Friday, June 19, 2009

This is why I'm entirely pro-Internet filesharing

Stories like this one are the very reason why I feel absolutely zero guilt or remorse in my activities in Internet filesharing (colloquially known as "Internet piracy"). These sons of bitches simply don't deserve it. Take this latest example: just today, a Minnesota mother of four was fined $1.9 million. One-point-nine MILLION.

And what did she do? Who did she rip off? It turns out she and her family are being sent to the financial pits for ... 24 songs she downloaded.

(CNN) -- A federal jury Thursday found a 32-year-old Minnesota woman guilty of illegally downloading music from the Internet and fined her $80,000 each -- a total of $1.9 million -- for 24 songs.

Jammie Thomas-Rasset's case was the first such copyright infringement case to go to trial in the United States, her attorney said.

Attorney Joe Sibley said that his client was shocked at fine, noting that the price tag on the songs she downloaded was 99 cents.

She plans to appeal, he said.

Cara Duckworth, a spokeswoman for the Recording Industry Association of America, said the RIIA was "pleased that the jury agreed with the evidence and found the defendant liable."

"We appreciate the jury's service and that they take this as seriously as we do," she said.

Thomas-Rasset downloaded work by artists such as No Doubt, Linkin Park, Gloria Estefan and Sheryl Crow.

This was the second trial for Thomas-Rasset. The judge ordered a retrial in 2007 after there was an error in the wording of jury instructions.

The fines jumped considerably from the first trial, which granted just $220,000 to the recording companies.

Thomas-Rasset is married with four children and works for an Indian tribe in Minnesota.

From the very second I opened the article, I just knew I'd find RIAA's name in there somewhere. RIAA is the music industry's equivalent to what PETA is for animals: self-righteous wankers who operate under the false illusions of helping when all they do is damage the very thing they try to protect. However, I'll take it one step further and say that RIAA is far worse than PETA – as annoying as those assholes are, at least they don't spend every day suing everyone under the sun who's so much as downloaded a single song.

I once read an article a few years ago where a RIAA spokeswoman basically came out and asserted that the reason they kept launching lawsuits everywhere in sight, and particularly as to why they preferred to target youths and young adults, is because they believed that the more people are bereaved and castigated, the less they'll do it. Yes, that's how low their understanding of basic human psychology runs. Sorry to point you wrong, Dingus Khan, but when you keep pushing people and fighting them, the only thing you're gonna get is increased resistance until you give up. You simply cannot kill a mindset. A mindset isn't material, and therefore cannot be demolished, and piracy is as prominent a mindset as they come.

But then, RIAA also have a track record that includes suing 12-year-old children, a dead grandmother, an elderly computer amateur who couldn't know how to work Internet, much less illegally download a song, and several people who didn't even have a computer at all.

Yeah, they're a beacon of credibility. I almost wish they'd try suing me (having downloaded enough songs, albums, games, programs and movies to fill most of my hard drive by now) just for the fun of telling them to fuck off. (Though I'd probably put it a bit more eloquently than that.)


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