more on the ethics of sharing

An argument that Jammie Thomas’ fine for sharing culture is “unconstitutionally excessive” will be made. Using archaic antiquated (thx Tom!) copyright law to abuse computer users for sharing published culture is unethical. Recommending a smaller fine implicitly condones the side of the oppressor. This is not to suggest however, that using this defense would be an error. As Kravets suggests, there could be enough pragmatic value in going this route –

It’s a novel theory that, if successful, could undermine the Recording Industry Association of America’s litigation machine that has sued thousands of alleged pirates (sic). […] the RIAA acknowledged that such an argument might kill its zero-tolerance suing machine by making “it economically unsound for any copyright owner to seek to protect its copyright interests.”

True, it may make attempts to stop distribution through litigation economically unsound. However, it may be economically sound to sue for attributive, commercial, or derivative violations of copyright depending on the case. But of course, the Recording Industry isn’t interested in those sorts of rights. We all know their 20th century business is in the reification of intellectual works for shipment, not “protecting the artists”.


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