We have heard it all before, how this ‘little girl’ got fined a billion dollars and how the man next door has to serve life in prison, for simply downloading ‘copyrighted’ material from some website and so carries on the urban legend of the empire striking back. How completely blown out of proportion things can get when a few whispers in the dark begin to spread across the globe through these internet lines. In doing so attempting to lock down in fear all of us who are simply looking for our next line of interest in the way of movies, television or music that we wish to try before we buy.
Now don’t get me wrong I’m not standing here a saying that there is no such thing as the federal downloading sheriff or some officially named agency to that effect. Whatever they may call themselves it stands to reason that those downloading Pirates of the internet Caribbean who are taking copies of lets say Beyonce’s new cd or Jerry Bruckheimer’s newest movie and selling them out of his car on the streets or even selling them for a small profit on eBay deserve to be punished by the laws that are in place to protect copyrighted material, and the rights of the creative work. What is happening though is that any and all ‘Free’ downloads are being categorized as exactly the same type of crime and that is were a line must be drawn in the sand so to speak.
There is a large difference between profiting from the illegal sale of copyrighted material and listening or watching a movie or song that was downloaded or streamed from some source on the internet. As long as you or I do not intend to sell that song or movie to anyone, we have broken no laws and harmed no one whatsoever. It is this lie that was spread across the internet by ignorant people led by their fear of being fined that billion dollars from the ‘record companies’ or being imprisoned for life by the ‘movie studios’. Common sense will prevail eventually one can hope as since the dawn of home recordings came the cries of the ignorant when each and every one of us has recorded something at some point in our lives and I doubt you thought about going to jail for it did you? Not Likely. From tape cassettes to VCR’s to TiVo and DVR’s, CDRW’s and now even DVDRW’s. If it truly was illegal to record something for our own personal enjoyment then why would a recording device be so readily available anywhere, it would be contraband or at the very least professionally licensed and regulated.