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Seven Crimes That Will Get You a Smaller Fine than File-Sharing

Thinking about file-sharing? Don't. You'll get fined, and crime doesn't pay (unless you rob banks and/or armored cars, then it pays very well). Take it from Jammie Thomas, who was fined $2 million for downloading 24 songs, or anyone else who tried to fight the RIAA.


Instead, try another crime, because plenty of them draw far lighter penalties than downloading Jason Mraz's latest. Thanks to the Mechanics blog at Gapers Block, here are seven crimes that will get you smaller fines than file-sharing:


1. Child abduction: the fine is only like $25000.

2. Stealing the actual CD: the fine is $2,500

3. Rob your neighbor: the fine is $375,000

4. Burn a house down: The fine is just over $375,000

5. Stalk someone: The fine is $175,000

6. Start a dogfighting ring: the fine is $50,000

7. Murder someone: The maximum penalty is only $25,000 and 15 years in jail, and depending on your yearly salary, would probably be far slighter a penalty that $2 million.


Seriously, murdering someone will result in a lighter overall penalty than downloading a bunch of songs and getting caught. Granted, you don't get shivved in the showers at home, but still. [via Daily Swarm]   


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how appropriate for waffles freeleech

/site_media/uploads/images/users/roofy/Picture0009.jpg roofy



excellent illustration of serious distortion of values in our so-called justice system


holy ****. it's the greed that the music industry has is just...ridiculous...


Murder is 25 to life (to a death penalty in many states). I know this is a lighthearted comic post, but come on man everyone knows that
the maximum penalty for murder is a lot more than $25K and 15 years.


those stats are very incorrect.

try again


I should have specified--that's for second degree murder, which is what's noted at the link. 2nd degree is 15 years in most states. If you make 40,000 a year, that's only like 600,000 dollars you're missing out on.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/thestorfer/1202393jpeg.jpeg andross

our justice system is completely screwed


Sounds like Corruption of the justice system to me.
Seems like the people in charge can't find fair neutral ground.
One extreme or the other.


Perhaps we should cease interest in main stream entertainment. It is all crap anyway.


2 mil was what ONE person paid for their file sharing "crime". most people who get caught have to pay between $500-600 per song, unless they keep recycling through the appeals process, then yes, to make a point they will charge her 2 mil. again, i know this was a just for fun post and yes, i do agree that this situation is ridiculous, but i am a fan getting the facts straight...


I just want to point out that the fines listed are assessed by the government. While the RIAA makes up its own fines and then if you do not pay, they will take you to court in a civil suit.

This is a big difference. Mandatory fines by the government and some made up number that they have to prove to a jury to get awarded are very different.

I would hope that there is not a jury alive that would ever award the RIAA $2M because someone downloaded mp3's


Let's compare prosecution rates for any of the 'regular' crimes vs. file sharing. You are still far safer to steal something over the web than in real life. Maybe that is what perpetual downloaders need - a real life.


Well, the problem is not downloading the music; it is the sharing part that is the problem. If you got caught just down loading the music there is no way for them to charge the max for each song. Because you got caught for having the songs and not gave it (or parts of it) to everyone else. If you have followed all the RIAA cases they are about the user sharing the music, not having the music. For one they can't find a person that just downloads music, unless they were the one sharing it and that would not have been a crime then because they are the one giving it to you. So if you just download music and never share it you are just fine (worst case you have to pay a retail or wholesale pricing for the song(s)) and with all the options that are out there why do you have to re-share the files you downloaded?


Yeah, you are WAY off on most of those stats...especially the murder one. How about LIFE IN PRISON?


This is pretty misleading. For most of the crimes you listed, fines are only a small part of the punishment which include jail time. You make it sound like someone pays a child abduction fine the same way you pay a parking ticket, pay it and your off scott free I guess. Still 2 million is excessive for 24 songs to say the least.


