Share/E-mail This Story

Email This



How Does The Penalty For 'Content Theft' Match Up With Similar 'Crimes'?

from the insanity-made-clear dept

We've discussed, for years, how copyright maximalists have continually played with and twisted the language to make infringement sound much, much worse. For years, of course, they liked to just call it "piracy," though in the last few years, they've sometimes shied away from that word, complaining that it made it seem glamorous. More recently, it seems they've been focused on calling it "content theft," somehow believing that that's more likely to get a reaction.

Of course, as we've also pointed out time and time again copying is not theft, and the two are exceptionally different:
Of course, the second you start to go down this path, the copyright maximalists accuse you of playing semantics (which really means they don't like it when you prove their analogy isn't accurate at all). However, what if we accept their claim that copyright infringement is somehow "content theft"? Just as a thought experiment, let's grant them their ridiculous premise... and compare the punishment to similar forms of "theft." That's exactly what copyright lawyer Andrew P. Bridges has done, noting that since copyright infringement isn't anything like typical theft (since no product is missing), it could be described in similar terms to other "crimes" that involve someone failing to pay the required amount:
Under the “theft” conception of copyright law, what, exactly, is the deprivation when someone makes illegal copies? It really boils down to just one thing: money. Copyright infringement – renamed copyright theft — deprives the copyright holder of some of his or her expected profit from exploiting the copyright.

What are other, similar kinds of “theft” by depriving someone of expected money? Failure of a tenant to pay the agreed rent to a landlord is one. Parking in a parking space without putting money in the meter is another. Jumping the turnstile to ride on a subway without paying the fare is a third. (And, of course, failure of a studio or record label to pay artists or actors the promised contractual royalties for their work on a record or film is a fourth. But something tells me the studios and labels sponsoring the current bills won’t go near that topic. The bills don’t include rogue studios and labels in their scope.)
Okay, so if we grant them their premise, and then compare it to similar cases where people don't pay the requested fee, but still get the "benefit," then what is the punishment in those other cases? Bridges notices that there appears to be one... um... outlier in the group:
How do the civil damages or penalties for the different types of such “theft” compare? Failure to pay expected money under a contract doesn’t trigger a penalty: contract law usually says that a party can recover the money she expected but not punitive damages or attorneys fees (unless parties have specifically bargained to pay attorneys fees for a breach). Failure to pay rent usually requires payment of rent to cure the default. Failure to put money in the parking meter prompts a ticket for $60. In New York City, failure to pay the $2.50 subway fare results in a maximum fine of $100.

Copyright “theft” is a very different story. Copyright infringement statutory damages in civil litigation can be as high as $150,000 for infringement of a single work. Yes, a single work such as a single song with an iTunes download value of $1. A copyright holder can claim such statutory damages without needing to prove a single penny of damage or loss. Think such sky-high damages aren’t realistic? Think again. In the RIAA’s case against single mother Jammie Thomas, a jury awarded $1,500,000 for the download of 24 songs, with no proof that she had transmitted songs to others. The federal judge thought that was ridiculous and reduced the total award to $54,000 – and the RIAA and MPAA are now arguing strenuously on appeal that the jury verdict should return to the original figure, $62,500 per downloaded song.
What if we work backwards, and see how the law might punish those other, similar, infractions with a damages system similar to copyright:
If we take copyright law’s maximum-penalty-to-price ratio as applied to an illegal download, and apply that same penalty-to-price ratio to the New York subway, the maximum penalty for jumping that turnstile and avoiding the $2.50 fare would be $375,000 instead of $100. Copyright industries are on to a really good thing under current law. One could say it’s a steal.
And yet the industry claims that copyright laws are too weak currently? That seems difficult to square with reality.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Mike C. (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 6:33am

    Semantics...

    So, if I infringe copyright, I'm a content thief. Does that mean that the big media companies can be called culture thieves?

    /just sayin'

     

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

  2.  
    icon
    Tim K (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 7:37am

    I wonder if expalined this way to a jury such as in the case of Jammie Thomas, if they would be smart enough to realize just how ridiculous their $1.5 million award actually is. Though I'm not sure it would make a difference, since they awarded that in the first place, and anyone who had half a brain could see that the damages could not possibly amount to anything close to that

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 7:42am

    the law is only weak when it's on their side. when the law sides against the copyright industries, they refuse to pay because the amounts are too big (then appeal) or they just dont pay. talk about politicians and law makers all being on the copyright industries side! i wonder how long those projected fines would be paid for illegal parking etc before uproar ensued?

     

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

  4.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 7:42am

    Re: Semantics...

    I've been saying that for the past year. Oddly enough, I'm okay with other people's usage of the term. I copyrighted it, then revoked my copyright to it.

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Colin, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 7:46am

    Over/under for how many posts in before someone insults Nina?

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Michael, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 7:47am

    Abuse

    Copyright law is a beating stick to abuse the public with. There's absolutely no justification for suing somebody for so much money just for uploading/downloading a song, video or whatever.

     

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

  7.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 7:53am

    Copyright Industry Talk

    That seems difficult to square with reality.

    Everything they say seems pretty hard to square with reality, and this is just par for the course.

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 8:06am

    Re: Re: Semantics...

    Just for the sake of nitpicking, short phrases like "culture thief" aren't covered by copyright. Trademark, maybe. But not copyright.

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 8:12am

    If I jump the turnstile at a train station, or stiff a cab driver, refuse to pay a plumber, sneak into a theater/concert etc... I have commited theft - it's called theft of service. Just because some physical object isn't taken doesn't mean it isn't theft. If you are consuming or using that to which you are not entitled it is theft of service. All this time you have spent on this subject and you still don't get it.

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 8:12am

    Re:

    Why would they insult Nina when it was Mike that wrote the article?

     

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

  11.  
    icon
    gorehound (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 8:13am

    Re: Semantics...

