Officials In Hong Kong Arrest 14-Year-Old For Music Sharing

from the how-dare-you! dept

TorrentFreak has the story of how a 14-year-old boy in Hong Kong has been arrested for sharing Cantonese pop songs online. He may now face up to four years in jail. As the author of the story notes, when he was 14 he had plenty of music on cassette tapes that he would share with friends, and how ridiculous would it be to think of going to prison for that? Kids share music -- it's part of what they do, and in most cases it's because they love the music and want more people to hear them. They're not "stealing" the music (and, at that age, probably can't afford most of it anyway.) They're simply expressing how much they enjoy the music -- and now at least one may go to jail for loving music too much. This isn't to defend unauthorized file sharing, but to simply question the response to it, compared to what's actually happening. Something does not seem properly aligned when kids who are expressing their love of music by trying to get others to listen to it are facing jail time.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2008 @ 4:14pm

    connections... and networking for success

    Out of curiosity, what is so different from this 14 year old sharing the love of his music with his friends by giving them copies of it, from a friend who works at a movie theater that lets his friends in the back door to watch a current now-playing/box office film. There is no tangible theft happening here, but there certainly is a "theft of service", no?

    Honestly though, I see this as being no different than having "connections" and being able to network opportunities for success better than those who do not have "connections".

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2008 @ 5:07pm

    "Honestly though, I see this as being no different than having "connections" and being able to network opportunities for success better than those who do not have "connections"."

    Isn't that the definition of the mafia? What he did was illegal, I think the point of the article is the punishment didn't fit the crime.

    Like it or not, making a mixed tape for the girl you like in J. high was and still is illegal. As absurd as this all is, it's the law.

     

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  3.  
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    ThePeopleGeek, Sep 24th, 2008 @ 5:10pm

    The prisons are overcrowded everywhere. They have to pick and choose who goes in. Cybercrime seems to be way worse than violent crime or crimes committed in person.

     

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  4.  
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    Michael Long, Sep 24th, 2008 @ 5:46pm

    Rationalizations heaped pretty high here, no?

    Oh, I love music so much, I have to download it off the internet and share it with everyone! I also love computer games, so I'm also entitled to download and "share" those as well! And movies! Boy, do I LOVE movies! So to spread my love, I run a torrent server and share my love of movies with thousands of friends I've never met.

    And since I LOVE it so much, and since they love it so much, and since we're young, we obviously must be entitled to it!

    It's not STEALING, because I'd never be so stupid as to actually PAY for anything I can get for free. Especially when that means I can now spend my money on clothes and shoes and gadgets and other things I can't steal quite so easily. At least without getting caught.

    Oops. I got caught.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2008 @ 6:07pm

    4 yrs

    I'm not familiar with the statutes in HongKong, but four years seems a bit much. Good thing he was not in Indonesia, there they beat the crap out of you with a cane for tagging cars.

     

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  6.  
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    Keith Jolie, Sep 24th, 2008 @ 6:38pm

    Re: Rationalizations heaped pretty high here, no?

    Exactly! I'm not saying he should be thrown in jail for however many years but if you think this kid was just sharing music with his buds you need to give your head a shake.

    He's downloading for free, and he's seeding to keep his ratios in line so he can download faster.

    Maybe you can search harder to find a story about some blind and disabled kid that is downloading - that should help us have more sympathy for him.

    Oh...and since when is Torrentfreak a reliable source of objective reporting.

    Tell me again why I read the stories on this site?

     

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  7.  
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    benshoof, Sep 24th, 2008 @ 6:43pm

    I don't know about anybody elses education on the subject of donwloading or sharing music but did anybody know that record sales go up if people can listen to music before they buy it. Who want's to waste money on something your not going to like. Also sharing music helps those bands who are not so well known become known. some people just need to learn whats important to complain about and whats not important.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2008 @ 7:33pm

    Re:

    The legal framework of copyright and intellectual property is a perversion which stunts the development and expression of the creative and intellectual nature of humankind for the sole benefit of bloated parasitic middlemen. Discuss amongst yourselves.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2008 @ 10:17pm

    If I can't pirate music, I don't buy music. Period. How else am I supposed to find out about any of it? Drag me to jail if you want, but i WILL pirate and i WILL buy and you wont stop me.

     

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  10.  
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    Mike (profile), Sep 24th, 2008 @ 10:41pm

    Re: Re: Rationalizations heaped pretty high here, no?

    Oh...and since when is Torrentfreak a reliable source of objective reporting.


    For quite some time. If you have a problem with their reporting, it might help to actually point out where their reporting is troublesome. Over the last few years, TorrentFreak has been one of the best sites out there for finding interesting stories having to do with copyright issues and reporting on them in great detail.

    Tell me again why I read the stories on this site?

    You are free to not read them.

    But, to come here and totally miss the point of the post, as you did, suggests that you aren't actually "reading" the stories. You have come here with a preconceived notion and you are going to complain about what you think we're saying, rather than taking the time to understand it.

     

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  11.  
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    Twinrova, Sep 25th, 2008 @ 4:17am

    Re: Rationalizations heaped pretty high here, no?

