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To combat illegally downloading music on campus, CU now offers over 2 million free songs to residents in Bear Creek apartments, College Inn apartments and the dorms.
Two weeks ago, officials announced that CTrax, a music downloading service, would be available free of charge. The company providing the free subscription service is CDigix, which provides music services to universities across the country. Subscriptions are free but ownership of the music costs $0.89 per song, according to Robert Dixon, IT Director for Housing and Dining Services.
“It was a nice benefit. It didn’t come out of student fees, and (students) could download from a very large library,” Dixon said. “We provide them an option to not have to steal the music. Obviously we can’t provide them ownership for free, because that would be stealing, but this is a nice middle ground. It’s a win-win for everybody.”
Dixon said the university has a history with Cdigix. Cflix, a program that students used to watch popular programs such as “South Park,” was the first software provided by the company.
“I think they have a very good thing going. I think they’re positioning themselves to be the leader in the market,” Dixon said.
Dixon said he hopes this cuts down on music piracy.
“In the past, we used to get lots of letters from the RAA. People were sharing music. (RAA) would scan the network and find them,” Dixon said. “Then they would tell us that they needed to stop. In some cases they would press legal charges.”
Dixon said the university would send letters to students telling them to stop. If the students did not, they would be sent to judicial affairs.
Dixon said the program is better than iTunes because it is cheaper and offers the free subscription service. Despite its benefits, Dixon said some people within the university were reluctant to implement the software.
“You have no idea how hard it was to get to this point,” Dixon said. “It needed to get a start, someone needed to champion the cause.”
More than 70 universities, including Yale and the University of Maryland, use the Cdigix software, according to company spokesperson Laurie Rubenstein.
Rubenstein said the company hopes to make money off the service.
“There are opportunities for us to generate revenue not necessarily from a subscription-based service, but through advertising revenue,” Rubenstein said. “There is definitely a business model behind the company.”
Rubenstein said she hopes students keep the service after leaving the dorms and the university-managed apartments.
“There are programs in place to encourage that, such as having an alumni service that offers the music at a decent discount as opposed to what is available at a general retail cost,” Rubenstein said.