The top 10 higher-ed tech stories of 2010: No. 6

Colleges that don't do enough to combat piracy will lose federal funding

Thanks to a federal law that went into effect in July, colleges and universities that don’t do enough to combat the illegal sharing of digital movies or music over their computer networks put themselves at risk of losing federal funding.

A provision of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 is making schools a reluctant ally in the entertainment industry’s campaign to stamp out unauthorized distribution of copyrighted music, movies, and TV shows.

Colleges and universities must put in place plans “to effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material by users of the institution’s network” without hampering legitimate educational and research use, according to the new regulations. That means goodbye to peer-to-peer file-sharing on a few campuses—with exceptions for gamers or open-source software junkies—as well as gentle warnings on others and extensive education programs everywhere else.…Read More