backtop


Print 146 comment(s) - last by StriderGT.. on Aug 22 at 9:38 PM


  (Source: Flickr)

The U.S. Justice Department has ruled that a $1.92M USD fine leveled against Jammie Thomas-Rassert for sharing 24 songs is perfectly legal. The fine, more than Ms. Thommas-Rassert will likely make in her career, is a sweet victory for the RIAA. Perhaps Ms. Thomas-Rassert should have instead shoplifted two CDs -- that would have only earned her a $400 fine (approximately 1/5000th of her current fine).  (Source: Cyberpunk Review)
The government gives the RIAA the green light to sue its citizens out of house and home -- if they fileshare

Many balked at the gargantuan fine leveled upon Jammie Thomas-Rassert.  Beaten by the music industry copyright protection organization, the RIAA, a jury of her peers handed the working woman an incredible fine of $1.92M USD; one that she likely will not be able to pay off during her working career.  Her financial future has essentially been ruined due to two key decisions -- first deciding to download and share the tracks, and second, standing up to the RIAA, rather than settling.

To put the fine in context, if she had stolen two CDs (which might even have added a few extra tracks) and got caught, she likely would have paid $1,000 or less.  For example in Los Angeles, California, the fine for petty shoplifting goes up to $400 at maximum.  In both a shoplifting case and the P2P trial, the intent to steal (and possibly share with friends) is very evident.  However, the RIAA argues that the extra damage done by passing on the stolen good justifies inflating the fine nearly 5,000-fold.  Even considering the tracks she stole were representative of a larger undocumented shared library (which is likely true in the case of the shoplifter -- most have stolen before, prior to their arrest), the fine is impressive.

Many speculated that the fine would be found to be unconstitutionally excessive.  However, Obama administration officials with the U.S. Department of Justice ruled last Friday that the $1.92M USD fine against its citizen was perfectly legal and okay.

The government's endorsement of the RIAA's excessive tactics has many legal, political, and tech bloggers appalled.  Writes Mike Masnick of TechDirt, "The reasoning is quite troubling and appears to include some serious revisionist history. ... The brief claims the awards are perfectly constitutional. ... Really? It seems that an awful lot of people find the idea of being forced to hand over $80,000 per song without any evidence ... is severe ... oppressive ... disproportionate ... obviously unreasonable."

Adds RecordingIndustryVsPeople blogger Ray Beckerman, "The US Department of Justice (a) continues to debase itself by misstating the law in its unseemly haste to provide cover for the RIAA, and (b) sinks to a new level of debasement by arguing that an award of 228,000 times the actual damages satisfies due process standards. Its awareness of the frivolousness of its constitutional argument is betrayed by its urging the Judge to reach the same result."

All indications are that the Jammie Thomas-Rassert is just the first of many massive fines to come.  Earlier this month graduate student Joel Tenenbaum was fined $675,000 USD by a separate RIAA jury case.

Given the extreme nature of these cases and their profile, it seems likely that sufficient legal financing will be levied to push them up into the U.S. Supreme Court.  However, cases often sit for years before being reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court -- and it's not outside the realm of possibility that the Supreme Court could decline to review them altogether.  Unless at some point the Supreme Court indeed steps in, the U.S. has entered a new era -- one in which the government has given copyright protection organizations the green light to sue its citizens out of house and home -- if they fileshare.

And when combined with other recent rulings -- such as the ruling in Federal Court shutting down RealNetworks, and essentially lending judicial approval to the the Digital Copyright Millennium Act's ban on individuals making copies of content they legally own, if the content comes with copyright protection technology -- the picture becomes even more stark.  It appears that the government is increasingly giving the RIAA and MPAA free reign to dictate what is legal and what punishments are fair for U.S. citizens.  And that's happy news for the copyright protection organizations, as they're more than happy to play judge, jury, and executioner.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

copyright reform
By tastyratz on 8/18/2009 8:09:14 AM , Rating: 5
anyone else think its just a *tad* overdue?
Guilty or not guilty, moral or not moral... the punishment no longer fits the crime.




RE: copyright reform
By wrekd on 8/18/2009 8:38:10 AM , Rating: 5
To get that, we may need to start with lobby reform.


RE: copyright reform
By AlexWade on 8/18/2009 8:45:50 AM , Rating: 5
Have fun with that.


RE: copyright reform
By sc3252 on 8/18/2009 9:06:58 AM , Rating: 2
Why just limit him to having all the fun. We should all share in this fun.


RE: copyright reform
By wrekd on 8/18/2009 10:30:50 AM , Rating: 5
Sharing fun upsets the Law of Thermodynamics.


RE: copyright reform
By psychobriggsy on 8/18/2009 10:07:24 AM , Rating: 2
Are you saying guns aren't fun?


RE: copyright reform
By Ammohunt on 8/18/2009 2:25:02 PM , Rating: 5
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
-- Thomas Jefferson


RE: copyright reform
By Sazar on 8/18/2009 3:34:36 PM , Rating: 5
Be careful, you might be infringing on some obscure copyright by quoting old Jefferson.


RE: copyright reform
By Helbore on 8/18/2009 4:26:44 PM , Rating: 5
I'm not an American, but I can't stop loving old Tom (not in a gay way, of course!)

Not only was the guy right in so many ways, but he seemed to kn ow exactly where everything was going to go, too.


RE: copyright reform
By Bateluer on 8/18/2009 9:29:24 AM , Rating: 2
8th Amendment?


RE: copyright reform
By MatthiasF on 8/18/09, Rating: 0
RE: copyright reform
By Hyperion1400 on 8/18/09, Rating: -1
RE: copyright reform
By Russell on 8/19/2009 12:32:36 AM , Rating: 1
The US Constitution as a whole refers to the rights of the people verses the government. The purpose of the entire document was to enshrine those rights to create a government that would work better than the British system they were separating from. Unfortunately, the founding fathers never imagined that the private sector could become so powerful and abuse the civil court system with such bullshit.

As the man above said, don't post about things you don't know anything about.


RE: copyright reform
By MamiyaOtaru on 8/19/2009 1:31:13 AM , Rating: 3
You are both lacking some understanding.

Hyperion: The Bill of Rights was originally framed to guarantee individual rights against the federal government, to counteract what some revolutionaries saw as a too strong central government (ala what they had just broken away from). Even though this isn't stated explicitly in the 8th amendment, that amendment (along with the rest) applied originally to the federal government.

Matthias: The protection against cruel and unusual punishment (along with most of the rest of the Bill of Rights) now applies to state governments as well. That particular clause was held to apply to states in Robinson v. California in 1962.

That said, this is all pretty moot, as this is a civil case :(


RE: copyright reform
By mcnabney on 8/18/2009 9:41:50 AM , Rating: 5
Try again.

That only applies to what the Federal government can do to you. This is not a criminal case. This is a simple civil case. And it isn't surprising. We have been handing huge rewards on this scale against individual doctors who commit malpractice. The only problem here is that the legal tools being used are normally used when billion-dollar corporations do battle and the stakes have to be this high.

The real impact of this is that companies can start sending out letters to anyone they can document as sharing files, demanding money. I would call it extortion, and that behavior should be criminally prosecuted under RICO statutes, but it won't. I honestly will not be surprised if someone that has their life ruined by this tries to use their second amendment rights to even the playing field.


RE: copyright reform
By drmo on 8/18/2009 10:36:20 AM , Rating: 3
How about copyright infringement insurance? You could pay $10 a month to cover the fees for copyright infringment cases against you. Oh wait, you can already get all the songs you want for $10 per month...


