Blogger Who Uploaded GNR Album Pleads Guilty, Accepts Deal

from the still-ridiculous dept

The blogger who uploaded the latest Guns N' Roses album, Chinese Democracy, and who was then arrested has apparently agreed to a plea bargain in the case. Prosecutors had already dropped the charges from a felony to a misdemeanor, and the plea deal probably means he'll get off without too much punishment -- but the whole thing still seems fairly ridiculous. It's not at all clear why the FBI wasted taxpayer money chasing down a fan who simply helped promote the music. In the end, it seems like GNR basically got tax-payer funded promotion for its latest album, while causing significant stress in the life of the guy who was in the middle of all of this. What a joke.


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  1.  
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    mightymaz, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 2:23am

    Is it reasonable to interpret any violation of copyright as an attempt to assist promotion ?.
    Is it possible that a blogger consistently understands the industry better than than all those people who work in it and make their living there ?.

    I just read you original article - what a farce : the "fan"put the album online in some promotion attempt (presumably by making the album available for people to download and listen to), and it was only when GNR provoked the publicity that downloading took off .... so techdirt conclude it's GNR's fault that copyright violation took place !!! - get a clue.

     

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  2.  
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    Douglas Gresham, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 3:39am

    Re:

    I don't believe Mike said it was GNR's fault that the infringement took place; I think you'll find the argument more along the lines of "why are the FBI involved in what should be a civil matter", and that GNR should recognise that leaks of this nature can benefit them, instead of beating down on someone who appears to be a fan rather than a "terrorist" or whatever other ridiculousness is being peddled today (and also that appearing anti-fan isn't good for business - see eg Metallica).

    Use of straw men makes it difficult to have a discussion on this kind of topic, let's keep to what's actually been said.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Jerk, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 3:40am

    Little far fetch, Techdirt...

    I concur, mightymaz. This is one case where uploading the album PERIOD was a wrong move...

     

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  4.  
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    Twinrova, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 3:46am

    What really shocks me here is...

    How did the fan get this album anyway? Did he work for the studios? Why isn't the FBI taking the matter further by pointing out others to be punished for letting these songs get away from them?

    After all, it appears these songs violate national security to which the FBI had to be involved. I wonder if the lyrics contain messages to overthrow the government.

    At any rate, I totally agree this whole thing was a fiasco. Not by the FBI getting involved, but by the idiot stupid enough to post an album online which wasn't even released yet.

    NOW the RIAA has a case to which to proceed with, which is what they're paid for.

     

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  5.  
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    Chunky Vomit, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 4:05am

    Re:

    Here is a clue:

    GNR struggled to understand fan base and keeping fans happy back in the 80's and 90's. After all those years of frying his brains on Booz, porn, drugs, and real women, there isn't much of a chance that Axl has it figured out now.

     

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  6.  
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    eleete, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 4:15am

    Re: Re:

    Those poor, poor artists. The government should step in and bail them out by giving them extremely long copyright terms. Then they could continue this type of behavior almost indefinitely, but at least for the rest of their lives, and give their children 70 years to act the same way. In fact why can't we all be paid 120 or so years for a single DWMY (days, weeks, months, years) worth of work. If we are to be socialists, let's go all the way.
    Defies even the weakest of math skills don't it?

     

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  7.  
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    Si, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 4:16am

    Theft is more than "free promotion"

    My problem here is not about GNR's business model but the fact that they didn't get to decide what model to use. The thing is Mike, this over-eager "fan" who was only helping "promote" the album took away GNR's right to do whatever they damn well please with the content they created.

     

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  8.  
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    Peavey, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 5:12am

    Re:

    I've got to agree with mightymaz here.

    Yes, he did help GNR promote the album. After all, we're indirectly talking about GNR's new album here. But that doesn't justify that he stole and illegally distributed the music.

    Now, if you want to argue that the music biz simply needs to wake up and change their business model, I'm all with you guys!

     

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  9.  
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    doublebackslash, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 5:22am

    Huh?

    Am I the only one that read GNR as Galaxy News Radio?
    The first thing I thought was, "Holy crap, that was fast!"

     

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  10.  
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    Casey, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 5:23am

    No one has said the guy is innocent. I don't see where anyone has even come close to making that case. He stole the album and put it online.

    Then the government diverted X million of my taxpayer dollars from national security to track this guy down for what is now a misdemeanor. Can you imagine how much money it would take for the FBI to get involved in every civil case in this country? There is no victim here, people are out money if anything. That is a civil case.

    I think that is what we are arguing. So if we could get past people agreeing that he did something wrong, which we all agree he did... even the article.

    I'm fine with GNR prosecuting this fan into oblivian and ruining his life if they want to. I'm sure the RIAA will make a case that he owes Eleventy billion dollars in settlement. They should pay the taxpayer back first though, since we all had to pay to get the FBI involved.

     

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  11.  
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    Casey, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 5:23am

    'Am I the only one that read GNR as Galaxy News Radio?
    The first thing I thought was, "Holy crap, that was fast!"'

    Hehe, yeah... guilty here.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 5:27am

    Re:

    "Is it reasonable to interpret any violation of copyright as an attempt to assist promotion ?."

