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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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  • Music? (Score:5, Funny)

    by T-Kir (597145) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:39PM (#4744930) Homepage

    Maybe they we're bugged 'cos of all the illegal copies of "In The Navy" by YMCA ;)

    • Re:Music? (Score:3, Informative)

      by T-Kir (597145)

      Doh! Think before you post! "In The Navy" by The Village People, not YMCA... must be my day for stoopidity.

    • Re:Music? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Jucius Maximus (229128) <zyrbmf5j4x&snkmail,com> 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.

      • Re:Music? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ahfoo (223186)
        In reality P2P is neither piracy or theft or copyright infringement.
      • Re:Music? (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Mike Schiraldi (18296)
        It is no different from walking into the campus bookstore and in a clandestine manner walking out with a textbook without paying for it.

        Actually, it is. It's like going into the campus library whenever you need to read a book, rather than going to the bookstore. Or borrowing the book from your friend. Or, at worst, borrowing the book from a willing friend and then photocopying the chapters you were interested in.
        • Re:Music? (Score:3, Insightful)

          It's like going into the campus library whenever you need to read a book, rather than going to the bookstore. Or borrowing the book from your friend.


          No, it's like sneaking into the campus movie theatre or the amusement park without paying. Or jumping the turnstiles on the subway, so you can get a free ride without paying. It's about avoiding paying for something that cost someone else money to provide. How is that not theft of service, again?



          • Re:Music? (Score:3, Informative)

            by Mike Schiraldi (18296)
            It's like sneaking into the campus movie theatre

            No, because you're taking up someone else's seat.

            or the amusement park without paying.

            No, because you're making the lines longer.

            Or jumping the turnstiles on the subway

            No, because you're making the subways more crowded and slightly heavier.
      • dunno, but lots of people do walk into public libraries, and pay some mandatory fee, and do photocopies of few pages.
  • by trotski (592530) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:39PM (#4744938)
    The Navy would be raiding RIAA computer ;).

    Go ahead, I'll take the karma hit!
  • by 2Bits (167227) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:40PM (#4744941)
    Haven't read the article yet, but I'm rolling on the ground dying of laughter now.....

    What's next? Raiding the Congress and White House, FBI headquarter, CIA headquarter, and Pentagon?

    It would be really fun to see the Navy vs. RIAA/MPAA in the court.

    • by RickHunter (103108) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:44PM (#4744972)

      MPAA Lawyer: Your honor, it should be known that the defendant has a history of killing people, spending large amounts of money, and bias against gays!

      Judge: Wow! You argument is very compelling. I can see now that they're just common hacker scum, out to undermine the very foundations of our society, unlike my fine friends at the MPAA! (Aside to Lawyer: Just leave the case of bills under your seat.)

    • 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.

      • The ultimate would be like Cringley said for everyone who has ever used an illegal mp3 or divx to just turn themselves in to the local authorities. I mean EVERYONE. Just imagine...
        • 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.
      • Place tons of illegal files on the servers and report them to the RIAA/MPAA.

        I'd love to see that court-battle.

        "We had to confiscate ALL of their servers ..."
    • Raiding the Congress and White House, FBI headquarter, CIA headquarter, and Pentagon?

      Clearly, much of the current heads of all the executive agencies you mentioned believe they are beyond the law... or at least, have a different interpretation than one might hope. Bush didn't need congressional approval to declare war? What was the war powers act in the 1970's about?

      And as for congress... I hear rumors that staffers (if not senators and reps themselves) are, more and more, sympathetic to the freer flow of digital media, since they tend to actually have stuff on their machines these days. Even with that aside, raiding congress wouldn't be a good way to get the laws you'd like. We're probably safer there than our collective /. paranoia would suggest. For the time being.

  • Priorities? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rai (524476) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:41PM (#4744947) Homepage
    With global terrorism, domestic assassinations, and a possible war with Iraq, it's good to know that the armed forces have time for the really important things. Wonder how much tax money the *AA's will claim for these violations.
    • So does this mean that the RIAA and the MPAA are "with the terrorists?"
      • No, I think it would be more correct to say that they ARE the terrorists.
      • Re:I wonder (Score:3, Funny)

        by mshomphe (106567)
        How dare you, sir, imply that good, wholesome, American companies* are "with the terrorists"?

