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First Guilty Verdict In Criminal Copyright Case

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the hard-time dept.

The Courts 278

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "A Brooklyn man has been found guilty of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement by a federal jury in Virginia. He now faces up to five years in prison, a quarter-million-dollar fine, and three years of parole, not to mention the 'full restitution' he has to make to the RIAA. The charges against him stem from his role as 'Dextro,' the administrator of one of the Apocalypse Production Crew's file servers — APC being one of the release groups that specialize in pre-release music. While he's the 15th member of APC to be charged under the US DOJ's Operation Fastlink, he's the first to be convicted. He will be sentenced on August 8th. For those wondering when infringement became a criminal matter, you can thank the NET Act, which was signed into law in 1997 by Bill Clinton."

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278 comments

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Frosty piss (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23531560)

nt

A differing opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23532580)

This guy was fully aware that he was breaking the law, and what the potential outcome was. Now I am not saying I agree with the law, but he was fully informed. I don't think pot should be illegal but I think people who use it are idiots.

This whole issue, remarkably comes down to entertainment products anyway. Absolutely silly. Music and movies ? Who cares ? Amazing that expensive software isn't the item for which this guy is getting nailed.

Well, okay then... (5, Insightful)

Dirtside (91468) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531562)

Thanks, Bill Clinton!

...no, wait, what I meant was, fuck you for siging that legislation, and fuck all the politicians and legislators who are fooled by the media companies into thinking we need draconian copyright laws. Copyright should have forever remained a civil matter, never criminal.

Further proof that even politicians you like (I voted for Clinton in 1996, the first presidential election I was old enough to vote for) can do foolish things.

Re:Well, okay then... (2, Insightful)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531612)

Further proof that even politicians you like (I voted for Clinton in 1996, the first presidential election I was old enough to vote for) can do foolish things.
Foolish is too forgiving a word!

Re:Well, okay then... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23531618)

I think you meant to post your comment here. [digg.com]

There, they like the "Fuck the RIAA!" comments. Just saying.

Clinton? (1, Funny)

TFer_Atvar (857303) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531680)

...but, but, but I wanted to bash Bush!

/sarcasm

Re:Clinton? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23532232)

A leader who fails to remove unjust laws isn't as guilt the one who allowed them to come into existence, but close, no?

FUCK THE RIAA!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23531734)

nuff said

Re:Well, okay then... (-1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532646)

He STOLE someone elses property FOR MONEY. Criminal punishment is not at all inappropriate. I can't distinguish him from a burglar or a shoplifter. How can you?

Re:Well, okay then... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23532740)

He didn't steal any property. That would imply that they are being denied of the stolen property. They are not. This is a case of for-profit copyright infringement.

Re:Well, okay then... (2, Informative)

mark-t (151149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23533034)

Actually, they are being denied something when copyright infringement is occurring. What they are being denied is the _exclusivity_ of the right to copy that copyright is supposed to actually have. So yes, copyright infringement *IS* theft.

Re:Well, okay then... (4, Insightful)

conlaw (983784) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532828)

While it's possible to bash Clinton for signing the NET Act in 1997, the blame should first be applied to President McKinley since there have been provisions for criminal copyright actions in the code since 1897. The violations were considered to be misdemeanors until 1982 (Reagan's presidency) when criminal penalties were changed to make it felony for profit-making infringements of motion pictures and sound recordings.

Re:Well, okay then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23532950)

The article is not entirely correct:

On August 21, 2003, Mark Shumaker (known by the pseudonym markalso), pleaded guilty to violating copyright laws and became the first federal criminal prosecution of someone who specialized in music piracy after having been raided in Operation Buccaneer. See aPC [wikipedia.org] .

They are coming for the virtual priates now (3, Interesting)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531592)

Soon, they will come for you if you happen to do something that doens't make some big corp. money.

Re:They are coming for the virtual priates now (2, Insightful)

OMNIpotusCOM (1230884) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531946)

Or, you know, if you somehow were to break the law by stealing something that wasn't yours, or enjoying something without paying for it when the owner wants you to. You know, silly things like that.

Re:They are coming for the virtual priates now (2, Funny)

Jaktar (975138) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532432)

Just wondering....could you break the law by stealing something that was yours? This could lead us down the path of larceny. I guess that's why Matt Parker and Trey Stone put up their episodes on www.southparkstudios.com? Just so they'd stop stealing from themselves?

Re:They are coming for the virtual priates now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23532710)

I thought we couldn't like South Park anymore because it was somewhat cool for a while and generally accepted, thus making it uncool to us. Then, when they started getting all preachy and what not it was uncool to the general populace but cool to us, because we're rebels! And then they did a Warcraft episode and it was cool with us, so splinter factions had to break away from us because it was in the 10th season and successful, and the creators were making money off it, but somebody wanted to put it on YouTube and they got in trouble, so it was uncool because Trey and Matt sold out. Then they made it free and everyone hates them now because they're giving people what they want, but the totally sold out before and we can't support that.

IMO nerds piss me off. Why can't you be more like the Goth nerds and start cutting yourselves out of the gene pool? Think for yourselves for once and stop trying to be cool to the other social outcasts. This whole Lord of the Flies thing mixed with the Special Olympics is getting a little old. Piggy was smart enough to wear a helmet, but the other tards just accused him of causing more global warming because his BMI was ginormous.

Re:They are coming for the virtual priates now (5, Insightful)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532436)

Or, you know, if you somehow were to break the law by stealing something that wasn't yours
Copying isn't stealing because no one is deprived of the thing being copied. That's Copyright Debate 101, man.

or enjoying something without paying for it when the owner wants you to.
So when I wear a funny T-shirt, can I demand money from everyone who laughs at it? I mean, I want that money, and according to copyright apologist logic, that means they owe it to me.

You know, silly things like that.
No disagreement here.

Re:They are coming for the virtual priates now (-1, Flamebait)

OMNIpotusCOM (1230884) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532660)

That's Copyright Debate 101, man.

Thanks, dude. Gnarly.

Who was talking about copyrights anyway? I was talking about stealing and breaking the law, not some hippie mentality that says I can copy because The Man has enough money.

