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Students all over the United States seem to have found a wonderful new way to find those illusive songs the music stores or MP3 sites never seem to have. That avenue is Napster.com. Full of the latest hits, it seems to be a veritable heaven for music lovers.

But under the surface, Napster seems to be seeking the downfall of the music industry as its main goal.

Dan Bidwell, Senior Systems Administrator for Andrews' Information Technology Services (ITS), wants students to be aware of what downloading Napster can mean to them and to Andrews University.

"This has become a major problem at Andrews and all around the United States," Bidwell said. "Because Napster installs a server onto student's computers, the internet capabilities provided by our T1 server are being severely limited and decreased dramatically. The few people on campus who currently have Napster installed on their computers are using 40% of the outbound bandwidth of the server. That means our fast internet connection is unavailable to students and faculty members. It is being taken up by other Napster users all over the world that are accessing the files of our students."

Using Napster may be dabbling in copyright infringement. The MP3's that are cataloged on this website are, for the most part, copyrighted, and therefore, not licensed to be shared. When you download this software, Napster installs a server onto your computer, wherein other Napster users can access your files. As long as your computer is on, you are serving Napster.com and its customers all over the world, using the Andrews University internet pipe.

In light of the fact that Andrews cannot permit illegal activities being run through their server and because of the vast amount of bandwidth that Napster uses, all students that have this program downloaded onto their computers are being asked to remove it.

"If this activity persists," said Bidwell, "we will be contacting the students individually to ask them to shut Napster off. We want to make sure our students know that their privacy is being infringed upon and that it's taking up so much of the server bandwidth, thus limiting the internet activity of all the other users on our campus. We can't emphasize enough what a toll Napster is taking on the speed of web surfing."

David Heise, Chief Information Officer for Andrews University, said, "Having Napster on a computer violates Andrews' acceptable usage policy on at least three counts: it uses resources excessively, it is indiscriminate about violating copyright laws (a federal offence), and it offers off-campus service. We want our students to realize the ethical concerns that are unknowingly placed on them when they use Napster."

ITS is asking all Napster users to please uninstall the software from their computers. If you need assistance in doing so, please call 471-6016.
Additional Information

Contact: Dan Bidwell
Email: bidwell@andrews.edu
Phone: 616-471-3425

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