MIT Network Shut Down

Two MIT students who thought they’d found a way to give their fellow students access to a huge music library without running afoul of copyright law hit a snag Friday when the school shut down the service in the midst of a licensing dispute.

The “LAMP,” or “Library Access to Music” system officially went live Monday, pumping music into dorm rooms over the school’s cable television network. By sending the music over cable, rather than swapping files over the Internet, the system avoided making an exact copy of the music and was expected to face lower copyright law hurdles.

The students, Keith Winstein and Josh Mandel, said they had negotiated for the Harry Fox Agency, the mechanical licensing arm of the National Music Publishers Association, to grant a license to a Seattle-based company called Loudeye to sell the school thousands of MP3s for the system.

But even last week as the system prepared to go live, there was confusion. The Harry Fox Agency said no such license was complete, while Loudeye insisted it was. [AP NewsWire]

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