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University Sponsored Music Services? 276

Amy's Robot writes "The president of Penn State University is urging colleges to start their own digital music services. The schools would pay the licensing fees, and pass the charges on to their students. His logic is that paying for the school's service is an incentive not to use an "illegal" service. Supposedly, there will be some pilot programs this fall, but it seems like there are a lot of obstacles to overcome before then."
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University Sponsored Music Services?

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  • by stratjakt ( 596332 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @01:23PM (#6049976) Journal
    Now it's to be jacked up even higher so that other jackasses can trade their cheesy MP3s? Or is this tacked onto dorm fees?

    Anyone know what percentage of a university tuition actually goes towards eduction (professor salaries, equpment) these days?
    • Actually, depending on the school, your tutition probably doesn't even cover half of your educational costs. Most of it is state subsidiezed (sp? who cares?), which is why out of state tutition fees are sooo much higher than in-state.
      • Um, that only applies to public universities. Private universities (which account for the majority of upper-echelon schools, i.e. the top 50+) are fully funded by a combination of tuition and grants/donations. While some schools (such as Harvard) are so well endowed that they barely need to charge tuition (though they dont typically reduce that tuition, heh), others such as Georgetown lack significant endowment and need to charge slightly higher tuitions.
        • Scams (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Schezar ( 249629 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @01:45PM (#6050180) Homepage Journal
          Some colleges even work tuition like a scam.

          The Rochester Institute of Technology [](which I currently attend), for example, lets practically anyone with the motor skills to fill out an application in. They charge them their $26 000 or so for their first year, and then they fail half of them. You see, RIT happens to have an attrition rate over 50%.

          Now, that $26 000 certainly isn't spent on the freshman taking English 101 and "Intro to VB." It's spent on the upperclassmen. The failures end up subsidizing the upperclassmen, and everything's great.

          I'm just ranting. Ignore me.
          • Re:Scams (Score:5, Insightful)

            by The_K4 ( 627653 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @02:24PM (#6050479)
            I went to RIT. A lot of shcools spend more money on upeerclassmen then on the freshman, think about it, the senior year classes SHOULD require more skills/equipment and in the end money then freshman classes. RIT's problem with drop outs has many issues:
            1) The accept un-/under-qualified applicants, which they do because they feel this need to fill seat and grow into a larger school. Over the last 10 years they have almost doubled the size.
            2) They expect students to realize how crappy they are doing and GET help. If they were to add more "Freshman advisors" and anyone who get's less then a 2.0 GPA in a semister is REQUIRED to talk to one of these people (who makes sure they get the help)
            3) It's a hard school, i personal know 2 people who dropped out because they had nervous breakdowns!

            Don't bitch about the uperclassman benifiting from the lower classman's tuition, that happens EVERYWHERE. If those 50% that leave freshman year cared about their 26 grand they would have done what they needed to to pass. As you pointed out, all freshman year is English Comp and Lit, Basic Sciences, a few fine arts, total fitness and the activiteis, and maybe 1 class in your major each quarter! If they can't pass that, they would prolly have flunked out almost anywere they went!
            • I'm not bitching ;^) I'm one of those upperclassmen. I know tons of people who couldn't cut it, and I have no sympathy for them.

              There's just growing sentiment that RIT secretly -likes- the attrition rate where it is, since it brings large amounts of money into the college.
              • I doubt that they "like" it. It looks bad in most liturature and reviews of the school, rightfully so. If they had better admission standards or better services they could prolly keep more students. They tollerate it because it gets the size of the school up.
            • Re:Scams (Score:3, Informative)

              by renehollan ( 138013 )
              As you pointed out, all freshman year is English Comp and Lit, Basic Sciences, a few fine arts, total fitness and the activiteis, and maybe 1 class in your major each quarter! If they can't pass that, they would prolly have flunked out almost anywere they went!

              Well, I certainly couldn't pass that! Only one class in my major, instead of almost all but one? Are American universities that different from Canadian ones? I guess.

