Feeds

Colleges defy Napster ban demand

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

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.