"Information wants to be free, man, and music is digital now, which makes it information, and so I'm just freeing it. It's all fair use daddy-o! What's more fair than free for me?"

So when I wear a funny T-shirt, can I demand money from everyone who laughs at it?

Yes, yes you can. In fact, I encourage it. It will make it easier to spot you without trying to pick you out from the other mouthbreathers.

Re:They are coming for the virtual priates now (0, Offtopic)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532776)

Who was talking about copyrights anyway? I was talking about stealing and breaking the law
So, it was just a random non sequitur, a bit of written Tourette's? You saw a thread about copyright and thought it'd be a good time to write about stealing instead?

Please. You were equating copyright infringement with stealing, which anyone who's thought about the issue for more than five minutes can see is false.

not some hippie mentality that says I can copy because The Man has enough money.
I guess this is another one of those random outbursts, since neither of us has expressed that mentality.

The reasons copying is acceptable have nothing to do with money, and everything to do with the fact that copying doesn't deprive anyone of the work being copied or restrict how they can use it.

Yes, yes you can. In fact, I encourage it. It will make it easier to spot you without trying to pick you out from the other mouthbreathers.
In other words, "I haven't thought about the consequences of my 'want money = deserve money' philosophy. Here, let me try to distract you."

But kudos for bringing out the ad hominem so early, saving your readers the bother of trying to take you seriously.

Re:They are coming for the virtual priates now (-1, Troll)

OMNIpotusCOM (1230884) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532862)

In other words, "I haven't thought about the consequences of my 'want money = deserve money' philosophy. Here, let me try to distract you."

Not my fault you can't come up with a better argument than "I have a funny shirt," failing to say that you own the copyright for the shirt, you created it, or really anything other than you wearing said shirt. Don't get mad at me if you can't express yourself properly to make whatever point you're trying to make.

*chuckles*

Enjoy your stolen music, movies, and software. Just remember, you're not depriving anyone of anything. Everyone who has more money than you doesn't need any more. Gates is evil *waves hands around and makes "oooooh" sounds* RIAA is evil *continues the hands thing* Fair Use applies to the digital world the same way the AK47s are covered by "A well regulated militia... right to bear Arms"

People have made up their minds anyway. You think you or I are actually going to change anyone's opinions or habits? Are you new here (you got to use ad hominem and "unless you think my way you are dumb", so I gotta help). I'm just trolling, what's your excuse? =) I could give two shits what the sheeple think of me, as long as at least one got a small chuckle or head nod out of it, I'd consider that a successful post.

Re:They are coming for the virtual priates now (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532938)

Not my fault you can't come up with a better argument than "I have a funny shirt," failing to say that you own the copyright for the shirt, you created it, or really anything other than you wearing said shirt.
I didn't mention any of that because it's irrelevant. Let me remind you of what you originally wrote, since it was so long ago: you complained about "enjoying something without paying for it when the owner wants you to." Surely you understand how owning a shirt works, right?

Enjoy your stolen music, movies, and software.
How amusing that you're making all these assumptions about me just because I've pointed out the flaws in your argument. Try to separate the message from the messenger, and maybe those mean ol' mods won't pick on you so much.

Just remember, you're not depriving anyone of anything. Everyone who has more money than you doesn't need any more.
Why are you so fixated on this imaginary backlash against money? I've got no problem with paying people for providing a service. But you don't need a copyright to get paid for working: everyone else in every other field of work manages to get paid for their work without any special monopoly rights.

Gates is evil *waves hands around and makes "oooooh" sounds* RIAA is evil *continues the hands thing* Fair Use applies to the digital world the same way the AK47s are covered by "A well regulated militia... right to bear Arms"
I see you're off in your own little world, arguing with strawmen. Well, don't let me disturb you.

If you're going to stalk me, send pictures ;) (1)

OMNIpotusCOM (1230884) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532986)

Gotta quote myself here.

I'm just trolling, what's your excuse? =)

Just still wondering the answer. Or are you too busy spouting off about people who use Austin Powers jokes while you can recycle catchy phrases like "strawman", "ad hominem", and the other classics without trying to let a little originality seep into your membranes?

Re:They are coming for the virtual priates now (-1, Troll)

OMNIpotusCOM (1230884) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532766)

There we go, mod up the groupthink, mod down the guy who wants to follow the law or might speak well of Microsoft from time to time. The guy who actually pays for things he enjoys. That justifies my sense of equality.

*sighs contentedly*

Ahhh... the world is right again. I was a little worried there when I was getting modded up for being right. The angry nerds have spoken and the nameless mods won the slap fight.

The irony of the juxtaposition you create by hating DRM because you have to pay while at the same time stifling free speech when it's not in your best interest gets me through the day still feeling self-righteous. If only there was some way to get rid of that pesky +1 karma bonus so your mod downs meant something =)

Re:They are coming for the virtual priates now (2, Insightful)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532874)

What an unsightly persecution complex. You should have that looked at.

The irony of the juxtaposition you create by hating DRM because you have to pay while at the same time stifling free speech when it's not in your best interest gets me through the day still feeling self-righteous.
Stifling free speech? No one's deleting your posts (and of course /. doesn't owe you space on their site anyway). They're just pointing out, as a service to other readers, that reading your posts might not be the best use of their time. If people think the moderators are doing a bad job, they can change their own comment preferences.

You know, the moderations here aren't always great, but generally, if you can speak thoughtfully on an issue, you'll get modded up even for going against the "herd" - Slashdot is made up of individuals, not clones, and there are plenty of people who'll agree with whatever beliefs you might have.

But if you're going to respond with insults instead of arguments, or if your arguments are facile ones that everyone who's been around the site for a while has already discarded, expect to get modded down.

If only there was some way to get rid of that pesky +1 karma bonus so your mod downs meant something =)
Actually, two negative mods on the same comment will cancel its karma bonus.

