Seven More Face Jailtime For Helping To Promote Star Wars

from the bad-fans,-bad! dept

Last month, we pointed out that the first person charged under a new law making it a federal crime to share a pre-release song or movie had pleaded guilty. Now, it appears that seven more people pleaded guilty and now face $100,000 fines and a year in jail. We've already discussed why such sentences are way too harsh for people who are, basically, helping to promote a movie, but in this case it's even worse. The seven people simply passed the movie along a chain to each other, rather than sharing it online. It was the last person who actually uploaded it to the internet. Still, as we pointed out when the movie came out, all of the online buzz seemed to help get more people to go to the movie, since a lot of the buzz was quite positive -- and because most of the big Star Wars fans clearly wanted to see the movie on the big screen, rather than on a tiny computer screen. We recognize that the people involved did, in fact, break the law -- but it seems like a waste of time and money to go after these people who simply liked a movie and where the impact of their actions doesn't seem likely to have caused any harm.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Haggie, Jan 26th, 2006 @ 3:30pm

    No Subject Given

    The continued efforts by the RIAA and MPAA to paint their own consumers as thuggish criminals is eventually going to blow up in their faces.

    I only have two questions: a.) when will that day come b.) will we be smart enough to hold the lapdog politicians that created this laws responsible too?

     

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      watts, Jan 26th, 2006 @ 3:55pm

      This is outrageous!

      I want to know who wrote this law, and why it was passed. Most likely heavy lobbying involved. If only all this energy being spent on stopping real crimes from happening.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2006 @ 6:48am

        Re: This is outrageous!

        most likely? hahaha what law isn't especially with the republicrooks in office for 5 years now

         

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      identicon
      AnonymousHoward, Jan 26th, 2006 @ 4:31pm

      Re: No Subject Given

      I think this whole enterprise is stupid too, but the constant refrain of how the RIAA's or MPAA's behavior will eventually blow up in their faces is beginning to sound a lot like "Linux will rule the desktop"
      Do you really think these people will come to their senses and stop? They are engaged in something like the drug war now. Its an industry. If it causes their revenues to increase a little, they'll say that its working and go at it all the harder. If their revenues continue to decline, they'll claim that they aren't being tough enough and go at it all the harder. At this point, I think it has become self-perptuating and we should expect the behavior to continue until the base market evaporates.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2006 @ 8:40am

        Re: No Subject Given

        I think this whole enterprise is stupid too, but the constant refrain of how the RIAA's or MPAA's behavior will eventually blow up in their faces is beginning to sound a lot like "Linux will rule the desktop"
        Do you really think these people will come to their senses and stop? They are engaged in something like the drug war now. Its an industry. If it causes their revenues to increase a little, they'll say that its working and go at it all the harder. If their revenues continue to decline, they'll claim that they aren't being tough enough and go at it all the harder. At this point, I think it has become self-perptuating and we should expect the behavior to continue until the base market evaporates.


        Brilliant. Needed to be said again. Look around, folks, look at the big pic...the only thing that can save society (US anyway) is active voters, informed and motivated. And it will still take a long time to fix. Quit accepting the status quo, the founders didn't.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2006 @ 9:34am

          Re: No Subject Given

          Right, but the minute the guy you voted for gets in office, he either changed his tune, or gets bought out and just goes with the flow. Either way, when a politician gets in office they either follow suit or they get pushed out.

          Since they do not put the issues on a ballot for us to vote on, then we really have no power over our government. That should be the way it works, put issues on the ballots and have us vote on them.

          **RANT**
          One other thing. There is an issue going on in my area where people are complaining that the government is being racist by requiring picture IDs to vote. WTF ever. We are not in the civil war anymore. Get over it. It is called security, not racism. I have to have one, so should everyone else. Now, if you are offended that it is keeping you from voting 20 times, then I understand the racist card being used. because it is used for everything in this area because people are crybabies when they don't get what they want, or are forced to live by the laws or rules. Someone down here once asked me if I was GOD, while I was reprimanding them at work. I replied "no, why?", they stated that since God is the only one that makes the rules, then I cannot force them to abide by man's laws or rules. I asked them if they have broken any company policies, and they said that none of our policies apply to them and therefor they never followed them ever in their 9 months of employment. I documented that in their file and showed them out of the building. I so love the south. NOT (Sorry, just had to let that out)
          ***/RANT***

           

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            Professor HighBrow, Feb 1st, 2006 @ 2:18am

            Re: No Subject Given

            Point well made, as far as concerning the south...

            One does have to admit that racism still runs rampant down here though. [Source: Direct Observation of a Yankee in the South]

            I agree, you should have to provide proper ID to vote, and besides, what states don't take your photo at the DMV anyhow? The fact that there is even an "issue" in this particular case is nonsense.

            And these Bible belt people have gotten me just as angry as you, so I understand entirely! From Blue Laws to ridiculous liquor laws, the south is the most Church=State place I've ever lived in this country. A legecy of poor education, lazy/disfunctional government, lack of progress, etc. is to be blamed.

            I'd add to your rant about the employee....
            You might as well have said...
            "YEP! I am God, I'm God of your job, and a very malicious one when you piss me off. I shalt striketh thee down with bolts of lightning from the heavens" and "thou shalt kneel before me and obey, lest thee be baished from thy job, and cast away from thy cubicle."

            The South blows. I do believe that I've been transported back about 20-30 years somehow once I entered....

             

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    Denny, Jan 26th, 2006 @ 3:51pm

    Yea... Thuggish

    Yea... Thuggish. I just love how the RIAA goes after their own customers. One day RIAA will end up putting all of their customers in jail (for a year at least) and then they'll go bankrupt cause everyone will be in jail.

