Nation in brief

Vanderbilt students face file-sharing lawsuits

(U-WIRE) NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nine Vanderbilt University students could be among the latest individuals sued by the Recording Industry Association of America for illegally distributing music over the Internet – and none of them knows about it yet.

The RIAA sent nine individual subpoena notices to Vanderbilt’s Information Technology Services this semester, the latest one arriving Wednesday.

The notices make ITS aware that Vanderbilt will be subpoenaed at a point in the future to provide the names matching the nine Vanderbilt Internet protocol addresses detected by the RIAA for distributing high volumes of media files over the Internet.

“They give me a computer’s IP address and we are obligated to identify the individual,” said Terry Cavender, network security officer for Vanderbilt’s central server. “We haven’t located the names yet since we haven’t been subpoenaed. This is new ground Vanderbilt is covering.”

In accordance with stipulations set down in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, the RIAA can file suits through the “John Doe” process, meaning the group can begin the suit process before a name is known.

The RIAA began suing individual Internet users in 2003. Illegal downloading of music has dropped by 50 percent since the crackdown, according to Information Week.

Marshall students spar in mock medieval battles

(U-WIRE) HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A growing number of Marshall University students is dressing in costumes and grabbing foam weapons to participate in an epic battle with swords, arrows and magic.

Amtgard is a live-action fantasy role-playing game, and those who play aim to create and merge elements of medieval history and “sword and sorcery” high-fantasy combat. It began in El Paso, Texas, in 1983 and has since spread worldwide.

“I love everything medieval,” freshman Jason Weaver said. “This is the closest thing I can get to it.”

Despite rain and snow, students can be seen on the field dressed in medieval costumes and wielding foam weapons. The role-players are known as the Emerald Glades.

Each member of the game must select a persona based on his fighting style and weapons. Some of these personas include wizards, warriors, barbarians, archers and healers.

The character must be from either the medieval or ancient era, and costumes and persona must fit accordingly. A wizard wouldn’t use a bladed weapon nor would an archer use magic.

“My persona is named ‘Antares’ and he is an elvish swordsman and a former leader of a household,” Weaver said.

As Antares, Weaver dresses in full armor and uses two swords in combat.

The Emerald Glades consists of 18 members who take part in Amtgard sessions twice a week.

Before the battle begins, two captains are chosen who pick others for their team. The team with the most hits and kills during the allotted time are the winners.

compiled by Michael Barnett

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