Researching the Minnesota precious metals laws, I found this link from Gary North (October 20, 2012):
... the state of Minnesota is determined not to have its residents cheated of their valuable time by such fly-by night diploma mills as Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Cal Tech, Columbia, and Duke. No, sir. The residents of Minnesota are defenseless sitting ducks who must be protected from academic predators.
The target is Coursera, which makes these courses available online for free. No degrees are granted or promised.
Coursera has posted this warning on its site.
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.
Apparently, the first report came from the Chronicle of Higher Education's "Wired Campus" blog October 18, 2012 here: http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/minnesota-gives-coursera-the-boot-citing-a-decades-old-law/40542
The story also was picked up by Slate, Forbes, Huffington Post, NPR, and Reason, among many others.
"Daphne Koller, a co-founder of Coursera, said she was surprised to receive the letter from Minnesota in July. “The law’s focus is on degree-granting programs as opposed to free, open courseware,” she said in an interview on Wednesday. “It’s not clear why they extended it to us.” Ms. Koller, who is on leave from her position as a professor of computer science at Stanford, said she wasn’t aware of any other states with similar restrictions."
The state of Minnesota apparently has approved an online driver education class, CyberEdDriverEd.com http://www.cybereddrivered.com/Minnesota/Overview.aspx
(It makes you wonder...)