US woman to pay 1.92 mln dlrs in music piracy case

Discussion in 'Music' started by weirdside, Jun 21, 2009.

  1.  
    weirdside

    weirdside Kaiser

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    Become a citizen of Weirdside. You'll be glad you
    In yet another case of injustice in this country, a not-so-wealthy Brainerd, MN (about an hour from where I live in WI) was ordered by a judge to pay 1.92 million dollars for illegally downloading 24 songs.
    Now, I don't agree with stealing music (I use amazon mp3) but come on, 80 grand per song? She obviously won't be able to pay for it.
    This is my favorite comment from the RIAA attorney: "She infringed my clients' copyrights and then she tried to cover it up."
    She tried to cover it up.
    Apparently these illegal downloaders are being treated on the level of foreign spies.
    At most she should have to pay 24 dollars, at the going rate of a buck a song.
    It's ridiculous, it really is.
     
  2.  
    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    Have to disagree with you on that one. I think it's a very good move on their (the jury's) part -- to send a darned sharp warning to not do this, as if you are caught, you can end up with such a fine -- or even larger -- no matter what your situation. And yes, it was the jury, not the judge, who decided on the amount.

    As for this specific case... the company's attorney (and the company) are continuing to be open to the original settlement proposed, which is something like $3000 total, which would also allow reasonable payment arrangements. This was offered to and rejected by the defendant, so she has only herself to blame for finding herself in this current position. In most legal cases, once this sort of a judgment is made, I rather doubt the original settlement would still be on the table as far as the other side is concerned....
     
  3.  
    TheEndIsNigh

    TheEndIsNigh ...Prepare Thyself

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    I thought it was "uploading" of the songs.

    I also agree with J.D. on this.

    Stealing of intellectual property is rife in the world and anything that helps to stop it is a good thing.

    The process by which somebody profits by acquiring knowledge of other peoples hard work and efforts should be stamped out. Intellectual property takes time and money to create. This is why most things are now made in the far east. Any 'good' ideas can ripped of and reproduced and sold back to the originator at less cost when their development is free.

    Having said that the

    'set the price to the highest we can get'

    mentality is also ridiculous. Some people have only themselves to blame even though they have the law on their side.

    Greed - what a wonderful sin.
     
  4.  
    mosaix

    mosaix Shropshire, U.K.

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    Yep, I agree with JD and TEIN on this one. Many people think that performers are overpaid so music theft is OK. The truth is that there are thousands of musicians (and other performers) living on a pittance and their revenue is being stolen as well.

    The stronger the message, the better.
     
  5.  
    Lobolover

    Lobolover Active Member

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    I have to disagree . Simply because I cannot see not buying one song doing 80 000 dollars worth "damage" .
     
  6.  
    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    It has little to do with the actual damage of a single incident; it is about setting a stiff enough sentence to help cut back on piracy in general. Sometimes, it really is necessary to "send a message" that something won't be tolerated at all, and that indulging in such an illegal act comes with one hell of a stiff penalty....
     
  7.  
    Ursa major

    Ursa major Bearly Believable Staff Member

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    This was the second time that this has been tested in court. The first time, the judgement was in the sum of $222,000. (A few appeals down the road and soon she'll be matching the funds being pumped into Debtroit.)

    I understand that while the case looked at the uploading of 24 songs, it has been suggested that she may have uploaded as many as 1702 songs. She wan't simply dowmnloading to hear them for free (which would also have infringed the copyright), but was facilitating goodness knows how many other people hearing the songs for free. She was, in her own, feckless and underpaid way, acting like a shop or a distributer. Do you think they pay $24 dollars for the right to sell as many copies of a song as they can?


    So I'm with JD on this: the jury was obviously keen to send a message.

    Whether this figure will stick, goodness only knows.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitol_v._Thomas
     
  8.  
    The Judge

    The Judge Truth. Order. Moderation. Staff Member

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    It seems to be a case of Halifax -v- Gilbert.

    Lord Halifax: 'Men are not hanged for stealing horses, but that horses may not be stolen.' On Punishment.

    WS Gilbert: 'Let the punishment fit the crime.' The Mikado.

    Halifax has won this round all right.

    J
     
  9.  
    J-Sun

    J-Sun

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    I'm sure people as diverse as Homer and Einstein would be delighted to hear this.

    I am not condoning the actions of the person in question (though 2 million dollars is insane - akin to "discouraging" bar brawls by execution) but I am astonished at the general attitude of many people towards what has come to be miscalled "intellectual property". This is all I have to say on the subject because I tend to lose my temper on topics like these, but I just wanted to raise this contrasting point in hopes that people might reconsider exactly what their attitudes might mean.
     
  10.  
    mosaix

    mosaix Shropshire, U.K.

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    There is a difference between something that someone discovers (like a fundamental law) and something that someone creates (like a piece of music).

    And my attitude means that I don't think it's right that someone should steal something that someone else has created as part of their livelihood and which they rely on for their income and allow others to copy it as well. In my book it's handling stolen goods.
     
  11.  
    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    I'll be a little more blunt, mosaix. Something like this is, simply, outright theft, with trafficking added onto that....
     
  12.  
    Pyar

    Pyar anticipating destiny

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    Have you guys heard of the Pirate Party of Sweden and others around world?