This is what happens when you have special interests in the Justice System. Only a goddamn DRM Lobbyist could give some a fine for file sharing that's heavier than murder.

From now on the first thing I'm going to ask about any media I'm interested in is if it's DRM "protected". I really shouldn't have to, but it's getting that absurd. No wonder people use file sharing so much. The whole corporate anti-piracy movement is a damn joke.


Clearly written by a retard. Half of these are just plain wrong or are for less serious versions of those crimes (as opposed to file sharing which is treated as each song being a separate instance which is why the fines are so ludicrous)

I have a brain

Who has the money, the corporations or your dead, robber nieghbor with a burned down house. Congress knows the answer


6. Start a dogfighting ring: the fine is $50,000

And a year later you get signed to the Eagles! >.<


None of these fines take into account the additional jail time you'll receive, while the fines instituted by the RIAA are merely fines. I'm sorry but something is telling me you don't walk out of court on a 25K fine after getting caught abducting a child.


Did you know that the judge of the Pirate Bay trial was supposedly related to the RIAA, and has only his word to tell us he wasn't biased?

I think unlike some companies, it's' very clear that the RIAA is deserving of an anti-trust policy, if not needing to be shut down for the dirty playing they've been doing.


Also, its 600,000 a year that you miss out on, and how many expenses that you don't have to pay.


well the average murderer only spends about 9 years in jail and that 25 to life is only for capital murder in the first degree which is hard toget convicted of.


very good america, i'm proud


If you look at the total amount of downloaded songs per month, multiply it by the RIAA per song penalty, it comes out to about 34 trillion dollars a month.

Are you implying the RIAA isn't entitled to 34 trillion dollars a month?

Tell Me About It

I'm pretty sure that murder doesn't carry maximum penalty of 15 years in jail ANYWHERE. I believe in many parts of the world the maximum punishment (and sometimes minimum) for murder is life imprisonment or the death penalty. Also in civil court you can be sued for all lost potential wages of the victim which can leave you liable for millions. A little heftier then $25K.

Also Ms. Thomas wasn't fined in a criminal case, she was sued in a civil case. Lawsuits can easily be in the hundreds of millions and the fines go to the plaintiff if successful. Criminal fines such as for theft, robbery, or even murder are fixed amounts set by law and go to the government. Criminal fines are intended to offset the social cost of controlling the crime where as civil suits are actually supposed to be an amount that is considered justly equivalent to the scale crime. Comparing the two amounts is comparing apples and oranges, specially when incorrect values are used as are here.


Hey theinternet sorry but manslaughter is murder and that is the sentence even lighter in some states.


how can i respect and believe an article that says ".... is only like ...."


check it out from the library, burn the files, turn it back in. still illegal, but far more difficult to trace.


You stop file sharing and you let their little fear campaign win, the only reason they went after this person for such a small amount was to send out the message that they will prosecute even if you don't do it alot its impossible for them to arrest everybody. Bowing to things like this loses us even more freedoms and allows people like the jews who run these industrys to control information and sell it us at a price and an unfair one at that, VIVA LA RESISTANCE !!


Depends on the murder but I would assume this would be premeditated so... yea much more. But accidental manslaughter could very well be something like 25k depending on the situation so the analogy is still there that it costs more to download music than to cause the death of another human being.


info is wrong, seriously, murder?


i agree @ mark


there's an even cheaper alternative:

don't get caught.


stats might be wrong but he made a good point. I told an rcmp officer doing a survey this year that we don't give a dam about our women and children in the courts but see what happens when you f--k with our money and he just proved my point. deb from canada


Man, just think of the leverage that gives children of overprotective parents.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/Ethan/nirvana-corporate-rock-whoresjpg.jpg EStan

Rabble, rabble, rabble... PeerGuardian. Look it up, give it a shot if you're really concerned.

Major Packetloss

Wheee! USA is more corrupt then fu.king Italy...


