Posts tagged “RIAA”

Stop downloading! Stealing CDs is much cheaper.

I’m on a legal kick today. Here is an example of just how anti-human being and pro-corporation our legal system is today (arguably, always was). Jammie Thomas was recently re-convicted of illegally sharing 1700 songs and the record labels were awarded $1.92 million in damages. Jesus Diaz over at Gizmodo compares that to six other high-profile crimes and the comparative fine (emphasis mine):

Child abduction: Fine of $25,000 and up to three years in prison, which can be accounted as $50,233 per year (that was the median household income in 2007, probably down because of the economic crisis). Total: $175,699.

Steal the CDs: A total of $275,000, $52,500 fine for the CDs.

Steal a lawnmower from your neighbour: A total of $375,000.

Burn someone’s house while playing The Doors: Another $375,000.

Stalk a Gizmodo editor (yes, you know who you are): A Class 4 felony that will result in just $175,000.

Start a dogfighting ring: $50,000.

Murder someone on the second degree, a Class 1 felony: $778,495, which accounts for a $25,000 fine and four to 15 years in prison. Jesus Diaz
Senior Contributing Editor, Gizmodo

So, what does our legal system teach us about the values of our society? Evidently, it is much better to run into Best Buy and steal the 1700 songs ($1.64 million cheaper) on CD. I mean, in this economic climate, who can really afford the luxuries of digital stealing? Much better to risk getting yourself shot and impose the violence of burglary on the masses in a chain store. Bonus: Once you have the CDs, you can actually make your own digital copies in full fidelity, unlike the options offered by virtually all digital music retailers.

Ooh, wait, I have a better idea…get rid of the goddamn Digital Millennium Copyright Act!

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The secret ACTA access list

Earlier this week, the Obama White House decided that you and I don’t have a right (or need) to know the details of the future of intellectual property in the United States (or the broader world) when they declared the contents of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement a “National Security” secret. Shockingly, it turns out that the national security threat is only posed by average citizens and consumers. That fact becomes clear when you take a look at the list of “cleared advisors“, the members of the 27 United States Trade Representative (USTR) advisory boards.

The list is a veritable who’s who of corporate lobbyists and anti-consumer groups, including the RIAA, MPAA, Monsanto, Citigroup, Wal-Mart and AIG. You know, some of the same people that brought you the financial meltdown. Clearly, the people we want deciding intellectual property policy for the future. As you read this list, remember that President Obama feels that these individuals are more trustworthy than you are, that their guidance is more critical to the republic than any input you might provide through your limited access via your representatives and the Freedom of Information Act. As the poet De la Rocha put it, “Land of the free? Whoever told you that is your enemy!”

Read on for a partial list, courtesy of Knowledge Ecology International.
Read the rest of this entry »

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