Re:They are coming for the virtual priates now (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532970)

So when I wear a funny T-shirt, can I demand money from everyone who laughs at it? I mean, I want that money, and according to copyright apologist logic, that means they owe it to me.
Well, perhaps they do? (silly analogy coming up). What if you had spent millions to hire a group of famous comedians to come up with the funniest T-shirt ever? Suppose that you planned to wear it standing inside a tent, so that you can charge people $10 admission to come look and laugh. Wouldn't you be pissed at people sneaking in under the canvas without paying, or copying the T-shirt for their friends?

Copying isn't stealing because no one is deprived of the thing being copied. That's Copyright Debate 101, man.
You're conveniently leaving out part of the debate; people may not be deprived of the physical thing, but they are being deprived of income they rightfully hoped to make with it. Rightfully, because they are not just showing their works to everyone and them demand payment, like in your analogy; they try and keep a careful control of the works they paid to have produced, and charge a fee to enjoy that work. What gives you the right to circumvent those controls, not so that you can keep enjoying your purchase or anything other under "fair use", but to enjoy the work without paying for it and passing it off to your friends?

Semantically you may be right, but insisting that copyright is not stealing is usually nothing more than a deliberate attempt to cloud the issue, and the fact that it is [i]wrong[/i] to copy an intellectual work without permission. Or perhaps you would argue that it isn't wrong... in that case I expect better arguments than "Hey, it's not stealing...".

Mind, I am dead against MPAA and RIAA tactics as well as the antics of our various bureaus in the EC. The fines demanded of casual copiers is outrageous, as is the legal pressure exerted on these individuals. And most of these cases do not belong in the domain of criminal law... though some of them do. But I do not believe this "information wnats to be free" crap. Those who pay to have music and movies produced, have the right to ask a price to enjoy those works and set conditions for using them. Fair use and sensible consumer protection should apply, but for the rest, if you don't agree with the price or the conditions attached, your only moral option is to not obtain the music or movies, and spend your money elsewhere.

Re:They are coming for the virtual priates now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23533026)

So when I wear a funny T-shirt, can I demand money from everyone who laughs at it? I mean, I want that money, and according to copyright apologist logic, that means they owe it to me.
As far as I know, the RIAA does not ask for money when they broadcast their own copyrighted material.

(That's funny, the word in the image I have to type to validate this post is : "stolen")

Re:They are coming for the virtual priates now (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23532448)

or enjoying something without paying for it when the owner wants you to

Like those fuckers who STOLE my camp fire last weekend. I put a lot of effort into making that fire, then these clowns come over when I'm not looking, put a stick in MY fire and STEAL it. I deserve money!

Pre-release music the issue (5, Informative)

Txiasaeia (581598) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531600)

It seems like the overriding issue in this case was the fact that this music was pirated prior to its street date release. The wired article even makes mention of the fact that, if you pirate a song here and there, you're not likely going to be in trouble. The fact that it's related to copyright doesn't have that much to do with sharing, in other words.

Re:Pre-release music the issue (1)

witherstaff (713820) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532080)

My company's first DMCA notice was for a pre-release Britney spears that a client was sharing on IRC. A subsequent scan of the machine showed it had a trojan and IRC client software on it. That's been the only DMCA for music that we've gotten. It does appear pre-release is watched closer than normal release.

Criminal downloading (1)

Liz99 (1291588) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531602)

I'm not condoning the business these folks were in (and it sounds like a business because he was paid) but the guy is just 25 years old. A five year sentence is a big chunk of his young life.

Re:Criminal downloading (1, Insightful)

Txiasaeia (581598) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531638)

He hasn't been sentenced yet. He's been convicted, which means that he faces five years in prison. I seriously doubt he's going to get more than probation and maybe a fine.

Re:Criminal downloading (4, Insightful)

th1nk (575552) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531674)

25 years old is plenty old enough to realize that serving up unreleased music is a pretty stupid thing to do, no?

Re:Criminal downloading (3, Funny)

_KiTA_ (241027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531786)

25 years old is plenty old enough to realize that serving up unreleased music is a pretty stupid thing to do, no?
Obviously so, because the average 25 year old college student would never, ever dream of doing it. Clearly, this mentally deficient young man is a statistical anomaly, perhaps a communist or even a -- dare I say it -- TERRORIST.

Clearly, a more fitting crime for this liberal commie-terrorist (who kicks kittens) would be 5 years per kilobyte.

Re:Criminal downloading (2, Insightful)

OMNIpotusCOM (1230884) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531996)

Obviously so, because the average 25 year old college student [fluff cut out by replier] mentally deficient young man is a statistical anomaly, perhaps a communist or even a -- dare I say it -- TERRORIST.
Oh, he was a college student? Oh shit, that fixes it, no wonder he did something as dumb as this. Yeah, we should definitely pity this individual.

Re:Criminal downloading (3, Insightful)

purpleraison (1042004) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532526)

well gosh, then I suppose the folks at Enron, and the many people involved in other multi-million and billion dollar embezzlement schemes should get at least 5 years too, huh?

But we ALL know that won't happen.

In my eyes, until the rich and politically powerful are held to the same laws that govern us little people -- jail time for something like this is insane.

You DO realize that there are cases where people have been murdered, which did not net as much jail time as we are talking about this?

Re:Criminal downloading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23531798)

I like your subject line: "Criminal Downloading". Nice way to obfuscate the issue.

It's still not criminal to download infringing materials and never has been. Hell even in civil court no one has ever been sued for just downloading. This 25 year old adminstrated a server that served up unreleased music. Thats a whole world away from downloading the latest *insert popular band name here* album.

Re:Criminal downloading (1, Flamebait)

bigdavesmith (928732) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532460)

5 years is too much? You make me sick.

Christina Agurilla was going to put a gold-plated shark-tank bar next to her swimming pool this month, but now thanks to people like this scum bag who pirate music, she's going to have to wait two months before she has enough money to afford the addition. And Jay-Z? He was going to buy three new H2's, but thanks you criminals like yourself, he can't afford to build another garage right now, and he's going to have to sell his old H2's just to have a place to park his new cars.

Five years... It's scumbags like you who've sent this country down hill, sir, and I thumb my teeth at you.

Cry me a river... please. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23531610)

I hate RIAA's tactics against the common man as much as anyone here, but this is one of the few cases where I have a hard time criticizing them or the legislation being used.

