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Anti-P2P College Bill Moving Through House

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the just-about-the-worst-idea-ever dept.

Education 334

An anonymous reader writes "A news.com article is covering an amendment to the College Opportunity and Affordability Act (pdf) that should make folks in Hollywood, the RIAA, and the MPAA well pleased. The tiny section seeks to hinge government approval of an institution of higher learning on whether or not they adequately dissuade Peer-to-Peer filesharing of copyrighted materials. The Act came out of the House Education and Labor Committee, which agreed on the terms unanimously. There is still some question, though, as to what penalties should be handed down for institutions that don't do enough to protect intellectual property. 'Some university representatives and fair-use advocates worry that schools run the risk of losing aid for their students if they fail to come up with the required plans. "The language in the bill appears to be clear that failure to carry out the mandates would make an institution ineligible for participation in at least some part of Title IV (which deals with federal financial aid programs)," Steven Worona, director of policy and networking programs for the group Educause, said in a telephone interview Thursday.'" Update: 11/16 16:36 GMT by Z : PDF link corrected.

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334 comments

Outdated business model cramping your style? (5, Funny)

djasbestos (1035410) | more than 6 years ago | (#21378853)

...make it the law!

Re:Outdated business model cramping your style? (2, Funny)

Farakin (1101889) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379111)

I wonder if Mr. Burns is actually the head of the RIAA. "That bill is going to pass sir" "EXCELLENT, Smithers, Excellent."

Re:Outdated business model cramping your style? (5, Insightful)

Technician (215283) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379269)

The one that got me was this one...

I open a store and say "Come on in and pay whatever you want." Are you on f---ing crack? Do you really believe that's a business model that works?

Movies came to the home market at $65 to $160 each. Piracy was a problem even though a blank T120 VHS tape sold for $15 - $20 each. I know, been there and done that. CD's on the other hand have added rootkits and DRM to make them incompatible with your playback equipment (iPod) by trying to prevent ripping. At the time I can buy full length movies at 2 for $20 or 4 for $20 in the pre viewed section at Blockbuster, many CDs are still less than an hour in length and are over $10 each. They are often not marked that they contain defective by design problems. Movies have THX certification for quality assurance of both the video and audio quality. CDs on the other hand are engineered to compete in the loudness war at the expense of dynamic range and harmonic distortion (Clipping).

Go a head and open a store. Provide in inferior product that won't play on my portable MP3 player for an extreme price and tell me again how this business model works? I buy movies instead.

I can buy oldies (movies) at Wal*Mart for 5.99. Try to find any good 20 year old Kiss, Pink Floyd, Styx, Queen, etc for 5.99 that hasn't been compressed.

Re:Outdated business model cramping your style? (2, Insightful)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379631)

The same gripes you make about CDs can easily be made about movies too. Both VHS and DVD have DRM. The only difference is that CSS was incorporated into the DVD standard so you can play CSS-encrypted discs in almost every player, and Macrovision only kicks in if you're playing or recording through a VCR or DVD recorder. Like the CDs, many companies have also introduced non-standard DRM into their DVDs that can break the compatibility. DVDs also have region encoding and there's the PAL/NTSC nuisance to deal with, while CDs play everywhere. CDs can be ripped into MP3 files. DVDs can not without breaking the DRM and consequently the DMCA. Thus there is no convenient way to get movies from DVDs onto portable players without using an underground ripper, and your average customer is forced to buy the videos again from an online store.

While DVDs are sold for $5 in Wal-Mart, it's usually because most people just don't want those titles. By contrast, I would imagine that most music made in the last 20 years still has a good amount of demand, which is why their prices haven't gotten lower.

Re:Outdated business model cramping your style? (2, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379861)

While DVDs are sold for $5 in Wal-Mart, it's usually because most people just don't want those titles. By contrast, I would imagine that most music made in the last 20 years still has a good amount of demand, which is why their prices haven't gotten lower.
Funny, the $5 movies at wal-mart seem to fly off the shelves, while most of their old music doesn't budge. No album that EVER comes out seems to drop in price. Ever. Album from 30 years ago? $12.95. Yet movies? Most of the Lord of the Rings movies are now under $10, as is every movie more than a few years old. Only the newest releases seem to command a high price, and even then they're always under $20 now (most new releases seem to be around $15). It is a pitiful state of affairs when in 90% of cases the SOUNDTRACK to a movie costs more (somtimes double) what the movie itself costs.

Re:Outdated business model cramping your style? (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379947)

Funny, the $5 movies at wal-mart seem to fly off the shelves, while most of their old music doesn't budge.

I believe, but am not certain, that most of those $5 movies are loss leaders.

Re:Outdated business model cramping your style? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21379323)

... if government is big enough.

The ability to exploit the coercive power of government for your own purpose is, naturally, proportional to the amount of power government holds. Obviously, a government strictly limited in power and revenue isn't nearly as exploitable as one which isn't.

Re:Outdated business model cramping your style? (1)

cliffski (65094) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379691)

aren't ALL business models only viable if the law is obeyed? Like the law that says you have to pay for stuff on the shelves of wal-mart. Is the retail business model outdated because ultimately it requires police officers to enforce it?
Your argument makes zero sense. Unless you advocate anarchy where all laws are ignored?

Re:Outdated business model cramping your style? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21379853)

aren't ALL business models only viable if the law is obeyed?

Think, then post. Businesses in black or gray markets are entirely based on the law being broken, ignored, or at the very least, irrelavent.

Re:Outdated business model cramping your style? (1)

cliffski (65094) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379895)

ah an abusive retort from an anoynmous coward, typical of the piracy-justifying crowd.

MPAA & RIAA for Congress (3, Funny)

Mrs. Grundy (680212) | more than 6 years ago | (#21378883)

Why don't we make this all a lot easier to follow and understand: Simply replace the Senate with the MPAA and the House with the RIAA. We'll save some money by not having to pay the middle-men.

Re:MPAA & RIAA for Congress (2, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379339)

Or maybe take their ears away from the corporate whispers for some time with us?

