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Single mother extorted by the RIAA

J.Kenyon
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11/5/2010 11:17:41 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
...for $1.5 million.

"A Minnesota woman ordered to pay a recording industry trade group $1.5 million for illegally sharing music online doesn't plan to pay those damages as her attorneys continue to argue the amount is unconstitutional, she said Thursday.

"A federal jury found Wednesday that Jammie Thomas-Rasset, of Brainerd, must pay $62,500 per song — for a total of $1.5 million — for illegally violating copyrights on 24 songs. This was the third jury to consider damages in her case, and each has found that she must pay — though different amounts."

I hope I'm not the only one who thinks this is f*cking insane. IP laws are corporatist relics that hinder progress and destroy creativity and innovation; it's time they were abolished.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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11/5/2010 11:23:24 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
How can the amount be unconstitutional? I don't get it, the fact that you disagree with IP aside.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
lovelife
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11/5/2010 11:26:50 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Its retarded as f-ck. I hope they don't actually plan on making her pay jack squat. And why the f-ck would any jury make her pay? I am willling to bet right now they illegally download and share songs all the time.
Yes IP laws are retarded and should be abolished.
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LaissezFaire
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11/5/2010 11:27:50 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/5/2010 11:23:24 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
How can the amount be unconstitutional? I don't get it, the fact that you disagree with IP aside.

8th amendment: "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."

Even if you accept the premise that copying is stealing, the fine is still clearly excessive. There's no reason the fine should have been any amount higher than what she'd have to pay if she shoplifted the CD, if you believe that the two actions are morally equivalent.
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: At 6/22/2011 6:57:23 PM, el-badgero wrote:
: i didn't like [Obama]. he was the only black dude in moneygall yet he claimed to be home. obvious liar is obvious liar. i bet him and bin laden are bumfvcking right now.
Ragnar_Rahl
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11/5/2010 11:34:56 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/5/2010 11:27:50 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
At 11/5/2010 11:23:24 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
How can the amount be unconstitutional? I don't get it, the fact that you disagree with IP aside.

8th amendment: "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."

Even if you accept the premise that copying is stealing, the fine is still clearly excessive. There's no reason the fine should have been any amount higher than what she'd have to pay if she shoplifted the CD, if you believe that the two actions are morally equivalent.

What's the amount she'd have to pay for shoplifting?
Note that it's easier to catch a standard shoplifter, hence, higher penalties are necessary to make up for the lower odds of their imposition.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Ragnar_Rahl
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11/5/2010 11:38:03 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
also, she didn't just download the CD's. She shared. She was an uploader. E.g. she enabled other people to shoplift, so to speak. She guided fellow shoplifters through the back door of the shop :P.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
LaissezFaire
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11/5/2010 11:40:59 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/5/2010 11:34:56 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 11/5/2010 11:27:50 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
At 11/5/2010 11:23:24 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
How can the amount be unconstitutional? I don't get it, the fact that you disagree with IP aside.

8th amendment: "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."

Even if you accept the premise that copying is stealing, the fine is still clearly excessive. There's no reason the fine should have been any amount higher than what she'd have to pay if she shoplifted the CD, if you believe that the two actions are morally equivalent.

What's the amount she'd have to pay for shoplifting?
Note that it's easier to catch a standard shoplifter, hence, higher penalties are necessary to make up for the lower odds of their imposition.
It doesn't matter which person is easier to catch--that has nothing to do with how much punishment is just. The only thing that ought to determine the severity of the punishment is the severity of the crime. If I pickpocket $1000 from you (and, for this example, do no other harm to you), then not only do I have to give the $1000 back, but, by stealing from you, I have forfeited some of my rights. Specifically, by failing to respect your right to your $1000, I have forfeited my right to that same amount of money, and owe you $2000 total. If I murder someone, I have violated their right to life, and by doing so, have forfeited my own right to life. And if I "steal" $24 worth of songs from you, then a $1.5 million dollar fine is clearly excessive.
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: At 6/22/2011 6:57:23 PM, el-badgero wrote:
: i didn't like [Obama]. he was the only black dude in moneygall yet he claimed to be home. obvious liar is obvious liar. i bet him and bin laden are bumfvcking right now.
LaissezFaire
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11/5/2010 11:42:48 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/5/2010 11:38:03 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
also, she didn't just download the CD's. She shared. She was an uploader. E.g. she enabled other people to shoplift, so to speak. She guided fellow shoplifters through the back door of the shop :P.

Then, at most, she is liable for her "theft" plus the "theft" of the people she uploaded to, and that's it. There's no way she shared enough songs to justify a $1.5 million dollar fine.
Should we subsidize education?
http://www.debate.org...

http://mises.org...

http://lewrockwell.com...

http://antiwar.com...