This group are hell-bent on obtaining pre-released music (that the companies have not yet had a chance to recoup their investment on) and making it available for free.

Whether you believe copyright terms should be 99 years or 7 years is immaterial here. Whether you believe an individual should be able to rip their CDs is immaterial here. Whether you believe in teh doctrine of first sale for copyrighted materials is immaterial here. Put aside your hatred of the RIAA for a second and see this for what it really is - one of the few occasions where they have a point.

Re:Cry me a river... please. (4, Insightful)

77Punker (673758) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531830)

Jail time for this though? He's not a dangerous person (at least by the fact of this conviction). We're talking about throwing away 10% of someone's life for what should be a civil offense. Maybe the copyright holder should sue him into the ground, but he shouldn't be imprisoned. Imprisonment is not something that should be taken lightly.

Prohibition (1, Offtopic)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531928)

We're talking about throwing away 10% of someone's life for what should be a civil offense.
The United States still has a Prohibition regime that does the same thing, although the prohibition of alcohol [wikipedia.org] was replaced with a prohibition of cannabis [wikipedia.org] in the mid-1930s.

Re:Prohibition (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23532414)

The United States still has a Prohibition regime that does the same thing, although the prohibition of alcohol [wikipedia.org] was replaced with a prohibition of cannabis [wikipedia.org] in the mid-1930s.

Ahhh, but you forget about "The New Prohibition". It's known that you can't legislate it directly, but the president of MADD (a male, this time) has publicly said, "We don't want to do away with drinking and driving -- we want to do away with drinking altogether." (Google it.) Note also that the woman who was the original president of MADD was also picked up on a DUI -- heh, heh.

In furtherance of this aim, they got the .08% BAC legislation enacted. Not directly, for they're a spineless bunch of bastards. Instead, they bought sufficient Congress-castrati to wield the hammer of "no federal highway funds" to impose their will on states not adopting "the new standard". By the way, there's no solid medical evidence that any level below .16% really impairs driving ability.

In one case, a woman had one glass of wine with dinner and got red-lighted when she left the brightly-lit parking lot without her headlights on. She explained to the "officer of the law" that it was only because her sister had borrowed her car and had mistakenly turned off the auto headlights. The cop asked if she had had anything to drink with dinner. She replied that she had had one glass of wine earlier in the evening. So the rampant son of a bitch DUIed her, declaring, "We have a zero tolerance policy here."

Cocksucking, swaggering, power-mad bastard -- I'll bet he felt like a real stallion with the wifey when he got home that night. I'll bet her pussy and asshole are still sore.

Re:Prohibition (1)

77Punker (673758) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532644)

It really is out of control. Me on 3 beers probably blows over the limit, but I'm walking, talking, and driving just fine. Why not charge people for reckless driving if they're driving poorly instead of trying to blame bad driving or bad decisions on a chemical?

Re:Prohibition (2, Insightful)

brianosaurus (48471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532976)

Unfortunately, not everyone can handle alcohol as well as you think you can (impaired judgement is also an affect of alcohol, so take what you think with a grain of salt). I'm sure plenty of people who kill someone while driving drunk thought they were fine when they got in the car.

It is hard to design laws to be adaptable to every possible situation. They had to pick a point and .08% is what they determined. Maybe you are fine driving at 0.1 or higher, but that makes you an exception. There are probably some people who are dangerous well below that level, but they can still legally drive.

If you are driving period, you are risking your life and the lives of others. Adding further impairment to the situation (such as drinking, drugs, being tired, distractions) makes the risk even worse.

DUI laws are not prohibition. They are a deterrent for hazardous behavior. If you think you're over the limit, take a cab. Its easy and safe. Plus you can have another drink and not have to worry that you might get pulled over for some minor infraction and have a "DUI" charge stacked on top of it.

BUT in this case, the guy hosting audio files isn't a danger to anyone's life. His actions are not criminal, except in the view of an overbearing law payed for by an industry desperate to maintain their anachronistic revenue streams. Contrary to the scientific evidence that alcohol impairs judgement and motor skills, scientific evidence shows that file sharing actually increases music sales.

The NET law really is out of control.

Re:Prohibition (1)

77Punker (673758) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532638)

Seriously. All it takes is one joint to realize that marijuana causes far fewer social problems than alcohol. Who would ever start a fight when he's high? Now try that scenario again, but replace pot with MD 20/20.

Re:Cry me a river... please. (2, Interesting)

brianosaurus (48471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531906)

They may well have a point, but pre-existing copyright laws already made this act a civil offense. They could have gone after him. They didn't need a law that allows them to lock people away with murderers, rapists, and arsonists.

This guy "stole" imaginary property. He shared music online. Music that the RIAA effectively stole from the artists who created it (but that's another topic completely).

My issue in this case is not with the RIAA, but with the US government being hijacked by corporations for the benefit of a few. Sony has plenty of money, and continues to make plenty of money even with the "rampant piracy" that happens today. Sure, their aging business model is starting to have diminshing returns, but that's life. Progress happens. Technology improves and outdated methods go the way of the horse and buggy.

This law is a clear demonstration of the government being in the pockets of the corporations. It gives way too much power, and eliminates virtually all of the real benefits of copyright (aside from the single purpose of diverting money from the people into the hands of a few corporations).

America is so screwed.

I started boycotting RIAA music when the DMCA was first passed. And I truly boycott the crap. I don't buy it. I don't download it. I don't go to concerts of artists on the RIAA (yes, screw those artists, too, for enabling the corrupt system). I guess this verdict gives me even more reason to not touch the RIAA's poison.

It's a trade secret (5, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531936)

This guy "stole" imaginary property. He shared music online.
No, he leaked unpublished music online. Even without any copyright whatsoever, this fellow might have been prosecuted under trade secret laws.

Re:It's a trade secret (1)

jopsen (885607) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532334)

I don't know about the exact formulation of US law, but where I come from copyright is something that is granted, not claimed.
Meaning you've own the copyright on everything you write/create, unless you explicitly says otherwise.