RE: copyright reform
By DOOA on 8/18/2009 10:56:23 AM , Rating: 3
LOL
You can get all the songs you want..
Just don't copy them from one place to another. Like that CD you bought cannot be ripped to your iPhone or other player.

Does this wipe out iTunes? The songs you download to your computer are automatically uploaded to your iPhone. I better check the fine print.


RE: copyright reform
By Samus on 8/18/2009 10:36:37 AM , Rating: 2
Well now I know if the RIAA comes after me to book the fuck to Tijuana, knowing the Federal Government is behind their back in destroying my life.


RE: copyright reform
By deadrats on 8/18/2009 7:39:41 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
That only applies to what the Federal government can do to you.


using that argument any and all constitutional protections afforded to those in the united states can be discarded so long as it's not the federal government isn't the one trying to deprive you of said right(s).

goodbye freedom of speech, religion, assembly, petition, press, protection from illegal search and seizure, etc; so long as it's not the federal government isn't the one trying to deprive you of them.

here's a question for you, what makes you believe that a private citizen or group of private citizens should be allowed to do to an individual what the federal government can not?

perhaps the scariest thing happening in this country is how many people are so willing to discard their constitutionally guaranteed rights for the most trivial of reasons.


RE: copyright reform
By Russell on 8/19/2009 12:36:34 AM , Rating: 2
Except that the private sector doesn't, in theory, have the legal authority to deprive citizens of such a right.

Unfortunately, it doesn't always work that way in practice. Just look at the Church of Scientology and how they use the court system to squelch discontent and criticism of their organization.


RE: copyright reform
By MatthiasF on 8/18/09, Rating: -1
RE: copyright reform
By mmntech on 8/18/2009 11:06:04 AM , Rating: 5
The problem is that copyright law IS victimizing legitimate consumers and is doing little to stop the actual criminals. Recent controversies over SecuROM, Electronic Arts, Sony BMG, and RealMedia have all proven this. I cannot legally copy a DVD to my own personal media server to watch it on demand without dragging the discs out but I guarantee I can find G.I. Joe for sale in some seedy mafia run corner of China Town. Consumers have vary few rights and the RIAA and MPAA have been pushing aggressively to have fair use clauses removed from copyright law. They have been extremely successful at this thanks to the introduction of DRM, which basically made things illegal that were previously allowed, such as recording TV for time shifting or copying purchased music to an MP3 player. It is explicitly being used to prevent consumers from format shifting, thus artificially boosting sales by forcing them to buy multiple copies of the same item. The woman in this story was stealing music, yes. However, is it not equally unethical for EA to tell you that you can only install the same game on the same system three times, then you have to buy it again at full price?
And yes I am a content producer. I maintain two blogs and I'm a broadcasting student. All my work is under Creative Commons.

To me the biggest problem with copyright law is just how muddy it is. Wikipedia provides a list of misconceptions on Fair Use which illustrate this perfectly. As far as I can tell, it's mostly based on sets of court rulings while actual rights are not clearly codified. The law also seems to contradict itself quite frequently, such as the disparity between copying CDs versus DVDs. Furthermore, fines and jail terms for breaking copyright put it in the realm of a felony, even for stealing a few songs off a torrent, as was Jammie Thomas-Rassert's case. Yet, if one steals a CD from a store, which is petty theft, it is only considered a misdemeanour. Five years in prison and multi-mullion dollar fines versus up to two years less a day in prison for what is essentially the same crime is a huge difference. You're basically putting copyright offenders on the same level as those embezzling money or those who have physically assaulted others. It is a perversion of justice in my opinion.

I have been stressing for a while now that there must be some sort of middle ground that ensures iron clad consumer protection against copyright abuse while at the same time protecting content creators. However, due to powerful entertainment lobbies, there is no political will for change.


RE: copyright reform
By MightyAA on 8/18/2009 12:49:50 PM , Rating: 3
Totally agree with you. They need to legally define consumer rights in regard to copyright. Personally, I do not have any issues with making as many personal copies of your purchased copyright material for personal use. I think a consumer can do whatever they want with it, except distribute.

That's what it really comes down to. The intent and action to distribute to others is where I believe you should be breaking the copyright. I wish they'd just define it.


RE: copyright reform
By michael67 on 8/18/2009 4:36:44 PM , Rating: 4
I am glad that i am living in a country ware we have no jury system, and judge's are professionals that can see true lawyers BS.

I think the jury system is very nice from a philosophical point of view, problem only, its not working.
Also society got so more complex then from the time it was invented over 200 years a go.
now a days you even have firms that are specialized in juror picking, to make sure they win. (ware dose it stop?)

If my car brakes down i don't start messing whit the engine because i don't understand how it works, how can a layman understand something even mouths more complex than a engine and still make a sound judgment on some thing that is so mouths over there heads.

Finn fined just €3,000 for sharing 768MB of music
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/08/ge...
That's a bout 250~300 songs and about €10 a song what is imho a fair punishment (maybe a little low) and a bout 1.5~3 months of salary after tax, depending on job and age.

Even do i use p2p i still fully understand the RIAA point of view that they wane protect what is there's, lucky for me i live in a country that doesn't active looks for p2p users, so i have little to fear for now.

And also services like Spotify (€10 a month) and LastFM makes the use of p2p for music share a non argument.


RE: copyright reform
By crleap on 8/18/2009 4:51:06 PM , Rating: 1
You're right. The jury system is outdated. Most of our "peers" that make up the jury now consist of morons and idiots. You know, the people who can't figure out how to drive, much less determine another human's fate. It's really scary when you think about it.


RE: copyright reform
By tastyratz on 8/18/2009 9:37:55 PM , Rating: 2
Debatable.
While the jury of our peers may not be fully qualified for making a decision they are the most likely to remain completely unbiased to begin with. Their job is to interpret a wide range of evidence and circumstances so versatile no normal person could be qualified to interpretation without specializing in certain things. We could privatize it with specialists who would in turn likely become corrupt (on top of adding significant costs to the legal system when they can just rip off regular folks with what they have)

Has our government taught you nothing about corruption? Random selection ensures the most likely circumstances for a fair chance.


RE: copyright reform
By Alexstarfire on 8/19/2009 10:18:23 AM , Rating: 2
Just because you're unbiased doesn't mean you make a good jurer, in my eyes anyway. I mean, juries are usually hand picked. And you know they pick the ones that can be swayed the easiest.

My dad as a result of his job is guaranteed to never be on a jury. It has little to do with bias these days.


RE: copyright reform
By MightyAA on 8/19/2009 11:09:53 AM , Rating: 2
If I remember right, a trail by jury is an option. You can just have a judge. Also there is mediation, arbitration, etc. to avoid having to go to court anyway.
On this one, she didn't take the settlement, didn't seem to arbitrate or mediate the suit, and choose to have a jury.

Yes, jury trials are hard to predict because jurors aren't professionals in legal matters. Most lawyers I work with do not like go in front of a jury as the plaintiff.

Nothing really wrong with the system if you believe in governing by the people. A jury is supposed to represent "the people" whereas a judge represents the court. So there are a lot of paranoid people out there who firmly do not want a government official to have the ability to judge them. They'd rather be judged by their neighbors and believe it is their right.....


RE: copyright reform
By dragonbif on 8/18/09, Rating: -1
RE: copyright reform
By Helbore on 8/18/2009 4:34:23 PM , Rating: 3
If the RIAA's legal bills come to $1.919 million, then they also need a new legal team! Spending that much money to recover $1000 seems a tad excessive.


