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Proposed Bill in Tennessee Penalizes Schools for Allowing Piracy

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the the-riaa's-problems-are-everyone's-problems dept.

The Internet 129

An anonymous reader brings us an Ars Technica report about a proposed bill in Tennessee which would require state-funded universities to enforce anti-piracy standards. The universities would be forced to "track down and stop infringing activity" or risk losing their funding. The U.S. Congress requested last year that certain universities do this voluntarily. Quoting: "Efforts taken by universities thus far to deter and prevent piracy have had mixed results. The University of Utah, for instance, claims that it has reduced MPAA and RIAA complaints by 90 percent and saved $1.2 million in bandwidth costs by instituting anti-piracy filtering mechanisms. However, the school revealed that their filtering system hasn't been able to stop encrypted P2P traffic and noted that students will find ways to circumvent any system. The end result, some say, will be a costly arms race as students perpetually work to circumvent anti-piracy systems put in place by universities."

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Ah Good (5, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595062)

Ah good, so Tennessee has the magic black box that can sniff out encrypted traffic.

Right?

Re:Ah Good (1, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595108)

Tennessee?

They used to penalize schools that allowed students with teeth!

Re:Ah Good (5, Interesting)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595126)

Or they could stop offering internet connections for personal devices and instead only offer connection through university run/approved labs and computer centers. Control over what gets installed or run on such computers could be more strictly controlled. "Off-campus" housing could still provide access, but the University could more easily claim that its outside its authority. You might laugh, but the computer lab used to be the only place you could get connected; why might it not be possible to become so again? Likely, no not really. But still a grim possible approach.

Re:Ah Good (4, Informative)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595288)

Simpler than that. The university or school no longer provides internet access. Instead it creates a separate external entity that is a licensed ISP, that provides internet connections for staff and students, thus giving the school the same protections as a common carrier, whilst still providing a cost effective service.

The insane bat shit logic of penalising and punishing students, for what questionable content publishers deem to be non profit enhancing services provided by schools.

What will state governments do next, mandate that schools become licensed distributors of RIAA/MPAA protected content, and that the revenue be used for funding the school.

Re:Ah Good (0, Flamebait)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595464)

I agree with the sentiment that universities (and the tax payers) not fund networks that won't be used properly. I realize that a lot of people do use the networks for perfectly valid uses, according to the evidence the bulk of traffic on educational networks is not legitimate (legitimate being for the purposes of education or legal personal uses.)

However it should be noted that ISPs are not common carriers.

The amazing thing is that many students are learning occupations that are dependent on IP and yet continue to ignore it. I wonder who they expect to provide them a paycheck once they become producers? Or would they rather go the inefficient route of millions of one-offs?

Re:Ah Good (2, Insightful)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595740)

The amazing thing is that many students are learning occupations that are dependent on IP and yet continue to ignore it.
Lets be honest here, most undergraduate degrees earned at universities today do not translate directly into any marketable jobs skills with the possible exception of basic writing and the ability (hopefully) to think critically and solve problems. Unless your major is business administration or some form of hard science (i.e. chemistry, physics, engineering, etc) you are either going on to graduate school to teach once you complete your PhD OR you are going to end up in some marginal "white collar" job selling insurance, running a franchise, or pushing paper in some cookie-cutter business park surrounded by urban sprawl. The old mantra of work hard, get a college education, and land a high paying job has been broken for at least a decade now. A college education, for the most part, no longer gets you ahead but rather merely affords you the opportunity NOT to fall too far behind.

Re:Ah Good (2, Insightful)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 6 years ago | (#22598360)

I go to a "polytechnic" university; it tends to mix marketable skills in with the pure academics; I'd say that the only practically useless degrees would be Political Science, Philosophy, etc. Language majors can become writers or translators, agriculture majors have various options open to them from irrigation and landscape design to veterinary work, depending on the exact major. Engineering and science have obvious work applications. I guess my point is that (at least at my school), graduating students tend not to have any problems in finding work that fits with their majors, right out of earning a bachelor's.

Re:Ah Good (2, Insightful)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595804)

The amazing thing is that many students are learning occupations that are dependent on IP and yet continue to ignore it. I wonder who they expect to provide them a paycheck once they become producers? Or would they rather go the inefficient route of millions of one-offs?
For all you know they might work out business models for themselves that don't conflict with file sharing.

Re:Ah Good (1)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595894)

For all you know they might work out business models for themselves that don't conflict with file sharing.


That'd be why I said:

Or would they rather go the inefficient route of millions of one-offs?


Because selling "services" is kind of the inefficient way to work.

Re:Ah Good (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595990)

Really? Red Hat's revenues beg to differ.

Re:Ah Good (1)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 6 years ago | (#22596060)

Redhat's revenues are meaningless wrt efficiency of the support model.

Re:Ah Good (3, Insightful)

Nullav (1053766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595950)

I agree with the sentiment that universities (and the tax payers) not fund networks that won't be used properly. I realize that a lot of people do use the networks for perfectly valid uses, according to the evidence the bulk of traffic on educational networks is not legitimate (legitimate being for the purposes of education or legal personal uses.)
And would it be proper to take away one of the most useful tools (network access outside of dedicated 'computer labs')? I don't have the paper to back it up, but I'm assuming the cost of network access is covered in the outrageous cost of textbooks and tuition.