The solution to this paradoxical situation is to greatly increase penalties for those other crimes, but give perpetrators the opportunity to plead guilty to file sharing instead of, for instance, murder.

Ralph Dratman

Well how about that chicago mobster that testefied and as a deal he got 14 years for like 14 murders, mobster killings to intimidate that ads up like a year per life. So killing someone is a gamble you never know what you get but its still ridiculous that life is worth less than a stupid love song.


War Crimes = No Penalty
Insurance Co. theft from citizens = No Penalty

Sharing Music = Major Fines!

Yea, the system is fiiiiiiine LOL


"So if you just download music and never share it you are just fine (worst case you have to pay a retail or wholesale pricing for the song(s)) and with all the options that are out there why do you have to re-share the files you downloaded?"

John, you cannot just download the music using standard p2p software. You automatically share it with other downloaders.


"Perhaps we should cease interest in main stream entertainment. It is all crap anyway."

Verglo, if this was to happen...non-mainstream (underground) entertainment would become the mainstream because there wouldn't be a mainstream. Then it would become just as bad, considering there are how many people in the world.
Some of you people should think before you post. Or speak.


Verglo got it right. I stopped buying c.d's a long time ago. I Listen to FM radio, channel surf whenever an idiot song that repeats Poh Poh Poh Poker Face 1000 times comes on. The local college stations are pretty good though. These so-called musicians want to be millionaires but they're selling crap & we're just not buying it The stuff isn't even worth downloading. I wouldn't take it if they gave it to me, so they can shove it up their you know what!


#7 is wrong. Perhaps this was intended as a joke?


Guy punches a bloke watering his garden for flicking water at him, bloke dies as a result. Guy got 12 months jail for manslaughter.
You've got a bad lawyer to get 15 years nowadays.


wtf? people that signed this in to law must be living in a freakin fantasy world and clearly can't be counted on to exercise sound judgment. but the general public does nothing about it. we all post complaints but nothing more, so this example of stupidity within our government will continue to be the standard.


How about stealing a copyrighted image?


The corporations don't control the government, the corporations are the government, with he RIAA and MPAA being two of them.


So how much of that two million,goes to the artists that made the music ? The RIAA is ripping off the musicians,and the people that shared the files.They should be the ones going to jail.Tell em' ta say,Hey to "Bubba" :)


Someone stole my laptop, which had about 1200 songs on it...the only fine they're paying? $1500 to pay me back for my laptop, and they're on probation. Might have been in jail for one day. Even though I support purchasing music, I agree that the fines for downloading music are ludicrous compared to other crimes.


Where are your sources?


wow these stats are not only incorrect, but if you had researched that case you would know that the lady that was in that lawsuit refused to settle and a much smaller amount, so the RIAA gave her the maximum punishment.


good bless 128-bit-multi-proxy-encripted vpn's


Remember that all of the plaintiffs could settle with RIAA for FAR less [i.e. the cease-and-desist procedure]. In other words, it's only after you refuse to settle and RIAA decided to sue your ass that the crime becomes equivalent to 80 murders [financially, speaking].


@schtickle True, only one person has been fined 2 million, but that mean is is fair to fine any person that same amount for the same crime. That the parties could have settled for less does not matter, the law now holds that 2 million is a just penalty.


I'd like to see some SOURCES for these stats. Most of the offenses you listed carry a much heftier prison sentence, since the fine itself isn't the main objective for punishing the criminal.
Not to say that $2 million isn't ridiculous and should be changed.


Dude, you stole this article you jerk.

Here's the original which is much better written:


not everybody gets caught, in fact, hardly ANYBODY ever gets caught.


Lol download tv shows @ and don't get fined


Well, if you live where i live you get around 10 years for murder. 6 if your lucky to get out due to good behavior.. So yeah.. gg @ corruption.


To quote my good friend Gordon from Wall Street:
"Greed is Good!"