              Lesse, first year undergraduate Computer Science in 1979-80 at Concordia in Montr

    • Anyone know what percentage of a university tuition actually goes towards eduction (professor salaries, equpment) these days?

      Salaries remain the #1 expenditure item in most institutions' Education & General budget. At my institution, salaries account for 75-80% of the total education & general budget, with approximately half the budget going to instructors' salaries. Instructional supplies & equipment add another 10-15% to the total, so instruction alone accounts for about 60-65% of the budget

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @01:24PM (#6049983)
    Music licensing fees, or external bandwidth costs?
    • Maybe colleges should get a friggin' radio station! Oh. Many already have radio stations.

      1. Radio stations have tiny royalty payments.
      2. Internet jukebox-style radio stations (pick and play) would have huge royalty payments. (see Bill of Rights Ammendment 14, equal protection under the law)
      3. So, what it they used wireless transport to make a college jukebox internet radio station? Hmm...

  • by st0rmshad0w ( 412661 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @01:24PM (#6049985)
    I'm sure that parents will just love seeing this new fee on what is already far to expensive a bill.
    • most people already pay a technology fee for an over-worked network. I went to BGSU [] and until 2000 they had only 4xT1s for their entire campus network. I was paying $60/semester for this tech fee and was getting between 8 and 12kB/s on transfers. Try doing any kind of work with those speeds.

      So they upgraded to a 10mbit DS3 (and had that at least until now). nearly 20k students and a 10mbit Internet connection. That's just ridiculous.

      So, instead of hogging the Internet bandwith with morons downloading
      • We can't get the higher-ups to agree to a bigger technology fee (ours is $75/semester) to pay for our overtaxed network and the upgrades it needs. And the money isn't going to come from anywhere else.

        You're getting off light with $60/semester, there is a school in Florida with a fee of $2000/year.
      • was getting between 8 and 12kB/s on transfers. Try doing any kind of work with those speeds.

        Dude, what the heck are you doing? I know I'm showing my age, but we had 1200 baud dialups and had no trouble getting "work" done.

        What gets done on campus networks these days that requires more speed than that? I guess if you were saving MS Word docs on a network share, that'd get old.

      • packet shaping. will fix all your problems.
  • by kevin_conaway ( 585204 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @01:24PM (#6049987) Homepage
    Isnt this what Apple is doing and what Microsoft is considering doing? You sign up for the service and pay a fee to download songs?

    • Except that is an external download... Spanier is talking about ways to limit bandwidth use.
    • Not really -- there are services that work like that but with Apple's service, you browse freely and pay a per-song or per-album charge to download. Here, if you want to attend the university, you'll pay a mandatory RIAA fee for unlimited listening of whatever (presumably DRM-crippled) songs the university licenses.

      I shudder to think what kind of music collection university administrators are going to generate -- and that's before the local Diversity Committee and the Womyn's Center get their fingers into t

  • Paying (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ( 637314 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @01:24PM (#6049991) Homepage Journal
    is not an incentive to move away from free services unless the pay service has so many more features, better search engine, larger library, etc etc..

    And btw, who officially stamped these as illegal? As long as Kazaa has its doors open..
  • ...because the universities are going to license every single CD that each and every one of their students are interested in, right?
  • by Davak ( 526912 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @01:25PM (#6049997) Homepage
    This guy is thinking!

    1. Let's cheaply (free!) allow everyone to get a product that they love.
    2. Let's completely block access to all sources of this product.
    3. Let's sell the product.
    4. (Ah, shucks... you know what comes here.)

    • It wouldn't be the first time. Ever try to find a college campus where you can buy both Coke and Pepsi products? Colleges take multi-million-dollar bribes to boot the competitors off campus.

      It wouldn't be so bad if not for the mandatory dining-hall plans many colleges subject their freshmen to.
  • Surely the choice will still be pay something or get stuff for free?!