Re:It's a trade secret (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532378)

HE didn't leak ANYTHING. HE simply HOSTED the content. Subtle, but VERY important difference.

Re:It's a trade secret (1)

brianosaurus (48471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532812)

Yes, but that is (well, i suppose "was") not a criminal offense, its a civil offense.

I agree 100% with you that pre-existing laws were more than sufficient to cover this incident. We did not need the DMCA or the NET Act (or whatever it was. i've never heard of it until now). Those laws are overbearing and give way too much power to a few at the expense of our citizens. The police should be protecting us (the people) from murder, theft, and other crimes. It should not be their job to force us to adhere to outdated business models.

The RIAA has basically hijacked the government to do their jobs for them. Instead of finding infringers and hiring their lawyers to fight to protect their copyrights, they now get to use public institutions to do their work, at taxpayers expense. This is so bogus on so many levels.

American society is way too litigation-happy. We lock away a larger percentage of our citizens than any other country (ok, maybe not china... i don't know the current statistics), and BS laws like this will only end up putting more people in jail unnecessarily.

Re:Cry me a river... please. (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532116)

This guy "stole" imaginary property.
This "imaginary" property generates very real tax income. For example, Microsoft alone paid over $6,000,000,000 in taxes last year, all generated by peddling a bunch of "imaginary" 1's and 0's (for comparisson, a modern Nimitz-class aircraft carrier costs about $4,000,000,000).

Welcome to the Grown-up world.

Re:Cry me a river... please. (0, Troll)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532338)

This "imaginary" property generates very real tax income.

So do casinos, astrologists and various legalized Ponzi schemes.

Welcome to the Grown-up world.
Your point? That foolish people will part with real money in exchange for nothing? That has been going on the "grown-up world" for millenia, ever since the first priest donned his robes.

Re:Cry me a river... please. (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532534)

I think you got it.

It the future, as the perceived value of intellectual property grows it is bound to receive ever more legal protection, possibly even more than the tangible (clay and metal) kind.

Re:Cry me a river... please. (0, Troll)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532756)

It the future, as the perceived value of intellectual property grows it is bound to receive ever more legal protection, possibly even more than the tangible (clay and metal) kind.

I am not so sure about that. As things are presently, this whole make-believe world of imaginary property is about to receive a rather substantial non-imaginary kick in its balls from the rather material rest of the economy. It will make all the other "bursting economic bubbles" look something out of your soap tray. Hold on to your (imaginary or otherwise) hats, for it is going to be one hell of a ride.

Which is actually our luck, in the long term, because the only way in which the imaginary property can receive "more legal protections .. then the tangible kind" is in a wholly totalitarian state where all information transmissions are inspected for subversive content. I for one will willingly go there.

Re:Cry me a river... please. (1)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532780)

I for one will willingly go there.

This is what happens when you are trying to get fancy with tags ...

The sentence was: I for one will not willingly go there.

Re:Cry me a river... please. (1)

brianosaurus (48471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532872)

Whew! For a second there, I thought you lost your mind mid-paragraph.

Bang on, dude. When all the money is tied up in patent and copyright litigation, and no one can actually legally make anything tangible without infringing, the bottom is going to drop out faster than gasoline prices on Jan 20, 2009.

Re:Cry me a river... please. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23532282)

I hate RIAA's tactics against the common man as much as anyone here,

Oh, ho, ho, ho, ho,

but this is one of the few cases where I have a hard time criticizing them or the legislation being used.

So it is clear that you have no problem with laws which impose what is obviously "cruel and unusual punishment" (except in the view of conservative activist judges, who should be in the business of curbing the excesses of a bought and paid for Congress).

This group are hell-bent on obtaining pre-released music (that the companies have not yet had a chance to recoup their investment on) and making it available for free.

This group (the **AA) is hell-bent on protecting its outdated business model against the public good, which expects to receive honest value for money. And expects the same for the artists who (with rare exception) are nothing but chattel to the rapacious motherfuckers in "the distribution chain".

Whether you believe copyright terms should be 99 years or 7 years is immaterial here.

Ahhh, yes -- every other consideration is immaterial to cocksuckers like you who are all for "law and order", regardless of how evil the law is, as long as your concept of order (for which, read "submission") is followed.

Whether you believe an individual should be able to rip their CDs is immaterial here. Whether you believe in teh doctrine of first sale for copyrighted materials is immaterial here.

More of the same shit, you shameless bastard.

Put aside your hatred of the RIAA for a second and see this for what it really is - one of the few occasions where they have a point.

Read the Constitution, you son of a bitch -- the phrase "for a limited time" was never intended to mean "until the heat death of the universe" until the horde of whores from Disney bought the damned-to-hell-for-eternity cocksucker Sonny Bono to do their bidding. It's just too bad that one of God's trees didn't clip off his whoring life before he worked his evil.

Re:Cry me a river... please. (1)

Max Threshold (540114) | more than 6 years ago | (#23533072)

Perhaps. But when a new law is tested in court, prosecutors use cases like this to establish precedents they'll later use to go after less clearly "bad" people. The law is a piece of shit, and this case doesn't change that fact.

Curious... (1)

paulmer2003 (922657) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531634)

Let's say he gets off parole and jets to Europe or whatever. Can they make him pay?

Re:Curious... (1)

NickCatal (865805) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531982)

Yes... they will charge him with a felony for not paying up and extradite him to the USA where he will serve jail time and the court will sell off all of his stuff...

Now if he manages to get to Iran/North Korea/Cuba then there wouldn't be an issue...

Re:Curious... (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532218)

Let's say he gets off parole and jets to Europe or whatever. Can they make him pay?

You won't be jetting off to Europe without a passport. You won't be getting a passport while you are on probation. Urgent Passport Services FAQ [urgentpassport.com]

17 USC 506 -- why it's criminal (5, Informative)

compumike (454538) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531666)

There are some standards defined for what makes any particular act of copyright violation to be a criminal act. These are clearly defined in 17 USC 506 [cornell.edu] . But to summarize, it requires willful infringement, plus one of either 1) financial gain, 2) total value over $1,000, or 3) pre-release of material in preparation. Criminal infringement does not apply to the casual downloader. There are still valid questions as to whether the punishment matches the crime, but these criminal laws are targeting the big fish.

