FSU to sign deal with Apple: Free iTunes software may soon be made available to students by Erica Rodriguez August 26, 2004 In an effort to prevent illegal file sharing on campus, Florida State University is on the verge of finalizing a deal with Apple Computer, Inc. -- a deal that would provide free iTunes software to students and allow them to download music for 99 cents per song. Carl Baker, the director of university computer systems at the FSU Academic Computing and Network Services Department, was appointed chair of a committee charged with finding a way to stop illegal file sharing on campus. The committee, known as the Online Music Committee, was created this spring semester and is made up of members of FSU's administration and a small group of students. Baker said the idea originated from a concern for students who live on campus and download music illegally. He said that not only are they subject to legal action from the members of the recording industry, but also are more likely to download files with possible viruses, trojans, worms and other harmful variants that may exist in those files. "Our experience so far has been that there are a lot of students who are using iTunes now," Baker said. "This just makes it more available for everybody else to use it. My understanding is that the quality that some of the music that people download illegally is not very good, and sometimes you don't really know what you are getting. You might be getting something that is infected with a virus." Baker said that FSU had been receiving complaints from the recording industry for the past several years about students on campus with copyrighted material on their computers. Some of those students' connections to the Web were terminated as a result. FSU Student Government Association Sen. Mike Salamon, who was working on writing legislation to address the same issue when he found out the University was already addressing it, said he thinks the plan is an "excellent compromise." "I think it is a fantastic idea," Salamon said. "Obviously, music sharing is a very common part of people our age. People just do it all the time. That's a fact. And they tried banning it outright, and that doesn't seem to be working because people are finding ways around it or people are getting their computers turned off, which is not what we want. We don't want people to get kicked off the Internet entirely." Baker said that students can expect to see the project go into effect sometime in the next month. The license agreement is currently under legal review by FSU officials and will close soon, Baker said. The agreement with Apple Computer, Inc. is a move very similar to that already made by several other universities. Pennsylvania State University, the first university to broker such an agreement, has made a deal with Napster that allows students to download music for free, but requires a portion of their technology fee to go to Napster. Baker said that such options were explored and that the iTunes deal seemed to be the most reasonable since FSU will not face any financial obligations to the company. Students will simply be allowed to download files for 99 cents per song. The software will be compatible with both Mac computers and PCs. Salamon said he agrees that a fixed charge for all students may have caused protest from those who are not interested in file sharing. The agreement comes on the heels of increased scrutiny of illegal file sharing on college campuses. The Recording Industry Association of America, in fact, held a conference call Tuesday to address the issue. http://www.fsunews.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2004/08/26/412d03afc4a38 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Okay, WHAT THE HECK!?