     

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      pete, Jan 27th, 2006 @ 6:48am

      Re: Yea... Thuggish

      > and then they'll go bankrupt cause everyone will be in jail.
      did you think about that before you typed it? that just sounds dumb

       

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        Gotta Love American Freedom., Jan 27th, 2006 @ 8:12am

        Re: Yea... Thuggish

        > and then they'll go bankrupt cause everyone will be in jail.
        did you think about that before you typed it? that just sounds dumb

        Although this will never come to fruition, it is a very vaild point and no, it don't sound stupid. It is a very logical assumption, albeit one that will never happen.
        The RIAAMPAA is slowly destroying its customer base. The one advantage they have over us, is that we as consumers have no other outlet to go to, since they are a 'governing' body. I can almost say with 100% certainty that if there was a rival to the RIAA/MPAA thye would cease and desist this almost immediatley.

         

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2006 @ 4:01pm

    No Subject Given

    Maybe next time a well-meaning, mild-mannered movie fan will think before he shares. Theres lots of money in play here, and your actions have consequences--they lead directly to pirates getting the movies beforehand and losing the studios money on opening night

     

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      Professor HighBrow, Jan 26th, 2006 @ 4:53pm

      What the Hell?

      By An Anonymous Coward:

      "Theres lots of money in play here, and your actions have consequences--they lead directly to pirates getting the movies beforehand and losing the studios money on opening night"

      What a load.
      This RIAA/MPAA Gestapo style policing of the public is getting way out of hand.... and fast.
      The Coward misses the point, and takes the "moralhigh ground" while completeley missing the point.

      A) The courts failed to take into consideration the fact that these people never shared the information to the public, except for the last one on the short chain.

      B) Bill of Rights ANYONE? Talk about cruel and unusual punishment for a petty so called "crime."

      People of this ignorant opinion are lucky to still have any rights at all. The next time they let their DVR record something or even purchase a VHS tape or a blank CDR for that matter and copy ANYTHING to it that hasn't been personally written or recorded by them, or coded by them, they ought to receive jailtime with a nice long sentence with their cellmate Bubba that can't keep his hands to himself.

      C)Slippery Slope... RIAA/MPAA, if this increase of their abuse of money and power continues at this rate, I garantee you a new Law Enforcement agency gets created with a nice 3 letter acronym, let's say the "Bereau of Media Monitoring."

      Eventually they be comin' for YOU, since they discovered a packet coming from your IP address with some "Protected Content in it."

      I really can barely stand hearing about these @$#%@!#$% AGGREGIOUS ABUSES OF PERSONAL PRIVACY that seems to be going on.

      D) Considering the fact that information transmitted over the Internet is personal, might even be VOIP data, Isn't this essentially the same thing as WIRETAPPING WITHOUT A WARRANT??????


      "THOSE WILLING TO SACRIFICE FREEDOM FOR SECURITY DESERVE NEITHER"
      What an Rightist, Authoritarian, extremism are we getting into?

      -Prof. HighBrow
      'Get your learn on'

       

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      Robert, Jan 26th, 2006 @ 5:40pm

      Re: No Subject Given

      I sure hope this posting was a joke.When the government is worried about putting someone in jail for sharing a movie or DL'ing music yet let drug dealers and andother felons walk on technicalities something is wrong.

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2006 @ 1:17am

        No Subject Given

        I agree totally, I mean what is the purpose of punishing somone, anyone for that matter for these crimes. You know what used to happen to me I stole something, instead of getting jail for a year, a little community service maybe, and I would have to pay in full for the product. When did this change and why did it change. Trends show one thing very simple, when it becomes a serious crime more people do it. Do I pirate movies and games no. Do I make back ups yes, do I record TV programs to VHS so i can watch them later, yes. If you want to sue me over this go ahead, but 50 million people do this. Make those kids buy a copy of Star Wars III, and move on with life, its not like they lost a dime here, those kids saw the movie in theaters, and probably bought the DVD when it came out. You tell me how any money was lost. Our laws were written so the punishment fit the crime, not you steal a penny and get the chair. Cmon this is not how America should be

         

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      SuperJudge, Jan 27th, 2006 @ 6:29am

      Pirates

      "they lead directly to pirates getting the movies beforehand and losing the studios money on opening night"

      I just laugh whenever I see the word pirate used in this way. In my minds eye, I can see a pirate (with hook, patch, and parrot) going into a theater and coming out with the theaters money.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2006 @ 4:12pm

    doesnt Lucas Arts also have a sound system rule...

    where if you dont use their certified sound system that costs like 50k, they wont let you legally play the movie???

     

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    Aaron, Jan 26th, 2006 @ 4:16pm

    Stupidity...

    I agree, this is total stupidity. I'm not suggesting that we turn a blind eye to piracy, but let's be real - the people that shared the copy amongst themselves did not cause $100,000 worth of damages each to the studio. Albert Valente, the person who actually stole the DVD should receive a significant sentence for the basic age old crime he committed, stealing. If the person that posted the movie is not Albert, then they should also receive a significant sentence as that involves distributing stolen goods. The other people are guilty, but lets be real, a year in jail is only going to cost taxpayers dollars for an industry that receives billions every year.

    Anybody wanna guess how many taxpayers dollars were spent investing the crime and have/will in prosecuting the crime?

    I doubt you could get enough people, but if you could convince people to boycott a movie release for a week that might send a clear message to the studios.

     

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    identicon
    Keegan Orange, Jan 26th, 2006 @ 4:32pm

    No Subject Given

    were protected from cruel and unusual punishment

    so, i wouldnt really worry about it. as long as its that obvious, and your lawyer isnt a total retard.

     

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    identicon
    wes, Mar 24th, 2006 @ 8:49am

    Simply too harsh of a sentence....

     

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