A quick google search found these.
List of representatives [house.gov]
Search for yours, by zip. Make it easier! [visi.com]

Send a letter.

No (5, Insightful)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379933)

Don't send a letter. Vote out of office. And the guy you vote in... vote him out of office in the next election, until you find one that doesn't suck corporate cock.

The best way to promote change and make sure your Congressman listens to you over some corporation is to make sure he knows that his job depends on him doing so, and the best way to do that is to demonstrate it by repeatedly swapping congressmen out of office after one term.

Of course, one person alone can't do that much so you might need to band together with likeminded people. Perhaps you should form a PaC. That worked pretty well for the AARP (They all vote, too. That's an important bit.)

Oh, except then you'd be a big corporate interest and your congressman still won't listen to you! Oh... the irony...

I have another bill that should be passed (5, Interesting)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21378889)

Ban anyone from breathing if the join the RIAA.

No offence, but why should one illegal activity like that be treated above all others? Here's one, one that's more useful, ban the funding to colleges that don't do enough to prevent rape on campus. That would actually be a good crime-prevention to tie to funding, and it is a problem.

Don't get me wrong, I don't like stealing (or the less wieldly intellectual property infringement if you prefer), and it's bad. But this industry that has long since lost 95% of it's creativity and intelligence, is now trying to force money from people, threatening the creativity and intelligence of those people also? Make people dumber so they like your stuff more? Make Brittany Spears and Backdoor Boys more popular?

That is the stupidest waste of legal paper I've seen in a long time.

Re:I have another bill that should be passed (2, Insightful)

yakumo.unr (833476) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379211)

that and why not the same for anti drug and gun policies is pretty much exactly what my girlfriend had said as soon as she read the original article on this..

damn I lost my mod points yesterday :(

Re:I have another bill that should be passed (1, Interesting)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379439)

Welcome to Post-Secondary Daycare!

This is the beginning of yet another very slippery slope. Students, stand up for your rights as citizens of the country you live in! You are not second class citizens, and yet they'd like you to be.

More legislation for the sake of big business. This is so sad on so many levels.

Re:I have another bill that should be passed (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379547)

They seem to be forgetting that these very same institutions are busily turning out the workers and business men/women/person/s [delete as appropriate] of tomorrow. I'll just bet they'll be queuing up to work for the companies that tried to screw them over when they were at uni, oh yes....

What it may well do is force an upsurge in people looking for new ways of doing business, and happily stomping on the remains of the current companies and their representative organizations.

Isn't that how Hollywood got started? with groups of creative people yarding it across the continent to escape oppressive patent/IP enforcing that controlled their ability to make movies and the equipment required? cameras, film and suchlike?

Re:I have another bill that should be passed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21379743)

That is the stupidest waste of legal paper I've seen in a long time.

First time reading stuff on government/lawyers/politicians/theman?

Re:I have another bill that should be passed (5, Insightful)

cliffski (65094) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379789)

actually the reason that britney and the backstreet boys are on TV and you don't like them is that they sell records. If you pirate music, you are invisible to the market, and your purchasing decision doesn't register. The record execs don't sign bands that they think people like, the sign bands that make money.
You could have some cool indie band that was massively popular amongst the slashdot reading demographic, but they will never get a record deal or national tour sponsored, because they do not generate money.
Removing yourself from the marketplace for music means losing any influence whatsoever on the supply side decisions. Money talks.

Re:I have another bill that should be passed (2, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379847)

Interesting...

There are a large number of people that don't like them and don't pirate (count me in that crowd)

The reason the are popular is that they pander to the lowest frequent denominator. I won't use "common", as in that phrase, it means found everywhere. Sadly that is pretty low.

Everything is copyrighted (5, Interesting)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#21378899)

Just about eveyrhting that can be shared through P2P is copyrighted. For example those Linux ISOs I downloaded last night, they were copyrighted, now they were under the GPL which allows me to share them, but it still is copyrighted. So are the creative commons works, so now can we not share them like the licence allows us to do due to this bill? It is so much like the *IAA to try to distroy innovation. People are wondering why America has lost business and tech domonence yet would vote for this bill. They would egarly press for more education in computers, yet favor Microsoft which got us here in the first place. Our new motto for our country should be "Don't innovate, don't share and don't learn unless you have paid your patent protection fees and copyrights to the *IAA"

Re:Everything is copyrighted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21379093)

You are picking apart the wording of a summary of a summary. If the original bill were phrased that way it would be quite worrying, but it probably is not.

Re:Everything is copyrighted (1)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379163)

Sure it might not be used like that but remember the DMCA? About the "Anti-Circumvention" part? Whenever we have senators/representatives clueless about technology (I don't think that they should be programmers but still should know a lot about computers) and are getting lobbied by the *IAA they can make it seem like somehow all this is hurting the economy and it would be the right thing to do is to discourage any time of filesharing, they will usually go along with it and ruin our economy that way much like the DMCA did.

Re:Everything is copyrighted (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21379237)

I checked the bill itself (http://edlabor.house.gov/bills/HEAReauthorizationText.pdf [house.gov] ) and it is very careful to always state "unauthorized distribution", meaning that authorized distribution is still fine. Granted, the bill is dangerous for many other reasons, but it would not penalize anybody for legal distribution.

Re:Everything is copyrighted (2, Insightful)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379465)

But what starts out as "unauthorized distribution" becomes "all bittorent traffic" becomes "all P2P traffic" how many colleges will start banning P2P traffic and if the lobbyists keep on misleading Congress, how much more time till "all P2P traffic" becomes illegal?

Homer (5, Funny)

_Shorty-dammit (555739) | more than 6 years ago | (#21378951)

Every time I see another MPAA/RIAA story I can't help but picture Homer Simpson singing "I am so smart! I am so smart! S-M-R-T! I mean, S-M-A-R-T!" as he burns his house down.