        You, sir, are a terrorist. I have informed US Attorney General John Ashcroft of your sick predilictions and affiliations.

        No doubt that knock on your door is the FBI.

        *In this case, good, wholesome, American cabals.

    • Re:Priorities? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by clark625 (308380) <clark625 AT yahoo DOT com> on Sunday November 24, 2002 @05:03PM (#4745091) Homepage

      I don't disagree with you generally-speaking. But here we're talking about military personnel, and soon-to-be officers at that. I don't think the crack-down was wrong here. When people sign up for the military, they sign away their rights. That's just the way it works--a military isn't a democracy for very good reason.


      The military service has a big reason to have the public supporting them. It's killer when they go away on missions knowing that John Q Public doesn't care--or worse, doesn't want them to be where they are. These types of opinions can come from terrible media hype about our armed forces personnel--"hey look... those guys fighting for us are just a bunch of s/pot-heads/priracy goons/". Not cool. Remember, an officer can still be thrown out of the military for having an affair. It's not illegal--but it is conduct unbecoming an officer. And do we really think that it's proper conduct to steal music? Well, this is /., so maybe most do. Fair use is one thing--stealing is something else.


      In any case, these crack-downs are a good thing in my opinion. Future military officers need to be above reproach. Remember, these kids chose to be there--they weren't drafted. They gave their rights over to their country to serve our needs. Give them all the respect they deserve and maybe even send these kids a (legal) CD if they really want music.

      • I am a avid Slashdotter and I don't think that this online shar...ahem....stealing of music is right. I do believe that the Navy has every right to kick these suckers out. You are right. Officer should be above reproach. In my opinion, they should not even be in front of a citizen in a drunken state (if they get drunk, then do it on ship guys....also make sure you don't get drunk off base). The men of our Armed Force should be BETTER then we are. Morally and ethically.
        • they are better morally and ethically than you by default (if doctrine is to be believed) because they put their life on the line to defend your 'rights' and your 'liberty' and you do not.

    • Oh, do be quiet. I hate it when people say that. You're the kind of person who would ask the officer if he didn't have anything better to do, or real criminals to be catching when you get caught speeding. Guess what? You were speeding. You *are* a real criminal.

      What these midshipmen were doing, while it should not BE wrong, is wrong. The RIAA says that they are stealing, and the Navy is obligated to respond and investigate. The way to investigate is to take all the evidence (read as: computers) and examine them for evidence of wrongdoing. If they are, they should be punished because this is the law as it stands. If there is no evidence, the computers should be given back.

      You make it sound as if they are ignoring the large problems for the small ones. They are dealing with both. You mention terrorism only to bolster a point that has no merit anyway. "If I can't do X, then the terrorists have already won." Screw that. How the hell this got modded up is beyond me.

      Oh, and just for the record, I do NOT agree with the actions of the RI/MPAA, but they way things currently are, downloading MP3s *IS* considered stealing, unless the artists gives permission.
      • Why should sharing a copyrighted track with 4,000 of your ...ahem... closest friends be legal??? I am all for making a copy for yourself, and maybe for your mom (like a mix cd for your mom on mothers day) or other family member, but putting it up for anybody to grab is wrong. I don't think the RIAA cares that I have all of my music in MP3. They care if I put it on Kazaa or Morepheous! There's a BIG difference in ripping your own copy and ripping it so you could share it. I didn't say the copyprotection crap they are trying now is right mind you (THAT actually takes away fair use), but them trying to keep you from sharing it with the whole internet is what they are trying to prevent.
  • by RomikQ (575227) <romikq@mail.ru> on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:41PM (#4744952) Homepage
    underage drinking. yeah, you can put all the offending youngsters in jail or you can punish whoever sold them the booze in the first place.
  • 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?
    • Re:How? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by clark625 (308380)

      It might surprise you, but folks who have entered the armed services don't have rights. Seriously. I'm sure you've heard that so-and-so signed his life away to the Army? Well, what actually happened was that upon entering the service, the individual gave away his/her own rights to protect the rights of others.