    I wonder what students will go for...
  • not sure.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by ih8apple ( 607271 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @01:25PM (#6050000)
    I'm not sure this will work... For example, there are plenty of universities who license software for discounted or free student use and yet software piracy is rampant on campuses []

    From the link: " In addition, pirates need a place to store their 'warez' and often surreptitiously hijack third party servers to use as storage sites. This problem is especially acute at universities. "
    • a more recent article []

      what a surpise: "...students majoring in a science, like computer science and engineering, were more likely to pirate software than other students."
    • Re:not sure.... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Politburo ( 640618 )
      For example, there are plenty of universities who license software for discounted or free student use and yet software piracy is rampant on campuses

      The problem with this, based on my experience at Rutgers, is that the software is not always the newest version, and you must run a program in the background to verify licences. Also, when one goes home for the weekend/break/etc., the program will not start because the Keyserver will only verify you if you are physically in a dorm.

      Why run crippled Photoshop
  • Obstacles? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tacokill ( 531275 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @01:26PM (#6050006)
    Um, could say that. Can someone please give me one good reason why the **AA's would participate in a program like this vs. some kind of commercial offering? I mean, not to sound negative but its pretty clear by now that charity (ie: "student" programs) are not very high on their list of priorities. Hell, they just got done SUING some of their customers.

    And besides, wasn't this tried before? *cough* *cough*

    • But this would be a commercial service. All the **AA's see is the licensing fee from the various music download pay services. So the way to look at this from their perspective is that they could actually force an entire college student body to subscribe to one of those pay services. Just think how much they'd love to be able to forcibly enroll tens of thousands of people in Pressplay.

      Now, I'm sure this won't stop piracy. But it would cut down on bellyaching if the university crippled out-of-network bandwid
  • What's next? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Mondoz ( 672060 )
    Will ISP's take up this same model and charge more for bandwith?

    What about the students that don't use this service? Are they exempt from the charge?
    • Almost all "service" fees in a college are paid by the entire student body. The reason is that laws require that these institutions show where every dollar that a student pays is going. Tuitition is $8000 per student per semester (for example), no matter what services the student uses. But they have to break it down so the student can see exactly where his dollar is going.

      This was one of the most frequent questions asked at orientation at my old school. Every year, without fail, people would ask why th
  • Nice side effect (Score:3, Insightful)

    by seangw ( 454819 ) * <seangw&seangw,com> on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @01:26PM (#6050011) Homepage
    Up until now policing illegal music sharing was only a requirement placed upon universities by the RIAA and possibly by available bandwidth.

    With the possibility of profit, universities may decide to crack down harder on the illegal music trading for their own purposes.

  • Legal? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fammy2000 ( 612663 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @01:26PM (#6050012) Homepage
    From the aritcle:
    "I think it's a very good step to try to find new ways to provide music legally to college students"

    Oh that right, college students never obtain music legally.

    And just what we need. Yet another fee (YAF) tacked onto tuition. It's bad enough students have to pay for a lot of the crap they don't use anyway. My univiersity added "free" parking my last year. It was made up for in tuition fees. That way, everyone had to pay $50 for the best parking you never got.

    Way to go parkig services. Go Penn State! Make all the students pay for music they won't know they're getting. Where's the freedom of speech in that?
    • Once upon a time, universities did not have to pay royalties to broadcast music for non comercial programming. Students who knew something about music used to bring their collections or borrown them from university holdings and share with their fellow students. Why these things don't aplly to officially sanctioned university websites is as beyond me as the death of radio free.

      At Penn State, it probably has something to do with the current administration.

      Next stop, firebrands for the library's paper hold

    • Well, what would make more sense is to have it as an option for university housing, not something that other students can get access to.

