Court May Accept File Sharing Defaults As A Defense Against RIAA Suits

from the this-could-get-interesting... dept

This is fairly early in the process, but lawyer Ray Beckerman points to some of the reasoning for a court refusing to dismiss one of the many RIAA lawsuits against accused file sharers. Some of the points really aren’t that surprising. The fact that the court doesn’t fully understand how Kazaa works isn’t a huge deal — and it makes sense that they feel uncomfortable dismissing the case without getting a better understanding of what’s going on. Same with their confusion on uploading and downloading — a confusion the RIAA has encouraged over the years. However, what is interesting is the court seems to indicate at least some willingness to consider the defendant’s defense that the file sharing was not her fault, because Kazaa’s default setting shared her music files without her knowing it. This has been mentioned in the past — though, usually in situations where people have considered suing a file sharing provider after they got hit by an RIAA lawsuit. It’s interesting to see the court at least willing to consider such a defense as being valid. Of course, if it does become valid then it also could be seen as putting the liability back on Kazaa, as that default setting could be seen as “inducement” under the Supreme Court’s murky rules. Either way, if this became an acceptable defense, it would cause quite a few problems for the RIAA’s “sue everyone” campaign.

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Comments on “Court May Accept File Sharing Defaults As A Defense Against RIAA Suits”

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Gabriel Tane (profile) says:

Re: Re: Bush Pirate

He is of course allowed to transfer music from CDs “that he has bought and owns.” – Martin J. Steer

Careful… the RIAA would disagree with you. That’s part of the reason behind all of the DRM prgorams that rape your computer.

If the RIAA had it’s way, there would be an RIAA agent for every person who listens to music. That agent would be responsible for unlocking the CD case (to which you don’t have a key), loading the CD into your player and pressing play. As far as the RIAA is concerned, the only thing we can do is listen to the music… after we’ve paid for a very limited spectrum of listening, of course. Begs the question tho… how long until there are little yellow stars that say “music listener” that we’ll have to wear.

As far as the defense… that’s fine. If the lawsuit claim is that the lady uploaded, then yes, the defense may be a good one. If the claim is that she downloaded, the it doesn’t matter what kind of uploading Kazaa does on its own.

Trey says:

Re: Re: Re: Bush Pirate

It’s not THAT bad. Let’s try to be just a little bit less cynical. The RIAA is just struggling to adapt to the digital age. Back in the day, you bought your favorite record on vinyl. Then these new cool things called “cassettes” came out and you bought your favorite record on that, too. Next up, you also bought you favorite record on CD in “digital” form. Now all of a sudden that digital CD transformed itself into an MP3 CD, then an MP3 player, then a MiniDisc player and the music industry said “Holy Crap! John Doe just got his favorite record on 4 different forms of media while only paying for 1. We’re screwed!”

So the music industry wants us to buy an MP3 to play on our MP3 players, a CD to play on our CD players, a MiniDisc to play on our MiniDisc players, a UMD to play on our PSPs . . . that seems (*shudders*) reasonable.

alex says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Bush Pirate

It’s UN-reasonable. It’s not like technology just came out of nowhere. The music industry ignored technology instead of keeping up with it (and protecting their artists), they did nothing and are now trying to react to formats and technology out there.

Same with newspapers and sites like, they are all reacting trying to save money instead of investing a little money in the beginning and being proactive and creating the way.

RIAA is a bunch of losers. I say if you want to support the artist, do see a show.

alex says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Bush Pirate

It’s UN-reasonable. It’s not like technology just came out of nowhere. The music industry ignored technology instead of keeping up with it (and protecting their artists), they did nothing and are now trying to react to formats and technology out there.

Same with newspapers and sites like, they are all reacting trying to save money instead of investing a little money in the beginning and being proactive and creating the way.

RIAA is a bunch of losers. I say if you want to support the artist, do see a show.

Sarah says:

Select Club

Bush “buddy laws” don’t apply to him, his second tier hierarchy and anyone wealthy enough to fight them. Plenty of torrent files pointing to copyright material can found through Google. You don’t see RIAA trying to shut down the Google tracker, do you? That’s because Google would fight, prove that a torrent file or linking to one is not infringement and ruin the RIAA’s extortion/intimidation campaign against the little guys who can’t fend for themselves. They are truly scum of this earth.

Wyndle says:

Re: Re:

No judge or jury should be allowed to judge anything without intimate knowledge of every technical detail of the case.