RE: copyright reform
By dragonbif on 8/19/2009 12:11:49 PM , Rating: 2
Ok so I looked it up and this case is 3 years old now. They wanted to settle for a little over $3000 but she did not want to pay and went to court. She lost and was fined $222,000 but that was tosed out as a mistrial so now for round 3. The legal bill did not come to 1.919 million only a portion of that covers it. If I would have to guess I would say about $300K-$600K of that is legal costs over the past 3 years. She could have been fined up to $250,000 per song not that would have really been overkill. She should have paid the $3000 from the get go and not gone to court, court always costs more if it is not a garneted win.


RE: copyright reform
By meepstone on 8/18/2009 2:08:54 PM , Rating: 5
I guess the perfect solution for her is to file bankruptcy.


RE: copyright reform
By numbnuts on 8/18/2009 11:37:47 PM , Rating: 3
Seems to me that MPAA/RIAA have a great scam going.

Step 1) Send letters to random PC/printer owners demanding money.
Step 2) If they don't pay, go to court and get $200K to $700K fines imposed.
Step 3) If they appeal increase the original fine by ~10X

But don't stop at this, for those that are legitimately buying products, have region coding so we can control the the WW pricing to maintain profits, also make sure it is illegal for customers to make copies of anything they own.

I think the next step is to deploy some google street type cars equipped with microphones then they can fine anyone that plays music too loud "unlawful broadcast"


F***
By RandallMoore on 8/18/2009 8:14:51 AM , Rating: 5
Pedophiles are given a better sentence than this. I hope she can come up with something clever that will reverse/make their fine useless.

I, for one doubt I will EVER legally buy music again after they treated someone like this. I will NEVER support the music industry again if they rally under the RIAA




RE: F***
By computergeek485 on 8/18/2009 9:23:45 AM , Rating: 5
Should be a 6


RE: F***
By MatthiasF on 8/18/09, Rating: -1
RE: F***
By mcnabney on 8/18/2009 9:43:27 AM , Rating: 5
I buy tons of music.

Directly from the musician.

F the RIAA.


RE: F***
By MatthiasF on 8/18/09, Rating: -1
RE: F***
By Digimonkey on 8/18/2009 10:52:42 AM , Rating: 5
I don't think you understand why people go to concerts.

I'm all for respecting the law and upholding copyrights, but the excessive punitive nature of the fine itself may be against the law. Fines for violating copyright laws protect the copyright holders from any loss that might occur if their copyright is violated, it's not there so they can turn a profit.

With the lack of need to provide evidence to quantify their actually loss, this is setting up that exact scenario.


RE: F***
By Alexstarfire on 8/19/2009 10:23:09 AM , Rating: 2
I think you need to take a stroll into the new millennium and realize that for many companies suing people is the only way for them to make a profit. I think it's totally unethical and should be illegal, yet it continues. Can't leave this country until I finish my education.... and possibly learn to speak Japanese (would benefit my career choice).


RE: F***
By messyunkempt on 8/18/2009 12:53:00 PM , Rating: 3
Good point, never thought of it like that before, I might as well sell my rise against ticket so i can rock out with my ermmm.. socks out in the comfort of my own bedroom while all my mates get spannered and jump around in some messy, crowded room. Wish i thought of watchin them on youtube before i wasted all that money watching ac/dc, iron maiden, pixies etc over the last couple of years.

Seriously dude, have you ever been to a rock concert? I go to at least one every couple of months, and also watch the bands I like on youtube, in fact I'l be watching anti flag next wednesday, who I've only heard of because of youtube.

Watching a band live Vs watching youtube? NO comparison.

And in preemptive response to ur next question, no the jonas brothers dont count ;)


RE: F***
By DarkElfa on 8/18/2009 1:05:10 PM , Rating: 2
I just read that PDF on concerts and if these guys are making 100,000 dollars for a few hours of singing then I don't feel even slightly bad for downloading an mp3 of their album. I have to break ass to barely feed my family and these jokers like Metallica want to bitch because they didn't make an extra 4 million in album sales to go along with their other 400 million?!

Well MathiasF, F*** them and F*** you too, next!


RE: F***
By DukeN on 8/18/2009 10:46:48 AM , Rating: 2
Amen. I have not bought anything music related since 2001.

I also have not bothered pirating anything because personally, I think that the industry as a whole has sunk into the ocean. Not having a lot of recreation time doesn't help either but this is one industry that should be totally boycotted.


RE: F***
By MamiyaOtaru on 8/19/2009 1:32:49 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. I decided long ago to never purchase anything from the RIAA again. MPAA is there too.


Government
By dice1111 on 8/18/2009 8:45:50 AM , Rating: 5
Isn't the role of the government to protect it's citizens? It feels like the RIAA is an economic opressive body rotting the common good of the US from the inside out.

The US government cannot stand when other governments treat it's people opressively (Iraq) but can sit by and let something like this happen on their own soil?

Something in definatly wrong here...




RE: Government
By HrilL on 8/18/2009 11:45:31 AM , Rating: 5
Somethings been definitely wrong in our country for far too many years now.

Maybe a little off topic. But we had a revolution because of excessive taxes and now we're being taxed just the same. Maybe its time to start another revolution.


RE: Government
By Regected on 8/18/2009 1:47:31 PM , Rating: 3
The revolution has already started. The Government no longer represents the people; it represents corporations. The people are the ones who give government their power, and we can take it away.

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson


RE: Government
By nunya on 8/19/09, Rating: 0
RE: Government
By Alexstarfire on 8/19/2009 10:34:32 AM , Rating: 2
Considering the forces you'd be up against can you blame them. Not sure about you but I don't quite know how to dodge an incoming missile. Granted fighting against the US Armed Forces is a worst case scenario.


RE: Government
By HrilL on 8/19/2009 7:38:06 PM , Rating: 2
Hopefully it won't have to come to that but in the end if it did they can't kill and jail us all. If they did all that would be left would be the military and government and some of the big corps, lobby groups. And I'd hope some of the generals would wise up and stand up for the people they their supposed to.


RE: Government
By samoak54 on 8/20/2009 1:57:18 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds like Locke to me.

i forget the exact wording but he says something like it is the responsibility of the citizen to overthrow his or her government should the government in question no longer represent the people. it is obvious to me that it is no longer the people who give power to government but corporations. a candidate can not run for office without the backing of multimillion-dollar donations made out to candidates in return for leniency and votes in congress.


RE: Government
By HrilL on 8/21/2009 12:19:24 PM , Rating: 2
Part of the problem is the people think they can just vote in what ever they want. California is the best example. We don't have money for anything at this point but the politicians keep trying to buy votes with more social services.

Why is our government spreading the idea that everyone is entitled to something when they've done nothing to earn it.

Our local sales tax is 10% now. 9.25% state and .75% local. What were the tax rates that made people dump all the tea into the sea?


A little too punitive?
By HelToupee on 8/18/2009 9:16:12 AM , Rating: 2
We all know that the RIAA is also including punitive damages, which really amounts to a fine to discourage others from doing the same. 2 million dollars worth of fines doesn't do that. Most people that the RIAA is going to catch will never be able to put that kind of money together. This judgement basically tells the American people that their government is a bunch of ass-hats that will help moneyed pseudo-corporations ruin the lives of it's citizens on little more than conjecture.




