1)

WPIDalamar (122110) | more than 6 years ago | (#21313075)

Anyone actually read the bill? There's 2 things it says.

1) If they choose to, Schools can spend grant money on technologies to prevent illegal file sharing.

2) Schools must submit a description of their plan for dealing with illegal file sharing. It says nothing about what the plan must be. So a "We respond to all DMCA takedown notices." could be the extent of their plan.

If there's a piece I'm missing please let me know.

Re:Meh (1)

shark72 (702619) | more than 6 years ago | (#21313199)

I haven't yet read the entire bill, but the first paragraph of TFA calls out another requirement:

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.

Therein lies a problem. Responding to all DMCA requests? Sure, the universities should be doing that anyway. Yes, yes, I know -- the greedy movie studios and film companies might not deserve the same protection as other copyright holders, but since we're all so busy quoting 1984, let's remember what Orwell's pigs wrote on the barn wall. Some copyright holders aren't more equal than others.

But providing an "alternative" program might be a needless waste of time and money for a small private liberal arts college where the IT staff is two guys. And, alternative programs may largely be a panacea. There's one constant about pirates: they'll always rationalize what they're doing. The "alternative" program could be a service with two billion songs in uncompressed, DRM-less format for $10 a month, and many people I know would still find a reason to use BitTorrent instead.

/. Politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21313105)

I'm remembering now why I come to to Slashdot for Tech News and not measured and intelligent political discourse...

Jeeze (1)

ilovegeorgebush (923173) | more than 6 years ago | (#21313145)

I find it truly astonishing that in today's world, a collection of Industry-leading corporations (i.e. the members of the MPAA) can even have the slightest affect on something so distant in relation to its primary purpose - that a collection of movie companies can affect the outcome of the nation's further educational establishments.

Their only hurting the global economy... (1)

Doug52392 (1094585) | more than 6 years ago | (#21313157)

If they bring down all the collages, wouldn't that crash the entire economy? Without federal aid, people would drop out of collage. If enough people do, it would have disastrous effects on the global economy due to the shortage of people elegable to work in high-paying jobs. If that would happen, the MPAA would loose the only people that do not hate them: the government. You know, the federal government could decide that they are plotting to crash the economy and deem that "terroristic" and arrest the MPAA...

What YOU can do about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21313189)

Here's an excerpt from an email "CALL TO ACTION" message sent to members of EDUCAUSE by it's vice president, Mark Luker.

Please call (do not write or email) the offices of the House Committee on Education and Labor. Time is short. Markup is this coming Wednesday, November 14, at 9:00 AM.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Call, do not write or email, as many of the Committee Members as possible, and express your strong opposition to this proposal. You can find a list of all the Committee members and their phone numbers at .

When calling, ask for the staff member in charge of higher education and leave a voice mail if necessary. Call back later and try to speak directly with a staff member.

For copies of the relevant legislative language and template responses for your use, please see .

Thank you for your help!

Perhaps an analog slashdotting will get the message across.

Sad (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 6 years ago | (#21313255)

This is truly sad. A university is shouldn't be asked to participate in corporate shenanigans like this.
What they should be doing is pulling funding from universities like U of Delaware for requiring students to adopt the idea that all whites are racists (among other things). Link: http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=58426 [wnd.com]
They've since stopped this program but why aren't heads rolling over this?
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