Elements of this sound like they may actually be making some progress toward a blanket license of some kind for file sharing – this could be a big step:
- The administrators and music executives are trying to solve the piracy problem because both suffer from it. Universities have to deal with the administrative headaches of subpoenas and clogged computer networks, while the record industry is losing sales to its most important group of customers.
….Earlier this spring, the Joint Committee of the Higher Education and Entertainment Communities Technology Task Force, as the independent group is known, asked companies for details about their technologies and products. Responses have been filtering in over the summer.
Technologies that address copyright infringement issues on campus could range from products that shape bandwidth, which would allow universities to prioritize network traffic, to those that could look inside the network packets to identify illegal files.
Schools are also hungry for ideas for legitimate online entertainment options.
One possibility is a site license that would pay for content upfront and serve music from the campus network directly.
Some schools might then opt to sell subscriptions to students, or wrap the licensing costs into residence hall fees. Many universities include the costs of cable television licenses in these fees, for example.
The range of options could include paying for individual downloads at a discounted rate, limiting music to streaming, tethering downloads to work for a certain period of time or downloads that can be burned.
For now, the committee will document all the technical information and business models so universities can evaluate it on their own and decide if they want to participate in any future projects. [Wired]