Originally Posted by BoldlyDubious
If a media file gets illegally distributed (e.g., it is published on a torrent site) the original buyer of that file is considered responsible of illegal distribution along with the actual distributor, unless one or both of the following conditions apply:
1) on day X, before the illegal distribution, the owner of the file notified the police of a theft of property or data which included media files, and the illegally distributed file was purchased before day X;
2) the file owner is able to identify the physical person who actually distributed the file, and this person confirms to have done that, taking all the responsibility of the act.[/I]
The issue I take with this, is that unlike knowing your car/computer has been stolen because it's clearly not where you left it
Your computer files can and have been stolen without anyone been any the wiser. The first time you may know enough to report it to the police is when you're been accused of distributing IP, at which point it's too late to report.
The police also won't thank customers reporting everytime they get a rootkit/trojan on their PC which could have given outsiders access to their movies/ebooks. They'd end up doing nothing but filling in report forms.
In addition, it may not always be a rootkit or trojan installed that'll help show files were stolen without your knowledge (assuming you can show you didn't install it yourself). What about anyone who takes their PC for repair and has an unscrupulous employee copy some music/books whilst they're backing up the machine to reinstall?
In time sufficient people may complain that they've been falsely accused and eventually it might lead back to a company who employs that person. However, until all those threads are tied together, if ever, you'll have people accused of file sharing facing life ruining fines.
My one fear with social DRM is actually related to what happens IF someone does indeed gain unauthorised access to your PC and copies your files. You may not know about it nor be able to prove it and may find your life is about to be ruined with huge fines you'll never be able to pay all because you did the right thing and PAID legally for your entertainment. It'd be safer to pirate the content then if someone copies it off you and goes on to widely distribute it themselves, you're not on the hook for it. If you get caught downloading, well that's a minor issue compared to the fines you face for uploading or been considered a distributor/source. Not really how it should work imho.