--
Educational microcontroller kits for the digital generation! [nerdkits.com]

Re:17 USC 506 -- why it's criminal (1)

Hungus (585181) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531738)

2) total value over $1,000
And what is the RIAA claiming the value of a single track is these days?

"Total retail value" comes closer to $0.99/track (3, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531832)

And what is the RIAA claiming the value of a single track is these days?
RIAA's claims are based on the statutory damages of section 504 [copyright.gov] . But section 506 [copyright.gov] states that the criminal threshold is based specifically on "total retail value", which would come much closer to the $0.99 per track that iTunes Store charges.

Re:17 USC 506 -- why it's criminal (1)

kesuki (321456) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531748)

"total value over $1,000,"

I live in the backwoods of Wisconsin, but I've heard of a guy who makes his living copying DVDs to DVD-r's for $3 a pop, and i heard about this guy from my Social Worker. the person is clearly violating $1,000 a year, if he's making a Living at $3 a movie, but nobody cares about the movie industry in this town, not even the cops.

Let's just hope that person never has a evil ex-significant other.

Re:17 USC 506 -- why it's criminal (2, Interesting)

Libertarian001 (453712) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531750)

Yup, they were originallyintended to target the big fish, but the last several years have shown the targeted fish becoming smaller and smaller.

Normally I'd be wary of the slippery slope logical fallacy. In this case, I think there's a proven track record that that's exactly what's happening.

Re:17 USC 506 -- why it's criminal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23531752)

But to summarize, it requires willful infringement, plus one of either 1) financial gain,
Fine. I can almost accept this as being criminal. You can argue that someone who's infringing copyright for financial gain is actually harming the original artist, as you're taking money that might otherwise possibly have gone to the artist if the publisher weren't gouging them and were charging reasonable prices. Moving on...

2) total value over $1,000,
What's the value of a song these days? Just about anyone can hit that. Sure, a CD might only cost $15, but the song on it can still be worth insane amounts.

or 3) pre-release of material in preparation.
And this one is just BS. I can see the argument here, again it's "diluting the market," but seriously, criminal charges? Federal prison for leaking media early? That's BS.

The worst in that list by FAR is #2. It's going to come and bit people, mark my word. Somehow the RIAA will convince a judge that while the LICENSE+CD+Packaging is worth $20, the VALUE of the SONG is actually well over $1,000. Which is why they only license it. Ignoring, of course, that you can't exactly steal a song by merely making a new copy.

There are still valid questions as to whether the punishment matches the crime, but these criminal laws are targeting the big fish.
And when they finally come for you, who will be left to stand up for you?

Compare to trade secret law (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531852)

2) total value over $1,000,
What's the value of a song these days? Just about anyone can hit that. Sure, a CD might only cost $15, but the song on it can still be worth insane amounts.
It's $15 for purposes of this section. Read why [slashdot.org]

or 3) pre-release of material in preparation.
And this one is just BS. I can see the argument here, again it's "diluting the market," but seriously, criminal charges? Federal prison for leaking media early? That's BS.
It's no different from existing trade secret laws that give criminal penalties for disclosure of unpublished documents.

Re:17 USC 506 -- why it's criminal (2, Interesting)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531814)

total value over $1,000,

Which of course makes all copyright infringement into criminal infringement as no copyright holder is ever going to claim less then hundreds of thousands to millions in "losses" per piece of data shared. You see, 1000 million bazillion downloads could have occurred (yes, yes every man, woman and child and their pet parrot could have purchased the thing many times - and soon that will be the only option with "pay-to-read"!) thus depriving the poor copyright holder of a veritable mountains of cash.

That has been the standard "reasoning" in all copyright infringement cases and is unlikely to change. In fact that is the very reason why the clause of "value over $1000" was put in as the writers of the law set it to make sure that every single case qualified. Welcome to lobbyist law writing 101.

Re:17 USC 506 -- why it's criminal (1)

PieceofLavalamp (1244192) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531826)

2) total value over $1,000,
Thats like downloading the first 5 seconds of the song, or at least thats what it would seem like what with how high some of the riaa court cases have gotten.

Re:17 USC 506 -- why it's criminal (1, Interesting)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531840)

Also, I forgot to add, that the "value over $1000" has another insidious purpose: to exclude copyright infringement by corporations on Creative Commons or FOSS work. The idea is for the corporate lawyers (who in effect wrote the law) to claim that the "nerdy bearded weirdo" in that basement gave the stuff away for free, thus it was only natural for a respectable, upstanding corporation to take his stuff and put it to "good use" for profit. This is in essence the same argument that was used by colonialists everywhere, that the natives were "not using properly" (i.e. up to the invaders' standards) their land, oil and what not.

CC "nc" licenses; copyleft/$$$ dual licensing (3, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531912)

Also, I forgot to add, that the "value over $1000" has another insidious purpose: to exclude copyright infringement by corporations on Creative Commons or FOSS work.
That's true of permissive licenses. But some Creative Commons licenses have a non-commercial use clause, which makes a work non-free so as to allow for a "retail value" that only the author can charge for the work. And some works, such as Qt and LZO libraries, are dual-licensed under copyleft and proprietary commercial licensing, where the right to restrict redistribution of derivative works requires payment. These have a "retail value": the price of a commercial license.

Re:CC "nc" licenses; copyleft/$$$ dual licensing (-1)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532298)

These have a "retail value": the price of a commercial license.

Which, in the eyes of the corporatists. makes all those non-permissive licenses part of "their" team and thus protected. They only despise the "commies" who seek no monetary profit and so they write laws to make sure that their ideological warfare does not result in some undesired side effects, such as some CEO having to face criminal charges for using the "hippie stuff" for gain.

Re:17 USC 506 -- why it's criminal (2, Informative)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531956)

You have to do one of the three, not all of the three. As such, copyright infringement where you profit from the result always qualifies, regardless of the value of the material.

Giving something away for free is only criminal if its value is over $1000 (total) or it's prerelease. So giving away free software against the copyright agreement after it's been released will never be criminal, but using free software in something that is for profit is.

