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5-Year Suspended Sentence For S. Africa's First Online Pirate

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the comparative-justice dept.

Piracy 45

An anonymous reader writes "South Africa's first prosecution for online piracy was concluded this morning, with a five-year, wholly suspended sentence handed down to a filesharer who uploaded local movie Four Corners to The Pirate Bay. The man — who lost his job recently — said he's relieved by the verdict, which was the result of a plea bargain. Director Ian Gabriel, who made the film, recently said he was 'philosophical' about piracy."

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Go after the people who write the software (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46778221)

We need to go after the people who write the file sharing software, not the people who use it. A comparitive example would be going after drug dealers, and not drug users. Anyone who writes file sharing software is under no illusions about what their work will be used for. Putting random users in jail or fining them ridiculous amounts of money is not the solution. If the file sharing software is "open source" and you cannot determine the author, then you jail the owners of the site that hosts the software. It's a simple solution and, really, the only way the problem will be solved in the end.

Re:Go after the people who write the software (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46778255)

Glad to hear you're still alive and well, Hilary!

Re:Go after the people who write the software (4, Insightful)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about 4 months ago | (#46778271)

Going after the people who wrote the software will have no effect, since they do not and cannot control how the software is used. What happened to Napster etc all but ensured that was how future file sharing software would be written.

Re:Go after the people who write the software (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46778323)

Your analogy is completely misdirected... making the rest of your paragraph complete drivel.

'We need to go after the people who write the file sharing software, not the people who use it'.

Apply your same brain fart to cars.

'We need to go after the people who create the cars, not the people who use it'.

Meanwhile, your after getaway drivers at bank robberies...

Re:Go after the people who write the software (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46778421)

This is incorrect. If there were people who designed and built "getaway" cars, with features specific to and only intended for use during bank robberies, it would behoove us to go after them for enabling bank robbers. You would need to demonstrate that the vehicles were intended for and used primarily for that purpose; but once you did it is a logical next step to incarcerate the people who enabled the crime. I more appropriate analogy would be the laws that send bartenders that serve alcohol to obviously drunk people to jail if they let them leave the bar and drive.

Re:Go after the people who write the software (5, Insightful)

Himmy32 (650060) | about 4 months ago | (#46778493)

You realize that P2P software is used for perfectly legit things besides the illegal. For example last night, one of the games that I pay for used Bittorrent to update itself. And last week I downloaded a ISO of open source OS via bittorrent.

To get off the car analogy take lockpicks. Their purpose is to open something that is locked that you don't have a key for. Next time you lock your keys in your car, be glad that the government hasn't the lockpick manufacturers in jail.

If anyone makes a tool, likely that tool is going to be used for something wrong. But you don't blame the tool or the makers of the tool, but the person who used it wrong.

Re:Go after the people who write the software (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46779615)

Yeah, reminds me of a gun. There are very few legit uses for it and the vast majority of the time it's just use for crime.

Re:Go after the people who write the software (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46780435)

Few legit uses?
It was made for a specific legit use.

Re:Go after the people who write the software (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#46780881)

Except, the overwhelming majority of the traffic both by incidence and volume is illegal, and the law DOES take such things into effect.

You can argue it, but theres not much point; judges arent stupid, and the hammer is going to come down eventually.

Re:Go after the people who write the software (1)

Himmy32 (650060) | about 4 months ago | (#46782433)

5 years ago about one third of all internet traffic was P2P downloads. But I don't see anyone calling to shut the whole internet down.

Bad things can be put on webpages that isn't a reason to ban HTTP. Illegal sharing can happen on any protocol...

Re:Go after the people who write the software (2)

BiIl_the_Engineer (3618863) | about 4 months ago | (#46778563)

There should be no analogies, as comparing software to the real world means you're profoundly ignorant to begin with. It's simply wrong to blame the developers of P2P software for the actions of the users; period. Anyone who says otherwise is an authoritarian piece of garbage.

