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Old 08-07-2012, 01:08 AM   #16
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Draconian punishments are indeed popular with the California electorate..
Our legislature has a history of being very fond of extremely lax punishments. Note that three strikes was passed by initiative, in the aftermath of the brutal rape and murder of a 12 year old girl by a man with dozens of criminal convicions, many of them felonies, dating back nearly 30 years. There's a reason Californians are fond of draconian punishments. If you don't want to die in prison, don't commit felonies.

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I wonder what sort of punishment the average Californian would suggest for the third offense of illegally downloading a bestseller. Not life, but I'll bet a lot of Californians would see illegally downloading a book as a more serious matter than illegally downloading a song*, and would be OK with prison. Suggesting that the judgment of the general public justifies policy is a slippery slope when you don't want draconian punishment.

__________________________________
* How's that? Mostly I am thinking that if no one you know does it, it sounds bad right that. And most people don't know a book pirate. A lesser factor might be that it sounds worse to rip off an author than a celebrity.
Every Californian I know would consider that without a commercial purpose, and without a value over a couple of orders of magnitude more than the cost of a book, copyright violation is a civil offense, not a crime.

And most reasonable people do want draconian punishments for heinous crimes, like raping and murdering 12 year old girls after decades of violent criminal history.

Californians do have a history of responding to stupid and corrupt government going too far in one direction by going too far in the other direcion by way of the initiative system. It's our way of getting the monkey's attention in the legislature. Ignoring the problem certainly doesn't solve it.
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:36 AM   #17
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(There's a big difference between stuffing a cookie in your pocket while no one is looking and doing the exact same thing while an employee is watching.)
I didn't really understand this. They're identical, but made different by the presence of an employee onlooker?
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:49 AM   #18
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:40 AM   #19
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Interesting. A recent story I particularly liked was the leaked RIAA presentation showing that online music piracy accounts for only a small part of the total, unlike what they've been claiming publicly. Perhaps this "revelation" too will serve to make governments and law makers think again.
Having looked at the chart, The hard drive swapping is going to get more..ahem..flexible. Hard drive are fragile beasts. A couple of week ago, I bought a 32 GB micro SD chip from a big name internet retail company. It cost me $15 USD. It would hold 60 hours of WAV files, or 90-120 hours of FLAC file and who know (at what bitrate) how many MP3 files. It can slapped between 2 pieces of thin cardboard and mailed just about anywhere at the cost of a first class letter, or carried anywhere.

More bother, but once again, untrackable.

The French government is finding out that stopping "piracy" is about as practical as stopping the tides...

Last edited by Ralph Sir Edward; 08-07-2012 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:18 AM   #20
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I see nothing wrong with a person losing Internet access for proven piracy or copyright infringement, but not for nothing more than accusations of copyright breaches.
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Agreed, as for other alleged civil offenses. But it wouldn't be reasonable to allow the defense that some other member of your household must have been the downloader. This is comparable to a parking ticket, where the owner of the car is presumed responsible for misuse of said vehicle.
The problem is that it's difficult, if not impossible, to deny internet access to one person without denying it to everyone else in the house. If I get a parking ticket, or a speeding ticket, I pay, and my wife and kids don't suffer for my crime. If my internet access is taken away for copyright infringement, then my wife and kids also lose their internet access.
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:20 AM   #21
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Life without parole is draconian. Three strikes and a life sentence is draconian. Giving someone a permanent criminal record, checkable by employers, is, I think, almost always draconian. Imposing a fine so high as to take a big chunk of your kids' college fund is draconian. But losing your internet access is the opposite of draconian. And it is more fair than fines and civil judgments, because the sting of the punishment is less greatly mitigated by wealth.

Here is what draconian punishment looks like:
Justices allow 25-year-to-life terms for shoplifting
Internet has become a very big part of socializing. Losing your internet connection is a form of imprisonment.
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:56 AM   #22
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Internet has become a very big part of socializing. Losing your internet connection is a form of imprisonment.
Exactly. It would be like forbidding people to make telephone calls. Or forbidding people to use shoes. Or something else equally absurd.
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:07 PM   #23
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If I get a parking ticket, or a speeding ticket, I pay, and my wife and kids don't suffer for my crime.
One ticket, and the effect on our joint checking account is small. But keep it up, and it's a race between insurance becoming unaffordable and the family car being booted.

In the long run, if there is no sanction against book piracy, paying for books will be become suckers territory, or, at best, an act of charity. In rare situations, a business model based on alms can work. Very rare.

With any punishment, the whole family suffers for the sins of one member. The French sanction for piracy isn't different in this respect from any other sanction, civil or criminal.

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Losing your internet connection is a form of imprisonment.
I don't know about you, but if my child was in jail, I'd feel I was in jail.

If my internet connection dies, I'm not in jail. I'm in the library. I've never been in jail, but I'm sure I like the library better.

