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RIAA, MPAA Instigate U.S. Naval Academy Raid 460

Posted by timothy
from the and-thank-you-for-your-service dept.
LaikaVirgin writes "After receiving a letter from 'four entertainment-based lobbying associations', the U.S. Naval Academy has seized nearly 100 midshipmen's computers that allegedly had pirated media. It's good to see that the armed forces know who's really in charge."
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RIAA, MPAA Instigate U.S. Naval Academy Raid

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  • How? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by marshac (580242) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:41PM (#4744958) Homepage
    I really wonder how the academy was able to simple seize the computers. It said that the midshipmen were "given" a computer when the entered the academy, but paid back the value over time..... this would indicate that these computers were the property of the midshipmen. So unless they had a search warrant, how were they able to seize and search the computers?
  • by aluminumcube (542280) <greg AT elysion DOT com> on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:47PM (#4744994)
    I can't imagine being dumb enough to use a school issued computer, on a school run network to do anything even remotly wrong. That would be in defiance of the #1 rule any military academy cadet should know, the very rule to end all rules: Don't Get Caught.

    Think about it; military schools are places where they punish you harshly for dumb shit, like not having the back of your belt buckle shined or having your underwear folded 4" across instead of 6". It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that breaking a real law in such an environment is going to be met with harsh consequences... no matter how dumb that law is.

  • Re:Music? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jucius Maximus (229128) <> on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:54PM (#4745037) Homepage Journal
    ""`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.""

    Aside from the clear lack of logic in this statement, it is interesting to note that the RIAA has enough sense to not call it 'piracy' when they are talking to the Navy.

    In reality, it's 'infringement of copyright' , not theft or piracy.

  • by fobbman (131816) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:56PM (#4745047) Homepage
    "What's next? Raiding the Congress and White House, FBI headquarter, CIA headquarter, and Pentagon?"

    I honestly hope so. Maybe then the people who pass these stupid laws will see the mistakes that they have made and fix them.

    If any of you out there are interns in the Whitehouse or Congress, and you know that there are potential RIAA/MPAA violations going on in those computers, then contact the appropriate folks to make sure that those computers are confiscated as high-profile as possible.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:58PM (#4745058)
    I know you're just a troll but... Quote: Fuck the Canadians, let's take back what should be the property of the US of A. How in the hell can you take back what was never yours? Even your lame ass war back in 1812 I beleive, you guys tried to take us, and couldn't! You think Vietnam was the first war you lost - read your history books! Get your facts straight troll boy! 'Cause you sound like an ignorant American!
  • by Chanc_Gorkon (94133) <> on Sunday November 24, 2002 @05:14PM (#4745155)
    I mean honestly, they were using what is essentially a government network even if it was their own machine. The midshipmen were stupid. I am surprised that their superiors did not catch it before the RIAA did.
  • My **AA fights... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rosewood (99925) <> on Sunday November 24, 2002 @05:14PM (#4745160) Homepage Journal
    Sigh, let me take a page from my journal from this week. The **AA's influence on Universities is fucking sick. Pardon the language, I was absolutely angered.

    God fucking damn it. So I was given a fairly simple assignment in my 160G Music Appriciation class. I have to listen to Verdi's Rigoletto and write some shit about it. Well, I fucking love Rigoletto but the only copy I have is at my mom's house on an LP.

    So, I figure the internet will help me. So, I fireup ol kazaa lite. I do a search for Rigoletto and find exactly what I want. So, I start to download. I am getting literally HUNDREDS of BYTES per second. Mother FUCKER. So, I let kazaa do its magic and its downloading from 4 people and all at ass speeds. I message one of the people I am downloading from and he says he is on a company T1 line and has great speeds. So, I am being raped by my university.

    Well, I call up the communications people. I tell them whats up and they say its illegal for me to download music from kazaa and that if I don't stop they will take away my connection. I told him the hell it is, Verdi's Rigoletto has been in the public domain for hundred + years and that is bullshit. He hung up on me after I said bullshit. I called back and got the same guy. I asked for his supervisor and the supervisor told me using kazaa was against campus policy. I asked him to point it out to me and he told me that I can not download copyrighted materials. I said fine, this is not a copyrighted material, so give me my bandwidth. He told me I was just SOL. They kept asking for my room # but I refused. The last thing I need is them trying to cut my fucking connection off.