Great, so animals are more worth than children? (child abduction, dog fighting.) Nice hierarchy; RIAA, your neighbour, your ex, your dog, your kid, your local music store.


He wasn't 'fined' 2 million dollars. He was sued for damages by the RIAA to the tune (no pun intended) of 2 million dollars. It's not like there is a law where you download x number of songs and you get fined x number of dollars. So you're comparing apples to oranges.


Nobody has ever been sued for downloading music. The crime would be possession of stolen goods I suppose, and the damages are nowhere near copyright infringement.

Copyright infringement requires making of copies without authorization. When you download music without paying for it, it's the person sending you the file that's making the illegal copy you receive, not you. That's why it's the *sharers* that get sued, not the downloaders.

Every single RIAA case was about sharing. These were people that had music sitting in Kazaa shared folders, or were seeding on BitTorrent.

Dan Grossman

What you fail to take into account is that none of these file sharing cases have been criminal cases. They are all civil cases. Comparing criminal fines and civil damages is like comparing apples to oranges. The burden of proof in a civil trial is lower than in a criminal trial as well. What that means is that it is easier to prove your case in a civil trial. Finally, the damages were not decided by the judges but by the juries in these cases. In both cases, the damages could have been as low as $750 per song or as high as $150,000 per song. It was regular people like you and I that decided the RIAA was due such large damages awards.


well, she downloaded 24 songs, so you'd have to compare the fines if you committed each crime 24 times. But even when multiplying the fines by 24, most are still cheaper than downloading them from the internet.


"come on man everyone knows that
the maximum penalty for murder is a lot more than $25K and 15 years."

depends on the severity i guess.
dude over here shot a girl in the face, she died. he got 8 years.
"it was just a warning shot" and "did not intend to kill" was the defense.
its dumb.

pointing a gun at someone and firing, is intent to kill in my books.


how would any one get it if you do not share? to all of you ust wondering why people just don't download. there wont be anything to download if no one shares so its kinda necessary. and for all who don't share you suck


Comparing only the possible fines of the crimes is inadequate. You should also consider the probability of being caught. In other words, while the possible fine for downloading copyrighted content is sooo big, the probability of being caught is slim (1 out of 1 billion downloaders?).

Just a thought. :D


two words: private tracker.


Well I can see the government has a lot of free time. Instead of wasting time on over-fining people why don't they catch the people who make viruses and steal peoples credit card information. Or people who hack into people's personal computers to find out private information about the person and then release it to the internet.


2 million isnt bad. You gotta figure all of potential revenue lost by sharing these files: you share with (lets say a very small number) 100 people. They share with 100 people. THEY share with 100 people, etc. Once you hit 1 million, which is very simple, thats 2 million, or 2 dollars per song.


yup, stolen article


In the uk you will get life which is only 15yrs, no fine, out of that if you behave you can still get a 3rd knocked off so you only do 10 yrs and come out on a license. It would depend how the person was killed and wether it was child, old or young ect, if ran over with a car you are most likely to get 3yrs only. America's laws are too harsh and ours are too soft. where america can lock up a 14yr old kid for the rest of his life is completely wrong in my eyes, everyone is entited to a secound chance providing they are sane.


Yes, we're living in a funny little world!

Alpesh Khunt

they figure they can make a ton of money off the pirates. so why wouldn't they. that's all anyone cares about is money. it's time to get rid of such a primitive school of thought. watch: "Zeitgeist: Addendum" (google video)

jake barnes

Google illegally scanned thousands of copyrighted books, and nothing happens aside publishers are angry! Good to know that everybody is treated equaly.


where the hell did you guys get these stats? 15 yr max for murder? you a insane. I guess you've never heard of a life sentence? On what planet is there a max on the $ penalty for robbery. You've obviously spent 0 time in an actual criminal courtroom.


I know one film named seven crimes


Yes, $2 million is out of control and represents a sad effort to try and regain power on behalf of the record companies. The sooner they realize the old business model is dead, the better off they will be.