Re:Go after the people who write the software (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | about 4 months ago | (#46778961)

There should be no analogies, as comparing software to the real world means you're profoundly ignorant to begin with.

Software is real. It's part of the world. Same as the internet - it isn't a "cyberspace", it's people sitting at keyboards, and servers in real places, with actual cables between. And laws apply to those people, servers, cables, and software. And analogies apply equally well and equally badly between software and the rest of the world as they do between other parts of the rest of the world. Some analogies are useful, some less so. Just because it's "software" doesn't make it, and the processes that produce it, magically immune to logical, ethical, and legal analysis.

Re:Go after the people who write the software (1)

BiIl_the_Engineer (3618863) | about 4 months ago | (#46779197)

Software is real. It's part of the world.

What a revelation.

Just because it's "software" doesn't make it, and the processes that produce it, magically immune to logical, ethical, and legal analysis.

No, but these analogies are often garbage and demonstrate that the person doesn't know what the fuck they're talking about. Like that idiot who mentioned drug dealers. He should just stop making analogies, because he's a god damn moron.

Re:Go after the people who write the software (1)

tragedy (27079) | about 4 months ago | (#46784139)

The highest speed limit in the US is 85 MPH. Pretty much every new car sold in the US can go at least 100 MPH. So, the cars are being sold with functionality that will clearly break laws if used. By your argument, the car manufacturers should be locked up.

Re:Go after the people who write the software (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46778455)

Somewhat agreed - although I'd restrict this to people who have benefited directly or indirectly from the software they wrote, i.e. excluding those who make anonymous contributions. The law should look more at intent and values than on individual acts. A person who profits from misery should always be targeted first.

Re:Go after the people who write the software (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 4 months ago | (#46778789)

Trololololol...

What would you do when the software is released on darknets, and spreads over sneakernet and other (maybe older versions of the same) P2P networks? Sue the people sharing them? Oh wait...

Re:Go after the people who write the software (2)

PhilHibbs (4537) | about 4 months ago | (#46778887)

I love listening to the "whoosh" sound that accompanies each and every reply to this. Priceless!

Re:Go after the people who write the software (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 4 months ago | (#46779279)

yes let's sue MS the creator of the most popular platform used for filesharing.

Re:Go after the people who write the software (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46779565)

No, what we need to do is kill the fucking jews.

Re:Go after the people who write the software (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#46780409)

A comparable example would be to go against Smith&Wesson for robbery and murder.

Technology is neither good nor evil. Its application is.

Re:Go after the people who write the software (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46782723)

If the file sharing software is "open source" and you cannot determine the author, then you jail the owners of the site that hosts the software. It's a simple solution and, really, the only way the problem will be solved in the end.

What if it's the file sharers hosting the file sharing software, with their file sharing software?

Kindergarten Rules (4, Insightful)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 4 months ago | (#46778269)

Don't take things that don't belong to you.

Share your toys with others.

See where all the confusion comes from?

Re:Kindergarten Rules (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 4 months ago | (#46778483)

What confusion? Who's confused?

Re:Kindergarten Rules (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#46780415)

Content "owners".

Re:Kindergarten Rules (1)

cbeaudry (706335) | about 4 months ago | (#46779669)

copying something is not the same as taking.
P2P is exactly that, sharing your toys with others.

I'm not sure which way your point was supposed to be taken, can you clarify?

Re:Kindergarten Rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46779933)

copying something is not the same as taking.
P2P is exactly that, sharing your toys with others.

I'm not sure which way your point was supposed to be taken, can you clarify?

I assume because they contradict each other. Some people see it as stealing, others as copying: endless confusion ensues.

Re:Kindergarten Rules (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#46780917)

P2Ping software illegally is taking something that isnt yours-- the right to distribute. Thats the problem.

Joey loaned you his toy truck to play with. Is it OK to paint it red? Wouldnt he be right to be upset if you did that, as you violated the terms of your arrangement>

Re:Kindergarten Rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46781833)

What agreement? Once it's shared a second time, there's no agreement.

