Difference between revisions of "Archive:Notes on Response to HR 4137/Draft"

From FreeCulture.org
Jump to: navigation, search
(Concerns)
 
(18 intermediate revisions by 5 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
== Introduction ==
+
''Insert Salutation''
  
introduce the provision briefly
+
Two bills currently pending in the House of Representatives are important legislative efforts to help students manage the rising costs of higher education in the U.S.  Unfortunately, a few paragraphs among hundreds of pages threaten to undermine the efficacy of these important bills. Embedded among writing that will crucially renew and update the Higher Education Act of 1965 [1], both The College Access and Opportunity Act of 2007
 +
(H.R.3746) [2] and The College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007 (H.R.4137) [3] include amendments that could unnecessarily hinder the
 +
use and efficiency of academic computer networks. These amendments would increase the costs of education by burdening universities with impossible technical challenges. During the last few weeks, leaders representing the University System of Maryland, Stanford University, Yale University, The Pennsylvania State University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have issued statements requesting review of these proposed amendments. [4] As current university students, we too wish to voice our concern that a valuable piece of legislation not be compromised by an unfortunate addition.
  
Students and teachers who oppose HR 4137's illegal file-sharing provision do so out of a concern of what its language will encourage and how this will change the culture of our universities and their neutral networks. HR 4137 goes beyond the progress made through the Joint Committee of the Higher Education and Entertainment Communities (JCHEEC) in that it mandates that universities 'explore' technological deterrents, which means filtering. The JCHEEC not only represents the work of universities and their own agreed best practices but also entertainment concerns, such as the RIAA, Warner Music Group, and the MPAA.  
+
The proposed bills charge institutions with developing plans for identifying the purpose and character of data transmissions across campus computer networks. Unfortunately, this type of monitoring is technically impracticable, unreasonably costly, and, most important, beyond the educational missions of institutions of higher education. Among the data that is copied across a university network, one will find works from the public domain, large experimental datasets, works whose licenses permit copying, and creative works protected by copyright used in research or the classroom. Because computer programs have not been able to match the nuanced manner in which a judge must apply the fair use balancing test to each alleged instance of copyright infringement, technical deterrents to infringement on academic networks unfairly burden lawful users by compromising their privacy and greatly slowing network traffic.
  
note existing statements by univ. leadership
+
Some universities have contracted with private digital media distribution services to encourage lawful downloading of works protected by copyright. Many have found these services inadequate for the needs of an academic institution. In particular, a service that requires students to commit to a particular computing platform unfairly impacts competition in the marketplace and hinders students' ability to freely use and experiment with various technological platforms and tools. If those services also implement Digital Rights Management (DRM) to control how customers use the digital media they purchase, it necessarily constrains the non-commercial and educational uses of those creative works. Contracts with commercial media
 +
distribution services therefore limit the ability of colleges and universities to effectively serve their students.
  
In their statement of purpose and scope they come to the conclusion that universities will "seek ways to reduce the inappropriate use of P2P technology without restricting free speech and expression, invading privacy, or limiting the legitimate uses of P2P.
+
Introducing any new technical initiative on a college or university campus also incurs significant costs in the form of hardware, software, and personnel. Even software provided free-of-cost will require maintenance and technical support. To offset these expenditures, H.R. 4137, the College Opportunity and Affordability Act would create new grant opportunities for needy institutions, to be spent on filtering software, hiring and training new staff, or initiating contracts with private media downloading services. While we believe that federal funding would be better spent in support of projects like the Internet Archive that explicitly encourage scholarship, research, and a respect for the rights of creators, [5], Congress should consider the long-term downstream impact of imposing additional administrative burdens on institutions of higher education and simultaneously biasing the market in favor of any particular supplier or form of technology.
  
== Concerns ==
+
Higher education is a crucial step toward financial stability and mobility for young people and vital to the maintenance of the United States' competitive advantage in global trade and innovation. According to last year's census data, more than a quarter of adults twenty-five years or older had earned at least a Bachelor's degree and, on average, those graduates earned almost twice as much as those with only a high school diploma. [6] Yet as the value of a college degree has risen, so has the cost of tuition. [7] Renewing and extending the provisions of the Higher Education Act are essential to continued intellectual development and innovation in the United States. We strongly urge our legislators to look closely and critically at the two proposed bills to ensure that our institutions of higher learning may continue to effectively perform their missions unhindered by harmful and unnecessary regulations.
  
