Update on the file sharing provision in the Higher Ed bill

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Mark Luker from Educause reports that the Reid ammendment to the Higher Education Reauthorization Bill was dropped after a groundswell of criticism. Whew. There apparently is some substitute language from Sen. Kennedy being included in the “Manager’s Package” on the bill that asks colleges and universities to inform their students on the following points:

(P) policies and sanctions related to copyright infringement, including —

(i) information which explicitly informs students that unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer to peer file sharing, may subject them to civil and criminal penalties;

(ii) a summary of the penalties for violation of copyright laws under the US Code;

(iii) a description of the institution’s policies with respect to unauthorized peer to peer file sharing including disciplinary actions which are taken against students who engage in unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using the institution’s information technology system; and

(iv) a description of steps that the institution takes to prevent and detect unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material on its information technology system.

That’s all stuff we’re either doing already or working on, so no problems there. This is an important battle won, but it’s not the end of the story by any means.

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