The amazing thing is that many students are learning occupations that are dependent on IP and yet continue to ignore it. I wonder who they expect to provide them a paycheck once they become producers?
You don't get rich off music (at least if you're the one writing it), many games bomb for good reason (Though you can always aspire to get bought out by EA, I suppose.), and universities aren't for aspiring screen actors. Don't even get me started on 'art degrees'.

Or would they rather go the inefficient route of millions of one-offs?
As it should be. Even entertainment has its value, but that doesn't mean that a week, or even a year of brilliance should be rewarded for a lifetime. If those one or two works were all you had in you, move on to something else. If you're talking about patents, software/business model patents are stupid and the rest require effort to infringe upon; people aren't going to copy your innovative new engine left and right, and you can get a good sum of money from whoever does.

Re:Ah Good (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 6 years ago | (#22597272)

"The amazing thing is that many students are learning occupations that are dependent on IP and yet continue to ignore it. I wonder who they expect to provide them a paycheck once they become producers? Or would they rather go the inefficient route of millions of one-offs?"

Exactly how are they suppose to learn to use all this software without being able to actually use it? Because students already have enough expenses with the cost of books and tuition raising much faster than inflation [usnews.com] , and it's been doing this for at least 8 years now (article dated Oct 2000) [chronicle.com] . So where are they suppose to get the extra couple grand it costs to pay for all the software that industries expect them to know? Think schools are handing out free copies of Office or Visual C++? I wouldn't know a tenth of what I know if it wasn't for downloading software.

Re:Ah Good (3, Informative)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22597720)

No, but Microsoft does. Not only does DreamSpark [msdn.com] offer college students free software, Microsoft gives it away like candy at their promotional events.

Re:Ah Good (1)

msdschris (875574) | more than 6 years ago | (#22598654)

"So where are they suppose to get the extra couple grand it costs to pay for all the software that industries expect them to know? Think schools are handing out free copies of Office or Visual C++? I wouldn't know a tenth of what I know if it wasn't for downloading software."
Yes, mine in fact does give out free copies. Office 2007 Enterprise, SQL Standard, Visual Studio Professional and numerous others all downloadable from the campus website legally.

Re:Ah Good (3, Informative)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595486)

What will state governments do next, mandate that schools become licensed distributors of RIAA/MPAA protected content, and that the revenue be used for funding the school.
Schools already tried that something sort of like that themselves, (probably as a stop-gap against RIAA litigation,) it didn't really work out so great... [arstechnica.com]

Re:Ah Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22598004)

Oh yes, this will work well, I wonder who's going to end up getting what they want from their computer/net connection.

An entire university's population of com sci majors, or some lawyers in Washington.

Totally the wrong fight to pick.

Re:Ah Good (4, Funny)

Digi-John (692918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595306)

In other news, enrollment at the University of Tennessee has dropped off sharply this year. The U of T cites the cause as "damn kids these days", while assuring the public that it has nothing to do with their recent network changes.

Re:Ah Good (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595652)

THis does not work well in the academic environment. What if someone needs to access data in class? I am a business administration major and I download the slides and click on example links in my electronic commerce and marketing classes all the time as part of my assignments. Many group assignments that are in class are due in class via wifi. Laptops are required. Especially internet connect laptops.

Not to mention computer science students needs to read thick api and programming books while they do their work which is kind of hard in a crammed lab. Doing this on a dorm or notebook wirelessly provides a great benefit.

ITs not like work where you sit at one desk or in a boardroom and everything can be controlled tightly and people can work together effectively.

Re:Ah Good (1)

The -e**(i*pi) (1150927) | more than 6 years ago | (#22596738)

I always enjoyed the 8 hours before the programming assignments were due, where like 5-10 random people would be in a lab from the same class and we could help each other out a little. The only bad part was the assignments were due at midnight, and took 8 hours.
We basically had to use the university lab computers, because if it didn't run on them we got like a 55% max (I learned that lesson fast)

Re:Ah Good (1)

ConfusedMonkey (1248260) | more than 6 years ago | (#22596518)

Being able to wirelessly access the internet from anywhere on campus is a standard learning tool. If a school was foolish enough to attempt a policy like that their enrollment would fall though the floor. What you're proposing is similar to suggesting that everyone should switch from owning textbooks to only using the books in the library to prevent students from photocopying copyrighted material.

Re:Ah Good (1)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22596850)

I agree. Yes, its not very likely or probably even really possible. But the point is creative thinking works both ways. However, I think encryption is the solution to the wrong problem. The problem isn't "oh noes, how will I get teh music?" its "oh noes, my University will raise tuition rates for everybody if they can't stop teh pirates! (And most likely raise it even under threat of the funding loss the law presents.)

Re:Ah Good (1)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 6 years ago | (#22597470)

The problem is that the University also runs dorms and as such is a home isp for the students that live in those dorms.

Re:Ah Good (1)

John Pfeiffer (454131) | more than 6 years ago | (#22598566)

Right. I remember back when the computer labs were almost the only places on campus you could get net access... The stories I could tell you about how easy it was to compromise all internet access... Oh boy. (All the logins for quality porn sites alone were worth it!)

There's really nothing to stop someone from putting in a Linux live-cd, and doing whatever they damn well please if they don't feel like picking apart ITS's favorite windows security suite and just doing what they want in windows. What are they going to do? Have ITS and campus security go around tasering people who they find to be 'misusing' the lab computers?