    God damn bastards.
  • by sql*kitten (1359) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @05:15PM (#4745167)
    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.

    Eminem who says download the audio on MP3 [] you mean?
  • Aha, That's it! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Phoenix666 (184391) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @05:22PM (#4745221)
    *AA's regularly violate the constitutional rights of us peons with impunity, but let's see how far they get going after the sons and daughters of congressmen and people of power. We should alert the *AA's to the rampant file sharing that goes on at schools like the Latin School in Chicago and Exeter back east. Let the children of the powerful feel the hand of the Man, then go whine to their parents (aka the Man's bosses). Perhaps then Hilary Rosen and Jack Valenti would finally receive the long-overdue crushing they deserve.
  • Burdon of proof? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 3-State Bit (225583) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @05:23PM (#4745222)
    I have legally bought every one of the full-length CD's, ripped at 196 kbps, sitting on my hard-drive. I'm at college and did not bring with me the physical compact disks on which I originally bought the content.

    Am I a pirate? Is it up to me to prove that I'm not? ("Show me the original CDs" -- maybe when you replace scratched ones at production-cost...until then, why should I hang on to broken stuff?)

    I dunno', maybe this digital-rights-management stuff isn't so bad -- it lets me prove that what's mine is mine.

    Also, with DRM I can by doctrine of first-sale (which says that you can't impose limitations on what I do with a CD once I've bought it, including restrictions on who I resell the whole package to) says that I can buy someone's scratched CD "virtually" at, and then, owning that CD, I have fair-use rights to the content on it.

    Conversely, I can virtually sell the CD when I'm done listening to it. The Internet allows for instant transfer of virtual-property, so really there only need to be as many licenses floating around as concurrent listeners. It's like a superfast transfer of the physical compact disk -- if we had teleportation, and CD's that didn't scratch, we could have a communal pile of CD's, which you'd tele-take whenever you want to listen to them and tele-return whenever you're done. Only with "digital" rights and "virtual" property we do have teleportation of property. Interesting, interesting.

    Therefore, in conclusion, DRM advocates -- BRING IT ON!!!

    The sooner we have ubiquitous digital rights management, the sooner my audio software can play anything that exists in the world, by buying it at $4.04 when I begin to listen to it and selling it at $4.04 +/- 0.04 when I'm done.

    I'm sure it would only take a few pennies per hour of listening to finance the logistics of such an operation.

    So any reasons why this couldn't work?
  • Re:The RIAA and MPAA (Score:3, Interesting)

    by I_redwolf (51890) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @05:30PM (#4745284) Homepage Journal
    Doesn't matter, midshipmen aren't midshipmen forever. Also these midshipmen are at risk of being booted out of even having a Naval career. Do you honestly think that top brass will allow that? Where do the majority of these midshipmen go after the USNA? Do you think a commander likes having to raid his own students? If they have to boot 100 students in one fell swoop what do you think the outcry would be? What do you think retention would say? Sure these organizations might have enough power to do something like that to you as a citizen. That's not so with the gov't and even though they'll follow the law; the law will be changed or forged primarily in their own interest.

    Answer those questions and then you'll see how bad of a position those organizations just put themselves in. Especially considering these midshipmen might get the boot; World War Vets will probably jump outta their fucking graves.
  • Re:Code of Honor (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dolly_Llama (267016) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @05:55PM (#4745504) Homepage
    It's nice to think that the mystique of the service academies still lives.

    In my plebe year at USNA 98-99, Napster was HUGE. Not only that, but exchange through the magic of the 'Network Neighborhood' made the accumulation of huge mp3 libraries trivial. Two problems: 1) Plebes arent allowed to listen to music, so we had to do it on the DL. 2) Our computers came with a 6GB HD and on the $50/month I was making, no upgrades. Since CDR was rarer back then, there were guys actually making money by burning CDs for $5 with either CD tracks or chock full of mp3.

