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New TN Law Forces Universities To Patrol For Copyright Violations 331

Posted by timothy
from the skipping-the-monkey-trial-entirely dept.
CSMatt points with this excerpt from the EFF's page: "Last week, the RIAA celebrated the signing of a ridiculous new law in Tennessee that says: 'Each public and private institution of higher education in the state that has student residential computer networks shall: [...] [R]easonably attempt to prevent the infringement of copyrighted works over the institution's computer and network resources, if such institution receives fifty (50) or more legally valid notices of infringement as prescribed by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 within the preceding year.' While the entertainment industry failed to get 'hard' requirements for universities in the Higher Education Act passed by Congress earlier this year, the RIAA succeeded in Tennessee (and is pushing in other states) with this provision that gives Big Content the ability to hold universities hostage through the use of infringement notices. Moreover, the new rules will cost Tennessee a pretty penny — in the cost review attached to the Tennessee bill, the state's Fiscal Review Committee estimates that the new obligations will initially cost the state a whopping $9.5 million for software, hardware, and personnel, with recurring annual costs of more than $1.5 million for personnel and maintenance."
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New TN Law Forces Universities To Patrol For Copyright Violations

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  • Re:Closed P2P (Score:3, Informative)

    by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:03AM (#25801543) Journal

    If by "fingerprint" you mean something giving you access, you're talking about DRM, which is unacceptable.

    If by "fingerprint" you mean a watermark, to identify people who share songs, that might work, but it generally means either adding a bit of metadata (which is easily stripped out), or some sort of stenography (which may decrease quality and impact compressibility).

    And a watermark wouldn't actually work with P2P, since if it's metadata applied by the client, it's that much easier to realize it's happening (and how to strip it out), and if it's not applied by the client, the main benefits of P2P are gone -- a torrent results in everyone getting the exact same file, and you want to give everyone a different file.

    So you can either use P2P, or an effective watermark, but not both.

  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @11:33AM (#25802877) Homepage Journal

    I submitted a story (still pending) to slashdot yesterday about that very law. Its constitutionality is being tested in court. [google.com] A Google list of stories about it is linked.

    I saw it in the Chicago Tribune yesterday, I believe it was an AP story. It quoted slashdot's own "New York County Lawyer" Ray Beckerman and linked his blog.

  • by solraith (1203394) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @12:33PM (#25804087)
    Not to mention a line of signature guitars used in plenty of genres outside country.
  • by sumdumass (711423) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @02:17PM (#25806277) Journal

    Neither. The law specifically states that if their reasonable efforts aren't enough, no one can do anything to them.

    Here's the portion that's relevant. [state.tn.us]

    (b) Nothing in this section shall:
      (3) Waive the protections available to Internet service
    providers under 17 U.S.C. 512;
      (4) Subject public institutions of higher education to any
    suit whether for monetary damages, injunctive relief, or any cause
    of action whatsoever;
      (5) Be deemed or construed to waive or abrogate in any
    way the sovereign immunity of the state, the public institutions of
    higher education, or any officer or employee of the state or the
    public institutions of higher education or waive or abrogate in any
    way the immunity of the state, the public institutions of higher
    education, or any officer or employee of the state or the public
    institution of higher education from suit under the 11th
    Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

    Even though it is law, there is no threat to not following it or not doing enough or whatever. They follow the DMCA notices as required by law, Keep their immunities, and do something insignificant and call it reasonable.

    Of course I would doubt that the making reasonable efforts would even come into play at all. The law says notices of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. This has nothing to do with P2P or file sharing in general. The file sharing would come under the Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright Damages Improvement Act of 1999. Of course if some one knows their content is being hosted there, the DMCA take down would be valid. It will be interesting to see how this actually plays out.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @03:24PM (#25807429)

    You can almost certainly make a burger at home for $1 that will have less saturated fat and more protein. That means fewer empty calories. And that's just burgers. Using leaner meats, forgoing the bun, and replacing the cheese with milk, almonds, and apples, you can get a fuller, healthier, better tasting meal for $1.

    The real value McDonald's offers is convenience.

  • by rfc1394 (155777) <Paul@paul-robinson.us> on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @08:39PM (#25811391) Homepage Journal

    With the 1978 complete rewrite of the copyright law, and especially the Berne Convention Accession in the 1980s, it's arguable that as far as copyright is concerned, Congress has decided to completely preempt the field of copyright with respect to everything except pre-February 15, 1972 sound recordings (which aren't federally copyrighted anyway) and thus no state has authority to require or permit anything with respect to copyright (except to set rules on the copying of uncopyrightable sound recordings), and this law is in all probability unconstitutional. (The place to go to regulate copyrighted works or their use or misuse is Congress.)

    This seems to be on the same level as attempts by local organizations to regulate use of WiFi, such as universities prohibiting students from running their own wireless routers, or airports trying to prohibit lessees from running their own WiFi, only to have the FCC publicly announce that neither homeowners associations, nor municipalities, nor special districts, nor state governments have any authority to regulate the use of spectrum and only the FCC has any authority to regulate what spectrum may be used and to set the terms and conditions for its use.

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