      Sure, some people don't like this fact. But it's important that our military have clear understandings that they are not out on a joy-ride and they can't leave whenever they like. They are the property of the govenment and officers do have the authority to use deadly force on a soldier who won't obey orders (at least in time of war). If you're ever drafted, or you sign up for the service, you don't have the right anymore to complain about first ammendment violations and the like (except in protecting others' rights) because frankly, the Bill of Rights doesn't apply to you.

      • Re:How? (Score:3, Informative)

        by TechDock (558245)
        Actually, military folks do have rights, just not the same ones as civilians. The military population is subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

        Given that, I suspect that the argument could be made that the computers don't actually belong to the midshipmen until after they graduate and the systems are fully paid off, and is government property until then. Any veterans out there that could offer more insight?
    • by garcia (6573)
      the midshipmen themselves are the property of the government. The school can do as they wish.

      Downloading of copyrighted material is usually against a school's TOS anyway. So if they were breaking that, and the school even owned PART of the computers, they had the right to confiscate them.
    • Naval academy (and the armed forces in general) do not have the same constutional rights while on gov't property / in their facilities as other citizens. They cannot make disparaging remarks about politicians, and other such things we take for granted.
      • Re:How? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by srmalloy (263556)
        Naval academy (and the armed forces in general) do not have the same constutional rights while on gov't property / in their facilities as other citizens. They cannot make disparaging remarks about politicians, and other such things we take for granted.

        Small point: Military personnel may not make disparaging remarks about politicians, the government, or superior officers in any situation where those remarks may become public knowledge. Bitching about the crap that's been dumped on you, the idiot ninety-day wonder in command of your unit (who couldn't pour piss out of his boot if the instructions were written on the heel), the circus at Fort Fumble (aka the Pentagon), and the rest of Dreamland-on-the-Potomac is a long-standing tradition in the military. But that's all private, inside the family, and stays outside the performance of your duty; they'll come down on you for letting it out in public, and God help you if you actually address your remarks to a member of the media...
  • Unfortunatly, I doubt this is atypical of those serving under the government. While those actually running the systems are probably smart enough to not do such a thing, those using the systems may not be.
  • Arrr! (Score:5, Funny)

    by duckpoopy (585203) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:45PM (#4744978) Journal
    I always knew the Navy was full of pirates.
  • ... aren't Navy personell in need of entertainment?

    I know that I, for one, wouldn't want to play games like that with people who are willing to die so I can maintain my quality of life.
  • by aluminumcube (542280) <(greg) (at) (elysion.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.

  • by Nastard (124180) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:48PM (#4744999)
    How long before we start to see corporate sponsership of our armed forces? Ideas like "Apple Navy", "AOL/Time-Warner Air Force" and "Dell Army" are becoming less outlandish.

    On the plus side, the marketing would be interesting.

    "...and the F-16 was all like beepbeepbeep..."
  • 'After receiving a letter from four entertainment-based lobbying associations'...

    So does that means that the U.S. Propaganda Department have more power than the U.S. Naval Academy ?

    Some might be offensed by such thoughts, but it is in some way a reality: America get as much (or more!) power abroad from Hollywood than from their military.
    • So does that means that the U.S. Propaganda Department have more power than the U.S. Naval Academy ?

      On US soil, probably yes. It's remarkably difficult legally to get the armed forces to do anything within the borders of the US, which is why the National Guard, not the regular Army or Marines are called out to deal with situations like homeland security or disaster relief. It's different in different Western countries (for example in the UK we have the regular Army manning the fire service while the Labour Party have one of their traditional tussles with the unions). If the lobbyists tried to board a US Navy ship in international waters, it would be an entirely different matter :-)
  • The RIAA and MPAA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by I_redwolf (51890) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:57PM (#4745055) Homepage Journal
    Just put an end to their whole propoganda "we are going to get everyone and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law" shit. If there is one thing on earth you don't fuck with its people with the power to make it very difficult for you to operate. The US Naval Academy (as well as other military institutions) has stronger ties to business, schools and government than the RIAA/MPAA/etc/etc could ever dream of. These are the people that have strong influential power when it comes to basically anything regarding basically anything. Not only that but these institutions harbor great ill-will to anyone threatening the "future of our country" over something they'll see as extremely "trivial".

