Colleges defy Napster ban demand

We don't monitor or ban Net access, US universities say

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

US universities have told Metallica lawyer Howard King to take a hike - they will not block the use of Napster on their networks as he has requested.

Their reason? Banning Napster would amount to a limitation on access to the Internet, and that's a more important consideration than potential copyright infringement.

"As an educational institution providing its community of users with Internet access, we do not monitor or bar access to use of the Internet," the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's head of IT, James D Bruce, told King in a letter cited by Reuters.

Stanford University and the University of California expressed similar sentiments in response to King's call for a fresh Napster ban.

King's demand came a couple of weeks back when he contacted universities to point out that Metallica's suit against Napster still had room for colleges' names to be included in the list of defendants. King's letters didn't explicitly say that colleges would be so listed if they didn't take up an anti-Napster stance but the threat was clear enough.

Still, most universities were sufficiently cautious to point out that their refusal to ban Napster usage wasn't a statement of support for the controversial MP3 sharing software.

"This is not a statement of support for Napster, nor are we condoning copyright infringement,'' a spokesman for Georgia Tech told Reuters. "To unilaterally block access to a site is an overly blunt response to this issue and we believe that it constitutes an unwise policy."

And many colleges have banned Napster anyway, largely because the increased network traffic it has generated has brought university LANs grinding to a halt.

And the small number of educational institutions named in the original Metallica suit, including Yale and the University of Indiana, quickly acted to ban Napster in order to avoid legal action as much as because of their desire to prevent copyright infringement. After the ban, the colleges' names were removed from the lawsuit. ®

Related Stories

Metallica lawyer tells colleges to block Napster
Metallica drops Yale from anti-Napster suit
Metallica sues Napster

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
prev story


Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?