New US bill to clamp down on campus piracy

September 2008


The US Congress has passed a law to help curb piracy on college campuses. The Higher Education Opportunity Act, passed Wednesday by the House and Thursday by the Senate, promotes education, legal alternatives, and improved monitoring of campus networks. signed into law by President George W. Bush, the bipartisan bill would require publicly funded universities and colleges to teach students and employees about illegal downloading, distribution of copyrighted materials, and related campus policies. The bill also requires universities and colleges to create plans to prevent piracy by using technology and to present legal alternatives. The bill would provide grants to support those efforts. David Israelite, president and CEO of National Music Publishers Association called the bill “an enormous step forward in addressing the problem of illegal downloading on campus networks.” He said the bill recognizes that the best way to address the problem is through cooperation among universities, technology, and legal content providers. The Motion Picture Association of America claims peer-2-peer Internet piracy costs its member studios $3.8 billion a year, with losses from Internet piracy surpassing $2.3 billion. The Recording Industry Association of America cites an Institute for Policy Innovation study that concludes global music piracy causes $12.5 billion in economic losses every year.

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