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INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT -- April 17th, 2011 (Easygoing, relaxed attitude. Smiles when he “ums”. Very personable.) I’m Joshua Wallace I’m Twenty I’m from Washington and I’m currently going to Bellevue Community College. I was attending Washington, No Western Washington….Western Oregon University, um when I got caught. Um, well I’ve been file-sharing, sharing files since I was like 13 or so. So I’ve been doing – I’ve been doing it for quite some time. And when I went to Western, um, a lot of people, you sign a waiver, you sign a waiver saying you’re not going to file share, you’re not going to do any PCP programming, so they put stuff on your computer that stops, that protects that kind of stuff. And - I have a lot of technical know-how so I know how to get around these things, and, everybody in my dorm room, I was like the go-to guy to get movies, games, stuff like that. So, I was, uh, I don’t remember exactly what it was, it was towards the end of the year, but I was consistently downloading and a friend asked me to download a game for his wii. And uh, So I went and downloaded it and about 2 days later while I was downloading it, they turned my internet off. So I couldn’t get internet access, and I kind of, I kind of knew that that was the reason why – because I was torrenting. Um, and I found a way to, get around that so I could keep downloading. Um, if you change, the way the school works is it actually detects people by their MAC address. So every computer has like a name associated with it– and you can change that name. So I changed my name, and I was somebody else, so somebody else in the school, um got my internet back.


Um, about, I’d say maybe like half a week later I got a letter in my mail, um, from the um, Dean of Students, saying that uh, she needed to have like a meeting with me. Um, and there was another letter that came with it saying that, um, your computer name has been like taken off the school internet. Um, you have to have a meeting. So I, um, I instantly like rushed over there, sat down with her, and, she told me that the game that I was downloading, the company that owns that game, um, sent a letter to the school saying that they were, they wanted to…like a cease and desist letter. Saying that they…This person was downloading from this MAC address, and the school tracked it down, like back-traced it and found my name. And um, uh, she uh told me what that process was, like went over the big handbook. These are the punishments for um, for like, your crime, and it was one thing, um, like one game. So under Western Oregon’s school policy, they have, they basically it kind of like slaps you on the wrist. They kind of handle it within the school instead of handing me over to the other company and slapping me with like $100,000 worth of fines, copyright infringement and all that stuff. Um, so what ended up, what ended up happening was, had a meeting with them, they took my internet away. Um, they completely stripped my privilege for having that. They put me on probation, um, at the school so I couldn’t do like sports or anything like that, really, yeah. Purely studying. Um, any internet access I had had to be at the library because they can track those things so I can’t download or anything there. Um, they took my laptop away, um, so they could scan it for any files or things like that. Um, I was smart enough to get rid of everything.


Um, and then they sat me down with the technical director of the school. Um, who basically tried to explain what the process was. Um, how they had already written back to Nintendo, which was the company that I was downloading from. They said that they had handled it within the school. Um, so it wasn’t that it went on my criminal record, but it did go on like my school record, and it applied to all of Oregon State, so I couldn’t…like….I ended up going back to where I lived in Washington. But yeah, they, they just took everything away. Um, but it wasn’t something that’s like on my criminal record or anything like that, um, so I can still like go to jobs. Get a job and things like that. But yeah it sucked… I was, I was sweating. I was seriously sweating, so… Um, it was the remainder of the term which was about half a year. And then up to, um, about a year, so it would have continued if I had kept going to Western it would have continued onto the next term. Um, every, anything like internet related was all limited, um, uh, I didn’t end up going back to Western though so the minute I went back into Washington State it didn’t apply to me. But if I had decided to like, go back, um, it wouldn’t have been completely gone up until the following year – Up until this year, so… (laugh) Um, I’d say my methods are a little more sophisticated now, because, once you get caught it’s like... I mean everyone says ‘Oh, I’m not getting caught, oh I’m not going to get caught.” And I guarantee you, If we like walked around here and asked people if they download, they would say they download.


I mean, everybody like downloads… music, files, things like that, it’s just cause they don’t think they’re going to get caught….Then you get caught and you’re like “Oh Crap.” Like, I can. You can get caught. There isn’t like this barrier between me that’s going to like save me from all these people that are trying to find me. So, (Pause) I have a job now so I can pay for music and things like that, like, I don’t download music anymore. It’s just easier to go on like Amazon and download MP3’s for fifty cents. I mean it’s not that much. Um, but there are times, where, like movies and things like that, where I’ll download them. Where it’s like… I have this policy where it’s either a, um, borrow, buy, or um, or steal. Um, it just… Um, it depends. I mean, I still do from time to time, but I have the money now so it’s just easier just to buy it than take the risk and probably get actual fines or punishment. Because I don’t have school to defend me for my actions anymore, so…


Joshua Wallace Interview Transcript