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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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  • by Leebert (1694) * on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @09:56AM (#25800783)

    How is this surprising? The recording industry is a multi-billion dollar industry in Nashville.

    • by Drakkenmensch (1255800) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @09:58AM (#25800807)
      Who in their right mind would even want to steal country music? You couldn't pay me enough to accept it legally.
      • by theaveng (1243528) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:18AM (#25801029)

        Country music is the most popular form of music in America according to Arbitron radio ratings.

        • Terrestrial radio? How quaint.

          • by theaveng (1243528)

            Quaint, yes, but also free (I like that word). And it's not blocked by my idiot employer.

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by Wovel (964431)
              It is not "free" , stop believing the lies. Every time you sit through a commercial you have "paid".
              • by dkf (304284)

                It is not "free" , stop believing the lies. Every time you sit through a commercial you have "paid".

                No. You're just not the customer. You're the user (well, assuming you like country music) but it is the advertiser who is the customer.

        • by Stanislav_J (947290) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @11:50AM (#25802133)

          Country music is the most popular form of music in America according to Arbitron radio ratings.

          And McDonald's is the most popular restaurant. Which just proves the American people have no taste in either music or food...

          • by sumdumass (711423) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @01:51PM (#25804507) Journal

            McDonalds is popular because of consistancy and market penetration combined with geed marketing.

            Country Music is popular because it stretches across a broader range of influences. You have blues and bluegrass on one end and pop on the other with combination of everything in the middle. All the other forms of music is severely limited in ranges and style and attract more people because of the influences in the style then genre itself. Someone who listens to bluegrass will likely also listen to pop country too. Someone who listens to light rock will probably not listen to speed metal or death metal. To them, crossing to country is probably more appealing. Anyways, if you can't stand country, it is probably because you haven't heard enough songs across the range (IE, People like the Dixie chicks or kenney Chesney because they are closer to rock country or pop country but they don't like the yodeling works of Jimmie Rodgers. Here are a few pages [countrymus...offame.com] talking about the differences in styles within [thinkquest.org] the genres.

            Of course I sort of feel the same way as you expresses about rap music. But I have to admit, there are some rap songs that I can tollorate and actually like, I just can't stand the others long enough to buy those CDs or listen to the radio stations waiting for the songs.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by jafiwam (310805)

          Well it sure as heck isn't if you look at torrent populations.

          Pop, rap, rock, punk, classical, the freaking Wiggles, etc. are all easier to find than country.

          Either it's just not popular, or something about the people that like it keeps them from....

          Oh.

          Nevermind.

      • by hey! (33014) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:41AM (#25801285) Homepage Journal

        Wrong question.

        Right question: who in their right mind would want to steal music dumbed down to music industry specifications?

        Hank Williams Sr., Bill Monroe, Roy Acuff, the Carters, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins -- the list goes on of worthwhile country musicians. The industry isn't run by creative people, it does its best to strangle of the life out of any kind of music it touches.

      • by rubycodez (864176) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:47AM (#25801361)

        how bigoted of you. People in that region listen to more than just country music. They have both kinds of music, country and western.

      • by Nerdposeur (910128) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @11:36AM (#25801945) Journal
        You know, the blues started in the south, too. There is a club in downtown Nashville with B.B. King's name on it, and other genres get recorded there, too.
      • by mcgrew (92797) * on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @11:55AM (#25802193) Homepage Journal

        Hey, y'all, git da hail out'n my trailer park! Damn city slickers! Whut's the differnce 'tween a violin and a fiddle?

        People LIKES fiddle music!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by hairyfeet (841228)

        Actually Nashville has a very large Goth,Metal,Underground,and college pop scene. I spent a couple of years there and was quite surprised that it wasn't all shit kicking red necks. I guess being a long hair from AR I expected the usual complete hassle,and instead found a quite progressive music scene.

        That said,we all know this has NOTHING to do with artists or music. This is greed by middle managers,pure and simple. Nobody EVER asks the musician on the ground what they think,and no,asking Metallica sitting

    • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:13AM (#25800957)

      It seems that they're more interested in protecting the music industry than supporting the education of their people.