    I can tell you this:
    1987 I was arrested for selling Cocaine.I got charged with 1/8 ounce of Coke.
    My sentencing for this crime was:
    18 months at Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary
    6 Years Of Supervised Release
    $3600 Fine

    Some of these cases with filesharing/copying amazes me !!! These Bigwig Frakkers go for outrageous Money/Jail Time that can be worse than the sentence I had to do.All for sharing a few files.
    Down With The MAFIAA !!!

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Michael, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 8:15am

    A possible solution

    A license to upload/download content spanning up to ten years to the date for $20 a month. Let's say that 50 million people worldwide sign up within one year. That's 12 billion dollars, offsetting their hypothetical $5 billion annual loss by $7 billion. They'd have no further right to complain.

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    bshock, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 8:21am

    it takes one to know one

    My ex-wife used to work a lot of retail, and she always insisted that the customers who complained the loudest were the thieves (such as people who would try returning items they shoplifted at other stores; some chains will actually allow returns without a receipt, particularly if the customer screams about it).

    Copyright maximalists are the loudest screamers when it comes to "content theft," even though we know they are not really talking about theft.

    Human beings have always formed and shared culture, and culture is like a world of shared songs, stories, ideas, inventions, and imagination in general. The idea of intellectual property is like an army of conquistadors marching into that cultural world and seizing territory for themselves.

    I probably wouldn't go as far as Proudhon and claim that "Property is theft." But I might suggest this bold claim seems much more appropriate when applied to so-called "intellectual property."

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 8:22am

    Re: Re: Semantics...

    Really? You think jailtime and probation is a less severe penalty than a monetary punishment that will almost surely never be collected? The only reason the punishment was as high in the Jammie Thomas incident was because she appealed the case and sought a jury decision. Yes, a jury of her PEERS determined the fine levied against her, this wasn't a judge, it wasn't the record company - it was average citizens. The law provides guidelines, and the jury had the opportunity to levee a much smaller fine but chose otherwise.

     

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

  15.  
    icon
    Wiggs (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 8:27am

    Re: A possible solution

    You misunderstand. That $5 billion annual loss is "profit", not "revenue".

    After paying all of the middle-men, contractors, politicians, lawyers, website designers, themselves, recording studios, themselves, massage 'artists', politicians, label designers, themselves, scabs, politicians, disenfranchised union workers, and themselves, that number would really need to be more like $100 a month - MINIMUM - to properly cover the costs involved and accurately replace their lost profits.

    You clearly just don't understand "accounting". =)

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 8:28am

    Re:

    Do you really think the record company will ever see the money from the fine levied against Jammie Thomas? It will ruin her credit, but they wont even see a fraction of that money.

     

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

  17.  
    identicon
    Michael, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 8:31am

    Re: Re: A possible solution

    Yeah, I get that they haven't actually lost $5 billion but I'm using it as a comparative anyway to show that this possible solution would thus give big entertainment no further excuse to throw lawsuits at 'copyright ifnringers' and attempt to regulate and censor the internet since they'd be compensated beyond what they deserve.

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    Michael, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 8:32am

    Re: Re: Re: A possible solution

    *correction* 'copyright infringers'

     

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

  19.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 8:32am

    Don't call it SIMILAR crimes

    Call it Similarly Named crimes.

    Where both crimes have the word "theft" -- even if the crime is not actual theft of anything, but mere infringement.

    How does the penalty for "content theft" match up with similarly named crimes?

     

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

  20.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 8:32am

    Re:

    Ah, but you see, there's a small difference with those things...

    The fines that you get from those are, hmm, what's the term?

    Ah, yes.

    REASONABLE...

    A $100 fine for jumping the turnstile at the train station is reasonable and affordable to everyone.

    A $375,000 fine for doing that is not.

    Stiff a cab driver will screw you over later. Don't pay a plumber? Well, the next time your pipes leak, don't expect them to show up.

    You have committed theft, this is true.

    However, copyright infringement is quite different.

    How is that?

    Simple, you break copyright law all the time. Ever sing Happy Birthday? Guess what, you just broke the law and owe Time Warner money.

    The point is, stuff like that is so stupid no one pays attention to it.

    It's like the laws that state if you see three or more Native Americans walking down the street, you are legally allowed to shoot them (it's a real law in some states, look it up) because they are a war party.

    Stupid laws get ignored because they're just that...

    Stupid.

     

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

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 8:33am

    The current US copyright laws, statutory damages and all, were enacted at a time when only businesses could afford the necessary equipment to infringe. The business world is one where the word "million" is tossed around regularly, so damages of over $100k would have made sense at the time. As long as copyright infringement was all about companies, everything would be OK.

    But now with computers and the Internet the game's changed. Now it only costs around $500 (or so) for a decent desktop PC. All of a sudden anyone can infringe anyone's copyright, at almost no cost.

    And yet we have single moms being sued for 1.5 million dollars, for noncommercial infringement. That judge did the right thing; that amount would be pocket change for a large business, but for an individual that's way over the top.

     

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

  22.  
    icon
    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 8:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Semantics...

    Let's see...

    18 months in jail plus 6 years of having to report to a probation officer vs having to pay more in fines than the average person makes in a lifetime? Yeah, the jail time is obviously worse. /s

    If the fine sticks for Jaime, she will essentially be an indentured servant of the music industry for the rest of her life as she is forced to pay the fine.

     

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

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 8:34am

    Re: Abuse

    If you don't want the fine, don't do the crime.

     

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

  24.  
    icon
    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 8:35am

    Re: Re:

    Then why seek the fine? If it will be impossible to collect, why even ask for it? Why not move to a fine that they could collect?

     

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

  25.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 8:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Semantics...

    I copyrighted the concept of culture theft in the late 1990s, and instantly reverted it in protest at the DMCA.

     

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

  26.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 8:37am

    Re: Re: Abuse

    STOP RIGHT THERE, CRIMINAL SCUM!

    I see. We'll have to take everything you've stolen and return it, and then you'll be free.