      You live on campus, you get access. It could be sold as a perk for living there. Speeds for downloading right off the fiber-connected campus server would be phenomenal. People living off-campus would just have to use KaZaa.
  • How about (Score:5, Funny)

    by PD ( 9577 ) * <> on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @01:27PM (#6050018) Homepage Journal
    A university pot and bong shop to keep students from using the illegal suppliers? Same logic it seems to me. And I heartily approve!
    • by TopShelf ( 92521 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @01:46PM (#6050183) Homepage Journal
      I dunno... if it worked anything like campus bookstores, you'd end up paying $60 for a third-rate crackpipe!
    • by Davak ( 526912 )
      Crap, the next time some college kid gets caught trading mp3s, he/she will claim that it's an addiction.

      Did you actively trade mp3s?

      Yes, but only because I was addicted.


      Yes, your honor. it started innocently enough downloading a few phish episodes. Next, I was burning CDs to impress some girls in my class. Everything was fine until the school cut my access.

      And then what happened?

      I realized that I couldn't live without free music! I downloaded all the p2p clients... but eventually they wer

  • Pass the buck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cybermace5 ( 446439 ) <> on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @01:27PM (#6050020) Homepage Journal
    So, that means ALL the students would be paying for music, even if they didn't want it.

    Need some money? Just go to the ones you have the most power over, and most likely already in overwhelming debt.

    The president of Penn State is an idiot. Definitely NOT acting in the best interest of the students.
    • Agreed, but isn't that what the **AA want? Everyone to pay for something only a few use? Hence their attempt at taxing blank CDs and DVDs? Heck, tapes _are_ taxed, and I know the bands I listen to are getting none of that money. It's assumed that (insert #1 artist here) should get the lions share. Talk about a scam.
  • Let me get this straight.

    A state funded school is going into the music business.

    This is sooo wrong on so many levels.

  • by dr_dank ( 472072 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @01:28PM (#6050024) Homepage Journal
    'It's a terrible precedent for universities to be essentially paying for the entertainment of its students.''

    Last time I heard, it is the students and/or their families who are paying for this via the tuition and related fees, not the other way around. Where is the outrage at universities funneling more and more money into sports teams, choosing childrens games over academics?

  • Wasted resources. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Henry Stern ( 30869 ) <> on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @01:30PM (#6050045) Homepage
    But [McCredie] added, It's a terrible precedent for universities to be essentially paying for the entertainment of its students.

    He's exactly right. The idea of the school licensing music for the students is stupid. Either ban p2p on campus networks altogether or make students who want to use campus computing resources attend a brief IP seminar. Squeeze the plagiarism talk in with that and you're all set. If they abuse campus computing resources after having been educated about what they're doing, revoke their priviliges. We're all adults here and don't need any more of this childish handholding.

  • This is like charging the students for cigarettes and giving them out in order to curb pot smoking. They are totally different and only related in the sense that one is more attractive than the other.
  • by jdreed1024 ( 443938 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @01:34PM (#6050081)
    This is not the best idea. First of all, parents and students are going to be upset at yet another hidden fee. Especially those who don't want to take advantage of this service - making it mandatory (by including it in housing or tuition fees) is pretty stupid.

    Many colleges also won't have the resources (technical, human, financial, and temporal) to pull this off. It takes a lot of time and effort to negotiate the licenses - more than you'd think. So it'll suck for the students if their college has a poor selection but they have to pay anyway, since it's in tuition.

    Also, the idea of charging extra to burn onto CD (read the article) is going to be a big turn off, especially when Apple lets you do it at no extra charge.

    Really, the best idea would be for universities to partner with Apple and maybe offer discount rates for Apple Music Store. Like, maybe a student rate that instead of $0.99/song is $10 for 20 songs. Or perhaps offer a 5 day free trial of the Apple Music Store during Orientation week. Or something like that. Out of all the legal music services, Apple is (at the moment) by far the cheapest, and the most permissive when it comes to what you can do with the music (unlimited CD burning). Unless the colleges can offer something of comparable or better quality, no one is going to use it. Given Apple's history of being an educational "partner", I'd say maybe Penn State wants to work something out with Steve Jobs...

