Thursday, July 28, 2005

The cost of downloading

The Cost of Downloading: How much does a college have to pay to give its students an academic year's worth of legal music downloads? Not quite as much as you might think.

As part of a deal announced earlier this month, the University of Washington at Seattle will fork over $24,000 to Napster, the online music service, to provide students living on campus with eight-month subscriptions.

The money will come from royalties generated by the university's own technology licenses. The price tag isn't cheap, but it's not terrible for a university with almost 6,000 residential students: According to most estimates, colleges can expect to pay $2 or $3 a month for each student who signs up.

Washington's $24,000 check will only cover subscriptions for 1,500 students, but the university is getting a helping hand from Dell, the PC manufacturer. Dell will chip in $24,000 for an additional 1,500 licenses -- which, campus officials figure, ought to be enough, since many student s will be disinclined (or, if they use Macs, unable) to use Napster. Of course, Dell's getting plenty of free advertising out of the deal: Washington officials have pledged to let Dell representatives sell products on campus, and to promote the Digital Jukebox, Dell's portable MP3 player. (The Daily) from Wired News

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