    That will be 169,000 gold pieces for that vase you stole.

     

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

  27.  
    identicon
    Michael, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 8:38am

    Re:

    "And yet we have single moms being sued for 1.5 million dollars, for noncommercial infringement. That judge did the right thing; that amount would be pocket change for a large business, but for an individual that's way over the top."

    I disagree. Name 24 songs which cost $54,000 altogether.

     

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

  28.  
    icon
    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 8:38am

    Re: Re: Abuse

    Or we could have a constitutional review of the fines and determine what is actually fair. If all she did was download and "make available" 26 songs, what is the actual harm? Determine the actual harm done and triple it to get a decent fine.

    What is unfortunate for Jaime is that the only people allowed to determine what the actual harms are are the labels and they are not very honest when it comes to those numbers.

     

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

  29.  
    identicon
    Michael, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 8:39am

    Re: Re: Abuse

    I don't consider all downloading a crime, much less worth thousands per infraction. I mean use some common sense.

     

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

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 8:39am

    A jury of OJ's peers

    A jury of OJ's PEERS set him free. Your point is?

     

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

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 8:45am

    Re: Re:

    What I meant was that the judge was right to reduce the "ridiculous" damages to a more reasonable level.

    Notice how I said more reasonable. It's still excessive, just less so.

     

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

  32.  
    identicon
    Michael, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 8:50am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The government and private corps already profited from her purchasing her computer, monitor, internet modem & service, et al. Look, they sell tape/disc recorders, scanners, printers, etc. and then expect people to never to use these to copy anything? What are they, nuts?

     

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

  33.  
    identicon
    Colin, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 8:53am

    Re: Re:

    Because Nina made the video.

     

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

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 8:53am

    Perspective

    A certain 'bay' site put up an interesting thought at the time; here, I unabashedly repeat it:

    Under SOPA, the penalty for illegally uploading Michael Jackson music is *five* years in prison.

    The penalty for *killing* Michael Jackson is *four* years in prison.

     

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

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 8:54am

    Perspective

    A certain 'bay' site put up an interesting thought at the time; here, I unabashedly repeat it:

    Under SOPA, the penalty for illegally uploading Michael Jackson music is *five* years in prison.

    The penalty for *killing* Michael Jackson is *four* years in prison.

     

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

  36.  
    icon
    Wiggs (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 8:57am

    Re: Re: Re: A possible solution

    My point was: no matter how much you give them, they will always demand more. Even if you compensate them 'beyond what they deserve', they will scream and cry and pout and pay off politicians until they get more, more, MORE!

    That's the nature of greed.

     

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

  37.  
    icon
    surfer (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 9:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Semantics...

    'The law provides guidelines,...'

    the same law(s) that has been incessantly perverted by the MAFIAA for over 100 years?

    how can you possibly justify such abuses of the system for imaginary 'profit losses'? we are not talking about tangible, verifiable losses of potential sales here, yet you are. I could have potentially made 100k more last year, if I had done 'x'. with your train of reasoning, there should be a law created to ensure I get 100k regardless if I do x or not.

    regurgitating in perpetuity the same mind numbing garbage is a business model issue directly related to imaginary profit losses, not file sharing, or copyright infringement.

    technology gave you the player piano, VCR, radio waves, the reel to reel, 8-track, cassette, CD, DVD, Blu-Ray and the internet. we already built the most effective distribution system known to exist in the form of bittorrent, use it, fix your business model and stop already with the 'I want a pony!' bullshit.

    imaginary profit losses from copyright infringement does not give the MAFIAA any cause to infringe on my civil liberties, ever.

    you woke the beast with SOPA/PIPA overreach, odds are that your education campaign about copyright just got a much bigger audience, however, I think it was not the outcome you were expecting..

     

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

  38.  
    identicon
    Michael, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 9:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: A possible solution

    Not if there was clear and concise legislation stating that once people paid for the license, the copyright holders couldn't take any further action against them. As it stands, they're giving people the tools to copy and distribute data and then turning around and incriminating them for doing so. In a similar manner, they could've restricted all automotive's speed to 55MPH but then obviously they'd lose out on one of their biggest revenue streams. IOW, they intentionally give people the means to perform certain actions, then create laws in such a way as to profit from those actions when they inevitably occur. Taxation through citation.

     

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

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 9:06am

    " A license to upload/download content spanning up to ten years to the date for $20 a month. Let's say that 50 million people worldwide sign up within one year. That's 12 billion dollars, offsetting their hypothetical $5 billion annual loss by $7 billion. They'd have no further right to complain. "

    This has been brought up before. It's essentially an internet 'tax' put into an imaginary black box that the LABELS decide who gets a piece of it. That's actually only the first part of what's wrong with the idea ...

    The LABELS decide who gets what.
    We already know just how fairly that works out.
    With the labels deciding, once again, the independent, non-label artists are completely left out, and, let's face it, most smaller label acts will be lucky to see a dime of it, just like now.

    Once we allow it for the labels, we'll have to allow it for everyone else.

    20.00 more a month for movies
    10.00 more a month for ebooks
    10.00 more a month for photos

    I'm sure once the precedent is set, there will be many more 'arts' that will need to be included, and then ...

    As you see, it snowballs, it will NEVER stop, and never at any point can we ever be sure that any money goes to the artists WE want to support. It is simply the internet equivalent of what the labels do now ( Collective societies ASCAP, BMI, GEMO, MCPS .. etc. ). It preserves the middleman status quo and does nothing for any non affiliated artists, while collecting from EVERYONE who uses the net regardless of what art they seek, listen to. or watch. It also potentially prices internet access out of reach of the average person, and, again, potentially out of reach for aspiring artists ... unless of course they can get a label to back them ;)

    It is not acceptable.

     

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

  40.  
    icon
    Berenerd (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 9:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Semantics...

