Being part of the solution

Efforts to end illegal music downloading continue to point towards college campuses. This semester, Vanderbilt students are taking matters into their own hands in a class designed to come up with solutions to battle the practice and support musicians. What better place than Music City to have this discussion?

First-year students in the “Stealing in Music City” seminar at Vanderbilt University must devise a workable system for distributing music that delivers content for a reasonable price and allows songwriters, artists and other stakeholders to get paid.

“We are challenging the students to re-invent the music industry for a fair model of music distribution to compensate artists, consumers and labels,” said Holling Smith-Borne, director of the music library at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music. The class, divided into three groups, will propose three solutions during class on Dec. 2.

Illegal downloading by students is the focus of new requirements for Tennessee’s public and private higher ed institutions signed into law by Gov. Phil Bredesen Nov. 12 and is addressed in the recently reauthorized Higher Education Act.

Vanderbilt has been working for several years to combat the problem by partnering with student leaders to educate the campus about intellectual property laws, offering multiple legal downloading alternatives, such as Ruckus and Joost, through VUMix, and including a policy against illegal downloading in the student code of conduct.

Read more on VUCast.

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