    Also, once you piss one military institution off unless it's a battle between divisions (army vs navy etc) then none of them like you. I can already see alot of top brass talking about these Lobbying institutions especially since Thanksgiving is coming up. The word will spread and friends of friends, families who have made service life a career will hear about this. It will spread to public servants etc and this one action seriously just damaged any pull the RIAA/MPAA/NMPA and the Songwriters Guild had with government. Especially considering the state of affairs on the table now. Not only that but the owners of the equipment that was seized will truly remember this especially if they get article 15's as well as not knowing if you're fucking with the next (insert influential power here) or if one of those young men/women has a father/mother/aunt/uncle who happens to be a congressman or senator or what have you.

  • by djmurdoch (306849) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:57PM (#4745057)
    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.

    Finally the industry realizes that these thuggish tactics are going to hurt their sales :-).
  • Code of Honor (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @05:00PM (#4745078)
    The military academies have a very strict code of honor. For a midshipman to be caught with something like pirated music would probably result in summary dismissal from the academy.

    Evidence presented by the RIAA that midshipmen were engaging in illegal activites like this would really cause the administration of Annapolis to investigate quite carefully, and be VERY upset if this sort of thing was going on.

    I feel sorry for these people - if they are caught with pirated music, their careers at the Naval academy are done.

    • Reminds me of an article I ran across a little while ago...

      The Air Force Academy (I don't know about the others) apparently keeps records of where all the students using their internet connections surf. As in, since they decided that porn was unbecoming of a student, they keep a list of the students "suspected of visiting known porn sites". This made the news because someone accidentally forwarded the list to the entire student body. Oops! If my memory serves (someone can search the Denver Post archives if they're interested), ~150 names were on that list... out of a student body of 4000.

      The implications: the fact that they are keeping a list and NOT summarily kicking students out means that the AFA considers porn a problem - but a correctable problem. They would probably treat copyright issues similarly. Having computers seized would be pretty serious... or an over-reaction.

    • But remember, the government is master of sweeping things under the carpet and making things go away.
      • Better get yer tin foil hat out dude. Seriously, what makes you think this? Sure, the government can manage to keep some secrets. Something like this isn't going to be a danger to National security if it gets out. They aren't going to necessarily sweep this under the carpet. Now a suspected UFO sighting which was really a Top Secret jet should be swept under the covers!
    • 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.

  • Well La Dee Da (Score:3, Insightful)

    by blandthrax (575357) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @05:01PM (#4745081)
    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.

    I feel for these people, I really do. I say we set up a Paypal account to help keep Mick, Madonna and Marshall (emineminem?) fed and clothed. Oh sure, take me to task on this but honestly, shouldn't the RIAA present better examples than pampared, multimillionaire recording artists to make their case. I mean c'mon, Mick Jagger could never sell another record in his life and still live like a king, same with Madonna. This RIAA FUD is preposterous. These people can afford to buy their records, I can't and neither can a lot of people I know, that's just the sad reality of things right now. So I'm a thief, well I guess that's just a matter of perspective isn't it?
  • I read an article about this yesterday, and was sure it was satire. A joke. Please tell me this was a joke. Please.
  • by gelfling (6534) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @05:06PM (#4745116) Homepage Journal
    In the Pentagon, it became so common for the chart jockies to put together such enormous PPTs that brought down the internal networks at the Pentagon just shipping the PPTs around to the audience that the Brass had to ban/restrict its use. It was common for even the most ordinary presentation to contain movies, sounds sub programs, shooting stars.... Presentations typically ran to the multi-hundred megabytes.