    Just to point out a little issue with your logic. The Jury found he guilty of file sharing, the Jury did not participate in the actual punishment.

    /just sayin

     

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

  41.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 9:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Abuse

    If. in fact, she made them available for further sharing. There was no evidence that she did that. So the fine was just for downloading the songs. For all any of us know she only listened to the songs herself or with her children.

    Even then, and now, there is no need to prove or establish damages in any form. That becomes worse under SOPA/PIPA and much worse under secret treaties like ACTA/TPP.

    As noted in both Mike's post the damages, if any at all, were inflicted (to use a very bad word for it) were for expected profits not for anything real. It's like me trying to sue you for the pint of milk you never bought from my store thereby depriving me of that expected profit. It makes no sense.

    Of course our trolling AC's don't see any of that all they do is regurgitate the RIAA and MPAA's line over and over and over again.

     

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

  42.  
    identicon
    Michael, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 9:17am

    Re:

    The legacy players would have NO SAY over how it is distributed. The revenue would be dispersed evenly between the various content industries.

    It's just an idea, certainly an improvement over the way things currently work. If you have a better idea, feel free to share it.

     

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

  43.  
    icon
    Liz (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 9:18am

    Five years for infringing Michael Jackson's music. Four years for killing him.

     

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

  44.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 9:22am

    Re: Re:

    "Stupid laws get ignored because they're just that..."

    I think this is an important, and often overlooked point. Part of the damage that current copyright law is causing is to generally reduce respect for the law.

     

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

  45.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 9:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A possible solution

    Not to be overly argumentative but taxation is the way in which governments pay for services such as roads, air and sea traffic control and expensive stuff like a military.

    I have a real problem being taxed in any form to support private business, particularly when those businesses are still very profitable without the levy.

    Nor is it that the entertainment/content industry have made their goods easily or reasonably available on line which is the sort of thing that gives rise to a black market in the first place.

    People are copying and sharing which is something human beings have always done. it's given rise to things like agriculture, civilization, trade, writing and other things we take so much for granted now. Given that people are finding ways of sharing "entertainment/content" that is not otherwise affordable or easily acquired.

     

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

  46.  
    icon
    saulgoode (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 9:34am

    Perhaps one of the legal eagles could chime in, but it seems to my IANAL mind there is the issue of defendents against criminal prosecution in cases of theft being guaranteed counsel (court appointed if needed), whereas those accused of civil violations such as copyright are often offered no such guarantee.

     

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

  47.  
    icon
    Trails (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 9:35am

    Re: Re:

    So what's the point? The verdict will ruin her life for downloading 24 songs.

    To what end?

    The only logical answer is to "make an example of her". To ruin the credit of a single mother, to grossly impact the quality of life of her children, because she downloaded 24 songs.

    It's a gross abuse of power, beyond all reason. Pointing to a law drafted by corrupt politicians does not make it reasonable, or just.

     

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

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 9:36am

    " The legacy players would have NO SAY over how it is distributed. The revenue would be dispersed evenly between the various content industries.

    It's just an idea, certainly an improvement over the way things currently work. If you have a better idea, feel free to share it."

    Then who would ?
    Some entity would have to be created to decide who gets what, wouldn't you agree ? Once again that simply becomes another version of current collection societies, which already can't be trusted.

    As for having a better idea, well, there are already a LOT of those going around, Louis CK did pretty well, to use one example. Many other ones have been talked about at this site alone. Why does there need to be only one idea that must apply to all ? Why must I or anyone else come up with a model to save the established legacy players ? AllofMP3 was an excellent model, prices people WANTED to pay, no DRM, trackable so an artist could know precisely how many times something was downloaded, thus how much he should get, and yet it was somehow unacceptable to the labels ( even though they paid all of the legally required payments to THEIR country's collective society ).

    The new crop of artists are finding their own ways, without interference from the labels or needing yet ANOTHER collective group. That's the way things need to progress, ARE progressing, and that's the ultimate nightmare for the legacy players.

    No, a better idea is not my responsibility unless I choose to return to songwriting and/or performing. Ask Chris ( A user of this site ) about how his way is working for him. I found his music through a link posted here. Seems to me he is pretty happy about how things are going. What you present has the potential to make it too expensive for him and others like him to continue. How does that benefit anyone but the legacies ?

     

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

  49.  
    icon
    Robert Doyle (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 9:36am

    Re: Re:

    They shouldn't see a dime of it - it was a fine, not damages - distinct difference. Fines are collected by the State, for the State.

     

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

  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 9:36am

    Michael Moore's position...

    This video seems a bit more nuanced...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=OVYhwKu7J5E

    What about the idea that copying for profit does deprive the owner (of earnings) but sharing does not? Sharing expands the owner's potential market.

    If the labels are so right, what the heck was all this payola stuff in the radio industry?

     

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

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 9:40am

    Re:

    Would you download a subway?

     

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

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 9:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Look, they sell tape/disc recorders, scanners, printers, etc. and then expect people to never to use these to copy anything? What are they, nuts?"

    Yes.

     

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

  53.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 9:53am

    Re: Re: Re:

    To prevent others from doing the same thing.

     

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

  54.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 9:54am

    So the moral is: if you don't have enough money, ignore subway, rent and other fees and buy a song. Much less damaging. /s

     

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

  55.  
    icon
    Chris-Mouse (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 10:01am

    That seems difficult to square with reality.
    We are talking Hollywood here. Their entire industry is one of creating fantasies, so it should be no surprise to anyone that they are a lot more comfortable in a fantasy world instead of the reality the rest of us live in.

     

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

  56.  
    identicon
    nunya_bidness, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 10:08am

    Crime?

    I think the real crime here is the music, most of that stuff is crap anyway, and has no monetary value.

