Archive from October, 2007
Oct 10, 2007 - riaa, stupidity    No Comments

And the Award for ‘Best Implementation of a Double Standard’ goes to the American Legal System!

And I’m not just talking about judges, lawyers, law enforcement, no sir! I’m including regular American citizens … specifically Minnesotans! Let me explain:

Supporting Case #1: PhotoCop

In an effort to cut down on people running red lights and causing accidents (like, for instance, the idiot that ran a light and crashed into a schoolbus injuring 6 people), Minneapolis installed automatic cameras at intersections that would snap a picture of any vehicle that ran a red light. The snapped license plate was then used to track down the owner of the car, who was sent a traffic ticket. Makes sense, and it netted the city around $2.5 million in fines … until people whined and a judge declared the system illegal: Just because the car was breaking the law doesn’t mean that the owner of it was behind the wheel and (therefore) should not be held responsible.

Ok … thinking about that, I can see that logic … to a point, though frankly, if you gave your car to someone who broke the law, are you really free from blame … even if only to be blamed as an idiot? And what if you gave your car to the same offender again? How smart does that really make you? But, I digress.

The point: Because you can’t see the person behind the wheel to verify that it is indeed the owner of the car, you cannot hold the owner responsible for anything that vehicle is involved in. Hold that thought.

Case #2: Jammie Thomas

In a recent decision by a Duluth, MN, jury, a woman was found guilty of illegally sharing music … to the tune of $222,000 in fines (I would have linked to the Star Tribune, but they’re expecting you to sign up for the content and I don’t tolerate those retarded games … nice one “STrib”, you loose to the BBC). Why so much money? Because the RIAA (AKA “Music Mafia Run Amok”) claims that the service they enlisted to track down evil music sharers traced illegal peer-2-peer sharing activity back to a certain IP address … said IP address being further traced to the computer in Jammie’s home. Can they prove that she either was physically sitting at the computer performing the illicit act? No. Can the prove that she set up the sharing software? No.

But, apparently, in this case, it’s not necessary to be caught in the act. That you own the offending machinery is good enough?

Say what? Doesn’t this strike you as even mildly contradictory? It’s ok not to be accountable when your vehicle potentially kills someone, yet woe be unto you if the RIAA levels a claim against you they can’t prove you physically did. I’ve always believed that the winters here in Minnesota have an adverse affect on the ability of humans to think rationally.

I can’t help but wonder what that Duluth jury was thinking … assuming they even thought at all about it.