Feeds

RIAA Naval academy bust: 85 rapped

But who is robbing who?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

The U.S Naval Academy dolled out a relatively mild punishment to 85 of its midshipmen busted for using government provided internet connections to swap copyrighted music files, The Baltimore Sun reports.

These are the same midshipmen who had their computers seized in a Nov. 21 raid, egged on by a call from the music label-backed Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to crack down on file sharing. Using a zippy T3 line, the midshipmen shuffled music and movie files back and forth, as youngsters are prone to do. For these crimes, the Naval Academy will hand out demerits and extra work assignments along with cutting back on some privileges.

Both the Baltimore Sun and the Washington Post (via AP) reflected outrage at the leniency of the punishment. The Post seemed dismayed that the midshipment had failed to receive a public flogging for their crime of sharing music, as they were in "violation of Defense Department policy and federal copyright laws". [our emphasis]

A Naval Academy spokesman told the Sun that the midshipmen "had enormous drives - multigigabite drives - and they were on all the time."

I'll be damned.

Who's the thief?
The Academy's punishment falls far short of the going rate for music theft.

Earlier this month, the RIAA attacked the civilian population by bringing lawsuits against four college students. The Pigopolist is demanding $150,000 per infringed song from these students.

In either case, these attacks against America's youth seem harsh given the music labels' penalties on legitimate CD-buyers.

The Federal Trade Commission has estimated that a long-standing CD price fixing policy developed by the major music labels cost consumers as much as $480 million. The labels managed to charm their way out of any admission to wrong doing by paying 41 suing states $67.4 million in cash and $75.7 million in CDs.

The record labels connived to keep CD prices high as widespread Internet usage and music swapping began to surge.

This push along with a lack of palatable subscription services and a sweeping economic slowdown have no doubt contributed to the shrinking revenue in the music business. Making criminals out of the most voracious music buyers around may further this slide.

In an effort to curb the midshipmen's music consumption, the Naval Academy has decided to cut back on the dormitory bandwidth and install software to restrict file sharing.

Maybe it had better do something about those "multigigabyte drives, which are on all the time", too. ®

Related Stories

Missing RIAA figures shoot down "piracy" canard
RIAA website now routable and public
Disabled war veteran hosts Disabled RIAA website
RIAA defaced -again!
RIAA invites comments
RIAA servers still broken
Pigopolist's pants still down<

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.