Not all of those making copies of copyrighted works over a network are illegally infringing a copyright. Especially at universities there are many uses currently being used in and outside of classrooms that fall under Fair Use. Likewise, it's certainly legal to make a backup of material that you have been licensed. (example of what a paragraph would look like here)
 
  
* Note the variety of situations in which legal copying occurs on a university network:
+
''Insert Valediction''
** fair use
 
** public domain
 
** cc
 
** other non-(c) licensed material (e.g. experimental data)
 
* Filtering would have to distinguish between Fair Use and infringement : impossible
 
* Not w/in mission of University to be responsible for this - their purpose is to encourage learning. The proposed interferes with that mission
 
** does not push forward the efficacy of the university project
 
* Costs are very high for monitoring/ filtering/ managing this effort
 
** hardware costs
 
** even gratis software requires upkeep, maintenance
 
** more work for IT / admin
 
* Vague language in bill
 
** re: use of "theft"
 
** advocate for clarification among various unauthorized uses
 
** unauthorized is one possible neutral word
 
** the text of this bill should not determine the legality of activities on a network, thus neutral language is necessary
 
* Blocking legit traffic
 
** fair use
 
** moving large data (slow down)
 
  
== Alternatives ==
+
== Endorsements ==
 +
* [http://www.freeculturenyu.org Free Culture @ NYU]
 +
* Northeastern FC
 +
* Harvard Free Culture
  
*These need to be repositories of freely shareable content, rather than subscriptions to DRM.
+
== References ==
** platform lock-in (ruckus, etc)
 
** drm prohibits fair use
 
** drm incompatible with university mission
 
** imposing a single commercial
 
* We should advocate for a distinction between alternatives such as Napster and alternatives such as The Internet Archive.
 
* Ideally, the legislation would not require any for-profit DRM-laden service, but only a obligation to encourage free culture on campus. This is our definition of "alternatives".
 
* Vague language could be interpreted in a way that supports to free culture
 
  
== Conclusion ==
+
[1] The Higher Education Act of 1965
 +
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higher_Education_Act_of_1965
  
As it stands now, the P2P provision is vague in which it requires,
+
[2] H.R.3746 - College Access and Opportunity Act of 2007 http://www.opencongress.org/bill/110-h3746/show
  
== Relevant discussions and links to the web ==
+
[3] H.R.4137 - College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007
 +
http://www.opencongress.org/bill/110-h4137/show
  
*http://www.aau.edu/intellect/JointP2PCMR.pdf
+
[4] Letter Opposing the Inclusion of the Entertainment Industry Proposal on Illegal File Sharing in the HEA, November 7, 2007
 +
http://www.aau.edu/education/Ltr_Higher_Ed_Joint_Cmte_House_P2P_Provision_11-7-2007.pdf
 +
Letter from Jerrold M. Grochow, Vice President for Information Services & Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, October 31, 2007
 +
http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/CSD5216.pdf
 +
 
 +
[5] About the Internet Archive
 +
http://www.archive.org/about/about.php
 +
 
 +
[6] Earnings Gap Highlighted by Census Bureau Data on Educational Attainment
 +
http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/education/009749.html
 +
 
 +
[7] College Costs Rising at Double the Inflation Rate
 +
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/22/education/21cnd-tuition.html
 +
 
 +
[8] College Board's Trends in College Pricing 2007
 +
http://www.collegeboard.com/prod_downloads/about/news_info/trends/trends_pricing_07.pdf

Latest revision as of 00:26, 12 August 2016

Insert Salutation

Two bills currently pending in the House of Representatives are important legislative efforts to help students manage the rising costs of higher education in the U.S. Unfortunately, a few paragraphs among hundreds of pages threaten to undermine the efficacy of these important bills. Embedded among writing that will crucially renew and update the Higher Education Act of 1965 [1], both The College Access and Opportunity Act of 2007 (H.R.3746) [2] and The College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007 (H.R.4137) [3] include amendments that could unnecessarily hinder the use and efficiency of academic computer networks. These amendments would increase the costs of education by burdening universities with impossible technical challenges. During the last few weeks, leaders representing the University System of Maryland, Stanford University, Yale University, The Pennsylvania State University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have issued statements requesting review of these proposed amendments. [4] As current university students, we too wish to voice our concern that a valuable piece of legislation not be compromised by an unfortunate addition.