    • A Five Day Free trial? I dont know about you, but I could download a couple hundred songs easily on a school network over a five-day period. Lets assume 3 minutes per song, so thats 20 per hour, then 6 hours at the computer (i.e. nighttime usage, since its orientation week) so 120 per day, 600 songs total at the end. I know people whose whole collections are smaller than 600 (though mine is several thousand).
      • OK, maybe 5 days is excessive. Maybe a 30 song free trial? Same concept, though.
        • I think the idea of a free-trial for things like the Apple Music Store are simply unneccessary, for the simple reason that everyone who would use such a thing already likes music and likely already has an mp3 collection of some sort.

          These people are smart enough to understand the store concept, and know already whether or not they'd pay a dollar per song. Being able to get 30 or whatever for free wouldn't sway you either way; it would just give you 30 songs.

          Free trials are useful for swaying customer
  • by jridley ( 9305 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @01:35PM (#6050085)
    I never listened to music much at school, and I'd have been irritated to get charged $20 a term for a service I never used.

    I thought that university-supplied music was called "radio."
  • Ha! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bobm17ch ( 643515 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @01:35PM (#6050091)

    Ok, so Apple have shown that on-line digital music sales can be successful. (Short-term anyway)

    Academia is trying to protect their students while still throwing cash at the RIAA.

    Is it any wonder they are unwilling to start any service of their own? I mean, they are soaking up cash for fun now, with people wanting to throw *more* at them?

    1. Create cash cow.
    2. Milk cash cow.
    4. Profit!

    What is happening here is: 3. Mangage to get other people to milk cow for you. FOR FREE!

  • This idea is stupid (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Poofat ( 675020 )
    What about those of us that don't want their stupid music?

    The RIAA will only be happy when we are charged for being alive, because obviously, 100% of the people who pirate music are alive.
  • by petabyte ( 238821 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @01:36PM (#6050101)
    ... I'm glad to see the university can afford to spend its money on licensing music instead of providing a quality education.

    Is that enough sarcasm for you? Is music piracy an issue on campus? Absolutely. Will group licensing music solve that problem? Not a chance. Why? One reason is the university has very diverse tastes and it would never be able to appeal to them all.

    For example, the university has a concert every year called Moving On. There is almost always flack surrounding it as the university can't appeal to everyone's tastes. I don't think licensed university music will do any better when people who have grown up with Kazaa and Napster are used to clicking away to whatever they want.

    Personally I think the university should continue to do what it is doing and continue measures to curb piracy as it wishes. But licensing music will not curb the piracy problem.

    That's my $.02.
    • From a posterior-covering perspective the university doesn't need to appeal to a broad spectrum of tastes. The RIAA is the bunch suing over music downloads. License their music and they can't sue any more, at least not at the university level. Since it's virtually unheard of for a non-RIAA label or artist to sue, the university has indemnified itself from suit at the student body's expense. Furthermore, the intelligent students who do want RIAA music will get it via the licensed service, and use Kazaa for e
  • Actually... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by just some computer j ( 594460 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @01:37PM (#6050103) Journal
    If the college pays for the cost of the on campus students to download the mp3s, it would work much like how royalities are paid by college radio stations works. Plus, blocking outside downloading like kazaa would force the students to use the college's server. Plus the university can offer better quality mp3s, something that can be tough to do with kazaa.

    If the college worked it right, and the students didn't have to pay a huge amount of money, I think most students that were living in the dorms would like this. And if the college is worried about students eating up all the bandwidth on the campus, just make the mp3 servers only available to the dorms, not the rest of the network, that is simple to do. As for administrating the server and all, students could that with faculity oversight to keep the cost down.

    I would have rather paid the college that I went to for a service like this rather than paying $125 to Student Government every semester. At least I would have gotten my money's worth of music.

  • by Schezar ( 249629 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @01:38PM (#6050120) Homepage Journal
    Almost all of the music I download is foreign: mostly Japanese and Korean. (Yes, I'm a USian.) I don't want any of the music the RIAA's "artists" have to offer. I never bought domestic CDs, even before the "Napster era."

