Tennessee Governor Signs Campus Piracy Bill into Law

Requires public and private colleges and universities to ensure that computers connected to their campus network are not being used for illegal file-sharing.

RIAA Chairman & CEO Mitch Bainwol, along with several other members of the music community, recently celebrated Country Music Association Day in Nashville by participating in a ceremonial signing of college campus anti-piracy legislation by Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen.

Senate Bill 3974 requires that Tennessee public and private colleges and universities exercise appropriate means to ensure that computers connected to their campus network are not being abused for the purpose of illegally downloading and distributing copyrighted material through P2P and file-sharing programs. They are required to implement technological support and develop and enforce a computer network usage policy to effectively limit the number illegal sharing copyrighted material.

“It’s fitting that on the day the world focuses on Nashville and country music that Tennessee would take the lead in protecting the creativity that this state so uniquely inspires,” said Bainwol. “We have all seen the effects illegal downloading has had on Music Row — too many record stores have been shuttered and too many songwriters are out of the business of writing songs.  This bill, the first of its kind in the nation, addresses the issue of campus music theft in a state where the impact is felt more harshly than most.”

It’s sickening to hear Bainwol blame illegal file-sharing for the shuttering or record stores when it was in fact record labels that hastened their demise by cutting deals with big-box retailers like Wal-Mart that allowed them to undercut competitors with lower “loss leader” prices.

He also doesn’t acknowledge that music has gone digital and that you don’t need a Tower Records store for distribution.

“We commend Governor Bredesen, Senator Tim Burchett, Rep. Rinks and all the cosponsors of the legislation for their leadership on this important issue, which will not only benefit those who care about music but American creativity and jobs,” said Bainwol.

I highly doubt that singling out poor 18-22yo college students will do much to protect “American creativity or jobs.” If anything, the only American creativity will see is from these individuals devising new means of sharing content with family and friends. The only jobs it will protect are those of the empty suits running the RIAA’s legal offensive.

[email protected]