I say don't bother. Anyone with half a brain or even the vaguest notion of how to google something is going to find a way around any security. All you do by making them jump through the hoops is make them feel ENTITLED. Good job there. Real crackerjack work.

If we weren't supposed to download it, it wouldn't be on the internet!

Re:Ah Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22598622)

There's really nothing to stop someone from putting in a Linux live-cd, and doing whatever they damn well please if they don't feel like picking apart ITS's favorite windows security suite and just doing what they want in windows. What are they going to do? Have ITS and campus security go around tasering people who they find to be 'misusing' the lab computers?

Either that or disable booting from a CD/floppy/USB and put a password on the bios. Sure, you can get around that! Just replace the HDD, or reset the bios! But if you start taking the computers apart, that IS rather obvious, and can be countered by putting a little lock on the box. Or put all the computers in a locked room and only give the students access to a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and external DVD-drive.

There are quite a lot of things to stop someone from putting in a Linux live-cd.

Re:Ah Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22595160)

solution: ban encrypted traffic, after all only pirates use it right?

Re:Ah Good (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595328)

Even if it were a serious statement, this is nothing more than an arm's race, and an arm's race that's the state's (or university's) to lose. Ban encrypted traffic, someone figures out how to disguise it. Figure out how to recognize that, someone comes along and does one better.

Re:Ah Good (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595586)

Even if it were a serious statement, this is nothing more than an arm's race, and an arm's race that's the state's (or university's) to lose. Ban encrypted traffic, someone figures out how to disguise it.
Guess what, the schools can do one better, in the extreme, they can just ban the offending students.
They can do anything from cutting off net connections to expelling the students outright.

In between, you have being put on probation & threatened with expulsion. This will either straighten out the alleged infringers, or force them into off campus housing. Either way, problem solved.

Just don't forget that ultimately, all the power is in the hands of the Uni/College.

Re:Ah Good (3, Insightful)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595810)

Yeh, because it's so hard to hijack another student's computer and utilise it as a proxy... imagine the litigation that would follow for expelling students for downloading when they are innocent. I think it would cost the universities a lot more than $1.2m...

Re:Ah Good (1)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595622)

Yeah. The state will have totally lost when they block all direct connectivity and only allow net access through application level proxies. I'm curious how you think any significant bandwidth will then be leveraged through the uni network by the students for copyright infringing purposes?

Re:Ah Good (1)

kesuki (321456) | more than 6 years ago | (#22596556)

By 'pirates' do you mean online banking, online shopping, and logging into web-mail or logging into web fourms. or logging into blog sites... not to mention ssh...

blocking encrypted data isn't realistic, now tallying encrypted traffic, and designing a router the lowers the network priority of people who exceed, say 15 MB of encrypted traffic in one hour... and shuts them off completely if they exceed 100 MB an hour... well that's a whole different ball of wax.

but then people can't effectively use vpn either, at least it's a smaller price to pay.

Re:Ah Good (2, Funny)

epee1221 (873140) | more than 6 years ago | (#22597130)

Ah good, so Tennessee has the magic black box that can sniff out encrypted traffic.
Well, the evil bit is right there in the packet header.

first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22595076)

first post

Pirates! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22595100)

Avast! [comicsreporter.com]

In other news... (4, Funny)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595110)

The NSA reports a record recruiting year from students at the Univ of Utah. "They are some very talented cryptography students.", says NSA spokesman.

At my university... (4, Insightful)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595120)

they do this already, and for the most part are very good at it (Limewire and the like can't be used without the user's internet being disconnected).

Of course, many of the people I know simple use uTorrent. So yeah, the legislation won't do much of anything but deny universities money when the US is already lagging worldwide.

Re:At my university... (4, Insightful)

thegrassyknowl (762218) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595260)

It seems to me that the US Government and many others are focusing on this new-fangled Internet thing because it's a haven for people who pirate music, share terrorist plans and do all sorts of other nasty stuff (like free exchange of ideas). Do they think about anything else?

When will they realise they can't filter the Internet without removing access to all-but one protocol (port) and even then the filters are doomed to failure. Without blocking all other access people will just sidestep the filter and use open relays, proxies and networks like Tor.

They can't possibly hope to analyse all traffic that flows either. The computation power alone would be unfeasible and the amount of false positives would be too high that there'd be a revolt against it.

*grumbles* Instead of finding new and expensive ways of "fixing" the Internet why don't they just fix the copyright, IP and other laws.

Re:At my university... (4, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595380)

The reality is that the Internet, like a lot of new technologies throughout history, is going to destroy some businesses. The flintlock and cannon put the archer and spearman out to pasture. The car decimated the horsebreeding industry.

New technologies will render some industries obsolete or unsustainable. RIAA and the MPAA had a good ride as they are currently structured. Well, it's more involved than that. They've spent decades screwing over artists, incautious investors and the taxman (read: the taxpayer). But the model they've used for all that time cannot be sustained in any age of digital reproduction and distribution. It's a dying game. Call it theft if you like, and it is, but the fact that it's so pervasive really tells us that the way intellectual property has been viewed for a couple of centuries is gone.

Re:At my university... (2, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595666)

"it's so pervasive really tells us that the way intellectual property has been viewed for a couple of centuries is gone."

