I find that this law setting a mandatory $150000 US is excessive .
It violates the Eighth Amendment :
Excessive bail shall not be required, [B]nor excessive fines imposed[/B], nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
In the case of the woman downloading 14 songs .
At most it should be treated as petty theft & even the lowest degree of petty theft.
It didn’t involve any direct contact with the owner of the property so there was no threat of any danger to the owner. That usually lowers the penalty for any theft.
I checked & found the amount paid to a copyright owner is set by the government at 9.1 cents . Rounded up for easy math this woman’s petty theft was $1.40 US.
That’s if she was aware it was theft. If she wasn’t then there was no intent & many times that is ruled as “no crime” but the property is returned.
In Texas if it was petty theft this is the penalty:
Texas Theft Criminal Penalties
Charge: Theft of property valued at less than $50
Classification: Class C misdemeanor
Penalty: Fines up to $500
So a possible fine of $500 US max. Probably not that for a $1.40 .
The same should apply to a downloaded movie. The value should be what the copyright owner should receive for one DVD . I didn’t check for that but I’m sure it is under the $50 US .
Again intent needs to be taken into account by the courts.
Did the person even know the content was copyrighted ?
Where is the responsibility of the government,ISP, & even MS or other browsers that should prevent this content for being able to be downloaded ? Why aren’t those accessories to any crime because they allow it or facilitate it ?
I know there are exemptions for most of those . My question is why ?
If this is such a serious crime.
In the end in most cases it should be at most petty theft & treated accordingly.
If the copyright owner gets restitution of the amount he would have made then maybe no criminal penalty at all.
Why should copyright owners get more for theft than anyone else ?
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; [B]nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. [/B]
So why does Walmart get petty theft charged to a shoplifter & a fine of $500 US max ?
But a copyright owner gets $150000 US for petty theft done to them.
Where is the equal protection ?
I consider it to also be [B] cruel and unusual punishments inflicted[/B] in what this excessive penalty does to an individual & their family.