Reward Locker

I know this is supposed to be for humor, but with the internet's ability to share information, if the wrong people get a hold of this information, they may interpret it incorrectly.

Also, the purpose of the gigantic fine in the BitTorrent case was, as it's called in the legal community, a utilitarian punishment, meaning it's idea is to deter the rest of the population to do something by making an example of one particular case.

Jared Levy

To all those banging on about Life in Prison, Life doesn't actually mean your entire existance, in the UK and Australia it's 38 Years or something, not sure about the US, but there is a reason why people receive 300 year sentances...


Whoever says I don't get shivved in the showers at home obviously has not been in the showers with me at my house.

Golden Shower

I'd be one broke mofo if they ever caught me... I've got about 1200 illegal songs on my iPod which would be equal to $100,000,000 according to this person's fine for only 24 songs.


I feel a little worried now.


You also get a far reduced income for the rest of your life upon exiting jail for murder. Most respectable companies won't hire a person with a criminal record for murder.


Reason why filesharing is such a high-fine crime, is because they cant catch -everyfriggingone- thus they go with the "scare" deal. get someone to blame, put a huge crime-bill on their hands, and you scare away some people. sure some people get away with other crimes, but proportionally, less


Goes to show you how screwed up our society is. Our priorities are all mixed up!


he only downloaded the songs, he didn't put them up in a link on his facebook and hyperlink it to everyone he has ever met. if stealing is $2500 max, then he should have only been fined $600,000 tops. if you're going to make the full distinction, then he would have to steal 800 CDs from the store in order to get the same fine as downloading 24 mp3s


Second degree murder is not premeditated murder; that would be called first degree murder.
Second degree murder mandatory sentencing:
Federal - imprisonment for life or any term
california- 15 years to life
texas - murder w/ and w/o extenuating circumstances 2-20 years and 5-life respectively
New York - 15-25 years to life

numbers taken from wikipedia (don't go and be an idiot and say it's inaccurate because of that though.) but some states like indiana merely list it as "murder" and the penalty is 45–65 years so you can say it varies wildly between states. the 3 i put up there are just to illustrate east coast, central, and west coast. Federal is always just federal.


Please be aware that the $2M fine was for violation of copyright. As long as you don't violate copyright, you're good to go.

Now, where did I put that RIAA Radar?


Granted, you don't get shivved in the showers at home, but still.

^ You won't have a home if you are caught downloading since they will take all your money...


....Good way to make yourself a RIAA target.....
I'd be one broke mofo if they ever caught me... I've got about 1200 illegal songs on my iPod which would be equal to $100,000,000 according to this person's fine for only 24 songs."
Posting a confession on a PUBLICLY SHARED BLOG!!!!!


So the moral of the story is, if you want to file share, go abduct and kidnap the kids of the industry execs, burn their homes down, and murder a couple of people along the way.

That way, when they take you down for "stealing" some songs, you made a worthwhile effort!

Got to love that American way of life!

Daniel Kauwe

Come on now. Its who you know. If you are friends with a president and happen to be a terrorist or tax cheat....its all good. Download music and are only buds with a bunch of losers, well you know.


nice info...i think they'll re-evaluate the justice system or the internet itself...


where did you get these fine amounts. you think the fine is $1,200 for stealing a cd?? not even clsoe. petty theft is a $50 fine. $375,000 for robbery? maybe if a guy had a bag full of precious gems and a briefcase that contained $200,000. even then it wouldn't be considered a fine, it would be restitution.


Does this make anyone else want to kill some record company executives?


i am pretty sure you'll get life in prison for murder


Maybe you could just stop stealing and then you don't have to worry about it. Don't get me wrong, I've pirated more music and movies then most. But I know it's wrong, I don't delude myself into thinking it's not stealing. It is, you all know it. Just don't be a dumb ass and get caught. I also find it odd all the people bitching about recording industry, yet we find our selves censored on this site. Fight the true evil!! Free speech on the internet now!!!