     

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

  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 10:20am

    Re: Re: Abuse

    sharing songs is not a crime

     

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

  58.  
    identicon
    An Example Waiting to Happen, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 10:28am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "To make an example of" is the perfect phrase, and outright admittance of excessiveness. It is a phrase which acknowledges, with no shame or guilt, that yes, this is an abuse of power, but by the gods they WILL respect me, or else they will suffer. “To make an example of” a man walking his dogs off a leash, to put the fear that if you do not step in line, that you will be hurt. “To make an example of” this woman shows us a disproportionate punishment; it has stripped her of her money, and all her money to come. (And imagine if they go for interest on top of it! She will live her life working for the privilege of paying the company, and her children too probably. And correct me if I am wrong, I am no lawyer, but court judgments cannot be dropped via bankruptcy?)

    “To make an example of” is the tyrant’s tool. It is using injustice to force compliance, it is admitting to its own injustice. It proclaims loudly for all to hear; damn the people, we must force compliance! Look at these examples, and take away not the line of the government, of the dictators and power mad, but instead the deeper truths. Those who make examples of others need to be stopped.

     

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

  59.  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 10:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    To prevent others from doing the same thing.

    How's that working out for them?

    This whole idea of scaring your customers into purchasing your product really seems stupid and not well thought out to me. Not only did this or the Tenenbaum case not even slow piracy one iota, they really did lose sales because they pissed off their customers who now vow to never buy another product from the labels, ever.

     

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

  60.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 10:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Semantics...

    Actually, the jury did determine the damages. Specifically, in the third trial, the jury only determined damages because a previous jury had already found her guilty:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitol_v._Thomas#Third_trial

     

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

  61.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 10:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Semantics...

    Well, not guilty, but liable. This wasn't a criminal trial.

     

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

  62.  
    icon
    Michael Long (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 10:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'll remember this the next time I'm in a jury and the prosecution wants to "send a message" to some corporation that "this sort of behavior" will not be tolerated.

    IOW, the same tool is used on both sides of the fence...

     

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

  63.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 10:45am

    Re: Re: Re:

     

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

  64.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Besides, they never read the byline before they spew their vitriol.

     

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

  65.  
    icon
    Michael Long (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 10:48am

    Re: Re:

    "A $100 fine for jumping the turnstile at the train station is reasonable and affordable to everyone."

    Where I live dumping trash is subject to a $1,000 fine. Is that reasonable? Is that affordable to everyone?

    Why $1,000 and not $100? Because it's hard to catch, hence the posted fine is letting someone know that if they do get caught, the penalty will be rather severe. Don't want to risk a $1,000 fine? Don't dump. This is known as deterrence.

    Illicit file "sharing" falls into the same category. It's currently hard to catch and expensive to prosecute and prove, hence the outsized "fine."

    Too much? Probably. Then again, there's a really simple way to ensure you don't hit the IP lawsuit jackpot...

     

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

  66.  
    icon
    Michael Long (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 10:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A possible solution

    "As it stands, they're giving people the tools to copy and distribute data and then turning around and incriminating them for doing so."

    An amazing piece of logic. Tell me, who is is this mysterious "they" that gives the tools to copy and distribute "data", and then incriminates you for doing so?

    I mean, I didn't realize that Time Warner distributed HandBrake and BitTorrent...

     

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

  67.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 10:58am

    Re: Re: Abuse

    Yet another rationalization of injustice on the basis of, "it's the law!" And yet copyright maxmimalists will insist that new laws are needed because current laws don't go far enough. They think the safe harbor provision in the DMCA was a mistake. So, which is it? "It's the law!" or "We need new, harsher laws!" And this is why we use the term "maximalist" - because it is never enough. And it never can be enough when you keep trying to legislate a different reality because you refuse to accept the actual one.

     

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

  68.  
    icon
    sophisticatedjanedoe (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 11:05am

    Troll Ryan Stevens gets whooping $1500 from two defaulted defendants

    In the meantime, somewhat good thing happened recently.

     

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

  69.  
    icon
    Michael Long (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 11:05am

    Re: Re:

    How about various streaming services? How about iTunes Match? Stream a song via iTunes Match, and they know THAT song was streamed, and that a royalty on that song is due that artist, to be paid out of your yearly subscription fee.

    How about Spotify? $10 a month gets you unlimited streaming of music, no ads, and an offline mode for playlists. And as streams are tracked, artists earn a royalty when their music is played.

    Point is, there are already inexpensive ways for people to do what you suggest.

     

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

  70.  
    icon
    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 11:17am

    Re:

    Even if the jury agrees that that fine is crazy, the minimum statutory damages of $750 are still so far beyond reasonable that it wouldn't really help. Even if reduced to the statutory minimum, she'd still owe $18,000 for 24 songs.

    At that rate, the paying $2.50 vs. jumping the subway turnstile is a fine of $1875, instead of real world reasonable fine of $100.

     

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

  71.  
    icon
    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 11:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I don't see how seeking ridiculous over the top fines will scare anyone. I would think that seeking such fines would do more harm to their efforts as people are shocked into realizing just how insane current copyright law is. Kind of like how SOPA/PIPA worked out.

     

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

  72.  
    icon
    Killercool (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 11:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Not as fitting as you pretend.

    Big difference: Dumping is a hazard to public health. There is actual, physical danger involved. Even if the objects dumped are purely inorganic, there is danger of broken glass, sharp metals, shards of plastics, etc.

     

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

  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 11:36am

    I disagree. It is theft. But in the total opposite direction from what they let on. Every work created by anyone ever is created for the public. If you just created something for yourself, then you don't have to worry about it, no one will ever see it. But that's not why people create. They create for the public whether to advance the sciences or to entertain or whatever. Therefore, everything belongs to the public. We just allow creators to have a limited monopoly on things so they will have incentive to make more content. That time should be the absolute minimum necessary to facilitate that creation. Every time copyright is extended beyond the absolute minimum time it steals from the public. So yes, it is theft, but not from the creators, its stealing what rightfully belongs to everyone.

     

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

  74.  
    icon
    Michael Long (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 11:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Look, they sell tape/disc recorders, scanners, printers..."