Get a group of computer programmers, technicians, and administrators, and make them the judge and jury.

In theory that would be the ideal situation but I assure you that the RIAA does not want anyone who is even related to someone in any of those fields in a courtroom since that would destroy their smoke and mirrors act. It is also unrealistic to have every member of the jury being an expert on the case subject, would you want to be called for every auto accident case because you were a body repair person?

At this point it is up to the good hearted individuals who happen to be “computer programmers, technicians, and administrators” to educate the people who make and enforce the laws. The most efficient means of doing that would be to create a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the future of digital rights in the U.S.

ZOMG CENSORED (user link) says:

As a Professional Musician...

…I find no need for RIAA tactics. I’ve made a name for my band by giving away mp3’s and selling cd’s and merch (some people still want CD’s especially when they’re 5 bucks each). If people shared my music, default or no default, that means more people are listening to my band. More people listening to my band means more money through merch, gigs and tours.

Sure, I get a decent kickback from the CD Levy pool if I want, but what’s the point? Get 5 bucks a month? I can’t be arsed to cash a cheque worth only 5 bucks…

Fuck D. Riaa says:

Music you own...

I have purchased Led Zeppelin IV on 8 Track, Reel to Reel, Cassette, Record LP, CD, and iTunes. If the RIAA had it’s way they will have me buy it again in the next format! Fuck them! I and we shall never hopefully be sucked into their vortex. From this point forward, I will download and listen to anything I have purchased in any format ever.

RIAA Spokesman says:

Please Support Us

We are a mistreated and under appreciated organization. If we allow thses thieves to take what they want music will end. What kind of music would the world listen to if artists weren’t paid? It would all be horrible because we all know that if you make music you aren’t any good if you aren’t being paid. Please help us in our plight, our butlers and maids are already being paid next to nothing think of their children.

lost in space says:

Re: Please Support Us

why would anyone support a sue happy corperation that is out to screw everyone, including the artist! the artits gets next to nothing. example = cd-$15.00 the musician makes .08-.10 cents per album sold. granted it adds up, but .08-.10 cents per album is rediculos. personally, i hope you use the legal system for your personal gain and it screws you right into bankruptcy court and shuts you down forever! you are the epitamy of everything that is wrong with the United States legal system today and are abusing your so called rights to invade the privacy of others. i would love to see recording artists start to walk away from you cause you refuse to adapt to a new world and a new technology. in short, YOU SUCK!

Axe says:

Re: Please Support Us

I think it a mistake for the RIAA to make any statement in, what seems to be obviously, RIAA hostile environment.

Besides the statements made here make no sense.

Being privvy to the inner workings of the industry, I know that the artist is the last one to earn anything on what the RIAA brings in and they believe they are it is handling correctly.

Why would they resort to begging understanding from a lowly board such as this one?

Axe says:


Interesting segue Bush and the RIAA. I mean they do have things in common…

Both are hypocritical babbling idiots that are clambering at the last vestiges of their crumbling, archaic ways of doing things.

They both remind me of the bad guy in a B movie who, after having his ass kicked, is hanging off the side of a building by his fingertips.

Don’t you just want to put your foot in his face and just push? Come on be honest now.

Logan says:


Ill like to say this.

Ok if someone purchase a VHS of the LAST SAMURAI, it will be ok to download the movie and burn it to DVD (or many years from here) HD-DVD, of course not. If youy get a copy of something you need to pay for it on evey format you get it,

But on contraire If you purchase the cd or casstte or mp3 you should be able to listing it everywere you please (either converting the file to either format) not downloading it from another computer. Just use the ones you baught and dot use pireted or anothing like that

Gabriel Tane (profile) says:

More on the RIAA-Nazis

“It’s not THAT bad. Let’s try to be just a little bit less cynical. The RIAA is just struggling to adapt to the digital age.” – Trey

Yes, it is that bad. By their actions, the RIAA is labeling me (and millions of others) a criminal and a sub-citizen based on broad generalizations and assumptions that are misread from their own propaganda machine. I was actually going to draw an allusion to christianity, but I figured I’d get less flak if I used Nazis… no one likes Nazis.

The RIAA is not struggling to adapt to anything… That’s the problem. They are struggling to keep things as they are now so they don’t have to adapt. Big difference.