: At 6/22/2011 6:57:23 PM, el-badgero wrote:
: i didn't like [Obama]. he was the only black dude in moneygall yet he claimed to be home. obvious liar is obvious liar. i bet him and bin laden are bumfvcking right now.
Ragnar_Rahl
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11/6/2010 10:32:46 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/5/2010 11:40:59 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
At 11/5/2010 11:34:56 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 11/5/2010 11:27:50 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
At 11/5/2010 11:23:24 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
How can the amount be unconstitutional? I don't get it, the fact that you disagree with IP aside.

8th amendment: "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."

Even if you accept the premise that copying is stealing, the fine is still clearly excessive. There's no reason the fine should have been any amount higher than what she'd have to pay if she shoplifted the CD, if you believe that the two actions are morally equivalent.

What's the amount she'd have to pay for shoplifting?
Note that it's easier to catch a standard shoplifter, hence, higher penalties are necessary to make up for the lower odds of their imposition.
It doesn't matter which person is easier to catch--that has nothing to do with how much punishment is just.
It has to do with how much is necessary to make an impact.

The only thing that ought to determine the severity of the punishment is the severity of the crime.
Why shouldthat matter?

If I pickpocket $1000 from you (and, for this example, do no other harm to you), then not only do I have to give the $1000 back, but, by stealing from you, I have forfeited some of my rights. Specifically, by failing to respect your right to your $1000, I have forfeited my right to that same amount of money, and owe you $2000 total.
You've forfeited them all-- rights are absolutes. It's only expedience that determines it probably doesn't make sense to execute you for it.

Then, at most, she is liable for her "theft" plus the "theft" of the people she uploaded to, and that's it. There's no way she shared enough songs to justify a $1.5 million dollar fine.
I dispute your premise of proportionality. I have no idea how much she shared though.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Mirza
Posts: 16,992
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11/6/2010 10:40:53 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Although I strongly disagree with anyone who believes in "virtual theft," I think that this punishment is nonsensical. I do not know how many people got songs shared by her, but this is still too much.
J.Kenyon
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11/6/2010 11:42:26 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/6/2010 10:59:19 AM, Zetsubou wrote:
Well it is legal, whether it ought to be legal is the issue.

Actually, it violates the 8th Amendment, as LaissezFaire pointed out.

$1.5m is a bit much...

$0.01 would be too much. Copying =/= Theft.
Mirza
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11/6/2010 11:43:26 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/6/2010 11:42:26 AM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 11/6/2010 10:59:19 AM, Zetsubou wrote:
Well it is legal, whether it ought to be legal is the issue.

Actually, it violates the 8th Amendment, as LaissezFaire pointed out.

$1.5m is a bit much...

$0.01 would be too much. Copying =/= Theft.
Is taxing theft, according to you?
mongeese
Posts: 5,387
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11/6/2010 12:21:17 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Essentially, by sharing the songs on the internet, she violated a contract with whoever she obtained the songs from. A punishment is in order. But $1.5 million is just... what?

And I don't see how IP laws "stifle creativity" if the only example you've got so far is sharing music online. That hardly breeds creativity.
J.Kenyon
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11/6/2010 12:25:29 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/6/2010 11:43:26 AM, Mirza wrote:
At 11/6/2010 11:42:26 AM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 11/6/2010 10:59:19 AM, Zetsubou wrote:
Well it is legal, whether it ought to be legal is the issue.

Actually, it violates the 8th Amendment, as LaissezFaire pointed out.

$1.5m is a bit much...

$0.01 would be too much. Copying =/= Theft.

Is taxing theft, according to you?

Taxation is theft. Not according to me, by definition. Some people may argue that it's justified, but it's still theft.
Mirza
Posts: 16,992
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11/6/2010 12:27:53 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/6/2010 12:25:29 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
Taxation is theft. Not according to me, by definition. Some people may argue that it's justified, but it's still theft.
Good.

Then how can you ever logically say that copying=/= theft? If you mean downloading songs illegally, and not seeing it as theft, then you are nothing but wrong on the issue. The singers who would get paid for people downloading their songs do not get money instead, which is nothing but theft. It is the same as taxation; you take money of people before they actually get the money.
J.Kenyon
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11/6/2010 5:19:14 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/6/2010 12:27:53 PM, Mirza wrote:
At 11/6/2010 12:25:29 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
Taxation is theft. Not according to me, by definition. Some people may argue that it's justified, but it's still theft.
Good.

Then how can you ever logically say that copying=/= theft? If you mean downloading songs illegally, and not seeing it as theft, then you are nothing but wrong on the issue. The singers who would get paid for people downloading their songs do not get money instead, which is nothing but theft. It is the same as taxation; you take money of people before they actually get the money.

