Feeds

Napster gags university over RIAA's student tax

No free music. No free speech

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Napster moved into damage control mode today after a university gave some idea as to how much a RIAA music tax will add to student costs.

Ohio University has put up a survey site to see if students are willing to pay $3 per month for the Napster music service. The $3 figure is the first concrete number given by any school indicating how much Napster and its RIAA bully force are looking to muscle out of students. Ohio University believes it will need 5,000 students to pay the $3 fee to make Napster a break-even proposition for the school. Napster has demanded that Ohio University stay silent about the price before anyone catches wind of the cost.

"Napster called us today and said we should not publicize the details or discuss our contract," said Sean O'Malley, spokesman Communication Network Services at OU. "The price was an idea they had suggested early on."

So far, Napster has refused to provide exact details as to how much Penn State University and the University of Rochester are "paying" for the company's service at their schools. Napster bills the public $10 per month for its service, but both Penn State and Rochester have admitted to getting steep discounts.

Napster and the RIAA have billed Penn State and Rochester as "models" to follow, if schools hope to avoid lawsuits by offering a legal music downloading service. The model concept, however, is a tough sell given the secrecy being employed by Napster. Universities across the country would end up shelling out hundreds of millions of dollars if they paid full price for Napster.

OU is taking the commendable step of not making Napster mandatory. It's simply trying to see if enough students are willing to pay $3 to make the service worthwhile."We just need to be careful not to lose money on it," O'Malley said. "Our state is having major budget issues, and we are a state-funded university." OU students have yet to face lawsuits from the RIAA, and peer-to-peer services are not really posing a problem to network bandwidth, O'Malley said. Still, the school hoped to be "proactive" with copyright protection.

On the plus side, Napster users at the school would be able to download as much music as they like for $3 per month - Windows users only, of course. Sadly, the DRM restrictions with Napster run high. Users can only make 3 copies of a song before the files become unplayable. In addition, students must pay 99 cents per song to move the file from their computer onto a CD or music playing device.

Students would also only be able to download songs while they are on the school network. Once they leave school their music disappears. Has renting culture ever been more fun? ®

Related stories

Tennessee rejects Napster/RIAA tax
RIAA tax could add millions to education fees
War on Culture's victims face Penitentiary Blues
Film makers join revulsion at Pepsi RIAA doublespeak
Why wireless will end piracy and doom DRM and TCPA Jim Griffin
50 Cent and Crow torpedo HP's RIAA love-in

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.