    "Oh, I love music so much, I have to download it off the internet and share it with everyone! I also love computer games, so I'm also entitled to download and "share" those as well! And movies! Boy, do I LOVE movies! So to spread my love, I run a torrent server and share my love of movies with thousands of friends I've never met."
    Oh, I love money so much, I have to keep everything I find on the ground. I also love newspapers, so I'm entitled to read it and share it with everyone. Boy, do I LOVE books! So to spread my love, I go to my library and share my love of books with thousands of friends I've never met.

    FINDING stuff on the internet doesn't make you a thief to get it. The thief title belongs to the person who put it there in the first place.

    "And since I LOVE it so much, and since they love it so much, and since we're young, we obviously must be entitled to it!"
    Mike's Free business model says you are.

    "It's not STEALING, because I'd never be so stupid as to actually PAY for anything I can get for free. Especially when that means I can now spend my money on clothes and shoes and gadgets and other things I can't steal quite so easily. At least without getting caught."
    And if these things were available for free, you don't think these "young 'uns" would take advantage? Seriously, you can not be this daft.

    "Oops. I got caught."
    I've yet to read anywhere where the downloader was arrested. Only those that provide the download.

    I think you need to understand the difference because I'm so tired of people getting upset when they think "theft" is involved, especially when the true thieves charge a dollar for a song, sues at the slightest whim, and complicates my legitimate purchase with security measures making it impossible to render on the very device it's supposed to.

    And I absolutely don't believe you would pass up on free if given the chance.

     

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  12.  
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    Norm, Sep 25th, 2008 @ 5:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Rationalizations heaped pretty high here, no?

    Oh come on Mike - I call bullshit here. I think it's you that read articles and "report" on them with preconceived notions.

    ALL of you articles have a one note slant.


    That said, I don't think jail time for music stealing is justified, but just what point do you think anyone has missed here?

     

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  13.  
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    Norm, Sep 25th, 2008 @ 5:49am

    Re: 4 yrs

    LOL, I recall that. While I'm against caning, it's what I think I'd *want* to do if someone tagged my car.

    Tagged - that's a sugarcoated word for vandalism right?

     

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  14.  
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    Norm, Sep 25th, 2008 @ 5:53am

    Re:

    I agree that listening first is great. It is often the case that you hear music at someone's home, the radio etc or an artist let's it be previewed.

    I think the only argument that some make here is that tons of folks don't buy, but only pirate. Also when an artist makes noise about their music being stolen Mike and some posters blame the artist for being - well - a victim.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Emily, Sep 25th, 2008 @ 6:12am

    Quote: "Honestly though, I see this as being no different than having "connections" and being able to network opportunities for success better than those who do not have "connections"."

    Isn't that the definition of the mafia? What he did was illegal, I think the point of the article is the punishment didn't fit the crime.

    * * * * *

    Networking is not the mafia, it is the only way people can get decent jobs these days, unless you want to work at McDonald's or temp forever.

    How many of us when we were kids made homemade cassette tapes of songs we taped from the radio? This is no different.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2008 @ 6:59am

    Try before you buy

    I keep seeing comments that talk about hearing music before you buy it as a justification for file sharing...I have an idea...go to the band's website or listen to lastfm or any other radio station for that matter.

    Support services like pandora

    There are lots of, dare I say, easier ways to listen to music before you buy it.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2008 @ 7:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Rationalizations heaped pretty high here, no?

    actually, I very frequently agree with you and try to only add some ideas into the discussion. As of late you revert to your "missing the point" comment as soon as someone disagrees with you.

    I just think this article was extremely one-sided blindly favouring with the teen based on your own very public opinion about the topic.

    It's really easy to find other articles on the internet that agree with your position (no matter what that position is) I would love to see you try to more thoroughly position both sides of an argument in your articles (the objective part I referred to).

    That's the problem I have with referring to sites like torrentfreak as "reporting". At very best they are opinion pieces but not reporting. As an "Insight Company for the Information Age" I guess I expect more... insight.

    But have fun quoting other people.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Norm, Sep 25th, 2008 @ 9:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Rationalizations heaped pretty high here, no?

    As an "Insight Company for the Information Age" I guess I expect more... insight.


    The above quote and actually the whole post sums up how Mike/Techdirt does fail to deliver too often.

    You can do better Mike.

     

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  19.  
    icon
    lavi d (profile), Sep 25th, 2008 @ 2:56pm

    Anybody Here Wanna Give me $5k for my MP3 Player?

    I have about 5,000 tunes on my MP3 player. Most of them ripped from CD. Some from legal downloads, some from friend's removable hard drives.

    According to the recording industry, these tunes are worth about $1 apiece.

    How about $1k and I'll throw in the little velcro pouch?

     

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  20.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Sep 26th, 2008 @ 12:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Rationalizations heaped pretty high here, no?


    I just think this article was extremely one-sided blindly favouring with the teen based on your own very public opinion about the topic.


    This is an opinion site. I'm sorry if you dislike my opinion. That doesn't make it wrong.


    That's the problem I have with referring to sites like torrentfreak as "reporting". At very best they are opinion pieces but not reporting. As an "Insight Company for the Information Age" I guess I expect more... insight.


    TorrentFreak does a ton of original reporting -- more than many big name tech news sites. It covers news that is not found elsewhere, and often gets fascinating exclusive interviews.

    To claim the site does no reporting suggests ignorance about the site.

     

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