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License to listen

Apr - 18 - 2006
Nicole C. Engard

While this idea sounds very promising – I think there are a few flaws. Maybe I should tell you the idea :)

Last month, UD struck a deal with Ruckus, a music downloading service that now gives the university’s 20,000 students access to 1.5 million tracks, allowing them to download as much as they want with hopes of cutting down on illegal downloading on campus.

But here’s the catch. Students are granted a renewable 30-day license for each song, meaning they do not own the music. Students can’t burn the music onto a CD and, even worse for some, the songs cannot be uploaded onto an iPod.

That quote is from The News Journal’s article titled License to listen (no burning allowed) (links added by me).

I can see how this would be handy for people who use their computers to listen to music – like I used to ages ago in college – but now that iPod is a household name – who knows.

Apparently 50 universities are offering this service to their students – pretty cool. In the case of U of D:

There are two Ruckus servers provided on campus, housing 50,000 of the hottest songs. When students download those, they are on their computer in seconds.

That’s pretty handy – I don’t know if the other universities are offering the same sort of service – but it’s an innovative step to prevent illegal downloading of music. I think I’d use this service in conjunction with iTunes. I’d download on campus to see if I like the song enough to buy. I’m not a big radio listener – so for me I find out about artists and songs through movies, tv, and other people.


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