Florida State University to sign deal with Apple for iTunes software

“In an effort to prevent illegal file sharing on campus, Florida State University is on the verge of finalizing a deal with Apple Computer, Inc. — a deal that would provide free iTunes software to students and allow them to download music for 99 cents per song,” Erica Rodriguez writes for fsunews.com.

MacDailyNews Note: Florida State boasts 36,683 total students representing all 50 states and 132 countries; 28,740 undergraduates; 6,605 graduate students; 56% female, 44% male; 23.5% minority; approximately 7,172 freshmen.

“Carl Baker, the director of university computer systems at the FSU Academic Computing and Network Services Department, was appointed chair of a committee charged with finding a way to stop illegal file sharing on campus. The committee, known as the Online Music Committee, was created this spring semester and is made up of members of FSU’s administration and a small group of students,” Rodriguez writes.

“Baker said the idea originated from a concern for students who live on campus and download music illegally. He said that not only are they subject to legal action from the members of the recording industry, but also are more likely to download files with possible viruses, trojans, worms and other harmful variants that may exist in those files,” Rodriguez writes. “‘Our experience so far has been that there are a lot of students who are using iTunes now,’ Baker said. ‘This just makes it more available for everybody else to use it. My understanding is that the quality that some of the music that people download illegally is not very good, and sometimes you don’t really know what you are getting. You might be getting something that is infected with a virus.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Since iTunes software is, ahem, already free and the songs are, ahem, already 99 cents per song, there must be something more to this deal than is being reported in the full article. Since we already reported on Apple’s debut of their ‘iTunes on Campus’ institutional site license program back in April, we’ll spell it out:

The iTunes on Campus program includes an iTunes institutional site license that allows universities and colleges to provide students with the iTunes application – the world


  1. Yeah, the university where I work will also make iTunes available as a free download from its servers (with no discount on the music, either). It’s nice to get that kind of “exposure”, but since, as MDN points out, not any better or worse, the announcement and the pretty poster ads is about the only benefit.

  2. MDN, please be gentle with my undergrad alma mater. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” /> That place was lovely. More women than men. God bless FSU.

    But anyway, they are a Mac friendly school. I was a student worker for the ACNS and they loved Macs. Until recently, the school’s computer store only sold Macs.

    I read this article this morning and had to chuckle because like MDN pointed out, iTunes is already free, and the songs already cost 99 cents. So where is the deal?

    Nonetheless, Apple got a little press from this. Get some Napster.

    Anyone heard anything else about the Sony online music store or the Coca-Cola online music venture?

  3. The profit apple makes from each song is small enough to prohibit them from offering any substantial discounts.

    The real discount would have to be on an industry-wide level, whereas the RIAA would give discounts to all colleges participating in a site license deal with any of the major online music stores.

  4. The benefit is the school doesn’t have to deal with excluding the Mac community or justifing spending limited resources. Plus, if lawsuits come up in the future they can say they took a pro-active stance. Win-win-win

  5. MDN, please be gentle with my undergrad alma mater. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” /> That place was lovely. More women than men. God bless *****.


    I think you just described Planet Earth.

  6. At first, my reaction was similar to most of yours—“what? Where’s the actual DEAL?” But then I thought about it a little more and realized this could be a very wise move by FSU–essentially endorsing iTunes with no cost to themselves. Think about the hundreds or even thousands of students who are all on the same network running iTunes. The key word is “Sharing.” Is there any limit on the number of people who can stream music from other users’ computers? This probably isn’t what Apple or FSU wants the RIAA to hear, but I can say with certainty that there will be a lot of streaming off of each others computers. And the students won’t have to pay a mandatory subscription fee. And the university won’t have to deal with students griping about having a non-Mac compatible service like Napster shoved down their throats. Each student already has thousands of songs on their computers that they either ripped legally or downloaded illegally. It’s quite impossible to know the difference after they are already on the computer. At any given moment, a student can fire up iTunes and probably find anything they want on the intranet. I hope this is obvious to the right people and the others are oblivious. Time will tell. To go along with this move, I can see the university cracking down on Kazaa et. al. And maybe there will be an iPod deal, but I doubt it will be as sweet as what Duke got. FSU tuition is probably an order of magnitude less than Duke’s.

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