More HERE.MIT answered a subpoena from the record industry last night, naming Claudiu A. Prisnel ’06 in response to the industry association’s request for the name of a network user who, on June 27 from a computer at Theta Delta Chi, allegedly offered hundreds of music recordings over the KaZaA file-trading system, according to Prisnel and James D. Bruce, the vice president for information systems.
Prisnel, a member of Theta Delta Chi, denies that he is the “alleged infringer” identified by the association’s subpoena and says he has been wrongly accused.
“Between the dates of May 25, 2003 and August 25, 2003 I have been travelling in Europe,” he wrote to MIT attorney Mark DiVincenzo in an Aug. 30 letter to protest the release of his name, according to a copy of the letter he provided The Tech. “In particular, on June 27, at the time of the alleged infringement, I was in Romania.”
Prisnel, who is Romanian, showed a reporter copies of immigration documents and airplane tickets that appear to support his account. His friend Olga Y. Stroilova ’06, who traveled with him over the summer, also confirmed his assertions.
Prisnel says he has never owned a computer in the United States, a fact to which 20 other students signed a statement attesting on his behalf. And, Prisnel wrote to DiVincenzo, “I have never used or been affiliated with the user name ‘crazyface@KaZaA,’” which was identified by the record industry association, known as the RIAA, as the KaZaA account used.
Citing the federal law of educational privacy, Bruce and DiVincenzo declined to discuss most details of MIT’s investigation and response to the subpoena. TDC officers did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
The RIAA last night had only limited comment. “Anyone is free to contact us to discuss any particular issues, or they can present their defenses in court,” said Jonathan Lamy, a spokesman for the association.
MIT’s reply, which was not made public, ends a process that began July 2, when the RIAA first issued to MIT a subpoena requesting the identity of “crazyface.”
The reply came on the same day that the record industry announced it would file lawsuits against 261 people named by their Internet service providers in response to RIAA subpoenas in the last several months.