      Anyone want to predict what the outcome will be in about 20 years?

      • by internerdj (1319281) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:23AM (#25801067)
        Quite frankly those who will suffer from reduced education are not the people Tennessee is interested in having in its state, because they are in a much lower tax bracket than the artists and more importantly the executives...
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by theaveng (1243528)

        TN colleges will need to "cut policing costs" and respond by limiting students' dorm access to 128 kbit/s (or thereabouts) such that downloading music or videos becomes impractical. TN administrators will argue that 128 kbit/s is "good enough" for accessing the required course-related websites (mostly text), and engineering or computer science students will need to apply for a professor-signed waiver to get faster access.

        Those students will later come into positions of power, remember the hell of limited d

        • by theaveng (1243528)

          If I lived in such a dorm, I'd switch to dialup. V.44-compressed dialup is equivalent to a 300kbit/s uncompressed broadband line... therefore faster.

          • by pipatron (966506)

            V.44-compressed dialup is equivalent to a 300kbit/s uncompressed broadband line... therefore faster.

            I'm not sure if you're joking or not, but in order to not give anyone else any ideas.. no, you won't get anything *near* 300kbit/s with any file that are worth downloading. You can read why if you check for example the wikipedia article about V.44 [wikipedia.org], and some basics about data compression.

          • by HardCase (14757)

            If I lived in such a dorm, I'd switch to dialup. V.44-compressed dialup is equivalent to a 300kbit/s uncompressed broadband line... therefore faster.

            v.44 works great for easily compressed data such as text files. Not so much for already-compressed data like...mp3s. Binary data might see 50%-60% increased throughput over regular old 53Kb uncompressed speed. The only way that you're going to see 300Kb/s transfer rates is on a plain old text file. Sorry.

        • The students could still run a website where people would advertise what content they had, and how to contact them to gain "access" to it, face-to-face. The university would be compliant, since this website, AFAICS, would not violate the DMCA itself. It might be in violation of "encouraging copyright infringement", but that's different, I think.

          If the students are clever, and advertise the site as something which helps you meet other students with similar tastes in music, I think it might be hard to get any

          • by theaveng (1243528)

            I used to do that back in the days of BBSes (using a speedy 2.4 kbit/s connection).

            We posted publicly what CDs we owned, and then had "copy parties" to record tapes of each other's possessions. It was an effective method albeit time-consuming.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by MightyYar (622222)

          If I were the colleges, I would just farm out the student connections - thus removing my liability. Access to the local network would be via VPN.

        • Why not nat the dorms with a waiver to get a IP that can be used network wide / forwarded ports?

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I don't know what the stats are for universities in Tennessee, but here on the University of Washington campus we hear about the rates of sexual abuse being 1 in 4 for females and 1 in 10 for males.

        Whenever this shit happens, I always wonder why people don't just start wandering around by the state house, muttering things like "How much rape could 9 million dollars prevent?"

        Maybe with a ballot in their hand or something. I don't know.

        (prophetic CAPTCHA: "plenty")

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by darkfire5252 (760516)
        Here's my letter to the local University of Tennessee newspaper ("The Daily Beacon"):

        Now that the University of Tennessee system has taken a budget cut of $21.2 million dollars, one might expect that the state would be carefully deciding how to spend the money that is available. However, this is apparently not the case. On November 12th, two days after the Daily Beacon covered the story of the UT system's budget cuts, Governor Bredesen signed senate bill 3974 into law, and committed the Tennessee highe
    • by ElizabethGreene (1185405) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:28AM (#25801119)

      The timing and pricetag are rather surprising, considering the state's current 800 Million dollar projected budget shortfall.

      -ellie

    • by Simonetta (207550) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:48AM (#25801369)

      Yes, do you sing? You listen to recordings of other people singing and find them pleasurable. You make copies of these recordings so that you can get the same pleasure later. You actively listen to new radio and television shows in order to hear new songs to repeat this cycle. You go to bars and concerts to hear other people sing, even without hearing their recordings previously.