    No, it isn't. Some people just want free stuff. You have to look at it case by case. For instance, in this case the fan posted a few tracks originally in order to show how "awesome" they were.

    Also, an interesting correlation: the sales numbers dramatically increased once the arrest was announced and the news articles pointed to torrents for the album.


    "Is it possible that a blogger consistently understands the industry better than than all those people who work in it and make their living there ?."

    Yes. It's called perspective. When you are on the outside looking in you are sometimes given to more insight. You can objectively look at what has happened in the past (the whole "hindsight" thing) and more readily see where things are going wrong currently.

    The people IN the industry tend to do things because "that is how you do things" in that industry. Change is more easily made by outside factors focusing in, rather than trying to force a change from within.

    "I just read you original article - what a farce : the "fan"put the album online in some promotion attempt (presumably by making the album available for people to download and listen to), and it was only when GNR provoked the publicity that downloading took off .... so techdirt conclude it's GNR's fault that copyright violation took place !!! - get a clue."

    And you need to take a reading comprehension class if you jumped to that conclusion.

    If you bothered to really read the articles, the biggest complaint TechDirt had was the fact that TAX PAYER money was being used to track down a copyright infringer. The FBI, who are supposed to investigate CRIMINAL activity, were investigating a CIVIL dispute.

    If you bothered to actually read this blog ever you'd know the biggest complaint they have is that CIVIL issues are unconstitutionally being made CRIMINAL issues, and the Federal Government is being made to act as private investigators for Big Media.

    You can't go tell me that if it was some indie band rather than GNR the FBI would of been investigating it, or that we'd even hear about it. Fact is, this sort of thing only happens when big media companies are involved.

    So to use your own words: get a clue. You very obviously have issues understanding what people write, and do nothing but help those that wish to see the government corrupted further.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 5:31am

    Re: Re:

    Peavey: You seem to be confusing things like mightymaz.

    TechDirt has several different issues with the whole "RIAA vs Everybody Else" situation:

    A) It doesn't make BUSINESS sense from the perspective of the artist.
    B) Most artists don't realize they no longer NEED a *recording* industry, even small time ones.
    C) Copyright Infringement is a CIVIL issue, but is being treated as a felonious crime (such as rape or murder) by law enforcement.
    D) Such treatment of copyright infringement borders on unconstitutional and in general is questionable on the grounds that TAX PAYER money is used for private litigation between an abusive and well funded professional legal team and college students.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 5:53am

    Re: Re:

    The FBI isn't in the constitution.

     

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  15.  
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    eleete, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 6:03am

    Re: Re:

    Is it reasonable that music is free over the radio ? You'd have to admit it's a crap shoot to think that if I like the song I will buy the next item advertised. Yet I can sit and listen to the radio for free for days straight and never purchase a thing. I think it's clear when we see greed, and "Pay us you criminal, or else go to jail" is just bad juju.

     

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  16.  
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    Carl, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 6:04am

    Re: Theft is more than

    Came here to say that, left happy.

    You can argue as long as you want that GNR is stupid, behind the times, killing their own business, etc. IT'S STILL THEIR CHOICE TO MAKE.

    Your right is to try to persuade them to change, not to make their choice for them.

     

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  17.  
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    Lonnie E. Holder, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 6:13am

    Re: Theft

    Casey:

    If you read papers on the subject of first sale, in theory the first sale of an item (and this one had yet to be sold) is in theory equal to the value of all subsequent sales. I struggle with this theory quite a bit, but the result is that this individual stole something that could potentially be worth millions. Ergo, it was a felony.

    As to why the FBI was involved, I am unable to say. However, it was clearly a crime of significant magnitude, and a law enforcement agency dealt with it as they would any other felony where the item stolen was worth millions.

     

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  18.  
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    Casey, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 6:26am

    Re: Re: Theft

    He is being charged with a misdemeanor, ergo it's a misdemeanor. Either way, it is a civil case. It is all about money, and the FBI do not belong in the realm of civil lawsuits. It establishes a pretty bad precedent to allow them to. I don't want to FBI involved in divorce settlements tomorrow either.

    He also didn't make a dime on releasing it. So I don't know that first sale doctrine applies. There is obviously a case for damages in stealing someone else’s copyrighted material. However it doesn't go beyond that. If he had walked into the production plant, stolen a physical copy off the line, and then reproduced it X million times for sale on Ebay I think this would be a different story.

     

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  19.  
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    Doombringer, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 6:38am

    GNR- Who cares?

     

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  20.  
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    Doombringer, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 6:42am

    GNR - Who cares?

    Well if you listen to gunsnroses, you should be arrested regardless. They are a bunch of 50 something dried old up hacks, who were never really good in the first place. As a huge fan of rock and metal in general, I always thought they were one of the cheesiest bands of all time. And it just goes to show how much more lame they are now, when they attack an innocent fan just trying to spread the word. GNR should just go die somewhere. Slash you suck, and take off that stupid F'in top hat!