Re:Homer (3, Interesting)

blast3r (911514) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379659)

You should get a big kick out of this then.

http://listserv.educause.edu/cgi-bin/wa.exe?A2=ind0711&L=icpl&T=0&F=&S=&P=546 [educause.edu]

This tool they are talking about includes numerous network based tools they want Universities to install on their network. These tools CAN NOT detect ILLEGAL file sharing. They can only detect that file sharing is taking place. So what are Universities supposed to do? Watch the logs and when someone shares a file launch a raid on their room to check and see if that file was illegal or not? This is ridiculous.

Now the scary part. The Universitytoolkit is setup by default to allow unauthenticated access to the tools on the box via a web application. Someone from the network can anonymously view ALL traffic this system can see which includes web traffic, etc. If anyone has installed this toolkit you might want to do some more research.

Re:Homer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21379665)

I'm sorry sir, but you have violated the copyright on the Talking Heads - Burning Down the House. You will be hearing from our lawyers shortly.

- The RIAA

Name of the Amendment...... (0)

SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) | more than 6 years ago | (#21378977)

Did anyone else first notice the acronym of the amendment also ends in AA?

I have a great idea... (2, Insightful)

PontifexMaximus (181529) | more than 6 years ago | (#21378989)

let's throw out the existing governmental system, you know the one that is bought and paid for by the corporations, or anyone with the cash on hand to do so and replace it with SOMETHING THAT FREAKING WORKS. I'm sick to death of the government pandering to these idiots who can't keep up with the times and the technology. For those, the only method of survival is bribery to dismantle any competitive alternative to themselves (you hear that Verizon and all you other morons?). Elections aren't working, since the parties are in the pay of the same group of a*holes as well. This truly is extortion on a country-wide scale. Bastards.

It's time for a governmental wide recall. (3, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379019)

It's time for a governmental wide recall.

Re:It's time for a governmental wide recall. (0, Troll)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379245)

In all seriousness, if you want to send a clear message that you don't like where this is going, go vote for Ron Paul in your local primary. His website (www.ronpaul2008.com) has all the info you'll need to get ready.

Whether you agree with all his politics or not, he is the only one running - THE ONLY ONE - that dares to say the current way of handling government is wrong.

Congress simply doesn't have the authority to try and force college students to buy music from the RIAA. And no, that isn't a straw-man, that is what you get when you simply connect the fist-sized dots in front of you. They can, and should, work to make a body of valuable law, but their primary duty is to encourage commerce. Radiohead, Reznor, and others are proving that commerce is still quite viable, and in that light there really isn't any authority for Congress to meddle with this dying industry. Especially not at the cost of those schools and students they're supposed to be trying to help.

In the end this becomes just another needless law to protect special interests.

Of the candidates currently running, I can think of only one who would have the convictions to veto this crap.

Re:I have a great idea... (2)

jamar0303 (896820) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379117)

If people would vote for third parties instead of saying that it wouldn't work, then we'll see some change.

Re:I have a great idea... (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379145)

The US election system and legislative system are both set up in a way that squelches third parties.

With no coalition-building as happens in a parliamentary system, third parties have no pull in Congress; with the electoral college system, they have no hope of influencing executive elections either.

Re:I have a great idea... (1)

shinma (106792) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379331)

Yes, because that worked so well in 2000...

This is why Republicans want small government (4, Interesting)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379419)

let's throw out the existing governmental system, you know the one that is bought and paid for by the corporations, or anyone with the cash on hand to do so and replace it with SOMETHING THAT FREAKING WORKS

Actually our "wise" elected leaders do not pander merely to money, they pander to those without money just as well when the contribution-challenged represent a likely voting block. I'm about to use the "R' word, please try to keep your emotions in check and read the entire comment before firing off a flaming response. Thanks. ;-) Republicans, the real one - not the one's running the show today, prefer a smaller federal government due to legislation like this. It is not that they do not believe that government has some responsibility towards educations. It is that they believe that many things are better handled by more local government - state, county, city, school board - where we have more of a say in things. In other words local control rather than distant control from Washington, DC. If you take federal money you better damn well expect that there will be federal strings attached.

Democrats, the real one - not the one's running the show today, used to agree on that last point about federal strings. John F Kennedy, during the 1960 presidential debate, was against federal support of public schools for this reason. He argued that if the federal government helps it should be with one time costs, like construction of a school, and not with ongoing costs such as salary, books, etc. He warned that the later will invariable come with strings. As the US election season gets going keep an eye open for the 1960 Nixon/Kennedy debate on those political cable channel, or check youtube. It is awesome. Two intelligent candidates intelligently and substantively debating issues. We haven't seen that in a while, and it doesn't seem like we'll being seeing that any time soon either.

Re:I have a great idea... (1)

s!lat (975103) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379453)

Monarchy is actually a solution to that problem. ;)

non-broken link to the text (4, Informative)

theMerovingian (722983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21378999)


here [house.gov]

Also note the status of the bill, it has just been introduced. [govtrack.us]

Send a message to the constituents of the proposer (5, Informative)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379045)

Here are the emails for the county officials and city council for the largest cities in George Miller's district. Make sure to send Blind Carbon Copy (BCC) so they might actually read it.

