Feeds

Get a grip, file-sharing freeloaders: you've never had it so good

Don't get mad, get licensed

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Comment Last week, the ailing sound recording industry in America found someone even dumber to pick on. Kazaa user Jammie Thomas had got on the internet, and was doing just what the adverts and mass media say you should do once you're there - fill your boots with free stuff.

This is a case that should make everyone involved feel ashamed of themselves - with no exceptions. But I'm amazed by the howls of outrage.

Without this free stuff, the internet would be worth very little: it's simply an extension of the telephone network with added pictures, and would otherwise be priced accordingly, as a low-cost or free addition to your phone bill. Everyone knows that pictures of cats falling down stairs, or even feature-light web-based office suites aren't really money spinners. Google and BT can't say so explicitly, but most people are only here for the free music or porn. The rest are here for online games. The stuff about getting broadband "to help with the kids' homework" is sanctimonious crap.

US lobby group the Recording Industry Ass. of America (RIAA), which brought about the case, doesn't hire the brightest lawyers or lobbyists, and so it couldn't prove she was downloading copyright-infringing material. Following the mass media's urgings to "share", Thomas was convicted on the grounds of "making available", which made her a willing participant in infringement.

For her part, Jammie Thomas emerges as even dumber than the RIAA. She clocked up a bill of $60,000 in legal fees alone. Make no mistake, the reason she's now "facing bankruptcy" is because lawyers persuaded her to defend an indefensible position.

Most of the outrage was directed at the RIAA - and much of it had a self-indulgent quality, too. Like this post on our site from Andrew Tyler on Friday:

I have nothing really to add, but I want to register my belief that this is a horrible, disgusting, nasty, unrighteous, heinous, evil, foul, grotesque, sickening, atrocious, offensive, depraved, nefarious, repugnant, loathsome, villainous, wicked, sinful, vile, repulsive, egregious, abominable, dreadful, scuzzy, sleazy, no good, dirty, low down, filthy, rotten, putrid, mean, spoiled, god-awful, diseased ruling.

It sucks too. To whom do I write nasty letters, and where is my thesaurus?

A redundant question, obviously - the thesaurus is halfway down his digestive tract, and is already causing uncontrollable verbal flatulence.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.