April 20, 2000
10:31 AM   Subscribe

Mother-stabbers? Father-rapers? Methinks the writer of this piece on the repercussions of trading MP3's is a bit too much of an Arlo Guthrie fan, but the info's interesting. 3 years for *1* copyrighted MP on your hard drive? Is it time for the Second American Revolution yet?

[ From Clickz, via NewsLinx ]
posted by baylink (15 comments total)
This author makes one of my favorite points, too: the problem with this crap is that each new stupid, ultimately unenforceable law reduces everyone's respect for the law and it's enforcement.

This Has Got To Stop.
posted by baylink at 10:32 AM on April 20, 2000

It's sad. It's been obvious for years that the US Government has no clue how to handle the net, and these latest laws only reinforce that idea.

RIAA == evil....
posted by hijinx at 12:38 PM on April 20, 2000

There have been studies which have shown that psychologically speaking, the certainty of punishment is far more likely to motivate people to not break a law than the severity of punishment.

In other words, a 90% chance of spending a week in jail is more of a deterrent than a .001% chance of the death penalty.

Unfortunately, Congress doesn't have the ability to alter the likelihood of detection and prosecution. But when their constitutients (or big contributors) demand action, they do have the ability to make penalties more harsh.

In this case, this is clearly a violation of the 8th amendment prohibition on "cruel and unusual punishment". The punishment is completely out of proportion relative to the crime, and it would never survive a court test. Unfortunately, such a court test would be absurdly expensive and difficult and time consuming, and the first few unlucky bastards prosecuted under this law will probably not get that chance, and will get locked up anyway.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 12:57 PM on April 20, 2000


posted by EngineBeak at 1:20 PM on April 20, 2000

I'm proud of you, Beak.

I was merely trying to assuage the pains of those folks who (rightly) complain about not being able to see the whole URL. But, if you like, take it as an indication that I should be member number 666 instead of 706.

The comment I actually came here to make was: Gee... why didn't anyone just ask if people were willing to pay for the music
posted by baylink at 1:35 PM on April 20, 2000

I'm sorry; I really don't have anything against you, even though it may seem so since I consistently pick on your posts. At least I don't call you an 'idiot', and I think that anybody who does so should be kicked in the shins.

It's interesting to see that nutella.net is apparently being cybersquatted, while nutella.com is not functional but apparently registered to Nutella It-Self.
posted by EngineBeak at 1:55 PM on April 20, 2000

Ouch! :-)

Here's a thought guaranteed to make you squirm: how many devious things might a Napster client do as a trojan horse (by definition, undetectable until it's too late...)

DDOS client? System Spy?
posted by baylink at 2:12 PM on April 20, 2000

For that matter, how does the size of Napster compare to Back Orifice?
posted by harmful at 2:18 PM on April 20, 2000

i agree with baylink...everyone i know has said they'd be willing to pay a fee to use napster...did you all know that cassette companies like memorex pay a royalty to the recording industry? we could pay a fee to napster which in turn pays royalties up the food chain...
also, i believe it was 1964 when xerox was taken to court because they made it easier for people to copy documents and the vcr makers were taken to court in the '70's...look at who prevailed...xerox and sony are huge companies now!
posted by centrs at 4:50 PM on April 20, 2000

One question about the article... who is Keith Mitnick? Shouldn't that be KEVIN Mitnick?

And if I ever get caught, I'll be in jail for over 900 years and I'm certainly not the winner of the "most mp3s" award.
posted by stefnet at 5:57 PM on April 20, 2000

This is not an unenforceable law. It is a law of convenience. Simply put, if an officer of the law has just cause for a search, you can bet that it will be S.O.P. to check all PC's for anything illegal. Why? If the first charge doesn't stick, they have something else. "You know, Mr. Smith you could accept this charge of having an unliscensed handgun which will get you 18 months, or we could prosecute you for having mp3s on your HD for which you will get 3 years." What's worse is that it's all of an afternoon's piece of coding to write a program to copy a file or files onto an HD and forge the creation date. Sure it's falsifying evidence, but it's nigh impossible to prove.
posted by plinth at 5:39 AM on April 21, 2000

The armament doesn't have a chance against the armor, here, which isn't unusual.

But no one's particularly spoken to what I feel is the underlying topic of the piece: the dilution of our respect for law due to this stupidity. *That* is why I say it has to stop...

not because I's afraid of getting busted over my stash. :-)
posted by baylink at 7:07 AM on April 21, 2000

Plinth, your comment is wrong. A search warrant is required to describe ahead of time the things they expect to seize. Once they're in there, if they discover evidence of an unrelated crime that they didn't suspect, it isn't valid evidence and can't be used in court.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 7:17 AM on April 21, 2000

here's a thought...how would they know the mp3's were bootleg? i have tons of mp3's i made myself - that i don't share - just to use on my computer...
posted by centrs at 4:01 PM on April 21, 2000

They would likely have the person accused of bootlegging mp3s bring forward the original CDs or proof of sale.
posted by cCranium at 4:04 PM on April 21, 2000

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