http://www.hometownannapolis.com/cgi-bin/read/live/11_23-19/NAV By JESSICA R. TOWHEY Staff Writer November 23, 2002 Officials at the Naval Academy have seized nearly 100 midshipmen's computers that allegedly contained illegally downloaded music and movies, sources said. The raid occurred Thursday while students were in class, and a source familiar with the investigation said the computers were being held by the administration. Cmdr. Bill Spann, academy spokesman, confirmed that an investigation into what material is on the computers is under way, but declined further comment. He did say punishment for illegally possessing copyrighted material ranges from a court-martial to loss of leave and other restrictions. Computers are given to each midshipman upon entering the academy. During their four years at the school, mids pay back the value of the computers through deductions from their monthly paychecks. Amanda Collins, a spokesman for the Recording Industry Association of America, said yesterday that the Naval Academy was among the colleges and universities around the country that were sent two letters from entertainment industry and educational associations asking them to address Internet piracy and establish policies against it. An Oct. 3 letter signed by four entertainment-based lobbying associations spelled out that Internet copyright infringement violates federal copyright laws. "`Theft' is a harsh word, but that it is, pure and simple," the letter stated. "... It is no different from walking into the campus bookstore and in a clandestine manner walking out with a textbook without paying for it." The recording industry estimates that more than 2.6 billion music files are downloaded illegally each month, usually through unlicensed services. CD sales fell more than 5 percent in 2001 and dipped another 1 percent in the first half of this year, according to the RIAA. Some of the recording industry's biggest stars, such as Madonna, Mick Jagger and Eminem, have joined coalitions to combat the wholesale theft of music. The industry claims this threatens the livelihood of everyone from artists, songwriters and manufacturers to sound engineers and record-store owners and clerks. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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