That's lost opportunity cost, not theft.
Mirza
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11/6/2010 5:23:37 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/6/2010 5:19:14 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 11/6/2010 12:27:53 PM, Mirza wrote:
At 11/6/2010 12:25:29 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
Taxation is theft. Not according to me, by definition. Some people may argue that it's justified, but it's still theft.
Good.

Then how can you ever logically say that copying=/= theft? If you mean downloading songs illegally, and not seeing it as theft, then you are nothing but wrong on the issue. The singers who would get paid for people downloading their songs do not get money instead, which is nothing but theft. It is the same as taxation; you take money of people before they actually get the money.

That's lost opportunity cost, not theft.
The entire principle is the exact same as with taxation.
LaissezFaire
Posts: 2,050
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11/6/2010 5:40:53 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/6/2010 5:23:37 PM, Mirza wrote:
At 11/6/2010 5:19:14 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 11/6/2010 12:27:53 PM, Mirza wrote:
At 11/6/2010 12:25:29 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
Taxation is theft. Not according to me, by definition. Some people may argue that it's justified, but it's still theft.
Good.

Then how can you ever logically say that copying=/= theft? If you mean downloading songs illegally, and not seeing it as theft, then you are nothing but wrong on the issue. The singers who would get paid for people downloading their songs do not get money instead, which is nothing but theft. It is the same as taxation; you take money of people before they actually get the money.

That's lost opportunity cost, not theft.
The entire principle is the exact same as with taxation.

No, it isn't. IP infringement is more like competition. If you own a shop that sells shoes, and I open up another shoe selling shop in the same town, you'd lose profits. I'm obviously not taking anything from you, since future sales don't belong to you. Same thing with IP. If I upload a bunch of songs, the recording company may have less sales than it otherwise would have, but they didn't own those future sales anyway.

With taxation, it isn't a loss of a future opportunity, it is the theft of present wealth. Let's say I run a business and hire employees. My business makes $1 million dollars in revenue. I need to pay my employees, but to do so, I must send X% of MY money to the government instead of to them. If I don't, the government sends armed thugs to take it from me. That is theft; the government is stealing the money that I earned, resulting in less money for myself and my employees.
Should we subsidize education?
http://www.debate.org...

http://mises.org...

http://lewrockwell.com...

http://antiwar.com...

: At 6/22/2011 6:57:23 PM, el-badgero wrote:
: i didn't like [Obama]. he was the only black dude in moneygall yet he claimed to be home. obvious liar is obvious liar. i bet him and bin laden are bumfvcking right now.
Mirza
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11/6/2010 7:18:35 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/6/2010 5:40:53 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
At 11/6/2010 5:23:37 PM, Mirza wrote:
At 11/6/2010 5:19:14 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 11/6/2010 12:27:53 PM, Mirza wrote:
At 11/6/2010 12:25:29 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
Taxation is theft. Not according to me, by definition. Some people may argue that it's justified, but it's still theft.
Good.

Then how can you ever logically say that copying=/= theft? If you mean downloading songs illegally, and not seeing it as theft, then you are nothing but wrong on the issue. The singers who would get paid for people downloading their songs do not get money instead, which is nothing but theft. It is the same as taxation; you take money of people before they actually get the money.

That's lost opportunity cost, not theft.
The entire principle is the exact same as with taxation.

No, it isn't. IP infringement is more like competition. If you own a shop that sells shoes, and I open up another shoe selling shop in the same town, you'd lose profits. I'm obviously not taking anything from you, since future sales don't belong to you. Same thing with IP. If I upload a bunch of songs, the recording company may have less sales than it otherwise would have, but they didn't own those future sales anyway.

With taxation, it isn't a loss of a future opportunity, it is the theft of present wealth. Let's say I run a business and hire employees. My business makes $1 million dollars in revenue. I need to pay my employees, but to do so, I must send X% of MY money to the government instead of to them. If I don't, the government sends armed thugs to take it from me. That is theft; the government is stealing the money that I earned, resulting in less money for myself and my employees.
The problem with your response is that you make turn definitions into subjective interpretations. Maybe you place a distinction between what you consider to be the immoral part of taxation, and the piracy part on copying illegally downloaded songs, but I. I have no problem with accepting that taxation is different to downloading songs, because the payment etc. methods are different, but the fact that both deal with not getting what you deserve makes it sufficient for me to say that piracy is also theft. If it is not theft to you, then settle with it. But expect the same vague response from someone who might tell you how tax is not theft merely because he does not think that it is.
Ragnar_Rahl
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11/6/2010 8:55:49 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/6/2010 5:40:53 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
At 11/6/2010 5:23:37 PM, Mirza wrote:
At 11/6/2010 5:19:14 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 11/6/2010 12:27:53 PM, Mirza wrote:
At 11/6/2010 12:25:29 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
Taxation is theft. Not according to me, by definition. Some people may argue that it's justified, but it's still theft.
Good.