RE: A little too punitive?
By Beenthere on 8/18/09, Rating: -1
RE: A little too punitive?
By VaultDweller on 8/18/2009 10:08:05 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
All criminals should do mandatory prison terms and pay for all costs of prosecution and incarceration in addition to stiff fines like the $1.92 M in this case.


Jeeeeesus F'ing Christ, man.

How many bloody prisons do you think your country is going to build to accommodate such a notion? Do you realize that you'd pretty much need to shipping off half your country to a prison colony to achieve that goal, and that Australia is no longer available for that purpose? In addition to the costs of prosecution and incarceration, would they also have to pay to repair the catastrophic economic collapse that would result from eliminating so much of the American workforce?

Maybe you should single out a slightly less common offense to imprison people for, so as not to debilitate your country so completely. Perhaps imprison everyone who has ever jaywalked? That wouldn't be quite so bad.


RE: A little too punitive?
By MatthiasF on 8/18/2009 10:23:39 AM , Rating: 4
I hear that's why we're investigating Mars.


RE: A little too punitive?
By Alexstarfire on 8/19/2009 10:25:04 AM , Rating: 2
I thought that's why we were going back to the moon? Have I been lied to again? :P


RE: A little too punitive?
By johnsonx on 8/18/2009 12:02:35 PM , Rating: 2
don't feed the trolls


RE: A little too punitive?
By bodar on 8/18/2009 3:33:04 PM , Rating: 4
Check his post history. Beenthere is a worthless troglodyte who hopes to someday become a troll with his little Judge Dredd fantasy.


RE: A little too punitive?
By DarkElfa on 8/18/2009 1:06:59 PM , Rating: 1
Well, the RIAA knows they aren't going to stop pirates either so whining about file sharing is just as much of a a waste of time.


If she declares bankruptcy . . .
By Bateluer on 8/18/2009 9:31:02 AM , Rating: 2
Is she still liable to pay the fine? They've already effectively ruined her life completely.




RE: If she declares bankruptcy . . .
By Beenthere on 8/18/09, Rating: -1
By VaultDweller on 8/18/2009 10:01:24 AM , Rating: 5
I too hope that the lives of all people who have done the same thing are ruined, for I am an sadistic SOB that wants a vast percentage of the population to live in misery.

Seriously, how can anyone take such a righteous holier than thou stance against something that so many people do? These aren't twisted criminals on the fringe of society. They're normal people, doing normal things.

Also, don't call her a criminal. The RIAA sued her. This is not a criminal case, and will not result in a criminal record.


By theapparition on 8/18/2009 10:36:42 AM , Rating: 5
You forgot that she's not a "criminal". This was a civil case. She was not prosecuted by either state or federal authorities.

But we'll all make sure to call you a criminal when your neighboor sues you in small claims court because your cat scratched the hood of thier car.


By agprimed on 8/18/2009 10:44:34 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
It's good that her life has been ruined - like any other criminals.
quote:


that's kinda f'ed up...

she downloaded and shared songs, ok. but the sentence was too severe for the infraction (not crime). you can use whatever logic you want to your justification that digital downloaded music is different than a store bought cd, but in essence, she "stole" two cds. the fine she got is similar to the dude who sells crack-- while the dude who sold the powder gets half to two-thirds time less. crack and powder are the same sh*t; digital music and store bought music are the same sh*t! so why is her fine 1.9 million while she could have gotten a couple of hundred dollar fine if she would have actually took the cd's off a store shelf?

i could agree with maybe something like $20,000-- as that would justify the riaa's legal fees and all the other sh*t, but 1.9 million is excessive in the range of a moon-shot.


By agprimed on 8/18/2009 10:46:56 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
It's good that her life has been ruined - like any other criminals.

that's kinda f'ed up...

she downloaded and shared songs, ok. but the sentence was too severe for the infraction (not crime). you can use whatever logic you want to your justification that digital downloaded music is different than a store bought cd, but in essence, she "stole" two cds. the fine she got is similar to the dude who sells crack-- while the dude who sold the powder gets half to two-thirds time less. crack and powder are the same sh*t; digital music and store bought music are the same sh*t! so why is her fine 1.9 million while she could have gotten a couple of hundred dollar fine if she would have actually took the cd's off a store shelf?

i could agree with maybe something like $20,000-- as that would justify the riaa's legal fees and all the other sh*t, but 1.9 million is excessive in the range of a moon-shot.


By agprimed on 8/18/2009 10:48:48 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
It's good that her life has been ruined - like any other criminals.

that's kinda f'ed up...

she downloaded and shared songs, ok. but the sentence was too severe for the infraction (not crime). you can use whatever logic you want to your justification that digital downloaded music is different than a store bought cd, but in essence, she "stole" two cds. the fine she got is similar to the dude who sells crack-- while the dude who sold the powder gets half to two-thirds time less. crack and powder are the same sh*t; digital music and store bought music are the same sh*t! so why is her fine 1.9 million while she could have gotten a couple of hundred dollar fine if she would have actually took the cd's off a store shelf?

i could agree with maybe something like $20,000-- as that would justify the riaa's legal fees and all the other sh*t, but 1.9 million is excessive in the range of a moon-shot.


RE: If she declares bankruptcy . . .
By mcnabney on 8/18/2009 9:48:56 AM , Rating: 2
It is possible to discharge this kind of award in banruptcy, but it is not automatic. Either way, any assets the woman has are going to the RIAA and their lawyer. If the woman was smart she would have eliminated all value from her assets in advance of this judgement so that she can take some cash with her when she goes off the radar.


RE: If she declares bankruptcy . . .
By Beenthere on 8/18/09, Rating: -1
By EricMartello on 8/20/2009 5:20:14 PM , Rating: 1
LOL civil monetary judgments - which is what this is - are in fact something that can be discharged in bankruptcy court you moron. GTFO


By MatthiasF on 8/18/2009 10:33:04 AM , Rating: 3
I'm not sure you understand bankruptcy well, but her assets won't be taken in most cases.

Forced liquidity is rare but often exaggerated.

It's more likely a judge will cramdown the damages from the RIAA suit into something more reasonable.

At which point, she'd most likely take Chapter 13 if she had a lot of assets (like a home), which gives a lot of lead-way. If not, Chapter 7 with certain credit limitations over a longer duration.


As if we needed any more proof...
By Motoman on 8/18/2009 10:46:28 AM , Rating: 5
...that our government is hopelessly incompetant and our justice system irrevocably corrupt.

No deterrent has been provided here. The only thing this has done is to enrage the populace...punishing someone literally hundreds of thousands of times harder than they could possibly deserve will not *ever* provide an additional deterrent to future offenders...it serves as a lightning rod, and foments unrest and disgust at the incalculably abusive justice system.

If anyone actually wants to do something about this, barring an outright revolution, here's what you do:

1. Stop buying any and all RIAA products - while you're at it, you might as well stop buying any and all MPAA products too.

2. Send a letter to Big Content companies and organizations informing them that you will no longer purchase their products specifically because of their abusive treatment of petty offenders.

3. Send a letter to your elected officials...everyone from the local sherrif to the president, informing them that you vehemently oppose abusive treatment of petty offenders. Be sure to mention that you will vote against any candidates in future elections who do not strongly and openly oppose such abusive treatment.

4. Send letters to the editors of your local newspapers voicing your disgust in our hopelessly incompetent government and wildly abusive judicial system. Encourage public discourse on the mistreatment of petty offenders. Be sure to point out that horrifically exaggerated penalties for minor offenses don't provide any additional deterrent to future offenders (case in point: the TPB torrent circulating in direct response to the $675k judgement against that other filesharer). Also, be sure to ask how people would feel about those kinds of fines if they happened to their own family and friends.