This is all about control. The RIAA may say that they’re trying to protect the money for artists, but that’s BS… plain and simple. They want to have exclusive control over the distribution and use of “their” media. Unfortunately, as Zeroth404 hinted, the RIAA is trying to say that all content is their media… when it’s clearly not. They didn’t create music; they just gave an outlet for distribution.

And that’s fine. Let them be a distribution channel. Just not the only one. Do you know what would happen if my company tried to be the sole provider of insurance? Just look at the fallout microsoft faced.

And as a distribution channel, they would be hands-off once the product was distributed. I don’t see BP or Amoco pissing and moaning because I’m “sharing” the gas between a portable gas can and my lawnmower.

Look, I love being cynical… I have a lot of fun with it. I enjoy using it as a means of getting a point across. In my analogy, I wasn’t so much being cynical, more sarcastic and hyperbolic. Semantics aside, if the RIAA doesn’t like being referred to a Nazis, then they can stop acting like Nazis.

Gabriel Tane (profile) says:

Sue Kazaa?

“There are a lot of people out there that do not fully commprehend how to use a computer. I think Kazaa should get the pants sued off of it.” – Anonymouse Coward

Hmm… let me see… No. No. No. and… uh… NO!

Freakin’ sue-happy people. If ever there were a need for a targeted virus to be invented…

Look. One: If someone doesn’t how to ‘properly use a computer’ and attempts to use it anyway… that’s thier fault, not Kazaa’s. Two: Kazaa is not responsible for people trading music (computer-literate or not)… they aren’t requiring people to use thier product. That’s like saying that Glock should be sued every time some psycho decides to off someone with a Glock.

If I –CHOOSE– (big word there, hope you caught it)… choose to download music illegally, or to upload illegally, then that’s my choice.

No one is responsible for the actions you take and decisions you make but yourself.

There should be a severe penalty for bringing about a frivolous lawsuit. I’m thinkin’ death… or rape. or raped to death. yeah, that works.

Axe says:

Now. Now.

I think your statement wasn’t completely thought out there Anonymous.

Obviously Kazaa, Sharezea and Limewire should be Bitch-Slapped for stupidity, because they ought to know that the average consumer thinks a suppository is something to swallow.

I’d also pay good money to see someone punch Bush in the mouth. About just as likely.

Kazaa is an enabling technology and it is the choice of the user to break the law or not. The defense is a cop-out and the person using such reasoning should be prosecuted to the full extent.

I’d rather it be some entity other than the RIAA, but if it serves the purpose…

If it were up to Gabriel, we would lose our right to be greedy. All jokes aside. I agree that frivolous lawsuits should be banned, but think of the entertainment value. If dumb-ass 1 wouldn’t sue dumb-ass 2 we would have a thing to laugh about.

Paul says:

I havnt used a p2p program since the initial fall of napster, but as far as I remember those programs, by default, share out an initially empty “downloads” folder, and anything you download goes into this folder and is thus shared.. so anything the person was “involuntarily and unknowingly” uploading was something they had previously downloaded already, NOT their possibly legitimate “My Music” folder.

Will anyone ever learn says:

Re:all this Crap

You crazy people and your mindless self indulgence….

Downloading the music is illegal. Uploading the music is illegal. Having a copy of a file is illegal (unless you have paid for it). Hosting a “map” or torrent of a file IS illegal, it’s like a compressed version of the file, and as soon as a lawmaker anywhere understands that all of the trackers in the us and other countries where there are copyright laws will be forced to take them down… The problem here is one of symantics. They just don’t have the words yet to show you you are breaking the law…

I am a programmer, but I also know more than a little about the law… What you are trying to say is ok is already illegal, the lawers just need to clarify for the world what is actually taking place IS ILLEGAL! If I downloaded your car in the middle of the night and just wanted to “share” you wouldn’t have so much trouble thinking it was wrong????

Gabriel Tane (profile) says:

Re: Re:all this Crap

“Downloading the music is illegal. Uploading the music is illegal. Having a copy of a file is illegal (unless you have paid for it).” -Will anyone ever learn

Having a copy of a file is NOT illegal. You’re grouping all things together as horribly as the RIAA does. If I purchased a file (music, program, whatever) and I copy that program for my own backup purposes, it’s not illegal. If I purchase a song, rip it MP3 on my desktop (I store 99% of my music this way because I’ve had CDs stolen before), and then put a copy of that CD on my Laptop;that’s not illegal. It’s my freakin CD. I can do with that as I please, so long as I do not give others copies of that song without permission from the copyright holders.

