Democrats: Colleges must police copyright, or else

An article by CNET Neews.com staff writers Anne Broache and Declan McCullagh talk about a bill tabled by top Democratic politicians.

According to the bill, if universities did not agree to test "technology-based deterrents to prevent such illegal activity," all of their students--even ones who don't own a computer--would lose federal financial aid.

The fact is that there is no technology that can prevent copyright infringement. Copyright infringement and creativity are identical technological acts, and the only way to stop copyright infringement is to stop creativity (Which is, IMHO, part of the goal of the old-economy industry associations and unions).

Technical measures can be used to deny access to materials without authorization, but Copyright is a law that limits what you can do with material you already have access to. The two relate to very different concepts.

I post this article partly as a reminder to those who believe this is a left-vs-right issue, and where people on the "left" have claimed that it is the pro-business right-wing that are pushing these draconian expansions of copyright and related laws. As I've written a few times in the past, in Canada I am far more concerned with the old-economy thinking of the Liberal party of Canada than I am the Conservatives. It will be interesting to see what the Conservative bill looks like that will be tabled in upcoming weeks, and whether it has been improved from the Liberal Bill C-60.