        But you don't really sing yourself. It feels weird. You look weird doing it. Everyone looks at you weird should you do it. Everyone accepts that music and singing is what's on a disk that comes from an 'artist' and is something that you buy from a disk shop. Or download on a bit torrent. And get hassled and extorted by the RIAA who occasionally spy on your downloading. Something that they gave themselves the right to do without asking you.

        This is your-our cultural input conduit. It is based on the economic concept that the best singers and song makers will physically go to a centralized city, meet with the best music instrument players, sing and play together, and the recording of this will be put on a disk. A corporation will make millions of copies, send these disk copies to all corners of the globe, sell them to people who enjoy the best singing and playing, keep most of the money for themselves and give the singers a few pennies maybe from every dollar that they collect from selling these magic music disks.

        A hundred years go by and this strange economic model transcends mere commerce and becomes the primary cultural conduit for most people in the developed world.

        But it is an aberration. It's only a 20th century phenomenon. It didn't exist in the hundred centuries before the 20th. And now the 20th is over. And the centralized cultural distribution model is getting better at putting you in jail, extorting your financial resources, and getting you thrown out of school than it is at meeting your basic human cultural needs.

        So get a new model; get a new cultural conduit. Go back to the ways before the 20th century that people used to develop their cultural resources. Where are you going to find new music if not from recordings? From books. There is a system for writing and reading music. It works. Learn it. Where am I going to hear and share new songs? From listening to people sing them to you. And by you singing new songs to them. Sure it hurts the ears at first. Sure it feels weird and silly and uncomfortable. But these are only 20th century cultural conditionings. And the 20th century is over. Time to leave it behind.

          This is the only way that we are going to stop the RIAA. By developing a parallel culture that meets our needs. And then keeping it secret from the 20th century music corporations.

          Learn to sing.

      • by russotto (537200)

        Where are you going to find new music if not from recordings? From books. There is a system for writing and reading music. It works. Learn it. Where am I going to hear and share new songs? From listening to people sing them to you. And by you singing new songs to them. Sure it hurts the ears at first.

        And again, and again, and again. Two names: William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. Most people don't sound any better than those two.

        Besides, none of this avoids copyright. There's copyright on sheet music; it

  • Money "well" spent (Score:2, Insightful)

    by richien6 (1406455)
    To be honest I can usually be a little uninformed about the RIAA and DRM and whatnot...
    But come fu*king on! Why the hell would you spend millions of dollars on protection like this?? That money could sure as hell be spent elsewhere, since not only could the rest of the world use it but also even the USA themselves...
    • by darkfire5252 (760516) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:24AM (#25801079)
      As a University of Tennessee student, I am pretty pissed. I posted copies of the Ars Technica (I believe) article that discussed this bill as it was making its way through the congress; absolutely everyone who read it was amazed and pissed that such a thing was even being talked about, including university employees that will become responsible for enforcement. Even worse is the fact that the University of Tennessee is currently undergoing massive budget cuts [utk.edu], and I'm sure that this money that now legally must be spent will be dollars that used to be used educating Tennesseans and others.

      Regarding budget cuts, from the campus paper linked above:

      The University of Tennessee system sustained an initial $21.2 million budget cut in June, followed by an additional October impoundment of $17 million. All campuses have been affected and have taken similar measures, of varying degrees of severity, to offset these reductions.

      As a result of the initial cut, the Knoxville campus reduced its budget by $11,452,500; the Chattanooga campus by $2,682,200; the Martin campus by $1,965,000; and the UT Health Sciences Center by $2,751,500, according to the proposed budget for the 2009 fiscal year, released by the UT System Budget and Finance Office. Other UT branches affected included the Space Institute, the Institute of Agriculture, the Institute for Public Administration and the Systems Administration division.

    • Where are all those conservatives screaming "think of our children!"? Do they only come out when a boob accidentally slips out of bra on TV? I can't believe America allows companies to extort consumers using the citizen's legal system. In my opinion, it is now immoral to buy music from RIAA labels.
  • by I_am_Rambi (536614) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:03AM (#25800849) Homepage
    "...if such institution receives fifty (50) or more legally valid notices of infringement as prescribed by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998..."

