[ISN] Academy seizes computers from nearly 100 mids

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Mon Nov 25 2002 - 00:02:23 PST

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    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
    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.
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