Subject: George Miller hides language in H.R.4137 that would remove federal funding from colleges unable to stop file-sharing

BCC: LDare@cao.cccounty.us, pburk@contracostatv.org, cwamp@contracostatv.org, bkondylis@solanocounty.com, ceward@solanocounty.com, jfsilva@solanocounty.com, mpalmaffy@solanocounty.com, JPSpering@solanocounty.com, sgoerkeshrode@solanocounty.com, cmcook@solanocounty.com, jmvasquez@solanocounty.com, pknelson@solanocounty.com, mjreagan@solanocounty.com, FCZaragoza@SolanoCounty.com, cao-clerk@solanocounty.com, bwagenknecht@co.napa.ca.us, mluce@co.napa.ca.us, ddillon@co.napa.ca.us, bdodd@co.napa.ca.us, hmoskowite@co.napa.ca.us, Diane_Holmes@ci.richmond.ca.us, natbates@comcast.net, tom.butt@intres.com, Lopez.Ludmyrna@comcast.net, johnemarquez@aol.com, elirapty@aol.com, harpreet.sandhu@comcast.net, tony_thurmond@ci.richmond.ca.us, Maria_Viramontes@ci.richmond.ca.us, aevenson@ci.pittsburg.ca.us, mayor@ci.vallejo.ca.us, jdavis@ci.vallejo.ca.us, tpearsall0285@aol.com, sgomes@ci.vallejo.ca.us, tbartee@ci.vallejo.ca.us, hsunga@ci.vallejo.ca.us, garycloutier@sbcglobal.net, citycouncil@ci.concord.ca.us



Dear Sir or Madam,

News source: http://www.news.com/2102-1028_3-6217943.html?tag=st.util.print [news.com]

Bill source: http://edlabor.house.gov/bills/HEAReauthorizationText.pdf [house.gov]

This is unbelievably unconscionable and corrupt on the part of your elected representative. The MPAA is applauding Rep. George Miller for introducing an anti-piracy bill that threatens the nation's colleges with the loss of $100 Billion a year in federal financial aid, should they fail to have a technology plan to stop 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."

Subject correction (2, Informative)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379127)

Subject: George Miller hides language in College Opportunity and Affordability Act that removes federal funding from colleges unable to stop file-sharing

Re:Send a message to the constituents of the propo (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379501)

Thank you for posting something useful to this discussion. /. has over (using Dr Evil voice) 5 MILLION patrons but all the most can do is complain about how wrong this is. I usually sit back and watch both sides dems/republicans liberal/right wing duke it out in hilariously stupid fashion but this time peoples lives and futures are being threatened because an industry has a huge lobbiest group and deep pockets. I will be contacting my congressman and voicing my concerns on this matter. Imagine if over 5 MILLION people did the same thing?

Hey, Americans (2, Insightful)

rueger (210566) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379049)

In all seriousness, are you all completely f*cking MAD??! How can anyone in your country sit by and watch this sort of thing? How can anyone with two brain cels to rub together cast a vote for either Democrats or Republicans? I don't even really care about P2P use by students - this is just a supremely stupid bit of legislation.

Seriously, if your elected politicians will vote for this, what else are they doing that defies all sense?

Re:Hey, Americans (2, Informative)

faloi (738831) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379179)

How can anyone with two brain cels to rub together cast a vote for either Democrats or Republicans?

Perhaps you haven't been following voter turn-out trends. Most people aren't voting for Democrats or Republicans. They're staying home. Congress's approval ratings are in the toilet. Citizens aren't happy with their elected officials. People are screaming at their representatives when they do something stupid. But we haven't gotten to the point where we psychically stop bills before they start. Only when it's presented can we voice our continuing displeasure, and wait for a new election cycle.

Re:Hey, Americans (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21379769)

I have a better idea. Instead of staying home, register as a Republican and vote for Ron Paul. Ron Paul is the only candidate who has consistently opposed the Bush administration's policies and will cut taxes and cut govenment spending. Yes that also means budget cuts at the Department of Education. If you want to stop crap like this, you have to cut off the money. If the money is there, the RIAA lobbyists will go after it. Ron Paul is the only candidate who will cut the big spending that attracts these lobbyists.

Re:Hey, Americans (1, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379305)

How can anyone in your country sit by and watch this sort of thing?

This isn't simply an American problem. This sort of private co-opting of government is a big problem, but it's not just *our* problem as Americans. You appear to be Canadian - your government saw fit some time ago to provide a subsidy to your recording associations for all blank media sold in your country. That's just one example. So please - we don't need the condescending bit, it's a problem pretty much everywhere.

Re:Hey, Americans (1)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379585)

Canuck here.

Couple points: It's not a subsidy on all blank media, data media is exempt. And in many cases, exactly the same media is sold with and without the subsidy, so you can easily circumvent paying.

Having said that, it's a meager token, one that I happily pay as it allows our government to tell the **AA to take a flying leap on our behalf. Also knowing that, in theory at least, that money does get distributed to the artists. I really don't have a problem with an artist getting paid a pittance when a copy of their work is made. (Of course, the chance that the particular artist that I copied a work of gets any of that is, er, difficult to determine, but that's another story)

Point being, this is not even remotely the same thing. Please refrain from throwing our government under the bus with that of the US ;) While not perfect...I'll take what I've got any day thank you!

Re:Hey, Americans (1, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379937)

Also knowing that, in theory at least, that money does get distributed to the artists.

Does it or not? The difference between theory and reality is that in reality, theory doesn't mean shit.

Having said that, it's a meager token, one that I happily pay as it allows our government to tell the **AA to take a flying leap on our behalf.

Since when does giving someone money tell them to take a flying leap?

I really don't have a problem with an artist getting paid a pittance when a copy of their work is made.

I'd have a probelm with any tax designed to reimburse a private entity for illegal actions I'm not committing.

Point being, this is not even remotely the same thing. Please refrain from throwing our government under the bus with that of the US ;)

My point is, don't throw rocks from your glass house. The condescending crap from foreigners who evidently are bored enough to criticize the US gets old. Deal with your own problems, we don't need your 'advice.'

Re:Hey, Americans (1)

Neon Aardvark (967388) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379375)

European parliaments regularly consider laws that are the equal of this in terms of stupidity.

Eg, the UK government recently tried to make it illegal to commit blasphemy against any religion. They eventually watered down the legislation.

Democracy is a terrible system of government, but every other system is worse.

Re:Hey, Americans (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379953)

It's because the government has been able to get people to believe that voting for third parties is "throwing your vote away," thus ensuring that anyone who does turn out to the polls will ensure the status quo by only voting for either one or the other out of fear that their vote won't make a difference.

You know. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379051)

Except for the time to acheave an insightful comment on Slashdot and put the effort in witting to your Representative you may perhaps beable to stop it.... I already send a message to my Rep... Have you?

