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Bentley College Readies Legal Content Distribution
March 28, 2005
Thomas Mennecke
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College and University campuses have been a file-sharing hot spot since Napster’s invention in 1999. Although Napster was subsequently shut down, other methods of file-sharing have permeated college dorm rooms, frustrating the copyright industry and network administrators alike.

Campus network administrators are concerned about P2P networking perhaps just as much as the RIAA, however for much different reasons. Two issues, such as bandwidth consumption and legal entanglements with the copyright industry, have encouraged campus administrators to pursue alternative music options. Some universities, such as Penn State, have inked deals with Napster (the new, paid service of course.) This allows students to download music while keeping the RIAA off Penn State’s back.

Like Penn State, most college and university campuses have deals with music-only services. Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts is breaking from this mold to offer not only music, but also movies, student-produced content and other community features.

How will Bentley College provide this media? It has partnered up with Ruckus Network, a Virginia based firm that provides media distribution architecture to college and university campuses. The industry-sanctioned service provides music from major as well as independent labels through centralized campus locations. In addition, the service has a limited array of movie content.

The service will be provided free to undergraduate, on-campus students.

"We selected Ruckus over other well-known services such as Napster and Rhapsody because it offers content beyond music," said Bentley Vice President for Information Technology and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Traci Logan. "Ruckus is dedicated to providing digital entertainment based on the interests, lifestyle, and preferences of college students and is one of the few services to also offer video. From a research perspective, we're interested in whether the provision of a legal alternative for movies and music influences student behavior and attitudes towards illegal file sharing."

It appears the framework of Ruckus Network allows network administrators more control over their distribution service than other sanctioned networks, such as Napster or Rhapsody. While P2P purists may scoff at the service, it does allow local and independent projects to be distributed freely, something the aforementioned services do not.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
Authorized Music Store :: Other

You can read the press release here.

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