Napster, which in a previous incarnation was the engine behind music piracy on college campuses, has been derailed in its attempt to bring legal downloading to Tennessee's state universities.

Napster, which in a previous incarnation was the engine behind music piracy on college campuses, has been derailed in its attempt to bring legal downloading to Tennessee's state universities.

Last week, the Tennessee Board of Regents, which presides over 180,000 students at 45 state universities, rejected a proposal by Napster to integrate its service on campuses. The board refused to approve the mandatory charges students would pay for the service. Students already pay extra fees for student government, activities, technology initiatives and athletics.

Napster has signed up two schools in similar deals: Penn State and the University of Rochester. Neither school would say how much they are paying for the service, which allows free streaming music, but limited downloads.

Napster's owner, software maker Roxio Inc. of Santa Clara, Calif., launched the pay-for-music site last year.

Since then, the RIAA has filed thousands of lawsuits against individuals accused of swapping music files for free over the Internet. Many of those lawsuits have targeted college students, who have easy campus access to high-speed Internet connections. The latest round of RIAA lawsuits included users of computer networks at 21 U.S. universities.

Aileen Atkins, head of Napster's University program, says "We are continuing negotiations with individual schools in Tennessee and we are hopeful that we will reach agreement in the near future."