Re:You know. (1)

Smauler (915644) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379481)

I hope you checked your spelling and grammar in that message to your Rep ;)

Call them up. (2, Insightful)

onefriedrice (1171917) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379055)

Call or write your congressman or senator. Colleges should not be forced to play law enforcement. That's the government's and/or prosecutor's job.

Simple solution (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379059)

Ask admission if they are in collusion with the recording industry instead of the business of higher education. Then if necessary take your business elsewhere. Feel free to copy your rejection letter to the local media. They love a good story.

Where's the Constitutionality? (5, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379089)

I still am trying to figure out how the Supreme Court allows Congress to support, or directly provide, loans at the Federal level for college students. It makes absolutely no sense to me that anyone can find support for money taken from me so that you can get your college education.

My father came to this country penniless, and worked as a waiter to get through college. He didn't have Federal support for college, so upon graduating he had no debt. Today, most of my friends who graduated in 1996-1998 still are paying off their bills, and I'm sure I'm partially paying for some of it through whatever fraudulent taxation system the Feds use to acquire my funds to pay for others.

Can't people see that Federally-financed loans are one of the primary reasons that tuition is so high? Before Federal loans, colleges would loan students their own money (at 1-2% interest) to go to school. The colleges had good reason to keep tuition low since they were taking a risk with their own money. Now we have people paying for college loans until they're 35 -- and those who never went to college and never wanted to are supporting others as well.

Combine that with no Constitutional mandate for regulation of the Internet, or for criminalizing non-physical content sharing, and you have a really hilarious law that would make the Founders roll in their graves non-stop.

This bill is a non-issue. It protects the inherent rights of no individual, but provides subsidies to special interest groups. Where's the Supreme Court when you need them?

Re:Where's the Constitutionality? (5, Insightful)

malkavian (9512) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379345)

Well, I come from the UK where we used to have completely funded University education by Grants.
Now we have loans, which I consider to be a huge step backwards.

The idea of funding (in the Federal level in the US) is to ensure that if someone proves themself to be extraordinarily bright, the fact that they may not have enough money to attend university should not be a barrier to them receiving a damn good education. The principle behind this is that this bright person may well come up with the solution to a problem that cures cancer, solves the energy problems of the world or some other wonderful thing.
They may also create the next plague, be an evil mastermind or some other thing. But the point is that while they're pursuing their dream, they're quite probably going to be in a highly paid job doing some extremely high brow work. And while they're working, they're getting taxed. And over time this elevated level of tax paid more than pays back the money they were allocated by having their tuition fees paid for.. And all the while potentially helping improve the quality of life for all.

So, I've no problems with grants, or anything else like that which funds education. That's a good use of money that stands an elevated chance of making the world a better place.

Now, to turn round and say "If you don't kow tow to the special interests of a business entity, we'll remove your accreditation to effectively teach people and educate them", what you're essentially saying is that you don't care about the future potential money that may be generated by all the people being taught in the future, especially the very bright, but poorer ones who NEED the funding.
You'd rather hamstring your technological base of the future, and future competitiveness in the world market to satiate the demands of a corporate entity that produces NO technology, merely entertainment (which is fast becoming of questionably value world wide).
This is a very good strategy, long term, to ensure you become a second class country with an inferior technology base. Money in the pockets of a few non-entities at the sacrifice of the progress of all.
Rank blackmail and extortion.

Re:Where's the Constitutionality? (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379353)

It makes absolutely no sense to me that anyone can find support for money taken from me so that you can get your college education.

Since currency is produced by the government, they can take as much as they'd like from you. If you don't like it, start bartering with everyone. The founding fathers had a problem with taxation without representation, but as taxation is currently legislated by elected representatives, the system is working as it was intended.

Re:Where's the Constitutionality? (1)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379521)

Since currency is produced by the government, they can take as much as they'd like from you. If you don't like it, start bartering with everyone.

We would if they'd let us [digg.com] .

Re:Where's the Constitutionality? (1)

fropenn (1116699) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379625)

The Federal government also provides support to small business in development loans, and local governments often provide financing to support new business growth by waiving certain taxes to encourage the growth of new business.

The philosophy behind providing loans for higher education is that it provides benefits for the country in economical growth and improves the strength of the democracy by providing a large base of (hopefully) educated voters. Seems to be a reasonable way to spend my tax dollars.

One of the biggest issues in the increasing cost of higher education is the same issue faced by many others in the United States - the dramatic and uncontrollable rise in health care costs. The same level of staffing is now much more expensive than it was 20 years ago, because premiums on health insurance are so much more expensive. Many institutions have initiated efforts to cut the cost of a college education, but this is difficult to do without having a serious negative impact on the quality of education received by students.

Re:Where's the Constitutionality? (3, Interesting)

absoluteflatness (913952) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379729)

As a college student, I've never quite understood how the economics of college work out the way they do. Tuition and fees for my school are $3,698.50 a semester for in-state students, and $9,887.50 for out-of-state students. There are roughly 16,000 students enrolled full-time from in state, and around 6,100 from out of state. So, from tuition alone, the school takes in about $59,176,000 twice a year from in-state students, and $60,313,750 from out-of-state students. I'm too lazy for better research right now (as I know the university gets money from the state, thus the lower tuition, and from other sources), but, if my multiplication skills are still good, my single school is directly charging 22,100 students $119,489,750 per semester.

On average, students take 5 classes a semester, so, by my reckoning, on average, students directly pay around $1000 per professor/class. Our student to faculty ratio is something like 16:1. Where does all the money go to here? Despite ever-increasing tuition, the school continues to run a deficit. Rather than update computer labs, students are simply told to bring their (required) laptop computers to labs. Textbooks are paid for by the student, sold at a profit by the university bookstore. I realize that facilities and education cost money, but it seems like someone, or everyone, is on the take here.

