If you can’t beat ’em, legislate ’em. That’s Hollywood and Big Music’s new approach to its piracy problem. But rather than push for new laws that would crack down on “file sharers” across the U.S., the MPAA and RIAA are targeting that those evil college kids. MediaPost:
In a letter sent to several high-ranking Senate and House members last week, film and record label executives claimed that filters can both reduce piracy and save colleges on bandwidth charges.
The entertainment industry is backing the College Education and Affordability Act (H.R. 4137), passed by the House last month. The 747-page measures contain a provision, Section 494, that would require colleges receiving federal financial aid to develop a plan to provide legal music and movie services and explore technological measures aimed at deterring copyright infringement.
The current Senate version of the bill only requires colleges to inform students about policies on piracy and the legal consequences
We all know that ne’er-do-well students are responsible for most of the entertainment industry’s woes. But just in case Congress has forgotten, lobbyists are happy to remind them:
The MPAA-RIAA letter, addressed to the same Congress representatives, reportedly argued that college students “are disproportionately responsible for digital theft of copyrighted materials,” and urged that the issue be “proactively addressed by the university community without further delay.”
One problem: The MPAA has already had to backtrack on claims that undergrads are responsible for 44% of Hollywood’s losses. Which is going to make future fingerpointing much more difficult to pull off.
Again, we understand the impulse to crack down on college kids: It’s a lot easier to get Big State U to throttle bandwidth than it is to force Verizon (VZ) to do it. But it’s going to be hard to generate much sympathy for media moguls as it is — they might want to think about tamping down the rhetoric.
See Also: MPAA To College Kids: Our Bad
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