Big Labels Offer Free Music to College Students

Unattributed, University Business, Jan 23, 2007
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The business model has changed, a bit. Ruckus Network thought that students would be happy to pay $10 or $15 to download music they have always heard on the radio for free, and they thought they could get universities to broker this for them. Students rejected the plan (the article says, incorrectly, that "college students would rather steal songs than pay," a phrasing that is bias bordering on slander) and only 20 universities agreed to do the dirty work. So now Ruckus is proposing an ad-supported free service, but still with many restrictions. Why the restrictions? Because the model isn't "free music, just like the radio," it's "free music, until they're hooked, then we charge them subscription fees." Don't be fooled. The article is from the New York Times, though I'm referring to this University Business link because the Times link will become user-hostile in a few days. More, from the Mercury News.
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