As a final note, on your point about student loans. It seems that any system set up to help poor people with something expensive just encourages raising the price. The system that has healthcare be hugely expensive, and solves that problem by paying a company whose sole purpose is to keep the status quo going, is crazily backwards. Same with education. Simply handing out money only strengthens the system. If colleges (or healthcare) are genuinely too expensive for many people, how is a subsidy on their current practices supposed to fix anything?

Re:Where's the Constitutionality? (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379791)

Citibank is raping my wife $1300 a month to pay for her loan so she can make a lovely $45k a year in expensive southern california where our rent is $1700 a month. We are almost bankrupt and I may have to drop out of school and get a second job to pay for this. Bankruptcies will not cover student loans.

So no taxes are not paying for this but rather those who graduate. This does not include my soon to be $1000 a month as well so I do nt have to work minimum wage jobs because I lack the magical piece of paper. I may just have to work 3.

Co

Re:Where's the Constitutionality? (1)

roystgnr (4015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379907)

Where's the Supreme Court when you need them?

Deciding that every law is allowed by the Interstate Commerce Clause as long as it applies to people who
a) live in a state.
or
b) sometimes engage in commerce.

Sorry, but if you speak up for the 9th and 10th Amendments today you get ignored and/or publicly reviled as a crazy person, unless you're transparently applying one of them only to a single issue where half of the country is on your side anyway. The opportune time to stand up for a generally limited Federal government passed before any of us were born.

Re:Where's the Constitutionality? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21379923)

I still am trying to figure out how the Supreme Court allows Congress to support, or directly provide, loans at the Federal level for college students. It makes absolutely no sense to me that anyone can find support for money taken from me so that you can get your college education.
This is because society as a whole benefits from a higher education level. When some sort of exchange is seen as beneficial to society as a whole, the generally accepted response is to subsidize that exchange.

My father came to this country penniless, and worked as a waiter to get through college. He didn't have Federal support for college, so upon graduating he had no debt. Today, most of my friends who graduated in 1996-1998 still are paying off their bills, and I'm sure I'm partially paying for some of it through whatever fraudulent taxation system the Feds use to acquire my funds to pay for others.
How much did tuition cost then? In case you haven't been paying attention, tuition has been rising well beyond inflation the past ten years or so. You could support a small family on what a lot of schools charge.

It is the universities that will suffer from this (4, Interesting)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379097)

The saddest part of this flawed logic, to me, is that the established schools that would qualify for this federal money will suffer the most from this. My generation was a part of that 'absolutely everyone must go to college or they will forever be unemployed' push. Back then, only drop-outs and teen moms ever went to 'night school' or 'community college'. This, in recent years, has changed a lot.

There are now a lot of ways to get a degree, and since the employee market is flooded with them now, they don't have nearly as much meaning as they once did. And the traditional schools pumping out so many psychology and sociology majors (my self included) without any job market to support them has added to this problem. Degrees are like driver's licenses these days. Your boss wants a copy for their file, but never really looks at it again.

Locally we've seen huge growth in 'technical colleges' and 'education centers'. My wife goes to Kaplan online. A good friend of mine used the University of Pheonix. Have they suffered for those choices? Not really, because the name on the degree isn't that important any more. Just like with comic books, when you print too many of the damn things the value goes way, way down.

With that in mind, imagine the bevy of options a young person would have these days in terms of education. Imagine also that they get to their dorm room and realize that they can't use the internet. Well, technically they can, but they lose access to a lot of content that is important to them. Their lives for the next five years (and yes, the profit model really does encourage at least four and a half...) will be less enjoyable for a number of reasons. Should access to the internet be one of them?

And in this mindset, how many will begin to wonder if their credits will transfer?

Re:It is the universities that will suffer from th (1)

SlappyBastard (961143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379191)

"My generation was a part of that 'absolutely everyone must go to college or they will forever be unemployed' push."

Every generation is subject to that bullshit. The joke is that with low unemployment today is the ideal time to skip college and get into the workforce early.

Re:It is the universities that will suffer from th (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379287)

Yep. Best time to work is when the economy is going well, so get a job, save some money, and when it starts tanking...as it inevitably will, being a cyclical phenomenon, go to school. By that point you may have a better idea of what you want to do for a living, and not end up settling for a placeholder "I dun went to colege" degree.

Re:It is the universities that will suffer from th (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379735)

Under the same logic your screwed to minimum wage regardless of skill without the magical piece of paper. If everyone has them then everyone needs them for a job.

So if some kid is screwed out of college its walmart time and welfare.

Have another cigar fellas... (4, Funny)

plowboylifestyle (862919) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379099)

this room isn't smokey enough. Oh and don't worry about the college kids. As I said before college students are not known for rebelling against draconian measures aimed specifically at them.

Re:Have another cigar fellas... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21379153)

Il rebelling means a McJob or 7/11 and trash hauling all their lives, they won't. Everybody has too much to lose, except the homeless and they don't count.

Re:Have another cigar fellas... (2, Interesting)

Winckle (870180) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379187)

In America, no.

In France and Canada, yes.

Re:Have another cigar fellas... (2, Interesting)

Neon Aardvark (967388) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379527)

In the 60s and 70s yes. But nowadays college kids stand by like sheep and watch as a fellow student is tazered for asking a question. They are by and large spineless.

Work Arounds (1)

bostons1337 (1025584) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379107)

Ya I admit this sucks but theres always work arounds for things. You'll just have to start using programs like Tor to mask your IP and start using encrypted p2p traffic. How are you going to catch someone you can't see?

Re:Work Arounds (2, Insightful)

seanellis (302682) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379251)

The point it, however, that when some John Q Student gets caught doing this, this will be taken as the college not taking "adequate measures" to stop him. If the lawmakers are dumb enough to pass this legislation, what chance do you think a jury will have understanding the minutiae of encrypted vs. unencrypted vs. copyrighted-but-legal content? "He's trying to hide it? Must be illegal!" Then, bang, the college loses a major part of its funding, ups its fees for all, and the neediest kids get it in the shorts (as usual).