     

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  21.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), Nov 11th, 2008 @ 6:53am

    FBI involvement

    Hmmm...on a music cd there is a label giving me an FBI warning about unauthorized reproduction. At the beginning of every DVD there is an FBI warning. The statements say that criminal charges and fines may be possible. Somewhere along the line, the FBI got involved in investigating and enforcing copyright. Now they probably have around 50 suits on a copyright task force, maybe even less. I fail to see the argument that our tax money was wasted on a civil matter. At first, the FBI's duty is to investigate. It was considered to be a criminal case. Just because it ended up being just a civil case, after all the dropped charges, you say that we wasted taxpayer money. It is the FBI's job to investigate. If the guy ended up with criminal charges, you would change your tune to something else. Is it right for the federal government to be involved in propping up industry? I would say no, but that is the deal our elected representatives struck with the industry to fund their election and re-election campaigns.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 7:03am

    Re: FBI involvement

    As in my example above. The FBI warning is for criminal cases of reproduction. ie, someone bootlegging the DVD and copying it a million times for sale on ebay/street corners worldwide. That is a criminal case.

    This case was, and has been from the start, a civil copyright protection case.

     

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  23.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Nov 11th, 2008 @ 7:05am

    NOT THEFT - NOT STEALING

    I will reiterate again (again based on oh so many blog posts before this). It is impossible to steal this. The fan in no way stole anything. If he stole a physical disc, he stole the disc, but not the music.
    It is copyright infringement. The case is over copyright infringement, not theft. He took the music, sure, but does GNR still have their music? Yup. It is copyright infringement. The courts have stated this many times. Calling it theft does not help the discussion and just makes one appear slightly ignorant or like you are purposely trying to spread disinformation.


    As for you saying it is GNR choice for what business model to use, and that he is messing it up, you do realize everything else that is going on right? They are still releasing the discs. They will probably still do concerts. I would say his release has not changed their business model at all. Everything they were planning on doing before this leak, they are still doing. So your argument about being able to choose a business model is kind of moot. It is not like they are saying "ohmigawd a leak online, don't release any cds, we quit life". Not to mention, the internet has been around awhile now. This whole music downloading from internet thing had been around awhile now. If their business model WAS banked on it never being online (which it wasn't) then I would just call them stupid to begin with.

     

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  24.  
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    Lonnie E. Holder, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 7:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Theft

    He is being charged with a misdemeanor, ergo it's a misdemeanor.

    He was originally charged with a FELONY.

    Either way, it is a civil case.

    I am sure you did not mean to say this. Felony or misdemeanor, both are CRIMINAL offenses, NOT civil. Indeed, reducing the CRIMINAL charges for his FEDERAL offense from felony to misdemeanor merely means that his maximum prison time goes from 5 years to 1 year.

    He also didn't make a dime on releasing it.

    Many burglars never get a chance to spend the money they steal, but that still makes them eligible for prison time.

    Incidentally, what kind of law do you practice?

     

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  25.  
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    K, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 7:24am

    The Only Joke is AXLE!

    Who cares about GNR???

    Its not GNR by any means. Where is Slash, Duff, Matt? That's who GnR is.

    Axle is a pompass ass who probably paid off this guy to do this as no one will really buy this album.

    As for the use of tax payer money... well these things will only change when people get off their duffs and start getting involved in their elections.

     

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  26.  
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    Lonnie E. Holder, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 7:25am

    Re: Re:

    If you bothered to actually read this blog ever you'd know the biggest complaint they have is that CIVIL issues are unconstitutionally being made CRIMINAL issues, and the Federal Government is being made to act as private investigators for Big Media.

    Civil smivil. The blogger violated federal laws, and the U.S. Attorney used the law enforcement agency that investigates federal crimes to locate the blogger. Is there also a civil matter? Possibly so, but the federal people involved were dealing with the violation of federal laws, not civil laws.

     

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  27.  
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    Lonnie E. Holder, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 7:31am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Apparently, neither are you (I looked for your name).

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 7:34am

    I think I'll be downloading this album... just to download it.

     

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  29.  
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    Lonnie E. Holder, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 7:36am

    THEFT FIRST

    The FBI originally questioned the guy that uploaded the songs (copyright infringement) as to where he got them from; i.e., they were investigating the THEFT of the songs, since there were no physical recordings anywhere in the public domain and the only way that he could have obtained the songs was by committing a criminal act, or by getting them from someone who committed a criminal act. Since they were unable to prove that he STOLE the songs, they ended up charging him with CRIMINAL COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT.

     

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  30.  
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    Anon2, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 7:43am

    Criminal

    Lonnie is absolutely correct here -- although there are civil provisions of the copyright laws that may be enforced by private litigants, copyright infringement can also be a violation of federal criminal law, in which event the law enforcement agency responsible for investigating the matter would be the FBI. As a purely technical legal matter, this is no different than when the DOJ indicts someone for antitrust violations or securities fraud, among other things. In each of those cases, there are civil provisions, and there are also criminal provisions.

    Now there can be -- and obviously is -- a real debate about the wisdom of the current copyright laws, and that gets played out on this blog all the time. But unless and until the laws are actually changed, what this dude did was a federal crime.

