New bill would “provide support to combat illegal downloading on college and university campuses”.
Just when you think you had seen and heard it all, Rep Ric Keller [R-FL] comes along and submits a bill that “would expand the allowable use of funds by the Department of Education to include technology solutions to piracy.
Now apparently the fact that we are having a tough enough time simply EDUCATING our kids, let alone finding finding adequate funds to do so, is of little importance to this Republican REP from Florida.
The measure would expand the allowable use of funds under the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) Program under the Department of Education to provide for innovative on-campus, anti-piracy pilot programs designed to reduce digital piracy.
“Illegal downloading of music and movies on college campuses is harming their computer networks by consuming a huge amount of education-related bandwidth and exposing them to viruses,” Keller said in a statement.
“My legislation encourages colleges to be part of the solution by allowing them to apply for federal grants to help purchase innovative technologies that will stem piracy on their computer networks,” he added.
So, let me get this straight. The Federal Government should take funds earmarked for the “Improvement of Postsecondary Education” and use it to basically improve the number of times that kids can’t share MP3s on their campus network? That makes a lot of sense and will really improve postsecondary education I’m sure. A better bet would have been to use the funds to crack down on keg stands and beer bongs.
The tries to cloak itself in language like “bandwidth usage” and “network security,” but both should be irrelevant to the concerns of the Federal Govt.. Students already pay an arm and a leg in tuition costs, so certainly the college they attend can afford to provide the same decent internet connection that they have always managed to provide.
As for viruses and network security, the Internet is filled with dangerous entities and no program or firewall will ever be 100% effective against them all. It’s like a never ending arms race in which one side upgrades his protection as the other plans and executes his attacks. Prevention is the best means of protection but, in regards to P2P usage is it any more unsafe than regular Internet usage? I’ve known probably 10 times as many non-P2P users acquire a virus than I have P2P users. Now it’s not very-scientific I know but, is this an experience some of you share?
A recent survey said that more than 50% of college students download content illegally online using P2P and file-sharing services but, the study doesn’t say however, how many of these students did so OFF CAMPUS or outside of the campus network. Thus it makes me wonder why there are no studies on campus bandwidth consumption and what the real effects of P2P usage are. Is it really significant enough to allocate extensive Federal funds and manpower to address?
Jim Davis, UCLA’s chief technology officer, noted that most of the infringement complaints his school receives involve student residency halls, where approximately only 20% of the student population resides.
“Far more students live off-campus, making them part of the great majority of students who use commercial Internet service providers…outside of our purview,” Davis said.
With all the other important things academia should be concerned with, like educating our future engineers, doctors, research scientists, etc., should it really have to concern itself with the endless battle of music and movie copyright enforcement?
KEEP TRACK of the “CURB ILLEGAL DOWNLOADING on COLLEGE CAMPUSES ACT of 2007″
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