Woman settles Internet lawsuit

A Brookings woman has settled a federal copyright infringement lawsuit by agreeing to pay $3,000 to record companies and stop sharing music over the Internet, according to court documents.

More at Rapid City Journal.


3 big ones for breaking a federal law that could cost her up to 150K for each infringement as well as criminal sanctions of five years imprisonment and fines of 250K.

She should thank her lucky stars she is not Martha Stewart's bunk mate.

I don't steal music or anything else for that matter. I own all the CD's of music I have on my computer. Anyone is welcome to come and check. The RIAA can drop by if they wish. I don't open my computer so others can steal either.

Those that oppose these laws should wait until they create intellectual property and then give it away for nothing. See how you like not being paid for your work. For that matter, go to work next week and don't cash the check.

I have no sympathy for these people. In fact I think they should do some time, or better yet pick up some trash on the side of the road for 50 hours per song. A clean highway is a respectful highway.

[sorry, this is long]

I somewhat agree, and I somewhat don't.

I own (the vast majority) of all the CDs of music I have on my computer, too. Except that where I am, that's actually illegal. It's against the law to format shift copyright material, even if you own the material (of course, there's no way I could legally have music on my computer, as none of the music download centres operate in this country yet).

I think it's worth pointing out that plenty of those who oppose the direction that copyright law is taking are themselves writers - Larry Lessig, Cory Doctorow for example - they both have their books online and available for free download. So it's not just a case of end users wanting laxer laws, and artists wanting stricter laws - some of those who want laxer laws are themselves artists.

I also think that the whole 'downloading = theft' argument over-simplifies things. To use myself as an example: I'd heard good things about the Magnetic Fields, so I went off and downloaded a few songs. I loved them, so I went out and bought the album. It was fantastic, so I went and bought all their other albums. If I hadn't downloaded the songs, I wouldn't have ever bought the albums. (I had to order them in specially, so it's not like I could even have gone into a record store and listened to them).

Similar example: the band Wilco were dumped by their record company and given the master tapes of their 4th album back. So they put them on their website, and fans could download them for free. After a while, such a buzz built up around the songs, that another record company signed them. And released the album on CD. And it became their biggest selling album - even though most of the people buying it had already downloaded the songs months ago.

While I think it's important to respect the law, and to reward those who create artistic works, I think there is room to re-think the nature of this law. Copyright law hasn't kept pace with the digital world, that's obvious.

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