“The problem here is one of symantics. They just don’t have the words yet to show you you are breaking the law…” – Will anyone ever learn

So let me get this straight- even if there’s not a law against it yet, it’s already illegal? Does that even make sense to you? “I don’t like what you’re doing. It should be illegal, so I’ll prosecute you even if there isn’t a law against what you’re doing”.

Sorry; until they “have the words to show me that it’s illegal”… i.e. write a freakin law against it… it’s legal. Being an asshole bastard isn’t illegal.

“If I downloaded your car in the middle of the night and just wanted to “share” you wouldn’t have so much trouble thinking it was wrong????” -Will anyone ever learn

Apples to oranges here buddy. I own my car (well, the bank does, but I’m workin on it). I don’t own the music I purchase; I own the copy I purchased and the media on which it came (the physical CD itself). If you illegally copy music from me, you’re not taking my music; you’re taking someone else’s music. You’re just using my copy to gain access to something that you would have otherwise had to pay for.

Sorry to poke holes in your theories here, but come on.

You may want to ask the RIAA to raise your paycheck. I don’t think they’re paying you enough for this.

Any Mouse-Cow Warder says:

Ignorance is an excuse?

At what point did ignorance of your actions become a valid excuse? If I’m speeding because I don’t know how to drive a car, I don’t think that will get me off. Kazaa doesn’t hide what it shares. It is in the preferences, VERY easy to find, VERY easy to modify. If the person doesn’t know what they are doing, they shouldn’t use the software.

Not that I agree with the RIAA. Its just that this is a bs defense. Sounds like someone in clear violation clutching at straws. RIAA’s tactics are thuggish and wrong, but that doesn’t make every file sharer they attach an innocent babe.

Chris says:

The Little Guy

When a case like this arises there are three things you can always expect to see:

Mass Speculation.

$$ wins.

Giant waste of time.

The main issue here is whos propetry belongs to whom. Record companies and the RIAA claim that even though you pruchased a CD the songs on it are still owned by the record company. Because of this you shouldn’t be able to reproduce or repliacte them in any fashion, and thus it’s illegal to do so.

The problem with this is that there are other laws that exist that say you can backup media you own. If you have legitimatly purchased something you may make a backup of it for your own use, such as almost anything. It’s why the disclaimer you see on any DVD or video says “Do not make illegal copies….” Otherwise it would just say “Do not make copies…”

Like any case that’s brought to the medias attention you’re going to have people talking about something that they’re pretty much oblivious about. Then these people talk to more people, and more to more, and so on and so forth, until everyone’s perspective is so diluted that no one really knows that the issue at hand is. So, what is the issue at hand? Well I don’t pay much attention to these sort of things, because file sharing will always exist, just will; deal with it or make your life a living hell trying to fight it (Giant waste of time).

The judges presiding over these cases, know the law well (at least we’ll assume they do). Sadly, that’s about all they might know in relation to the case. So any other information conveyed to them is probably going to be biased. It’s hard for the judge to take the complaints from the defendants, mostly because they’re all young. And it’s safe to assume that any judge who might be dealing with such a case, has had his fair share of dealing with today’s youth. In this country more so than most if you’re young, you might as well be insignifgant. So defendants try to get older, more well established people to make their complaints for them. This is where the corporations get into the mix, and it’s all downhill from here. The company or corporation who invests the most $$ into researching the law’s governing the legality of the case and getting them to twist it to their favor is going to win.

If you disagree, quit posting in forums such as this, get out on the street. Talk to people who are as equaly pissed off about it as you are, and then form a group. Get this group to talk to others, and whada ya know you have a giant group of people, with one very big voice. Too lazy? Me too. So fight the silent battle by continuing to download illegal music, then when they call you up on charges, bitch.

Nature Boy says:

All Technicalities Aside

If File Sharing is Wrong:

It’s wrong to take a picture of someone else’s tree, then send it to a friend.

It’s wrong to read a storybook to a four year old.

All those freaks in costume at the Star Trek Conventions owe money to the production companies.

It’s wrong play CD’s at a party.

Music is an assemblage of pre-existing elements and has been traditionally held to belong to everyone.

The value of tapes and CD’s comes in the labor and materials needed to provide a durable, quality product (which is why it’s legal to sell them).

File sharing is legal under what was once known as “the spirit of the law.” Then the Republicans bought out all the judges.

Of course, the RIAA leans on the artists as the “victims” of file sharing. The music companies have become the robber-barons of the 21st century.