    I guess what I'm getting at is the DoD has a culture of extreme presentation and content bloat for no good reason. Seems to me that the upper management tacitly approves of massive media collection and sharing.
    • According to the news item I saw, it wasn't internal PowerPoint that got banned, it was shipping the stuff worldwide via the DOD secure tactical network. That scrambled-and-encrypted-beyond-belief network hasn't got all that much bandwidth, and it was getting jammed by so much multimedia that real-time command messages were getting delayed or dumped. Thus, the order went out to keep the freaking desk-jockey multimedia slideware off of what is supposed to be a life-and-death real-time network.
  • For all (/. included) that are trying to make this a RIAA/MPAA vs. The U.S. Armed Forces battle, it simply is not. This is no different than the seizure of computers, harddrives, etc., by colleges and universities around the country over the last few years. The writeup conjures images of soldiers in enemy waters having their navigational computers seized, when in fact it's merely a case of a bunch of students downloading music/movies on their government issued (owned?) computers.
    Sensationalism gets everyone all riled up about what doesn't amount to much.
    Of course I'm not happy about what happened; I wish someone would stand up to these multi-billion dollar industries. I do, however, feel that this really isn't that big a deal. Yes, it's technically a part of the government, but then again, don't try to tell me "midshipmen" wasn't purposely used instead of "students" for effect.
  • by DavidBrown (177261) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @05:09PM (#4745127) Journal
    Forget all of the debate here on /. about whether or not copying copyrighted material is theft. For these 100 midshipmen, the real question is whether or not the Naval Academy will consider their acts as "theft" and charge them with violating the Honor Concept.

    Naval Academy Midshipmen serve under an Honor Concept, which states:

    "A midshipman does not lie, cheat, or steal."

    Penalties for violating the Honor Concept include: reprimand, being sent to the fleet for a year (and maybe being allowed to come back), and getting thrown out of the Naval Academy.

    Hopefully, the Honor Board won't get involved and these midshipmen will be subjected to only administrative discipline (loss of weekend liberty for a period of time, etc.).

    You can count on one thing though - Everyone at the Naval Academy will get lectured on how they can't illegally duplicate copywritten material, and the next midshipmen who get caught won't get off so easily.

    IAAUSNAG - I am a United States Naval Academy Graduate

  • by Gyorg_Lavode (520114) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @05:11PM (#4745145)
    Remember, only the RIAA is allowed to steal from needy artists. May God help anyone else who tries.
  • by Chanc_Gorkon (94133) <gorkon&gmail,com> 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) <rosewood@chLISPat.ru minus language> 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 jdkincad (576359)
      You're mistaken, the piece is copyrighted. The score itself isn't, but the recording of whatever ensemble was playing it is copyrighted.
    • by hoytt (469787)
      Verdi's Rigoletto may be in the public domain, but you're not downloading that. You're downloading a recording made by an orchestra and choir. And the rights for that recording are still in place.

      Bach's Goldberg Variations are also in the public domain, but Murray Perahia's recent recording on a Sony Classics' CD isn't. That one's still 22.50.

      You're paying for the orchestra and conductor, not the notes.
  • Damned if you do (Score:5, Insightful)

    by overshoot (39700) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @05:15PM (#4745169)
    This was so amazingly un-smart for everyone involved that I'm utterly stunned.
    • As others have noted, the middies had to have been smoking something to put anything on P2P from the Academy.
    • The Academy just qualified for the Pearl Harbor Memorial Security Award by actually having an wide-open network.
    • The Content Cartel just caused an entire year's worth of middies to get flushed down the tubes. People Who Count won't forget what this particular witch-hunt cost.
    In the long run, this cost the Cartel so much good-will that it will take freaking million$ in bribes^Wcampaign contributions to repair the damage.
    • As others have noted, the middies had to have been smoking something to put anything on P2P from the Academy.

      Not as stupid as some mids busted a few years back for selling their issued copies of expensive software on Ebay...

      That they were doing it isn't news. The fact that a corporate cartel could exert this kind of pressure on an august government institution IS.

  • Fear-mongering (Score:2, Insightful)

    "illegally possessing copyrighted material"
    This is an extremely broad term. Also, I have copyrighted material everywher ein my house. My CD's, my books, hell, even my copy of XP-err Linux ;-)
  • Aha, That's it! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Phoenix666 (184391)
    *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 half.com, 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?
    • by Kjella (173770) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:08PM (#4745620) Homepage
      I'm almost about to consider it a troll, but I'd rather believe you've listened to a little bit too much newspeak.

      DRM may prove who owns what, but it will not matter. You will no longer "buy" or own any CD or DVD you have, despite owning the media it's on. It will simply be licenced, under the licence "negotiated" between the CD/DVD and your trusted computer. Most likely you'll get a EULA-clickthrough the first time you put it in your computer, if at all. It's not like you accept or decline the region restrictions on your DVDs either.

