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Do you think downloading MP3 files illegally should be punishable by jail time?

Should people be sent to jail for downloading music files illegally?

  • Yes

    Votes: 1 4.0%
  • No

    Votes: 24 96.0%

  • Total voters
    25

Caine

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George_Washington said:
What do you guys think?
I think that the punishment doesn't fit the crime.

I think if they were to be capable of enacting such a law....
Fines are what they should give as punishment....
except in the cases of people who have over $2000 of copyrighted material... then... im not sure yet.. its early in the am here, not in the mood to think about it.
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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How many files we talking about, are they copyrighted material, and what's the intended purpose?

I don't see why laws against other forms of piracy, and their punishments shouldn't also be applicable here.
 
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Our prisons are already overcrowded as it is. Pilfering music isn't worth setting a murder or a rapist free so the person who pilfered the music can have a cell.
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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Napoleon's Nightingale said:
Our prisons are already overcrowded as it is. Pilfering music isn't worth setting a murder or a rapist free so the person who pilfered the music can have a cell.
First time drug offenders imprisoned for possession of a few dollars worth of crack. No point in holding them.

Theft is theft. If a person can go to jail for stealing some junky car worth a thousand bucks, why shouldn't another person go to jail for stealing a thousand dollars worth of copyrighted material?

Is Sandy Burglar stuffed a thousand dollars worth of DVD's in his underwear and walked out of Blockbuster, should he be treated differen't from the man at home that jacked a thousand dollars worth of MP3's off the Internet?

Okay, bad example. Sandy Burglar got off for something far worse than that. What if George Bush's brat got caught stealing CDs from Tower Records?
 

Thorgasm

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No they shouldn't go to jail. They should have a tax on blank CD's and MP3 players just like the blank tape tax that was instituted when people recorded songs off of the radio.
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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independent_thinker2002 said:
No they shouldn't go to jail. They should have a tax on blank CD's and MP3 players just like the blank tape tax that was instituted when people recorded songs off of the radio.

That is a thought. How do they get the tax money to the artist, and how do they figure out how much each is owed?
 

Thorgasm

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Scarecrow Akhbar said:
That is a thought. How do they get the tax money to the artist, and how do they figure out how much each is owed?
Please don't think that the record companies care about the artists. They only care about their money. Of course the artists wont see the money. It's the record companies that are suing people for their money, not the artists. If people want to feel sorry for the artists, then we need to talk about who is really screwing the artists, the record companies!
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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independent_thinker2002 said:
Please don't think that the record companies care about the artists. They only care about their money. Of course the artists wont see the money. It's the record companies that are suing people for their money, not the artists. If people want to feel sorry for the artists, then we need to talk about who is really screwing the artists, the record companies!
Oh, I don't. Believe me, I know a crock when I smell one. However, it's the copyright holder that's robbed when a song or movie is copied without permission. And that's who the law is supposed to protect.

I figure that given time, the newer artists, and the less popular ones, will benefit from internet technology and develop ways to advertise and distribute their work without the record companies. This will clearly apply more to music than movies, of course. But we're talking the here and now.
 

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Scarecrow Akhbar said:
Oh, I don't. Believe me, I know a crock when I smell one. However, it's the copyright holder that's robbed when a song or movie is copied without permission. And that's who the law is supposed to protect.

I figure that given time, the newer artists, and the less popular ones, will benefit from internet technology and develop ways to advertise and distribute their work without the record companies. This will clearly apply more to music than movies, of course. But we're talking the here and now.
Amen to that. I know people, my son included, who have some good songs ready to go, but everyone in the industry wants too much for their share.
A lot of great songs have been practically stolen from the artists over the years. Yes, the industry bigwigs are taking some risks, but they can do so without taking all the profits. The artist should be able to get a lump sum up front and a decent percentage of any song that becomes a hit. Some songs get sold outright for next to nothing. There needs to be a limit to greed. Once they have made so much off a song, a higher percentage starts going to the artist.
And jail time should be reserved for felons. Downloading should be a petty crime unless the music is being packaged and sold to others.
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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UtahBill said:
And jail time should be reserved for felons. Downloading should be a petty crime unless the music is being packaged and sold to others.
Well, sure. minor copying is petty theft. Shoplifting. No one should go to jail for loading a thousand illegal copies into their i-Pod. But they should be expected to pay.

As for the rest, the artists have to read their contracts, get managers and agents that won't screw them, and, I suspect, that in the future, independent sites that distribute songs will create downloable archives of original artists. Since the cost to that kind of distribution company is simply bandwith and servers and collections, it's entirely possible that market forces will both cut the cost of music to the consumer and put a bigger share in the artist's pocket. After all, if one ISP costs too much today, everyone moves on to another.

