Thursday, June 18, 2009

$2 Million Parking Ticket?

What if your child or grandchild got hit with a $2 Million parking ticket? Would you think that is excessive? So would I. Yet it is the punishment the jury decided on in a recent court case for something that I believe is fair use. Here is the letter I wrote to my senators and representative.

Can you imaging paying $2 million for a parking ticket? In my mind this is what has happened today in a trial in Minnesota. A Woman has been fined $2 million for non-commercial sharing of music. If this same penalty were applied to all shared music, it would result in a fine of $400 Trillion. Let me repeat that number: $400 Trillion. How is there any sanity in this kind of award? However, even though the damages were excessively high, the industry felt an award almost twice as high was appropriate.

You represent Virginia. It is your duty to stop this nonsense. Non-commercial sharing is far different than commercial piracy, and should be treated as such. Sharing songs should not carry a penalty similar to a parking ticket, not a penalty similar to murder, especially when the music industry has yet to prove they are damaged.

Please hold hearings on non-commercial file sharing, and call the music industry to task for this gross abuse of justice. Also, please support and/or sponsor legislation that gives a sane penalty for non-commercial sharing, commensurate with the 79 cent price of the file.

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