Universities Struggling To Deal With Law Requiring Them To Fight File Sharing
from the what-a-waste dept
For years, Hollywood pushed Congress to pass laws that would hold colleges and universities responsible for cracking down on unauthorized file sharing that happened on campus. The threat was that if universities didn’t stop file sharing, Congress could withold federal financial aid funds from students. That’s quite a big stick. What justified it? Well, the MPAA put out a report claiming that 44% of “losses” from file sharing came from college campuses. Of course, the number (like so many out of entertainment industry lobbyists) was entirely made up. In fact, it was so ridiculous that even the MPAA came out and publicly admitted the numbers were bogus and apologized!
You would think, after that, Congress would think twice about passing a law that was written based on such bogus numbers. Think again. Congress had no problem rushing it through and getting it signed by the President.
So now what’s happening? Well, universities and colleges are wasting a ton of time, money and effort to try to comply (found via Michael Scott, who notes, “what a waste of resources.”). The article talks about how universities feel punished for something that isn’t even a problem:
“We have not received one complaint about one student. Yet now we have to go out and incur the cost to solve a problem that we didn’t really have…. Tying actually capital and operating dollars to it in this economy to solve a problem we don’t really have at our scale has been an issue.”
Thanks, Hollywood and all those politicians who approved this. Now you’re taking away important resources from our educational institutions for a problem that isn’t even a problem.