    Moral of the story: Don't think that the administration is only now learning of p2p and its questionable legality. It's been at USNA as it as been at every other college campus.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:09PM (#4745624)
    Geez....when I was in the Army (saw Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Egypt, etc) when I got to Kosovo in 2000 I found one of the computers in my area had over 10 gigs of MP3s on it!
    I defy ANYONE to go to ANY military base and NOT find at least 10 or machines with tons of MP3s on them.
    Oh, yeah, and when they do, I want them to PROVE that they were "illegally downloaded".
    You see, Uncle Sam is blocking p2p software AT THE BLOODY ROUTERS! YOU CAN'T USE FILE SHARING PROGRAMS AT ALL ON THE MILNET ANYMORE! And MP3s are put on the websense "kill list" so you can't even download them from the web either! They even blocked a anti-terrorism brief from us because the company that made it put it in MP3 format which we couldn't get through websense. Had to go through an unauthorized PROXY server to get it.
    Go figure. After the Kosovo 2000 debacle with the MP3s, Uncle Sam is starting to block that crap. At least at the Army level. Air Force and Navy are a whole different kettle of fish.
    I even RUN some of the networks the Army in Germany uses, and I can't get past it. The contractors that put the blocks in were pretty damn good at what they do.
  • Re:How? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:19PM (#4745697)
    Yes, I do.

    You throw out the UCMJ as if it is somewhat similar to a (US) citizen's rights.

    It is not.

    In broad terms: A citizen has the right to do anything as long as it does not harm others. Military personnel have the *obligation* to perform certain actions which foster discipline and organization.

    For instance: "Conduct unbecoming an officer". This says that you have to conduct yourself in a certain way - it does not say you cannot do x, y and z.

    Two different directions: Citizens have rights. Military personnel have responsibilties.

    (Disclaimer: I am not, and never was, a JAG)
  • by autopr0n (534291) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:30PM (#4745795) Homepage Journal
    I mean, the vast majority of people, anyway. I doubt I could find one person's computer on a collage campus that didn't have pirated content.

    The trick would be finding people who are distributing huge amounts of the stuff. In fact, I'm not even sure it's technically illegal to have pirated content.
  • Re:Music? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by An Onerous Coward (222037) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:46PM (#4745972) Homepage
    P2P itself isn't any of these things. It's just a way of moving data about. As to the files being moved about via P2P, the question is a bit hairier.

    C'mon, moderators! +3 insightful? For a comment where people have to guess as to what the poster is actually trying to say?

  • by zogger (617870) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:56PM (#4746095) Homepage Journal
    --as a veteran of many and sundry a protest, this is EXACTLY what one method is, you "break the law" en massee and demand to be arrested. You demand a jury trial, basically plug the system up. do it in large enough numbers, it really plugs it up. You force the issue. They used to have lunch counter sit ins where blacks weren't allowed, etc.

    Yes, the badged mercenaries beat you, gas you,pepper spray you, and arrest you, just depends on how much you believe in the righteousness of your "cause" and how farked up the law and system are. Now ask yourself, is file sharing of copyrighted works worth it, this is a binary answer. For me, I think there are bigger fish to fry but to each their own. If it was part of a general computer anonymity and freedom of use effort, with file sharing being just part of it, well, maybe that way.

    where to do it? not sure really, thousands of people hacing a free for all wireless file swapping party outside of the capitol building? I imagine Dc is chock fulla nodes, it might be a bummer for the goons to turn them all off. could you get multi thousands, and would you be prepared to have your laptop confiscated, and maybe take it further and resist or be all chained together? I've seen various forms of protest, from very calm and quiet and peaceful to full scale riots, and everything in between, just depends how you want to go about it.

    Two things I can guarantee, the "man" will be putting more and more and more and more restrictions on internet computer uses, and they will be doing more invasive types of scanning and raids. This is a gimme, all one has to do is read the news. And it's no accident they are making a big deal out of busting the midshipmen, they can now say with a straight face 'see, we even bust our own so everyone get prepared for it'.

    Dynamic raids for drugs have established a (unconstitutional, IMO) precedent of property seizures, you rarely if ever get your property back. You with your property get arrested. They seize buildings now where drugs are found,even rental places from the opwners who have nothing to do with it. It's a multi billion dollar theft racket perpetrated by government. They don't care, most of these laws are just more revenue streams. In some locales this is an actual planned for part of the local police budget. Look what happend with the broadband cable "uncappers', they just snagged stuff not even remotely connected to the internet or the case at hand. It's "loot" to them and part of funding,and also part of general population terrorising-VERY broadly speaking.

