some guy (self) wrote,
some guy

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Bring on the hate mail

Just so we're clear on this...

This ruling against the RIAA everyone's so excited about will not slow down the lawsuits on their behalf. It will not make the p2p networks "safe for piracy." It may get the current batch of pending suits dropped to avoid losing those on a technicality. But it will not prevent new ones.

On the contrary, what this eliminates is any semblance of mercy. The RIAA can no longer send fair warning that you've been targetted. They can no longer negotiate a settlement for far less than the minimum fine, as they've done so many times now. They can only launch their lawsuits against "John Doe" defendants. If they win those suits, the court will request those identities from the ISP and damages will be awarded accordingly. So, nothing's changed. The steps are just in a different order now. And the phase where they can actually back down is eliminated.

Remember, the least they can ask for is $750 per song that you're sharing. And, they're only targetting people with 1,000 or more verified songs of theirs. So, that thing where they charged a 12 year old girl $2,000 a few months ago was actually a pretty good discount off the $750,000+ a court would be forced to give them if the same situation comes up now. And, of course, it was quickly paid off by donations from angry p2p users - that's not going to happen so often with the dollar amount this much higher.

And, seriously - that's the minimum - these fines go up to $150,000 per song if you catch the judge in a bad mood.

In summary:
The great evil has been inconvenienced. Celebrate if you must, but don't do anything stupid.
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