Blogger Who Uploaded GNR Album Pleads Guilty, Accepts Deal

from the still-ridiculous dept

The blogger who uploaded the latest Guns N' Roses album, Chinese Democracy, and who was then arrested has apparently agreed to a plea bargain in the case. Prosecutors had already dropped the charges from a felony to a misdemeanor, and the plea deal probably means he'll get off without too much punishment -- but the whole thing still seems fairly ridiculous. It's not at all clear why the FBI wasted taxpayer money chasing down a fan who simply helped promote the music. In the end, it seems like GNR basically got tax-payer funded promotion for its latest album, while causing significant stress in the life of the guy who was in the middle of all of this. What a joke.

Filed Under: guilty, guns n' roses, music, uploads

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  1. identicon
    Anon2, 11 Nov 2008 @ 7:43am


    Lonnie is absolutely correct here -- although there are civil provisions of the copyright laws that may be enforced by private litigants, copyright infringement can also be a violation of federal criminal law, in which event the law enforcement agency responsible for investigating the matter would be the FBI. As a purely technical legal matter, this is no different than when the DOJ indicts someone for antitrust violations or securities fraud, among other things. In each of those cases, there are civil provisions, and there are also criminal provisions.

    Now there can be -- and obviously is -- a real debate about the wisdom of the current copyright laws, and that gets played out on this blog all the time. But unless and until the laws are actually changed, what this dude did was a federal crime.

    Nor does the fact that very few infringers are ever prosecuted criminally make any difference -- it's the same with respect to most other bodies of law that have both civil and criminal provisions.

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