ergophobe - 12:10 am on Feb 28, 2013 (gmt 0)
matrix_jan - the problem is the question of deterence. The mom in question was actually charged with downloading 1700 songs which is probably closer to the number and the amount she has had to pay has gone back and forth from $25K to $2.2M. These are all astronomical numbers, but think of it like a reverse lottery. The lottery is ridiculous. You know that the odds are that the more you bet, the more you lose. But the payoff on a small bet is so astronomical, people are willing to take the chance and essentially throw away a few dollars a week on the chance of a huge payoff.
These fines are meant to work in the opposite sense. The chance of getting caught is so low, most people will take the risk. If the fine were, say, $5000 and I plan to download 1000 songs, that's a good bet. It would not be a deterrent. So for the deterrent to be effective, it needs to be draconian.
Again, I am not in any way disputing that these companies need new business models and that they would be better off spending time thinking up those models. What I am saying is that they are within their legal rights to bring these cases and ultimately everyone copying content with no money going back to the artist is going to leave us with an artistically impoverished society.
There is a real cost to society (not just record labels) with rampant copyright violation.
If someone entered the cinema without a ticket, is that called theft too?
Yes. It's called "theft of services." Similarly, if someone goes to a national park campground that is completely empty, nobody is around, nobody is being deprived and sets up their tent, they are liable to prosecution for "defrauding an innkeeper." It's a real crime, with real fines and is considered a form of theft.
let's call things by their names otherwise this discussion is becoming biased.
Please read my previous note. This term "sharing" is biased in and of itself. The proper term is copyright violation. There is no such thing as illegal sharing just as there is no such thing as legal stealing.