Re:Work Arounds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21379781)

P2P traffic on TOR is a big no-no. It slows it down to a crawl.

Besides, TOR isn't much of an issue. You go after the exit nodes and scare them into submission. The German police already succeeded in scaring a self-proclaimed internet independentist "online rights" supporter into turning off his exit node.

Once, safe behind his keyboard, he may have made loud proclaims too, about "the fight" and how "we would win". But faced with uniforms and handcuffs, he gave up. He wasn't charged with anything, and yet he surrendered.

As you all will. Once snatched away from your precious computers you will shit your pants.

Bullying works. Always. The one with the biggest stick wins.

Just one question for the government: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21379113)

Where's Bin Laden ?

It's just one more reason to live off-campus (1)

SlappyBastard (961143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379143)

Just go ahead and add "Avoiding the music industry's nanny state / racketeering" to the list of good reasons to live off campus.

Congress ... (-1, Troll)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379169)

Don't worry Bush(itler) is the cause of all problems. So let's just kill all college kids and that will prevent Bush from hiring new interns !

So no more common carrier status? (4, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379197)

If universities are doing content filtering to weed out P2P traffic, then they obviously aren't functioning as a common carrier.

Does this make them liable for anything else illegal done with their network? What about the transmission of viruses?

I don't think they want to go this route.

Re:So no more common carrier status? (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379457)

I was thinking the same thing. If I were in charge (generally speaking) I'd lawyer up, and if it came down to having to do something, I'd outsource all student connections to some large ISP, then source the school's backbone infrastructure as a service through that ISP. Now, the school no longer has responsibility for the internet connection of students, and it is no longer a federal issue. Congress cannot force an ISP to become network un-nuetral :)

Not sure about all the details, but the idea seems sound. Throwing the student's connections onto a public ISP resolves the issue IMO. I've always wondered about something: if the **AA can sue me even if someone hacked my wireless AP, why don't they just sue the schools instead of individuals? Why don't they just sue Comcast or Verizon? I'm afraid the answer is that they only want to target those that can least afford the fight.

I'm rather curious about the legal position this puts the schools in, forcing them to help enforce laws. does anyone have a legal view of that issue? Does that make the schools complicit in further file sharing? Is there legal precedent for strong-arming the schools into assisting law enforcement in such a manner? What happens when some kids start using Wi-Fi to share where the kid is on campus and the AP is not? What happens when someone gets smart enough to set up a ssh tunnel to a server off campus and use it for P2P access; is the school responsible?

Re:So no more common carrier status? (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379559)

Well, they already strong-arm colleges into letting the Army come recruit.

Let me tell you, those mobile Army recruiting stations they set up are *gigantic*... there was a huge one that just sprang up yesterday outside of the entrance to the football stadium here on the night of a big game, trying to trap the people going to watch.

What a crock. So much for neutral academic dialogue.

Don't forget to write your REP (1)

haplo21112 (184264) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379311)

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

The only way they know that we as a population are opposed is to let them know. So drop them a line to let them know how stupid it is that things have gotten this far, and to oppose it going any further.

Of course they wont listen to you, all they care about is the Money that the RIAA, and MPAA is slipping them under the table.

RIAA declares jihad on higher education (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21379321)

... you realize how utterly backwards your country is when funding for higher education is based upon compliance with irrational self-aggrandizing laws written by a for-profit entertainment industry.

Fantastic. Where do I sign up?

Location of provision? (1)

Ian Alexander (997430) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379385)

Which provision in particular does the article refer to? I'm trying to find it but there are references to copyright infringement all over this bill.

Democrats need to be CAREFUL (2, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379395)

These are younger and still impressionable people. You damage their youth experience and place them directly in front of the **AA Steam-roller and you will witness the birth of an ARMY of Republican voters. Do these people *NOT* realize that College-age people are also VOTERS? And as less mature voters, they're a lot more easily swayed by their direct experience and their emotions.

The Democrats have historically been directed by "big media" and when their targets were hazy, people were less offended. But now the targets are clearly defined and those targets VOTE... especially when they are being targeted and have someone to vote out of office.

Analogy time! (2, Insightful)

e-scetic (1003976) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379427)

Let's choose a lobby, any lobby...let me think....no, scratch that, let's go for the gold, let's choose AIPAC (pro-Israel lobby).

Ok, now, let's have this lobby sponsor an amendment to one of these education bills, calling for the schools to take action and develop plans to ensure there is no anti-Israel "hate speech" anywhere on campus. Further, the schools who don't take sufficient action risk losing funding. Schools develop fucking SWAT teams to check every book in the library, every dorm room, scan every poster or flyer, oversee the school newspapers, etc.

Or let's also throw in the soup lobby, the carrot lobby, the evangelists, big tobacco, big pharma, television, hell, every lobby you can think of, adding their respective amendments about bloody everything.

Where this is even possible, schools of higher learning, the bastions of freedom of thought and expression, the foundations of critical thought, where the right to hold alternative beliefs and opinions is sacred, are no more. When it comes to education there should be nothing remotely resembling lobby group amendments.

As you sow, so shall you reap (2)

Quixote (154172) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379431)

This is what happens when the voters stop voting, or vote on the basis of strawman issues like abortion, gay marriage, etc.

Listen up people: *START VOTING* !!!

The *IAA has the money, no doubt; BUT THEY CAN'T VOTE! AND IN THE END, ONLY VOTES COUNT!!!

If you don't have the money to donate to candidates who look after your interests, AT LEAST GET OUT AND SUPPORT THEM IN KIND! VOLUNTEER FOR THEM, WORK FOR THEM.

Shit. I hate to shout, but I am *sick* and *tired* of this bullshit. When will people wake up and pay attention? Most of "citizens" could probably name all the "Dancing with the stars" contestants, but would have no idea who their congressman is. More motherfuckers voted for "American Idol" than in the last election!

Re:As you sow, so shall you reap (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379637)

The trouble is that the vast bulk of Americans are so (dumb|undereducated) that you can easily persuade them to vote for whoever by spending money on TV ads.

