School days, good old rotten fool days….

Colleges offer legit downloads
WASHINGTON (Hollywood Reporter) – More than half a million students at nearly 70 colleges and universities now have access to legitimate music download services, according to a report given to Congress on Wednesday by a joint entertainment industry-university task force.
While the report’s authors say there has been “considerable progress” in the attempts by universities and copyright holders to reign in copyright piracy on campuses nationwide, it also shows how far the higher education institutions have to go.
According to the report by the Joint Committee of the Higher Education and Entertainment Communities, 670,000 students can get access to legitimate services through their universities and colleges. By contrast, the Chronicle of Higher Education estimates that there are more than 17 million college students enrolled across the nation.
Despite the relatively few students who have access to legitimate file-sharing services, the report’s underwriters said the number of students who now have a legitimate alternative is impressive because there were no alternatives just a few years ago.
“Universities have made impressive progress in combating piracy of music and movies through educational efforts, technical controls, and the adoption of legitimate online services,” said Pennsylvania State University president Graham Spanier, the committee’s co-chairman. “At the same time, we in higher education must expand the reach of our efforts and must continue to be vigilant.”
The committee, composed of entertainment and higher education leaders, was formed in 2002 as a way to help combat copyright piracy on campuses nationwide. University students, who have access to their institutions’ high-speed Internet networks, are often the most likely to illegally download music and movies.
The committee admitted that it was unable to determine how many of the students who now have access to legal services actually use them. Penn State spokesman Tysen Kendig said 30,000 of the university’s 81,000 students had signed up for the service.
Recording Industry Assn. of America president Cary Sherman, the committee’s other co-chairman, said the recording industry was encouraged by the progress.
“We are thrilled to see the number of schools offering legitimate services more than triple in the last year, and (we) remain hopeful that these partnerships will continue to flourish,” said Sherman, whose group represents the major U.S. record labels. “At the same time, complacency looms as a constant threat to the tremendous progress we have made. As the landscape changes, so must the anti-piracy programs within the university community. There is much promise in the coming years, but our work is far from done.”
The report also identified a number of problems that need to be addressed, including student-run file-sharing systems on schools’ local area networks as well as the increased use of unauthorized hacks of the legitimate online service iTunes, both of which are emerging as significant problems.
The release of the report comes a day before entertainment industry officials and university leaders are scheduled to testify before Congress on campus file-sharing problems.