    "They" again. Look, Time Warner is not Apple. 20th Century Fox is not HP. By and large, the technology guys are not the content production guys. Sony is the rather obvious exception, but even there, the consumer electronics division is separate and distinct from the studio.

    One might mention that computers, recorders, scanners, and printers can all be used to create content, not just copy it. And even copying for personal use is a different scale altogether than distributing 10,000 copies to anyone and everyone.

     

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

  75.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 11:42am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Dumping trash and chemicals =/= downloading stuff.

    Nice try though.

     

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

  76.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 11:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think you may have missed the point that Michael Long was making: that the deterrence can only happen once someone is caught. For highly elusive crimes, like file-sharing, it's incredibly hard to prove - hence, the statutory damages are significantly higher than in, say, shoplifting.

     

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

  77.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 12:06pm

    Copryight violation is contact fraud.

    There. Feel better? You went up from petty to a true criminal act. Fuckhead.

     

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

  78.  
    identicon
    Trickster Goddess, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 12:46pm

    Nevermind the analogies

    Never mind the turnstile or parking meter analogies.

    Downloading a movie to watch is the direct equivalent of sneaking into the cineplex to watch the same movie. In each case the benefit gained by the violator is the same and the cost to the movie studio is the same (nil).

    So what is the maximum penalty if you get caught sneaking into the theater? That should also be the same maximum penalty for downloading one movie.

     

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

  79.  
    icon
    Franklin G Ryzzo (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Semantics...

    Does that mean they'll give her a record contract like their other indentured servants?

     

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

  80.  
    icon
    DH's Love Child (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Agreed. "sending a message" or "making an example" never works in the long run. Anytime a punishment is seen as disproportionate to the offense, people ignore the law.

     

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

  81.  
    identicon
    Michael, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 1:04pm

    Re:

    You're correct in that it shouldn't be our responsibility to correct the legacy player's business model. However, thanks to your input, I can see now how my suggestion might be problematic.

     

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

  82.  
    icon
    DH's Love Child (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 1:09pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    True, but your beloved RIAA got pulled kicking and screaming into the 21st century with these services and if they (the *IAA's) had their way, they (Spotify, et al) wouldn't even exist.

    And while they may have the ability to see what was streamed, I doubt very much that royalties have been paid properly by the collection societies due to their rather unique interpretation of mathematics.

     

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

  83.  
    icon
    MAJikMARCer (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 1:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    All it did was make file sharers more cautious. It might have stopped some people, but the teens growing up with this technology will out pace any file shares who dropped out because of The Jammie Thomas case.

     

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

  84.  
    identicon
    John Jones, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 1:19pm

    Stupidanalogy as usual. NO ONE has been chragedwith downloading music ora movie and given a huge fine.

    To use that silly subway analogy better, you would have to compare it to someone who counterfeits a subway pass that allows hte person to give a free ride to hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people.

    If someonedid that, theey would not only go to JAIL (which simply pirates have never done) they would also getfind much more than $10.

    I can't believe it is 2012 and a site (well..OK.a blog, so not very inteligentt or professional) still acts as if people are getting sued for downloading.

     

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

  85.  
    identicon
    Michael, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A possible solution

    "An amazing piece of logic. Tell me, who is is this mysterious "they" that gives the tools to copy and distribute "data", and then incriminates you for doing so?"

    The government via tax revenue. They profit from both the production and sale of said products. The public purchases the tools to program/transfer data.

    ""They" again. Look, Time Warner is not Apple. 20th Century Fox is not HP. By and large, the technology guys are not the content production guys. Sony is the rather obvious exception, but even there, the consumer electronics division is separate and distinct from the studio."

    Sony is Sony, period. They make money through various means, including sale of CD/DVD recorders, discs, etc. As for the other tech companies, I'm sorry -- I didn't know that it was magically everybody else's responsibility to protect copyright using all means necessary.

    "One might mention that computers, recorders, scanners, and printers can all be used to create content, not just copy it. And even copying for personal use is a different scale altogether than distributing 10,000 copies to anyone and everyone."

    Funny how you don't mention how various corps have tried to prevent people from even making digital copies. How about when Sony included that rootkit virus in music CDs to intentionally sabotage/break people's PCs? Funny also how you don't mention that the internet isn't *their* property to go around telling everybody what they're allowed to do. Just who is paying the bills? Who invested in the infrastructure, equipment, storage space, etc.? If an mp3 is *their* property then technically each website is someone else's and they're taking it upon themselves to invade it and monitor what goes on. Question: When did private corps become the internet thought police?

     

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

  86.  
    icon
    MAJikMARCer (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 1:27pm

    Re:

    Thats funny. I have never signed a contract when buying a CD or DVD. Even software EULAs are questionable when it comes to being legally binding.

    But if that's what you want, go ahead, make us have to sign contracts for everything; every little iTunes purchase, every time we go to RedBox, every time we visit Best Buy. See if that helps you make more money.

     

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

  87.  
    icon
    sophisticatedjanedoe (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 1:39pm

    People are sued for both downloading and uploading - yes. yet your analogy with a ticket counterfeiter won't fly: it would be the case with a single uploader and thousands of downloaders, and in this case that single guy would go to jail, no doubt. Yet it's not what's happening.

    In reality each file-sharer is personally responsible for thousands of tiny fractions he shared with each of the swarm participant, an equivalent of uploading to a single person, and downloading from a single person (on average).

    In other words, it's more like a guy using a pass to go through the gate and then throwing his pass to another person outside the gate. If one is caught, he shouldn't be responsible for the actions of others, only to his own fair share of mischief.

    Thus I agree that $100 file is not enough. It should be $200.

     

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

  88.  
    identicon
    An Example Waiting to Happen, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 1:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think I know what you expect me to say, you want me to say "I never thought of it that way" and then "Yea, I was wrong, we should make an example of companies!" Except, I don't believe that; I think making an example of a company for bad behavior does nothing for the greater good or betterment of the people.