    The Pirate Party is the third largest party in Sweden and has won a seat in the 2009 European Parliament. There is Pirate Parties forming in many different countries. What they call for is complete reform of the copyright and patent system and making all fire sharing and p2p networking free and legal, they even go as far as to say that the government should encourage it. I thought this was very interesting and the popularity of it in Sweden is astounding!

    Check out the links below for more information:
    The Pirate Party | Piratpartiet
    Pirate Party - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    What do you guys think?
     
  13.  
    Connavar

    Connavar Active Member

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    They arent near the the third biggest party in sweden. They got the third biggest procent in EURO parlament vote. The 4 year national vote they arent even in top 5. In Sweden there are many small parties and only two big ones. People voted for them out of spite since many swedes dont care about EU. Next year national vote people will vote for their real parties again.

    Just to get the facts straight.
     
  14.  
    Ursa major

    Ursa major Bearly Believable Staff Member

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    A party with a policy of giving the voters access to free entertainment (not theirs, mind you) gets 7.13% of the vote in an election prone to fringe and protest votes (because a lot of voters don't believe Euro elections are meaningful**), and in the world's 88th most populous country.

    Not yet setting the world alight, frankly.


    ** - The turnout was 45.53%; it was 81.99% at their most recent general election.
     
  15.  
    Connavar

    Connavar Active Member

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    Exactly no one here cared. People are very anti-euro. I was one of few people who voted of the people i know and i barely remembered in the last few hours of the vote.....
     
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    TheEndIsNigh

    TheEndIsNigh ...Prepare Thyself

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    Hmmm let me think....

    Pirates....

    Sweden....

    Haven't they got some form in this regard....

    I seem to recall some mention of the results of their antics in the Doomsday Book.
     
  17.  
    Lobolover

    Lobolover Active Member

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    The local branch of the party was just registered in this country . And I have nothing against them, especialy if their oponents (the anti piracy union) said, on television in the main news event and I quote :"Registering this party is the equivalent of registering a party of people aproving the Holocaust or a Party of Rapists of Litle Girls" .

    I sh*t you not .
     
  18.  
    Pyar

    Pyar anticipating destiny

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    Oh I was going by the Wikipedia article which says they had over 46,376 members as of 22 May 2009, which makes them have more members than 5 of the 7 parties in Sweden's parliament (I am assuming the 2 of the 7 that it isn't bigger than are the 2 big ones you spoke of).

    But anyway you guys, I wasn't meaning to ask you about the party itself, I wanted to know what you thought of their beliefs. Personally, although many of you will find it detestable, I don't think it is that bad of an idea to make file sharing legal. I don't know how old you all are but as a teenager I have to say people my age really don't care about these things, they don't even think about it. Everyone I know has probably downloaded songs from the internet before probably. Its perfectly acceptable in my generation.

    By making file sharing legal, at least then the recording companies will gain some control rather than being in the dark while all this happens underground. The reason so many people go to illegal downloading is because buying music is so overpriced that many people just don't see the benefit in spending when they can just get it for free. Society has changed and in a generation or two copyright laws will be history.
     
  19.  
    Ursa major

    Ursa major Bearly Believable Staff Member

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    I don't think this proposed "solution" would solve the problem. It's the same with calls to legalise other things: it assumes that once there are legal suppliers, those currently provided non-legal supplies will disappear. But that would only happen if the legal suppliers are able to ship the product for a price at (or just above) that of those seeking to keep all the money they receive to themselves. The result would be the collapse in copyright-related money flows, because they are either cut to the bone or those passing them on go out of business.

    And so content will mostly be provided by amateurs (in the sense that they are unlikely to be paid) and those who - probably mistakenly in the vast majority of cases - believe the world needs their output. Is that a benefit that anyone will see?

    Now it is true that some writers (and possibly musicians) could get a non-copyright-defended job and, in their free time, generate content of the quality we have come to expect; and perhaps some of them might even spend their every spare moment making sure that they create a complete body of work rather than just the odd piece. But wouldn't the world be a worse place for the absense of the lost works, those that are not produced? And for what? So that people can spend less of their money on those works and instead spend it on (fake?) designer clothes, or ludicrously expensive designer drinks, or live attractions**? Is that a fair bargain for the world: less art but more disposable income frittered away on tat and half-recalled embarrassments?

    Pardon me if I do not see this future as something for which to aim.


    ** - And just imagine how much it will cost to see a live event when it is the sole source of income for the music industry.


    .
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2009
  20.  
    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    The Bear has pretty much pegged it. If you go that route, the people who create these things are likely to be paid (at best) a pittance. Why the deuce would anyone put up with all the enormous b.s. a person has to generally go through in any of these fields, only to be paid little (if any) better than they would make cleaning tables at McDonalds? And why would those who do continue to create anything, put in any effort at creating anything more than the merest tripe?

    "The labourer is worthy of his hire", as the saying goes... and the creative artist should be no exception.... Or, perhaps, we should look to the obverse of that: "Bind not the mouths of the kine who tread the grain"....


    (Mind you, my personal opinion is that about 99% of what has been produced in the last 30 years in music is utter crap. Nonetheless, the majority of these people do work at what they do, and if you like what they produce, you owe it to them to show your support for that by making it financially feasible for them to continue doing it. Otherwise, you have absolutely no right to complain when what is coming out is sheer garbage both artistically and technically -- the technicians have to be paid, too, don't forget; and I mean of a level which makes even the poorest of what we've seen so seem like Beethoven and Mozart in comparison....)
     
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