The Higher Education Opportunity Act written in August 2008 contained a few mentions of file sharing on campuses. The act addressed three main areas. First, students must be warned about illegal downloading and illegitimate P2P file sharing. They must be notified about potential repercussions such as civil and criminal liabilities. Next, institutions must certify that they have developed plans to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials including technology based deterrents. Third, they must, to the extent possible, provide alternatives to illegal downloading. The timing for this is 1 year after the Act was signed.
The Act is quite specific in its requirements. Universities must both combat and provide solutions to the peer-to-peer file sharing dilemma that has run rampant on college campuses since the creation of Napster over a decade ago. Numerous attempts of other services have been tested, but all have failed the ultimate goal of compensating creators and giving students the music they want. Ruckus was the most recent failure. With the Act in place, universities must address the issue in the near future giving Choruss a unique opportunity as it is backed by both labels and file-sharing proponents. The controlled nature of campuses and use of a central ISP makes them a very attractive place to test the subscription model and this will be important to watch develop for the future of collective licensing.
tagged choruss collective_licensing copyright file_sharing free_music isp_licensing licensing music_piracy new_economy piracy voluntary_collective_licensing wired by neild ...and 2 other people ...on 15-APR-09
The Higher Education Opportunity Act made it mandatory for universities to provide alternatives to illegal peer-to-peer networks.
In August 2008, amendments were made to the Higher Education Opportunity Act, including a section on copyright infringement. In section 488, Institutional and Financial Assistance Information for Students, there is a small addition describing the required action colleges and universities must take regarding copyright infringement. They are mandated to warn students that peer-to-peer file sharing could result in criminal issues; they also must provide students with information on the school's policy of punishment as well as the Federal government penalties for such actions. Colleges must also have a plan that will discourage students from using P2P file sharing, including "the use of a variety of technology-based deterrents." The Act also requires colleges to provide students with an alternative method to obtaining music files. For example, here at Penn, the University pays for Ruckus, which allows students unlimited access to music. This program, however, is by no means popular or effective because students are not able to transfer music to their MP3 players.
The Higher Education Opportunity Act is extremely important to my paper because it contains the current government policy on this growing issue. The simple fact that an area on copyright infringement was added demonstrates its prevalence. I will argue against these amendments because I don't think that filtering university networks for the infringement of copyrighted material is the best solution. I will show why using an alternative music source such as Ruckus does not appeal to students and demonstrate how traffic filtering will not totally eliminate the issue of P2P file sharing.
Finally, I think this act presents an interesting point: why are only colleges and universities being targeted for file sharing? I find it difficult to believe that college students are the only culprits of file sharing and wonder why these are instituted only at places of higher education and not nationwide.