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French pirate receives jail time, fine

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 06 Jul 2009 0:06 User comments (21)

French pirate receives jail time, fine A French man who illegally downloaded 12,591 music tracks, 426 movies and 16 complete TV series has been sentenced to a 2 months suspended jail sentence and been forced to pay a 33,000 euro fine this week.
The collection was first discovered in 2006 when authorities were searching the man's house on an unrelated fraud case warrant. The man is a retired IT expert and used the defense during his trial that the collection was for private use, not commercial. He also added, says TF that he "believed he had been acting within the law."

The court did not agree.

The plaintiffs, which included the National Federation of Film Distributors, Sony, Paramount, Sacem and SCPP were asking for 2 euros for each unauthorized MP3, and 7.50-12.50 euros for each movie. It was unclear what was paid for each TV episode.

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21 user comments

16.7.2009 0:20

Atleast they charged him reasonably.

26.7.2009 0:44

Originally posted by Dfram:
Atleast they charged him reasonably.

I was about to say that exactly

36.7.2009 1:07
llongtheD
Inactive

They did charge him reasonably, but still if he wasn't using it for commercial purposes, what real harm did he do? He's lucky he wasn't tried in the U.S. The Judges here, who are basically paid for by corporate America, would have fined him in the millions. And he didn't actually recieve jail time. His jail sentence was suspended.
I have to say its a F**king joke how many tax dollars are wasted protecting the interests of corporations and the super rich. What a different world it would be if that money were directed toward programs that actually needed it.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 Jul 2009 @ 1:14

If your fish seems sick, put it back in the water.

46.7.2009 12:52

Yay democracy! My theory is that if he had to download it illegally, he wasn't going to be a buyer to begin with, so therefore has no effect on the sale of the products in question.

56.7.2009 16:52

The guy should have employed a decent defence lawyer. I'd be looking at getting a re-trial with a new defence case.

For someone to download that amount of material without having a financial motive such as selling on as pirated material, then you could reasonably argue that they were most likely suffering from Kleptomania.

What we have is likely to be ‘Cyber-Kleptomania'.
Kleptomania is normally differentiated from other theft, by the fact that the compulsion to obtain the goods has no real purpose other than to feed the addiction.

Kleptomaniacs don’t necessarily contemplate the value of the items they steal, or associate a value to them, other than the value of the item as a missing part or extension of their collection.

As seen from the paltry amounts even the judge/plaintiffs attributed to the individual tracks and films, it’s reasonable to see how someone downloading them would not have put financial gain as the reason of obtaining them that way.

It’s only when looking at the collection as a whole you see how much the guy has acquired and how serious his downloading was; if you’re obsessed with the collection as a whole you’d overlook the monetary value as it built up over time.

Looking at the whole collection, you see that he would have had about 630 hours worth of music at 3mins per track, 640 hours of films at 90mins per film, and about 150 hours of TV at 9 episodes x 1hour each.

This makes even the obtaining of the material to listen to or watch an unlikely reason behind the crime, he probably only ever played a fraction of the material, and was more interested in the stuff he didn’t have, rather than what he already had.

The guy needs a good doctor not a fine.

66.7.2009 17:01

llongtheD,

Depends on your definition of harm... If you believe that his actions didn't beat and rape someone, yes... he did no harm.

If you consider the finanicial side of things, at an average of $2 per track and $10 per movie, and $100 per complete series, the defendant 'stole/copied' approximately $30,000 worth of media material.

If you present this to a owner of an independant label or independant media outlet, that in essence could effect their bottom line.

The more people do this, the more society thinks its 'OK' to download everything for nothing.

IMO, if you don't like the MPAA or the RIAA, JUST STOP BUYING THEIR SHIT! Stop going to the movies too! Really, boycott them and they'll lose way more money that way.

76.7.2009 17:25

@BigDK... you might have something there, kinda like an addiction to porn, eventually it wears off and you ask yourself why do I do it. I still think the fines are too much, what are you going to do, go after every person in the world who copied something of anything and make them pay or be destroyed? ... that means teachers, lawyers, judges... anyone who has photocopied anything that they did not make, these people better have receipts of the music that is in their mp3 players, cars and anywhere they listen to music, also every movie they own better have a receipt too or else how do we know it wasn't legally obtained or through some kind of theft, and all these receipts can only be done by the rights holders of everything that you do, otherwise how do they know you are legit, hell let's just go crazy and make the bold statement that you are guilty at birth and that you belong to the RIAA and any other corp that feels they are justified in making your life miserable... whew...panting... sorry bout that...

86.7.2009 19:12

What a load.

The guy has done nothing he couldn't have done with a video tape recorder and taping the radio.
These days they attach the words 'internet' and 'piracy' and suddenly you're considered to have 'stolen'.

It's complete BS.

A DVR and a couple of HDDs filled by it from a cable/satellite TV service could easily amount to the same thing and be perfectly legal.