    Now, I find it highly unlikely that these networks would ever be able to get licenses to most foreign artists' works. Thus, I would continue to use WinMX [] to get my music. The RIAA can't touch me (I'm not infringing on -their- copyrights), the University can't touch me (RIT won't act unless on a specific complaint from a copyright holder), and the foreign labels can't/won't touch me (lotsa reasons for that one).

    I don't want to generalize, but college studends tend (TEND!) to have more ecclectic tastes than the foaming masses. I highly doubt that they use p2p primarily to get their "Top 40" fix every night.
  • If some colleges are able to strike a deal with the music organizations, then it would probably be in the music industry's best interests to make identical programs available to colleges throughout the US.

    Even if a school cannot strike a deal with the larger organizations, or simply chooses not to do so, they should still organize a way to make any school-specific media available. Recordings of the marching band, or if a college has its own orchestras, jazz ensembles, theatre performances, etc... Any med

  • "Supposedly, there will be some pilot programs this fall, but it seems like there are a lot of obstacles to overcome..."

    Such as P2P services X, Y, and Z that don't force our students to pay the piper.

    Sorry, folks, but I caved in to my inner troll.
  • by PhreakinPenguin ( 454482 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @01:49PM (#6050204) Homepage Journal
    It's amazing that all of the SlashNerds are coming out on this with guns blazing. "We shouldn't have to pay for other peoples downloading!" "The university is trying to profit!" Yadda, yadda, yadda.

    For some reason when I read this I assumed that most people would be glad a university is thinking of ways to help their students "needs" and reduce their overhead as well. Wow was I wrong. While there are a few people that like the idea, it seems as if most are finding one reason or another to complain. If a university is willing to license music from a record company and offer it to the students at a small rate, I think it's a great idea. Sure, they're not going to have every artist or album known to man licensed, but at least it's a starting point to fixing an out of control problem. Maybe people would have a better perspective if they were the one's being singled out by the RIAA and being forced to pay a fine PER SONG.
    • Sharing of music is not an out of control problem. I think it has minimal to no effect on the RIAA or the artists. I have a ton of MP3s that I definatly would not have gone to the store and paid for, therefore since i would not have purchased the music, they are not loosing any money by me having the music without purchasing it. By being able to obtain music free I can then go out and purchase a CD if I like it and support the band (radio is the same way). So for myself and many of my friends, being able to
  • ''We have to somehow fix the culture that thinks it's OK to rip off people's intellectual property rights,'' McCredie said.

    Its a University - you go there to take in and then build on the intellectual work of others. The "intellectual property" culture is what needs fixing.

  • Why not? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tonysee ( 416247 )
    Penn State has its paws (ha!) in everything else in the state of Pennsylvania. Might as well start selling music... Just another revenue stream, right? Anyway, for those who are interested in the finer details that were glossed over by the article, here [] is a transcript of the discussion... (Disclaimer: I have a B.S. and an M.Eng. from Penn State, and I think Spanier is a complete buffoon. But I think he's onto something here.)
  • What if a student has no interest in the service? S/He is stuck financing yet another business for which s/he has nothing to do with.

    And you'd think tuition was already expensive enough!

  • I like the idea (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mnmn ( 145599 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @01:56PM (#6050265) Homepage

    There are practical obstacles and I can see that ,but if this is an optional fee for a service that students can choose, I fully support it. If I can easily and readily get my favorite songs on good quality MP3s, I'd rather pay $2 for it that browse peoples computers for 20 minutes.

    So firstly they have to make it an optional fee not hidden in tuition fees. Secondly, they must find ways to block campus p2p, so one subscriber cannot spill the goods. Perhaps smart routers that block p2p ports, and tcp with such headers etc? of ALL known p2p programs?

