Law Would Tell Universities To Do The RIAA's Bidding, Or Lose Funding

from the not-your-place dept

The RIAA has consistently complained that there should be laws forcing colleges and universities to stop students sharing unauthorized music on their computer networks, and its extensive lobbying efforts have seen legislators in the past to “drop the hammer” on schools that don’t comply to the RIAA’s wishes. That hammer came a step closer to being dropped, as reader Blake writes in to let us know: an amendment to the Higher Education Reauthorization Act, which funds colleges and universities and the students who attend them, was introduced this week, and it would cut funding from schools that didn’t install technology to try and block P2P file-sharing on their networks. It looks like the amendment got yanked following university complaints, but its introduction highlights the ridiculous amount of clout the RIAA carries in Washington (an amount it seeks to further increase). The RIAA’s attempts to abuse the legal system roll on, and now it’s attempting to pervert the legislative process and American higher education as well. It isn’t the job of colleges and universities to do the RIAA’s dirty work, and the government shouldn’t be forcing them to do it, either.

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Comments on “Law Would Tell Universities To Do The RIAA's Bidding, Or Lose Funding”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

How is it easy? You can’t monitor connection count, because that would get rid of valid uses that establish multipul connections to different IPs(Skype?). You can’t filter by establishing connections to multipul ports as technologies are now starting to roll out that masquerade across port 80 so it will look like valid webpage usage. You can’t filter by packet sniffing because encryption would be an easy plug-in to bypass that. Nor, can you filter by bandwidth usage because yet again, that would get rid of valid usage. So exactly how is it easy to stop P2P on a network when everyone on the network has a vested intrest in P2P programs.

Charles Griswold (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I’m sure the RIAA’s neo-communist agenda would approve.

Wow. You sure managed to hit the nail right on the thumb with that observation. True communists would believe that since everything should be communally owned, we have a natural right to share files over P2P networks. The RIAA is an extraordinarily capitalistic organization, and (IMHO) embodies everything that can go wrong with capitalism.

And before anyone accuses me of being a communist, I’m not. Communism relies on the inherent selfless nature of humanity; something that I’m convinced doesn’t exist. True communism is a nice idea, but it will never work.

anonymous says:

Re: Re:

what the hell are you against the students u make humanity look bad #### off! or at least understand from a student view as well, NO MUSIC, NO VIDEO, NO CHAT(S) OF ANY KIND, NO P2P FILE SHARING, STUDENTS ARE WATCHED 100% OF THE TIME!!! (syncroneyes and various vnc applications) not all students will F- up so all students shouldn’t be punnished! hell, the only allowed search engine is GOOGLE add 99.7% of websites are blocked even ones needed for the schoolwork and assignments.


im leaving this page to cool off, btw THIS SHITS POISON!

anonymous says:

Re: Re:

I’m not rude I’m honest… they can block websites, and music, & pictures of obscene natures.but when students need resources , and there blocked school districts are going TOO FUCKING FAR. i am saying for the good of ALL of the united states the school system needs to be CLEANED. I’ve known teachers FIRED for telling the TRUTH about making mistakes (like a kid being on the wrong list for things as little as field trips) because the school didn’t like her telling the child and the parents about her mistake(referring to the example)they fired her.

things like this must be fixed this school system is corrupt. it needs to be fixed. (as always)


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Internet

Yeah but professors and students do not use bittorrent or any other popular P2P program. Especially if the research is confidential.

I’ve had plenty of professors that use ftp, email, and physical storage. Even if they are collaborating on a project they will set up a server, not get on limewire and pretend like it’s for legitimate purposes.

BTR1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Internet

As Techdirt has highlighted just this past week, there are many smaller labels and artists that are ENCOURAGING the sharing of their music over services like Limewire. And if the artist/label gives its blessing it’s perfectly legal.

So yes, there are legitimate uses for all of these file sharing services. It’s not all piracy.

Zach says:


Just use special Google searches to do the same thing. Arizona State (where I am at) just started blocking bittorrent (they slow your connection speed to about 5 kbps when it’s on, even if you’re downloading Debian ISOs) so people just had to look for newer programs (and sometimes older) to do the same thing.

anonymous says:

Re: Re: Download

I know the problem, there are only 2 ways!

#1. proxy/circumvention/+anonymisers (sory for spelling)
#2. creating a VPN(virtual private network) then SSH’ing thru it (basically in full thats making a mininetwork in the main 1 with only u + any 1 u invite then using 1 to break thru both 4 u and the limeted #)

(tsp everyone, help stop its spread!)

Nick (profile) says:

Colleges should be encouraging the spread of culture as they do with knowledge (teaching) and literature (libraries). This is getting ridiculous. What’s next? Not talking about music? You are right AC, if P2P is no legal there is FTP. Are there any open source P2P apps that run on a local network not connected to the net? That will be next way to share music on college campuses.

Anonymous Coward says:

The university I did my undergrad at nerfed all P2P programs so that you could still use them, but you could only transfer at 1 kb/s.

I’m not going to pretend that file sharing programs like bittorrent are not used 99% of the time for downloading copyrighted material on college networks. I did it. My whole dorm did it. And every other computer I ever saw had tons of material that utilized the campus’ fast lan.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I’m not going to pretend that file sharing programs like bittorrent are not used 99% of the time for downloading copyrighted material on college networks.

Everything is copyrighted by default as soon as it is made, even this comment. That alone doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with downloading it though.

Meatshield (user link) says:

Is the government paying?

Why would they have even expected the universities to comply? They would have said implementing a filter system would be too expensive (which in many cases it is and needs constant attention), so they would expect the government to pony up for those expenses. Then they wouldn’t pass the bill.

No senator wants to have “I stopped your kids from doing stuff” as their campaign slogan.

Littletimmy says:

“Are there any open source P2P apps that run on a local network not connected to the net? That will be next way to share music on college campuses.”

It’s already happening. There’s a direct connect hub (DC++ BCDC) at my school that makes anything anybody on campus already has available to anybody. Hacked vista was there before the consumer release.

Buzz (profile) says:

Good luck, RIAA!

What’s worse than the RIAA bullying colleges around is the fact that it is an eternally uphill battle for them. The RIAA will never win. When it comes to digital content, no amount of DRM, Internet filtering, or litigation will stop the everlasting flow of piracy. With DRM, the lock and key always come packaged together; it just takes a smart person to put the two together. With filters, as someone already mentioned, passing data around on physical media (CDs, DVDs, etc.) is COMPLETELY untraceable. With litigation, customers become MORE rebellious and simply dig deeper underground.

Why doesn’t the RIAA just start removing people’s ears? THAT would certainly slow down piracy…

James says:

So what happens...

..if this type of retarded amendment passes and Colleges and Universities install filtering software, blah, blah, blah.. and students STILL find a way to share media amongst themselves, then what?

Perhaps the RIAA will then ask the schools to send someone around to each dorm room and spank anyone doing anything they consider naughty?

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