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View Full Version : get fined up to $250,000 and spend up to 4 years in prison for song swapping?


vniow
Jan 27, 2003, 08:18 PM
WASHINGTON--If you've ever used a peer-to-peer network and swapped copyrighted files, chances are pretty good you're guilty of a federal felony.

It doesn't matter if you've forsworn Napster, uninstalled Kazaa and now are eagerly padding the record industry's bottom line by snapping up $15.99 CDs by the cartload.

Be warned--you're what prosecutors like to think of as an unindicted federal felon.

I'm not joking. A obscure law called the No Electronic Theft (NET) Act that former U.S. President Bill Clinton signed in 1997 makes peer-to-peer (P2P) pirates liable for $250,000 in fines and subject to prison terms of up to three years. (You may want to read it, since you'll likely be hearing more about it soon.)

That's a long time to spend cooling your heels in Club Fed.

Yet something strange is going on here. So far the Justice Department has made precisely zero prosecutions of peer-to-peer users under the NET Act.

This odd delay is not because peer-to-peer piracy is legal. It's not. The NET Act covers people who willfully participate in the "reproduction or distribution" of copyrighted works without permission, when that activity is not covered by fair use rights.

The law even grants copyright holders the right to hand a "victim impact statement" to the judge at your trial, meaning you can expect an appearance from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) or the Business Software Alliance (BSA), depending on what kind of files were on your hard drive. You'll no longer have that hard drive, of course, because it'll have been seized by the FBI, and you'll be in jail.
(http://news.com.com/2010-1071-982121.html?tag=fd_nc_1)

MacFan25
Jan 27, 2003, 08:35 PM
That would suck to have to go to jail for that.

G4scott
Jan 27, 2003, 08:52 PM
while it may slowly become implimented, I don't think everyone who has downloaded or put up for upload 1 or more songs will ever be convicted of a felony. That's just too much. Besides, it would take so much money and time to go through the whole process for everybody, that it's clearly not worth it. And besides, not many people that down load songs (until recently) know that it's wrong.

There are no disclaimers or anything to warn of illegal activity, and with a good lawyer, if you didn't know it was illegal, I'm sure you can easily get out of any music pirating charges...

I think the music industry will have to re-think it's strategy. Selling CD's in this world just doesn't work anymore. Sure, there are those who will always buy CD's and never download anything, but not everybody is like that.

What would work better, is an online system where you can buy 'credits', and certain songs are worth so many credits, depending on their length, and maybe author. The recording industry would have to charge very little for something like this (like, say, $0.25 or less) for each song to make it attractive to people. And besides, the sound quality won't be as good as that of a CD, so why would anyone want to pay full price for a song of lesser quality.

It's all a big mess, and I don't want to be caught up in it, but the government rounding up everyone who has ever downloaded a song sounds very impractical to me...

idkew
Jan 27, 2003, 09:09 PM
This will never happen to anyone but the absolute largest traders. Millions of people break this law a day. We have neither the prison space, nor the ability to prosecute all the offenders.

Not to mention, it would cost the RIAA... more to get everyone then what they lose. For them, they can reap the best benefits by getting the big servers, and not the occasional downloader.




I repeat what others have said before: To stop piracy you must make people want to BUY the album. Add something extra that is material, and people will be alright with a $5-$10 CD. The greedy RIAA is causing the problem. When you can purchase a movie (that cost ten's, to hundred's of thousands to make) for little more then a audio CD (which costs 1/10th proce to produce), there is someone being a little too greedy.

MrMacMan
Jan 27, 2003, 09:24 PM
Acually I want to get brought charges on take this law and fight against this, wow what am I gonna get convicted of 'Jeremiah Bornemann was today convicted of firesharing in the 1st degree and was sentenced to 3 years in jail' I would love to see that headline.

Bring it on Gov't!

edesignuk
Jan 27, 2003, 09:37 PM
They can kiss my arse! :p What they gonna do? Prosecute upwards of 60 Million people around the world?

rainman::|:|
Jan 27, 2003, 09:59 PM
is this supposed to scare me?

they'll bust a handful of people to make an example of.

it's like marijuana laws, so many people break them (40 million in the US, estimated) that they don't seek it out anymore-- they just bust you if you do something stupid that they can't ignore.

or, if you're a big distributer.

first person that gets charged with this needs to sue the government for deprivation of civil liberties. seriously.

pnw

chewbaccapits
Jan 27, 2003, 10:10 PM
.....wait....maybe by posting negative remarks about this, is just a trap by some RIAA biznatch to catch fileswappers!

syco
Jan 27, 2003, 10:26 PM
Look at costs. A CD pays for:
Production costs (not much, but its still there - even 1 cent for a CD press is $50,000 for 5 million CDs)
Paying the RIAA people
Paying the label

After all that, the band gets a little of the money.

Still, $18.95 is still a ripoff.