    In theory I support it anyway.
  • by mcubed ( 556032 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @01:58PM (#6050284) Homepage
    From the article:

    ''I really don't think they understand or believe that illegal file-sharing is the same thing as going into Tower [Records], grabbing a CD off the rack, and running out the door with it,'' said Scott Hervey, chairman of California Bar's cyberspace law committee.

    Um, that's because file-sharing isn't shoplifting.

    ''We have to somehow fix the culture that thinks it's OK to rip off people's intellectual property rights,'' [UC Berkeley' CIO & Assc. Vice Chancellor Jack]McCredie said.

    As opposed to fixing the culture that thinks it's OK to rip off the public domain? Which, ultimately, costs the public, society, and culture more: KaZaa, or obscene copyright terms? Why are we in a place now where even university officials are more willing to attack the integrity of their own students than to criticize the practices of a small cartel of international media conglomerates that withhold creative output from the public domain for longer than most of their students will be alive? What is the bigger problem? Why not address that problem, instead of focusing on what is little more than one of it's side-effects?


  • by SuperBanana ( 662181 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @01:59PM (#6050291)

    Anyone else sick of hearing about music this, music that?

    Who honestly cares? I throw out the Entertainment section, and I switch channels when the dumb blond "entertainment" "reporter" comes on to tell us about who wined+dined her the best in the last few weeks(ie, which movies she feels like mentioning). I cringe when the regular reporters start talking about revenue figures of movies or albums, or announce it as mainstream news that some movie/album is due out soon...even worse, when they start promoting upcoming programming smack in the middle of their news program. "Thanks Judy. And in other news, join us Thursday night at 9pm for a special on actor's nosehairs!"

    I frankly don't give a crap. Music and movie figures seem to always be clamoring for attention, desperate for it- further, they seem to be the only people really fascinated by their industry. I listen to music occasionally. I go to the movies or rent a movie even less- in both cases, because I have many other things to do and neither is producing material I'm even remotely interested in. Music seems, at least to me, to be a small part of most people's lives, its presence VASTLY overhyped by(surprise) the media.

  • Personally I think you can't predict what the selction of such a service would be. Especially if this service is funded simply by a university's budget, you have to assume that the main economic force driving it is simply not to get sued by the 'AAs. In which case everyone can pay for their Shakira and Beatles tracks, but the P2P's will remain the only way to get rarer music online. If students are involved, you might see some of the upper tier indies - like Matador or Barsuk - thrown in, but you have to
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Casting my mind back to when I was a student life, I think I only actually puchased 3 cd's throughout my entire 3 years at University! If your too skint to buy something and you can get it for free, which route do you take? On my course we used to use A/W Maya a lot. The Uni, arranged a student discount of £350 UKP for a years license. The catch being you couldn't use it for commercial use, you did get the manuals though. Whereas warez version of Maya were 'freely' available, again you couldn't use i
  • Find another plan... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pollux ( 102520 ) <> on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @02:13PM (#6050393) Journal
    There's two things that college students are doing with music that piss of the record companies:

    1) Download music for free
    2) Distribute music to others

    So, these kids could then legally fill up gigs and gigs of MP3s until they feel all warm and cuddly inside, but how will this stop them from sharing it with others? All it takes is a few students to have Kazaa running in the background, and piracy still reigns on campus.

    It sounds as if the president of the college wants to try and wash his hands clean of all liability, but I doubt that this will stop the RIAA from wanting to tar and feather him.
  • I find it strange that these idea come from people who (should) have no direct interest in it. Why would an university help the RIAA make money by comming up with a business plan for them.

    Normally, things work the other way arround. Industries that don't evolve their business model overtime dies. They rarely get help from other industrie in finding way to get a profitable business model.

    But now we have this guy trying to solve the RIAA problem (piracy) without being asked for help. And on top of that some
  • to ensure that the music industries right to profit is protected ?!? This type of thing is SOOOO far from the schools stated objective that it blows my mind....
  • by jez9999 ( 618189 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @04:18PM (#6051569) Homepage Journal
    ... maybe it's time they started charging students for clothing, and providing it for 'free'.
  • by DavidinAla ( 639952 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @04:33PM (#6051696)
    Why would a university spend money to start a service for its students when similar services are already easily available to them? It seems as though they're saying, "Our students are stealing music, so we're going to start a service to make everyone pay for music this way, whether they want it or not."

