Originally Posted by BoldlyDubious
Yes, drastically lowering the amount of the fine seems necessary to me. Nowadays fines are set at horribly high values because everyone knows that the probabilitiy of being caught at illegally uploading files it's almost negligible. So the thing that publishers are trying to do is terrorize people into submission, which requires suitably terrorizing punishments. Such high fines have (only) a symbolic value, and publishers know that perfectly well.
With my "social DRM" scheme, getting a fine for illegal distribution is not impossible (if you share carelessly), so the fine does not need a symbolic value. It gets back to the original function of fines: a warning, just as a traffic ticket. So the amount of the fine can be set at reasonable value.
By the way, publishers will be the first to want reasonably low values, otherwise people will start stripping metadata from files "just in case".
Writing successful computer viruses or setting up botnets requires a high level of technical skills, time, and money. I don't think that someone will be interested in doing such things (and risking criminal prosecution) just to copy media files and then upload them for free on the internet.
My experience is that Amazon has user-unfriendly proprietary practices, but their whole business plan is built around them. I think competition will drive them to change, and the notion of a public or general DRM that allows users much more flexibility is bound to be implemented by someone. When they do, they'll grab market share. There isn't much Amazon can do to stave that off, so they'd best figure out how to go with the flow before they get into that current.