Isn't it funny that the RIAA charges $20 for a CD and then shuts down Napster for "stealing"?

rainman::|:|
Jan 27, 2003, 10:43 PM
Originally posted by syco
Isn't it funny that the RIAA charges $20 for a CD and then shuts down Napster for "stealing"?

Amen. the artists get **** on anyway, at least this way we're not funding a multi-billion dollar industry that DOES NOTHING (record labels).

pnw

Duder
Jan 28, 2003, 02:15 AM
ok, first off the Band only makes 10-30 cents per album while the RIAA makes 10 or so bucks and the recording label makes 5 Bucks per album now then, the RIAA should shut the ****ing goddamn hell up already they alredy make lots of money the people who download songs still buy albums sometimes.... if you ask me they should just forbid the download of new copys of file sharing programs and the like the people can still keep their copys and use them legally but they cant download a new copy without paying 20 bucks or something and as for the MPAA they should join up with the RIAA and that way they get lots of money and they will be rich cock sucking ass holes that will float the AVIAA and cause a $30 trillion bankruptcy fiasco that will cause the U.S. goverment to borrow money from every nation just to buy a cookie


Dont bother reading my signature below here is my new quote "I am a vegitarien because I love animals I am also a vegitarien because I hate plants" well my response is "I am a carnivore that loves cats but hates most dogs doesnt mean that I will eat one"

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newrigel
Jan 28, 2003, 02:40 AM
Plain and simple, you take something that has a value on it, or( ANYTHING) for that matter, It's called "STEALING"! You don't tell the truth it's called "LYING". I think these low lifes are actually getting away with alot considering in the old days you were HUNG in public for being a thief. And yes you better look out... you never know who's looking in. Every site you go to you leave trails....they'll find you! I'm an author, and I think people who don't pay for music, or any type of data involved media are just WEAK induaviduals that need to get a job, and get a LIFE!!!!! :mad:

blogo
Jan 28, 2003, 02:51 AM
Can someone explain me why CD sales have actually increased the last years?

yosoyjay
Jan 28, 2003, 02:59 AM
Originally posted by Eple
Can someone explain me why CD sales have actually increased the last years?

They actually dropped last year. But really, who cares?

hvfsl
Jan 28, 2003, 08:13 AM
CD sales have dropped a lot over the past 5 years, but this is not just to do with filesharing programs. People are now spending there money on Computer Games and DVDs. In 2002 the Computer Games industry auctually over took the music and movie industry combined (in terms of sales and money). And 1 out of every 3 games in use are meant to be illegal copies. So it is partly to do with the fact that people spend their money on others things besides music now.

moby1
Jan 28, 2003, 08:46 AM
Originally posted by edesignuk
What they gonna do? Prosecute upwards of 60 Million people around the world?

No, they'll just pick some poor shmuck to make an example of.

Kid Red
Jan 28, 2003, 09:35 AM
Wow, that's an often lot of people to prosecute. We're talking thousands of people here. Thousands. Doubt it, no concern here. If anything, they'll go after the guy like they are doing now who either made avialable or downloaded (they were'nt clear on it) 600 songs in one day. That may be what they are after, the drug dealers if you will.

Screw them tho, always messing with the little man.

newrigel
Jan 28, 2003, 10:13 AM
When you by a CD, you are actually buying the right under law to make ONE copy, thats it! The only way to make a 2nd copy "LEGALLY" is to destroy the 1st copied version....this is the reason for SCMS in the digital media realm. DATs and such, but what keeps me from copying something is my business, I'm not profiting or distributing the material for sale or aquiring the content for FREE...I already bought it, But these *******s out there with websites giving away music of any authored material is pure ************. These punks rip off everyone... thats why albums are so exspensive because some one's got to make up the losses, so guess who that is.....THE CONSUMER.... thats why if you have knowledge of someone doing this weak **** to report them, that's the only way it's going to change....just don't support it! You know....these people would rather give a CLOWN a dollar for a hamburger thats going to rot your fricken guts out than give a talented person that sacrificed allot time in their life for their creationism to entertain people and bring positive attributes in life. You know if content creationism was so easy like getting a degee to get the occupation of choice, then there would be so much music that it wouldnt be a comodity any more. I just hate punks that are so weak they got to steal.....**** them! ;)

rainman::|:|
Jan 28, 2003, 01:26 PM
Originally posted by newrigel
When you by a CD, you are actually buying the right under law to make ONE copy, thats it! The only way to make a 2nd copy "LEGALLY" is to destroy the 1st copied version....this is the reason for SCMS in the digital media realm. DATs and such, but what keeps me from copying something is my business, I'm not profiting or distributing the material for sale or aquiring the content for FREE...I already bought it, But these *******s out there with websites giving away music of any authored material is pure ************. These punks rip off everyone... thats why albums are so exspensive because some one's got to make up the losses, so guess who that is.....THE CONSUMER.... thats why if you have knowledge of someone doing this weak **** to report them, that's the only way it's going to change....just don't support it! You know....these people would rather give a CLOWN a dollar for a hamburger thats going to rot your fricken guts out than give a talented person that sacrificed allot time in their life for their creationism to entertain people and bring positive attributes in life. You know if content creationism was so easy like getting a degee to get the occupation of choice, then there would be so much music that it wouldnt be a comodity any more. I just hate punks that are so weak they got to steal.....**** them! ;)

One would think an author would, if not speak eloquently, at least spell correctly and use some semblance of proper english.

