The internalized music sharing system that Provost Charles Phelps has proposed is a promising step for both the university and the Recording Industry Association of America. If the system truly protects students from the outrageous lawsuits that students have faced at universities around the country, it should be welcomed with open arms. However, there are a number of concerns that must be addressed before the system will be completely accepted by the student body.The biggest issue is doubtlessly the billing system that iwill be implemented to pay for the new server, software and most importantly, RIAA licensing. Presently, the plan would require everyone to pay for the system, and the cost would be added to room and board costs. While this is not entirely unreasonable – after all, students pay for ResNet, UHS, the Multi-Media Center and even the Student Activities fee without necessarily taking advantage of these services – it still raises the question about just how intrinsically linked the downloading of music is to college students.Similarly, what about those students who disagree outright with the act of downloading “illegal” or “pirated” music? Many students currently refuse to download free music, so the question must be raised whether those students will also object to a “pay-for-protection” system that, while offering an umbrella fee to the RIAA, inherently steals from the artists and skews record sales.On a lesser note, those in charge must be mindful to make the music downloading process as painless and intuitive as the current peer-to-peer programs. The interface should be as accomodating as programs such as Kazaa, and operate at similar speeds. Perhaps the school could even hire students themselves to script the programs, as they did with Campus Club Connection Web site developers Ankur Pansari and Josh Shapiro. Finally, the music needs to be there. If students using UR’s program don’t have access to the voluminous library of songs that can be found on the worldwide peer-to-peer programs, they won’t use it. It’s nice to see the university taking this approach to the issue of music downloading and attempt to implement a system to protect our student body. However, they must be sure to make the internal system as fast, user- friendly and limitless as Kazaa, while at the same time minimizing the cost to students. Otherwise, nothing will change.



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UR Softball continues dominance with sweeps of Alfred University and Ithaca College

The Yellowjackets swept Alfred University on the road Thursday, winning both games by a score of 5–4.