The only ray of hope here is that the French Court couldn't be persuaded to fine the guy a completely f*cking insane amount, just a slightly lesser but still f*cking insane amount
€33,000 = $46,114 US = £28,343.

That might not be the sort of ruinous vindictive hysterical idiocy that seems common in these cases in the USA but it is still a ruinous vindictive and ludicrously idiotic sum wholly at odds to any actual 'crime' here.
FFS, it's merely a breach of copyright not a criminal offense.

This spiteful lunacy has to stop.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 Jul 2009 @ 19:13

96.7.2009 19:40

Guy should have used Truecrypt for his hard drive.

108.7.2009 8:56

Quote:
What a load.

The guy has done nothing he couldn't have done with a video tape recorder and taping the radio.
These days they attach the words 'internet' and 'piracy' and suddenly you're considered to have 'stolen'.

It's complete BS.

A DVR and a couple of HDDs filled by it from a cable/satellite TV service could easily amount to the same thing and be perfectly legal.

The only ray of hope here is that the French Court couldn't be persuaded to fine the guy a completely f*cking insane amount, just a slightly lesser but still f*cking insane amount
€33,000 = $46,114 US = £28,343.

That might not be the sort of ruinous vindictive hysterical idiocy that seems common in these cases in the USA but it is still a ruinous vindictive and ludicrously idiotic sum wholly at odds to any actual 'crime' here.
FFS, it's merely a breach of copyright not a criminal offense.

This spiteful lunacy has to stop.
i agree

118.7.2009 10:50

I have always held the opinion that it is the up loader that should be charged with copyright infringement. Possession of material that could have been copied by the possessor is a grey area.

128.7.2009 12:00
Geoff_W
Inactive

Originally posted by llongtheD:
what real harm did he do? He's lucky he wasn't tried in the U.S. The Judges here, who are basically paid for by corporate America, would have fined him in the millions. And he didn't actually recieve jail time.
Firstly, juries tend to decide the fines here in the US, most notably the Thomas-Rassert case as of late.

And the "real harm" that he did was taking things without paying for them. The law does not protect theft for personal use.

The big argument seems to be that this stuff could have easily been copied through a variety of others means, which is true. He could have recorded the songs off the radio or taped the movies with a DVR, but he didn't. He didn't take the legal route, he took the illegal one and thus deserves punishments for his crimes.

138.7.2009 12:05
Geoff_W
Inactive

Originally posted by Interestx:
The only ray of hope here is that the French Court couldn't be persuaded to fine the guy a completely f*cking insane amount, just a slightly lesser but still f*cking insane amount
€33,000 = $46,114 US = £28,343.


Depending on the amount of episodes he downloaded, they could have actually charged him the amount that the law is ultimately aimed at getting, strict restitution or recovery of direct loss.

148.7.2009 13:34

Actually Geoff sharing is a matter of a breach of copyright, it is not a criminal offense.

Although with the current climate of hysteria over this I guess it's understandable that you could be under the mistaken impression that it was.

One can bet that as far as any so-called' damages' awarded they were always calculated on the basis of full retail price and not the true discounted price everything DVD is within a few months.
How else could it come to that sort of ridiculously inflated and exaggerated total given the number of movies and song tracks they claim he had downloaded?

158.7.2009 13:54
Geoff_W
Inactive

Now that I think about, you're most likely right. I was thinking part of the Hadopi (spelling?) law changed some parts of copyright infringement into criminal offenses but pretty much that entire thing got overturned by the courts.

I guess the overall thing is that this is still illegal. Pro-sharing groups and ideas should find their way more in the political forum than Net forums (congrats to Sweden's and Germany's pirate parties for being so united).

168.7.2009 15:56

Originally posted by llongtheD:
He's lucky he wasn't tried in the U.S. The Judges here, who are basically paid for by corporate America...
That's just silly. There is very little corruption in the American legal system, and most judges try their best to follow the law. Maybe you don't like the law, but we live in a democracy and everybody gets a vote. Of course there is money in politics, but I've never been offered money to vote a particular way, and I don't know anybody who's been offered money for their vote.

Try to bribe a judge and there is a 99 percent chance that you will go to jail!

When a corrupt judge is caught, he is prosecuted. Judges are well paid and well respected. Only a stupid judge will risk their great lifestyle by becoming involved in corruption. It's probably more common for a judge to be blackmailed into corruption than to be "bought-off", but both are rare in the U.S.

P.S.
I dont have any personal knowledge, but I'll bet that judical corruption is equaly rare in France.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 08 Jul 2009 @ 16:01

179.7.2009 12:48

Quote:
Quote:
What a load.

The guy has done nothing he couldn't have done with a video tape recorder and taping the radio.
These days they attach the words 'internet' and 'piracy' and suddenly you're considered to have 'stolen'.

It's complete BS.

A DVR and a couple of HDDs filled by it from a cable/satellite TV service could easily amount to the same thing and be perfectly legal.