Coup of centuries? I think it's only been viewed as IP for a much shorter time than that.

IP slows down progress. It's only good for
1) People who can only come up with one good idea/CD in their entire life.
2) Companies that enslave such people

OK, I exaggerate and maybe we might need copyright, but it should be a lot shorter, say 7 or 10 years. That way Microsoft will be too afraid of releasing crap like Vista, because they will have to compete against themselves in the form of Win2K. If you say "But then Microsoft wouldn't have bothered to come out with stuff like Windows", answer is companies like Apple would have been happy to fill the need.

Re:At my university... (1)

the brown guy (1235418) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595898)

At my university...we have maximum bandwidth until we reach a certain transfer limit, after which it gets painfully slow. I assume that at other universities you have to sign in to use their wireless internet. Still, people can still transfer via LAN, I think that's the correct term. I'm not tech savvy.

Re:At my university... (1)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22597736)

Amusingly enough, I know universities where that only applies to student housing- the on-campus wireless is uncapped (B, 11 Mb/s), but try to use the 100 Mb/s drop in your room and you'll soon see the folly of your ways.

Re:At my university... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22595408)

why don't they just fix the copyright, IP and other laws.
I realise that was rhetorical, but the answer is "because doing that would reduce their power over others". It's all about control.

Re:At my university... (2, Insightful)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595728)

Universities are ISPs.

How long will it be until this is forced onto consumer ISPs?

~Dan

Re:At my university... (1)

junner518 (1235322) | more than 6 years ago | (#22596566)

Peerguardian + Encryption = Circumvention

The bottom line is that as long as these P2P protection apps exist and bad servers are being blocked, and a way around packet header filtering is available, file sharing will run rampant. Many bittorrent users have the tech knowledge to know about these preventative measures and do use them. It is really sad to see, however, kids who are just looking for an easy way out that have no idea what perils are out there for P2P. Many of my friends have received those cease and desist emails from comcast and the like, and I told them about peerguardian. In order for universities and ISPs to filter P2P, a huge amount of infrastructural improvements must be made. And is it worth it? Maybe to get the RIAA off your back...

May as well just evacuate Tennessee (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22595128)

May as well just evacute tenessee and shut down the schools, i sincerely doubt they have enough surplus cash to pay for licenses to any educational material their beneficiary kids might want...

http://warez.bluenorway.org/ [bluenorway.org]

Parallels to Civil War (5, Interesting)

Shajenko42 (627901) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595142)

This reminds me of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850.

Cliff notes: Slave owners couldn't track down slaves that made it to the North, so they made a law saying that federal marshals had to do it for them or face an enormous fine.

Essentially, the same thing that the RIAA is trying to do with copyright infringers - force other people to do their policing for them.

Of course we know what happened to the slave owners - they lost their legal right to own slaves entirely. Who knows how this will affect the RIAA's right to own copyrights.

Re:Parallels to Civil War (2, Insightful)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 6 years ago | (#22597164)

"Of course we know what happened to the slave owners - they lost their legal right to own slaves entirely. Who knows how this will affect the RIAA's right to own copyrights."

You know, that is a good point. Just as most people assume that the 'owning' of information will never be outlawed, there was a time that many believed that the 'owning' of people will never be outlawed. As copyright now stands, we are quickly moving to a slave state. All communication is derivative. All recorded history is... well... recorded. We are young enough that it is still technically possible to function without using copyright material. Every year though, that becomes harder and harder. Much as you cannot just go out into the woods and become a mountain man anymore, the day will soon come that one will not be able to exist in society without using copyright material, and by extension, be under control of those who 'own' the information. It will still be a little while yet, but we are now standing on the cusp of the share cropper stage. We can only hope that outrage is fermented enough to save us, and our future owners are denied their 'property' before things get too bad.

Really now? (3, Funny)

eggman9713 (714915) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595178)

If universitites actually enforced their network access policies (academic, non personal business only blah blah), I would never be able to post this comm

Re:Really now? (2, Funny)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595744)

Arthur: What?
Maynard: '"...I would never be able to post this comm"'.
Bedevere: What is that?
Maynard: He must have been caught while typing it.
Lancelot: Oh, come on!
Maynard: Well, that's what it says.
Arthur: Look, if he was being taken away, he wouldn't bother to type 'comm'.
Maynard: Well, that's what's written in the post!
Galahad: Perhaps he was dictating.
Arthur: Oh, shut up. Well, does it say anything else?
Maynard: No. Just 'comm'.

[There is a thunderous roar, and the Knigh75 see a huge, animated Sys. Admin. behind them.]

Maynard: It's the Legendary Sys. Admin. of -- [the Admin b&s him] -- &#*$#NO_CARRIER!!!
Arthur/Knigh75: RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!...

Re:Really now? (1)

repapetilto (1219852) | more than 6 years ago | (#22596326)

I thought it was funn

Just little time... (4, Interesting)

nbert (785663) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595188)

...until they'll realize that all the efforts the **AA has gone through will result in some people exchanging data on physical media. I'm amazed that they still believe everything will be fixed if the internet has been regulated beyond reason.

