Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tennessee Cracks Down on College P2P File Sharing

Posted By on Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 2:25 PM

click to enlarge go_to_jail.jpg
Sharing is for commies. Last week a press release went out that began thusly:
Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen signed into law today a bill aimed at curbing the disproportionate amount of music theft occurring on state campus networks via peer-to-peer (p2p) services. Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Chairman & CEO Mitch Bainwol, along with several other members of the music community, participated in the signing ceremony and welcomed the enactment of the legislation, SB 3794, which passed the state legislature earlier this year.
Feel free to read the whole thing at your leisure over at the friendly Recording Industry Association of America website, or just follow the jump. CNET has also picked up the story, as has P2PNET. In essence, the law "requires that Tennessee public and private colleges and universities exercise appropriate means to ensure that computers connected to their campus network are not being abused for the purpose of illegally downloading and distributing copyrighted material through p2p file-sharing programs." The phrase "appropriate means" is what you might call a gray area. There's also that question of how to pay for all the snoopers and the doggy-doggers it's gonna take to peep on P2Ps. And there's also the question of whether there any fucking more important things to worry about at Tennessee universities, some of which may see tuition increases in the neighborhood of 25% this year. But at least there's a law now. I know I feel safer knowing that college kids are going to completely stop downloading music because it's, like, illegal and against the rules. Have any of you college students heard anything from your schools?
RIAA CEO Joins Tenn. Governor and State Music Leaders in Welcoming Enactment of First-Ever Campus Downloading Bill NASHVILLE -- Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen signed into law today a bill aimed at curbing the disproportionate amount of music theft occurring on state campus networks via peer-to-peer (p2p) services. Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Chairman & CEO Mitch Bainwol, along with several other members of the music community, participated in the signing ceremony and welcomed the enactment of the legislation, SB 3794, which passed the state legislature earlier this year. “It's fitting that on the day the world focuses on Nashville and country music that Tennessee would take the lead in protecting the creativity that this state so uniquely inspires,” said Bainwol. “We have all seen the effects illegal downloading has had on Music Row – too many record stores have been shuttered and too many songwriters are out of the business of writing songs. This bill, the first of its kind in the nation, addresses the issue of campus music theft in a state where the impact is felt more harshly than most.” Specifically, the bill requires that Tennessee public and private colleges and universities exercise appropriate means to ensure that computers connected to their campus network are not being abused for the purpose of illegally downloading and distributing copyrighted material through p2p file-sharing programs. Upon a proper analysis of the network, those institutions are required to implement technological support and develop and enforce a computer network usage policy to effectively limit the number of unauthorized transmissions of copyrighted works. A 2007 Student Monitor survey found that more than half of college students download music and movies illegally. The Institute for Policy Innovation (www.ipi.org) recently estimated that the global theft of sound recordings cost the U.S. economy $12.5 billion in lost revenue and more than 71,000 jobs and $2 billion in wages to U.S. workers. Schools that have implemented robust technological tools have not only reported seeing a dramatic reduction in the amount of copyright violations occurring on the campus network but a significant amount in savings. A senior administrator at the University of Utah, for example, testified in 2007 before Congressional hearing that after implementing certain technologies to curb instances of music theft, his school received 90 percent fewer notices of copyright theft and saved more than $1.2 million per year in Internet bandwidth charges and an estimated $70,000 per year in personnel costs. Upon developing and installing technological support for their network, University of Florida officials reported experiencing a rapid decline in bandwidth overload due to the drop-off in p2p use among its students. Because of this drop-off, administrators were able to delay server upgrades, resulting in savings of $1.5 million. “We commend Governor Bredesen, Senator Tim Burchett, Rep. Rinks and all the cosponsors of the legislation for their leadership on this important issue, which will not only benefit those who care about music but American creativity and jobs,” said Bainwol. ##### The Recording Industry Association of America is the trade group that represents the U.S. recording industry. Its mission is to foster a business and legal climate that supports and promotes our members' creative and financial vitality. Its members are the record companies that comprise the most vibrant national music industry in the world. RIAA® members create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 90% of all legitimate sound recordings produced and sold in the United States. In support of this mission, the RIAA works to protect intellectual property rights worldwide and the First Amendment rights of artists; conducts consumer, industry and technical research; and monitors and reviews state and federal laws, regulations and policies. The RIAA® also certifies Gold®, Platinum®, Multi-Platinum™, and Diamond sales awards, as well as Los Premios De Oro y Platino™, an award celebrating Latin music sales. Contact: Jonathan Lamy Cara Duckworth Liz Kennedy 202/775-0101

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