Search This Blog

Friday, October 5, 2007

Music Piracy Consequences

Scenario 1. Go to Best Buy. Steal 2 or 3 CD's then go home and copy the songs to your computer to distribute to all your friends and family as Christmas gifts. If Best Buy somehow finds out you have stolen their stuff, you may have to pay them a nominal amount. Stealing a few CDs is typically thought of as a minor offense - many unruly teens do it all the time (not that I have first hand knowledge myself).


Scenario 2. Go on Kazaa or some file-sharing program. Download a couple dozen songs and let the program run so many people can download your illegal copies at will.
And then you pay $222,000.

It seems scenario 2 is a clear violation of fitting the punishment to the crime. It seems obvious the price differential here must be due to the fact that, using a computer program, each illegal transaction is traceable which adds to the "cost" of her illegalities. Whereas, with scenario 1, you just got a slap on the wrist for the initial crime itself and unless a family member(s) complained to RIAA about your gift, that would be it.

In fact, one could argue, in scenario 2, she is actually paying part of the cost for the initial illegal uploader's burden of guilt, in addition to the burden of guilt cost of those who willingly downloaded those songs from her. .... Not that the cost the court imposed was market-determined (it wasn't - point is maybe that's the problem) - but it seems as if the entire burden of guilt was placed on this young lady whose life is now likely really $&%*ed up all for downloading some music.

IE, the judgment fails to take into account the supply chain of illegal activity that led to her illegalities, and it fails to take into account the consumer chain of illegal activities that ensued by other song stealing individuals who subsequently downloaded her acquired songs.

And even IF all the true cost of the illegal transactions were taken into account, I still have a hard time believing that would equate to the sum demanded of this woman.

UPDATE: It would appear I'm not the only one with an econ background to share this view.


Anonymous said...

Εveryone loves what you guys tend to bе up too.
Ѕuсh cleveг wоrk and repοгtіng!
Кеeρ up the ѕuperb woгκѕ guуs I've included you guys to my own blogroll.

Here is my blog post :: garden

Anonymous said...

Ηеy І know this is off tоpic but Ι was wοndering if
you knew of аnу ωidgеts I соuld аdd to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twittеr uρdates.
I've been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

Also visit my weblog buy cheap small boats online

Anonymous said...

Fantаѕtіc poѕt hoωeνeг I was wοnderіng if you could writе a litte moгe on this ѕubjеct?
I'd be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Thank you!

Have a look at my page; cheap pontoon yachts auction online :: ::