The proposed bills charge institutions with developing plans for identifying the purpose and character of data transmissions across campus computer networks. Unfortunately, this type of monitoring is technically impracticable, unreasonably costly, and, most important, beyond the educational missions of institutions of higher education. Among the data that is copied across a university network, one will find works from the public domain, large experimental datasets, works whose licenses permit copying, and creative works protected by copyright used in research or the classroom. Because computer programs have not been able to match the nuanced manner in which a judge must apply the fair use balancing test to each alleged instance of copyright infringement, technical deterrents to infringement on academic networks unfairly burden lawful users by compromising their privacy and greatly slowing network traffic.

Some universities have contracted with private digital media distribution services to encourage lawful downloading of works protected by copyright. Many have found these services inadequate for the needs of an academic institution. In particular, a service that requires students to commit to a particular computing platform unfairly impacts competition in the marketplace and hinders students' ability to freely use and experiment with various technological platforms and tools. If those services also implement Digital Rights Management (DRM) to control how customers use the digital media they purchase, it necessarily constrains the non-commercial and educational uses of those creative works. Contracts with commercial media distribution services therefore limit the ability of colleges and universities to effectively serve their students.

Introducing any new technical initiative on a college or university campus also incurs significant costs in the form of hardware, software, and personnel. Even software provided free-of-cost will require maintenance and technical support. To offset these expenditures, H.R. 4137, the College Opportunity and Affordability Act would create new grant opportunities for needy institutions, to be spent on filtering software, hiring and training new staff, or initiating contracts with private media downloading services. While we believe that federal funding would be better spent in support of projects like the Internet Archive that explicitly encourage scholarship, research, and a respect for the rights of creators, [5], Congress should consider the long-term downstream impact of imposing additional administrative burdens on institutions of higher education and simultaneously biasing the market in favor of any particular supplier or form of technology.

Higher education is a crucial step toward financial stability and mobility for young people and vital to the maintenance of the United States' competitive advantage in global trade and innovation. According to last year's census data, more than a quarter of adults twenty-five years or older had earned at least a Bachelor's degree and, on average, those graduates earned almost twice as much as those with only a high school diploma. [6] Yet as the value of a college degree has risen, so has the cost of tuition. [7] Renewing and extending the provisions of the Higher Education Act are essential to continued intellectual development and innovation in the United States. We strongly urge our legislators to look closely and critically at the two proposed bills to ensure that our institutions of higher learning may continue to effectively perform their missions unhindered by harmful and unnecessary regulations.


Insert Valediction

Endorsements

References

[1] The Higher Education Act of 1965 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higher_Education_Act_of_1965

[2] H.R.3746 - College Access and Opportunity Act of 2007 http://www.opencongress.org/bill/110-h3746/show

[3] H.R.4137 - College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007 http://www.opencongress.org/bill/110-h4137/show

[4] Letter Opposing the Inclusion of the Entertainment Industry Proposal on Illegal File Sharing in the HEA, November 7, 2007 http://www.aau.edu/education/Ltr_Higher_Ed_Joint_Cmte_House_P2P_Provision_11-7-2007.pdf Letter from Jerrold M. Grochow, Vice President for Information Services & Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, October 31, 2007 http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/CSD5216.pdf

[5] About the Internet Archive http://www.archive.org/about/about.php

[6] Earnings Gap Highlighted by Census Bureau Data on Educational Attainment http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/education/009749.html

[7] College Costs Rising at Double the Inflation Rate http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/22/education/21cnd-tuition.html

[8] College Board's Trends in College Pricing 2007 http://www.collegeboard.com/prod_downloads/about/news_info/trends/trends_pricing_07.pdf