Higher Education Reauthorization Act: Update

July 24, 2007 § Leave a comment

Colleagues,As you know EDUCAUSE issued an urgent call to action to our members and partner organizations on Friday afternoon in response to the introduction of an amendment by Senator Reid to the Higher Education Reauthorization Act that would have, in essence, required a targeted group of colleges and universities that received the highest numbers of copyright notices to plan for and install technologies that try to block copyright infringement on their campus networks. We know from our October workshop and other sources that these technologies have many defects and are not ready for prime time. Worse, the amendment would require the Secretary of Education to use the copyright notices issued by copyright holders as the measure of who has the most violations, placing the entertainment industry in the driver’s seat of a federal agency for this purpose. Finally, those colleges and universities in violation of the Secretary’s directions could face loss of Title IV funding, a devastating penalty.

Our members, partners, and policy staff have been orchestrating a blitz of phone calls, faxes, and email since the call to action, contacting every Senator and especially their leadership to express our strong objections. This afternoon, in a cliffhanger, the Reid amendment was dropped in response to this groundswell of criticism. This is an important victory for EDUCAUSE and the higher education community. We received tremendous political support from our partners in ACE, AAU, NASULGC, and other friends as well as our members. We now face the prospect of additional, but much less onerous, reporting requirements in the Senate, and other potentially stronger requirements in the House.

Thank you all for your help in this important campaign. We will count on your help again as needed!

Best regards,

Mark Luker
Vice President
EDUCAUSE
Washington, DC 20036

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