Lets just assume for the sake of argument that the record labels arguments are correct: there is absolute proof that the accused downloaded $6.57 worth of songs and that it is the equivalent of theft.
Basically the real world equivalent of a kid stealing a drink and a pack of chips from a corner store and being caught on a HD security camera. Obviously the kid would have to pay cost of their stolen goods and I would suggest perhaps doubling the value as punishment - but if the kid admits their crime and pays up it should end there. If they decide to fight the charge and are then found guilty then they should clearly incur costs, but how much? If the store owner hires million dollar lawyers then that would be clearly unjust to force the kid to pay for them. I would suggest that the costs should bring the damages up to no more than triple value ie 300%, $19.71 in this case. Instead the alleged infringer is expected to pay 9385% in damages? How does this make any sense at all, even remembering that we are taking the accusers claims at face value in this case?
This is definitely a good thing. I've been thinking for a while now that it would be good to get some posters and/or t-shirts of a few of the bands I like, who's video clips I often watch on youtube. The reason I haven't so-far is that it's too much of a hassle to track down the artists site, find their store, sign up for a payment system, figure out international postage (if it's even avaliable) etc. If it's right there on youtube I'll definitely be much more likely to buy things - assuming they're reasonably priced of course.
Each group in this story can learn something from the other.
The music labels from the drug dealers: how to sell something people want to buy instead of trying to force them to buy what they don't want.
The drug dealers from the music labels: how to properly buy politicians, so your competitors get thrown in jail instead of you.
Actually from the sounds of things they're comparing it to fake chicken:
Judging of taste and texture will be performed by a panel of 10 PETA judges, who will sample the in vitro chicken prepared using PETA's own fried "chicken" recipe. The in vitro chicken must get a score of at least 80 when evaluated in order to win the prize.
I was liking the sound of it too but another of their conditions also makes me quite dubious about their honesty:
Manufacture the approved product in large enough quantities to be sold commercially, and successfully sell it at a competitive price in at least 10 states.
It would seem likely that a company would have to be quite some size to be selling in 10 states. They'd also likely be making 10's or even 100's of millions a year competing on an ethics standpoint (ie to vegetarians etc) without being able to "sell it at a competitive price" compared to "real" meat. And this needs to happen in 2 years to qualify for the award???
You can still donate by credit card and I would encourage everyone who is able to do so, this will be a protest of paypal folding under pressure and wikileaks itself could certainly do with the money as you have pointed out.
Re: Re: Still no reason why such a statement would be made by Mike..
And about violence, ever heard of BDSM?
I'm pretty certain that is illegal porn under Australian law, in fact I think that's explicitly what is meant by the violence provisions. I'd say anything a little kinky is borderline so you should avoid anything of the sort coming into the country unless you want to have a public discussion with customs officials on the merits of different styles of pornography. Or perhaps go the other direction and get some hardcore bondage stuff, preferably where the willing participation of all participants is clearly documented, to test the issue.
On a related note this is what our proposed internet filter is about - politicians try to fit "child pornography" into every sentence used to discuss it but that's not even the majority of the porn covered by the proposed filter, let alone everything else...
Over time I have been fairly convinced by arguments of mostly an economic nature as to the greater efficiency of private organisations as opposed to government ones as reasons for dismantling and privatising government functions, but it is cases like this that really do it for me. Can you really imagine a private investigative organisation getting away with this sort of thing? If they wanted to keep any customers at all they would hold an intensive investigation, with the likely result being that even if the guy was cleared it would almost certainly result in his being fired for the blatant appearance of corruption if nothing else, even with this they would take a major hit. But since the police is government funded there is no chance of them loosing customers and going out of business like any incompetent private organisation would.
This just gets me really annoyed when I see what appears to be such blatant examples of corruption. If it's not this it's politicians letting their biggest campaign contributors essentially write their speeches and policies for them rather than bothering to look into it themselves.
I think the judge was correct in defining twittering as being a type of broadcast. A separate issue is weather broadcasts should be allowed - and I think they clearly should be - how can people obey the law if they can't see how it is applied?
This sort of thing keeps on showing that people consistently fail to recognize: 1 - that capitalism does work and extremely well at that, and 2 - why it works. Pure capitalism works because if there is a desire that is partially or wholly going unfulfilled - say the production of recorded music - then there is an opportunity for people to make large sums of money by fulfilling that desire.
It's econ 101, supply and demand. First low supply + high demand = high prices (and profits). Secondly high prices (and profits) = more production, leading to lowering prices and increasing supply until an equilibrium is reached (though the equilibrium fluctuates over time).
If the government interferes with this tax (even more so than it already does with copyright) then they are funding music at the expense of things the tax payer desires more. This can even be broken down to the level of whether and to what extent rap should be funded as opposed to classical music.
The best situation that can be hoped for with interference like this is that more is produced than is wanted, at worst it limits the ability of the market to produce, actually reducing the overall supply.
Why are a group of old judges setting the price of music anyway?
Basically the reason for this is that government is suffering under the delusion that they can manage the market to produce better results than the market would produce without interference, which goes way beyond things like copyright. It is kinda understandable, because if interference is unessary then there is no reason for them to have their jobs - and generally public servants and politicians (heck anyone really) would like to believe their jobs have meaning.
You would have thought that the fall of the soviet union would have been dramatic enough for everyone to realize that state control doesn't work but apparently not. It seems to be the eternal arrogance of politicians - sure my opponents policies of interference are going to destroy the country but mine will bring about utopia for certain.