Feeds

Napster gags university over RIAA's student tax

No free music. No free speech

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.