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Campus Ruckus arrives
By Dan Kelly
It provides free and legal music downloads to all UNCP students and faculty, with the ability to download movies for an additional cost.
These music and movie files can only be played on the Ruckus media player, which functions similarly to Windows Media player, and is downloaded from the company’s website.
This music is offered at discount price to Ruckus, who then provides downloads along with advertising on their main website, to remain profitable as a company.
The use of Ruckus is meant to combat the growing problem of illegal music downloading and file sharing through the campus that Dr. Maurice Mitchell, associate vice chancellor for information resources and chief information officer, said has caused UNCP a multitude of problems.
First, the legal action brought to UNCP and other campuses due to the violation of intellectual property.
Second, the University’s ResNet online service was being slowed dramatically due to the numerous downloads.
Third, the amount of “malware” contained within the files that were downloaded, such as viruses and worms.
The Senior Account Manager for Ruckus, Ed Cheely, made a presentation to the SGA at the March 1 outlining the features and beneficial qualities that the service offers:
•Completely legal music downloading and peer-to-peer file sharing. •Ability to connect media to a personal profile, which Cheely compared to Facebook.
•A free music downloading service, which allows the music to be played on a media player that only Ruckus members have access to. •The music can be purchased as well, similar to iTunes, so it can be played on any media player.
•An optional movie downloading service, which costs $3 per month.
•Commuter students would also have the same access to the program from their homes, by connecting to a public Ruckus server.
•Virus protection through the connection of the server only through a secure network, whereas illegal download services are often populated with viruses and spyware.
Ruckus has been in place on other campuses for as long as a year, and Mitchell has heard very positive feedback concerning the service.
“At half a dozen universities around the country, nobody had a negative thing to say,” Mitchell said.
The installation of Ruckus does not protect UNCP from possible legal action concerning illegal downloads, as the program does not restrict the use of programs designed to download media illegally.
No protection…I’ll still get notices from the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) which we then act on for people making illegal downloads,” Mitchell said.
The program seeks to curb the use of illegal downloads by providing a faster and safer downloading service, Cheely said.
The program was endorsed by the entire University of North Carolina system, so there are no extra costs attached to the instillation.
An SGA student poll taken about the subject came back with a 99 percent approval rate in favor of the program, though only 9 percent of the student body responded to the email poll prior to the vote.