updated 03:00 pm EDT, Tue July 24, 2007
Senate backs down on P2P
A measure has been withdrawn from the US Senate that would have tied university funding to controlling file sharing. Proposed by the Senate Majority Leader, Democrat Harry Reid, it would have amended the Higher Education Reauthorization Act to require prevention of "illegal downloading or peer-to-peer distribution of intellectual property" before releasing subsidies. In addition, the Department of Education would have received a mandate to identify the top 25 colleges and universities in terms of complaints from copyright owners.
Reid's one-sentence withdrawl did not offer an explanation, but it is suggested that Reid was influenced by Educause, a group that promotes technology use in higher education. Last Friday saw the release of a "call to action," asking people to pressure Congress into quashing the amendment before it could pass.
Prior to its death, an alternative amendment was proposed that would have removed the financial penalty but still highlighted the 25 schools with unusually high copyright complaints. [via CNET]