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Navy seizes 100 Academy Midshipmen's Computers

Industry-group theft charges in letter prompt action

By Mike Whybark     November 26, 2002
Source: The New York Times

THE NEW YORK TIMES reports that 100 computers were seized at the United States Naval Academy in an enforcement action aimed at stemming illegal file-swapping of audio and other files.

The action came in response to a letter signed by the Motion Picture Industry Association of America, The Recording Industry Association of America, The National Music Publishers Association, and the Songwriters Guild of America.

The letter, sent to colleges and universities across the country, states, "'Theft' is a harsh word, but that it is, pure and simple. Students must know that if they pirate copyrighted works they are subject to legal liability."

An RIAA spokesperson distanced the association from the Navy's action. A naval spokesperson defended the action on the grounds that possession of pirated materials constituted a violation of the school's honor system as well as federal law.

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