Well, it's a step, but it's not as big a deal as some are going to make it out to be. Over at Penn State they've been talking about this idea for a while, but they've now signed a deal with Roxio's Napster 2.0 to provide "free" music streams to students on campus. They're really hyping up the whole free bit, but I'm quite sure the music industry is still getting paid from someone - and that someone is Penn State. So, while it may appear free, the price will get added into tuition or other fees. Meanwhile, the offering is nice, but it's not real file sharing. It's not even downloads. They just allow streaming music for what Napster happens to have in its library. If they want more, they're out of luck. If they want to download or burn to a CD, they have to pay. Of course, this doesn't exactly fit with the MPAA's educational campaign of "if you didn't buy it, you stole it". If anything, this sort of thing might confuse the message. That said, I still think it's good that there's at least some recognition for alternative business models, even if I'm not sure this is a particularly good one.
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