    If the behavior is wrong, and there is a punishment set in the law, apply the punishment fairly, with an even hand. Do not set someone aside, the first, the fifth, or whichever to punish more harshly than those which came before, and then drop the harshness for those that come after. As DH’s Love Child pointed out, you can drive people to become cynical and resentful of the law.

    Worse, especially for your argument is when you make it known that “this is a message” or “they are an example” the statement is made, no matter how intentionally or not, that this is a sort of one off thing, you are telling the jury not to feel bad for sticking the thumb screws to the company because it will force others to fall in line, but the others who are listening are hearing that you will not apply the same thumb screws to them.

    So, yes, when you are on a jury and are being told to punish a company just to send an example, I want you to hesitate jumping onto the bandwagon, look back on history, and ask if the examples ever really worked, even in the short term. Yes, it may make you feel better; it may ease your conscious or make you feel like you’re really making a difference, but setting an example is a step in the wrong direction.

     

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

  89.  
    identicon
    C French, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 2:06pm

    Theives?

    Home copying of recipes is illegal and is killing the food industry!

     

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

  90.  
    icon
    Torg (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 2:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Semantics...

    Not necessarily. Even if somehow the RIAA does manage to get its 1.5 million dollar ruling back, I don't think there's a system in place to keep the rest of the Internet from chipping in.

     

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

  91.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 2:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And monopolies have been found to be bad to economies.

    Even John Locke assumed that a common resource when worked by someone should have the benefits of that work be owned by the guy who did the work, in the case of copycrap, anybody who sings a s song should be the one guy who rips all the benefits of it not somebody who did no work and want to claim ownership on something, specially when that thing doesn't suffer from the "tragedy of the commons".

    Mercantilism is not a good way to make money.

     

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

  92.  
    icon
    MAJikMARCer (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 2:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Semantics...

    I wonder if it would be against the terms of service at Kick Starter? I know it's not what that platform was designed for, but could you imagine the message it would send to Big Content? I'd contribute.

    Even if she was sharing the files she downloaded on BT (kinda the point), the fine is a life destroyer and given the 'crime' it's not fair.

     

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

  93.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 2:55pm

    Re:

    Did you mean pickpocketing or did you mean tricking someone into thinking there wearing corrective lenses?

     

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

  94.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 3:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Unfortunately, in most cases of a corporation being "sent a message" that "this sort of behavior" will not be tolerated, that message is a punishment that might be equivalent to, at best, a few percent of the corporation's value. In examples of copyright infringers being made examples of, the punishment is often many, many times more than the person's net financial worth.

     

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

  95.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 3:21pm

    Re:

    "If I jump the turnstile at a train station, or stiff a cab driver, refuse to pay a plumber, sneak into a theater/concert etc... I have commited theft - it's called theft of service. Just because some physical object isn't taken doesn't mean it isn't theft."

    Once again you fail to understand the difference between scarce and non-scarce. Even though your examples are not physical objects, they all rely of the use of scarcities. Trains have limited capacity and every extra passenger adds a small amount to the running cost, plumbers have limited time and also do actually install physical objects, theatres also have limited capacity, etc. So no, copyright infringement and theft of service are not the same, or even similar.

    "All this time you have spent on this subject and you still don't get it."

    Irony's a bitch...

     

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

  96.  
    identicon
    Digitari, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 3:48pm

    Re: Speeling??

    Please use firefox or google chrome ( both are free which I'm sure irks you) however they both have spell check as well unlike IE

     

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

  97.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 4:36pm

    Re:

    Not contract fraud. Contract violation. Which is not actually a crime, it's a tort.

     

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

  98.  
    icon
    ltlw0lf (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 4:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It was an award for damages: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitol_v._Thomas#Third_trial

    More specifically, it was an award of statutory/punitive damages, not actual damages. They never proved that any damage occurred, and thus the jury/court only could award statutory damages of not less than $750 and not greater than $150,000 per work infringed.

     

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

  99.  
    icon
    Killercool (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 6:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Actually, the reason statutory damages are so much higher is because, until studios decided that unauthorized downloads constituted a license breach, the only way to violate a license (and incur such high damages) was for an ACTUAL publisher to violate an ACTUAL license.

     

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

  100.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 7:11pm

    Re: Re:

    If I could, I would.

    I'm hungry.

     

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

  101.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 7:14pm

    Re:

    Well, if that's the case...

    If you're selling me a license to own stuff, you better replace it when it gets damaged, for free, and when the technology changes, you better give me an updated version of it.

    If not, then it's mine

     

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

  102.  
    icon
    G Thompson (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 8:53pm

    Re: Re: Abuse

    What crime?

    I think you mean to say "If you don't want exorbitant and inequitable damages placed against you, don't knowingly and unlawfully infringe upon a corporations copyright"

    As for criminal (illegal) things, it is estimated that the average US citizen commits over 5 crimes per day. Seems you might need to pay some fines or do some time unless you are hypocritical.

     

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

  103.  
    icon
    G Thompson (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 9:07pm

    Re:

    No

    It's called fraud!

    Under law theft is the intentional taking of real property with the intention to deprive the owner of that property.

    Fraud on the other hand is the an intentional deception to DEFRAUD people, or entities in the case of govt, of money owed for personal gain.

    Fraud can be both a civil wrong and a criminal wrong.

    Refusing to pay for a service is never ever theft.

     

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

  104.  
    icon
    G Thompson (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 9:32pm

    Re:

    Thats because criminal cases are brought by the government/state and you technically have the right to counsel to confront your accusers.

    Also in a criminal trial the prosecution has the onus to prove you did what they say. In Civil situations the onus is sometimes on the respondent (defendant) to prove they didn't do what they are accused of.