This is why money counts.

Re:As you sow, so shall you reap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21379737)

Wake me up when someone who isn't a complete sycophant has more than a tenth of a percent of the polls and maybe I'll start voting.

At this point in time, voting means nothing (especially when your congressman of choice just gets bought 10 minutes after inauguration anyways).

700 pages? F that (5, Insightful)

daeg (828071) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379437)

A 700 page bill is akin to me doing a 700 file commit to SVN. There's no way in hell any manager should approve that large of a change. Either break it down into 5 page commits as individual pieces that can be debated and passed/rejected one-by-one, or get the fuck out of Congress. They are just giving ammo to non-Democrats. Remember how no one "read" the Patriot Act? This is the same deal.

Passing a bill without reading and understanding it should be treated as treason, plain and simple. Don't like it? Don't run for Congress or don't vote on the bill. Period.

Re:700 pages? F that (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379627)

But then your against affordable college because you didn't support the bill. You dont want to be anti afford ability do you?

Then ypour opponent will use that as ammo to run against you.

Easy Solution (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379949)

Require a Quorum to be there as all of the bill are read *out loud* before voting on them.

Would solve a ton of issues quickly, and make congress slow down.

It's about time (1)

hoyeru (1116923) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379593)

I am a comic book artist and I sell copies digital copies of my artwork online(or try to). That's how I make my living. You /.~ers can keep on inventing excuses such as "coping a digital copy is not stealing", "keeping up with the times", "fair use" and so on but the truth is that everyone that is creating stuff today-artists, writers, musicians (and that includes writers of software too) is hurting badly because of the rampant pirating of our work.
I wish the law is even stricter and anyone caught pirating anything be made to pay dearly. This includes taking any of the property they own(house, car, etc) and if they cannot pay send their ass to jail. Enough IS enough.

Let me see what excuse /.~ers can come up with

Re:It's about time (1)

Lucky_Norseman (682487) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379941)

And of course, everytime you steal from earlier comics you should lose all your property and go to jail. This includes homage splashes in the style of other more famous artists and in-jokes based on the intellectual property of others. Right?

I'd rather like... (1)

jesterpilot (906386) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379635)

to see the plans of the universities to deter the threats on science and reason, like the ID-movement.

I SUPPORT THE BILL (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21379653)

because I'm SICK of slashdot and digg reading thieving little CUNTS who thinks he world owes them a fucking living. how about students actually fucking STUDY then go get a JOB and pay your fucking way like the rest of us.
I'd happily sling any student caught misusing the campus network for copyright infringement in a cell for five years. Arent you fucking college kids supposed to know right from wrong by that age?
Fucking morons.

Is it just me, or is this a bit shortsighted? (1)

Fuji Kitakyusho (847520) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379695)

Won't this simply drive students into off-campus housing?

What Next? Social Media Sites? (1)

illectro (697914) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379709)

Seriously, people do like downloading files, but many more appear to be happy to browse sites like youtube [youtube.com] and its clones for videos, and imeem [imeem.com] and it's blossoming collection of immitators for their music needs - not to mention the various agregator sites. Why download a client, share your bandwidth and put yourself at risk from getting sued by the RIAA/MPAA or at risk from wierd viruses from the sofware you're downloading when you can just upload your media to a website and proclaim to the world that you love it? I mean the big [imeem.com] record [imeem.com] labels [emigroup.com] have signed on to allow free sharing of music via imeem and that in itself must take a huge number of potential file sharers out of the equation. Sure the videos aren't really dvd quality yet, and while the music may be cd quality it's still bound up in a browser, but you can't beat the price, convenience or the fact that it's instant and on demand.

Yet another illustration ... (2, Insightful)

doggod (1081287) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379725)

of why centralized government funding of things is generally a bad idea.

When the Federal government becomes the source of significant funding for education, it also automatically becomes a magnet for those who wish to impose their will on the educational system -- whether related to the educational process or not.

It works everywhere. For example, states have to bow to the Federal government in the design of their roads and driver's licenses and what-have-you because otherwise they risk losing the rebate of tax money that was originally partially collected from their state -- in the form of Federal highway funds.

The collapse of the USSR demonstrated the inherent inability of highly centralized, heavy-handed bureaucracies to cope with the extremely varied and variable conditions of the real world. It's somewhat baffling to see that the US public has apparently not gotten that lesson at all and continues to support the trend toward emulating the Soviet mistakes.

Then again, oh wait, I get it. It's not baffling at all. The US public was mostly "educated" in the system of government-run schools, which feeds children a steady diet of propaganda so that by the time they grow up they're convinced that Big Brother Knows Best and they should Sit Down and Shut Up.

Sad to see how the "land of the free and the home of the brave" has become the "land of the cowardly slaves."

I just..... (1)

dippitydoo (1134915) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379757)

Emailed our senators in Washington State. You guys should do the same for your state. Unless you live outside the country, You lucky bastards.

sneaker net (5, Insightful)

queequeg1 (180099) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379785)

I wonder if forcing college kids to use sneaker net will increase or reduce the problem. I have actually become scared by the RIAA's tactics, even though I would occassionally download only a song or two (who wants to pay a $3,000 settlement for downloading a few cheesy 80s tunes). So, to avoid getting caught, I asked a neighbor for a copy of some of his 80s tunes. He brought over an external hard drive with everything he has, totalling over 700GB (more than 17,000 flac files). Too many to go through before giving the drive back so I just copied the entire drive. I have since listened to much more than I originally intended to get from my neighbor.

I have to wonder if, given how inexpensive external drives are and how close college students live to one another, forcing people into a mode where the standard is to share thousands (or tens of thousands) of songs in a single transaction is an effective way to reduce piracy. Sure, the number of people who do this might shrink, but the number of songs pirated might go up.

New Title for Posting (1)

njhunter (613589) | more than 6 years ago | (#21379867)

Congress Removes $100 Billion in Funding from Colleges
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