Entertainment Industry Gets In The Way Of Education At Penn State

from the what-we-teach-our-children dept

Penn State University has a cozy relationship with the RIAA – and it shows in a variety of policies they’ve put in place which seem designed more to appease their RIAA friends than to encourage education or a real analysis of issues. They were one of the first universities to kick students off the university network when it was discovered they had set up a local area system for exchanging files. Then, of course, they put in place the somewhat useless (and mostly unwanted) plan to take student funds to pay Napster so that students can get streaming music which they don’t get to keep and which only works on campus. Now, Ed Felten reports that the university has forbidden any student from operating any kind of server from a dorm. Despite the fact that it seems clear that whoever came up with this policy doesn’t seem to know what a server is, Felten points out just how terrible this is from an education standpoint. They’re preventing students from learning about important and useful technologies just because there’s a chance that students may use a server to infringe on copyrights. In other words the risk of infringement outweighs the benefits of education to the administration at Penn State.

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