Court Fines Finnish File Sharers 1.08 Milllion

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This story over at Torrent Freak is another example of just how wrong things have gotten regarding intellectual property and copyright.  Before I even begin, I wish to reiterate that I do not endorse piracy.  I choose to give my money to the artists who embrace the new media order and don’t wish to sue me.

In this particular case, it seems pretty clear that this group of file-sharers were actually sharing material in an illegal manner.  According to the Torrent Freak Article:

The hub, which in very basic terms operated a little like a BitTorrent tracker, directing traffic between other members of the network, was known as Sarah’s Secret Chamber. It had around 1,600 users and most of them were sharing large amounts of copyrighted material.

In normal circumstances, most members of this type of network will bring some of their own content to the party, pooling resources so that the hub has a library of material. Very often bringing large amount of content is a requirement for membership. Sarah’s Secret Chamber had a fairly large capacity – around 50 terabytes.

The suit filed claimed they “created 750,000 ‘illegal albums'” and demanded 2.7 million in damages.  For the sake of argument here, let us just assume they are guilty.  Also for the sake of argument, I strongly disagree with this verdict and sentence.

The verdict and sentence are simply ridiculous.  1.08 million dollars is parallel to having your hand chopped off for shoplifting.  It is excessive and wrong.  Do you honestly believe that the actions of these pirates cost the industry millions of dollars?

Furthermore, it seems that only industry sponsored surveys and studies show how file sharing is hurting the industry.  Third party and independent studies show the music and movie industry to be growing and more artists are making a living at it then in the past.  Yes, the established industry is shrinking…. due to a change in distribution technology a NOT piracy.

I know some will argue that the high dollar values of infringement, often written into law, are met to protect the intellectual property owner and prevent piracy.  The reality is that they are written into law because enough lobbyist bought enough governments.

I have an idea for a good law, how about, for every frivolous lawsuit the RIAA or MPAA files, we automatically fine them 100,000 per “John Doe”?

If some one does not want you to share their material and maybe gain you another fan, I would suggest you simply boycott them and go find one of the thousands of artist in the new media order of things who wish you to promote them.  We have a list of them here, very far from complete I might add.

Related Book at Amazon

[amazon_link id=”0226401189″ target=”_blank” ]Piracy: The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates[/amazon_link]

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Just a person who love independent music.
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