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Swedish BitTorrent User Accused Of Sharing Beyonce Album, Hit By $233,000 Lawsuit From Sony

from the that's-justice? dept

Lots of news regarding file-sharing has come out of Sweden over the years, but as TorrentFreak points out, until now, there's never been a prosecution for alleged unauthorized sharing using BitTorrent. The current case is unusual in a number of other respects:

The claim is that on June 8, 2011 a man from Gothenburg shared Beyonce's album '4' in advance of its June 24 commercial release date. The case was made even more interesting following the revelation that the 47-year-old is a music industry worker.
Because the album in question was a pre-release version, the Swedish prosecutor says he believes a heavy punishment could be handed down. As if that weren't enough, the label concerned -- Sony Music Entertainment -- has said that it intends to seek damages in a civil case:
In a submission to the Gothenburg District Court, Sony said that its business has been negatively affected by the leak on a number of fronts. The label says it has suffered damage to its marketing strategy, sales revenues and has also incurred additional costs. Sony adds that its relationship with Beyonce has been damaged and the artist's reputation hurt.

For all of the above Sony say they will claim 1.5 million kronor from the man, which is roughly $233,000.
But as various studies have suggested, rather than hurting Sony, it's just as likely that this leak helped make the official launch even more successful than it would have been. Similarly, it's hard to see how Beyonce's reputation was hurt by such a leak, since the more passionate the fan, the more pleased they would be by obtaining early access.

Anyway, the figure of $233,000 seems plucked out of the air, as is so often the case in this evidence-free area. Or perhaps it was inspired by the most famous damages imposed for unauthorized sharing of music, those against Jammie Thomas, who was fined $222,000 in her first trial (which then went up to $1,920,000 in the second trial, and to $1,500,000 in the third trial.) The fact that her sorry saga is still dragging on is an indication that even if Sony wins the current action, there are likely to be appeals against such a disproportionate and blatantly punitive figure.

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  1. icon
    art guerrilla (profile), 5 Mar 2013 @ 8:58am

    Re: Re:

    "Tired of people thinking there are no repercussions to bad behavior." quoth a lonely mouse...

    1. as a general principle, it is difficult to disagree with that truism... (in fact, it is how our whole system works)

    2. HOWEVER, when viewed as coming from *YOU*, it is hypocritical and disingenuous on many levels...

    3. *AND* when considering the kreepy, greedy MAFIAA bastards who you associate with, it is doubly hypocritical and disingenuous...

    4. not to mention, i can hardly get excited that someone who ALREADY has more money than is seemly is getting screwed over a few shekels... if it was someone 'unknown', then i'd feel a trifle more concerned; but if they were 'unknown', then they wouldn't have been pirated in the first place...

    5. briefly mentioned, is that the 'offender' was/is in the music industry: so aren't you suing somebody ON YOUR 'SIDE' to protect their job ? ? ? does the cognitive dissonance make your ears ring ? ? ?

    6. actually kind of curious as to how all these 'leaks' happen: industry insiders 'steal' the product to put out in the wild, but NO ONE ever hears about them breaking down doors to get the ORIGINAL thieves, ONLY the stupid kidz doing torrents of it after it is in the wild...

    i wonder why these insiders do this ? ? ? is it because they too DESPISE the very industry they are in and its puppetmasters ? ? ?

    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy

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