Lawmakers Demand That Colleges Crack Down on Illegal File Sharing

Andrea L. Foster, Tidsskriftet for Universiteternes Efter- og Videreuddannelse, Feb 27, 2003
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The U.S. House of Representatives is urging college and university officials to "get tougher" with students who share files online. "The way to really convince students that illegal file sharing is wrong is to expel or prosecute them." University officials are hesitant, not surprisingly. For one thing, a "get tougher" approach rarely, if ever, changes someone's view about the rightness or wrongness of a law. For another, universities are not equipped to become a branch of the justice department. And finally, nobody is talking about who would assume the cost of imposing a draconian regime of surveillance and suspension.
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