Penn State University (PSU) has cut a deal with Napster to deliver the digital music service to its students.

Penn State University (PSU) has cut a deal with Napster to deliver the digital music service to its students. PSU President Graham Spanier says the university will make Napster's premium subscription service available at no cost to all of its students in fall 2004. Access to the service will be funded as part of the information technology fee that PSU already has in place. A Napster subscription costs $9.95 per month.

The PSU deal will cover on-demand streams, tethered downloads and radio programming, but not burning. Students can purchase permanent downloads that can be burned to CDs or transferred to portable devices for 99 cents each.

The pact is expected to be the model for further deals between digital music services and a number of universities.

"This will be the first step in a new, legal approach designed to meet student interest in getting extensive digital access to music," says Spanier. "We think much of the problem of music piracy can be solved by what is learned over the next year."

PSU has begun limited testing of the Napster program and will expand the beta trial to 18,000 students on Jan. 12. A full rollout of the service to the entire student body-which totals more than 83,000-as well as faculty and staff, is slated for the beginning of the 2004-05 school year.

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