by Mike Masnick
Tue, Nov 20th 2007 9:11am
While Congress' new bill on education funding may not be as bad as some are making it out to be, it still seems quite questionable that Congress appears to be regulating the idea that universities need to do the kind of marketing and educational campaigns that the recording industry cannot. We've asked supporters of the bill to explain how it could possibly make sense to mandate such things, and the MPAA's top lawyer, Fritz Attaway, has given his answer, claiming that it's because the internet is "used primarily to allow college students to traffic in infringing content," while being subsidized by gov't funds. It would be nice if Attaway or someone else at the MPAA could actually back up the claim that the primary use of the internet by students is infringement. While I wouldn't doubt that it's a popular use, to say that it's the primary use is hard to believe -- unless you count things like visiting Facebook pages, using Google and sending emails as "infringement." At the same time, this doesn't seem to support the reasons for this bill. After all, many kids on college campuses own cars -- and I'd imagine that most of those students break the speed limit frequently enough. Yet, we don't see any bills being proposed in Congress that would prevent financial aid funding unless universities start handing out more speeding tickets and put in place plans to offer public transportation. So why should they do that for copyright infringement?
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