...these are pretty much the only things you can do. Frankly, not doing anything sends a signal to the government and Big Content that you are OK with what happened here...silence indicates approval. By doing nothing you don't "remain neutral." You provide support for this kind of abusive treatment of petty offenders.

A heinous crime has been committed. The life of a young woman has been wasted senselessly. If this ruling bothers you, do something about it. Otherwise, you are effectively aiding and abetting those who have engaged in actively abusing her.




RE: As if we needed any more proof...
By rcc on 8/18/09, Rating: -1
RE: As if we needed any more proof...
By Motoman on 8/18/2009 11:54:35 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
You did get the part where there was a jury involved, right?


Yup. We have seen the enemy, and he is us. Everyday citizens allowed themselves to get worked up by the case and exercised their temporary muscle to utterly ruin this young woman simply because they had the power to do so. Many such fun psychology experiments have shown the propensity for normal people to almost instantly start abusing whatever power you give them.


RE: As if we needed any more proof...
By rcc on 8/18/09, Rating: -1
By Motoman on 8/18/2009 12:19:52 PM , Rating: 5
You don't get to be wildly abusive to someone just because they annoy and/or lied to you. I'm not condoning Jammie's actions. I'm condemning the actions of the whole judicial process. The jury is part and parcel of the base problem...and again, that pretty much boils down to well-known psychological phenomena when you give people some amount of power over someone else. They abuse it. Also note the post below about cherry-picking jurors, and judicial instructions about what a jury is and isn't allowed to do.


By joex444 on 8/18/2009 12:16:10 PM , Rating: 5
There is a real problem with jurors.

Lawyers from both sides are free to dismiss anyone they want for any reason or no reason at all. Granted, they are given limited uses of the no reason dismissal.

The lawyers can easily tell who would be and who wouldn't be sympathetic to their side. Generally, you want someone just a hair above legally retarded who is ignorant of all but the basic laws (and especially ignorant of Juror Nullification).

Lastly, the judge is able to tell the jurors how they "must" decide the case. That is, "If you believe X, then decide Y; but if you believe X is false, then decide Z."

The thing is that there is NO REQUIREMENT that a juror MUST decide the case that way. If a juror believes X is true, but finds the implication Y to be unjust then they can decide Z even though they acknowledge X is true! This is the idea of juror nullification. Honestly, it looks like the only way the RIAA is going to stop. If case after case appears solid but jury after jury fails to find them liable they will end up quitting as each lawsuit is very expensive.


wow
By vapore0n on 8/18/2009 8:12:16 AM , Rating: 5
80k per song.
Good thing they didn't give her the full 150k per song the federal warning states...

Lesson learned. If you are going to steal, make sure you do it at the store. Its a lot cheaper.




RE: wow
By SlipDizzy on 8/18/2009 10:39:58 AM , Rating: 2
Honestly, in her case, it wouldn't be much of a difference between 80k and 150k per song?. Either way you slice it, there is no way she could come up with the money.

She would have received less discipline if she ran into a recording studio and stole the platinum records off the wall.

(criminal vs. civil. I know I know, but still...)


Solution:Dont buy music
By Mithan on 8/18/2009 12:45:54 PM , Rating: 2
I listen to the Radio now and don't buy any music any more, because they don't deserve my money.

Also, the Music Industry has gone Fascist, hand in hand with the government to exploit people's rights.




RE: Solution:Dont buy music
By Alexstarfire on 8/19/2009 10:39:35 AM , Rating: 2
That might not work for long though. They are pushing to have the radio stations pay to play their music.

Course if they do that they'd just be biting the hand that feeds them. I say let them cut their own foot off. Radio stations suck for the most part. I'm sorry but playing the 2-4 good songs at any given time until they are played to death while the the other 99% of songs played are dribble just isn't what I enjoy.


RE: Solution:Dont buy music
By Alexstarfire on 8/19/2009 10:39:44 AM , Rating: 2
That might not work for long though. They are pushing to have the radio stations pay to play their music.

Course if they do that they'd just be biting the hand that feeds them. I say let them cut their own foot off. Radio stations suck for the most part. I'm sorry but playing the 2-4 good songs at any given time until they are played to death while the the other 99% of songs played are dribble just isn't what I enjoy.


Land of the free?
By DizzyMan on 8/18/2009 10:53:38 AM , Rating: 3
Man, i live in the Netherlands, and i'm happy about that too... this is just completely insane and it's hard to believe that the Media companies have your government in their backpockets...

America, The land of the Rich or the Opressed :P.




RE: Land of the free?
By StriderGT on 8/22/2009 9:38:49 PM , Rating: 2
"the grabbing hand grab all you can..."

lyric from a copyrighted song


What did you expect?
By ancient46 on 8/18/2009 11:38:26 AM , Rating: 5
Since the Obama administration has hired 5 lawyers who worked for the RIAA the response from the Justice Dept was no surprise.




And this
By Donkeyshins on 8/18/2009 2:23:41 PM , Rating: 2
Is why I still by LPs. No DMCA problems.




RE: And this
By Donkeyshins on 8/18/2009 2:37:27 PM , Rating: 2
Meh. 'Buy' not 'By'

Stupid keyboard (or more accurately, keyboard user).


By Regs on 8/18/2009 10:07:19 AM , Rating: 3
First of all I hate the RIAA as much as anybody with their witch hunt law suits. Though to make things fair, the DOJ isn't singleing out anyone just yet.

"The Court would be remiss if it did not take this opportunity to implore Congress to amend the Copyright Act to address liability and damages in peer to peer network cases.... The defendant is an individual, a consumer. She is not a business. She sought no profit from her acts..... [T]he damages awarded in this case are wholly disproportionate to the damages suffered by Plaintiffs." -Hon. Michael J. Davis, District Judge, Dist. Minnesota, September 24, 2008,

The disparity between compensatory and punitive damages in this case further supports the conclusion that the punitive damages award is unconstitutional .... Although the Supreme Court has repeatedly rejected the use of bright-line rules, it has cautioned that “few awards exceeding a single-digit ratio between punitive and compensatory damages, to a significant degree, will satisfy due process,” State Farm, 538 U.S. at 425, and it has noted that “an award of more than four times the amount of compensatory damages might be close to the line of constitutional impropriety.” Id. (citing Pac. Mut. Life Ins. Co. v. Haslip, 499 U.S. 1, 23-24 (1991)); see also Clark, 436 F.3d at 606...... Here, defendants’ conduct, although willful, was not highly reprehensible ..... [A] ratio of closer to 1:1 or 2:1 is all that due process can tolerate in this case ......" -U.S. Ct. App., 6th Cir., March 25, 2008, Bridgeport Music v. Justin Combs Pub., 507 F.3d 570, cert. denied 2008 U.S. LEXIS 6770

"Such a combination may expand the potential statutory damages so far beyond the actual damages suffered that the statutory damages come to resemble punitive damages.....[S]uch a distortion could create a potentially enormous aggregate recovery for plaintiffs, and thus an in terrorem effect on defendants, which may induce unfair settlements. And it may be that in a sufficiently serious case the due process clause might be invoked... to nullify that effect and reduce the aggregate damage award." US Court App., 2d Cir., June 2, 2003, Parker v. Time Warner, 331 F.3d 13

"[L]arge awards of statutory damages can raise due process concerns. Extending the reasoning of Gore and its progeny, a number of courts have recognized that an award of statutory damages may violate due process if the amount of the award is "out of all reasonable proportion" to the actual harm caused by a defendant's conduct.[T]hese cases are doubtlessly correct to note that a punitive and grossly excessive statutory damages award violates the Due Process Clause....."Hon. Marilyn Hall Patel, Dist. Judge, N.D. California, June 1, 2005, In re Napster, 2005 US DIST Lexis 11498, 2005 WL 1287611




Suicide
By piroroadkill on 8/18/2009 8:06:11 PM , Rating: 3
So, how long before we hear she hung herself?