    Back to file sharing, there's your options, continue on, eventually they'll just packetsniff at the ISP level and one day you'll get a knock at the door, 'give us the computers, you have the right to remain silent, and etc'. It's coming,down to the individual level. That is my prediction. It might take awhile for them to get around to it, but it'll happen. The police state is a growth industry, so any excuse they can find to *use* the police they will jump on it.
  • Re:UCMJ (Score:2, Interesting)

    by suwain_2 (260792) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @07:20PM (#4746354) Journal
    And before you flame, those joining the military agree under oath to accept these different laws upon joining. I know very little about the Armed Forces, but this leads me to a question: If I'm drafted (forced) into service, does this still apply? Because then they're essentially taking away my rights, and I'm not consenting to it? (Again, not criticizing you, just trying to understand this.)
  • Brace Up! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Keebler71 (520908) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @08:06PM (#4746810) Journal
    Bah! "When I was a plebe..." upperclass would come to our rooms to play their games on our spiffy new 386s. And don't even get me started about the internet... about 50 of use knew how to use Procomm to connect to a mainframe that had external IRC and FTP access and that was about it. Of course,... "When I was a firstie..." we would go into the plebes' rooms to check out their spiffy new 486s with Oh yeah... back then the academy still had a bowling alley under 3rd wing and pool tables in memorial hall but I digress.
  • Re:Music? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mike Schiraldi (18296) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @08:15PM (#4746893) Homepage Journal
    If you believe that borrowing books from the library is okay but listening to music on the Internet is wrong, where do you draw the line?
  • Re:Brace Up! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bluesman (104513) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @09:01PM (#4747205) Homepage
    This does the heart good to read all this stuff again. Hello to you fellow grads!

    When I was a midshipman, I ran an online web site that wasn't particularly favorable to USNA. It took the Commandant a year to figure out it was me, but when he did, I was threatened with a Court Martial if I didn't hand the site over to him so that it could become a legimate "Log" again.

    The reason it was against the rules for me to create such a site was that I was using the USNA network inappropriately. This of course, is a very broad rule and open to interpretation by the Commandant, and he interpreted in a way not favorable to my cause.

    Also having been one of the two midshipmen responsible for the computer systems and their various uses, did not help my argument.

    In any event, part of my job was to monitor the networks for mp3's and such, and we had to "crack down" a few times. It was always a slap on the wrist, especially when it was a group of midshipmen.

    If I had to guess, the Academy leadership wants to stop this activity once and for all, and this is a good way to make the mids scared of being kicked out.

    I was scared enough to give them back The Log, two days before graduation, when they gave me the choice.

    -Salty Sam '01

    IIRC the below site should still have the rules for the USNA network.

    MISLO Web Site []
  • Re:The RIAA and MPAA (Score:3, Interesting)

    by elmegil (12001) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @10:59PM (#4748018) Homepage Journal
    Yes, I honestly think the brass will let these midshipmen get kicked out, because they were violating the law. Doesn't mean I agree with the law, but I am under no illusions that the brass will want to protect people who have made them look bad.
  • Re:Music? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mike Schiraldi (18296) on Monday November 25, 2002 @12:54AM (#4748667) Homepage Journal
    Now we're getting interesting.

    Imagine two black boxes. You plug either one into your computer, type in a song title, and in 24 hours the song is on your computer.

    One listens to satellite radio waiting for the song to be played, and then records it.

    The other pulls it off an Internet P2P network.

    One of these boxes is morally right to use, whereas the other is wrong?
  • by shepd (155729) < g m a i l . com> on Monday November 25, 2002 @01:57AM (#4748967) Homepage Journal
    >Legal definition of property []

    Again, the non-physical definition refers to the actual right to call the item yours. ie: The right to put your name on a project. It is theft if I download an MP3 by the Beatles and rename it to say "By: shepd". However, I didn't see anything in there that says it's theft if I'm simply in posession of the unmodified MP3.

    >Copyright myths dispelled []

    Contains no references to "theft".

    >The actual law []

    For the US. Outside, this [] is much more likely to be it. The original Berne convention mentions no references to theft. I don't know about this revision.

    Anyways, the last few aren't exactly legal help sites, so I'll say this:

    I think it still stands that downloading music from KaZaa is infact copyright violation, and not theft. But IANAL, so YMMV.

    >You know what they say about people who represents themselves in a court of law?

    An intelligent person? Too bad that technically most all courts in the US are now military courts (look for the gold-fringed [] flags), and in a military court you really do need help.

When Dexter's on the Internet, can Hell be far behind?"