    It would be like a university president reacting to incidents of grocery store shoplifting by mandating that every student buy his groceries through the university. It's not reasonable, and it's yet another business that a university has no business being engaged in.

    From a legal standpoint, universities might have the responsibility to make a reasonable effort to make sure that their networks aren't being used illegally, but turning to this solution appears to be a step in the wrong direction -- and it adds yet another cost to those who want to attend college. Of course, I feel the same way about athletic fees and activity fees that college students are forced to pay without wanting to.
  • library? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by meridoc ( 134765 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @04:36PM (#6051718)

    At my alma mater [] (which has a pretty good music school), the library has all sorts of recordings. Okay, for the music students, much of it's classical, but a bunch of it isn't. Like checking out books, you're allowed to make copies for scholarly reasons, but not personal reasons. The honor system was, I'm very sure, broken all the time, but it's one idea.

    Oh wait... nobody uses that silly physical library anymore...

  • the university (Score:3, Interesting)

    by falsification ( 644190 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @04:41PM (#6051762) Journal
    The university is supposed to be a place of intellectual knowledge and learning. Entertainment contributes nothing to academic life. It is only useful on campus if used sparingly to reduce stress.

    Too many people now think that the university is nothing but a holding tank before they reach the real world, and the only thing that makes the holding tank bearable is having as much entertainment as possible.

    If you spent more time at college being entertained then you did getting educated, you shouldn't have gone. College is not for everybody. It shouldn't be an option for hedonistic entertainment freaks.

  • It's a Novel Idea (Score:3, Interesting)

    by icewalker ( 462991 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @05:37PM (#6052213)
    Well, the University is on a right track I think. The best thing to do is to create a situation where the students can listen to the music they like. The best way to keep it legal is to not support the RIAA membership. Instead, TAP YOUR OWN STUDENTS!

    Yup, just about every college/university has a band with a following. Somewhere out there, is a group you will like. Trust me, you will! So the P2P network that the schools set up will share the talents of their students with other schools and in the process down the RIAA at the same time!

    It's simple, the SGA (Student Government Association) sponsors the web site. They in turn get the students to put their works in to the school's system. The bands obviously still own the music, but it's freely available to the rest of the network (get your name out there sort of thing). The school's bandwidth (let's face it, they are paying for it whether it is used or not) is then used to spread the music to the other participants (sometimes over I2)!

    Schools across the country can simply join in by setting up a proper system for storing the music by the students and joining the P2P system. Each OGG (down with MP3) holds a URL to a University sponsored page for the music group so people can learn about the group, find out where they are playing next. Maybe even book the group to play at their school, which is what the SGA does (at least ours did). To find a type of music, just hit the systems search engine, which is tied to the rest of the network.

    Are their problems with the idea? Yeah, but I can find problems in a Utopian society too! The point is, the kids get their music, they get it fast, and they get exposure. The University comes out with a win, and thumbs a proverbial nose back at the music Industry for being snobbish and greedy and a total {insert explitive here}.

  • Now I've got to pay for some other jackass downloading N*Sync...and do you know why? Because these university types can't fathom the concept of punishing people for committing illegal acts!
  • Yep... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Peterus7 ( 607982 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @06:41PM (#6052723) Homepage Journal
    "but it seems like there are a lot of obstacles to overcome before then."

    Yeah, like students that can get the same music for FREE.

    If the recording industry wants collge students to start buying music when they're already in a bad shape financially and it's free on other P2P channels, they should wake up.

    Although if the university just added the legit P2P charge to tuition... That's all they need to do.

"If you want to eat hippopatomus, you've got to pay the freight." -- attributed to an IBM guy, about why IBM software uses so much memory