    According to a recently lawsuit [thecrimson.com] against the RIAA on the legality of their tactics, I would question if the notices are legally valid or not.
    • by aproposofwhat (1019098) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:09AM (#25800921)

      What's even funnier is that the DMCA isn't the law at issue here - it's the Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright Damages Improvement Act of 1999 that is being used against filesharers.

      I wonder if there is some wit in the Tennessee legislature having a good laugh at the expense of the RIAA?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jeffasselin (566598)

        I was thinking the same thing, what does the DMCA have to do with file-sharing?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mcgrew (92797) *

        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 jgtg32a (1173373)
      If they get 50 people to pay up then I guess it was legal.
    • by Ken D (100098) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:31AM (#25801175)

      Right, now they have an incentive to spend up to $1.5M per year challenging bogus DMCA notices instead of rolling over.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by infalliable (1239578)

      I sense a huge uptick in the number of infringement notices sent to Tennessee schools.

      Who determines if they're legally valid?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kmac06 (608921)
      So which is cheaper for the universities, pay lawyers to get a judge to decide the notices as not valid, or just pay the extra employee(s) to police the campus in place of the RIAA? I'm guessing the latter.

      Of course the third (and most expensive) option is to pay off the legislators, as I'm sure the RIAA did.
      • by sumdumass (711423) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @03:17PM (#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.

    • It's a good question -- I know that DMCA takedown notices generally must be acted on immediately, whether actually valid or not, and the burden then falls on the accused to fire a counter-notice.

      One of the more disgusting parts is that the takedown notice doesn't carry any kind of penalty, while the counter-notice requires the accused to claim "under penalty of perjury" that they do, in fact, have the right to do that.

      So, does this require said notices to actually be proven valid? If so, I'd suggest univers

  • Indie Music (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mfh (56) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:08AM (#25800901) Journal

    Stop listening to garbage music that corporate America wants you to buy. Indie music is free and you can't be sued for downloading it freely, because it's offered as a promotional gimmick to sell concert tickets. Many Indie bands advocate people sharing purchased copies of their albums, because musicians know that this freely sharing of music creates more fans. Look at Radiohead... how much did they earn on that album they released as donor-ware?

    Sure you can apply all the regulations you want but you're just excluding people from your products in the long run.

    • Closed P2P (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mfh (56)

      Another approach to fighting RIAA and MPAA would be to create a kind of digital fingerprint process that would allow Indie bands and film makers to freely release their stuff over a closed P2P utilizing user accounts. This type of thing has been attempted in the past with great failure, but it's possible that with the proper interest, a push to exclude greedy practices from infiltrating P2P networks would be essential.

      A theory of mine is that many record labels would want to release their stuff for free on

      • by squizzar (1031726)

        Surely just a good torrent site where you know that everything tracked is provided by the artists, and the copyright status is known and allows sharing etc. would do the trick. In fact something like it probably exists already.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        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 happeni

        • by digitig (1056110)

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

          Unacceptable to whom? Not to most of the music-listening public.

    • [quote]Many Indie bands advocate people sharing purchased copies of their albums, because musicians know that this freely sharing of music creates more fans.[/quote]

      They do that until they get big, then they often start complaining about all this sharin' goin' on. Most people generally advocate what they think is best for them right now, even if that's different than what helped them get where they are.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Nerogk (1096421)
      Because when I think Indie, I think Radiohead.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Builder (103701)

      Indie Music is free? Since when ?

      Many bands on independent labels or bands pushing their own recorded cds actually charge for this.

      While bands may advocate sharing, I would not go so far as to say it is free, especially not in the legal sense of the word.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by JNighthawk (769575)

      Look, I don't care what music you listen to. I don't care. Stop turning this into a religious argument.

      I like mainstream music. I don't care what you think about it - don't deride me for liking it, or put more eloquently, don't persecute me because my beliefs are different than yours.

  • Wishfull thinking (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Thanshin (1188877) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:09AM (#25800913)

    Sometimes I need some detachment from slashdot to be able to keep reading. I know it's stupid and insensitive and wrong on many levels but I have to say it.

