I believe that the forfeiture law came about for more tangible things, like drug trafficking. If DEA can show that a boat may have been used to run drugs from Mexico to the US, they can forfeit the boat because it (may have) facilitated a crime. Again, it is the property that was used to commit crime, not its owner or any specific user. Since nobody is being charged, there is no trial. And since property has no rights, and since government's powers trump the owner's rights, the boat is auctioned off.
Just because copyright infringement happened doesn't necessarily mean it was criminal copyright infringement.
Using the government's example: If you went to the site and used a link on the site to stream a football game that is otherwise only available on a premium channel or for a fee (this being stated explicitly on the website), would a reasonable person believe that the streaming is done against the wishes of the copyright holder? Correct me if I am wrong, but that is the primary test for criminal infringement.
Google and every other search engine and every website with user generated/3rd party links could be seized. Clearly, this cannot and should not be the case.
Yes, using the government's logic here and finding a really crazy judge, they probably could. I agree that it shouldn't be the case, but the Law has nothing to do with logic and only a tenuous connection to right and wrong.
In your example above, the infringement is on THE INDIVIDUAL USER, not the site in general
The infringement is taken as an asserted fact, without blaming any specific person. Similarly, my bike can be said to be stolen, without accusing any specific person.
The government may have a case. There is reasonable proof that criminal copyright infringement took place. Material was published and distributed without the copyright holder's permission. There was also plenty of clues for whoever infringed that they are acting against the copyright holder's wishes. Then it does not matter who infringed, only that the domain (as property) facilitated the infringement.
That said, the forfeiture law is still awful and the burden of evidence on government is frighteningly low. Under these arguments, the US government could probably forfeit all copiers, iPods, laptops and most servers in the existence.
Correct, there is no evidence that RF-disabled electronic device ever brought down a plane. However, FAA is required to individually test every single electronic device before it permits it to operate during take-off and landing. This testing is very expensive and paid for by the manufacturer. So I suggest that you lobby Samsung and Apple to certify their devices.
He applies the marginal cost concept to movies and music as if the reproduction is the high end cost of the product - and it isn't. But each unit has to help to pay off the fixed costs, the "nut" as it were, that you need to make in order to break even.
No matter how hard he tries, Mike is unable to explain why we should ignore the fixed or up front costs as it related to the retail price of a CD, DVD, or digital download.
There are two distinct steps in this business you need to understand. First, you need to create a product. This takes money called fixed cost, which represents your investment into the project.
Second, you try to sell copies of the product to generate income. Each copy is sold for a price and carries with it some marginal cost, the sum of money it takes to produce the copy and to get it to the customer. The net income per copy is then the difference between the price and the marginal cost. Remember, you are trying to maximize your net income, not the number of copies sold.
Only once both steps are over can you go back and compare your net income to your initial fixed costs. If you earned enough to cover your costs, good for you. If not, you made an unwise investment and should try to do better next time around.
As you can see, once you are selling a finished product, the fixed costs matter only to the accounting department. They are what they are and you can't change them. It is only the net income that matters.
Socialism, even in content, is not workable in the long run. We have seen so many countries fall into economic disarray in the last few years because their socialistic tendencies are outspending reality. Do we really need MORE socialist leanings to prove that it's not working out, that we are not advancing as a people because of it?
I couldn't agree with you more. Except, we are already living in the socialism you warn against. Government legalizes and enforces exclusive monopolies on creative work for the common good of the people. And more recently, government is even passing legislation to keep industries afloat. If that is not a clear example of socialism, what is?
I say, lets go back to free market. Scale back copyright to the single right of having one's name associated with one's work. Why not let the free market sort out the true value of creative content? Or is it not socialist enough for you?
So if I understand it right, Apple has a contract with publishers, which allows publishers to choose at what price their books will be sold (with Apple taking 30% cut). The contract also specifies that publishers must ensure that any other retailer they deal with will also sell their books at the same price. Did I get it right?
The problem with your metaphor is that if Walmart tried something like that, Pepsi would tell them to f*** off. But then Pepsi and Coke are actually interested in selling their product to as many people as possible, while most publishers would prefer to outlaw ebooks entirely.