I think the demise of the big recording companies is inevitable.
 

George_Washington

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Scarecrow Akhbar said:
I think the demise of the big recording companies is inevitable.
Naw. People will still buy CD's. People that are really serious about sound will still always invest in CD players. Some people have also got into Super Audio and DVD Audio. I myself have a Super Audio CD Player. Because I've invested in a high quality CD player, I still buy CD's because I want the best sound possible.
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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George_Washington said:
Naw. People will still buy CD's. People that are really serious about sound will still always invest in CD players. Some people have also got into Super Audio and DVD Audio. I myself have a Super Audio CD Player. Because I've invested in a high quality CD player, I still buy CD's because I want the best sound possible.
Then there will always be a market for quality CD's. Blacksmith's aren't extinct, either. So sure there can be companies that make quality pressings of select tracks and artists. Until, of course, internet technology improves to the point where downloaded music is indistinguishable from that pressed on a CD.

But the era of the all powerful record company is coming to an end, IMO.

Technology marches on, even if there's something in the way.
 

ShullsM

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I think jail time is a little much, but I agree if there should be any punishment it should be fines or requirements to pay back for the songs "stolen"
 
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Scarecrow Akhbar said:
Theft is theft. If a person can go to jail for stealing some junky car worth a thousand bucks, why shouldn't another person go to jail for stealing a thousand dollars worth of copyrighted material?
Only violent crimes should be punished by jailtime. The reason we have prisons is to keep individuals who pose a threat to society away from society. Downloading music is not a violent crime and people who download music are not a threat to society.
 

shuamort

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independent_thinker2002 said:
No they shouldn't go to jail. They should have a tax on blank CD's and MP3 players just like the blank tape tax that was instituted when people recorded songs off of the radio.
That's pretty much what's happening in Canada.

The current levy on CD-Rs is 21¢ each.
The new levy for non-removable memory permanently embedded in digital audio recorders is $25 for each recorder with memory capacity of more than 10 gigabytes.

I have heard that the Canadian Government is taxing blank CD-Rs - is this true?
No, there is no tax, but yes, there is a levy (see the difference below).



What is a levy?
On March 19, 1998, new federal copyright legislation came into force. Among other things, the legislation provides for a levy to be collected on blank audio recording media.

It is called a levy (and not a tax) because it is not collected by any level of government, it is collected by a group representing the recording industry. In a letter to the Copyright Board of Canada released Monday, January 18, 1999, the five collectives that filed tariffs for a proposed levy on blank audio recording media announced the creation of the Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC).

The Copyright Board decides on the amount of the levy and what media it applies to. The CPCC submits its proposed levies and the Copyright Board holds hearings to hear any objections to the proposed levy amounts. Note that the Copyright Board CANNOT change the law, they can only determine the levy value and the media to which it will apply. The levy can be set for a 1- or 2-year period. So far, all of the periods set and requested have been 2 years.

The first time the Copyright Board set the levy was December 17, 1999.
Except the iPod levy/tax was just ruled illegal.
 

danarhea

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I dont think they should go to jail, but they should be fined for their actions. Distributors should go to prison. This is about the theft of someone's intellectual property.
 

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Napoleon's Nightingale said:
Only violent crimes should be punished by jailtime. The reason we have prisons is to keep individuals who pose a threat to society away from society. Downloading music is not a violent crime and people who download music are not a threat to society.
That's perfectly true. When Ken Lay defrauded Enron he did no violence and threatened no violence to anyone, so by your logic he should go free.

When Winona Rider was caught shoplifting, she offered no violence, and therefore she should have never spent a minute in jail.
 
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Scarecrow Akhbar said:
That's perfectly true. When Ken Lay defrauded Enron he did no violence and threatened no violence to anyone, so by your logic he should go free.
As I said, only violent criminals should go to prison because the point of having prisons is to keep people who pose a threat to society away from society. In crimes like that I'd say slap the guy with a hefty fine and take his buisiness lisence away. Our prisons are already overcrowded and letting rapists and murderers go so you can have an open cell for pinheads like Ken Lay is not acceptable.

Scarecrow Akhbar said:
When Winona Rider was caught shoplifting, she offered no violence, and therefore she should have never spent a minute in jail.
Isn't Winona Rider a repeat offender?
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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Napoleon's Nightingale said:
As I said, only violent criminals should go to prison because the point of having prisons is to keep people who pose a threat to society away from society. In crimes like that I'd say slap the guy with a hefty fine and take his buisiness lisence away. Our prisons are already overcrowded and letting rapists and murderers go so you can have an open cell for pinheads like Ken Lay is not acceptable.



