Back in the summer, the deadline passed for colleges and universities
to comply with the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA), which required schools to develop a plan for dealing with illegal movie and music downloads on campus. Now, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has sent letters to presidents at schools across the country
, reminding them that Title IV federal aid can be pulled if they don't help curb illegal file-sharing on campus. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has been riding university presidents on this subject for a few years, but this letter marks the first time the MPAA has directly asked schools to stamp out copyright infringement on campuses. The letter is meant to be a reminder, since most schools are compliant with the act anyway, but the MPAA also wrote that it will notify colleges and universities when it detects illegal file-sharing on campus. Still, the MPAA's letter was tame compared with some of the letters sent by the RIAA, which contained harsh warnings and sometimes threatened litigation against schools.
To assist colleges and universities, the MPAA has created a site with tips for administrators
. In addition, the group suggests colleges host educational seminars on piracy and totally block "rogue" websites on campus. We're sure
students would be knocking down the doors to attend that. It's impossible to get kids to go to class -- let alone a seminar on piracy.