“The Case for Internet Piracy” meant to educate young file-sharers, but wrongly says they face criminal action (JAIL TIME) and not civil action (FINES) since nearly every illegal music downloading case has been initiated by the RIAA and not by authorities.
Established in March of 1971, the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), is a “non-profit organization charged with improving judicial administration in the United States and around the world.” To accomplish this goal, the NCSC provides a variety of services to the courts including: research studies, consulting, and educational programs.
It recently decided to produce a service of “illustrated novels” called the Justice Case Files in order “to educate the public about how the courts work, how judges make decisions, and how courts are accountable to the law.”
Issue number 1 is titled “The Case for Internet Piracy,” and it’s startling to consider that the publication is intended for educational purposes since it’s so blatantly biased, and pardon the pun, downright “comical
From the site description:
“The Case for Internet Piracy,” tells the story of Megan, a college freshman charged with theft for downloading music,and her grandmother, Ellen, who has received notice that the city plans to take her house through eminent domain.
“You shouldn’t be downloading pirated music files, Henry,” says Megan, our to our apparent antagonist.
“I won’t get busted, Megan,” Henry replies.”The cyber police aren’t looking for us poor college students. We don’t have deep pockets.”
Too funny for words right? The RIAA LOVES people with less than deep pockets. It makes their job that much easier because they know you’re more likely to settle since you can’t afford attorney’s fees and fear the risk of increased financial exposure.
She’s even warned that she faces up to 2 years in prison in addition to a $25,000 fine. This is from the odd charge of theft versus copyright infringement and is surely a thinly veiled attempt to scare young readers into thinking they’ll have to do hard time with a cellmate named Bubba if they download the latest Shwayze album. Talk about trying to scare kids straight.
Notice she’s charged with illegally sharing over 2,000 music files. At the rate defined by the Jammie Thomas trial, the first ever file-sharing conviction, whereby she was ordered to pay $9,250 USD per song, it would mean Megan would be liable for a startling $18,500,000 USD! Try getting that from a college freshman.
I guess the NCSC and probable RIAA handlers knew that students would laugh at the million dollar-figure and not be as scared as they would be if they thought they could face hard time.
Out of the tens of thousands who have been busted for illegal file-sharing virtually none have been targeted for theft by state courts. The reason is that it’s pretty difficult to monitor a person downloading something illegally, to observe the actual transfer of copyrighted material. The RIAA knows this and that the state law enforcement organizations have better things to do with their time and finite resources. The RIAA is the main entity behind file-sharing lawsuits and their only recourse is civil litigation.
For an organization that supposedly prides itself as being an “advocate for judicial and legislative reform, and a center of education in the field of judicial administration” this obviously RIAA-hijacked Justice Case File makes it look like anything but an impartial source of good legal advice. By trying to scare readers with skewed facts and figures it makes you question other “educational” efforts by the NCSC.
Moreover, the real theft here wasn’t committed by the fictional Megan character at all, but rather by the NCSC for promoting file-sharing hysteria and trying to charge people $1.50 for this RIAA-fueled scare tactic..