Student's computer seized for sharing MP3s.
September 16, 2000 9:40 AM   Subscribe

Student's computer seized for sharing MP3s. Jack booted thugs anyone? Make no mistake, they're coming for you soon. Do something about it.
posted by owillis (7 comments total)
Yeah, dammit. Arresting people for breaking the law? What is this, Nazi Germany?
posted by Jart at 6:58 PM on September 16, 2000

Yeah, the guy was advertising his free leech music and movies site. The college tipped off the RIAA to stop him.

I was thinking about this today, if it were all Adobe and Microsoft software on the guy's site, we'd probably all agree he should be stopped. But if it's 40gigs of mp3's and movie mpg's, he should be allowed to continue on his free university connection?
posted by mathowie at 9:40 PM on September 16, 2000

This is rediculous. You just take away is networking privileges and the problem is solved! That's what they do at my University anyhow. Usually that's enough motivation for the user to either quit breaking the law, or do it more discreetly.
posted by greyscale at 10:21 AM on September 17, 2000

mathowie you have a good point. we have become so good a rationalizing our behavior that we have blurred the line between obvious right and obvious wrong.

i saw a post that asks whether mp3 piracy is a legitimate response to 'rip-off' pricing we've all endured for years.

so why then do we selectively endorse stealing music by download but we don't overrun the local gas station and haul away the fuel?
posted by daddyray at 4:59 PM on September 17, 2000

daddyray: ...don't overrun the local gas station and haul away the fuel?

The argument against this is because fuel is a physical object, whereas music - especially in MP3 format - isn't.

I copy an MP3 from your computer, and now we both have copies, you haven't lost anything. If I walk up to your car and siphon your gas, now I have gas and you don't.
posted by cCranium at 5:58 PM on September 17, 2000

cCranium, copywrite law doesn't exist to protect one thief from another. it serves to protect the creator of a work from loss associated with unauthorized distribution.

if you syphon gas from my tank, you're a thief. if i had previously syphoned the gas from the service station, we are both thieves.

incidentally i was referring to fuel as a comparative analogy to claimed 'rip off pricing' by the recording industry as justification for the mp3 phenomenon, a claim i refute as hogwash.

i repeat, if predatory pricing is justification then why do we not overrun the gas station?

because if we steal property, physical OR intellectual, we run afoul of the various laws that prohibit that activity.

if we redistribute stolen property, we are much bigger thieves and we run afoul of even more laws.

stupid is as stupid does.

posted by daddyray at 6:47 PM on September 17, 2000

But see, it's an analogy that cannot be made, it's physical vs. visceral. We have no way of getting gas other than through it's current distributors. We have ways of getting music (and other data) without going through the distributors. That's the inherent difference.

Does a fence do more time than the person who broke and entered? I'm honestly curious here. I doubt it, but that would be an interesting way to make fences either hide better, or get out of business. :-)

To bring it back to webpages, if someone mirrors a site exactly the original author hasn't lost anything other than some extra load on the author's host.

If it's exactly the same, the same person gets credit, the same person gets recognition. And web designers already tell people - it's inherent in the medium, there's no way you can't - "go ahead, take a copy of my work. Look at it, delete it, give it to other people if you like." because it's all electronic. Just don't take credit for it.

MP3 copying, in which credit is inherently given, is a grapefruit to web design stealing's, in which credit is explicitly and willfully removed, alarm clock. Comparing the two is, while not futile, about as pointless as something can be while still remaining interesting.

stupid is as stupid does.

quite honestly, I'm not sure make of this. A is A?
posted by cCranium at 7:20 PM on September 17, 2000

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