AfterDawn: Tech news

Congress sends surveys to Universities over piracy concerns

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 03 May 2007 19:39 User comments (14)

Congress sends surveys to Universities over piracy concerns US Congress has begun sending out "surveys" to the presidents of 19 leading Universities hoping to receive answers in regards to what the university is planning on doing to curb piracy on campus networks.
House Judiciary Committee member Lamar Smith (R-TX)however, made it clear that these surveys were not innocent. "If we do not receive acceptable answers, Congress will be forced to act," Smith said in a statement.

The universities that received that survey are: Boston University, Columbia University, Duke University, Howard University, Michigan State University, North Carolina State University, Ohio University, Purdue University, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of California at Los Angeles, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, University of Massachusetts at Boston, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, University of South Carolina, University of Tennessee, University of Wisconsin at Madison, and Vanderbilt University.

"The fact that copyright piracy is not unique to college and university campuses is not an excuse for higher education officials to fail to take responsible steps to eliminate such activity nor to appropriately sanction such conduct when discovered," the letter reads.

The universities in question were pulled from a pair of lists created by the RIAA and the MPAA that named the top piracy schools in the nation.

The surveys ask the universities for a detailed list, from 2002-on, of the number of students that have been involved in piracy.

Other questions in the survey included asking "whether the institution offers discounts or site licensing for legitimate online services," whether the schools provided cable or satellite TV, and whether the schools agree with a statement made by the president of Purdue in which he responded to the RIAA saying that "asking us to pursue an investigation and as the service provider, we don't see that as our role."

"We want to know exactly what they plan to do to stop illegal downloading on their campuses,"
Smith continued in a statement. "Universities have a moral and legal obligation to ensure students do not use campus computers for illegal downloading. These schools do not give away their intellectual property for free, and they should not expect musicians to do so."

Congress is requiring that the universities provide detailed answers to the questions by May 31st. Whether all the universities will respond is another question as I'm sure many of these universities will not want to go on record, especially if their answers are not what Congress wants to hear.


Previous Next  

14 user comments

13.5.2007 22:29

Well with this "survey" it is now official. The congress or at least part of it has become a lap dog for big business. Of course none of us knew that before?! 'winks'

23.5.2007 22:33

I'm so glad my tax dollars are used to strongarm my college into restricting my rights. That's right, I'm talking about fair use. Gooooooo government!

34.5.2007 0:33

I find it so amazing that their letting these big music execs bully colleges just so they can put more money in their pockets. I mean do they really think that more people are going to buy their music just because they pay some politician to help fight their bullying cause. You'd think after the VA Tech shooting they'd be trying to figure out some type of safety measure to keep college students safe from crazy loonys with guns.

44.5.2007 1:05

all the riaa(american government) will do is send in the heavies just like these peaceful protesters found out on 1st of may 2007 and batter all ppl that stand in their way of profit:



54.5.2007 5:43

F-ing amazing. This is what we get when we have a left liberal controlled Congress. How in the hell can our congress be concerned about freakin illegal downloads. Guess what RIAA and MPAA. This makes me want to burn, rip and download 10x more than before! Screw you guys for being so damn greedy and wanting $10 million dollars instead of a measly $9 Million.

64.5.2007 15:51

I still would not do anything until i was supinad to give something over. They are making themselves the authorities but truly have no power.

75.5.2007 3:15

Just remember in the next election which side has the entire music and movie industry lobbying for them and vote accordingly. Remember you are giving them the power. Guess who is fighting for their rights to charge way more than reasonable for the product that has limitations. Plus note that if you do your job poorly no one will pay you but they can put out a terrible move and try to return it because they robbed you for a crap movie.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 May 2007 @ 3:17

85.5.2007 11:10

screw policing piracy, start working on things that really matter IE, alternative fuels. congress will be dead and gone leaving you and I to literally burn in our unprotected green house gas mos sphere. they're just filling up their pockets while they still exsist. in order to pirate something it has to first be made available, they made plenty of money on it the first time around and have no problem suing folks that don't have the money they're being sued for, so let's tie it up in court for eternity wasting more money on lengthy trials.

96.5.2007 18:40

Just another small step towards the all American Thought Police. Put on your tin foil hats, kids. They'll be charging us to dream before you know it.

108.5.2007 5:56

jverhey has it right it is not good enough to complain you need to do something constructive. Next election contact the canidates and ask them why do patents only last 17 years while copywrite last 100 years. Patents are expensive to very expensive to produce. thousands to millions of dollars. Copywites are just a unique idea or expression. The real answer is having crazy laws for copywrites don't hurt anyone but the public. Businesses make profits by haveing the patents expire so quickly. Ronald Regan put it best. He joked that all politicians were whores in a very polite way. They will not do anything for public good unless they think we are paying attention. If we make it an issue they will respond. The RIAA and MPAA can do anything to us because we let them!

117.11.2007 2:19

"We want to know exactly what they plan to do to stop illegal downloading on their campuses," Smith continued in a statement. "Universities have a moral and legal obligation to ensure students do not use campus computers for illegal downloading. These schools do not give away their intellectual property for free, and they should not expect musicians to do so."

Complete and utter bullocks! You want to read how music companies treat their musicians? Well here you go: Dear RIAA: Why do you rape your musicians?

127.11.2007 7:10

I love what the movie companies are doing to the artists. They have been trying to change laws so any type of media will be 'taxed' anytime anyone sees or hears anything. The artists are striking because they want a piece of the pie. At first the companies said that was not possible. Now they have change their tune, they say the market is too complex for a simple cut to have merit. The artists just do not understand. The artists just want a flat percentage of the take. If the movie/TV company does not get money for a certain media they are happy to get nothing. They are real pissed at the movie/TV companies making laws to 'protect the artists' but are not able to collect any of that.

I also hate the pigs who will made unfair laws as long as they get theirs.

137.11.2007 12:27

The Universities should throw out those surveys. See what happens. See how ridiculous this really gets. You thought the RIAA going after college students was ridiculous. How about federal agents leading kids out of class in cuffs for sharing music. That will cause the outcry from the public. From parents, rich or poor. From activist groups. Then we should see some progress in battling the RIAA. How about each university hold a music class, where the professor plays the radio for an hour and all the students have to do is hold up tape recorders and record the songs from the airwaves.

Let them shut down file sharing. I have plenty of friends to share with. We should all make arrangements with our friends - when a CD comes out, 1 person buys it and shares it among 20. If my brother or best friend likes a CD I have, I'm not going to quote the DCMA. I'm going to give him a copy. If he likes it, he'll probably buy it. I grew up recording songs on a tapedeck. So that mentality will never change, because I've still managed to rack up an insane CD collection that happens to be boxed up in my attic. I will always support the artists who mean something to me.

148.11.2007 7:50

You ought to write Smith. That committee is in the pocket of the media maffia. The war on piracy will start there. They are working on a new law to protect the artists. We can see how much the industry wants to protect the artists. They don't want them to get a dime of the new found money. That law will cost the public plenty. The public needs to rattle their cages. Let them know someone is watching them. They can't screw the public without conciquences.

These site help if you wish to find your represenitive.

Comments have been disabled for this article.

Latest user comments

News archive