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28-year-old grad student owes $675,000 for downloading songs

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by Lord Vader, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    Was this how the Copyright Act was supposed to be applied? Congress ought to revisit this, because I don't think the Act was designed to go after individuals like it has been.

    Story here.
     
  2. hilmar2k

    hilmar2k Hall Of Fame

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    Of course, she could have just not illegally downloaded music and avoided the whole situation. The article doesn't say how many songs she downloaded. At that kind of fine, it better have been hundreds, if not thousands.
     
  3. Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    I think you mean "he". Regardless, that's not the point. I'm not condoning illegal downloading, piracy, etc.; rather, I'm just posing a question of whether or not the Copyright Act was really intended to be used as it presently is being used.
     
  4. hilmar2k

    hilmar2k Hall Of Fame

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    I have no idea how I read that article and determined it was a "she". :confused:

    I guess I agree with that, but there has to be something protecting the copyright holders' rights. And the penalty has to exceed the lawful cost of the work if legally acquired. Otherwise there's not much deterrant to acquiring it illegally and just paying for it later if you're caught.
     
  5. Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    I don't disagree with you. One thing I wasn't able to determine from that article--did it say how many songs he downloaded? If one is going to illegally download thousands or tens of thousands of songs, then such a huge fine might be more understandable, but let's say he downloaded a hundred or maybe even a few hundred. Is $675,000 excessive? Appropriate? I'm not saying it is or it isn't; I'm just throwing that question out there for discussion.
     
  6. hilmar2k

    hilmar2k Hall Of Fame

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    Yeah, that was my question in my first post. Knowing the number of songs would go a long way in determining the appropriateness of the fine.
     
  7. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    10,000+ songs isn't too far fetched as for being possible. With discography torrents easily available, you can build a big collection fairly easily.

    ...Not that I'd know anything about that. :)
     
  8. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    Stealing copyrighted material meets the law of intended consequences.

    Sorry, dude, but if you're (not your) a grad student, you should have known better.
     
  9. TBoneit

    TBoneit Hall Of Fame

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    If the person was downloading songs he was probably sharing them too.

    That is who they really go after the ones that are sharing the songs with others IMO.

    As for how the Copyright Act was supposed to be applied, if the only tool you have is a large sledgehammer then you will use it to drive tacks too, even if that isn't what it is designed for.
     
  10. yosoyellobo

    yosoyellobo Icon

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    I be interest to know what part of the $675,000 when to the copyright holders?
     
  11. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    It probably seems harsh to go after "a student" but... if he violated the law, then why not?

    What if a student robs your house or a bank... do you not arrest that individual if you catch them? What if they are part of a larger group that robs lots of houses or banks... you might go after the bigger fish, but still you should punish the small fish you catch too.

    This isn't the same as busting a drug user vs a drug pusher OR a client vs a prostitute... in this case you're punishing a single thief vs the whole band of thieves. Each individual thief in such a case is just as culpable, so it's hard to defend them for doing something they knew wasn't right.
     
  12. hilmar2k

    hilmar2k Hall Of Fame

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    Slightly off topic, but from the article:

    That's hard to read. Using Twitter as a communications medium is a terrible idea, if it means formulationg words and sentences in that manner.
     
  13. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    I am curious about a couple things:
    How the songs were enumerated and verified? Any duplicates in that count?
    How much per song was determined.

    That said, I do understand that building a huge library can be a quick process--with a fast enough connections. :)

    Cheers,
    Tom
     
  14. kikkenit2

    kikkenit2 Icon

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    He downloaded 31 songs and they could have fined him $2 million!
     
  15. Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    31 songs and he was penalized in the amount of $675,000? I'm one of the most strident law & order, take-responsibility-for-your-actions kind of person, but I'm sorry; that amount is ridiculous and way overboard.
     
  16. txtommy

    txtommy Icon

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    The lesson here is that it would be much better to steal 31 CDs and, if caught, be fined much less for shoplifting.
     
  17. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    That is what I was thinking. It would be less costly to shoplift them from Wal Mart. So what do they do when the obvious plays out and he cannot pay the fine? Throw him in prison? Let him pay $5 a month? Rob the country of a Physics major at a time when they are in short supply by forcing him to drop out of college? For 31 songs? Sorry, but the countries legal system has gone the way of Studebaker. FAIL.
     
  18. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    Going back to the original trial info, he shared songs for 3 years after receiving a cease and desist letter and even after the suit was filed! Talk about ignoring the asphalt hitting you in the face as you fall down...

    Cheers,
    Tom
     
  19. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

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    So, set the statute for a fixed fine of five times the retail value of the item(s), maybe ten times. In this case the fine might be a few hundred dollars, maybe a thousand.

    But by all means, take the profit out of it for the lawyers. The law firm fee should bet set by statute also; something like an additional 50% of the fined amount.
     
  20. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    At one point, Jammie Thomas had a $1.9 million judgement on 24 songs. It's one reason I try to get wifi networks secure if I run into them, they can get you in a lot of trouble.
     

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