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RIAA win: Tennessee to police campus networks

Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen signs into law a bill that requires public and private schools in the state to ensure their computer networks are free of pirated material.

Colleges in Tennessee will be required to root out file sharing. University of Tennessee

Tennessee has agreed to filter computer networks for unauthorized music downloads at the state's colleges and universities.

Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen signed into law a bill designed to thwart music piracy at the state's campuses, the Recording Industry Association of America said on its Web site.

The bill requires Tennessee public and private schools exercise "appropriate means" to ensure that campus computer networks aren't being used to download copyright material via peer-to-peer file-sharing programs, the RIAA said.

"Upon a proper analysis of the network," the RIAA continued, "those institutions are required to implement technological support and develop and enforce a computer network usage policy to effectively limit the number of unauthorized transmissions of copyrighted works."

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, an Internet-user advocacy group, called the law "ridiculous," and said the costs of enforcing it would top $9 million.

"The entertainment industry lobby seems to be succeeding, bit-by-bit in persuading legislators to coerce universities into buying 'infringement suppression' technologies," the EFF said in a blog post, adding that these technologies are expensive and "won't stop file sharing on campus networks."

The RIAA said that a 2007 Student Monitor survey found that more than half of college students download music and movies illegally.

A friend of mine, Patricia Montesinos, a senior at the University of Tennessee, said Tuesday she's seen no notifications yet from the school about filtering.