Tennessee rejects the RIAA’s smoke blowing.
The Tennessee Board of Regents has said no to the RIAA-coördinated Napster scam to line their pockets with university fees in the name of music downloading. As I wrote earlier this week, the RIAA is trying to pressure universities into paying for music downloaded by students by publicly noting — in their lawsuit press releases — which schools have been the site of illegal downloading. The RIAA thinks universities should model themselves after Penn State University and the University of Rochester, who are participating in using Napster.com to offer legal downloads to their students. It looks great on paper, but those two schools have close connections with RIAA executives, and are paying next to nothing for the Napster service. Not so with everybody else. At $9.95 a monthly pop, Tennessee’s 180,000 students would’ve given the recording industry $1,791,000 per month. According to the AP story, Tennessee school officials didn’t like the idea of another student fee.
Students already pay extra fees for student government, activities, technology initiatives and athletics. And another one would have met with some resistance from students.
David Payne, a 19-year-old MTSU student, said he already pays to download music, and doesn’t think the Board of Regents should force all students to pay for such a service — especially since tuition and fees have doubled in recent years in Tennessee.
“I think music should be one of those things you go out and buy on your own if you want it,” said Payne, a 19-year-old MTSU student, who plays in a ska band called West End Stout.