Officials In Hong Kong Arrest 14-Year-Old For Music Sharing

from the how-dare-you! dept

TorrentFreak has the story of how a 14-year-old boy in Hong Kong has been arrested for sharing Cantonese pop songs online. He may now face up to four years in jail. As the author of the story notes, when he was 14 he had plenty of music on cassette tapes that he would share with friends, and how ridiculous would it be to think of going to prison for that? Kids share music — it’s part of what they do, and in most cases it’s because they love the music and want more people to hear them. They’re not “stealing” the music (and, at that age, probably can’t afford most of it anyway.) They’re simply expressing how much they enjoy the music — and now at least one may go to jail for loving music too much. This isn’t to defend unauthorized file sharing, but to simply question the response to it, compared to what’s actually happening. Something does not seem properly aligned when kids who are expressing their love of music by trying to get others to listen to it are facing jail time.

Filed Under: , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Officials In Hong Kong Arrest 14-Year-Old For Music Sharing”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
20 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

connections... and networking for success

Out of curiosity, what is so different from this 14 year old sharing the love of his music with his friends by giving them copies of it, from a friend who works at a movie theater that lets his friends in the back door to watch a current now-playing/box office film. There is no tangible theft happening here, but there certainly is a “theft of service”, no?

Honestly though, I see this as being no different than having “connections” and being able to network opportunities for success better than those who do not have “connections”.

Anonymous Coward says:

“Honestly though, I see this as being no different than having “connections” and being able to network opportunities for success better than those who do not have “connections”.”

Isn’t that the definition of the mafia? What he did was illegal, I think the point of the article is the punishment didn’t fit the crime.

Like it or not, making a mixed tape for the girl you like in J. high was and still is illegal. As absurd as this all is, it’s the law.

Michael Long (user link) says:

Rationalizations heaped pretty high here, no?

Oh, I love music so much, I have to download it off the internet and share it with everyone! I also love computer games, so I’m also entitled to download and “share” those as well! And movies! Boy, do I LOVE movies! So to spread my love, I run a torrent server and share my love of movies with thousands of friends I’ve never met.

And since I LOVE it so much, and since they love it so much, and since we’re young, we obviously must be entitled to it!

It’s not STEALING, because I’d never be so stupid as to actually PAY for anything I can get for free. Especially when that means I can now spend my money on clothes and shoes and gadgets and other things I can’t steal quite so easily. At least without getting caught.

Oops. I got caught.

Keith Jolie says:

Re: Rationalizations heaped pretty high here, no?

Exactly! I’m not saying he should be thrown in jail for however many years but if you think this kid was just sharing music with his buds you need to give your head a shake.

He’s downloading for free, and he’s seeding to keep his ratios in line so he can download faster.

Maybe you can search harder to find a story about some blind and disabled kid that is downloading – that should help us have more sympathy for him.

Oh…and since when is Torrentfreak a reliable source of objective reporting.

Tell me again why I read the stories on this site?

Twinrova says:

Re: Rationalizations heaped pretty high here, no?

“Oh, I love music so much, I have to download it off the internet and share it with everyone! I also love computer games, so I’m also entitled to download and “share” those as well! And movies! Boy, do I LOVE movies! So to spread my love, I run a torrent server and share my love of movies with thousands of friends I’ve never met.”
Oh, I love money so much, I have to keep everything I find on the ground. I also love newspapers, so I’m entitled to read it and share it with everyone. Boy, do I LOVE books! So to spread my love, I go to my library and share my love of books with thousands of friends I’ve never met.

FINDING stuff on the internet doesn’t make you a thief to get it. The thief title belongs to the person who put it there in the first place.

“And since I LOVE it so much, and since they love it so much, and since we’re young, we obviously must be entitled to it!”
Mike’s Free business model says you are.

“It’s not STEALING, because I’d never be so stupid as to actually PAY for anything I can get for free. Especially when that means I can now spend my money on clothes and shoes and gadgets and other things I can’t steal quite so easily. At least without getting caught.”
And if these things were available for free, you don’t think these “young ‘uns” would take advantage? Seriously, you can not be this daft.

“Oops. I got caught.”
I’ve yet to read anywhere where the downloader was arrested. Only those that provide the download.

I think you need to understand the difference because I’m so tired of people getting upset when they think “theft” is involved, especially when the true thieves charge a dollar for a song, sues at the slightest whim, and complicates my legitimate purchase with security measures making it impossible to render on the very device it’s supposed to.

And I absolutely don’t believe you would pass up on free if given the chance.

benshoof says:

I don’t know about anybody elses education on the subject of donwloading or sharing music but did anybody know that record sales go up if people can listen to music before they buy it. Who want’s to waste money on something your not going to like. Also sharing music helps those bands who are not so well known become known. some people just need to learn whats important to complain about and whats not important.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Try before you buy

I keep seeing comments that talk about hearing music before you buy it as a justification for file sharing…I have an idea…go to the band’s website or listen to lastfm or any other radio station for that matter.

Support services like pandora

There are lots of, dare I say, easier ways to listen to music before you buy it.

Norm says:

Re: Re:

I agree that listening first is great. It is often the case that you hear music at someone’s home, the radio etc or an artist let’s it be previewed.

I think the only argument that some make here is that tons of folks don’t buy, but only pirate. Also when an artist makes noise about their music being stolen Mike and some posters blame the artist for being – well – a victim.

Emily (user link) says:

Quote: “Honestly though, I see this as being no different than having “connections” and being able to network opportunities for success better than those who do not have “connections”.”

Isn’t that the definition of the mafia? What he did was illegal, I think the point of the article is the punishment didn’t fit the crime.

* * * * *

Networking is not the mafia, it is the only way people can get decent jobs these days, unless you want to work at McDonald’s or temp forever.

How many of us when we were kids made homemade cassette tapes of songs we taped from the radio? This is no different.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...