Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Ruckus offering free music downloads to DU students

Psssst! Hey, you wanna download some tunes … without paying for it? 

As of Sept. 11, DU students are able to download free music legally. DU entered an agreement last May with Ruckus Networks, a digital media service that offers free music and video downloads to participating college campuses nationwide. 

“DU hopes to provide students with a reasonable alternative to illegally downloading music,” says Mike Hiske, director of student life technology. 

What’s the catch? 

Free music downloads are “tethered” — the digital files are programmed to reside on a computer hard drive for only 30 days — and the files are protected to prevent people from burning them onto CDs. Ruckus’ digital files are Windows compatible only; the service won’t work with Macs or iPods. 

Faculty and staff members at DU will not be offered the free services, but they may sign up for $6 per month. 

In the past, at other universities, Ruckus Networks required a $3-per-month fee from each student. But because students are wary of paying for digital downloads, the student response was lackluster. So, instead of asking students to pay, Ruckus charged DU $10,000 to provide the free digital downloads for the 2006–07 academic year. 

DU will be refunded the money if at least 3,000 students sign on to Ruckus’ services. Ruckus will provide its own server on campus so the downloading activity won’t tie up DU’s intranet bandwidth.  

This article originally appeared in The Source, September 2006.

[Editor’s Note, Feb. 16, 2009: The Ruckus Networks digital media service is no longer available on the DU campus.]

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