Congress mulls prison terms for KaZaA users

By Phantasm66 · 73 replies
Jul 18, 2003
  1. OK, explain this to me. I was stabbed by some psychopath about 4 years ago, and once the Police realised that it would not be an open and shut case, they completely lost interest. I see so many hardened criminals walking the streets here these days, but it seems like instead of locking some of those people up, its more desireable to try to increasingly criminalise ordinary folks for doing nothing more than sharing some mp3s.

    "Not satisfied with hacking P2P networks, or destroying the computers of file sharers, House Hollywood sock puppet Howard Berman (Democrat, California) is now sponsoring legislation that would jail people who trade as little as one MP3 on the Internet."

    No, you did not read that incorrectly. Jail. Along with paedophiles and rapists, child abusers and drug dealers. "Has the world gone mad?" you ask. Perhaps so.

    The justifcation (at least in legal grounds) for this latest stunt apparently relies on the assumption "that any P2P activity with a copyrighted file involves more than ten copies and represents a retail value of $2,500, automatically making it a felony and bringing in the possibility of incarceration."

    Perhaps soon, we shall be arresting people purely for having an internet connection and a PC, much in the same way that we currently arrest people for carrying knives. Not so much that they have done something, just that they might do. I am sure that all of this unhappy saga shall reach such silly heights eventually as jailing people for having Kazaa installed, or making mp3 codecs illegal. Such insanity is coming, I fear...

    Full Story Here.
  2. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,350

    Well, if this goes on much longer I will have lost faith in all humanity, and all hope will be lost for us all.

    I say we go ahead and drop nukes on each other. Humanity isn't worth a spec of dust.
  3. Shnig

    Shnig TS Enthusiast Posts: 170

    Dose this fall in with the three strike thing in whereby if you were convicted for swaping songs three times you could get life imprisionment?

    Has anyone asked the musicians who the RIA represent what they think about all this?
  4. gezzas525

    gezzas525 TS Rookie

    screw them, i dont give a damn any more. There are rapists, murderers and paedofiles running around and all they can think about is some bloke sharing a few mp3's on his computer. Just step out of line with me and they will regret it I warning them from now. The RIAA are a bunch of *****s, stuipid they do not know what there talking about. Get the facts.

    1) CD sales HAVE NOT gone down because of P2P, CD's are expensive and people dont buy them, you think for example students are gona fork out $20 per CD and with only 3-4 good songs yeah right.

    2) People preview song via mp3's and in turn buy the original P2P sharing HAS actually boosted CD sales.

    3) so your gona sue students, yeah good idea except its not gona be them paying the legal fees its the tax payer and for what!!!

    This is gotten out of control the RIAA is paniking banging their heads againt the wall trying to figure out what to. Put it this nothing is gona work only cheaper CD's.

    please mind your language - phantasm66
  5. gezzas525

    gezzas525 TS Rookie

    If anyone is reading these posts, the RIAA are fighting a battle they cant win period. the P2P users have masive support, there is absolutly no way a P2P user would ever get into trouble, it just cant happen it would simply backfire. Dont listen to their threats.
  6. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,978   +15

    Your totally right phanty, rediculious huh! Why dont they seem to reailzed that themselves??

    ...I really do wish Howard Berman could read your post, its well said. I better not get sent to jail...just amagine, that would turn my life upside down, put me behind in school, and all in all, majorly screw me over -- for downloading an MP3!!!

    Gosh what have we gotten to these days :blackeye: :blackeye: :blackeye:
  7. Abraxas

    Abraxas TS Rookie Posts: 157

    Money is more important than people nowadays.
    The irony here is that mp3s triggered a boom of the music industry.
    Well, perhaps not the chart crap like Britney Spears or Justin Timberlake. People start to listen to real music again after the trend towards big money chart attacks has gotten really worse. Those complaining are not making less profit cause people share music. They get less cause nobody wants to listen to their music any more and now that p2p has established people learn that there is much better music out there than the stuff playing at the stations 24/7.
    And music they like they will eventually buy. At least I do.
    I buy more CDs than I did before p2p. Strange, huh? But it's not the stuff of those who are whining, maybe that's the problem...

