FYI---Our latest (last?) request to all our members for help on file
sharing legislation before the decision is made in the Conference
Committee. If you have not done so recently, please call to let them
know that we really care about this!
Mark Luker, VP EDUCAUSE; Suite 1010, 1150 18th St. NW; Wash DC 20036
202-872-4200 x 5351; 202-872-4318 fax; [log in to unmask]
URGENT CALL TO ACTION ON HIGHER EDUCATION REAUTHORIZATION ACT
EDUCAUSE would like to thank all of its member institutions that have
contacted their Congressional representatives over the past several
months regarding the copyright infringement language contained in the
Higher Education Reauthorization Act. The campaign to achieve the best
language possible for our campuses has entered its final stages as the
Conference Committee works to reconcile the Senate version (S. 1642)
and the House version (H.R. 4137) of the act by March 14.
Even if you have not yet brought this matter to the attention of your
campus officials, it is not too late for you to help get the offending
language deleted from the final version, but you must act by THIS
FRIDAY, MARCH 7, to achieve the greatest impact.
**THE LANGUAGE IN QUESTION**
[H.R. 4137 Section 494 (a)(2)] ...develop a plan for offering
alternatives to illegal downloading or peer-to-peer distribution of
intellectual property as well as a plan to explore technology-based
deterrents to prevent such illegal activity.
**A SUMMARY OF THE PROBLEM**
These requirements are ill-conceived and would be harmful to higher
education if passed into law. The legal online services they envision
are immature and have been rejected by student communities on many
campuses, even when offered at no charge to the student. The
technological deterrents the legislation proposes are unproven and
expensive, do not work well in practice, and repeatedly have been
rejected by campus experts looking for real solutions. It is unclear
how these plans will be evaluated for compliance with the law or by
whom (for example, by the Secretary of Education). It is also unclear
what penalties will be applied to campuses whose plans are found not to
be in compliance. Once campuses are required by law to make such plans,
it is only a matter of time before they will be required to implement
them. Together, these requirements will increase the cost of higher
education by hundreds of millions of dollars without solving the
problem of copyright infringement on campus networks. Recent
statistical corrections show that campus networks are responsible for
less than 3 percent of the financial losses claimed by the Motion
Picture Association of America.
**LANGUAGE INCLUDED IN THE COMMUNITY LETTER TO THE SENATE CONFERENCE
Read what other higher education associations said to the Senate
regarding this issue:
**WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP**
Please work with your federal relations staff and campus executives to
explain the importance of this issue for your institution. Encourage
them to call, e-mail, or visit their U.S. Senator or Representative
right away and ask them to reject the language in H.R. 4137.
Find additional talking points at
<http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/word/CSD5172.doc> , a template for
action calls at <http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/word/CSD5175.doc>,
and additional P2P/file-sharing resources at <www.educause.edu/p2pfs>.
Please use these resources if you find them helpful. It is important
that you complete the calls by MARCH 7 to have the greatest impact.
Thank you very much for your help!
EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher
education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology.
The current membership comprises more than 2,200 colleges,
universities, and educational organizations, including 250
corporations, with 17,000 active members. EDUCAUSE has offices in
Boulder, Colorado, and Washington, D.C. Learn more at
Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.