    Nor does the fact that very few infringers are ever prosecuted criminally make any difference -- it's the same with respect to most other bodies of law that have both civil and criminal provisions.

     

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  31.  
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    Lucretious, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 8:10am

    FWIW is the album any good? Was it worth the extreme wait?

     

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  32.  
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    Guy One, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 9:44am

    is this not the blogger who hacked into the studios computer and stole the album off the production teams computers? Then he uploaded it right to his own server?? this blogger is an idiot. I think got what was coming to him...

     

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  33.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Nov 11th, 2008 @ 10:49am

    Re: THEFT FIRST

    Early on in your post, you call it theft.
    Later on, you call it copyright infringement.
    Your lack of knowledge of the difference between the two is absolutely astounding.
    There are some criminal copyright infringement laws. And I doubt he broke these, but whatever, that is for the courts to decide.
    However, it still is not theft.

     

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  34.  
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    ThreeDog, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 11:09am

    Re: Huh?

    Hey, keep me out of this, or I'll have the Brotherhood of Steel after you. Now, sit back and listen to the latest number from Fallout 3 Boy...

     

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  35.  
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    Lonnie E. Holder, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 11:15am

    Re: Re: THEFT FIRST

    Killer_Tofu:

    Question: How did this person obtain files that were unavailable to the public? If he HACKED into someones computer illegally, and if he TOOK information from that computer that he was unauthorized to TAKE, then he arrived at the computer "empty-handed," so to speak, and left with something that he did not bring with him, thus he took or STOLE something.

    I called his action THEFT because that was what the investigation was originally directed to. Clearly, when someone goes onto or into someone else's property, and takes something from that person's property that they did not have when they arrived at that property, and they did so unauthorized, then they are a THIEF. The FBI was unable to determine whether the blogger was a THIEF, so they charged him for the CRIME they could prove, COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT of U.S. federal laws.

    Furthermore, the guy has already essentially pled GUILTY, so he clearly realized that the EVIDENCE of his CRIME was supported BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT. So, you may doubt all you wish, but that is what the COURTS decided, and what the blogger agreed to.

    Someone broke into something somewhere, took information that did not belong to them, and they committed

    THEFT THEFT THEFT THEFT THEFT

     

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  36.  
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    Getaclue, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 11:16am

    Re: THEFT FIRST

    The songs had been available on bittorrent for months before he released them, he didn't steal them from anywhere or anyone. ANYONE could have downloaded them, and many did.

     

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  37.  
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    Dopus Maximus, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 11:17am

    Re:

    No, he didn't. You're an idiot. I hope you get what's coming to you...

     

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  38.  
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    Lonnie E. Holder, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: THEFT FIRST

    Getaclue:

    If the FBI was unaware that the songs were available on bittorent for months before the blogger released them, I can easily see them investigating whether he was the first person to obtain those songs. I can also see why they switched to copyright infringement. Likely their investigation determined that the songs were on bittorent and a case for anything other than copyright infringement was going nowhere.

     

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  39.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Nov 11th, 2008 @ 11:53am

    Re: Re: Re: THEFT FIRST

    I wouldn't be so hard on you if this was your first time here. However, you have visited here many times before, and this has been explained before.
    You can call it theft all you want, but even the court system disagrees with you on that one.
    Hacking into a computer is quite different from walking into somebody's house. That is why you will get hit with different laws when you walk away from either scenario with something when you arrived empty handed.
    Again, call if theft if that helps you sleep at night, but the courts disagree with you.

     

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  40.  
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    mobiGeek, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 11:53am

    Re: Re:

    He didn't STEAL anything. The original is intact and in the possession of its owners.

    He made an unauthorized COPY of something. For this, you think the FBI should be engaged?

     

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  41.  
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    mobiGeek, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 11:58am

    Re: Little far fetch, Techdirt...

    No one is arguing that the move was contrary to the desires of the artist, and therefore a wrong move.

    What is argued is that (a) this did not justify the use of FBI resources and (b) that the desires of the copyright holder are wrong-headed.

    Note: this does NOT make the unauthorized copying okay.

    However, if the copyright-holder had a clue they'd realize that what this individual did was a favor and thus should not be considered wrong...but the copyright holder is in their right to be wrong-headed.

     

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  42.  
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    mobiGeek, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 11:59am

    Re: Re: Theft is more than

    IT'S STILL THEIR CHOICE TO MAKE

    I have never seen Mike argue otherwise.

     

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  43.  
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    Lonnie E. Holder, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 12:01pm

    Re: Re: THEFT FIRST

    Getaclue:

    According to p2pnet.net, Eric Garland states that the songs were unavailable until the songs were posted on the blogger's site. See the story at:

    http://www.p2pnet.net/story/16972

     

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  44.  
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    Lonnie E. Holder, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 12:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: The THEFT

    First of all, we do not know whether he stole anything. However, let's presume for a minute that he was the individual responsible for making a copy. Does it matter that the copy he made was electronic or on a CD? Not really, because the end result was the same.

    So, what he did was the equivalent of entering private property, hands empty. If his action was to make a copy of something on that was kept in a location out of public view on private property, that copy remains the property of the owner and was not his to take. He gained it illegally. Once he left the property with a copy that was not his in the first place, he STOLE that COPY, and is therefore a THIEF.

