July 24, 2007

According to the ars technica article (link below), an amendment is being planned to the Higher Education Reauthorization Act in an attempt to curb illegal file sharing. The amendment (Senate Bill 1642), according to the article, could have the effect of “hold[ing] educational funds hostage for US colleges and universities that do not meet a set of criteria meant to bolster the war on file-sharing on college campuses.” Specifically, the bill would “blacklist” the top 25 college/university campuses involved in illegal file sharing and will place them on probation until they enact specific anti-P2P technology to reduce such piracy. It is specifically noted within the article that raw data will be used as the measure and not the percentage of students involved in illegal file sharing, so the very large campuses are more likely to be “blacklisted” by this measure than the smaller campuses. This legislation is being introduced by Senator Harry Reid, and according to the Inside Higher Ed article (link below), the “Reid plan” would require colleges to report policies instituted related to illegal file sharing on an annual basis to the U.S. Education Department, continuously review internal policies and procedures to ensure their effectiveness, and to “provide evidence to the U.S. Education Department that the affected colleges and universities have “developed a plan for implementing a technology-based deterrent to prevent the illegal downloading or peer-to-peer distribution of intellectual property.”

ars technica Article: LINK
Inside Higher Ed Article: LINK
Senate Bill 1642 (as Introduced in the Senate): LINK
Senate Bill 1642 (as Reported by the Senate): LINK

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Mark Reichel
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I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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