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Businessweek Archives

In House Pirates

Business Week -- Home Page

In-House Pirates

Pssst. Your corporate computers could be rife with digital contraband--and you may not know it. That's because some employees, particularly Gen Xers at dot-com and technology companies, are using corporate servers to stash thousands of illegal MP3 downloads via Napster, the ubiquitous music-sharing software.

Swapping music downloads at work is "no question, a major problem," says Frank Creighton, antipiracy director for the Recording Industry Assn. Until now, most attention has focused on piracy at colleges. Yet they account for only 30% of all Napster activity, according to RIAA research.

Some employers, desperate to keep their young tech workers happy, are looking the other way. "More people have Napster here than don't," says an employee at a New York Web-design shop where techies fashioned a special Napster server. Meanwhile, Creighton says he "absolutely would not hesitate to take action" against companies violating copyright laws. Listen up, you pirates.By Dennis Berman

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