College Student Busted for Internet Piracy

College Student Busted for Internet Piracy

August 23, 1999 12:00 AM ET

A twenty-two-year-old college student is the latest casualty in the escalating war over MP3s. On Friday, Aug. 20, Jeffrey Gerard Levy pleaded guilty in a U.S. District Court in Eugene, Ore., to violating the No Electronic Theft (NET) Act. He is the first person to be convicted under the Act, which President Clinton signed into law in 1997. The NET Act protects against the free distribution of copyrighted material without the copyright owner's permission.

As a college senior, Levy ran a Web site out of his Eugene apartment that made available thousands of copyrighted songs, film clips and video games. He offered pirated works of everyone from the Beatles to Nirvana on his high-volume site, which has since been dismantled. He faces up to three years in jail and a fine of $250,000.

The Justice Department hopes that this conviction will prevent future piracy. "We hope it will fire a shot across the bow and send a very strong message to many audiences, including young people, that Internet-facilitated piracy is theft, pure and simple," said Roslyn Mazer, Special Counsel for Intellectual Property in the Criminal Division.

Levy is set for sentencing on Nov. 2.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories


The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

More Song Stories entries »