    The initial crime remains theft.

     

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  45.  
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    Lonnie E. Holder, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 12:13pm

    Re: Re: Little far fetch, Techdirt...

    mobiGeek:

    What is argued is that (a) this did not justify the use of FBI resources and (b) that the desires of the copyright holder are wrong-headed.

    (A) What next? Are you going to tell the police department not to arrest shoplifters because there are more important things to do? Law enforcement nevers enforces all the laws all the time because the resources do not exist. Until you head the FBI, I suspect that they will continue to prioritize the crimes they focus on.

    (B) I think your desires are wrong-headed too, but guess what? Desires are equivalent to opinions and they are a right guaranteed under the Constitution. The desires of the copyright holder are just as right as your desires, and potentially more so in this case because criminal laws under THEFT and copyright infringement supported the copyright holder.

    As a side note, the copyright holder may be completely out of the story at this point. There is evidence of a crime independent of any complaint by the copyright holder. The Feds can prosecute on that basis.

     

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  46.  
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    Lonnie E. Holder, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 12:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: THEFT FIRST

    Killer_Tofu:

    You should look stuff up before you post.

    U.S. Court of Appeals (seems like a court to me) called the copying of data from computers "information theft."

    http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/files/5W1FFXPR.pdf

    The USDOJ convicted a man for "data theft," to use the DOJ's words:

    http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/cybercrime/scottPlea.pdf

    A nice definition of data theft and its illegality:

    http://www.computerhope.com/jargon/d/datathef.htm

    Here is yet another federal court that notes on page 5 that the government sought to "...prove that Levine benefitted financially from the stealing of Acxiom data."

    Again, deny that COURTS call these actions theft if it allows you to live in your little dream world, BUT COURTS DISAGREE WITH YOU.

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Lonnie E. Holder, Nov 11th, 2008 @ 2:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: THEFT FIRST

    Killer_Tofu:

    Sorry, I missed including the last link:

    http://bulk.resource.org/courts.gov/c/F3/477/477.F3d.596.06-1628.html

     

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  48.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Nov 12th, 2008 @ 5:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: THEFT FIRST

    In your first link there, not once does it ever say "information theft". The word theft appeared immediately after "identity" all but one time it appears in that entire document.

    Link two, it is about stealing peoples credit card information, and using it for monetary gain.

    Link three, do you realize that even in the definition you link, it still does not support your argument? Data Theft by its own definition on the site you linked states that it is about people's personal information and other Confidential stuff. Nowhere does it say it is data theft if it is intended to be released to the public for all to hear. Whether they intend to charge or not is a whole different matter, but once out, it is out for all (even if it requires purchase).


    A large difference between everything you linked to, and this case, is that this guy did not seek out financial benefit from doing this. In each and every case you link to, it has nothing what so ever to do with copying music. Not a thing. About the only possible shred of hope in your entire arguement is that the CD wasn't "public" yet. Also, even in your last link in the next post (#47) that too is about stealing financial information with an intent to profit from it.

    If you are going to try to tell me the courts disagree with me, please come back with links regarding people copying music, and not stealing financial information with an intent to profit.



    Actually, hold on here, you do realize we are talking about copying a music cd and sharing it, and not stealing credit card numbers right? I just have to check because you seem pretty convinced of your side. Which is wrong with regards to copying music. However would be pretty darn accurate if we were talking about stealing financial and personal information, which is entirely what you linked to.

    Or maybe you just need to look it up before you post.

     

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  49.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Nov 12th, 2008 @ 5:37am

    Re: Re: Re: THEFT FIRST

    Even here in this post you say:
    I can also see why they switched to copyright infringement.

    Sooo, they aren't going after him for data theft?
    Oh yah, thats right, its because he never stole anything.
    And you even stated that you can see why.
    So why do you absolutely insist on calling it theft then?

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Lonnie E. Holder, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 7:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: THEFT FIRST

    Killer Toad Stool:

    Your comment appeared to me to be saying that courts did not say that copying of data, regardless of what that data is (music is data, personal information is data, anything stored as 1's and 0's is data), is data theft. I did not differentiate between musical data and any other kind of data.

    Now, if you wish me to make a distinction between two types of data, I will, but why would a court treat one kind of data any different than any other kind of data?

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Lonnie E. Holder, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 7:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: THEFT FIRST

    Killer Tofu:

    I insisted on calling it THEFT because he was originally questioned as to how he got the illegally obtained DATA. To use the Department of Justice's own words, they were investigating DATA THEFT.

    You claim that "he never stole anything." WRONG. The correct statement is that the Department of Justice was unable to make a case for DATA THEFT. Had they been able to make a case for DATA THEFT, I am sure they would have prosecuting him for that CRIME.

    Lack of evidence does not equate to lack of guilt.

    Why do you insist on calling theft of data anything other than what it is? What would you call illegally obtaining data or information that did not belong to you?

     

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  52.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Nov 12th, 2008 @ 8:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: THEFT FIRST

    Now, if you wish me to make a distinction between two types of data, I will, but why would a court treat one kind of data any different than any other kind of data?

