IFPI/BPI: Picking Off The Weak In The Herd
from the attacking-grandmothers-for-fun-and-profit dept
My name is Tim and I'm an addict. Yes, friends, I have to stand up, get my first day of sobriety chip, and admit to you that I'm addicted. To Animal Planet. And National Geographic. Basically those nature shows that show me the beauty of the outside world through the sickly glowing television in my two story walkup on the north side of America's third biggest urban environment.
It's the whole predatory thing, see. I'm fascinated by the way we portray nature's biggest predators, be they sharks, or cheetahs, or falcons. Can't you just hear the calm voiceover now?
"The predator approaches from downwind so as not to alert his prey. He spots the heard, teeming masses of animals drinking from the same stream. Ah ha, he has picked out his victim. An old female, third generation from the looks of her, and perhaps not as spry as the others. Now he begins the chase. He zigs and zags, creating confusion amongst the herd. And then he has her in his jaws, tearing her limb from limb."
Wait. That's not Animal Planet. It's TorrentFreak alerting us that IFPI and BPI are going after an auxiliary nurse grandmother in Scotland whose documented obsessive compulsive disorder caused her to hoard (and apparently make available) thousands of music files (mostly kaoraoke files). In what is being called the first case of its type in the country, the music industry is going after the weak of the herd, apparently. The woman's lawyer noted:
"Alarmingly, this was not a commercial enterprise and Muir was not alleged to have made any money from these offences. She must be considered to have minimal culpability compared to others in the file-sharing chain. Yet again, the industry have chosen to pursue someone remarkable only by virtue of their vulnerability."
Now, before the normal pack of hyenas here begin circling the corpse and nipping at everyone's heels, it should be noted that she only made her files available because doing so was required for her to get access to the Direct Connect hub so she could hoard even more files which, again, was caused (as ruled by the courts, which ordered her to get cognitive therapy) by her obsessive compulsive disorder. And if you think this sounds familiar, it's because the RIAA has been going after grandmothers for years (perhaps they can patent the approach?).
Perhaps I'm just an old softy, but if you're really filing these suits based on principle, why do they have to go after certifiably ill grandmothers? I mean, I appreciate music labels trying to help me with my Animal Planet fix, but maybe mimicking predatory behavior isn't the best business strategy?