Mistakengoal.com just published a really interesting article about a recent amendment to the Higher Education Reauthorization Act. Democratic Senator and senate majority leader Harry Reid introduced an amendment to the bill that deals with "campus-based digital theft prevention." The amendment would essentially keep track of the state of copyright infringement at every university that receives federal funds and force the schools with the worst track records to take proactive measures against infringement.

Reid specifically wants to single out 25 universities that receive the highest amount of DMCA takedown notices - something that is strikingly similar to a list the RIAA published earlier this year. Those 25 schools would then have to teach copyright to their students, report back to the federal government about the success of these lessons and tweak their anti-piracy message if it isn't successful enough.

But wait, that's not all. Schools would also have to tamper with their students' net access. From the proposed amendment:

"Each eligible institution (...) shall (...) provide evidence to the Secretary that the institution has developed a plan for implementing a technology-based deterrent to prevent the illegal downloading or peer-to-peer distribution of intellectual property."

Companies like Safemedia and entertainment industry lobbyists have been making their rounds in Washington lately to get P2P filtering on campus mandated by law. Looks like these effords are starting to pay off.

But what do people working in higher education actually think about this idea? Mistakengoal.com doesn't like it at all:

"It is clear to me, that we, not our congresspeople or the Secretary of Education, are in the best position to judge and implement what works best for our campus and our students. That may include technological devices or it may not and they should not be mandated. Please contact your senators. Letís not let the RIAA, MPAA, and others micromanage our campuses."


Update: Looks like Harry Reid has withdrawn the amendment.

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