Money in the bank.
By fifolo on 8/18/2009 8:27:10 AM , Rating: 2
Why wouldn't they approve it? A nice chunk of is coming back to them... the fact is the RIAA has now purchased it's own mini government to enforce whatever laws it wants to invent.




Ridiculous
By NesuD on 8/18/2009 8:44:38 AM , Rating: 2
The award is beyond ridiculous. I agree she deserves to be punished but to assert that the fine she recieved in any way fits the crime is the assertion of an absolute fool. Hell where I live vehicular homicide will only get you 5 years and a 10k fine max. Granted in civil court the award could go into the millions but that is justified by a provable calculation of financial loss. The RIAA cannot actually prove that a single file was shared with another person. To assume that nearly 2 million dollars worth of copyrighted material was illegally shared is absolutely ridiculous. Without a doubt this is a violation of the spirit of the 8th amendment. That the constitution doesn't gurantee your right in a civil proceeing is debateable. Still the object of civil judgements are to make the injured party whole in in certain cases impose punitive damages. There is no way compensatory and punitive damages should come anywhere near this award. I am shocked that a jury of her peers would even consider such an award. Juries can pretty much do as they please in spite of what the judge tells them. The Judge can also set aside the jury decision but they really hate to do that. I sure hope this gets heard on appeal and someone comes back to reality and overturns this decision.




By PAPutzback on 8/18/2009 9:54:45 AM , Rating: 2
However, the RIAA argues that the extra damage done by passing on the stolen good justifies inflating the fine nearly 5,000-fold

So 5000 other file sharers should be safe seeing as they took payment from her for them. IMO.




Her Lawyer?
By Etern205 on 8/18/2009 10:03:51 AM , Rating: 2
If I remember correctly, there was a newbie lawyer name Mr. Camera (forgot his first name).
If she has just settled it in the first place then she would not have to pay this much (although $220,000 is quite a lot and she will probably take a long time get this amount).
The verdict was bought up to 1.92M cause her lawyer sucks as what he does and it does not matter where you get your education from (even from Harvard).

Moral of the lesson here is you can't beat experience with knowledge and stupidity rules them all.

0.02




By omgwtf8888 on 8/18/2009 11:50:24 AM , Rating: 2
She could have ripped off people for billions of dollars and ruined thousands of peoples lives and been fined a fraction of this. OMG she could have murdered someone, served 7 years gotten out and had the rest of her life. Several investment bankers have paid fines smaller then this for their crimes.

Unfortunately, all the Presidents have to payback their masters. Bush and Company had the Oil companies, Obama has the Motion Picture and Recording Industry. Sad that none of these people really care about our country any more.




By Hieyeck on 8/18/2009 1:07:23 PM , Rating: 2
Forget it, boycott the artists - don't buy CDs, don't send money, don't go to concerts (even free ones), don't even download their songs. Make sure artists know they will NOT EVER succeed if they sign with certain companies. THEN the companies will listen when artists refuse to sign with them.




Next time copy credit cards
By room1oh1 on 8/18/2009 3:17:39 PM , Rating: 2
$2 million for a few songs? Look at what the real criminals get away with.

http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/security/350857/hacker...

I'm sure the RIAA would love to be able to pass those sort of jail terms out as well as the fines. Probably working on it right now.




I am a commie
By Zingam on 8/19/2009 10:47:30 AM , Rating: 2
Never been better to be a communist!




whooopdie doo
By Gingivitis on 8/19/2009 11:32:48 AM , Rating: 2
Give it up piracy will never die! Last I checked universal, sony, all the big players in music and movies all the artists and movie producers are still making millions while i can barely make 30,000 after taxes so cry me a river you over paid suits. Yah piracy is stealing but I have no sympathy for big business crying about loses to piracy yet they still make millions if not billions. Force companies to give out better salaries so people can afford more then the basic necessities and maybe then I'll start buying cd's and movies.




Settle, anyone?
By cruisin3style on 8/19/2009 4:20:39 PM , Rating: 2
Seems to me like they are sending a message:

"just settle, already"




Open Source Songs
By SpaceJumper on 8/21/2009 11:33:40 AM , Rating: 2
Similar to Open Source Linux, by using the power of the internet, someone should start the open source songs infrastructure that everybody will be able to freely share and improve their songs and to restrict RIAA from selling the songs.
This will make RIAA into RIP.




By on 8/22/2009 11:30:11 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
http://www.bbcloth.com
http://www.bbcloth.com

(air jordan, air max, shox tn, rift, puma, dunk sb, adidas) nike jordan shoes 1-24 $32
lv, coach, chane bag $35
COOGI(jeans, tshirts, hoody, jacket) $30
christian audigier(jeans, tshirts, hoody) $13
edhardy(shoes, tshirts, jeans, caps, watche, handbag) $25
Armani(jeans, tshirts,) $24
AF(jeans, coat, hoody, sweater, tshirts)Abercrombie & Fitch $31

quote:
http://www.bbcloth.com
http://www.bbcloth.com




By on 8/22/2009 11:31:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
http://www.bbcloth.com
http://www.bbcloth.com



(air jordan, air max, shox tn, rift, puma, dunk sb, adidas) nike jordan shoes 1-24 $32
lv, coach, chane bag $35
COOGI(jeans, tshirts, hoody, jacket) $30
christian audigier(jeans, tshirts, hoody) $13
edhardy(shoes, tshirts, jeans, caps, watche, handbag) $25
Armani(jeans, tshirts,) $24
AF(jeans, coat, hoody, sweater, tshirts)Abercrombie & Fitch $31

quote:
http://www.bbcloth.com
http://www.bbcloth.com




By on 8/22/2009 11:56:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
http://www.bbcloth.com
http://www.bbcloth.com

(air jordan, air max, shox tn, rift, puma, dunk sb, adidas) nike jordan shoes 1-24 $32
lv, coach, chane bag $35
COOGI(jeans, tshirts, hoody, jacket) $30
christian audigier(jeans, tshirts, hoody) $13
edhardy(shoes, tshirts, jeans, caps, watche, handbag) $25
Armani(jeans, tshirts,) $24
AF(jeans, coat, hoody, sweater, tshirts)Abercrombie & Fitch $31

quote:
http://www.bbcloth.com
http://www.bbcloth.com




By on 8/22/2009 11:57:13 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
http://www.bbcloth.com
http://www.bbcloth.com

(air jordan, air max, shox tn, rift, puma, dunk sb, adidas) nike jordan shoes 1-24 $32
lv, coach, chane bag $35
COOGI(jeans, tshirts, hoody, jacket) $30
christian audigier(jeans, tshirts, hoody) $13
edhardy(shoes, tshirts, jeans, caps, watche, handbag) $25
Armani(jeans, tshirts,) $24
AF(jeans, coat, hoody, sweater, tshirts)Abercrombie & Fitch $31

quote:
http://www.bbcloth.com
http://www.bbcloth.com




Land of the free corporations...
By StriderGT on 8/22/2009 9:27:09 PM , Rating: 2
"the grabbing hand grab all you can..."

lyric from a copyrighted song




Karma - cant wait!
By asrey on 8/18/2009 9:13:02 AM , Rating: 1
I'm sure this rulling will come back to haunt the RIAA and MPAA - Imagine the irony of one of their own realtives or friends being hauled up to court and slugged Million$ for a file sharing violation, or someone in the courts system/DoJ having their relatives being subject to this crazy rulling. I'm sure it woulndt be funny then. Its truly the dumbest thing since George W. Speaking of George, I miss not seeing him on the news or in office, there's no more clumsy/awkward/funny gaffs by the president any more (bring back the shoe-thower!), and Dave Letterman cant run him in "great presidential speeches" but thats besides the point!

