Congressman Who Took Money From RIAA/MPAA Says Congress Should Cut Funding To Colleges

The RIAA’s campaign contributions are hard at work this week as members of Congress threaten to cut off federal funding to educational institutions if they don’t stop file sharing on their networks.

Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Fla.) who, in the last election cycle, took money from Sony Pictures Entertainment, Time Warner, Universal Music, Viacom, Fox, the RIAA, and The Walt Disney Company, says:

“We’re spending a good deal of federal resources in terms of helping universities with their technological improvements, directly and indirectly,” Feeney said. “Is it responsible for a Congress that wants to protect intellectual property rights to continue to fund network enhancements for universities if some of those enhancements are indirectly being used in fact to promote intellectual property theft?”

We like Greg Jackson, CIO of the University of Chicago, and Illinois State University dean of libraries Cheryl Elzy’s responses:

“So long as the right thing remains more daunting, awkward and unsatisfying than the wrong thing, too many people will do the wrong thing,” Jackson said, referring to the digital rights management technology used widely in legally purchased music files….

“If we rely on technology too much, it’s going to interfere with legal uses of peer-to-peer technologies,” Elzy said. Some of her own library files can be quite large, she added, and “I’d like to not have those blocked.”

According to CNet, “Universities receive tens of billions of dollars a year in federal research money, and the Department of Education handed out $82 billion in 2007 in new grants and loans to students.” —MEGHANN MARCO

Politicos threaten schools over campus piracy [CNet]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.