Feeds

Record biz hammers 'ostrich' downloaders

Ignore those writs at your peril

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

The music industry in the US is making great strides in its campaign against people it says have illegally downloaded music, with courts awarding huge settlements in many cases.

A man in California was hit with an $11,000 fine, and has had to re-mortgage his house in order to pay it. He explained that the record companies would have been able to garnishee [seize against the settlement sum] his earnings for the rest of his life, had he not done so. Ross Plank, 36, told the Associated Press that he was giving up. "I can't fight this," he said. "They've got all the power in the world".

The news comes just days after a landmark ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals based in San Francisco that the makers of P2P networks should not be held accountable for their users' actions. The users, however, are fair game.

In another case, in Milwaukee, the courts awarded a default judgment against a woman and her ex-boyfriend, ordering each to pay over $4,500. She denies illegally downloading music, but says she couldn't afford a lawyer to fight the case and so ignored legal documents sent to her house.

The ostrich approach, illustrated here, clearly has little to recommend it: over 60 such judgements have been issued.

There are a few cases where the record companies are having to fight a little harder. In Boston, District Court Judge Gertner has blocked movement on all Massachusetts cases for months. She told AP that this was a totally new situation: "I've never had a situation... where there are powerful plaintiffs and powerful lawyers on one side and then a whole slew of ordinary folks on the other side," she said.

In another instance, on the west coast this time, a judge rejected a request from the record company to ban a woman from distributing music illegally in the future. The judge, who had already imposed a $6,200 fine, said that there was no evidence that the woman was still breaking the law, and that putting limits on her future actions could violate her rights. ®

Related stories

Name that antipiracy weasel, BSA asks kids
UK's youth boards pirate ship to bootleg island
UK gov moves to bust bootleggers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?