p2pnet news MPAA | RIAA News:- American educators continue to fight entertainment industry attempts to force US colleges and universities into not only becoming corporate copyright cops, but also installing, and paying for, software designed to filter all but corporate ‘product’ from online school networks.
“In a letter to members of Congress dated Tuesday, the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America took exception to claims by higher-education groups that online music services and technology tools to block file-sharing are costly and ineffective,” says the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Wired Campus.
“The entertainment-industry groups were responding to a letter that 13 higher-education groups sent to some members of Congress last week urging them to reject language in a House-approved bill that would require colleges to use such tools.
“The entertainment industry groups want the House language to become law. A similar Senate bill omits the language on peer-to-peer file sharing.”
A “filtering product is now deployed at approximately 70 colleges and universities across the country, and it has demonstrated the ability to impede illegal P2P activity on a number of campus networks,” the story quotes the RIAA and MPAA as saying.
It’s probably referring to Audible Magic’s CopySense which, four years ago, was brazenly touted around congress by then newly appointed RIAA boss Mitch Bainwol. It was later analysed by the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation).
Network administrators, “will want to ask Audible Magic tough questions before investing in the company’s technology, lest the investment be rendered worthless by the next P2P ‘upgrade’,” said the EFF’s Chris Palmer.
Ohio University is boasting it spent more than $75,000 for a device —- CopySense —- that, “scans data crisscrossing its network for copyrighted media,” said p2pnet.
The MPAA/RIAA letter, “says one university ‘saved $1.2-million a year in terms of bandwidth and $70,000 in personnel costs’ after installing a technology filter on a campus network,” continues Wired Campus. “The letter did not name the university.”
The letter also said US college students are, “disproportionately responsible for digital theft of copyrighted materials and that this dynamic is one that needs to be proactively addressed by the university community without further delay”.
It’s now Standard Operating Procedure for people working for, and with, the RIAA and brother organisation, Hollywood’s MPAA, “to make false statements or issue grossly inaccurate statistics they know will be picked up by the ever-faithful lamescream corporate media and repeated as though they came from reliable sources,” said p2pnet in February, going on:
“The statements and/or statistics can later be discarded as ‘mistakes’.”
An example is the now-infamous MPAA ‘study’ which concluded American students were responsible for 44% of Hollywood’s domestic losses.
It was picked up by the international press corps and reported as fact. It was also one of the principal contributing factors to Section 494 of the College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007.
However, the study, by LEK and dismissed by Britain’s Industry Trust for Intellectual Property Awareness (ITfIPA) as “inaccurate and out of date,” turned out to be based on specious statistics.
The figure should have been 15%, the MPAA reluctantly admitted after the damage had been done.
However, even 15% was well over the top, said Mark Luker, vice president of campus IT group Educause.
It didn’t account for the fact more than 80% of college students live off campus and aren’t necessarily using college networks, he said, going on to state 3% was a more reasonable estimate for the percentage of revenue that might be at stake on campus networks.
“The 44 percent figure was used to show that if college campuses could somehow solve this problem on this campus, then it would make a tremendous difference in the business of the motion picture industry,” Luker said. The new figures proved, “any solution on campus will have only a small impact on the industry itself”.
Educause has increased the level of its opposition to Section 494 of the College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007 as it stands, said another p2pnet post, going on:
” ‘Educause continues to feel that the mandates contained in the House bill are expensive, ineffective, and inappropriate,’ Steve Worona, director of policy and networking programs and founding director of the Educause/Cornell Institute for computer policy and law, said.”
In a letter to CIOs in universities across the the US, the bill, “requires every college and university to develop a plan for offering alternatives to illegal downloading or peer-to-peer distribution of intellectual property as well as a plan to explore technology-based deterrents to prevent such illegal activity,” said Educause, declaring:
“These requirements are ill conceived and would be harmful to higher education if passed into law. The legal online services they imagine are immature and have been rejected by student communities on many campuses, even when offered at no charge.”
It would, “impose new costs and regulatory burdens on both the Department of Education and campuses while doing very little to address the problem,” says ACE president David Ward.
“Therefore, we ask that the House recede to the Senate with respect to the proposed new Section 494.”
However, the major Hollywood studios, Time Warner, Viacom, Fox, Sony, NBC Universal and Disney, and Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG, the members of the Big 4 organised music cartel, aren’t giving in.
Higher-education groups are “trying to divert attention from the real and immediate problems at hand,” says the industry letter, according to Wired Campus, which adds:
“The letter was signed by Dan Glickman, president of the motion picture group, and Mitch Bainwol, chairman and CEO of the recording-industry group. The letter was addressed to the chairmen and ranking minority members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, and the House Committee on Education and Labor.”
Jon Newton – p2pnet
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