Florida State University is approaching a deal with Apple that may soon see iTunes software and music downloads being made available to students there.

A report in bi-weekly Florida State student newspaper FSView confirms that a committee there has been working to find a way to prevent illegal file-sharing at the University. The scheme is expected to go live "next month".

Committee chair Carl Baker said: "Our experience so far has been that there are a lot of students who are using iTunes now. This just makes it more available for everybody else to use it. My understanding is that the quality that some of the music that people download illegally is not very good, and sometimes you don't really know what you are getting. You might be getting something that is infected with a virus."

The move comes in response to complaints from the recording industry that students have been trading music illegally. The report appears scant days after the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced that twenty universities have engaged in similar deals with digital download companies to offer a legal way t access music online.

The report reveals that iTunes was chosen because the deal with Apple places no financial obligation on the University. At other higher education institutions in the US, complaints have been made at the cost of such schemes when engaged with other operators.