It has not been definatively shown that file sharing hurts music and movie revenues. Until it is proven, the RIAA owes a lot of settlement money back.

A million lawyers’ eyes are lighting the skies.

Wyndle says:

Long Winded Rant (IANAL)

Ok, we’ve obviously got a varied, yet mostly agreeing opinion here that the RIAA sucks. That much is undeniably true. They have twisted their way into the pockets of the consumers and the artists for so long that they have grown roots and they don’t want to budge.

Now that there is a new product on the loose that they knew they would not be able to control reliably they first ignored it. When they realized that would not work they tried to make it known that “it is illegal to copy CDs” but they failed to mention the exception of “fair use.” In the case of this medium fair use constitutes making backups and/or conversions of a legally purchased product (the music). Once they realized that the very misunderstood fair use clause that caused them so much trouble with cassettes had become a world-wide distribution system that they could neither track nor profit from they dropped a brick in their collective drawers and immediately called out the hounds (or is it degrading to canines to compare them to lawyers?).

I love listening to music alot, though there are only a few artists that I would consider being worth my time to listen to. Given that I have a small range, I would rather click a paypal/credit card donation link on their homepage than buy CD that might make my computer vulnerable to the latest wave of virii and hackers.

Back to the RIAA… What are they doing to fix the problems in their business model? Nothing. What are they doing to patch their dying distribution model? Adding software to audio CDs that will kill most computers and sueing the pants off some of their best (and worst) customers. What are they doing to address the money they aren’t paying to the artists for sales on those works? Using the lawsuits as smoke and mirrors to keep their artists blind to the fact that the RIAA has stolen more money from the artists since it’s inception than all the downloads, taped radio, burned CDs, and legal free radio combined could have possibly lost them.

On a technical level the RIAA is in the right here, at least as far as the law goes. That is in part due to the fact that they use lobbyists to get laws in their favor passed and laws that are not in their favor not passed. That reminds me of another rant, but I’ll save it for a political board.

nunya_bidness says:

True Passion

I am forever amazed at the debates that follow an article which points out that people will do anything or say anything, even claim ignorance, to get something for nothing. I wonder how many stupid excuses there would be if some new technology allowed a loophole or undefined action that enabled sharing gasoline? Keep up the good work, because I love the entertainment value, and it’s free.

Gabriel Tane (profile) says:

Re: True Passion

Nunya, I’m not going to argue what is obviously an opinion. You have the perception that anyone who is anti-RIAA is a thief or a cheap-ass who wants to get free music. I can say with 100% accuracy and surety that this perception is wrong.

I can be that sure because I know that I am anti-RIAA and I don’t just want free music (I am a cheap-ass though… eh, it’s a flaw).

The RIAA, supposedly, wants to protect the copyrighted materials that are under their purview. And that’s fine. That’s understandable. The thing that I have a problem with is the way in which they are going about this protection and the extent they are going.

Let’s look at a similar argument from history. You’re immediately going to attack this analogy because it’s an extreme one that you’ll say doesn’t fit the context. It does though, if you look at it.

There was once a governmental leader that wanted to make sure that his people were the best they could be. He wanted to make sure, that in the worlds eyes, his people were the cream of the crop; the best the human race had to offer. In order to do this, he had to do a bit of trimming to remove what was viewed as some slight impurities.

That’s a very noble goal to want that for your people. Unfortunately, this leader went to some severe extremes to reach that goal. Killing millions in the name of his ‘superior race’. Killing millions who were guilty of nothing more than being impure in his eyes. Got an idea who I’m talking about?

Yeah… I know I’ve run the RIAA/Nazi thing into the ground, but the similarities are there. We a have a governing body who is “looking out for their people”, using strong-arm tactics against weaker people to enforce their will (which is legally-questionable), in whole-sale fashion against anyone this body finds against them. The only difference here is that one group used mass murder and genocide, while the other uses lawsuits for money.

Say what you want Nunya, but I’m just pissed at how the RIAA is doing their stuff here. I do disagree with some of their motivation. But hey, it’s a capitalist society that motivates and rewards greed, so who’s surprised there?

nunya_bidness says:

Re: Re: True Passion

I love the entertainment value. Your passion preceedes you, but you do not know me. I am anti-RIAA because they are a bunch of thiefs, and I am also a careful how I spend my hard earned cash. The original article was about a court case in which a move for dismissal was entered on the defendant not knowing the default settings of file sharing software were to share files, and I though that was dumb, that’s it, in a nutshell. The following debate became quite humorous to me, and I apologize if I hit a nerve. But, lets get some things straight. The RIAA is not a governing body, it is a trade group. They do not care about their people, they care about money. Genocide and mass murder are the same thing, but I do not think the RIAA is killing anybody.I cannot attack your analogy because it is not an analogy.