    Those complaining are exactly those who had more than enough dough to begin with.
  8. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 5,734   +8

    believe me, we need to stop worrying about some college kids sharing mp3s and start worrying about the growing underclass here, some of whom have beem embroiled in crime since their early years and can only express themselves with violence. how society can be so blind, I do not know.
  9. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,350

    We are too big for our pantys. It will all be over soon. Our stupidity and blindness will be the end of us one day.

    If you have ever seen Escape from LA then you know at the end of the movie, all electronics are wiped out. I really do wish that someone would create some sort of EMP charge large enough to destroy everything electrical on the face of this earth so that we are stuck back in the stone age. This would solve a lot of our problems. Would make weapons manufacturing almost impossible (at least the large scale weapons) or very much slower thus decreasing crime in a lot of ways.

    If I had access to a button to do it, I wouldn't think about it for a second, I would press the button.
  10. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 5,734   +8

    I think that a better solution would be if all lawyers vanished.... ;)
  11. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,350

    Concur :D.

    Though if we didnt have lawyers, we probably wouldn't have a judicial system.

    No judicial system might mean either "guilty with no trial, straight to the chair" or we all run around killing with laws not being enforced :).

    Scary though, but then again, lawyers are scary too.
  12. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 5,734   +8

    The real issue, though, is that all of this RIAA stuff is just getting more and more insane.

    Its amazing the kind of irrational claims and irrational behaviour that you can get from certain people or organisations when they know they are loosing.

    And as time goes on, it just sounds sillier and sillier, until no one (least of all themselves) can take it seriously. But they still try. Its just of tragic, really.
  13. BrownPaper

    BrownPaper TS Rookie Posts: 407

    if this jailing situation were to pass, is the us government going to jail millions of p2p users. the prison system in the us is already as crowded as it is. i suppose they are going to have to kick out some serial killers to make room for the hardened p2p users.
  14. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 5,734   +8

    I think that the idea is that if they make an example of a few people, no one else will bother, and the problem will go away.

    Its the kind of absurd thinking that often goes into dealing with computer crimes. Treat the first one like a terrorist and then we won't have the problem of dealing with anyone else.

    The source of the desire to do this is twofold, I feel:-

    1)That computer crime is a sufficiently new type of crime in an historical sense, and that if its delt with with an iron fist from the beginning, it will be stamped out or at least kept to nothing, and

    2)The most lawyers, judges and juries do not understand the technical nature of most crimes, and so don't know how to effectively and justly prosecute, defend and judge them.

    The problem, as always, is that it does not work that way.

    The way to tackle this kind of crime is to remove any possible incentive to commit the crime. Make it that its pointless to illegally swap music because you don't need to. That's the only solution.
  15. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,350

    Basically, keep using your P2P software. As long as the P2P networks exist there will be no problem. Which again just proves that they should be going after the P2P servers instead of the individual swappers.

    As I have said before, there are millions upon millions of us. A good example is, when you go up against drugs, you concentrate on the SELLERS, not the buyers. A good policy would be, if you find a buyer prosecute him, but LOOK for the SELLERS, not the buyers. Eliminating sellers gets rid of a very large amount of drugs. The same rule applys with this situation. Get rid of ONE P2P network such as Kazaa and you LITERALLY eliminate 3.5 million file swappers (and that number is only the amount of swappers that are usually online at once, not counting the ones that are offline at the time). This also means if you were to go after individual file swappers then your going after over 3.5 million people not counting individuals swapping on other P2P networks.

