Tennessee Adopts $9.5 Million University Piracy Measure Despite School Layoffs
Just-signed legislation requires the 222,000-student system to spend an estimated $9.5 million (.pdf) for file sharing "monitoring software," "monitoring hardware" and an additional "recurring cost of $1,575,000 for 21 staff positions and benefits (@75,000 each) to monitor network traffic" of its students.
Tennessee's measure, (.pdf) approved Wednesday by Gov. Phil Bredesen, was the nation's first in a bid to combat online file sharing within state-funded universities. The law, similar versions of which the Recording Industry Association of America wants throughout the United States, comes as the Tennessee public university system is increasing tuition, laying off teachers and leaving unfilled vacant instructor positions to battle a $43.7 million shortfall.
"This bill, the first of its kind in the nation, addressed the issue of campus music theft in a state where the impact is felt more harshly than most," said Mitch Bainwol, the RIAA's chairman and CEO.