Free Courses Illegal in Minnesota

Source: http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2012/10/18/minnesota_bans_coursera_state_takes_bold_stand_against_free_education.html

It seems the last few posts have to deal with Coursera but this news is significant. The State of Minnesota has stated that residents of said State are not permitted to take courses from Coursera. In fact, Coursera has updated their terms of service specifically for students from Minnesota. Read this:

Notice for Minnesota Users

Coursera has been informed by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education that under Minnesota Statutes (136A.61 to 136A.71), a university cannot offer online courses to Minnesota residents unless the university has received authorization from the State of Minnesota to do so. If you are a resident of Minnesota, you agree that either (1) you will not take courses on Coursera, or (2) for each class that you take, the majority of work you do for the class will be done from outside the State of Minnesota.

So what about other 0nline universities that are not free? One such university is Athebasca located in Alberta, Canada. Can residents not take paid courses from this university unless the university gets authorization from the State? This seems to be a very slippery slope. Also, why Coursera? The Internet is FULL of information for people to learn. Remember, at Coursera you get knowledge, not a degree. So why not ban Wikipedia too? I would love to hear the fine line for this and the justification from the State of Minnesota.

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