EDUCAUSE Follow-Up: File-Sharing Amendment Dropped
July 25, 2007 § Leave a comment
As you know, EDUCAUSE issued an urgent call to action to our members and partner organizations Friday afternoon in response to the introduction of an amendment by Senator Reid to the Higher Education Reauthorization Act that, in essence, would have 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 file-sharing 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.
Many of you and other EDUCAUSE members, partners, and policy staff orchestrated a blitz of phone calls, faxes, and e-mail since the
call to action to express your strong objections. On Monday, 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 for your help in this important campaign, and please convey my thanks to any other officials at your institution who may have communicated with your senators. We will count on your help again as needed!