No file-sharing ‘Ruckus’ in NU’s future

By Dan Swann

Since Shawn Fanning first developed the now-famous Napster at Northeastern, file sharing has become a way of life for many college students.

To avoid the copyright problems with this activity, Boston College recently implemented its own legal file-sharing network called Ruckus.

By using the service, students have access to what they can never get enough of: free music, TV shows and movies.

Ruckus was founded by two Massachusetts Institute of Technology students several years ago. It offers a legal multimedia downloading option for students in the sponsoring university’s network.

There is one important caveat: songs downloaded on Ruckus can’t be burned onto a CD – nor can they be transferred to iPods. They can only be played on a computer.

So what’s stopping Northeastern from following suit?

Vice President for Information Services Bob Weir said the university considered the service years ago, but eventually decided against it.

“I’ve talked to [BC] a couple times in the last five years as Ruckus has grown,” Weir said. “Our interest was [to] supply the students with a service. We decided explicitly not to go with Ruckus for two reasons. The first one was the cost per student per month was too much.

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