Isn't Winona Rider a repeat offender?

It doesn't matter. She's never been accused of offering violence to anyone. But do you think Rider and Lay should simply walk away free, without punishment?
 

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Private property is an artifice. A valuable artifice that has survived because of its value and its enforceability. But intellectual property is a concept which has an additional degree of artificiality.

Consider for a moment, that if you saw a nice car, studied how it worked and specs on its construction and built yourself one, few would agree that you ought to face charges for grand theft. Why? Because the only thing you have 'stolen' is the intellectual 'property' portion of the car you now have. Significantly, you've also impinged on no one for the use of any car already produced.

The construction of the notion of intellectual 'property' is dependent on the validity of naming intellectual property by the word property. Notions about what constitutes 'theft' likewise necessarily depend upon this. Consider that, when a person 'steals' a song, the artist is only harmed if the 'thief' did it to avoid paying the artist for their creation. Although it is impossible for anyone else to know if the song thief would have paid for the song if he/she hadn't found a way to 'steal' it, it is a real effect. Take notice of the fact that record companies sales would be considerably smaller if all the songs 'stolen' actually represented reduced sales. This is markedly different from when a retail establishment is looted. There is no doubt that harm has happened to the proprietor. He cannot sell any items taken whether or not the thief would have paid for them otherwise.

We cannot properly call intellectual creations 'property'. They do not have the same characteristics as property. We have gotten away with calling these things property because the differences between them and real property have never been thrown into sharp relief. Until now.

The Internet and computing itself has brought the flaw in our notions to the forefront because it has suddenly become nearly impossible to enforce rights to intellectual creations as compared to actual property rights.

I am certainly not arguing against the ownership of rights to intellectual creations. I am arguing, however, against calling those rights the same thing as ownership of real property.

The notion of property, to begin with, came about because it served society to define it, create imperatives concerning it, and to enforce those imperatives. No undue burden upon the prerogatives of free people resulted from the effective enforcement of those imperatives. The notion of intellectual 'property' came about for the same reasons, but at a much much later time.

However, it was always recognized that intellectual property was not really property. Hence the fact that, by law, you lose your rights to it after a certain number of years, and the fact that it can be 'borrowed' from without penalty (look into fair use). Do you lose your rights to your automobile after a certain number of years? Can I borrow it without permission for a day, when you're not using it, without penalty?

These are important distinctions because they will ultimately impact whether, and how, we decide that enforcement of rights to intellectual creations still serves society given the changes we've experienced in the last 10 years. Blindly doing all that is necessary to enforce intellectual property rights is running the risk of destroying other things that serve society.

For the record, I am a supporter of private rights to intellectual creations, and I do not deprive creators of their due compensation, as defined by law, from my use of their creations. Even if the law became unenforceable, I would heartily support the recognition of the labors of creators through appropriate compensation. In particular, I do not illegally download any copyrighted music, nor do I support it.

I just do not agree that society is harmed by these acts in the same way that it is harmed by true theft, despite what the RIAA desperately would like us to believe.

So, in conclusion, No. I absolutely disagree with giving jail time to people who illegally download music. I think the notion of intellectual property rights has gone too far and I just don't think society is harmed that much by infringement of it, with regard to music. Even if recorded music becomes wholly unprofitable due to infringement of these rights. Let the artists give live performances to earn their keep. We will remain much as we are today. In fact, we may be slightly better off.
 

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Dezaad said:
Consider for a moment, that if you saw a nice car, studied how it worked and specs on its construction and built yourself one, few would agree that you ought to face charges for grand theft. Why? Because the only thing you have 'stolen' is the intellectual 'property' portion of the car you now have. Significantly, you've also impinged on no one for the use of any car already produced.
Baloney. You violated any applicable patents, and didn't pay those inventors their royalties.
 

Dezaad

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Scarecrow Akhbar said:
Baloney. You violated any applicable patents, and didn't pay those inventors their royalties.
You're so succinct, I'm having trouble telling what you mean...

Baloney = The person ought to be charged with Grand Theft?

Baloney = The thing you've stolen more than the patent rights, and patent rights are not just intellectual property?

Baloney = You've somehow infringed on someone else's right to use their car of the make you've copied?
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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Baloney, in that " Significantly, you've also impinged on no one for the use of any car already produced."

A patent is an investment in time, effort, ability, and money.

Any person copying that without paying the inventor his cut is stealing that inventors time, money, effort, and ability.

Any person copying a song and using it without paying the artist his cut is stealing also.

Explain why a person would take the risks involved in developing new products if dweebs with copying equipment can then steal it without payment.
 
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