Monday, February 04, 2008

recent sad history of industry, music and students

In a lot of my posts for WireTap magazine, in conversations with friends and artists around the world, the theme of the "content industry" vs. students has become pretty evident. Students are the targets of corporate and government surveillance for several reasons. Some of the more obvious are:

Young people, many away from their parents or at least developing youth-centered peer groups away from adult control, have historically been the objects of broad social anxiety and moral panics

Young people in college are still attached to an institution which to some extent keeps track of them and has records of some of their behavior.

This has led to the demand for colleges to exercise further surveillance and control over students. I noticed it when the Immigration "services" was pressuring professors to report on the suspected immigration status of their students. It's clearly not colleges' jobs to be cops, INS agents, etc, and beyond that, taking on that role works directly against the actual project of education. But those who want to track and control especially the youth can't resist. More recently, the RIAA and MPAA have focused on college students as people to blame for the decline of the corporate music industry. I wrote a few months ago about their attempts to manipulate federal funding for education to enhance the corporate position. But that was just the latest in a long string of actions by various groups to intimidate college students.

Now, p2pnet has compiled some of that history. It's pretty fascinating.

(reposted from the Rock & Rap confidential mailing list:
History of RIAA battle with college students


p2pnet.net has put together a fascinating retrospective on the RIAA's war against college students, commenced February 28, 2007. The campaign is described as one to 'force "consumers" to buy what they're told to buy — corporate "content," as the Big 4 call their formulaic outpourings.' In a scathing indictment not only of the major record labels, but of those schools, administrators, and educators who have yet to take a stand against it, Jon Newton reviews a number of landmark moments in the 11-month old 'reign of terror'. They include the announcement of the bizarre 'early settlement' sale, the sudden withdrawal of a case in which a 17 year old Texas high school student had been subpoenaed while in class during school hours to attend a deposition the very next day during his taking of a standardized test, the call by Harvard law professors for the university to fight back when and if attacked, and the differing reactions by other schools.

here's the link.

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