Yes!!! I can abduct 80 children for the same amount!!

What a freaking bargain!


dude, 15 years is not the maximum sentence for murder


screw your nay Sayers they are correct bout murder but the point is still very valid the music industry is not governed by anyone because they have too much power and money.


This list causes me to be angry at the legal system more than pirates.


How much is the fine if caught file sharing music in the UK?

Zach Van Draden

These stats are just a hint. Don't take them too seriously. The fact at hand is that DRM and the like are being abusive in their powers.

Hey! Read THIS.

Well, what is important to remember is that just because people identified as politicians follow a process, and put some words down on paper, it does not generate a law. What makes the states "laws" relevant is the enforcement, the guns and prison systems that cause enough of a threat (coercion) to alter peoples behavior.

Real laws are generated on an individual level, by individual people. Every one of us is equipped with an evolutionary toolset that allows us to make value judgments. Our value judgments are not inviolable or universal they are subjective, relative to the individual and their own choices of behavior.

So what we really have here is a conflict between different value judgments, between the end users of media content, and the creators of media content. Considering that it is not been shown to be practical to stop piracy, it looks like the pirates values are the more realistic ones.

However, we have a state system which, in general, will offer protection to established businesses (corporations) and enforce "laws" which are actually detrimental to society.

The solution is to adjust our perception of what the state is, away from the popular perception of the state as a projection of parental authority onto those we disagree with, and rather see states as services providers.

In this light we see that, either the state is an unnecessary institution, or one which must be of a voluntary nature, and subject to competition.


This has probably been said, but you get a lower OVERALL penelty if you go into a CD store, shoot the clerk in the LEG 2 times, and walkout with as many CD's as you want.

Without the intent to kill, they'll loose the ability to walk, but atleast you didn't DOWNLOAD those albums!


The state is largely an unnecessary institution if we move to a true free market economy - however- that's a little problematic because how do we get people to "pay" for infrastructure necessities like roads or mass transit, sanitation and recycling, emergency services, etc etc.

theoretically we could privatize all of these things - but that would require a complete reconstruction of the entire socio-economic system - which is theoretically possible.

the other option is competition.

however this where the "tax" issue arises because if the state is failing to compete effectively they do have a certain innate leverage that can be brought to bear disproportionate to private industry in the form of taxation.

ultimately, like always, we'll only really solve this through education. which takes time and other resources that few wish to spare.

Daniel Kauwe

it's amazing that you can't share a file over the internet but can legally kill a baby in the womb.

this definitely is'nt Kansas Toto !!!


So, by the way, the actual fines for file sharing are...
The issue isn't the criminal prosecution it's the damages, which are scaled not to the moral severity of the act but it's economic effect of the action on the victim.

Civil/Criminal law distinction FAIL!


Anyone who says "...only 15 years in prison" has never been to jail, more importantly though is yes, this is quite a disgusting standard.


yeah too bad it's impossible to get caught file sharing...unless your using torrents then you deserve it.


i agree with the internet
overall pretty funny but murder is a way bigger penalty
but 2 mil for a few songs is ridiculous
personally i think its fake to scare people into not downloading songs.

hermy the worm

Since when does murder carry a maximum of 15 years in prison? Murder is a class Y felony and in many states (USA) gets you life in prison, often without parole.

Copyright infringement carries fines of up to $250,000 and 5 years in jail per work. So if you were to be convicted of 8 counts of copyright infringement and got the maximum fine, then you would be looking at $2 million. The odds a person getting 40 years in prison for copyright infringement is slim to none. No court would want to appear that cruel.

Get your facts straight and stop exaggerating.


