MPAA Explains Why It's Okay To Tie Federal Funds To Blocking File Sharing

from the because-we-say-so,-dammit dept

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?

Filed Under: congress, copyright, fritz attaway, mpaa, music, subscriptions, universities
Companies: congress, mpaa, napster, ruckus


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  1. identicon
    Liquid Amazing, 22 Nov 2007 @ 4:14am

    Screw Them!

    I work in IT at a fairly large University on the edge of the universe and I have news for you folks. I can tell you from firsthand knowledge that the tactics used by the RIAA, MPAA and BSA are crap. They already get Universities to do their dirty work for them in the form of essentially free IT people who are obligated, under some perceived threat of lawsuit, to investigate bogus "John Doe" claims that someone on a University subnet was infringing. At our school we devote approximately one entire FTE to investigating such claims, hauling kids into meetings where we review copyright policy and acceptable use with them, shutting down connections, delivering prelitigation letters, running educational programs, blah blah blah.

    How is it that this industry can coerce a large University into providing essentially free services to them? Fear. The Colleges and Universities must stand up to these bullies. Tell them we will not be their lackies and unless they can provide us with solid evidence that an individual was infringing to go and pound sand. We are an ISP for the students who live here. We are not their parent, nanny, or servant. We provide a service much like dining, housing, parking, etc. Unless they provide similar legislation that will financially impact Comcast for allowing their subscribers to illegally download content...but that will be the day.

    The Universities and Colleges need to band together and demand that we be treated for what we are...a service, just like your home broadband service. We need to tell them to do their own dirty work if they insist upon pursuing this tactic. Better yet, everyone who cares about this issue needs to boycott the big record labels and media conglomerates who are represented by these slimebags. Hit them in the pocketbook.

    BTW - WTG to Harvard and UOregon...you are my heroes!

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