UT Among Top Campuses To Illegally Download Music

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Knoxville (WVLT) - The University of Tennessee ranks high among campuses that are sent complaints for illegal music downloads made on campus.

As volunteer TV's Allison Hunt tells you, UT takes piracy seriously, so seriously, a student could face suspension if they don't follow the rules.

Several students walk to class listening to music they download off the internet, and the Recording industry association of America says many are doing it illegally.

RIAA says complaints to schools about illegal downloading puts UT fourth out of 25 schools and students say they see it happen.

"Sometimes it's cause they want something for free but then sometimes they can't find exactly what they want," says Melvin Buchanan.

But a free download can lead to lots of trouble.

"They get emails, some people say they threaten to cut off their internet it's real tough," says Buchanan.

"It's piracy and so we're very concerned about that," says Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Tim Rogers.

In 2006, UT received 927 first notices about students who ripped music from the internet.

These students are required to contact the school, and until they do, their internet is disconnected.

If a student continues to download, "They are required to bring their computer, CPU or hard drive in to have it cleansed," Rogers says.

And if erasing the illegal venue off their computer doesn't work, "We disconnect service and refer them to the Office of Judicial Affairs, where they could face suspension," he says.

"Maybe the standards for downloading should be worked on so that it's regulated better," says UT Student Cat Mayo.

Which is what UT does.

The school has teamed up with venues so students can legally download music.

"To encourage students to move to one other vendor that is available free to any student that has a '.edu' extension on their email, they can get free accounts, with Ruckus," says Rogers.

UT officials say students and parents are made aware of piracy issues at orientation and each fall students attend another workshop.

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