Germany Says File Sharers Deserve Plenty Of Jailtime

from the what-are-you-in-for? dept

Just as France is looking to support consumers’ rights when it comes to file sharing, it looks like Germany is going in the opposite direction. John submits this story about a new law set to go into effect in Germany that will make casual downloaders risk two years in jail, for getting an unauthorized copy of the latest music or movie. One of the defenders of the law has this lovely quote: “There should be no legal distinction between stealing chewing gum from a shop and performing an illegal download.” Of course there should be a legal difference. In one case, something tangible is missing and then can’t be bought by someone else. In the other case, that’s not true at all. So, whether or not it’s illegal, there obviously should be a legal distinction between the two — and it’s a bit worrisome that some people still can’t see the difference.

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Comments on “Germany Says File Sharers Deserve Plenty Of Jailtime”

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Dutchman says:

Legallity of downloads

Above the fact that you do not steal something physical that cannot be sold anymore there is one other thing. In my personal opinion, as long as you do not pay for something you can click on on the internet, it should not be able to be classified as an illegal action.

The reasoning behind that, is the fact that you as a downloader have nowhere seen a clue about the fact that you are about to be doing something illegal. Furthermore, it is a fact that nobody gets any richer from someone illegaly downloading shared stuff.

This, offcourse, is a bit black&white; if a site is adversing itself as the best place to get something illegally, you can reasonably assumed to be knowing that you will end up with an illegal copy.

Also, if a site charges money for getting to such stuff, you should get after the people who are actually charging the money.

Going after the downloaders themselves isn’t worth the effort, and you are trying to mop up water with the tap still running, as the saying goes.

Giuseppe says:

In jail !!!

In Italy our funny president Mr. Berlusconi already decided years ago a law agains the file sharing.

You can go in Jain and pay also big bill.

Also all the factory that produced dvd or cd in Italy closed last year because our governement made a tax about the production of this kind of support that favourite the illegal copy. So now we buy cd and DVD by Internet from outside country.

welcome to Italy…the 21th century “Bulgaria”.

Some Guy says:

What’s shameful is their use of the term ‘filesharing’. Listening to them it makes you think that downloading the latest episode of TWiT with Bit Torrent will put you in jail. Then again that’s the goal of RIAA and the MPAA. To make it impossible for anyone to create and share media without spending thousands of dollars for bandwidth.

Alan says:

“Will it then be illegal for one to buy a packet of chewing gum and then “share” it with others?”


In America, we have losers that dedicate their lives to proving they are idiots. These idiots got together and formed the cult aka the RIAA. My personal opinion: They need to hold a mass suicide..I mean Mass Movement for the Betterment of the Whole!

It is ashame Germany is doing this. Next they will have a law about buying a BMW (awesome cars I may add) and “sharing” it with your wife. If you both want to enjoy the BMW, BUY TWO! Bad, bad Government! No Treat!!! We didn’t liborate you from the Nazi’s for you to do it all over again!

Ed says:

Stealing is Illegal

Why I absolutely agree that there is a big problem with the music and movie industry in their handling of intellectual property, stealing is illegal and should always be.

The writer mentions that a download has nothing tangible, the heck it doesn’t. First, there’s the file itself, but more importantly is that it is something that you can listen to or see. Saying that a music CD is any different than a download of the file that is on it, is ludicrous.

If you don’t think that something in a file should be protected, then I’ll let your bank know that it is okay for them to give me a file with all of your bank account information in it.

Movies and songs are not free to produce. They shouldn’t be free to consume. When we listen to the radio, we don’t get it for free, we have to listen to advertising. But then again the radio station doesn’t have to pay $0.99USD per person when we listen to it.

You know the whole problem with the cost of movies and songs? Many people happily pay for them.

Jeffrey Stimson says:

Re: Re: Two years in jail?

Quote : “It’d be the opposite: illegal downloads land you a $50 fine or the like”

Heh well a illegal install of windows 98 which costs like 80 when it was new will fetch a business owner up to a 100,000 dollar fine. A 50 dolalr fine for ripping off a movie would only encourage stealing because oh well if i get caught it aint that bad. The idea is to hit you with something lifeshattering or finacially devistating that way you wont do it it… or atleast hopefully again.

Im not for this but im just telling you what reality is!

sebsauvage (user link) says:

Support consumer's rights ???

France is looking to support consumers’ rights” ?

Are you kidding ?

With this new law (DADVSI), a VideoLan user can be fined 750€, because VideoLan circumvents the CSS DVD protection system.

And the VideoLan developers can potentially face a 30’000€ fine and 6 months in jail.
(Have a look at )

Supporting consumer’s rights ?

Michael says:

Don’t know what you’re all complaining about. You can bitch about the nuances of the word “steal” all day long, but in the end, you’re still aquiring a product for free that you were intended to purchase.

It’s obviously illegal to download a copy of Microsoft Windows, but somehow not being able to download a song is a violation of your rights? Wake up, folks.

As to sentencing, I’m curious about who actually doesn’t understand that downloading commercial material you didn’t pay for is illegal. Seriously… I don’t know a single person that doesn’t know that. Maybe they’re out there, but from a statistical viewpoint based on my little corner of the world, it’s not looking good.

We need to solve the problem of reconciling our right to fair use and the content provider’s right to be paid. They’re both valid, and violating either should be illegal.

giafly says:

The Sellers intentions are irrelevant

Re: You can bitch about the nuances of the word “steal” all day long, but in the end, you’re still aquiring a product for free that you were intended to purchase..

As Ram_R said, “Will it then be illegal for one to buy a packet of chewing gum and then “share” it with others?”

When this RIAA business started up, I swore never to buy music from them and I never have. So they don’t lose even a cent if someone else shares music with me.

Another Anon Commenter says:

RE: Two years in jail?

I am not sure what state you live in but there are people in California getting LIFE for stealing a pack of gum (3rd strikers). But this is the way things trend these days…alas. As for file-sharing this is going to be a very tough one to get ahold of and find some solution everyone will like.

AlcoholicPrankMonkey says:

What happens if you DL an album but then send the artist a pack of gum? Would that be OK?

If I sent the artist a stolen pack of gum would they then be arrested for handling/receiving stolen goods?

If they then shared that gum with fellow artists before being arrested would they then also face 2 years for conspiracy after the fact?

TechNoFear (profile) says:

>>Nice to know there are least a few MPAA/RIAA shills who read this site.

And everybody who thought (and spoke up) that we should not attack Iraq four years ago was a ‘terrorist’.

I will accept your ‘right’ to download software I have written, without paying for it.

You will do this because;

you would not have paid for it in the first place,

you don’t like my business model

or its not theft to obtain a digital good without payment.

You will have to accept that I am going to ‘protect’ my software with code to damage your PC and your reputation.

Anonymous Coward (user link) says:

Global crackdown begins on N. Korea, but neighbour


Seoul, Oct. 15 (AP): A global crackdown on North Korea’s nuclear weapons program began on Sunday with countries divided over how to enforce U.N. sanctions in a foreboding sign that imposing the punitive measures may not be easy.
Japan and Australia, staunch North Korea critics, prepared harsher penalties against the communist regime, South Korea was mum on details of its plans, and China, a major source of leverage over Pyongyang, refused to partake in certain measures.
[url=]and this[/url]


article [url=]here[/url]

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