Feeds

Colleges defy Napster ban demand

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

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

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

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.