The only ray of hope here is that the French Court couldn't be persuaded to fine the guy a completely f*cking insane amount, just a slightly lesser but still f*cking insane amount
€33,000 = $46,114 US = £28,343.

That might not be the sort of ruinous vindictive hysterical idiocy that seems common in these cases in the USA but it is still a ruinous vindictive and ludicrously idiotic sum wholly at odds to any actual 'crime' here.
FFS, it's merely a breach of copyright not a criminal offense.

This spiteful lunacy has to stop.
i agree
me 2

1811.7.2009 23:07
atomicxl
Inactive

12,591 music tracks, 426 movies and 16 complete TV series ... this guy was a real deal pirate.

Originally posted by DrKePhRiM:
Yay democracy! My theory is that if he had to download it illegally, he wasn't going to be a buyer to begin with, so therefore has no effect on the sale of the products in question.
Would you ever say something as ridiculous as that if it were a physical product? That's like me breaking into your house, stealing your TV and being like, "Well I never planned on buying a HDTV so my actions were legal, right?"

1912.7.2009 2:54
llongtheD
Inactive

Quote:
Originally posted by llongtheD:
He's lucky he wasn't tried in the U.S. The Judges here, who are basically paid for by corporate America...
That's just silly. There is very little corruption in the American legal system, and most judges try their best to follow the law. Maybe you don't like the law, but we live in a democracy and everybody gets a vote. Of course there is money in politics, but I've never been offered money to vote a particular way, and I don't know anybody who's been offered money for their vote.

Try to bribe a judge and there is a 99 percent chance that you will go to jail!


When a corrupt judge is caught, he is prosecuted. Judges are well paid and well respected. Only a stupid judge will risk their great lifestyle by becoming involved in corruption. It's probably more common for a judge to be blackmailed into corruption than to be "bought-off", but both are rare in the U.S.

P.S.
I dont have any personal knowledge, but I'll bet that judical corruption is equaly rare in France.
you need to wake up DVDdoug. Have you not seen the damage claims that have been awarded to the RIAA in America. Even against mothers, where their children were responsible for the infringement. If you still believe Americans live in a democracy free from corruption, then I guess you can keep living in your dream world. Don't know what to tell you.
Any judge that would award close to 80,000 dollars a song to a corporation, against a poor or middle class family is corrupt. Common sense would keep a reasonably intelligent person from making rulings like this.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 12 Jul 2009 @ 3:09

2012.7.2009 18:39

Originally posted by atomicxl:
12,591 music tracks, 426 movies and 16 complete TV series ... this guy was a real deal pirate.
How do you work that out?

A collection of 420 movies and 16 TV series makes you a 'real' pirate?!
12,600 music track split to an average of say 17 tracks per CD only comes to 740 CDs.

None of that seems excessive to me, I have bought more CDs than that - although I guess it would help to know this guys age, if he's 13 or something then I guess it's a little obsessive for his age!

Originally posted by atomicxl:
Would you ever say something as ridiculous as that if it were a physical product?
Of course not, because freely sharing has nothing to do with notions of 'theft' (no money changes hands) and you cannot simply just equate physical property with intellectual property; intellectual property is an entirely different thing.

In fact any pretense that it is identical and the same is patently absurd.

Originally posted by atomicxl:
That's like me breaking into your house, stealing your TV and being like, "Well I never planned on buying a HDTV so my actions were legal, right?"
No it's not. It's nothing like the same.

It's no different to you or I sharing an album or movie we've bought.

In fact the analogy with physical property just becomes comical with a moments thought.
If you shared a movie or an album with me and yours was actually really physically stolen I could at least give you back a 100% perfect digital copy.

Sorry, you're going to have to do a lot better than that.

Freely sharing is not theft, never has been and never will be.

2123.7.2009 14:05

A key point getting lost here is the concept of sharing. There is no evidence presented that he shared his downloads with anyone else. This area of copyright law is a little vague, at least in the States. Downloading something freely available from the internet is at worst possession of stolen merchandise, a relatively minor offense depending on the merchandise (different for national secrets than a box of candy). Proof is needed that the alleged thief knew he was violating the law. This in itself is controversial because in the US the law specifically allows one to resell or giveaway that which you have purchased legally.

Most US prosecutions are for distribution of copyright material. Even the litigation crazed media companies stay away from posession. That would test the validity of their Eula's as a contract and the criminalization of copyright law, which was intended to be a civil violation.

Three strikes and criminalization are simply unreasonable and violate any concept of what copyright and artistic creation are about. Presumption of guilt (guilty if accused) is a total pandora's box. The US used to use 'guilty if accused' for sexual harassment litigation. Tens of thousands of productive men were jailed and lost their ability to earn a living before this was abandoned. This created an underclass of highly educated men embitterred and backed into a corner. Social dynamite to say nothing of unconstitutional.

I hope there are still enough grownups in Europe to speak out and stop this in its' tracks.

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