Karma pwns MPAA / RIAA

I havent bought music/dvd's for years and will now probably not buy any in the future. There's enough free movies(not illegal ones), tv shows (youtube) and music (online radio stations) on the internet.

Should start a music/dvd purchasing boycott I say... stop buying music/dvd's all together! If you like the song, send a paypal payment to the artist!




Meh
By Steve1981 on 8/18/09, Rating: 0
RE: Meh
By Steve1981 on 8/18/2009 11:08:37 AM , Rating: 1
PS: As always, I am impressed by Mick's journalistic integrity, and his ability to tell the full story.

/sarcasm


Oh Jason...
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 8/18/09, Rating: -1
She got what she deserved.
By fatedtodie on 8/18/09, Rating: -1
RE: She got what she deserved.
By Etern205 on 8/18/2009 9:33:53 PM , Rating: 2
Gov't says they have the right to screw with your wife because is the law!
Gov't says you cannot shower from 9am-9pm because it is the law!
Gov't says you need to jump off a bridge because it is the law!

Do any of these laws make any sense? If they're were to become real, I wonder if you still think the DOJ's in favor with the RIAA that 1.92M fine is okay "because it is the law"!

Most people like Jammie Thomas probably don't even know what their doing to their computers or most likely won't not cares about it too much. As long as the programs they want to use works, then they're happy with it. Telling them to change each program's settings for security reasons or the RIAA is going to sue them for file sharing and they'll give you a blank stare.

As for your idiotic comment, all ye who post dumb comment needs to have their head shove deep into a bucket of cement and the gov't says is okay with it because is the law!


RE: She got what she deserved.
By fatedtodie on 8/20/2009 9:56:20 AM , Rating: 1
So you solution is what? Yell and moan? or are you going to do what the law requires and legally demand a change of teh law?

Oh wait, I forgot, you pirates don't like laws, you would prefer we live in a Lord of the Flies style anarchy... Well look how that turned out.

Laws are not suggestions they are a DEMAND that someone made to stop a wrong. The way to fix it is to talk to your government and demand they change it. The way to prove you are an idiot is to whine and moan and complain and steal music.

She got what she deserved because she thought she was better than the law, several judges have said she was wrong, and the DoJ said she was wrong. Wake up.


RE: She got what she deserved.
By EricMartello on 8/20/2009 5:25:13 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Laws are not suggestions they are a DEMAND that someone made to stop a wrong. The way to fix it is to talk to your government and demand they change it. The way to prove you are an idiot is to whine and moan and complain and steal music.


Laws are not "made to stop a wrong" dipshit. They exist to facilitate the interests of the government. Some laws exist for the "common good" but many laws on the books have been lobbied into place and are in fact unjust.

All that aside, the RIAA did not supply any compelling evidence to support their case. It was full of holes and in fact should have been dismissed from the get-go. Just hope you never have to put your fate in this shoddy legal system.

quote:
She got what she deserved because she thought she was better than the law, several judges have said she was wrong, and the DoJ said she was wrong. Wake up.


She at least tried to do something about it instead of just accepting their baseless demands. You will live and die as nothing.


In addition to the $1.92 Million fine
By Beenthere on 8/18/09, Rating: -1
RE: In addition to the $1.92 Million fine
By MatthiasF on 8/18/2009 10:22:20 AM , Rating: 1
Grossly excessive!

There's no reason for jail time in these small cases.


RE: In addition to the $1.92 Million fine
By chromal on 8/18/09, Rating: 0
RE: In addition to the $1.92 Million fine
By eggyolkio on 8/18/2009 11:08:56 AM , Rating: 1
I guess that you're advocating the use of Syriah law as a better deterrent than the current system of law? Chop chop! Maybe they could use all the severed hands for medical research...

Either you are some kind of hypocrite, or someone who has a vested interest in restating the same tired position over and over, or you are sardonically highlighting the ridiculousity of this ruling.


Mick! Bad Mick!
By TheEinstein on 8/18/09, Rating: -1
RE: Mick! Bad Mick!
By VaultDweller on 8/18/2009 8:47:57 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
She was running in all but name, a file sharing service.

quote:
She was involved in large scale theft of songs rights without remorse.


Wow. You sound like you're trying to make this to be part of an organized crime crackdown. Don't be so dramatic. 'Thousands' of songs isn't even atypical, and I'd guess that if you went to a college dorm that would be par for the course. I won't debate the legality of file-sharing, but when you try to portray these people in the same light as mobsters or black market traders

quote:
The music industry has not really gone after ANYONE who did lowscale theft yet.. They went after the top 1% of the 1% they could identify, and chose targets with precision.


Some people who might disagree:
- Sarah Seabury Ward (age 66, mostly computer illiterate)
- Gertrude Walton (or at least she would idagree, if she was still alive when they sued her)
- Brianna LaHara (age 12)
- Brittany Chan (age 13)
- Tanya Anderson, and her 10 year old daughter the criminal mastermind
- Marie Lindor (who has never owned or even used a computer)

Yes, great precision from the RIAA. They unerringly found the key players in grand-scale criminal enterprise and they singled them with extreme precision.


RE: Mick! Bad Mick!
By VaultDweller on 8/18/2009 8:50:03 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
... when you try to portray these people in the same light as mobsters or black market traders

Should read:
... when you try to portray these people in the same light as mobsters or black market traders, it's hard to take you seriously.

Yeah, sometimes I forget to finish sentences. I need to stop multitasking when writing.


RE: Mick! Bad Mick!
By nafhan on 8/18/2009 9:32:16 AM , Rating: 2
Just like to add...
You don't even need to go into a college dorm. It's a significant percentage of the entire US population (although it is skewed more heavily towards younger people).
I'd go so far as to say this is similar to prohibition in that such a large portion of citizens could be prosecuted at any time that they really need to revisit the current laws and precedents concerning copyright infringement and determine that they are indeed serving the best interests of the public.


RE: Mick! Bad Mick!
By VaultDweller on 8/18/2009 9:50:58 AM , Rating: 3
I do agree that there is a similarity, but there is also a key difference. Prohibition outlawed something that was widespread, socially accepted and previously legal. Copyright infringement has always been illegal. Whereas prohibition was a legal change, this is instead a change in social norms.

Something's gotta give. Either the laws need to be re-thought or public attitude needs to change. I don't believe it is sustainable for the legal system to be so at odds with social norms.

Oh, and maybe I should note that I am Canadian. Honestly, I don't even know what the current legal status of P2P is up here. Every time I hear that a legal precedent has been set in one way, it never seems like long before it's over-turned or another case appears to set a different precedent. It all seems pretty gray.