      And you can no longer ignore it, legal or illegal EULA, as your DRM hardware will enforce it on you with no way of circumventing it without committing a federal crime under the DMCA.

      Kjella
  • by NewtonsLaw (409638) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @05:33PM (#4745312)
    Why is President Bush wasting all that money trying to track down and eliminate Bin Laden when he could simply report him to the RIAA for breaching their copyright.

    Clearly the RIAA has far more power at its disposal than the US military and although Bin Laden has managed to evade the united power of the armed services, he wouldn't stand a chance against the recording industry.

    Better still -- tell Hillary that Saddam has a huge collection of MP3s and boy-band CDs copied onto CDR. No need for a UN mandate, she'd be in and clean him out in no time!

    But what I *really* want to see is the RIAA conduct a raid on the IRS computers to look for copyright breaches.

    Now that would be great -- a real clash of the titans eh?

    The sad thing is that it's the every-day Joe who's paying for all these power-plays -- either through our CD purchases or our taxes.

    Couldn't they find something better to do with all this money?
  • by Old.UNIX.Nut (306040) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @05:34PM (#4745320)
    For those of you who have NEVER served in the Military I will clue you in.

    1) Soldiers fall under the UCMJ not the Constitution when it comes to legal rights.

    2) These Naval Academy students face being bounced out of there for violating the "code of conduct".

    3) Ragging on /. will NOT change the fact that the RIAA has the "current" law on their side.

    If you don't like the law, then become politically active and lobby for change instead of wining that you think it is wrong.

    "All battles are fought by scared men who'd rather be somewhere else." John Wayne

    • sayth the poster:
      Soldiers fall under the UCMJ not the Constitution when it comes to legal rights.

      Not so. The UCMJ is subject to the Constituition, including the bill of rights. Rostker v. Goldberg, 453 U.S. 57 (1981); Middendorf v. Henry, 425 U.S. 25 (1976). "[M]en and women in the Armed Forces do not leave constitutional safeguards and judicial protection behind when they enter military service." Weiss v. U.S. 510 U.S. 163, 194 (1994) (Justice Ginsburg, concurring). Indeed, many appeals from military courts on constitutional questions have been heard by the Supreme Court.

      Rather, the UCMJ arises from the Constitution giving Congress the power to define a military code of justice, U.S. Const. Art. I 8, cl. 14, which it has done. Congress chose to exempt the military from civilian rules of procedure and evidence but NOT basic Constitutional requirements of due process, right against forced self-incrimination etc. Indeed, as those rights are based in the Constitution, Congress lacks the power to write a UCMJ violating those rights.

      • by joshki (152061) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @07:28PM (#4746436)
        nope. sorry.
        cite all the cases you want, it doesn't change the fact that the UCMJ is not really subject to the constitution. Certain articles of the bill of rights are in the UCMJ, such as the right against self-incrimination at a court-martial.
        The problem is that you fail to understand the distinction between a court-martial and an article 15 hearing, which is what these young dumb-asses are going face. Article 15 hearings are not federal court cases, and as such are not subject to the constitution. The only thing that is limited is the punishment that can be handed down -- i.e. your CO can't sentence you to keel-hauling or flogging with a cat-o-nine-tails anymore. He can, however, summarily dismiss you from the military -- which is just as bad as far as these people are concerned. There are no rules -- if you try to request legal representation you will be pushed to rescind that request, as it will only make your punishment worse.

        I know -- I've been to an article 15 hearing (coloquially known as Captain's Mast in the Navy). You are guilty from the moment charges are filed -- nothing you say or do will change the outcome. Everything from that point on is based on trying to minimize the punishment you get for whatever you were accused of, guilty or not.

        • I'm afraid that you are wrong as a matter of law: If you are denied due process rights at an Army art. 15 hearing -- e.g. ordered to incriminate yourself -- you have a federal case, and you'll win. What you don't understand is that the "process that is due" is much reduced in the military; which is probably as it should be. Nevertheless, it remains that case that the constitution applies at all times; it just happens that in the circumstances you mention the Constitution doesn't do much for you in a routine case; indeed you may not even have a right to go to court at all to correct routine error. In part this is because the courts have held that art. 15 punishements are "administrative" and not "criminal" in nature. Middendorf v. Henry [findlaw.com], 425 U.S. at 31; Dumas v. U. S. 620 F.2d 247 (Ct.Cl. 1980).