And you said ” I’m not going to argue what is obviously an opinion.” and proceeded to argue it, “Let’s look at a similar argument from history.” Like I said, I love the entertainment value.

Gabriel Tane (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: True Passion (some of the

In your previous statement:

–“I am forever amazed at the debates that follow an article which points out that people will do anything or say anything, even claim ignorance, to get something for nothing. ”

You are giving the impression that you assume this person is guilty without knowing all of the facts. Are they claiming ignorance? Yes. Is it possible that they really were ignorant and really didn’t engage in illegal file-sharing? YES!

–“The following debate became quite humorous to me, and I apologize if I hit a nerve.”

Yup, it’s very entertaining… and no, you didn’t hit a nerve. I wasn’t pissed in my previous post and apologize if I gave that impression. You and I have had some great debates in the past and I don’t want either of us unnecessarily on the defensive.

–“The RIAA is not a governing body, it is a trade group.”

By their actions, they are claiming all rights to govern the traffic of the media under their “control”. I perhaps should have said that they are a self-proclaimed governing body. I know that they are not, legally, an entity that is supposed to have any real power; just influence.

–“They do not care about their people, they care about money.”

No argument here. But if you listen to the RIAA propaganda, they are all about protecting the artists. Hitler wasn’t really interested in bettering the race, he wanted to get rid of those things that were inferior. The RIAA wants to get rid of all things that challenge their control… which, in their opinion, would make the world a better place for artist.

–“I cannot attack your analogy because it is not an analogy.”

Perhaps I used the wrong literary word, but I always hated English in school anyway. I was making a comparison of similarities between the RIAA’s actions and the actions taken by the Nazi regime. Was analogy the wrong word? Allusion, perhaps?

–“And you said ‘I’m not going to argue what is obviously an opinion.’ and proceeded to argue it, ‘Let’s look at a similar argument from history.'”

I wasn’t arguing (what appeared to be) your opinion that, as I said, “anyone who is anti-RIAA is a thief or a cheap-ass who wants to get free music.” You’ve stated that you too are anti-RIAA, so perhaps my initial impression was incorrect. Nice to see that you don’t generalize like that.

What I did want to argue is that not all of the arguments against the RIAA are an attempt to claim that file-sharing is legal. Some (perhaps a majority? Dunno) are about how the RIAA is going about their work.

Sorry if this seems a bit slap-dashed, but I’d doing this at work and keep getting interrupted mid-stream and it’s really hard to keep my mind on-point.


nunya_bidness says:

Re: Re: Re:2 True Passion (some of the

I will never assume someone is guilty with, or without, knowing all the facts. I belive in innocent untill proven guilty.

But I also belive ignorance is no excuse, plain and simple. I agree that the RIAA propaganda is sickening, but someone has to pay the bills and music is big business, and not all artist get screwed. Still I think it is wrong to make allusions or analogys to the Nazi’s, they were beyond extreme. I hate when my forum contributions keep getting interruped with work too, but let me repeat myself-Ignorance is no excuse- if it were the laws would be in more trouble than they are now, with criminals suing victims and all, this mess has to stop, and I hate to see one more case of stupidity win out over the laws, even if I do not totally agree with them.

Gabriel Tane (profile) says:

Last bit of True Passion

Like I said, you were giving the impression that you beloved these people were guilty unequivocally.

I agree that ignorance is not an excuse. I can, however, be a reason. Yes, people do need to be held accountable for their ignorance. Hopefully that will help give incentive to people to be more diligent in their actions.

All I’m saying is that there are circumstances where such ‘excuses’ should be allowable. They may be extremely rare, but to assume that there is never and will never be a reasonable situation where this could be acceptable… that’s just foolish.

The trouble, of course, is that it’s nearly impossible to make a dividing line between those situations and still have it be “fair”. Philosophers have debated this kind of thing for ages… justice and fairness being in the eyes of the beholder, and such. Having people be –gasp– accountable for their own actions won’t fix the problem, but it’ll damn sure help. On that, I agree with you.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go fight some histamines… Damned Florida pollen.

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