Julian Dibbell on 19 Sep 2000 08:00:08 -0000

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<nettime> This Is Your Brain on Napster

Please be assured the following news item was not taken from The Onion or
any other parody Web site. That the RIAA would begin going after random,
typical Napster users was entirely predictable, I guess. And I'm only mildly
scandalized to see the media joining in by framing the poor kid in the kind
of reportage usually reserved for drug smugglers and pedophiles. But man,
did they join in with gusto. This truly is a classic of antipiracy kitsch,
as ripe as the cheesiest episode of Dragnet or any outtake from Reefer
Madness. My compliments to the chef.

Monday September 18 5:29 PM ET
Oklahoma Student May Face Music Download Charges

OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - An Oklahoma State University student could face
criminal charges of copyright infringement after police found as many as
1,000 Internet music files on his computer, campus police said on Monday.

Police seized the personal computer and a CD recorder from the student's
dorm room after university officials were notified by the Recording Industry
Association of America (news - web sites) (RIAA (news - web sites)), which
is campaigning against the wide-spread practice of copying and moving music
over the Internet.

University officials said the Washington D.C.-based RIAA, which represents
big record companies, had notified the school that it had detected a high
volume of music downloads to the campus computer network.

``My understanding is he was maintaining files of all these songs and making
them available to others,'' said Chief Everett Eaton of the Oklahoma State
University Police Department.

A computer forensic specialist has since been busy analyzing the files on
the computer's hard drive, said OSU police Lt. Steve Altman.

``The computer specialist feels there may be in excess of a thousand
files,'' Altman said. ``That could cause state felony charges to be filed
for copyright infringement.''

Altman declined to name the 19-year-old male student, who has not been
arrested. The results of the police investigation will be turned over to a d
istrict attorney and it could be weeks before any charges are filed, Altman

Nestor Gonzales, a spokesman for the university, said the student was
downloading music using several different Internet protocols including
Napster (news - web sites), a program that allows users to exchange music
via the Internet.

``That was one of the protocols he was using,'' Gonzales said. ``He may have
been using others. It wouldn't have mattered. The high volume of downloads
warranted action.''

``It does not appear he was selling the files or profiting in any way from
the downloads,'' Gonzales added.

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