    Also lets not forget the other major differences of criminal prosecutions:
    * Reasonable doubt has to be removed.
    * Hearsay is not considered Evidence
    * False statements by victims are themselves a criminal offence
    * If the prosecution knowingly brings false charges qualified immunity can be revoked on the state officers and a counter claim of malicious prosecution could be done.
    * Damages are fines payed to government and are equitable to offense/sentence.
    * An acquittal with privilege can allow the defendant to counter sue the state.
    * Any sentence 'fits the crime' [well in a perfect world ;)] and can be discretionary applied based on factors brought to the courts attention during sentencing (unless there is a mandatory regime)

    The above major differences between a Criminal theft charge and a Civil infringement accusation are the major reasons why even the RIAA/MPAA mob do NOT want these infringements to become criminal situations.

    I mean could you imagine if Jamie Thomas had been charged with "criminal" infringement (if there was such a crime) and then being found guilty (and that would of been a BIG if) and then been given most likely based on his age, maturity and community character/ties most likely a 18month good behaviour/probation. HA! The RIAA would of turned purple and exploded.

     

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

  105.  
    icon
    G Thompson (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 9:37pm

    Re:

    They say that ignorance of the law is no excuse.

    So if you have no excuse why are you so ignorant?

     

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

  106.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 10:02pm

    Re:

    Sure, go ahead and make copyright violation appear more severe. Jack up the penalties. That'll earn you respect for sure.

    Alternatively, you could also increase the burden of proof needed to prove this like in proper criminal law, but then again you RIAA shills were never too big on accuracy.

     

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

  107.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 10:23pm

    Re: Re:

    So your reasoning is that lives should be ruined because the record companies won't be receiving profits they can't reliably prove they lost? "We're not making any profit off this, therefore we should be able to do whatever we want!"

    Actually, if this was the case, the same argument could be used for people who download stuff for personal use, like in Canada. They're not profiting; they should be able to do whatever they want...

     

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

  108.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 11:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And there you go, 'stealing' someone else's words while you try to redirect the discussion.

     

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

  109.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2012 @ 12:00am

    Re:

    Stupidanalogy as usual. NO ONE has been chragedwith downloading music ora movie and given a huge fine.

    Jammie Thomas would respectfully like to disagree.

     

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

  110.  
    icon
    LC (profile), Feb 14th, 2012 @ 12:31am

    Inconsistancies...

    If I stole a CD from a store (unless at gunpoint) I would be facing less severe penalties than if I downloaded 1 track from the CD illegally. As far as the MAFIAA is concerned, what's the difference?

    Just food for thought...

     

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

  111.  
    icon
    Seegras (profile), Feb 14th, 2012 @ 1:57am

    Schwarzkopieren

    I can't find an english term that matches so perfectly as the german "schwarzkopieren".

    It's an analogy to "Schwarzfahren" (riding without paying the fare), and precisely what the author is comparing it to.

     

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

  112.  
    identicon
    Michael, Feb 14th, 2012 @ 6:05am

    Re: Theives?

    "Home copying of recipes is illegal and is killing the food industry!"

    Every website dedicated to the theft of home cooking recipes should be closed down permanently!

    Ironic that you can find any news story covered by the mass media somewhere on the internet and yet somehow they still survive... In similar fashion, the entertainment industries are still turning in huge profits, oftentimes breaking records, and yet they still claim to be suffering. If they want to see what suffering is, they should take a look at the homeless, starving and sick people in places like Ethiopia and the like. Or, take a look at the people in our own country who've had banks foreclose upon their homes and are left stranded in the streets. Meanwhile, the bankers who perpetrated fraud walk away scott-free.

    From my observation of our legal system, "justice" occurs when the rich profit at the expense of the less fortunate. The rich are favored by default -- they can afford all the legal expenses, super-slick lawyers and, if necessary, bribery. That would explain why the private corps are allowed to literally rewrite the laws of our land in secrecy, imposing new rules and regulations in a transparent attempt to control all content distribution. Suddenly, every other business and private entity operating in cyberspace is held responsible for the 'intellectual property' and business model of the big brother mega corps.

     

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

  113.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2012 @ 8:23am

    Re:

    I use the public library quite frequently. Our tax dollars support the library and the library purchases books, videos, audio, etc. A hard copy book can be read over and over by many different people without anyone thinking there is something wrong with that. However, to get an eBook from the library, only one person at a time can use it and they have to wait the whole 3 weeks even if the first person read it in a day and wants to return it. That is crazy.

     

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

  114.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2012 @ 10:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But created content 'might' infringe on existing content... so "They" are creating products that allow content infringement....

    AMIRITE?

    Seriously, use your 'technology' to create something totally new and I'll show you at least 6 creative individuals you have 'stolen' from.... We'll call this the Six degrees of Copyright Infringement....

    NOTHING CREATED TODAY IS NEW.... WE ALL STAND ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS AND PRETEND THAT WE SOMEHOW GOT HERE WITHOUT ANY HELP....

    GET OVER YOURSELVES AND GET ON WITH MAKING PROGRESS... Building wealth thru arbitrage or monopolistic practices is not creating societal progress, it's dragging us back to the dark ages of feudal lord type mentality, and I thought we had come farther than that in the last 1000 years....

     

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

  115.  
    icon
    Michael Long (profile), Feb 14th, 2012 @ 10:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Cowards, cowards, and more cowards.

    I was merely pointing out his use of "they" and "them," where he blames all of the problems on "them" and if "they" didn't want people to copy then "they" shouldn't have put the figurative gun into his hand.

    And I'm willing to bet that "they" even "made" him pull the trigger...

     

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

  116.  
    icon
    Michael Long (profile), Feb 14th, 2012 @ 10:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's not my "beloved RIAA". I think they're a bunch of jerks.

    I simply pointed out that we currently have the ability to fairly pay a minor amount to get the aforementioned services. Enforced taxation isn't needed.

     

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

  117.  
    identicon
    Gary, Feb 14th, 2012 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Theives?

    Ever heard of recipes.com?

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This