So the bigwigs of higher education and the entertainment industry knocked heads in a recent conference on illegal file sharing on college campuses. They came to the conclusion that the sagging movie industry’s revenues can be blamed on college students. Not because the movies suck and we refuse to see them or rising prices at theatres, but because of internet piracy.
Dan Glickman, chief executive of the Motion Picture Association of America, said a recent study found that the U.S. film industry lost $6.1 billion to piracy in 2005, and that nearly half of the industry’s domestic losses can be attributed to college students, some of the most frequent music and movie consumers.
It gets even better. Some Republican dicks are coming out and saying that by cracking the hammer over the heads of college students and quite literally using federal money to violate their right to privacy, they would somehow save tax revenue?
Rep. Ric Keller (R-Fla.), chair of the subcommittee, said illegal peer-to-peer file sharing costs the government tax revenue and raises liability questions for colleges. Lawmakers can help by including in the Higher Education Act reauthorization a provision that would allow federal money to be used to support efforts to combat piracy on campuses, Keller said. (The House-passed version includes such a provision, and Glickman said he will lobby for similar language in the Senate’s bill, though passage of the legislation before Congress calls it quits for the year is highly uncertain.)
Ok, my problem with this? There isn’t enough money in the Higher Education Bill as is to provide anywhere near the kind of federal financial aid to let kids even afford college. But before we work on that, we should use the already scant resources to secure more revenue for the RIAA and their friends. Ok. Sure.
But what my favorite thing about this conference was the likes of Cary Sherman, dick-supremo, saying that colleges somehow owe the RIAA and should willingly infringe upon the rights of their students for their financial gain:
Cary Sherman, president of the Recording Industry Association of America, said entertainment industry executives aren’t asking colleges to spy illegally, but rather to work within their boundaries to weed out guilty parties.
“When schools claim they have no obligation to help, where does that leave us?” Sherman said. “The implicit message we’re getting from university presidents is that it’s not our problem. Some have said this explicitly. That’s misguided; it is their problem.”
No sir, believe it or not, it is your problem. The universities have no obligation to divert the resources they use on providing their students with safe environments to learn towards hunting and finding illegal file sharers. They have, like, you know, actual criminals who threaten students’ lives with guns and shit. You know? God forbid, the priorities.
The MPAA and the RIAA would better spend their time examining why their profits are declining besides piracy. The quality of movies out today just fucking sucks. The quality of most music out there fucking sucks. When I have a spare ten bucks (which is rare) I don’t feel like dropping it on a shitty movie like Jackass Number Two. Sorry, MPAA. I solemnly swear that I, nor most people I know at Wesleyan, will not be downloading this cultural masterpiece illegally.