Also what Publius said is pretty true. The criminal fines are one thing. They are limited. Civil fines on the other hand are where the real money comes in. The admin of a spanish site that hosted links to filesharing was charged with copyright infringement and took a 6 month jail sentence because the company promised not to pursue civil damages if he plead guilty to the criminal charges. So while he didn't actually break the law, he most likely would have lost a civil case and been fined obscene amounts of money.


I think the guy who wrote this should have a disclaimer: I am in no way responsible for my thoughts. Give him a break, it's just a joke. Of course, you can't really tell when a written piece has sarcasm, but LET IT GO ALREADY.


Wow these states are so far off it's insane! This article is garbage.


Yeah did any of you happen to read the article this was taken from, in it (the original) it states 2nd Degree Murder, it also lists several other crimes not posted here.

Even with that I think we should be looking at the point of the article not the accuracy of all it's content. While the RIAA is focusing on Digital media and downloads they are already claiming the ripping CD's you own to transfer music to your iPod is piracy. I mean what happened, 20 years ago everyone was going around making mix tapes or recording directly off radio broadcasts, now a days that's a crime? When do the people stand up and say Enough is Enough, STFU and Sit Down.


F*** music then. Im gonna take up arson as a hobby instead. Or rob a dying record store if I can find one. Then burn it to the ground.


In Canada they can still legally share music as long as they dont copy the music and try to sell it. Whats wrong with that?


95% of every stat on this page is wrong. First of all, the RIAA is suing people for Copyright Infringement, and not necessarily downloading illegal MP3 Per Se. How are they able to do this? It's because of the file-sharing services they are using. From Napster to Kazaa to BitTorrents, all of these programs have the dreaded -- and very expensive --- legal hook that hangs their users financially for Copyright Infringement. They not only allow people to download COPYRIGHTED music for free, but these services enable other members to download files from each other. To violate Copyright law, there is a three pong test that must be met. The big one is producing/duplicating illegally obtained files to others. Check it out: Copyright Act 17 USC § 504(c)(2).

Napster, Kazaa, and BitTorrents have each member's username online. The RIAA has hired "cyberspies" to track the IP addresses of the users which in turn, allows them to eventually find out who is downloading these files illegally. That's how people are getting sued. And that's why you see these ridiculous fines for violating the Copyright Statute. They range from $200 to $150,000 for EACH song. That's why someone got nailed for $2,000,000 for only 24 songs.

If you don't want to get nailed for Copyright Infringement, DONT ENABLE THE SHARE FOLDER!

Secondly, the RIAA needs to realize that free file sharing can turn unbelievable profits for them -- if they think outside of their outdated business model. Just think about how many bands that are out there and undiscovered can use this technology to get their name out there.

Trust me, there's a dollar to be made here even though people are getting music for free. There are plenty of advertising firms and other bells and whistles that can turn a dime or two. MP3s that are downloaded off of these file-sharing services suck -- they are no where near the final mastered recording. But the RIAA has chosen a path that could very well bring their downfall. How the F*CK do you expect to make money off of the very same people you are suing?!!!!! As far as YOU are concerned, if you are downloading music for free, make sure these artists are compensated in some way, shape or form. Buy a t-shirt, go to a live show, support the talent that's out there. The technology and information that comes in this digital age is powerful, but compensate the artists.....We All Need Them!

Stupid Comments = Stupid People

Most of those are State defined crimes, Hoss. Music piracy would be handled on the Federal level because of the inherent "inter-state" nature of the Internet.



my favourite is the stealing a CD one. :P it's the exact same thing.


