SOURCE: Digital Freedom

November 13, 2007 16:24 ET

Bill Would Force Universities to Hold Students' Education Hostage According to the Digital Freedom Campaign

P2P Provision Puts $100 Billion in Federal Financial Aid at Risk

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - November 13, 2007) - A bill introduced in the House of Representatives would force colleges and universities to provide evidence that they plan to stop peer-to-peer file sharing or run the risk of their students losing federal financial aid. The peer-to-peer provision, included in the College Opportunity and Affordability Act scheduled for consideration by the full House Education and Labor Committee next week, is the latest attempt by some large copyright owners to counter what they have characterized as rampant piracy by college students. The legislation would put more than $100 billion in annual student federal financial aid in jeopardy.

"Academic resources are meant to educate students, not to build police forces for wealthy corporations," said Maura Corbett, a spokesperson for the Digital Freedom Campaign. "To try to highjack legislation to force universities to hold billions of dollars of critical financial aid for their students hostage is below reproach." Corbett continued, "There is no question that illegal file sharing is wrong but as resources for education become more and more scarce, they are far better spent educating students rather than spying on them at the behest of large corporations. Requiring universities to spy on their students runs counter to the transparency that is the cornerstone of an academic community."

The Digital Freedom Campaign's Digital Freedom University program recently concluded its inaugural seven campus Fall educational tour with the mission to educate students and academics about digital freedoms and their rights under the law. The initiative seeks to expand the ability of student leaders and campus-based artists and innovators to make their voices heard in Washington, D.C., as the critical issue of copyright reform in the in the digital age is debated.

About Digital Freedom: Digital technology enables literally anyone and everyone to be a creator, an innovator or an artist -- to produce music, to create cutting-edge videos and photos, and to share their creative work. Digital technology empowers individuals to enjoy these new works when, where, and how they want, and to participate in the artistic process. These are basic freedoms that must be protected and nurtured. The Digital Freedom campaign is dedicated to defending the rights of students, artists, innovators, and consumers to create and make lawful use of new technologies free of unreasonable government restrictions and without fear of costly and abusive lawsuits.

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