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Napster Banned at 40 Percent of Colleges and Universities

According to a report released today by Gartner Group, 40 percent of U.S. colleges and universities have banned Napster to Internet users surfing over campus servers. Gartner polled 50 university and college administrations to collect the data. The report found that Napster continues to spur debate over legal and moral issues.

Administrators are quickly making the ban/no ban decision and preparing to implement their school policies. Napster will remain alive at least into September, with their appeal tied up in the Ninth Circuit Court, and last year the popularity of the music-swaping service on campuses frequently caused network congestion. Therefore, policies are based on legal issues concerning copyright, censorship, moral issues, and network capacity concerns.

Regardless of whether they have chosen to ban the site, most universities and colleges are addressing the liability issues that Napster generates.

"I would not want to be the university president who neglected to update the school policy regarding music downloads this year," added Robert Labatt, principal analyst for Gartner's e-Business Services group. "Long legal battles can be costly, and one school could easily be singled out to set legal precedent this year."

Napster CEO, Hank Berry, optimistically responded to the study stating, "We are pleased that two thirds of the schools polled in the survey will allow their students to participate in the Napster community."

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