There's a theory which says that all music produced up to now will fit on a single hdd within a decade. I'm certain that they will stop chasing universities the moment they'll realize that some people carry all music available in their purse ;)

Re:Just little time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22596162)

If they used their brains for just a moment, they would realise that a huge number of students have 30GB+ MP3 players, and so can pass music around anywhere there is a computer. Anyway, in my experience, the vast majority of music pirated by students in residence is obtained (legitimately or not) by one student and then shared to everyone else who wants it, so at most they would get a few more sale per college.

Who defines pirate bits? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22595190)

How would piracy be defined? So because I have torrent downloading or a P2P network client transferring data I'm now a pirate?

I think many Linux users who download ISOs from these sources would be quite turned off by the prospect of that label.

Re:Who defines pirate bits? (1)

The Anarchist Avenge (1004563) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595808)

Yarrr, ye be thinkin so, but ye be wrong as a nor'easter in Botany Bay!

Re:Who defines pirate bits? (2, Insightful)

davidphogan74 (623610) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595886)

Well, it's not like you paid for Linux, so you must be a pirate. Right?

Re:Who defines pirate bits? (1)

ASBands (1087159) | more than 6 years ago | (#22596816)

Pirates would simply specify a bit in the IP header. Logically, it would be implemented like RFC 3514 [faqs.org]

Re:Who defines pirate bits? (2, Insightful)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 6 years ago | (#22598742)

How would piracy be defined? So because I have torrent downloading or a P2P network client transferring data I'm now a pirate?
Does the RIAA like what your doing?

If not your a pirate.

~Dan

Meh. (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595224)

It's not like the creators are getting any benefit, are they?

And try something else: buy a VPS. Tunnel your traffic to VPS via SSH or another "stupid" encryption. Hell, XOR could work.

And pay for the VPS at 3 month increments using those "reloadable credit cards". Just dont use your name or real CC or check. No paper trail. :-D

Now, guess what I did.

checks (to the RIAA) and (bank) balances (3, Interesting)

themushroom (197365) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595228)

> The University of Utah, for instance, claims that it has reduced MPAA and RIAA complaints by 90 percent ...

The number of MPAA and RIAA complaints directed toward grandmothers and elementary school students has also gone down without the use of filtering. Coincidence?

That, and the U of U is in SLC so chances are the students can just walk over to the nearest temple and listen to a tabernacle choir for free. :-D

Always has - always will (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595264)

How many times does it have to be repeated?

The internet views restrictions as outages and routes around them.

Re:Always has - always will (2, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595598)

Zero please.

Q: How many Economists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Economists don't change lightbulbs- they sit in the darkness writing academic papers and wait for Adam Smith's Invisible hand to do it.

Q: How many Internet Fans does it take to bypass restrictions?
A: They talk about "nuke proof", "routes around censorship" and hope someone else does it.

Hurting encrypted P2P without hurting nonP2P users is not immensely hard as long as nonP2P users never have lots of encrypted connections to many destinations at the same time.

What you do is rotate a user's bandwidth allocation on encrypted traffic to/from the various different _destinations_ of a user. So if you are using encryption to 8 different destinations, say only the first gets bandwidth for a few seconds, then _only_ the second, then the third and so on. If lots of ISPs do that, the odds of connections amongst affected users being "unsquished" drops with the number of destinations with encrypted traffic they have.

If you are only using encryption to one destination that's not going to hurt you at all. If you're an https user, sure only pages and stuff from one server at a time will be downloaded quickly, but I doubt most people will notice.

If Copyright wasn't so broken, ISPs would be able to cache copyrighted material - they could set up "super peers" give them priority, and when they detect something being torrented, they get their super peers to fetch it fast and seed it to everyone in their network.

If ISPs tried that now, they'll get sued.

If, if, if...stop stammering, pls. (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595674)

If you stood on your head and chucked nickels out of your ass, the street would be full of fecal-covered coins.

And yet, the download beat goes on. How sweet that is :)

Thanks for making my point. And thanks for taking a run at me, but better luck next time. I'm sure with a bit more time and perhaps a nap, you can do better. Go for it.

Re:If, if, if...stop stammering, pls. (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 6 years ago | (#22596744)

Yeah I was sleepy... Woke up early. Mornings are overrated.

I'll try better next time :).

Funding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22595280)

Maybe the taxpayers should stop funding the government. They can get their revenue from their lords at the RIAA.

Internet Routes around Censorship (3, Interesting)

ParadoxDruid (602583) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595284)

I can't remember where I first heard it, but the phrase, "The Internet sees censorship as damage and routes around it" seems applicable here.

Re:Internet Routes around Censorship (2, Insightful)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595756)

I can't remember where I first heard it, but the phrase, "The Internet sees censorship as damage and routes around it" seems applicable here.

I disagree with that to 98% is easily achievable. Internet access can be policed enough to prevent pirate down links, but not necessarily communication. One limitation a MP3 more MP4 is going to have is they are large enough using DNS to send/receive them, while it might work it is eventually and few will wait the time to download then listen. Plus, even that can be blocked and detected.

Even SSL can be intercepted. Nailed one idiot once this way who thought using a internet proxy and SSL would suffice to hide his tracks.

It comes down to will, policing, cost and management support. But it is policing, the old fashioned way. If a student gets caught, they get cut off. Do it again, and bye-bye - you fail. Without a defined big bat, enforcement is futile.

