Don’t share, but please subscribe.

A few weeks ago Congress told universities across the country that they need to do more to prevent illegal file sharing. Congress also wants the universities to start offering legal alternatives in the form of music subscription services. reports, “The House Education and Labor Committee unanimously passed the College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007. Among other things, the COAA would require colleges and universities to adopt strict antipiracy policies and possibly offer students access to subscription-based music services like Napster.”

Congress must have felt some pressure from the RIAA. Congress isn’t the only one feeling pressure. Fifteen Northwestern students have also felt the pressure. “Choosing” to fork over $3000 for sharing their large collections of music online.

If only they had some way to get all the music they wanted, for a reasonable monthly fee… at least that’s what law makers must be thinking.

Napster is only one of a growing group of subscription services. Ruckus is a music subscription company focused on providing service on college campuses. I first noticed them at EDUCAUSE 2007. They were the only music subscription vendor there, and they were giving out tasty mints. Now it looks like Ruckus might get a boost in business from this new law.

What will it take to get students to switch from sharing to subscribing? I think it will take turning the Internet off.