          What the Constitution does is protect you against non-routine mistreatment: For example, suppose your CO orders you to convert to {fill in religion}, or penalizes you extra for a failure to pray. That's a First Amendment violation, and would be illegal even if military regulations permitted it (I'm sure they don't). Have a look at Weiss v. U.S. [findlaw.com]. The theory (right or wrong) is that if you wanted the additional constituitional protections that attach even to criminal prosecutions in military trials, you should have exercised your right to reject the art. 15 and demand a full court martial [a right that AFAIK exists for all military personnel except those serving on board ships at sea]. Yes, I understand that in practice the punishments get worse if you are seen to be wasting more people's time.

          As for the defendant's perception that all he has left to bargain for is the level of punishment, this isn't actually so different from the civilian system: prosecutors have so many more things they might do than they have time for, they tend to charge the ones they think are most guilty or serious. Unless you have something exculpatory the police missed, you're reduced to plea bargaining: which is just another form of "trying to minimize the punishment you get for whatever you were accused of, guilty or not."

          Note, however, that if you are caught red-handed it's ok to punish you more for failing to confess. That's done in the civilian courts (both by higher charges, since you didn't plea bargain, and by higher sentencing for 'failure to take responsibility'). I don't necessarily agree with that, but that's the law, and I can't see why it couldn't be done in the military.

          Now you are going to tell me that any idiot who thinks he can win such a federal case and have a military career afterwards has no sense. That's probably true, but that goes to the tendency of all organizations to retaliate against whistle-blowers, not what the rules say.

          Here's a (farily) simple rule: The US Constitution applies to everything the US government does, not just court cases. It applies to all three branches of government including the executive (which includes the military). But "due process" is not a one size fits all standard. Rather, it's the start of an inquiry, 'What process is due under these circumstances?'

          PS. I'm not a veteran. I'm a law professor.

  • by wandernotlost (444769) <slashdot@NosPaM.trailmagic.com> on Sunday November 24, 2002 @05:41PM (#4745376)
    "`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."

    Not that it's any surprise around here, but this statement is a flat out lie. It would be one thing if the recording industry was engaging in a constructive debate somewhere, or at least sticking to facts, but instead they've chosen to deceive and lie to protect their way of doing business. Why can't our government recognize this and stop catering to this corruption? (I have a few ideas, but that's another story.)

    This is very different from "walking into the campus bookstore and in a clandestine manner walking out with a textbook without paying for it." For one thing, it's not very clandestine - or at least there's no specific effort to make it such. Secondly there is no tangible good being "walked out" with. A closer analogy would be walking into a campus bookstore (better yet, a friend's house), and reading a textbook without paying for it. But, of course, that wouldn't serve their interests. Obviously this isn't a clear-cut issue, but lying to the public to get their way is just disgusting, and displays a remarkable lack of integrity, IMO.

  • by jacquesm (154384) <j@ww.3.14159com minus pi> on Sunday November 24, 2002 @05:51PM (#4745467) Homepage
    So, I think we can now safely conclude that the RIAA has an operation mounted inside the NAVY, how else do they know which computers to point out (I assume the NAVY has a little firewall, or are academy systems directly connected ?)
  • Why is the Navy kowtowing to (possibly) civillian law, when as a federal jurdistiction it is explicitly not subject to those laws?
  • THese people need to be stopped.

    I wont argue about the legal issues, but they are NOT a legal enforcement entity.. They are a coporation... One with a bad track-record to boot.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 24, 2002 @07:08PM (#4746228)
    "`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."

    Because I was thinking it was more like walking into the campus bookstore, reading a book, and leaving, maybe ocassionally coming back to re-read parts of it. I didn't realize that everytime I listen to a song on the Internet, that song disappears from existence.. no wonder music today sucks so bad.. I've been removing all the good stuff... damnit, how could I have been so stupid!

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