Originally Posted by HarryT
While I agree with you that this is truly draconian, I must respectfully disagree with you that "a slap on the wrist" is sufficient. A fine needs to be large enough to be a serious disincentive to commit the offence in the first place. My local subway system fines you 50x the price of a ticket if you're caught travelling without one, and that seems to me to be of the right order of magnitude to discourage it - say a $500 for downloading an item with a $10 retail value.
I agree with you on the amount.
But there is always the same problem: while if you're caught without your ticket in the tube, you're actually using it, nobody can prove that, having downloaded a book, you're actually reading it.
In other words, I completely agree with a disincentivation of reading
"illegal" books, but, in my opinion, the mere occupation of some disk space is not at all the same thing.
The simple possession of a digital copy of a book does not harm the author nor the publisher. It's the actual access to the content that do the harm.
So, I'm OK with a 50x fine, as long as the actual reading of the book is proved beyound any reasonable doubt.
If not, it's like to arrest somebody on the scene of a crime without any evidence he actually committed it, so it's a big NO.