The question really is, should the school be doing this or not? Usually with like banks, protecting the bank is the owners responsibility. Not the building up the block unrelated to the bank. Is it the MPAA's responsibility or the Universities? This is where the question really come to play. MPAA industry is greedy and lazy. They want the rest of society to protect their property when in fact, they should be doing more. MPAA gets a big fat F for due diligence. The fact they picked medium that is insecure is not everyone elses responsibility. Every one else at fault but mine is a common disease today though.

If it is like business, they will do enough to keep their business running and it does put a load/cost on the network to let it happen. But they do not do more than is needed for this objective.

But I wish the courts would kick the RIAA/MPAA right out on the street and tell them it isn't the courts problem.

They will have to contract it out to comcast (5, Interesting)

gambolt (1146363) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595290)

A guy I know who works in a Campus IT department has said that if bills like this pass they will have no choice but to contract dorm connectivity out to Comcast (and make students pay for it). Efforts to launch stuff like campus wide wifi would be dead in the water. It sounds like it would be the death of .edu, pretty much.

Not their responsibility. (4, Interesting)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595302)

Enforcing the law is the job of the law enforcement system. No one else. If we're going to suddenly make it the responsibility of universities to ensure their students follow the law, then it's high time we fired our law enforcers... because what, then, are they doing, if not enforcing the law?

Re:Not their responsibility. (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595414)

I think you're confusing criminal and civil law. In the US, at least, law enforcement concerns themselves only with criminal law enforcement. Copyright, trademark, patents, etc. are all considered civil.

It's equally ridiculous for placing the burden for civil enforcement on the universities, though.

Re:Not their responsibility. (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595662)

Actually copyright infringement can be considered criminal.

Ever see those "FBI Warnings" on movies that say it could be a federal offense?

Why just copyright infringement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22595472)

If they're supposed to prevent copyright infringement which is a civil matter, why not require them to prevent all kinds of other things like underage drinking, and hold them accountable for things like murder that have been happening lately?

Re:Why just copyright infringement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22595764)

If copyright infringement is a civil matter, then why is it every video I watch has that FBI warning that mentions 'fines and imprisonment' (sounds criminal to me) to which I instinctively reply: only if a jury says so!

Re:Not their responsibility. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22598218)

I see. so say you are a law abiding tax payer, who works hard 40 hours a week for his money, and your next door neighbour has an untaxed car, which he drives with no license. he claims disability benefits but you see him jogging every morning. He works from home earning good money but openly admits to you that he pays no tax and works purely for cash.
You just smile, shake his hand and think "gee its surprising that the law enforcement agencies have not caught him... still good luck to him eh!"

Bullshit.

Piracy is a free rider problem. kids donwload free movies because the rest of us pay for them, thus enabling them to be made. Its no different to the people who dodge their taxes and ignore fines, tolls and laws. Society would be better off and fairer if ordinary people had the guts to stand up and point out people who freeload and leech off the honest segment of society.

Sneaker-net (4, Insightful)

glindsey (73730) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595314)

Are they going to search every kid's locker and backpack for USB sticks, micro SD-cards, and plain old external hard drive enclosures? From what I've heard, good old sneaker-net is still a common way for kids to exchange movies, songs, games... if they crack down on the net, kids will just resort to physical trading more often.

Re:Sneaker-net (1)

repapetilto (1219852) | more than 6 years ago | (#22596404)

As a "kid" still I'll say that almost noone really does that, its just way more convenient to send it over the internet when you want it. That being said if noone could download anything they wanted anymore thats exactly what would happen.

Re:Sneaker-net (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 6 years ago | (#22597986)

And isn't sneaker-net entirely legal (fair-use)?

Re:Sneaker-net (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 6 years ago | (#22598102)

Well, at least they'll get out some time and get some exercise. So sneaker-net could be labeled as a health plan.

Why stop with copyrights? (3, Insightful)

serutan (259622) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595376)

How about withholding money from schools that have too many robberies, assaults, parking tickets and overdue library books?

Re:Why stop with copyrights? (4, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595412)

The record and movie indusry lobbiests don't give a damn about rape, murder, assaults and double-parking assholes. They're job is buy the political whores that sit in Washington and state legislatures.

What I think we need to do is to pass a Constitutional amendment forcing all politicians to dress up like the cheap tarts they really are. Every morning before they go into a session, they should be forced to stand out on the street showing their legs while lobbiests are constitutionally required to throw nickels at them.

If we're going to have pathetic whores in power, they should be forced in every way to behave like them.

Re:Why stop with copyrights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22595882)

Good idea! But why stop there?

Why not stop ALL funding of universities that allow the use of software sold by a company found guilty of abuse of a monopoly?

IF they go with that, I'd go out campaigning for it!

Let's then go beyond the university setting, however:

No tax breaks or tax refunds for taxpayers who used software sold by a company found guilty of abuse of a monopoly.

How about withholding money from funding of the Senate or House, or even the White House, if they used such software, or if they used their internet access for ANYTHING other than official business? (Not to mention what would happen if the White House didn't maintain ALL their emails, as required by law...gee, no salary guys!)

No emails from lawmakers enticing someone to vote for them, no emails to arrange for lunch. No IM's for anything but official business. No web browsing for anything but the strictest purposes. No use of the computer for ANYTHING but official use. This means no reading the news, no listening to the radio, no skype, no contacting lobbyists, no keeping personal calendars on government owned computers, or using government owned networks to transfer that information.

Heck, we're on a roll, now:

No federal funding for states who have criminals use their roadways.