Then how can you ever logically say that copying=/= theft? If you mean downloading songs illegally, and not seeing it as theft, then you are nothing but wrong on the issue. The singers who would get paid for people downloading their songs do not get money instead, which is nothing but theft. It is the same as taxation; you take money of people before they actually get the money.

That's lost opportunity cost, not theft.
The entire principle is the exact same as with taxation.

No, it isn't. IP infringement is more like competition. If you own a shop that sells shoes, and I open up another shoe selling shop in the same town, you'd lose profits.
Yet you ain't free riding on my invention of shoes, because I didn't invent shoes. Hence that is an area in which it is legit to compete.

I'm obviously not taking anything from you, since future sales don't belong to you.
My inventions however do.

Say I have a mill. I rent it out to people. You mill your corn without paying my fee. It's not intellectual , but it's nevertheless analogous to copying, I still have my mill after you do this. Should it be allowed? I say no, the mill is my property to place the restrictions I wish on. Regardless of whether your use would still leave me with the mill. and, notably, if you take the position consistent with your position on IP, no one would ever build a mill.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Ragnar_Rahl
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11/6/2010 8:57:29 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
You mill your corn
To clarify, you do this at my mill.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
J.Kenyon
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11/6/2010 9:11:22 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/6/2010 8:57:29 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
You mill your corn
To clarify, you do this at my mill.

Fail analogy is fail.

It would be more analogous if I were to break into the RIAA headquarters and physically steal all the music off of their computers, in which case copying wouldn't be my crime, but invading their property and making illegal use of their equipment.

OR

We could fix your comparison. I decide to build a mill right next to yours using the exact same design and mill my own damn wheat.
Ragnar_Rahl
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11/6/2010 10:51:41 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/6/2010 9:11:22 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 11/6/2010 8:57:29 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
You mill your corn
To clarify, you do this at my mill.

Fail analogy is fail.

It would be more analogous if I were to break into the RIAA headquarters and physically steal all the music off of their computers, in which case copying wouldn't be my crime, but invading their property and making illegal use of their equipment.
You ain't breakin nuffink. Your use of the mill is gentle. No more intrusive than your trespass on my invention. :P


OR

We could fix your comparison. I decide to build a mill right next to yours using the exact same design and mill my own damn wheat.
Assuming I didn't invent that variety of the mill, you ain't free riding on my invention costs now are ya?

Whereas if you copy my book or mill design, that's months of my life that I can't possibly enjoy the advantage of because you "compete" without having to share in the cost that made the field you're competing in possible. How the hell someone supposed to invest months of time and thousands (or in some cases important to IP years and millions or billions) of dollars and compete with price against someone who didn't have to pay a dime of these costs? They don't ceteris paribus, and the competition never happens, because the invention never occurs under such a model.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
bluesteel
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11/6/2010 11:54:28 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/6/2010 5:40:53 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:

No, it isn't. IP infringement is more like competition. If you own a shop that sells shoes, and I open up another shoe selling shop in the same town, you'd lose profits. I'm obviously not taking anything from you, since future sales don't belong to you. Same thing with IP. If I upload a bunch of songs, the recording company may have less sales than it otherwise would have, but they didn't own those future sales anyway.

The "loss" principle is why the RIAA can sue under tort law. http://thewaronbullshit.com...

It would be similar to the reason why a shoe selling shop could sue you if you spread the lie that their shoes were soaked in cyanide.

Because torts fall under civil law, not criminal law, the 8th Amendment (unfortunately) does not apply to damage awards.

Even worse though is that the RIAA doesn't even care if they win. http://www.techdirt.com...
They often sue innocent people to "prove a point."
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
Cerebral_Narcissist
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11/7/2010 12:01:48 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/5/2010 11:17:41 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
I hope I'm not the only one who thinks this is f*cking insane. IP laws are corporatist relics that hinder progress and destroy creativity and innovation; it's time they were abolished.

If there is no intellectual property there is no way for artists to earn money from their efforts.

That said the damages awarded in this case are obscene.
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Caramel
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11/7/2010 1:11:57 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Ragnar you say no one would ever build a mill if they couldn't reap a profit; what about if they would settle for corn?

Also, just because it takes an incredibly high fine to make the risk high enough to deter criminality, d0esnt mean the punishment fits the crime. In a case where it necessitates incredible amounts of force to deal with miniscule but numerous infractions of the law it is clear something is wrong with the law, not the law-breakers. This would be similar to the US Govt walking into a small business and handing them a fine for the amount of the entire nation's projected damages from litter because they saw the owner of the restaurant throw a napkin on the ground outside. They could say "it's so hard to catch them in the act" and "a small fine wouldn't be a good enough deterent" and use your reasoning to convict them.
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