This has reached the point of absurdity that has wider implications beyond just music downloads. If a private business group can manipulate legislation to bend universities to their will, imagine what, say, Microsoft or Google could do with enough money to the right election money hungry politicians. Sound improbable? Well, so does this.

Now RIAA wants Universities to get campus wide Napster subscription or “lose all federal financial aid”

The new Higher Education Bill (HEA §494) requires that the Universities stop all P2P downloads that RIAA doesn’t like AND buy Napster or Rhapsody subscriptions for every student on the campus or lose all federal financial aid.

I am an IP attorney; I understand copyright laws way too well. I know what RIAA is trying to do here; these tactics are underhanded and really infuriate me.

RIAA has been phenomenally successfully in using the copyright laws to prosecute selected students at various Universities – sort of like a sniper attack on a select few. Now they want to go nuclear – they want to cut off federal financial aid to the University, if the University doesn’t effectively police the P2P downloads.

Here’s Arstechnica’s take on this.

Section 494 of the College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007 is entitled “Campus-Based Digital Theft Prevention” that could have just as easily been called “Motion Picture and Recording Industry Subsidies,”
The services are typically funded by activity fees; by and large, they’ve been met with a collective yawn from students. Lack of iPod support is a major turn-off, as is the fact that the subscriptions end when a student graduates or transfers, rendering the downloads unplayable.

  1. Sinn Fein says:


  2. The Answer says:

    It will never pass. You can’t force a subscription of anything onto a student or anyone for that matter. What if they breach the EULA? Then who is responsible? The colleges can’t be that liable they would shut down in a year. And what of the colleges who still use Unix? Art schools. Do they need Napster accounts when all they do is paint? The only medium I can see working is the college itself having one major account and they hold all the music on a specific server where the students share from, and then lose when they leave.

    And what ever happened to college radio?

  3. Mister Mustard says:

    >>you’ll have your own version of Kuzcoland.

    What the fuck is Kuzcoland??

  4. Sounds The Alarm says:

    There’s a simple solution to this. For one week boycott the purchasing of CDs and DVDs.

  5. natefrog says:

    #2, pedro;

    “When that day comes (when MS or Google or mac or any other corp can buy your politicians up to office), you’ll have your own version of Kuzcoland.”

    You honestly think we’re not already there?

  6. GigG says:

    I’m all for IP rights but this is insane.

  7. Cinaedh says:

    Rep. George Miller (D-CA) and Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX)

    Who are these guys and who do they work for these days? They should be made famous or infamous in their home States. Surely the people who voted for them should at least be made aware of their new employers.

  8. hhopper says:

    I guess the RIAA and MPAA are now part of our government just like Halliburton.

  9. Cinaedh says:

    #10 pedro

    I think dishonesty and greed are pretty well universal character defects.

    Remember, we just invent all this ‘race’ stuff to divide ourselves. There’s only one race of homo sapiens, a.k.a. the human race.

  10. MikeN says:

    Isn’t this another version of the tax on CDs being given to the movie industry? The college networks are probably the number one source of illegal downloading, what with all that free bandwidth.

  11. Elwood Pleebus says:

    When the RIAA says “bend over”, we’re expected to say “how far”.

  12. #13

    Amen! Methinks it’s the Spanishs who conquered the continent fault because we all know how “Ethical” these people are.

  13. Phillep says:

    #3- Answer,

    College, community, and ethnic radio stations were outlawed and “replaced” by NPR and PBS, thus destroying another tie that held communities together and further stifling independent thought.

    This was done by the people who called themselves “liberals” and were on what was considered the “left” at the time.

    The FCC has allowed a few of the stations back on the air, but the lack of publicity has kept interest low. Maybe they killed it again, I don’t know.

  14. Cinaedh says:

    #13 pedro

    I understand your words but I probably can’t appreciate what they actually mean because I’ve been very lucky in where I was born and where I got to live my life. Still, other than the fact some humans have to be more evolved than other humans by the very nature of evolution, I still don’t recognize multiple human races.

    I do find your observations on how politicians act according to different consequences in different cultures an interesting consideration because recently it has occurred to me if George Bush and Dick Cheney aren’t impeached, the next Administration has been given carte blanche to do exactly the same things – and whatever else they please – without any consequences at all.

    I think this is how we end up with the government we deserve.

  15. gregallen says:

    It’s didn’t make the national news (that I saw) but U of Oregon stood up for the rights of it’s students a few weeks ago against the RIAA.

    Since when is a private party allowed to DEMAND private information on others? Good for UofO.

  16. natefrog says:

    #14, MikeN;

    “The college networks are probably the number one source of illegal downloading, what with all that free bandwidth.”

    Bandwidth is free? Wow, that’s pretty naive. Do you know anything about how college networks work?

  17. Eggman9713 says:

    Hmmmm, this comes hot on the heels of an announcement that all dorms in the unviersity I go to will be available with a $200 per year TiVo subscription next year. MPAA pressure against illegal downloads perhaps? It’s not as if they don’t block and filter the shit out of everything as it is, though.

  18. Kevitivity says:

    It should have been noted that it’s Democrats that are behind this.

  19. MikeN says:

    Natefrog, based on yoru post, I guess I don’t know how college networks work. Please explain to me the rate schedules that students pay to use the internet on campus.

  20. Angel H. Wong says:


    I’ve been hearing lots of “If the English were the ones instead of the Spanish this would be a better nation” down here but the truth is like a two edged sword, sure this would have been a better nation but there would be no hispanics because they would all be dead.


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