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RIAA Hates you and wants to bankrupt you.
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Author Topic: RIAA Hates you and wants to bankrupt you.  (Read 61077 times)
Seenterman
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« on: June 19, 2009, 06:26:02 AM »

Quote
http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article6534542.ece

A woman in Minnesota has been ordered to pay $80,000 a song to record companies for illegally downloading tracks and violating copyright laws.

A federal jury ruled that Jammie Thomas-Rasset willfully violated the copyrights on 24 songs, and awarded record companies $1.92 million.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and big music labels have sued thousands of people for downloading and sharing music illegally, with most agreeing to settlements of between $3,000 and $5,000.

Thomas-Rasset was the first among those being sued to refuse a settlement and instead took the case to court, turning her into the highest-profile digital pirate in America.

Is this not ridiculous?! Ok if the RIAA wants to fine people for downloading songs how about some type of reasonable fine? Making her pay the cost of the cd for each song would be ok but $80,000 per song is absolutly crazy. How could a jury actually go for this, is common sence dead? The funny thing is they claim she provided 1,700 songs to download via Kazza, but only tried to prove 24 instances. So that 1.92 million is based on damages over only 24 songs. I hope to gosh everyone deleated any pirated music from the good ol days (circa 2000) or else if you have a cd's worth of music on your computer the RIAA will bankrupt you for it.

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Standing Wolf
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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2009, 06:50:56 AM »

Theft ought to be costly.
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zahc
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« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2009, 07:00:02 AM »

Copyright infringement is not theft.
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Balog
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« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2009, 07:07:52 AM »

Copyright infringement is not theft.

I'm not sure how downloading music you didn't pay for is copyright infringement.
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« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2009, 07:09:16 AM »

I'm not sure how downloading music you didn't pay for is copyright infringement.

Sharing back through Kazzaa/BitTorrent/etc is copyright infringement.
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« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2009, 07:17:52 AM »

Copyright infringement is not theft.

A rose by any other name....

Lawyers can call it what ever they want.  rolleyes

But if you take something that isn't yours, you take it without permission, whether you gain monetarily from the taking or not, it is theft.

Downloading electrons or taking it out of a music store without paying. Still theft.

It doesn't matter if everyone in the country is doing it. Still theft.

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Balog
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« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2009, 07:18:31 AM »

Huh, you're right that is the technical term for it.


In any case, I'd love to hear a logical defense of taking another's intellectual property without paying for it. Sure seems like stealing to me.
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danny
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« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2009, 07:24:29 AM »

Yes it's theft but the punishment should fit the crime.
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Balog
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2009, 07:25:55 AM »

Danny: oh, I agree the sentence is idiotic. But I've never heard a reasonable explanation for the "it's not really stealing" line of thought.
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mtnbkr
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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2009, 07:26:39 AM »

No doubt the fine is excessive, but it's not exactly news that the RIAA has been doing this to people.  The problem is too many folks think they're not going to get caught, so when they do, they cry foul.  The best defense is to not download music you didn't pay for. 

Chris
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« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2009, 07:28:33 AM »

Danny: oh, I agree the sentence is idiotic. But I've never heard a reasonable explanation for the "it's not really stealing" line of thought.

Usually that comes from the "information wants to be free" ie the Open Source/Free Software folks (not the ones who contribute and use OS software and technology in meaningful ways, but the ones that do it because it's free and counterculture).  It's a adolescent mentality, but one that's hard to shake for that demographic.

Chris
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« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2009, 07:32:09 AM »

Copyright infringement is not theft.

Which is why she was fined $80,000/song instead of $0.99+penalties/song. I'm pretty sure the people being sued would rather have copyright infringement for non-commercial use be reclassified as theft...
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AZRedhawk44
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« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2009, 07:32:29 AM »

Yes it's theft but the punishment should fit the crime.

This is true.

If you shoplifted it, you would probably do minor jail time and have a civil fine and probation.

What's interesting here is this really isn't theft:  It's a civil proceeding about the civil contract of copyright law.  It's not a criminal case at all.