    Lol, good point. Lots of people have their phone number in a book. Social Security numbers also happen to be an identifying number. Since both are just electronic, by your logic it is safe to say that their SSN should be public info?

    The courts treat them differently for very good reasons. Some are meant to be kept private, while other types the artist specifically want people to see and / or hear.

     

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  53.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Nov 12th, 2008 @ 8:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: THEFT FIRST

    I am glad you are not in charge of anything.
    Here in America we operate on an innocent until proven guilty system.
    The only people who see it otherwise is the RIAA and their ilk.

    Just because somebody got investigated for something doesn't automatically make them guilty. All the evidence is there that he committed copyright infringement. That is what they are hitting him with.

    "The Los Angeles man arrested on accusations that he uploaded nine pre-released Guns N' Roses songs from the upcoming Chinese Democracy album has agreed to plead guilty to one federal count of copyright infringement as part of a deal"

    Point served.

    I am done trying to explain the difference between theft and copyright infringement to you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Nov 12th, 2008 @ 8:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: THEFT FIRST

    I need to amend my previous statement to add a couple more lines.

    Quoting myself:
    "The courts treat them differently for very good reasons. Some are meant to be kept private, while other types the artist specifically want people to see and / or hear."

    Adding on:
    Now, they may see things from a close minded perspective and want to restrict specific avenues which everybody can see and hear it, but that is their perogative. If they want to act like a-holes though, it is well within their right. I will always go and support the artists who want their stuff heard, and try to avoid jerks like this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Lonnie E. Holder, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 8:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: THEFT FIRST

    Lots of people have their phone number in a book. Social Security numbers also happen to be an identifying number. Since both are just electronic, by your logic it is safe to say that their SSN should be public info?

    On the contrary. I think if I do not want my telephone number in a book, then I do not want it to be public any more than I want my SSN to be public.

    The courts treat them differently for very good reasons. Some are meant to be kept private, while other types the artist specifically want people to see and / or hear.

    However, in this case the artist specifically DID NOT WANT people to hear the music because it had yet to be released to the public. Someone STOLE the artists' data.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Lonnie E. Holder, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 9:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: THEFT FIRST

    I am glad you are not in charge of anything.
    Here in America we operate on an innocent until proven guilty system.
    The only people who see it otherwise is the RIAA and their ilk.


    I never said anything contrary to your statement (except I never said anything at all about the RIAA). All I said was that they were unable to prove that he stole the data.

    Just because somebody got investigated for something doesn't automatically make them guilty.

    Your point? This is legal 101. Neither does it make them innocent.

    All the evidence is there that he committed copyright infringement. That is what they are hitting him with.

    I think that is what I have been saying.

    "The Los Angeles man arrested on accusations that he uploaded nine pre-released Guns N' Roses songs from the upcoming Chinese Democracy album has agreed to plead guilty to one federal count of copyright infringement as part of a deal"

    Point served.


    As a result of an investigation that was also seeking to learn how the data theft originally occurred. Apparently the case was going nowhere fast and the U.S. Attorney realized that he had more important things to do than locating and prosecuting someone for stealing the data of a music group.

    I am done trying to explain the difference between theft and copyright infringement to you.

    I know the difference. However, you still do not recognize that data can be stolen, even though about 34 states and several countries do.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    CN'E (d), Nov 12th, 2008 @ 9:35am

    Re: Re: FBI involvement

    This case was, and has been from the start, a civil copyright protection case.

    ...and proof of that is where?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Nov 12th, 2008 @ 9:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: THEFT FIRST

    "I never said anything contrary to your statement ..."
    also:
    "Lack of evidence does not equate to lack of guilt."

    Now you are just plain lying.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 9:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: THEFT FIRST

    I know this little argument is long over, but man "Killer_Tofu" ... you seem pretty thick and/or stubborn. Your continued "rebuttals" completely misread or disregard the actual point that "Lonnie" is making. Watching you two circle back and forth over this failure to communicate (which I blame you for, mainly, Tofu) is giving me a headache.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    Lonnie E. Holder, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 10:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: THEFT FIRST

    Says Lonnie, helpfully, "I have aspirin!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    identicon
    Lonnie E. Holder, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: THEFT FIRST

    Tofu:

    Liar is a very harsh word, and given my attempts to be careful and accurate in my phraseology, is libelous.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Nov 12th, 2008 @ 12:05pm

    Ok Lonnie, Last Post

    I am done here.
    I will just point out that I did refute your "supporting" court documents. You are claiming that stealing financial information is the same as copying music. That is not true. The courts have stated a difference. You never linked to another court case to show where they labeled copying music as stealing. All you did was say "they agree". I know many court cases have been linked to on techdirt in threads you have read and commented on, that pointed out that it was copyright infringement. You have also contradicted yourself many times.
    Whichever friend of yours is the AC there, has not read my rebuttals.
    I see Lonnie's point, copying music is theft. There is just no proof of it. And his support comes from areas that do not deal with copying music. That is why I believe he is wrong. He has shown no real support pertaining to copying music.
    I will always be willing to accept the title of stubborn when it comes to standing up for the truth. Until you link to actual court documents that were not overturned, and that state that copying music is theft, I am no longer listening because all you are doing is trolling.
    You consistently state falsehoods. Trying to say that copyright infringement is theft, when there is a pretty clear difference. And when I point out fallacies in your logic with regards to your so called supporting court cases, you don't even respond to it. That sir, is a troll.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Nov 12th, 2008 @ 12:08pm

