p2pnet news | Music:- Go ahead and try to follow me on this next sentence.
If you are told you are guilty, and you have not done anything, and you still get in trouble as if you did anyway, why not perform the guilty action you are accused of, since you have nothing to loose?
How does this relate to file sharing?
The instructions were clearly outside of the scope of the law, and on top of that, the RIAA never actually proved that DAMAGES occurred. Also, why has no one argued that the DOWNLOADER is responsible for infringement rather than the person ‘making available?’ In the real world, if you make a copy of a CD for someone else, you’re infringing, but if someone makes a copy of a copyrighted item that you, the library, or a rental chain like Blockbuster lends or rents to them, THEY have committed the infringement. There is no feasible way to defeat this analogy. The actual copyright violation occurs not because of the (potentially accidental) availability of the file, but rather because the downloader, copier, or ripper willingly and intentionally chose to make a duplication of the file that would not fall under a fair use exemption. The jury has essentially made you liable for infringement if your friend borrows a CD from you and decides to rip it without your knowledge or consent before returning it.
Yes that case will be appealed but for now it stands, if the RIAA targets you, they don’t need to prove you downloaded the file, someone else downloaded the file from you, or even that you were using the computer at the time of the alleged downloading. Also, they need not confirm that the person who owns the computer did the downloading.
This is not an over exaggeration, but fact. Additionally, you’ll notice they focus on college students most of the time. Including attacking 19 new Universities.
So here is the situation as I see it.
I am a college student. Therefore it is VERY possible that I could be randomly selected by something like my IP address, which in technical terms can’t identify any person. But in court, apparently it can. This means I don’t have to download anything and can still go to court and be convicted of the crime. (By the way, please show me the law that says file sharing in itself is illegal, because there isn’t one.) So one thought comes bubbling up in my mind:
If I can be accused and convicted whether I download or not, why shouldn’t I just download anyway?
I can’t see why I shouldn’t download anything and everything. I will get screwed either way, I might as well reap the benefits and get all of those new cd’s and movies coming out. I have paid for everything up until now, but why should I anymore? Am I supposed to be scared? Are these lawsuits supposed to stop college students from downloading? Because
I’m not scared. I don’t download illegal, licensed, material and I am still in the cross-hairs simply because I attend college. So I say again. Download away. Why not? You’ll be proven guilty whether you are or not, so have fun while you can.
Instead of creating an environment of fear in college students, you (the RIAA and MPAA) are actually encouraging them to take risks. People feel vulnerable, even when completely innocent, and now for good reason. You have sucessfully created an environment where downloaders have nothing to loose and everything to gain.
In medieval times Kings began to kill people who were accused of stealing food from the market. For 200 years they killed and for 200 years the stealing never stopped. If people won’t stop when faced with the death penalty, I don’t think they’ll stop because of monetary damage.
Side Note: Am I really saying you should go out and download like crazy, no. But I’m trying to make a point here. If they want to stop illegal downloading, they shouldn’t knowingly persecute everyone regardless of whether they are guilty or not. The corrupted legal system that allows this abuse and the Universities who blindly follow are, in my opinion, the real criminals. 10 years from now many people who *cough* gallantly *cough* attack all of those ‘bad college students’ will look back on their lives and realize the mistake they made. They may even be willing to atone for their crimes when they are sorry. But I am reminded of something my mother once told me, ‘Saying sorry, doesn’t change what has happened or who was hurt because of your actions.’
Liam Jewell – Plymouth State University
[Jewell is a full-time senior at Plymouth State University, reading for his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with a minor in Information Technology.]
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