Effective this month, colleges and universities that don’t do enough to combat the illegal file sharing on their computer networks put themselves at risk of losing federal funding.
One provision of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 makes institutions of higher learning forced allies of the entertainment industry’s campaign to stamp out unauthorized distribution of copyrighted music, movies and TV shows.
According to the Act, which went into effect yesterday, institutes of higher learning must “effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material by users of the institution’s network” without hampering legitimate educational and research use.
Despite initial opposition about invading students’ privacy and doing the entertainment industry’s dirty work for it, college and university officials are generally satisfied with regulations since many such institutions have had such systems in place for years.
The Motion Picture Association of America, one of the entities that pressed for the legislation, is encouraged by what campuses are doing but believe it’s too early to tell whether it will ultimately curb piracy, according to MPAA spokesperson, Elizabeth Kaltman.