Democrats have included in the latest higher education bill a provision to punish colleges and universities who do not “develop a plan for offering alternatives to illegal downloading or peer-to-peer distribution of intellectual property as well as a plan to explore technology-based deterrents to prevent such illegal activity.” Congress has been trying to get something like this through for quite a while. I wrote about this back in March. I don’t know what’s sadder–that Democrats are the ones pushing for this or that they’re sneaking it into a bill that hopes to lower college costs. Requiring colleges to purchase expensive subscription services or implement a technical solution is not going to help lower costs. Many colleges already have trouble keeping technologically current and many of the solutions require certain levels of infrastructure to be in place. I know a few colleges and universities are fighting the RIAA, but most are complying with requests that come in. I’m disappointed that our congresspeople would be so obvious about where their loyalties lie. I’m off to write letters.