Sep 25 2008

RIAA’s only win now a mistrial

Published by at 6:39 am under General,Government

Not that it has much to do with security, but I’ve always found the RIAA and mainstream media are using intimidation to prop up a dying market insulting and a waste of energy.  So I find today’s news that their one and only jury awarded reward has been ruled a mistrial by the judge who origally ruled in the trial.  He felt that some of the advice he gave to the jury was prejudicial and unfairly biased the jury against Jamie Thomas.  I’m guessing it’s problably better for a judge to declare the mistrail himself, rather than have a panel of his peers do it when Thomas’ lawyer challenges.

In a related legal note, an industry effort to rope the Department of Justice into doing battle for them has been shot down, in no small part because the DoJ said “We want no part of this!”  This bill would have made the DoJ responsible for suing copyright infringers and turning the money over the the media companies.  In other words, the they would have become the enforcement arm of the RIAA and MPAA.  I’m glad someone was awake enough to get this one shot out of the sky.

File sharing is illegal, moral and ethical arguments aside.  There are laws against it, that’s black and white.  But rather than fight to enforce nearly unenforceable laws and try to prop up a business model that’s past its prime, the media companies should be figuring out how to work in the new world and make money working with the public.

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One response so far

One Response to “RIAA’s only win now a mistrial”

  1. Joe Websteron 27 Sep 2008 at 9:04 pm

    Sadly, the bill that the DoJ (with the help of Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.) dodged the enforcement bullet on was passed unanimously by the Senate (see http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10052271-38.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20). Like you, any bill that is praised by the RIAA makes me queasy.

    “At a critical economic juncture, this bipartisan legislation provides enhanced protection for an important asset that helps lead our global competitiveness,” RIAA Chairman and CEO Mitch Bainwol said. “Additional tools for intellectual-property enforcement are not just good for the copyright community but for consumers who will enjoy a wider array of legitimate offerings.”

    Even though the DoJ enforcement teeth were largely removed, “The legislation still provides increased resources for the Justice Department to combat intellectual property theft and provide coordination for federal and state efforts against counterfeiting and piracy. It also increases penalties for intellectual property infringements.”

    In addition “The bill replaces the body that currently enforces intellectual property law with a White House Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator.” Which even the Bush administration finds “objectionable on constitutional grounds.”

    And when the Bush administration finds anything “objectionable on constitutional grounds” it must be off-the-charts bad.

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