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Monday, October 9 12:00 AM ET

Alleged Music Pirate Copied from as Kid

By Brian Briggs

Hoboken, NJ – Alexi Samsanov, 14, on trial for software piracy, revealed today that as a younger child other students copied his intellectual property.

"I was always the smartest kid in the class, so other kids would try to sit next to me during a test and copy from my paper," said Alexi. "It scarred me for life, and now I'm doing the same thing to large multinational megacorporations."

Alexi's lawyer said that this doesn't "excuse his actions, but only offers an explanation for his aberrant behavior which may play a role in his sentencing."

A recent study by the Piracy Association of America noted that 75% of software pirates were copied from as kids. "It's an epidemic. If we can't stop this vicious cycle then we'll end up with another generation of pirates."

"I think it's fair to blame teachers and their unions for this problem," said RIAA head Lawrence Cohen. "Lax enforcement of intellectual property rights in the classroom fosters a culture of piracy at a young age."

Samsanov said he remembered being copied from as early as second grade. "It was a spelling test and I saw Billy Hibbers looking at my paper. I felt so violated."

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Hibbers denied copying from Samsanov, but said, "if I did, it's only because I saw my dad installing a bootleg copy of Windows 98."

Samsanov faces 3,124 separate counts of software piracy, one for each kilobyte in the hit Shakira song "Hips Don't Lie." He could serve 5-10 years in prison and a $10,000,000 fine if convicted.

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