UGA Wants to Survey Students’ Use of Internet Music-Swapping
University of Georgia officials want to know how often students are using Napster and other Web sites that allow people to exchange music over the Internet.
Campus technology officials expect the school’s Internet traffic to double this year, and they plan to ask the Board of Regents for more computer capacity.
To justify the request, the university is installing equipment that will help classify how network capacity, or bandwidth, is used — including for music swapping, which eats up huge amounts of bandwidth.
Downloading a 30-page written document, for example, takes as little as 150 kilobytes of bandwidth. Downloading a three-minute song could take up 20 times as much.
The music industry has sued to shut down Napster, claiming it contributes to copyright infringement by allowing its purported 32 million users to download music directly from each other’s computers.
But the Athens school — like many other colleges and universities across the country — has no plans to restrict access to the popular site, says David Matthews-Morgan, the university’s associate director for telecommunications and local-area network support.
University computer officials seek to know only the basic breakdown of how bandwidth is used — not details of individual use, he says.
Napster use at Georgia Tech has been estimated to account for up to 60 percent of bandwidth consumption.
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