Re:17 USC 506 -- why it's criminal (1)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532280)

So giving away free software against the copyright agreement after it's been released will never be criminal, but using free software in something that is for profit is.

To defeat which argument the corporates will argue that they are charging only for the "service" of "giving away" the software, i.e. you pay for delivery not contents. And in effect they would be right, since they could not put a new copyright on such work, only to sell it as is. My point stands.

I fully realize that this still does not defeat the civil liabilities but the point of the law is to purposefully protect corporates (CEOs particularly) against criminal proceedings, no matter what they do with FOSS software and Creative Commons stuff. They wrote the law and it would be silly for them not to install escape hatches in it for themselves. Civil liabilities are merely the stock of their trade: money. Criminal ones would mean some CEO going to jail and they will not have that in the laws they purchase.

Re:17 USC 506 -- why it's criminal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23532320)

$1,000 in total value is not a very high threshold for going to jail. That's downloading 100 CD's which I think a casual downloader could easily do. Even so, jail is for dangerous people--not for punishment. It punishes the people who have to pay for jail upkeep.

The key here was that he got paid for it (4, Insightful)

stox (131684) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531690)

That makes a world of difference. If he hadn't been paid, it would have been an entirely different matter before the court.

Re:The key here was that he got paid for it (2, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532054)

I agree. I mean, I didn't RTFA, so I'm assuming you're right that he got paid for it, but I agree that it makes a world of difference.

To me, copyright law's original intent is valid. The system was set up in a time when making copies and distributing them on a wide scale took serious money. So the problem was that a book publisher, for example, might front a writer development costs for writing a book. Then the publishing house prints up copies and starts selling them. Without any laws in place, another book publisher could then buy a copy of the book, print their own copies, and sell them at a discount. This second book publisher would necessarily be at an economic advantage because their production costs would be the same, but they had no development costs. Copyright protection was created specifically to stop that sort of poaching by competing commercial entities.

The problem with copyright law now is that it has become trivially easy for private individuals to create copies of large works and distribute on a wide scale for free. Individuals have been accustomed to sharing content, e.g. loaning a record to your friend, and in fact this behavior has always been to the benefit of creators/distributers. However, once the "record" is a computer file, the line between "loaning" and "making a copy" becomes a bit blurred, and so the difference between "sharing with friends" and "copyright infringement" is also blurred. We haven't yet adjusted fully to this development.

However, a professional "pirate" who *sells* copies in violation of a copyright is a pretty unambiguous case. i have no problem with those cases being prosecuted in civil court, and in serious enough situations, criminal court.

RIAA's other lawyers (1)

menace3society (768451) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531706)

What this case says to me is that in fact the RIAA know that they will have trouble winning their civil cases in court. They have, in fact, clearly held off on bringing a suit against him until they had a guilty verdict, so they could use the verdict as a lever in the probable civil trial.

Their first legal harassment technique, suing filesharers randomly, appeared to have run out of steam and then backfired on them so they got the government to invoke a little-known, eleven year old statute to crack him open. The only saving grace is that the Justice department is not about to start bringing cases against every 12-20 year old in the country who owns a computer, when there are so many terrorists and child pornographers out there that they can feel good about busting.

The law works! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23531736)

Good news. These people are causing real harm by their actions.. and so I'm glad they'll face an appropriate penalty.

jail cam (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23531764)

as some of that music was rap it should be an interesting jail sentence
rip and swap all you want but don't be obsessed with destroying what value is left in recorded music

Re:jail cam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23531874)

How you can use "rap" and "value in recorded music" in the same post is beyond me.

Re:jail cam (1)

OMNIpotusCOM (1230884) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532264)

...I was more worried that he used "rip", "jail" and "interesting" in the same post. *shudder* I haven't been on thesmokinggun lately, but wasn't there several rappers who just went to jail? Nflam'd Prostate or something? Prima Tour E-Jack Ulation? You kids, what with your xPods and iBoxes.

1 less danger to society (1, Insightful)

BlueshiftVFX (1158033) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531842)

I'm glad we have this dangerous criminal off the streets. I will sleep soundly tonight knowing I am safe. Thank you RIAA.

Compared to what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23531858)

Not being Usanian, I wonder what other crimes have
this kind of punishment.

5 years in jain == kicking a puppy with malicious intent?
robbery? hitting people with baseball bats? spilling milk
over cops? Displaying a nipple on national TV?

signed into law in 1997 by Bill Clinton... (1, Troll)

FurryOne (618961) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531872)

This law was nothing of Bill Clinton's doing, except that he signed it instead of vetoing it (which would have been pointless because... In 1996, Republicans grabbed majority control of both Houses, with veto override power. This bill was introduced as part of their "Contract ON America", where they proceeded to run roughshod over the Constitution and most Americans for the sake of Big Business, which paid their real salaries until sex and greed finally loosened their grip in 2006. HR2265 was sponsored by Representative Goodlatte (Republican-Virginia).

Re:signed into law in 1997 by Bill Clinton... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23531968)

They didn't need veto override power because Bill Clinton signed it willingly. He's just as culpable. Quit excusing people because you happen to like them.

...instead of forcing a roll-call vote (2, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532006)

This law was nothing of Bill Clinton's doing, except that he signed it instead of vetoing it (which would have been pointless
True, a presidential veto of the NET Act, the Bono Act, or the DMCA would have been pointless in terms of keeping the bills from becoming law. Each of the bills passed through a voice vote, meaning that the yeas and nays of each member never became public record. Under Article I of the U.S. Constitution, it takes four-fifths percent of both houses to push a voice vote through (section 5) but only 67 percent of both houses to override a veto (section 7). Still, a President has power to create bad press for the supporters of a bill because a veto forces a roll-call vote (section 7).

Re:...instead of forcing a roll-call vote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23532980)

it takes four-fifths percent of both houses
You meant "four-fifths" or "80 percent", not both, right?

