Last month, the entertainment industry (with the help of Senator Harry Reid) slipped a nice little amendment into the Higher Education Reauthorization Act, which funds colleges and universities as well as students. The amendment would require universities block p2p file sharing
or lose funding. A number of universities complained (reasonably) about the expense involved in doing so, but some are arguing that it's about time that universities got away from just the cost argument and stood against this on principle. John
points us to an argument for why universities should be fighting back against copyright maximalism
, noting that, of all places, universities should recognize the benefits of a freer flow of information, and how trying to artificially limit information only leads to problems. The author notes that the high price of college textbooks
should be example number one of how copyright can hinder the educational purpose of a university by artificially driving up the price. Of course, these days it seems like too many of the myths from the entertainment industry have been accepted as fact -- so it seems unlikely that universities will stand up against dangerous copyright practices any time soon.