    News like this give me the same feelings as horrible wars in third world countries. The more I learn the more revulsion I feel and it reaches a point where I simply detach and start thinking about something else. I transport myself to the little world around myself where those things simply don't happen.

    I know about the "...now they come after me and there's nobody else left to care." parable, but still, I need a beer and a quiet mind to deal with extreme evil, or, as in this case, with extreme idiocy/corruption.

  • Thats too bad. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Alarindris (1253418) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:12AM (#25800941)

    It just seems like the population doesn't get to participate in democracy anymore. Other than record companies, who could possibly think this makes sense? Or demand that such a law should be passed?

    As far as music goes, I haven't heard anything worth buying in a while anyway. And I certainly wouldn't expect to hear it on the radio (they aren't giving us any other options atm). For now I'll just keep my torrents seeding and buy merch from the bands I do like, which funny enough, are mostly all from 1980 or before, so they've all got their mansions already anyhow.

    Hey record labels, your biggest market (for touring bands anyway) is college students. Why do you guys want to get rid of all of that free marketing? (word of mouth, mix CD's etc.) Get a clue.

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:15AM (#25800977)
    Once again, I apologize for my home state. If it's any consolation, this is just one of MANY, MANY, MANY dumbass laws passed on a yearly basis there. I decided it was time to leave about the time they started looking at creationist laws. The Scoppes Monkey Trial taught them nothing.
  • by davidwr (791652) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:20AM (#25801039) Homepage Journal

    If I were a university, I'd take this as my cue to disconnect the residential university network from the campus network and outsource the connectivity. The students would have to VPN in if they wanted access to campus services.

    This would probably be cheaper than complying with this law, and even if it weren't, it would send a message to the lawmakers to be mindful of the law of unintended consequences.

    • ...or send a bill to the RIAA for implementing their protection system

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Most uni's don't want to face downtime they can't control. Residential networks make it easy to set up services that students need without the hassle of diving out VPN software and having to troubleshoot that all day. Furthermore, your average college student won't even know what VPN means let alone how to install, run, and use one. This is a nightmare waiting to happen. In my opinion, the best thing a university can do at this point is do what all the smart ones did: ignore anything having to do with copy
      • Residential networks make it easy to set up services that students need without the hassle of diving out VPN software and having to troubleshoot that all day.

        From experience, it seems that every university is going to have a bit of its own software to distribute anyway. From SSH clients to Kerberos-enabled printers...

        Furthermore, your average college student won't even know what VPN means let alone how to install, run, and use one.

        Your average college student knows how to use WoW, and P2P, and many other things that operate on the same principle -- start this program, (possibly) type a password, then you have access to these services.

        Now, granted, the simpler and smarter solution is to provide all network services over something which can be secured -- most of it as HTTPS web

    • I agree. If this law is focused on universities then what you do is transfer ownership of the P2P abusers Internet access to a 3rd party. Be it the local city (MUNI WIFI), DSL, or Cable Modems. Someone this law is not applicable to.

      Make a deal so every dorm get's Internet access, but it is not provided by the University. I'm sure some hole in the law exists which enables removing this burden.

      Block Internet Access on the student/residential VLAN, providing only local networking. Then prohibit P2P on the

  • by olddotter (638430) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:24AM (#25801073) Homepage
    This is just a hidden bail out of the music industry. They need a viable business model in the modern world.
  • Unjust (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MikeRT (947531) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:25AM (#25801087) Homepage

    If they aren't receiving state funds, then the state has no business putting this mandate on private institutions. Then again, this country has a long, sordid history of things like "attractive nuisance laws" like the ones which make people who have pools in their yards put up all sorts of fences to keep kids out of their yard (rather than arresting the kids for trespassing).

  • by Taibhsear (1286214) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:25AM (#25801089)

    [R]easonably attempt to prevent the infringement of copyrighted works over the institution's computer and network resources

    Well violating the students' constitutional rights seems pretty unreasonable to me, so the whole law is moot IMHO.

    • by Aladrin (926209)

      You have a constitutional right to infringe copyrights?

      Or maybe you have a constitutional right to use the University's network in any way you wish?