Also, if Joey loaned me his toy truck and I built a copy of it, but painted my copy red, and gave Joey back his toy truck, I bet Joey will be impressed!

Your examples are crap and your thinking is just plain wrong.

Re:Kindergarten Rules (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#46783585)

You miss the point. With software, the agreement generally is that you may use but NOT distribute or copy the software. That right is reserved by the maker.

With the truck, the agreement is that you use, but NOT paint the truck red. Joey reserves that right for himself.

In either case, the owner of the property has the right to be pissed off if you "take" their rights. Not sure why you're arguing this, the law is sort of clear on it.

Re:Kindergarten Rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46781903)

P2Ping software illegally is taking something that isnt yours-- the right to distribute.

Rights are not granted by governments.

Joey loaned you his toy truck to play with. Is it OK to paint it red? Wouldnt he be right to be upset if you did that, as you violated the terms of your arrangement>

You're begging the question - your analogy only works if the reader already doesn't understand the difference between rival goods and non-rival goods.

Re:Kindergarten Rules (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#46783595)

Rights are nothing but words until they are backed up by someone with the power to enforce them. Generally, that means whoever has sovereignty of an area; in our case that would be the state and federal government.

Re:Kindergarten Rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46813727)

Thank you Ragnar Redbeard! I've noticed it's usually you "might makes right" folks who tend to support these things.

Slashdot Beta sucks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46778357)

And Slashdot is becoming another ad-fest in a long list of annoying ad fest sites.
 
CmdrTaco! They've gutted your lovechild into another pathetic version of TechCrunch!!! How smug you feeling now?!?!?!

kill the jews (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46778383)

do it for the kids

Bad Summary (5, Informative)

niftydude (1745144) | about 4 months ago | (#46778401)

No one has ever uploaded a movie to The Pirate Bay. That is not how torrents work.

TFA correctly states what the defendant did, so why is the summary for Slashdot, the supposed "news for nerds" site, dumbed down?

Re:Bad Summary (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 4 months ago | (#46778491)

Typical. The one story in ten that isn't a copy and paste of two randomly chosen paragraphs from the article, and it's wrong.

Re:Bad Summary (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46778667)

Maybe the submitter had to spellcheck for copyrights before downloading the article to slashdot.

Re:Bad Summary (2)

PhilHibbs (4537) | about 4 months ago | (#46778909)

The torrent is the movie. It's just heavily compressed, using a compression algorithm that involves a look-up to a different location.

Re:Bad Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46779181)

Mod parent funny.

Re:Bad Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46782601)

Funn now until warner brothers gets their hand on that explanation

capatcha: despair

Re:Bad Summary (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#46780925)

In this thread: Geeks attempt to use technical devices to create legal loopholes, discover that that doesnt work.

Re:Bad Summary (1)

tragedy (27079) | about 4 months ago | (#46784219)

People have tried to get away with that sort of thing in "compression" algorithms before. For example, create a thousand 0 byte files and stuff all the data in the filenames and you can claim to have just achieved an infinite (or undefined) compression ratio. That sort of thing is rightly considered to be cheating when it comes to compression algorithms.

Re:Bad Summary (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46779345)

I'm playing Nautical Street Racer for the Nintendo 64, and boy is it fun! "He's the Grinch! The Naaaaaaaaaautical Grinch! He's slimy when he's sleepy, and shitty when he's peepee! He's the Griiiiiiiiiiiiiiinch!" Wow, the music in this game is fantastic!

Wait... how come every time the music loops, more and more light disappears from my house...?

If this were on CNN it would be BrEaKiNg NeWs! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46779139)

Something about Generalisimo Fransisco Franco being dead still might make it too.

Sail the Seven bits (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46784061)

Wow. I had no idea you could sail your pirate ship over the internet.

I must have missed the RFC.

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