Just in the past few days we found out about this Bill they are trying to pass in the TN State Senate. SB3974, sponsored by Sen. Tim Burchett, forces any institution of “higher learning” to monitor all public university students and expel any who access copyrighted content. Since nearly everyone will access some kind of “copyrighted” content online - they will be forced to expel thousands of students from any public university!
Completely last minute - we organized a protest. Helped along by Boing Boing and all our COPYSHOP friends - we got to Nashville early this morning, made some noise - and caused them to delay the hearing for another week! Our big chance to help is next Wed (March 5). We have a chance to stop this!
Here’s the plan:
 Meet up with us next Wednesday (March 5th) to go to Nashville and protest! (5:00 AM - March 5th) we will have a bus - we will leave at 5AM in Knoxville (meet at COPYSHOP).
Gather at 8AM (if you can get there by yourself)
on the corner of 6th and Union St in Nashville!
 NOW Email the Senators:
Subject: Objection to Bill SB3974 (no copyright law!)
I am concerned about an upcoming Bill: SB3974/HB3915
I understand that this Bill is up for your consideration, and that it “requires institutions of higher education to develop a policy prohibiting copyright infringement by persons using the school’s computer and network resources and take certain steps to prevent such infringement. - Amends TCA Title 49, Chapter 7″
It is remarkable that a proposal such as this one would move forward. The proposal degrades our institutions and prevents the greatest purpose of higher learning: the honest and unregulated exchange of knowledge. To demand that any College or University police the exchange of information among its students is shameful.
I understand that this Bill may be directed at the exchange of pirated “entertainment” (movies, music, etc.) but it has much broader implications. By enacting a Law such as this one you enforce a strange, abusive system and limit the possibilities for new advances in learning.
The RIAA would like to blame “file sharing” for its financial problems, but studies have shown that “file sharing” has little effect on record sales. In fact, some academic studies suggest that “file sharing” has boosted record sales (http://www.hno.harvard.edu/gazette/2004/04.15/09-filesharing.html).
I strongly encourage you to reconsider this Bill. It is not one that works in our interest.
When we were at the hearing today we got video of Sen. Tim Burchett presenting the Bill. In this clip Sen. Tim Burchett jokes about the MPAA lobby, saying they have promised to cast Matthew Mcconaughey in a biopic about his life. Facts said here about record sales loss are completely false - see: http://www.hno.harvard.edu/gazette/2004/04.15/09-filesharing.html
To see the Bill go to: http://www.legislature.state.tn.us/bills/currentga/BILL/SB3974.pdf