Re:signed into law in 1997 by Bill Clinton... (2, Interesting)

marxmarv (30295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532398)

Goodlatte? You mean the one who makes a point of ignoring anyone from outside of his district? Who's the big IP holder in his neck of the woods?

once great nation & its people brought DOWn... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23531886)

by a handful of greed/fear/ego based corepirate nazi felon philistine crusader execrable. as we all know, george could not have done it alone. see you on the other side of it? let your conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071229/ap_on_sc/ye_climate_records;_ylt=A0WTcVgednZHP2gB9wms0NUE
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080108/ts_alt_afp/ushealthfrancemortality;_ylt=A9G_RngbRIVHsYAAfCas0NUE
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece

Let no American criticize China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23531892)

Copyright infringement, as the term so aptly suggests, is not theft. How the RIAA and MPAA who's members comprise foreign corporations managed to convince your politicians it should carry harsher penalties than rape is beyond reasoning. No person in his/her right mind can justify this even in a country where corporate campaign contributions are the norm.

How does it compare to... (2, Insightful)

kinocho (978177) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531998)

I am a foreigner, how does that compare to, for example, an homicide crime? I understand the points made that the music was prereleased, but this still makes no sense for me. I think the law has better things to do than wasting time on this issues. And five years is a lot of time.

Re:How does it compare to... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23532070)

Yes, you don't understand because you aren't from the United States. You are probably from a country that realizes that its a bad idea to put people in prison for nonviolent offenses.

The United States is a police state, and we have a large prison population that proves it. Our republic has become too large to represent the people. Things will only get worse from here on out.

Stay away from the United States.

Personally, I'm going to stay and fight it out, but I would hate to see innocent foreigners get caught up in our problem (ie Dmitry Sklyarov).

Re:How does it compare to... (1, Flamebait)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532272)

In American political reasoning it is worse.

1. It hurts big industries who grow the economy.*
2. The money made obviously goes towards other ill-purposes, even possibly terrorism making it a terrorist act.**
3. It is a gateway crime which with certainly lead to many more homicides not only by the original perpetrator(s) but also anyone they touched.***

With number one it is worse than homicide because it hurts big business and without that support American citizens would die. Everyone knows food comes from Walmart!

It is also worse with number two because we all know terrorists kill many people and even the slightest of problems here in the states make them climax in evil pleasure and cause a hundred kittens to die. Don't you like kittens?!

Obviously it is also worse with reason three as the gateway effect of small crimes is well known, and those crimes also support terrorism leading into number two. We really should shoot these awful people on sight; it is a burden of civilization that we have to give them a fair trail before they are found guilty!

*Big businesses and industries are those 1% who control almost half of the US's wealth. These fine people and interests also help pay for our politicians and insure that we get the best laws and government their money can buy.
**It is well known that the money goes there, only a terrorist would say or consider otherwise.
***Also well known and proven.

another nonviolent offender behind bars... (2, Insightful)

j0nb0y (107699) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532020)

And we wonder why we have so many people in prison...

Re:another nonviolent offender behind bars... (2, Interesting)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532860)

And we wonder why we have so many people in prison...

In the American system almost all violent offenders are prosecuted at the state level. The federal system has more than enough room for the Enron exec who thinks that economic and property crimes harm no one.
In other societies the white-collar criminal has been known to face the hangman's noose or the firing squad.
An extreme remedy, perhaps. But it does tend to very efficiently strip away the technocrat's assumption that his brains and his skills make him answerable to no one.

Several facts are wrong (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23532404)

He was a siteop, not a supplier. Are you retarded? I doubt mp3 was the only section on this site anyhow. Additionally, it is "aPC" not "APC".

The funniest part is the fact that this group has been practically dead since around 2002 or so.

Slow down, cowboy (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23532582)

For those wondering when infringement became a criminal matter, you can thank the NET Act which was signed into law in 1997 by Bill Clinton.

From the Copyright Corner:

Criminal misdemeanor penalties have been a part of the copyright law since 1897.

In the 1909 Copyright Act, criminal copyright infringement was expanded to cover all types of works and all types of activities. It continued to be a misdemeanor offense with both willfulness and a financial motive required; the penalties included imprisonment.

The 1976 Act revamped the criminal provisions by changing the "for profit" requirement to infringement conducted "willfully and for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain." This lowered the standard from requiring that the defendant profit from the infringement merely to an intent to profit or gain from the activity. The Act retained the one-year in federal prison term but increased the fine from $1,000 in fines to up to $10,000 generally, and to $50,000 if the work infringed was a sound recording or motion picture.

In 1982 the criminal infringement provisions were amended to make certain types of first-time infringement punishable as felonies.

The most recent amendment to criminal copyright infringement was the No Electronic Theft Act of 1997 (NetAct) which made it a felony to reproduce or distribute copies of copyrighted works electronically regardless of whether the defendant had a profit motive. Thus, it changed the 100-year standard regarding profit motive but retained the element of willfulness. The ease of infringement on the Internet was the primary reason for criminalizing noncommercial infringement as well as recognition of other motivations a nonprofit defendant might have such as anti-copyright or anti-corporate sentiment, trying to make a name in the Internet world and wanting to be a cyber renegade. So, the infringement must be either: (1) for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain or (2) involve the reproduction or distribution of one or more copies of a work or works within a 180-day period with a total retail value of $1,000. Commercial infringers are subject to higher penalties.

CRIMINAL COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT [unc.edu] [2004}

Connecticut Man Sentenced To 30 Months in Prison For Criminal Copyright Infringement - Forty Defendants Convicted In Operation Copycat To Date [cybercrime.gov] {April 29, 2008]

Re: Slow down, Cowboy (3, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532702)

Not quite sure how this ended as a posting from an AC.

Short and sweet:

Criminal misdemeanors have been part of american copyright law since 1897.
The reach of the criminal law was extended and harsher penalties made available as early as 1909.
In 1982 first-time offenders could be convicted on a felony charge.

As for the NET act of 1997:

The ease of infringement on the Internet was the primary reason for criminalizing noncommercial infringement as well as recognition of other motivations a nonprofit defendant might have such as anti-copyright or anti-corporate sentiment, trying to make a name in the Internet world and wanting to be a cyber renegade. Criminal Copyright Infringement [unc.edu]

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