Feeds

More universities agree to RIAA/Napster 'protection'

Baby Face Sherman shows his guns

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

The RIAA and its business front Napster signed up six more universities today to their music rental service - a program that could force parents to shell out even more money for higher education costs.

Cornell University, the George Washington University, Middlebury College, University of Miami, the University of Southern California and the Wright State University (Ohio) have all pledged to have Napster up and running in the near future. The schools join Penn State University and University of Rochester as Napster subscribers. That's a grand total of eight schools in the last nine months that have agreed to become music vendors and pay an RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) tax to avoid lawsuits against their students.

There might be something noble about the schools protecting their children if it were not for the dubious circumstances surrounding these deals. None of the schools have yet to say how much they actually pay for the Napster service. It costs $10 a month for the average subscriber, but Penn State and University of Rochester have admitted to receiving the service for much less. And, in May, Ohio University revealed that Napster is looking for about $3 per month from each student.

The price in itself is a problem but not the main problem. Napster and the RIAA tossed Penn State and University of Rochester sweet deals, having every intention of dangling the schools in front of the press and other universities as models to follow. If Napster would be more forthcoming, we'd all know exactly how much this "service" is going to affect university prices. Some of the Napsterized schools have warned that students may end up footing the service bill directly in the near future - not that they aren't paying in some way, shape or form already.

What's more disconcerting is the way the RIAA has used legal threats to goad these schools toward becoming music brokers. The record labels have repeatedly been accused by the US government of price-fixing and other acts reminiscent of mob-like behavior. Now, they've tied up the courts with thousands of lawsuits and made it clear that universities are their primary targets. And now Cary "Baby Face" Sherman, president of the RIAA, is leaning on schools to pay up for Napster or continue on as legal targets.

It's lucky for Napster that the RIAA picked it as a henchman. Students can now download as many songs as they like while enrolled at a university. This is a nice service if holding onto to your tunes is not important. Once their four years at school are over, the students are cut off from Napster and lose all the music they've download. That is unless they pay 99 cents per song or $10 per album to own a permanent download that can be burned onto CDs or MP3 players.

Real Networks must be wondering what it did wrong to upset Baby Face Sherman, and Apple must be in hysterics as download hungry kids flock to its iPod device, where high margins reign.

"Napster simply outperformed our expectations," said Nicholas John Linder, former student assembly president, Cornell University. "In our role representing the student body, we needed to find a university-wide solution to online piracy and dispel the common fear of looming lawsuits. Napster offers a unique blend of a name students recognize, a broad music library that appeals to every taste and community features that let you discover new music and share your favorites with friends."

Linder forgot to mention that Sherman went to Cornell for his undergraduate degree. Good to keep it all in the family. ®

Pigopolist Pork 101

Napster gags university over RIAA's student tax
Tennessee rejects Napster/RIAA tax
RIAA tax could add millions to education fees
University of Rochester opens online music store
Penn State President loves Microsoft, Napster, the RIAA and Al Gore (true)
There is magic behind Penn State's Napster deal
Penn State trustee and RIAA lawyer denies conflict of interests
Penn State's pigopolist pork is not smelling sweet
Penn State students revolt against Napster, DRM invasion

Related stories

Witchfinder General targets NSA in Warez sweep?
RIAA withdraws prosecution amnesty
Music biz appeals Canada file sharing-is-legal ruling
Labels seek end to 99c music per song download
War on Culture's victims face Penitentiary Blues
RIAA student lawsuits. Haven't we been here before?
Five University of Northern Colorado students caught in RIAA John Doe suits
RIAA sues lots more students
New Zealand to legalise CD piracy music biz
Mom sues RIAA members for racketeering
Why wireless will end piracy and doom DRM and TCPA Jim Griffin
Film makers join revulsion at Pepsi RIAA doublespeak

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
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?
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Ex–Apple CEO John Sculley: Ousting Steve Jobs 'was a mistake'
Twenty-nine years later, post-Pepsi exec has flat-forehead moment
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
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
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.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.