[…] Indiana officials are now discussing whether they should continue to respond to complaints from the recording industry with the same aggressiveness. It’s not that university leaders have suddenly decided that illegal behavior isn’t wrong; instead, they are beginning to question the legitimacy of the notices the Recording Industry Association of America sends accusing network users of illegally sharing music.
That’s because, like many colleges and universities, officials at Indiana have seen an eye-popping increase in the number of complaints they’ve received at a time when campus administrators say they have not seen any sort of rise in traffic that would suggest more piracy. Instead, college technology experts — lacking an explanation from industry officials for the upturn — suspect that the recording industry has altered the standards it uses to allege illegal behavior, targeting not only instances in which computer users have actively shared music illegally, but instances in which they have stored downloaded music in a folder visible to other users, opening the way to a potential violation.
Travelers want to log on everywhere at no charge, while hotels, airports and coffee shops are looking for a way to pay for their Wi-Fi networks as visitors increasingly use greater amounts of bandwidth.
The compromise that is emerging is to offer both free and paid options, with the free services increasingly requiring something in return, like viewing an advertisement or signing up for a loyalty program.
[…] In other words, loyalty has its benefits — and these days, free Internet access is one of them.