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Friday, 3 March, 2000, 11:57 GMT
Students fight music web ban
students at computers
Universities are fed up with students "clogging up" their computer systems
A campaign to overthrow a ban on students accessing a popular internet music site is gaining momentum in the United States.

About 7,000 students have signed a petition urging university administrators to lift the ban on Napster, a site which allows users to locate and download MP3s - music files. HAVE YOUR SAY A number of universities both in the US and the UK have banned access to the site.

Staff in some US universities have found that students downloading music has at times accounted for up to 60% of university internet traffic.

Petition

They say this has slowed down staff and other students using the internet for academic work, and universities are now using filtering programs to deny students access to music sites.

The campaign to quash the ban on access to Napster is being led by a group of students at Indiana University, called Students Against University Censorship (SAUC).

The group's petition is posted on its new website, called Savenapster.com.

In its mission statement, it says: "Universities often overlook the student when making crucial decisions such as the ban of certain internet privileges.

"Higher education in America should be free of censorship and complete administrative control. The administration should work with the students and come to terms with issues instead of taking complete control of the student's information technology, and entertainment resources."

Victory

SAUC is already claiming a victory after the State University of New York overturned its ban, and reinstated Napster with a limit on the number of simultaneous users.

But other universities are still holding out. At Oregon State University, administrators said Napster was eating 5% of the university's bandwith, so more than 3,500 students connecting to the internet through the university's network were permanently stopped from using Napster's software.

Napster spokeswoman Elizabeth Brooks said in a statement earlier this week that the company was "aware of the bandwith issues faced by some universities and we are working together to address that".




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See also:

28 Feb 00 |  Education
Students banned from music websites
24 Jan 00 |  Business
Record companies sue MP3.com
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