The deal announced Monday with Englewood, Colo.-based Cdigix Inc. would offer the service to roughly 600,000 students at 13 UC and 23 Cal State campuses, making it one of the largest contracts since college campuses across the country began searching for legal solutions several years ago, the Los Angeles Times said Tuesday.
To give students additional downloading options, both university systems also are negotiating with other music and video providers, including Napster Inc., Sony Corp. and Mindawn, the Times said.
"We're doing this because we do recognize that there is illegal file sharing of intellectual property," said David Walker, director of advanced technology at the University of California, which enrolls 200,000 students. "We felt we should do something to encourage legal services."
Now individual UC and Cal State campuses must decide whether to offer the Cdigix service and how to pay for it. The company charges $3 monthly for the music service and $5.99 monthly for the video service.
More than 50 colleges and universities in the United States offer legal music services to their students, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.