If you had read the other posts, you'd realize that the artists themselves get almost nothing from the sales of albums, instead they make their money on royalties and while touring... So you go back to supporting the RIAA, which can legally steal almost everything from the artists, to fund itself, in a cycle of ripping people off. I'll start buying everything on CD again (and i do buy most still) when they're $5 each, and half of that goes to the artist.

And they also used to kill people for being deformed, retarded, identical twins, a different race, creed, and a lot of other things. That doesn't make 'hanging' people right. Yes it's stealing, but a $250,000 fine and 4 years in federal prison? i don't think so. Better to go back to cutting the hands off of shoplifters... We're not that barberic anymore. At least in most ways.

:)
pnw

Tyler Durden
Jan 28, 2003, 03:07 PM
What will they do about the world outside the USA sharing files?
My suggestion is to move to Canada where you'll also soon be able to smoke pot legally and trade all the tunes you like.
I can see it now...
marijuana cafes with wireless broadband and everyone passing them around while trading tunes via bluetooth ipods with iTunes visuals dancing on the walls...

hvfsl
Jan 28, 2003, 04:16 PM
You can already do this in Europe (take drugs legally), in countries like Holland and Switzerland. Or if you want to be totally free from law go to Afganistan or one of the former soviet stages like Bulgaria.

So would you prefer total freedom and anarchy, or law, order and no illegal p2p file sharing. Anyway the coping laws are now stricter in US than Europe. We can copy something as many times as we like as long as it is for person use (if we own the original).

And the point of taking the person to court was to send a message to people. They are not going to take to court everyone, but do you want to take the risk it will be you. It is basically a lottery run by the music companies, to enter you need to illegally download music, there is a 1in1000 chance of winning the prize, and the prize is having to spent a few years in jail or having -$100,000.

chewbaccapits
Jan 29, 2003, 03:32 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't SALES of CDs supposed to drop after, what, 10 years or so (I just pulled 10 out of my a$$,BTW),and thats WAY before the EXPLoSION of p2p networks?? And still, cds were WAY TOO MUCH!..I personally enjoy the fact that these GREEDY bastards (RIAA) are scrambling for futile ways to stop this GROWING technology......I mean really, who\- cares that the RIAA is losing money....They claim that they have lost millons; okay, I'll give them that, but are the "millions" lost, money that they're USED to having at the end of the year?...How many LABELS have shut down because of mp3 sharing? I haven't heard of massive layoffs within the RECORDING industry.


BTW, newrigel....you need a shirt:

http://www.modernhumorist.com/store/#logogear

peterjhill
Jan 29, 2003, 06:24 AM
/. had a funny thread with a bunch of P2P advocates were complaining that leechers were the worst people in the world, worse than /bin/laden. It was hilarious. They were complaining that people who do not share would bring down the P2P networks.

I have no symapathy for p2p users who download illegal mp3s. None. Don't even bother arguing with me. At least with the record companies, a good bit of that money stays in the U.S. With Kazaa, you have a company making millions of dollars a year selling advertisments, but producing zero content. Screw them. I'd like to see a list of companies that are advertising on Kazaa and boycott them. That is where all of their money is coming from.

King Cobra
Jan 29, 2003, 02:05 PM
Off-topic: chewbaccapits, would you edit your previous post with 448 periods? The theme I am using to browse Macrumors is being altered significantly because of that one line of text. I have to scroll all the way from the left side of the page to the right side of the same page to view lines in a person's post. :rolleyes:

I agree, though. The RIAA has not been very cooperative with public opinions and I don't think the RIAA will evolve to become as cooperative as many of us would respect to a great degree.

As for CDs being overpriced, if you don't want to spend more than $10 for a CD, buy a used CD for about $5 or less. I've mentioned this before, so I'll sum up my opinions for why you should get one used over a new one.

A: You didn't buy the CD to stare at the cover.
B: You bought a CD because the music you want to listen to isn't deformed from scratches, unlike the cover.
C: Used CDs are usually cheaper than new CDs.

Macmaniac
Jan 29, 2003, 04:13 PM
Like MacAddict magazine said,"At least when you download a song you can have more intrest in buying band t-shirts, concert tickets, and other stuff, which the artists get dollars for instead of pennies for a CD."

One problem with the anti copying laws is that it makes it illegal to skip over commercials in DVDs if they are imbedded into the disk.
Come on we see 100000 commercials a year, enough is enough!!