Morally it's theft, but this is not law enforcement bringing charges... so it can't be tried as any form of larceny.  It could be argued that the means of obtaining evidence is inherently illegal for law enforcement to participate in.  You have to be scouting the intarwebz looking for torrent-shaped packets, or participating in a torrent trade yourself, in order to even find anyone sharing torrents.

As such, only the owner of the intellectual property or one of his agents would be legally able to participate in such file sharing... or, I guess you could go out and buy the CD/DVD/whatever to cover your own butt with download liability, but you still end up uploading while using a torrent program.  Without distribution rights, you're doing something illegal.

Which would be why it would be illegal for police to pursue larceny charges against torrent users; they end up distributing while investigating.  Without express permission from the owner of the property, they couldn't do that.
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« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2009, 07:38:24 AM »

Quote from: Seenterman
RIAA Hates you and wants to bankrupt you.

Uh, no.  RIAA wants you to abide by copyright law and not go around distributing stuff you have no right to give away.

Brad
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Seenterman
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« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2009, 07:46:28 AM »

Im not debating the actual crime, yea she did steal. I'm wondering about the settlement, and how excessive it is. How can 1.92 million in damages be accounted for based off 24 songs? If I robbed a tower records for 2 cds I'l be looking at what? Less than a year in jail? Yet done electonically I just committed 1.92 million in damages?  

I think the 8th Amendment could and should come into play here. Specifically the part about no excessive fines, I know that refers to the government imposing the excessive fines and in this case its a private company suing for the excessive fines but its being enforced by the U.S. Court system. Im no Constitutional scholar but it seems like subverting the Constitution through the courts.

Quote
In United States v. Bajakajian, 524 U.S. 321 (1998), the Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to take $357,144 from a person who failed to report his taking of more than $10,000 in U.S. currency out of the United States.[24] In what was the first case in which the Supreme Court ruled a fine to violate the Excessive Fines Clause,[25] the Court ruled that it was "grossly disproportional" to take all of the money which Mr. Bajakajian attempted to take out of the United States without reporting trying to do so. In describing what constituted "gross disproportionality," the Court could not find any guidance from the history of the Excessive Fines Clause and so relied on Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause case law:

I know this case cites the Gov vs a Private individual and this case is a private individual vs a private company but the thing I find important is the phrase  "gross disproportionality," which IMO would categorize this situation perfectly.

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Werewolf
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« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2009, 07:59:23 AM »

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If I robbed a tower records for 2 cds I'l be looking at what? Less than a year in jail? Yet done electonically I just committed 1.92 million in damages? 

Steal 2 CD's and that is the extent of the loss to the owner.

Download 2 songs, make both available for download by others and before you know it there's 2 million copies out there. Even assuming that 90% of the downloaders go on to purchase the music (which is what most of the lying, thieving bastages say they do) that's still 200,000 pieces of music that didn't get paid for. At 99 cents a pop you're looking at $200,000 in lost revenue. Add punitive damages and you could get up to 1.92 million easily.

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zahc
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« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2009, 08:09:27 AM »

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Danny: oh, I agree the sentence is idiotic. But I've never heard a reasonable explanation for the "it's not really stealing" line of thought.

The argument goes like this:

If I steal a tangible thing, in the traditional sense, I have violated somebody's property rights, because I have deprived them of property that was theirs. This is known as 'stealing'.

As you know, digital data can be copied perfectly with no generation loss. This is not a bug, it's a feature. Say that I make a digital copy of some digital data, from a copy which is itself thousands of times removed from me and the original copy that the author claims to have created. The copy that I copied has not deprived the original 'owner' of the original copy of anything. His original copy is unaffected. I have only 'stolen' from him in that he perceives that since I copied this data, I will not purchase it in some other form, and thus I have harmed him by (he argues) reducing the probability that I will give him money. Isn't that just terrible?

This reasoning is about as solid as dressmaker arguing that if I buy a dress from his competitor (depriving him of nothing in the process), that I am less likely (he thinks) to purchase a dress from him, and thus I have 'stolen' from him.