Vive la France (and don't be too sure that culture minister will have her way)

Last edited by SteveEisenberg; 08-07-2012 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:20 PM   #24
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One ticket, and the effect on our joint checking account is small. But keep it up, and it's a race between insurance becoming unaffordable and the family car being booted.

In the long run, if there is no sanction against book piracy, paying for books will be become suckers territory, or, at best, an act of charity. In rare situations, a business model based on alms can work. Very rare.
The problem is, you haven't even established how to determine if a given book is pirated or not, without massively invasive rootkits and packet sniffers going on at all levels of a network. Not even China has the resources for that, much less the inclination.
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:50 AM   #25
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In the long run, if there is no sanction against book piracy, paying for books will be become suckers territory, or, at best, an act of charity. In rare situations, a business model based on alms can work. Very rare.
I'm not condoning piracy, and I'm not saying that there shouldn't be sanctions. I'm just saying that I'm not comfortable with the sanction being removal of internet access, because of the knock-on effect on innocents.

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With any punishment, the whole family suffers for the sins of one member. The French sanction for piracy isn't different in this respect from any other sanction, civil or criminal.
I disagree, because the sanction affects others more directly than in other cases. If I have to pay a fine, then there is less money in the household, but I can choose to limit the suffering caused to others. If I had to find £1,000 to pay a fine, I might have to limit what I spent on my wife and/or kids, or I might have to take the money out of a joint savings account. In these cases, other people suffer. On the other hand, I might be able to take it out of my own savings, in which case, only I suffer. If someone disconnected our internet access because I was guilty of piracy, my wife and kids would also lose their internet access. There's no way for me to take the full force of the sanction.
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:02 AM   #26
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Agreed, as for other alleged civil offenses. But it wouldn't be reasonable to allow the defense that some other member of your household must have been the downloader. This is comparable to a parking ticket, where the owner of the car is presumed responsible for misuse of said vehicle.



Life without parole is draconian. Three strikes and a life sentence is draconian. Giving someone a permanent criminal record, checkable by employers, is, I think, almost always draconian. Imposing a fine so high as to take a big chunk of your kids' college fund is draconian. But losing your internet access is the opposite of draconian. And it is more fair than fines and civil judgments, because the sting of the punishment is less greatly mitigated by wealth.

Here is what draconian punishment looks like:
Justices allow 25-year-to-life terms for shoplifting
Murder is draconian.
Rape is draconian.
Manslauthter is draconian.
crippling and maiming assaults are draconian.

You reap what you sow, justifiably so.
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:23 AM   #27
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I don't know about you, but if my child was in jail, I'd feel I was in jail.

If my internet connection dies, I'm not in jail. I'm in the library. I've never been in jail, but I'm sure I like the library better.
I don't consider my internet connection to be like a child.

And I'm not sure what you meant by the library reference. Do you mean that you would use internet at the library? If that is the case, then I'd like to point out that the punishment for piracy becomes more a punishment for those around the infringer than the infringers themselves.
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:24 AM   #28
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Exactly. It would be like forbidding people to make telephone calls.
Especially if you consider skype.
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:56 AM   #29
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The problem with cutting off a person's internet access is that you're also cutting them off from easy access to social services (municipal updates, tax information, etc.), easy access to banking transactions (on-line banking, paying taxes) and (maybe) their preferred method of talking to friends and family (social media).

This might be okay if: (i) the process for determining who is pirating and who isn't was more thorough (likely requiring it to also be more intrusive), could effectively prevent false-positives, and had an easily accessible appeal process; and (ii) it could be shown that there's a logical connection between cutting people off the internet and reducing piracy.

Unfortunately, HADOPI managed neither (i) nor (ii), so it's hard to see how cutting someone off the internet is justifiable, other than in an overly simplistic "well that's the law, so it's the law", fashion.

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Old 08-08-2012, 11:06 AM   #30
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Agreed, as for other alleged civil offenses. But it wouldn't be reasonable to allow the defense that some other member of your household must have been the downloader. This is comparable to a parking ticket, where the owner of the car is presumed responsible for misuse of said vehicle.
If you get a parking ticket, I believe they must prove you were the one driving as it's the driver who entered into the parking contract, not the owner of the vehicle. Many people have avoided private parking charges based on that. Whether that applies to council issued parking tickets, I'm not as sure, the laws differ between the two.

With speeding, it's a criminal offence, so I believe they must prove beyond reasonable doubt you were the driver or charge you with failing to disclose the identity of the driver (in which case they need to show you knew who the driver was). There was a pretty long winded discussion on this not too long ago (in the IP thread). Here's a recent court case as an example

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-18863644

Of course, the difference is piracy is still treated as a civil offence, reasonable doubt does not apply and it's possible that the 'someone else in the family did it' defence won't apply unless you can show who that was. The problem is that the punishment is quite harsh compared to the standard of proof required.

None of the above is legal advice, just armchair quarterbacking/opinion
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