What am I talking about?

if you've downloaded a few movies and a number of MP3's without paying to use them, you have probably infinged on someone's copyright. What are you risking, per violation, is a 

Where a court determines that the infringement occurred, a fine of up to $150,000 and/or 10 years in prison per violation may be imposed.

Copyright law isn't ordinary law, it's international law based on international treaties, which some countries enforce more stringently than others. Basically, it seems, the more prosperous a country is, the more the law tends to be observed. Someone in Sri Lanka who copies a file is far less likely to be fined from $30,000 per $150,000 per violatioin than someone doing the same thing in the United States.

Since almost everybody copies such files, the penalties need to be reduced or else when they are applied they are grossly out of proportion to the crime. Or not?

What is your view on copyright, copyright abuse, and how copyright works can be protected with more proportional penalties?

Tags: copyright, ethics, law

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When it comes to music and movies, I feel no shame in having downloaded hundreds of albums and movies. Artists make diddly squat off the sales of albums, all their money is earned from touring and merchandise. The profits go to the record companies who I'm sure are nowhere near being in the welfare line. When it comes to movies, I buy quite a bit for my kid, and the odd one for me, but again, they make millions at the box office and the same on dvd sales, so I'm not losing any sleep about it. The penalties are absolutely ridiculous, at most it should be a penalty of twice the price of the album or movie. The prison system is clogged up enough with useless possession charges that jail time is just a waste of taxpayer's money. 

There's only a couple of bands that I would actually buy an album of, but they are far few in  between.

What about art? photography? Are we photographers making too much? And writers?

Even with musicians, they generally get some small amount that's based on sales figures, don't they? So is it the size of the transgression that makes it okay?

And what about software/

Artists, photographers and writers I would say don't make nearly enough, but that's because there's so much competition. I honestly don't know how they can make a decent living, unless they've got serious talent. If copying a photograph you find online is copyright infringement then I would say 99% of computer owners would be guilty. 

Musicians do get a cut of the profit, I've read that on a $15.99 cd they get $1.60, less than the label and marketing get. Smaller artists I think benefit from filesharing, because people are able to listen to them for "free", and then can decide if they like them and possibly support them in the future. 

Software is different, once or twice I've downloaded a game, but it turned out not working. I've spent thousands buying video games, but I can't see myself spending $500 on Photoshop or the like, it's not realistic for me. I may sound like an ass, but the manufacturers and programmers have made their money 10 fold; maybe if they charged 80% less more people would actually buy the software. 

I would love to have made money off the atheist logo I designed, but it's in the hands of the internet now, and I can't control it. Dozens and dozens have used it for tattoos and websites, and I just have to be pleased with the fact that people are enjoying it. I don't know how many bands I paid lots of money to go see in concert, all the while never having bought one of their albums. That's how I support them.

Here is an idea. If the people who own copy right in question want a person to be imprisoned for such a crime then THEY pay the cost of that imprisonment, lets see how eager they are for such insane penalties then. 

I do actually buy our DVDs, usually from charity or second hand shops were the cost of them is much more sensible. As soon as we have the disk home it goes into a computer where it is ripped and loaded to the family media server my dad set up then any member of our extended family can access it via the family VPN and enjoy it. This process is also applied to music and eBooks once we have stripped out any DRM. I might point out that under Dutch laws this is all legal, if the likes of Sony don't like it they can come and kiss my pert, firm ass.

I am all for artists earning a living, but they should be addressing the middle men who make huge profits off the creative people. Big business using copyright is just getting out of hand with companies trying to apply it to phrases, even certain words. Just look at how draconian the British were over the olympics where they handed demands and fines to a cafe owner who for twenty years ran the "Olympic" cafe only find himself underneath the weight of law come the olympics, or the train company forced to rename a particular new train from "Javelin" after a million pound marketing campaign had already been run. Lawyers get very rich off copyright law, law enforcement agencies love perusing these cases because those arrested rarely have the means to buy any meaningful defense against the might of state and corporate lawyers so they get goo performance figures.

Summary; copyright has become a huge money making racket where corporations have been able to twist the arms of governments to impose draconian laws, making this a back door threat to liberty. Enough.

Regards

Judith vd R.

I agree long prison terms (worse than for violent crimes against persons in most cases) is outrageous and, in the US, should be deemed to violate the protection our Constitution affords us against "cruel and unusual punishment," but it may be the treaty aspect that makes it an exception. 

We don't throw people in prison for long periods of time for exceeding the speed limit on the freeway. At the same time, if someone's work product is violated willfully and with total disregard for its ownership, it is a form of theft. 

If one uses the middleman as an excuse to violate copyright, that still doesn't get any of the reward for that work to the musician, software writer, or other creator.

I agree the middlemen obscure things. But what if a photographer finds his work being used without permission? And today, many musical groups market their work directly without a middleman. It would seem by your standards that would be a crime. I have books on Kindle. Does the fact that Kindle sells my work signal that it's open season on my work?

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