I could continue, but my funding is running out...

protest on March 5th in Nashville (5, Informative)

kaldari (199727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595422)

A major protest is planned for Wednesday, March 5th in downtown Nashville. 8AM, corner of 6th Ave. and Union (near the capital building). Come and show your opposition to this ridiculous legislation.

Re:protest on March 5th in Nashville (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22595858)

At 8am on a Wednesday? We're college students for god's sake.

Re:protest on March 5th in Nashville (1)

OMNIpotusCOM (1230884) | more than 6 years ago | (#22597078)

Maybe if students put as much effort into school and not doing illegal things, this wouldn't even be a debate. But no, you go out there and show whatever it is you think you're showing. All I think you're really showing is how dumb college kids are, and how little they realize how the real world works.

Re:protest on March 5th in Nashville (2, Insightful)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 6 years ago | (#22597474)

The only reason the real world works like it does is because of that exact attitude your are displaying.

"Don't question authority. Just shut up an work. If you have any time to question authority, work some more."

Keeping the general population apathetic, tired, scared and separated on unimportant issues is vital to maintaining the most control so you can reap the most benefits.

A population that care enough and have energy to activly questions new legislation, that can't be fooled by scare tactics and that don't fight among each other is the worst nightmare for anyone looking to gain more power.

American Schools (1)

youthoftoday (975074) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595480)

OK so I have to ask. I've wanted to know for ages. When a British person says 'school' they mean a place where children and teenagers go to be educated. When they say 'university' they mean a place where people go to get degrees. When they say 'college' they can mean a subset of either.

What does 'school' mean in America? It seems to cover just about everything under the sun as I understand it...

Re:American Schools (2, Informative)

Asky314159 (1114009) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595774)

In America, the word 'school' can correctly be used to describe any educational institution, regardless of age. If you're talking specifically about children and teenagers, you attach an adjective, like 'K-12 schools', 'elementary schools', 'middle schools', or 'high schools'. If you're talking about a place to get a degree, 'university' and 'college' are used interchangeably. But all of them can be described as 'school'.

Re:American Schools (1)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 6 years ago | (#22598220)

So, does that word also covers your prisons? Many of your teenagers or young adults get a degree there.

Re:American Schools (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22595932)

In the US "school" means "place you go to class" pretty much. Elementary school, Middle School, High School, Primary School, Secondary School, Grade School, and grammar school at the least can refer to k-12, but there are other schools. Colleges/Universities (interchangable usually, but colleges tend to be smaller or even subunits of universities) are also schools. So is med-school. And driving school.

Why schools should exclusively use free software (3, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595556)

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/schools.html [gnu.org]

There are general reasons why all computer users should insist on free software. It gives users the freedom to control their own computers--with proprietary software, the computer does what the software owner wants it to do, not what the software user wants it to do. Free software also gives users the freedom to cooperate with each other, to lead an upright life. These reasons apply to schools as they do to everyone.

But there are special reasons that apply to schools. They are the subject of this article.

First, free software can save the schools money. Even in the richest countries, schools are short of money. Free software gives schools, like other users, the freedom to copy and redistribute the software, so the school system can make copies for all the computers they have. In poor countries, this can help close the digital divide.

This obvious reason, while important, is rather shallow. And proprietary software developers can eliminate this disadvantage by donating copies to the schools. (Watch out!--a school that accepts this offer may have to pay for future upgrades.) So let's look at the deeper reasons.

School should teach students ways of life that will benefit society as a whole. They should promote the use of free software just as they promote recycling. If schools teach students free software, then the students will use free software after they graduate. This will help society as a whole escape from being dominated (and gouged) by megacorporations. Those corporations offer free samples to schools for the same reason tobacco companies distribute free cigarettes: to get children addicted (1). They will not give discounts to these students once they grow up and graduate.

Free software permits students to learn how software works. When students reach their teens, some of them want to learn everything there is to know about their computer system and its software. That is the age when people who will be good programmers should learn it. To learn to write software well, students need to read a lot of code and write a lot of code. They need to read and understand real programs that people really use. They will be intensely curious to read the source code of the programs that they use every day.

Proprietary software rejects their thirst for knowledge: it says, "The knowledge you want is a secret--learning is forbidden!" Free software encourages everyone to learn. The free software community rejects the "priesthood of technology", which keeps the general public in ignorance of how technology works; we encourage students of any age and situation to read the source code and learn as much as they want to know. Schools that use free software will enable gifted programming students to advance.

The next reason for using free software in schools is on an even deeper level. We expect schools to teach students basic facts, and useful skills, but that is not their whole job. The most fundamental mission of schools is to teach people to be good citizens and good neighbors--to cooperate with others who need their help. In the area of computers, this means teaching them to share software. Elementary schools, above all, should tell their pupils, "If you bring software to school, you must share it with the other children." Of course, the school must practice what it preaches: all the software installed by the school should be available for students to copy, take home, and redistribute further.

Teaching the students to use free software, and to participate in the free software community, is a hands-on civics lesson. It also teaches students the role model of public service rather than that of tycoons. All levels of school should use free software.

Rough Estimate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22595604)

Wait, so how much bandwidth can one buy for $1,200,000?

Dhoh! (4, Funny)

florescent_beige (608235) | more than 6 years ago | (#22595880)

Proposed Bill In Tennessee...
Hmmm what?

