RIAA Gets Tennessee Law To Force Universities To Filter Networks For Copyrighted Content
from the the-riaa-never-sleeps dept
After more than a decade of watching the entertainment industry (mainly the RIAA and the MPAA), one thing I’ve learned is that the organization never gives up in pushing its legislative agenda. If there’s a setback in one area, you can be sure that others from the organization are eagerly pushing the exact same rules through some other angle. The typical MO is that they try to get federal legislation passed in their favor. However, if that fails, they switch to the fallback plans which involve international treaties and state laws. Both of these are great because they tend to get a lot less scrutiny. State laws are a bit of a pain, because you have to get a few of them approved to create the “groundswell” that makes other states jump on board, but changes to state laws can often pass through under the radar.
That appears to be what’s happening in the effort to force universities to install filters monitoring their networks for any unauthorized transmissions. You may recall that the RIAA pushed strongly to get Congress to pass laws requiring filters. Basically, the entertainment industry first flat-out lied (yes, lied) about how big a problem file sharing on campus was, and that got some Congressional Reps (with plenty of campaign contributions from the entertainment industry) to introduce legislation punishing universities if they didn’t filter their networks. Widespread outcry against that legislation helped water it down, but it appears the industry just moved on to state legislatures.
The RIAA is now celebrating the fact that Tennessee has passed legislation that requires universities to install filters if they’ve received at least 50 DMCA requests. Considering the massive number of DMCA notices that the RIAA has been known to file, this is hardly a large hurdle. The law will cost Tennessee taxpayers nearly $10 million in the first year, and another $1.5 million each year — based on the state’s own estimates. And for what? To put in filters that won’t work, just to try to prop up an obsolete business model from legacy players in an industry that needs to learn how to adapt to the market?