    Okay, I need to take that back.
    Not really a troll.
    Just an ignorant person who likes to lump all types of crimes into large sweeping generalizations.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Lonnie E. Holder, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Ok Lonnie, Last Post

    Killer Tofu Statement:

    Early on in your post, you call it theft.
    Later on, you call it copyright infringement.

    Lonnie's Reply:

    Question: How did this person obtain files that were unavailable to the public? If he HACKED into someones computer illegally, and if he TOOK information from that computer that he was unauthorized to TAKE, then he arrived at the computer "empty-handed," so to speak, and left with something that he did not bring with him, thus he took or STOLE something.

    Killer Tofu's Reply:

    You can call it theft all you want, but even the court system disagrees with you on that one.
    Hacking into a computer is quite different from walking into somebody's house. That is why you will get hit with different laws when you walk away from either scenario with something when you arrived empty handed.
    Again, call if theft if that helps you sleep at night, but the courts disagree with you.

    Note that YOU said specifically, "...you will get hit with different laws when you walk away from either scenario with something when you arrived empty handed. Again, call it theft if that helps you sleep at night, but the courts disagree with you." I was NOT specifically talking about music, I was talking about INFORMATION, of which music is one type of INFORMATION, that was stored on a computer inaccessible to the public. You may have assumed music only, but I was specifically speaking of INFORMATION, or the roughly equivalent term, DATA.

    Lonnie's Reply:

    So, what he did was the equivalent of entering private property, hands empty. If his action was to make a copy of something on that was kept in a location out of public view on private property, that copy remains the property of the owner and was not his to take. He gained it illegally. Once he left the property with a copy that was not his in the first place, he STOLE that COPY, and is therefore a THIEF.

    I also provided a number of references where courts called the illegal accessing of information "information theft" or "data theft."

    In the first reference, the court specifically states on the bottom of page 14 and top of page 15:

    "Moreover, given the novelty of the legal questions posed by information exposure and theft..."

    In English, this sentence is called a parallel construction, and could also be read:

    "Moreover, given the novelty of the legal questions posed by information exposure and information theft..."

    The second reference pointed to a "data theft." Now, the particular type of data theft happened to be personal information that was illegally gained by hacking into a computer (sort of like what happened to obtain the Guns 'n Roses music), but the illegal COPYING of information was called by the COURT (recalling that you denied that courts ever called the copying of data or information "theft"), "data theft."

    The third reference in fact supports the contentions I have made all along, though you claim that it argues against my contentions. You said the definition of data theft was theft of any confidential information. Well, the UNRELEASED Guns 'n Roses music was CONFIDENTIAL as the group had not planned to release any of the music (which I believe was actually unfinished versions) at the time it was illegally STOLEN. Let's do sanity check. The data (music) was not publicly available and was therefore confidential, was illegally copied or taken from a business or other individual. Let me double check. Yep, that fits the definition perfectly.

    As for my fourth reference, I included it because it was all about copying of files, and the courts used similar language multiple times. For example:

    "...stealing of Axciom data..."

    "...by the number of files Levine was convicted of stealing...

    "...the data taken from Axciom..."

    Killer Tofu's Reply (reply 48):

    To summarize your comments, I believe you say with respect to "information theft": "...not once does it ever say "information theft." With respect to the definition, you a statement about data theft being related to "...other Confidential stuff." I agree. One type of "Confidential stuff" would be unreleased music tracks.

    You also throw in a non sequitur regarding financial gain. I care little for whether the guy stood to gain financially. The blogger's financial gain is irrelevant. I am more interested in two things. First, the illegal violation of the rights of the band to privacy. Second, the compromise of confidential information of the band.

    Then you attempt to change subjects by claiming (I think) that music stored on a computer is not "data" or "information." If that was your intent, then I guess I am speechless. I would be interested to know what other types of information, er, data, er, non-information, non-data you can store on a computer that could be illegally accessed.

    Lonnie's Reply:

    Your comment appeared to me to be saying that courts did not say that copying of data, regardless of what that data is (music is data, personal information is data, anything stored as 1's and 0's is data), is data theft. I did not differentiate between musical data and any other kind of data.

    Now, if you wish me to make a distinction between two types of data, I will, but why would a court treat one kind of data any different than any other kind of data?

    Killer Tofu's Reply:

    Lol, good point. Lots of people have their phone number in a book. Social Security numbers also happen to be an identifying number. Since both are just electronic, by your logic it is safe to say that their SSN should be public info?

    The courts treat them differently for very good reasons. Some are meant to be kept private, while other types the artist specifically want people to see and / or hear.

    Lonnie's Reply:

    On the contrary. I think if I do not want my telephone number in a book, then I do not want it to be public any more than I want my SSN to be public.

