p2pnet.net News:- One wonders if Napster II would still be here had it not been shoe-horned into the US university system by the Big Five record labels.
Roxio, Napster II’s owner, has just announced a deal with IBM under which it’ll use the latter’s Server BladeCenter to store songs (ie, music industry product) in on-site servers rather than having them downloaded from the Net.
Dressed up as a way, “to help universities and other customers save computing bandwidth and money,” it will give the music industry and its helpers even more control over what people (including students) hear, from whom they hear it, and for how much.
The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) is a record label-owned enforcement organ and one of their primary marketing resources. Last year, having cowed US educational authorities by threatening to drag students through the US court system for sharing unauthorised music online, they made them an offer they couldn’t refuse, to wit:.
“All this nastiness will disappear if you use a company approved by us to sell our music to your students.”
The company was Roxio, owner of the Napster II music ‘service,’ and because Penn State’s administrators have a very tight relationship with the entertainment industry through its Joint Committee of the Higher Education and Entertainment, it was selected as the entry point for on-campus sales.
Next in line was the University of Rochester. It, too, is cosy with the RIAA.
But back to Napster II – notwithstanding having potential customer bases in two universities hand-delivered on a silver plate, it’s struggling for survival.
If it can stay alive, it might, well, stay alive, and the IBM deal will certainly help.
“The most popular tracks in the Napster system are stored locally, enabling customers like The University of Rochester and Penn State University, to reduce their computing infrastructure’s vulnerability to overuse,” says a Reuters story here.
“When we embarked on our industry-leading university program, we set out to alleviate the technical and business strains that illegal file-sharing puts on Universities and ISPs,” it quotes Bill Pence, Napster II’s cto as saying.
Incredible. And yet statements such as this are made with a straight face and routinely re-issued by the mainstream media as if they’re true.
However, Warren Hart, vp of digital media solutions for IBM, puts things into context.
Quoted by Reuters, he says IBM is focusing largely on digital media and, “This whole area of how to take rich media and use it for real business value is very critical for us,” he said.