Sony Music Entertainment chairman/CEO Andrew Lack debuted a new program aimed to stem the tide of illegal downloading on college campuses during the Entertainment Law Initiative luncheon on Friday (Fe

Sony Music Entertainment chairman/CEO Andrew Lack debuted a new program aimed to stem the tide of illegal downloading on college campuses during the Entertainment Law Initiative luncheon on Friday (Feb. 6) in Beverly Hills, Calif. Lack unveiled the Campus Action Network (CAN), which aims to help schools offer legal downloads "that every kid in college in America can afford."

Lack told the audience of more than 350 attorneys and industry executives that Sony, with guidance from the RIAA, has been meeting with dozens of colleges and universities "to introduce them to legitimate music services."

Sony does not recommend a particular download provider, nor does it get involved in negotiations. "I want us to be agnostic," Lack told Billboard.biz after the luncheon. "Sony Connect will be out there as a service they can choose, but I don't want to be the Sony guy showing up."

How the students are charged-one method is through standard activity fees-is left to the university. Lack believes more than 20 colleges could sign on for the program by September. Independent of CAN, Penn State University and the University of Rochester have recently inked distribution deals with Napster.

Lack has talked to Universal Music Group about participating, and the RIAA is approaching other label groups. Sony is absorbing the cost of promoting CAN.
"This is a reasonable investment on our part, all things considered."