    However, in this case the artist specifically DID NOT WANT people to hear the music because it had yet to be released to the public. Someone STOLE the artists' data.

    Now, with respect to your Last Post:

    I will just point out that I did refute your "supporting" court documents. You are claiming that stealing financial information is the same as copying music. That is not true. The courts have stated a difference.

    No, I stated that courts called the illegal taking of information from computers "theft." I fail to recall you supporting your final statement, "The courts have stated a difference." Back it up. Show me one court case where someone was tried for stealing unreleased music where the court called it something other than "stealing," "taking" or "theft."

    You never linked to another court case to show where they labeled copying music as stealing.

    That is correct. My point was that the illegal copying of confidential data or information from a computer is theft. Does it matter what the data or information is?

    All you did was say "they agree". I know many court cases have been linked to on techdirt in threads you have read and commented on, that pointed out that it was copyright infringement.

    Once the music is in the public domain, illegally downloading the music is copyright infringement. I am glad we both agree on something. However, before the music is in the public domain, it is merely confidential data or information.

    You have also contradicted yourself many times.

    Well, I apologize for any contradictions. I did not see any in perusing this string, but as complex as my answers have had to be in response to your comments, it is possible.

    I see Lonnie's point, copying music is theft.

    Okay, here is a problem. I never said "copying music is theft." Read back over my comments. What I said was, and I will put this seperately so there is little confusion here:

    When you make a copy of confidential information or data and you take possession of that copy, that is theft.

    There is just no proof of it. And his support comes from areas that do not deal with copying music. That is why I believe he is wrong. He has shown no real support pertaining to copying music.

    Except, we are not really talking about copying music, are we? We are talking about someone going into your home, either physically or electronically, and accessing files that are stored on your computer, and making copies of those files. Does it matter at all what is in those files? For all I know, you have racy pictures, music files, detailed financial information, a list of every girl you have ever kissed (or guy), a list of comics in your collection, or whatever. I do not care. But that information is not in the public domain and it would be stealing to take those files from you, regardless of what they are, unless I had your permission.

    You consistently state falsehoods. Trying to say that copyright infringement is theft, when there is a pretty clear difference.

    Sigh...copyright infringement is copyright infringement. If music has been released, and someone makes a copy of a released song, that is copyright infringement. We have already covered theft a bunch of times. You accuse me of not listening, but you do the same thing.

    And when I point out fallacies in your logic with regards to your so called supporting court cases, you don't even respond to it. That sir, is a troll.

    Responded, in detail. Trolling over.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    identicon
    Lonnie E. Holder, Nov 12th, 2008 @ 1:56pm

    Re: Troll

    Hey, if I am a troll, I am. I am still not 100% sure what a troll is, but if it fits...

    I find it worrisome that people somehow think it is okay for people to access files on someone's computer without permission and make copies of those files. Now, I also think that people should be more careful with their computers, but that is a separate issue. But, I fail to see how anyone under any logical scenario thinks it is okay to make a copy of information on your computer without permission and take it with them. If that is true, then think of the effect that will have on many things. Police would no longer need a search warrant to access your files. People could peep into your computer, if they have the ability to do so. Brrrr....scary.

    If someone came into my home and copied the files on my computer, whether they entered physically or electronically, and that taking was illegal, then I would be calling that taking stealing my data.

    Please, consider what I said and tell me that you are against people illegally gaining access to someone's electronic files and making copies of non-public information, regardless of what that information may be.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Nov 13th, 2008 @ 6:27am

    Okay Lonnie

    I apologize. All of my arguments have been focused entirely on music as data.
    I was still focusing on music even when you wanted to jump to all types of data.
    The oringal post was about music. My replies are quite valid, with regards to music.
    So I suppose we do agree.
    And your arguments do make much more sense when music is not included as the focus.
    Although, I believe I did acknowledge that different laws and rules apply when talking about something other than music.

    And not a troll, I took the time to amend that statement to say no troll. You do not really display the characteristics of a troll. Part of the things that make you not a troll is your willingness to discuss, and you actually linked to stuff that supported your argument, even if I feel it was off topic.

    With regards to music, I am still sure I am pretty on spot. With regards to other types of data, or data meant to be confidential, yah, you were pretty on spot on as well, but I felt I was pointing out how they are different from music.

    I just disagree with calling it theft just because the CD was not released yet. It not being released is what bumped this up from a civil copyright infringement to criminal copyright infringement. That is the basis for my disagreement over that point.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    Lonnie E. Holder, Nov 13th, 2008 @ 7:20am

    Re: Okay Lonnie

    Killer_Tofu:

    I just disagree with calling it theft just because the CD was not released yet. It not being released is what bumped this up from a civil copyright infringement to criminal copyright infringement. That is the basis for my disagreement over that point..

    Ouch. Okay. I put forward my best argument, and I have been unable to sway your opinion. Similarly, you have been unable to sway mine. I guess that is where we are at. We both have our opinions and reasons for believing them.

    While it has been an interesting discussion, it seems that we have come to a stopping point.

    Thanks for bearing with me!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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