RE: Mick! Bad Mick!
By Samus on 8/18/2009 10:29:12 AM , Rating: 2
I think everybody here is missing the point.

Whether or not she illegally downloaded music, intentionally or unintentionally, the fine is simply not justified. Period. This is more extreme than putting a petty drug dealer in jail for 18 years (just recently heard about this one here in San Diego.) The system doesn't need to be on a case-by-case basis. It just needs to be fixed. These huge organizations can't be permitted to go around suing people for ridiculous amounts of money for petty theft.

This women and her children are going to end up homeless, and all the RIAA has to say is "she should have thought about that before she illegally downloaded Britney Spears and Madonna."

And if you want to get technical, they don't have any physical evidence she downloaded anything. There were no files found on her computer, which indicates (to me) that a neighbor hopped on her wireless and downloaded a bunch of stuff.


RE: Mick! Bad Mick!
By VaultDweller on 8/18/2009 11:00:19 AM , Rating: 2
No, I didn't miss that point... it's just not the point that I discussed.

What the $2 million fine made me think of, actually, is the way people in impoverished countries are exploited by debts that are impossible to repay. In the wrong parts of the world, a person can become indebted to the wrong person and essentially become their property, thus ending up in forced prostitution, or with their children in sweat shops, ostensibly to pay off their debt (which is in fact impossible).

Of course, this wouldn't be possible in the US currently - the RIAA doesn't have the power to violate human rights so extremely. But still, I can't shake the thought of their lawyers cackling, "Hahaha, you've downloaded a few albums, we OWN you now!"


RE: Mick! Bad Mick!
By Smilin on 8/18/2009 2:17:28 PM , Rating: 4
I had to give up my +1 to post this... that was one of the most sound face slappings I've seen on the net in a few months.


RE: Mick! Bad Mick!
By superunknown98 on 8/18/2009 9:11:18 AM , Rating: 5
So you think the fine is justified? You do realize she is financially ruined for the rest of her life? Aside from possibly winning the lotto, she will never be able to pay 1.92 million dollars.

How is this justified as constitutional? Each song has a value of 69 cents to $1.29 on itunes, so if she shared 5000 songs shouldn't her fine be the value of the songs multiplied by how many she shared?

Imagine if everything was this ridculous. drop a glass bottle in the grocery store and your fine $15,000. Put a ding in your neighbohs car and insurance has to pay $200,000.

No doubt she commited a crime, but the punnishment is not fitting. It makes me sick.


RE: Mick! Bad Mick!
By HelToupee on 8/18/2009 9:23:45 AM , Rating: 2
The punishment is meant to be punitive, so, not just for the cost of the material "stolen", but to discourage others from doing the same.

You are still 100% correct that it is not fitting. The government has now helped the RIAA ruin the life of an American citizen, in a public forum, no less. All this over the alleged "theft" of 2 CD's worth of songs.

One of my favorite quotes that is quite fitting in this instance: "Boxes to be used in defense of liberty: Soap, Ballot, Jury, Ammo. To be used in that order."


RE: Mick! Bad Mick!
By MatthiasF on 8/18/09, Rating: 0
RE: Mick! Bad Mick!
By SiliconJon on 8/18/2009 9:48:22 AM , Rating: 1
It's 10 years, not 7.


RE: Mick! Bad Mick!
By MatthiasF on 8/18/2009 10:12:38 AM , Rating: 2
Chapter 7 is 10 years, while chapter 13 is 7.

Fact remains, it's not the rest of her life.


RE: Mick! Bad Mick!
By SiliconJon on 8/18/2009 10:22:49 AM , Rating: 2
Ch11 & 13 are payment plans, not wiping of debt, right? Or is either a bit of both? If that's the case, would this debt even work with a Ch11 or 13 considering its size and her income?

Still, the argument as to this even have been allowed to be so extreme seems to me to be the real point.


RE: Mick! Bad Mick!
By Samus on 8/18/2009 10:32:56 AM , Rating: 2
So her and her children can be homeless for the next 7 years. Sounds super. Totally acceptable punishment for downloading some mp3.


RE: Mick! Bad Mick!
By SiliconJon on 8/18/2009 9:54:39 AM , Rating: 2
Also, there is no guarantee that bankruptcy will clear this debt, though it is more likely than not.


RE: Mick! Bad Mick!
By MatthiasF on 8/18/2009 10:16:54 AM , Rating: 2
Depends entirely on how hard the creditor will fight, and in the case of copyright infringement if the debtor made any profit from the infringement.

In this case, I doubt they'll be much resistance.


RE: Mick! Bad Mick!
By jay401 on 8/18/2009 10:35:07 AM , Rating: 3
You say that like it's not unreasonable to ruin a person's life (which having to declare bankruptcy in many ways does) and to put them out for seven years.


RE: Mick! Bad Mick!
By marvdmartian on 8/18/2009 9:36:34 AM , Rating: 2
Why stop there? Let's throw some RICO laws at her as well, since she must be part of a huge organized crime ring!!

The amount was excessive, pure and simple. Even 100x the cost of each song would have been enough to discourage most people. Pure and simple, they're killing flies with atomic weapons.


RE: Mick! Bad Mick!
By nafhan on 8/18/2009 9:42:51 AM , Rating: 2
I would hope no one is arguing whether or not she downloaded (and/or "distributed") some music, or even whether or not she broke the law.

The problem is that the precedents set here (and in the Tenenbaum case) could be used to prosecute a significant portion of the US population, AND that the penalties assessed are far out of proportion for the crime committed. IMO, they really need to show that they lost 1.92 million due to her actions.

Also your statement
quote:
She was running in all but name, a file sharing service.
is a bit of an overstatement. It sounded more like she was running a Kazaa client in a fairly typical default configuration.


RE: Mick! Bad Mick!
By Shig on 8/18/2009 10:10:29 AM , Rating: 2
Can you guys imagine 10 years from now?

When we'll all have 50Mbps+ internet connections and hard drives that can hold 10-100x more information than what we can today...

You'll be able to copy 30 years worth of CD quality music in a day. With most of the file sharing being done from other countries where the laws can't get to their citizens.

The RIAA just wants to pay lawyers until the end of time. Forget trying to make a form of digital distribution that works, not like Apple makes a profit off iTunes, ohhh wait a minute.

Oh yeah the other fun part about music copywrite law is that the patent rights last longer than human lifespans. Awesome.

There should be a cap on how much $ one piece of intellectual property can make you imo. Paul McCartney needs to make another billion off his 40 year old CD's I guess, he just doesn't have enough money. Seriously, having hundreds of millions isn't enough, jeez.


RE: Mick! Bad Mick!
By rcc on 8/18/2009 12:03:15 PM , Rating: 1
Who are you to tell anyone what is enough?

If you don't think his music is worth it, don't buy it, and don't steal it.

It's a self solving problem.


RE: Mick! Bad Mick!
By nafhan on 8/18/2009 1:10:59 PM , Rating: 2
Copyright is supposed to provide cultural value to society by providing artists with monetary encouragment to create content. However, there is also cultural value to freely available and useable content. The point where the value to society of the latter overtakes the value of the former is where copyright needs to end, because it is a negative influence on culture instead of a positive one.
I think something like the longer of 20 years or the life of the artist would be very reasonable copyright length.


RE: Mick! Bad Mick!
By rcc on 8/18/2009 6:44:19 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps I'm confused? Was that in response to my post, cuz it's just bearly related.

: )


"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki