A couple of additional thoughts and things to ponder on…
Why is it Libraries can lend out albums and CDs without getting in trouble?
What would happen if you or I opened a store with free membership, and lent out Cd and albums?
What whould happen if you or I opened a online music library, with free membership and lent out songs?
If a item is stolen, then that item no longer exists in the hands of the rightful owner. Correct?
If the copy is stolen and not the original, then the rightful owner still has the original and therefore no theft has taken place.
If there is no exchange of money, then therefore piracy is not applied to that application.
For a law to be legal, and not subject to being overturned. There must be penalties applied and it must be applied evenly.
A person goes 5 miles over the speed limit they get a fine of $100, Over 10 miles its $150 and so on.
Therefore what scale does the RIAA use? $200,000 per alledged song download? Based on what? What does the song actually cost … 99 cents?
Based on that, even if the RICO statutes applied to song swappers… we are talking treble the damages of the actual cost of $ 3 a song. Thats the actual alledged “theft” IF RICO was applied to song swappers.
How much of a fine if someone got caught downloading five songs? Each song costs a alledged 99 cents and thats $ 5 . How much of a fine if someone got caught “stealing” $ 5.00 from their local store? Probably nothing and they would be let off with 30 days probation… if that.
Therefore the punishment does NOT fit the crime. Even IF there was a crime commited. This is why what the RIAA and others are doing will be challenged on that very aspect.
You have the BMI and ASCAP example, where the owner is individually contacted before they even sue them he can either get a music license for his establishment or he can cease and desist … BMI/ASCAP does NOT sue anyone without a individual warning… in person. Therefore also based on this the RIAA tactics will be challenged.
Finally no money is exchanged whatsoever, either on the uploaders part or the downloaders part. No money? Then where is the said crime?
IF like said earlier, there was a financial gain, like if a downloader took the songs in question and made Cds and sold them for financial gain… then that is a crime.
If you took a picture of the Mona Lisa in a museum, then enlarged it and gave copies of it away for free… tell me what crime you are committing? Why should a picture ( a copy) be treated like the real deal when in fact it is not and why should a copy of a picture be any different then a sound recording?
For you videophiles, If you have Aunt Betty over so she can watch a movie on Lifetime, everything would be legal.
If you TIVO-ed that same movie and you both watched it together, still legal.
If you taped that movie on Video Tape or DVD and she watches it downstairs at your house while you watch something else, it should be perfectly legal.
If you mailed Aunt Betty a copy of that movie on a VCR tape it may not be legal.
But Aunt Betty lives in the sticks and cannot get out, so you and her get on the internet and send the Movie through say Bearshare to her for her with no financial gain, suddenly you can get a huge fine and lose your car and she gets a fine too.
Its the same movie, regardless of what format it is on, yet the laws and the penalties are NOT the same. Therefore for arguments sake the law is not being equally applied.
These are your arguments for a class action.
Besides all that, its a well known fact that computers can be hijacked with a trojan horse program. Whats it to say that some program was downloaded to your computer without your knowledge and therefore you have no idea whatsover that you computer was used for “allegedly downloading or uploading” ?
How would you know if someone did not tap into your wireless network and downloaded and uploaded on their computer without your knowledge.
The burden is on them and not you to prove your computer wasn’t hacked.