Minnesota has decided to put a stop to free education by informing Coursera, a private for-profit company that offers free educational courses online, that Minnesota residents are banned from using the service. Seriously, it’s really difficult to believe that your government is looking out for your best interests when you find out about things like this.
As the Chronicle notes, with admirable restraint, “It’s unclear how the law could be enforced when the content is freely available on the Web.” And keep in mind, Coursera isn’t offering degrees—just free classes. Nevertheless, the startup appears to be playing along, posting on its terms of service a special notice to Minnesota users. It reads, in part:
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.