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01/28/2002 10:43 AM ID: 16516 Permalink   

Screensaver = Jail ?


David McOwen, a Computer Technician from at DeKalb Technical College in Atlanta, Georgia, had been charged with computer theft and computer trespass, faced a fine of hundreds of thousands of dollars, and could have been sentenced to 120 years in jail.

All because he installed a program similar to the famous Seti@home screensaver on the College's workstations. McOwen reached a plea bargain, wherein he only has to pay a small fee and do some community service, so the issue of its legality is unsettled.

The legal precedent set (the college was incensed by the bandwidth charges the screensaver incurred) has sent shockwaves through the online community.
Bizarrely, the State of Georgia called it "one of the worst cases computer they had ever seen".

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