Copyright laws are nothing but imaginary legal protectionism constructs that create artificial revenue streams for certain industries by using the threat of real, live rights violations (threat of legal consequences including theft/fines) to extort money out of citizens in the name of 'protection' from legal consequences. They pay, not the price the market has set (which is approximately zero), but an artificial, arbitrary price decided on by the extortionists, only out of their own interest of avoiding persecution.

Failing to pay the extortion money is not the same thing as theft, by a long shot. It's not a breach of contract, either. It's more like "failing to pay the price set by the person who claims the (dubious and unenforceable) authority over anyone/everyone's right to make a copy of a piece of digital data (which is really just a big number), without paying the price that HE has decided that you should pay in order to avoid him sending people with guns to drag you to court and pillage your bank account as a "lesson" to all others".
« Last Edit: June 19, 2009, 08:17:06 AM by zahc » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2009, 08:19:47 AM »

So in your view only tangible property is real or has worth? Huh. Do you also hate patent laws?
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« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2009, 08:23:23 AM »

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Copyright laws are nothing but imaginary legal protectionism constructs

Uh, sure.  And if frogs weren't green they'd be invisible.  rolleyes

Brad
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zahc
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« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2009, 08:28:20 AM »

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So in your view only tangible property is real or has worth?

I don't care to ponder the meanings of "tangible", "real" or "worth". I care about rights, about harm, and about aggression.

If somebody shoplifts a record that belongs to a record store, without paying the record store an agreed-on price, then he has harmed the record store. I would call that "theft" and conclude that the record store has been "stolen from".

When Bob makes a backup copy of a piece of digital data on his computer without paying a distant party whatever said distant party decides that Bob (and all other people under the sun who wish to do the same) should pay him for the permission to do so, and said distant party escorts Bob to a court of law at gunpoint and empties his pockets and his bank account as punishment (for no harm other than failure to pay him what he wants), then I tend to feel that it's Bob, and not the distant party, who is being harmed.
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« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2009, 08:35:52 AM »

You're being so melodramatic it's hard to take you seriously. Emo argument is emo.

The person who has produced the (music/software etc) has a right to dictate the usage of that property. The data itself is the property, not the media it is stored on. The creator of this property has a right to dictate it's use. Your argument is tantamount to those who defend trespassing on the grounds that they aren't harming your property so they have a right to be on it.
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« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2009, 08:37:50 AM »

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When Bob makes a backup copy of a piece of digital data on his computer

Bob has a right to make archival copies of data he bought or obtained legally.

Bob doesn't have distribution rights to other people's data that is marketed for sale in order to make a profit.
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« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2009, 08:40:51 AM »

I don't agree with, but understand zahc's sentiment.

Copyright laws, with respect to free redistribution, more so are laws dictating what you can and cannot do with your own property.  Music, is an unfortunate example of this, because it pins infinite zero-cost reproduction versus rich record labels/artists that make way too much money to do what they did in their garage anyway.

Copyright laws are meant for the societal good though.  Again, it is why music is such a bad example, no one sees the music companies yet going broke.  On the other hand, before music, books were the other (benevolent) major copyright infringement source.  You could buy and xerox books for your friends, but they are cheap enough, that most people don't wish to go through that much trouble.  Additionally, imagine it were that easy to copy books.  How much could you dilute the market until authors no longer wrote or publishers couldn't afford to publish?  Given that most authors aren't exactly loaded, I would guess not too long.  What kind of society would we be without books?



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Marnoot
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« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2009, 08:46:09 AM »

Bob has a right to make archival copies of data he bought or obtained legally.

Bob doesn't have distribution rights to other people's data that is marketed for sale in order to make a profit.

The RIAA doesn't agree that making archival copies is legal, they've just said they won't [bother to] sue you for it.
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FTA84
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« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2009, 08:48:22 AM »

The RIAA doesn't agree that making archival copies is legal, they've just said they won't [bother to] sue you for it.

I thought making archival copies, of anything (be it xerox books or photos), is ok as long as you:

a) Own the originals
b) Do not disseminate the archives
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