RIAA wins first lawsuit against file-sharing mother

Chris Scott Barr - Oct 5, 2007, 7:02am CDT

Remember that case I mentioned yesterday where Sony BMG basically said that if you make a copy of the music you own that you’re breaking the law? Well, that case was won by the RIAA.

This marks the first case that has made it to trail and sadly, that’s one victory for the RIAA. Ironically, the woman didn’t lose because she was downloading music, rather, she was making it available for download. So what have we learned today class? You can download music all day and night, just don’t upload it.

I’m actually really upset by this victory. The lady claims that she had no idea that the music was being made available. Whether this is the truth, no one can really know. I know that some file sharing software (which can be used for completely legal purposes) will automatically scan you computer for music and video files and make them available for others to download. If this is what happened, I feel horrible for this lady.

What upsets me is this lady is now $220,000 in debt for sharing 24 songs. Yes, she shared more than that, but they only pursued 24 of them. That’s completely ludicrous. Are 24 songs really worth that much? I want to know how many times these songs were downloaded. Tracks sell for $.99 on iTunes, so in theory, each should have to have been downloaded over 9,300 times to justify that hefty price tag.

Another way to look at this is that the music industry actually goes out of their way to make it difficult for people to purchase music and use it as they please. If you download it from someplace like iTunes, you’re locked down with DRM which limits what can be done with it. So maybe you’ll buy a CD. You can do anything you want with that, right? Well, according to Sony, if you rip the music and burn it to a mixed CD, you’ve just broken the law. Since you’re breaking the law anyway, why even bother paying for that CD when you can download it for free? Either way, you’re a criminal in the mind of the music industry.

For the record, I (nor does SlashGear) actually condone the action of illegally downloading music, or making it available for others. I think that the music industry needs to take a step back and see the whole picture. The phrase “you can’t see the forest for the trees” comes to mind. You’re too busy chastising your potential consumers to realize that they (most of them anyway) wouldn’t be doing it if you didn’t make it so difficult for them to legally use the music that they do purchase from you.

RIAA wins key victory, accused file sharer must pay $220,000
[via crave]


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