      Or maybe you think that 'privacy' applies on private networks and land?

      There are plenty of reasons that this won't work as the RIAA wants, but this isn't one of them.

      • A blanket of 50 John Doe notices of infringement based on IP addresses do not count as valid identification of infringement. It has been refuted many times already.

        Or maybe you think that 'privacy' applies on private networks and land?

        Yes, that's generally what the terms private and privacy mean.

    • The problem is making taxpayers carry the burden of a dying industry to keep their executives well paid, not your delusions of privacy where you've explicitly been told you have none.

      Try reading the terms of service you've agreed to before you go for that "unconstitutional" angle so quickly.

  • I hate laws that essentially force others to pick up the bill for a special interest group's policing.

    If the RIAA wants universities patrolled, let the RIAA pony up the money. For example, the RIAA could create some kind of contract with universities to have this done, if they really care that much. (Of course, I'd rather the RIAA just go away.)

    The role of a university is education, and their budgets are limited enough. The idea that future tuition will probably be hiked to offset this kind of unnecessar

  • Ladies and gentlemen, RIAA are the mafia of the 21th century.

  • So that is $9.5 million plus $1.5 million per year for Tennessee universities. Tennessee population is about 1/45th of the USA, so a similar program for the hole of the USA would be about $420 million initially plus $62 million per year to "reasonably attempt to prevent copyright infringement" at university campuses. May I say that is an awful lot of money to cover one industry. Wouldn't it be much more worthwhile to invest state money into the prevention of shoplifting, which is a real crime, and creates m
  • Tennessee? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wcrowe (94389) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:53AM (#25801427)

    At first I thought, "With the economy being what it is, I can't believe that a state would pass such an expensive statute." Then I remembered that Tennessee is the home of Nashville. So perhaps that is why the RIAA has so much pull there.

  • Best of luck RIAA (Score:5, Interesting)

    by einer (459199) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:56AM (#25801459) Journal

    As an IT professional working at one of these TN universities I can report that the budget crunch currently going on in education (the aggresive growth policies that served the endowments so well in the past were mostly real estate driven) will limit the resources these new directives are allocated. In fact, we're actually considering open source solutions for the first time since I've worked here. Pretty sure the RIAA's financial well being is not at the top of our list.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jvkjvk (102057)

      The problem is it's not "best of luck" I'm pretty sure the law has some teeth should you not comply. It doesn't matter that there's no money for it; any discretionary budget will get soaked up - think upgrades (you really didn't need that new comp lab did you?)

      Unless this law is struck down your uni will either do what the STATE wants or lose state support, perhaps accreditation, funding. This is a compliance issue now, not a "good luck" issue.

      If you think you're in a budget crisis now, tell the RIAA "be

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by einer (459199)

        Unless this law is struck down your uni will either do what the STATE wants or lose state support, perhaps accreditation, funding. This is a compliance issue now, not a "good luck" issue.

        The state is not responsible for accreditation. We are not a state institution and do not rely on the state for any funding. The contention is between the development of our alumni relations (donations) and spending money on enforcing another organizations business model. I would be shocked if we voluntarily spent money

  • by dhwebb (526291) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:57AM (#25801481) Homepage Journal
    Foundering first quarter revenue collections indicate that Tennessee's state budget shortfall could reach $800 million, Gov. http://www.topix.com/state/tn/2008/11/bredesen-tennessee-budget-shortfall-could-reach-800-million [topix.com]
  • If this is with regard to a residential network provided by the universities (and not the university network as such), wouldn't the provision of this put them in the same position of an ISP, and therefore protected by the same regulations that stop ISPs getting sued for the content that goes across their network?
  • by chord.wav (599850) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @11:09AM (#25801611) Journal

    Stop buying music and movies. Yes that includes the ones in iTunes.
    No mattr how loud you complain, if you still are giving them your money, nothing will get solved.

    You have to be the change you want to see in the world - Ghandi

  • by rfc1394 (155777) <Paul@paul-robinson.us> on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @09:39PM (#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.

The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives. -- Admiral William Leahy, U.S. Atomic Bomb Project

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