Australian Students Get Suspended Sentence For Music Website

from the no-jail-time dept

Three students in Australia accused of offering music for download via their website have received “suspended” sentences, meaning they will not be going to jail. The article is not at all clear on what the site in question actually did. It’s not clear if this was simply a website where you could download some music that they stored on their own server, or if they had created some sort of music sharing app that the article mistakenly refers to as a website. Either way, the three students received small fines and community service which upset the music industry to no end. There’s this angry quote from a music industry executive saying, “I wonder how much music you need to steal before you go to jail?” Well, that’s the problem. These students didn’t actually “steal” any music. It sounds like they infringed on copyrights – but that’s quite different from stealing, no matter how many times the recording industry claims it’s the same thing. Furthermore, as the court pointed out, the students didn’t make any money off of this deal, and are clearly sorry about what they’ve done. But, the recording industry has determined that by not putting these students in jail it’s a “slap in the face” to the industry. Here you have a group of students who were promoting music to music fans at no benefit to themselves, and the industry is so blinded by their old business model that they’re upset the kids weren’t sent to jail.

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Comments on “Australian Students Get Suspended Sentence For Music Website”

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bbay says:

Scorched Earth

The music industry seems to think that anyone stealing music should have their lives utterly destroyed. Luckily this is not what the legal system decided in this case.

If these kids committed a crime they shouldn’t be prosecuted into oblivion, they should be given a sentence which is likely to deter them from doing it again. It sounds like that’s what happened here.

The criminal justice system should be used to punish transgressions of the law, it shouldn’t ever be used by an industry to ‘send a message’. Even more so when that message is as morally controversial as the one that the recording industry is trying to send.

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