    I do have to agree that we should stop fileswapping. I myself am addicted to it as I know almost everyone here is. Also being a musician I wouldn't want someone stealing my music, resulting in me living in a hut even IF I did have 5 million fans for example.
  16. MaskedBurrito

    MaskedBurrito TS Rookie Posts: 42

    As Usual, they choose to go after the effect rather than the cause.

    Dimished quality of music
    Higher CD prices
    Difficult ecomomic times

    Instead of being pickier about what music is released and lowering prices they decide to screw the average computer user for not handing our wallets over to them. Typical corporate Bulls*#t. It's all our fault according to them. Noooo the record industry is perfection, they never release garbage and we would all be buying their crap if we weren't downloading it. Riiiiiight. I hope the record isndustry goes bankrupt one major label at a time.
  17. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 5,734   +8

    In fact, as we enter this new century, I think we need to completely rethink the notion of copyright itself. Perhaps that in itself is an outmoded and stale concept.
  18. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 5,734   +8

    I have decided that the RIAA are loosing, and they know it.

    I think its common for people to do insane things like this when they are loosing and don't want to admit it to themselves.

    This all smacks of desperation, resentment and even perhaps fear.

    I think that certain record companies have been for some time looking at the internet and broadband and P2P, and then at their own little empires, and then thinking:

    "So this is how it ends."
  19. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,978   +15

    lol, rotf.

    Im not exactly sure your right, they could be winning.
  20. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 5,734   +8

    Of course this is how it ends.

    From the world of computer geeks there has arisen a means of distributing music that's infintely more efficient than anything that's existed before - than anything any record company ever thought of.

    I bet they are mad that they didn't think of P2P themselves.

    No, they are not winning. They would have to ban the internet to do that. And I can't see that happening. Face it. Its the 21st Century. Things are changing. Its history. The future will always be different in some ways from the past. Charging $20 for a CD with 4 good songs and 7 crap belongs in the past. That time is over now.
  21. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    mp3's suck!

    Try burning a CD from mp3s and the playing it on your HiFi, the sound quality just doesn't compare to an original CD.

    If I like something, then I will buy the original CD, though I sometimes listen to a few mp3s first, to see if the album is worth buying.

    If I like the album, then I will buy it, but only if it costs less than £12.00, and that's only if I REALLY like it. The record industry really needs to take a look at its pricing policy, as this is the main reason that I only buy older CDs (when the price has dropped below £10.00). Unless they do this, they will continue to lose sales (I haven't bought a music CD for about 3 years now, though I have received them as gifts). When the economy is in a downturn, even consumers have to think carefully about how much things cost.

    I can honestly say that I have only about two dozen mp3s, and I don't generally bother with them, so fines and imprisonment wouldn't affect me (besides, I live in the UK).

    Because the RIAA are owned by the record companies, they will likely have to justify their existance by results. This is most likely the reasons for resorting to extreme measures, as so far nothing has worked.
  22. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 5,734   +8

    I don't know about mp3s sucking.... not too much.

    Well encoded ones sound good if you have good equipment and the track has been encoded at a decent kbps.

    But the point is that trading some music tracks on the internet is not something you should be going to jail for, and sharing a cell with someone who axed his mother.

    If you remove the high tech angle, and look at it like this:-

    I recorded a mix tape for my g/f. I was caught by the cops and sent to jail for 3 months.

    Jeez.... Listen to how INSANE it sounds!
  23. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 5,734   +8

    Nothing ever will.
  24. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 5,734   +8

    I remember hearing on the news that this 15 year old boy raped an 87 year old woman.

    Why aren't we pumping millions of $$$ into stopping that?

    Why aren't we having expensive lawyers talk about what we do to stop that?

    Sometimes I feel like the whole world has its priorities wrong. This whole RIAA saga will be the subject of much future hilarity in decades to come, methinks.
  25. DigitAlex

    DigitAlex TechSpot Paladin Posts: 536

    Phant, do someone win f*ing money from stopping that ? NO

    that's why they don't to anything ;)
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