...Penalizes Schools For...
"Teaching Intelligent Design" Oh please please say "Teaching Intelligent Design".

...Allowing Piracy
Dhoh! So close!

Par for the Course (0, Offtopic)

Compulawyer (318018) | more than 6 years ago | (#22596022)

What do you expect from a state that is the home of Jack Daniel's [jackdaniels.com] whiskey but distills and stores all that whiskey in Lynchburg [wikipedia.org] , part of Moore County, a dry county [wikipedia.org] ?

RIAA hacks (2, Insightful)

Wandering_Turtle (1241116) | more than 6 years ago | (#22597308)

The RIAA is lobbying its way into the legislature. They don't actually work for artists, they just claim to represent them in order to get the cash. Trying to get colleges and universities to enforce their pet legislation is akin to selling our government to the loudest (and maybe highest too) bidder. The cost will just build up over time and cost far more than artists lose.

1.2 million in bandwidth? (1)

XaXXon (202882) | more than 6 years ago | (#22597664)

How much bandwidth / transfer does $1.2 million buy these days?

better idea (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#22597780)

Yeah colleges "allow" piracy but isn't that sort of picking on the last man in the chain? Why doesn't the RIAA go to the real, actual source of the problem. No, I don't mean the internet in general. I think we all know that the real people responsible for securing their products from being pirated have failed miserably and need to pay up for all the damage their neglegence has caused. The RIAA should sue the RIAA. Seriously, it's your own damn fault. It's like if this was early Star Trek and they were selling gold bars and suddenly a technology came along where you could lock onto and transport objects from a distance (transporters) and their gold just kept disappearing. So logically they ran around the market, beating random people in the head with clubs instead of putting up a jamming field. Yeah, it's totally like that.

Inexcusable use of money and time (1)

TheNucleon (865817) | more than 6 years ago | (#22597820)

I am confident that neither the tax monies directed towards higher education, nor the tuition paid by students, was ever intended to be used to create a RIAA/MPAA surrogate police force. As if suing Grandma isn't bad enough, now these freaks want money and energy diverted from educational purposes to this BS. And to make it happen, their bought-and-paid-for minions in legislatures will threaten the funding of schools that don't do it. Wow. Just, wow.

You know, one day we're going to wake up, as if coming out of a weird dream, and realize that it's time to take back the proper priorities in our society. I hope that day is soon! If this was in my state, I'd be on the phone with my representatives tomorrow. It just staggers me that people let this kind of crap go on. I'm glad to hear there is going to be a protest - if I lived anywhere near Nashville, I'd darned well be there.

In the meantime, here are some easy suggestions that you might choose to adopt. This is a group participation exercise:

If you're a local, state or federal representative of the people in bed with these lobbyists, grow up and stop selling your soul. Instead, sell off your Lexus and your yacht, and start upholding the oaths you swore. Just do it, trust me, you'll feel better. And so will we.

If you're a university administrator, don't cave in to this garbage. Take it to the people. Tell them what programs will have to be cut to make way for this **AA-imposed police state. Tell them that state funding, and hence, the student body's education, is at risk.

If you're a student, don't violate copyright using the school's network. No, honestly, that wasn't a joke. If you have to break the law, do it on your own Internet connection, and don't make the school pay for your music or movie habit. This kind of stuff just feeds into the agenda of the wackos. Yes, the level to which this infringement goes on has been grossly overstated, but hey, we all know it goes on. Give it a rest.

If you are a member of the group "Everyone" (pretty safe assumption if you're reading this), then write letters, e-mails, call representatives, whenever you see stuff like this in your nation, or especially in your back yard. Organize with groups of like-minded people to collectively help restore sanity to our society. And, best of all, learn to live without the products of the entities that perpetuate this crap (in this case, RIAA/MPAA). Instead, go for a walk, play a game, or talk with your kids. Deprive the wackos of the money it takes to buy our legislators.

If you're a lawyer or lobbyist working for the RIAA/MPAA, there are better ways to make a living.

OK, phew, sorry, I'm done. Peace...

I can attest to this... (1)

sidz1979 (993099) | more than 6 years ago | (#22597934)

I'm a student at the University of Utah, and I live in the University student housing. So I have no option but to use the University-provided Internet connection.

For over a year now, it seems that they've been blocking the default ports used by bittorrent (azureus). I can't download anything with azureus (even legal stuff, like linux distributions), if I use the default ports settings. It does work (somewhat), however, if I change the TCP port setting to a non-standard one. Uploads still don't work, even with the port change (don't know why) -- so I'm always a "leach" in the bittorrent stream.

I don't use bittorrent much anymore, so it doesn't bother me. Most of the stuff I download is available through other means. But it still doesn't feel right that an industry can convince government and educational institutions to cripple awesome technology like bittorrent, just because it may be one of the factors hurting their profits.

This reminds me of something... (1)

chaoticgeek (874438) | more than 6 years ago | (#22597988)

I was reading the little blurb about the article and I got a creepy feeling that it sounded like what you always hear about the cold war and the arms race against US/USSR... Maybe it is just me but the blurb about it just gave me that impression.

It must be getting late... (1)

Dracophile (140936) | more than 6 years ago | (#22598466)

...because I read that as "Proposed Bill in Tennessee Penalizes Schools for Allowing Privacy"
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