honestly ur telling us that downloading a few songs is worse than murder, not believing it. And you either know how much the fine is or you dont. you cant say the fine is only like... you say the fine IS... or you dont know it

ur mom

I agree with Verglo. Stop buying theyre crap!, its not like WE choose it, its completely ruled by the E. Industry. And its not "who's the better musician?" its "who's the best looking and can make us money no matter what the sound?" There are plenty of ways to make and share your own music.....and right now, there are hundreds of sites that you can get free music that didnt make it to the mainstream by all those same popular , all free and great music. And "ur mom" and all the others who are purposly missing the point because of 10/30 thousand dollars, it still doesnt justify the extra attention put towards the "Super Beings" of the music and movie industry. Your telling the world that its ok to press a thumb to us like roaches and threaten us with outrageous, ridiculous fines and jail sentences for simply being smart. Your also saying that its ok to charge $25 for a CD and $50 for a movie. IT IS NOT OK WITH ME to spend $300 Mil. on a movie and then raise movie prices to be sure to make $600 Mil in the theatres. Its all getting completely ridiculous, and when smart people get pissed, they tend to show the ignorant lessers what theyre possible of. They cant stop it. They know they cant stop it. So theyre going to do what any bully does when it looses control, its going to make stupid threats and a few of us are going to get beat up....but as they know.....its only a matter of time.


@Stupid Comments = Stupid People, I agree. These people have no idea what the hell they are talking about. That don't know ANYTHING about this industry and yet they are making false and erroneous conclusions. And the worst part is that other stupid people follow and believe these nonsense claims. The vas majority is stupid and we know that. They invariably believe even a false answer to no answer at all..


(I'm commenting on the article not the comments) - Those might be the government imposed fines, but in most of those felonies (arson, murder, etc.) you get more royally screwed in a civil suit. The government might only fine you $375,000 for burning down someone's house, but then the owners could get millions from you in a civil suit. Therefore, its not completely accurate to compare those numbers, but the point is still the same.


The 2 million dollars was a civil lawsuit settlement, not a fine, making none of those estimated figures relevant. It's still ridiculous though and I see you're point.


Lots of penalties are stupid. I got 2 dwi's in a parking lot in a 5 year period and they are trying to give me 1-3 years in jail unless I plead guilty and do 6 months in jail. This is the same penalty that a rapist or a child molester gets.


great idea, go out and murder someone to demonstrate how unfair the file sharing laws are. if u spent half the time working that you spend whinging about how unfair everything is, you'd be able to afford to buy a CD now & then. loser

dr dmo

are you kidding me? the stats for murder are way off dude. The maximum for that is the death penalty and you cant really argue that getting fined for illegally downloading music is worse than that.

GwB Jr.

lol, i find it really funny that just after that add there is an add to download somones song, and then it says "Also Avilable on iTunes."


Seriously? Max penalty for murder is 15 years? Try more like life in prison or even the death penalty. Also, if the person was fined $2 million for 24 songs, that's $83,333 per song. Sure, it's a bit steep, but per count of infringement, $83k is less than a lot of the other crimes on your list, most of which will also carry jail terms that you conveniently left out.


How about not doing anything illegal?


Buying the CD that you would've otherwise downloaded: $15 or less


Isn't the reason behind this that the piracy is 'copyright infringement', where the courts are obliged to force the defense to give compensation while the other charges are criminal, and so fines that are meant only as punishments? It seems very strange that he would have to provide such a huge sum for simply downloading the songs, he must have been a 'supplier' in some way, at least. Then again, this might not fully apply to American law.


Stalking is up to 5 years in RI.


Don't forget about stacking counts, most serial killers commit other crimes too, bringing up the total sentence for most killers to life or death, unless it is second degree or manslaughter or something like that. Also I agree that the recording labels and other media companies may have waaaay too much influence in the government, although that makes sense in a lot of ways since most politics happens via the media, so of course the media has all the say in politics, and enough selfish for-profit motivation to pass some bad laws deviously.


"How about not doing anything illegal?"
- That only works when you're the one writing the law.


@ everyone complaining the info is wrong.....Every state is a bit different, every situation is a bit different. The fact remains that there is a large penalty for sharing music, movies, etc...and it HEAVILY outweighs other more serious criminal offenses in most situations. People should stop bitching about the "stats" and understand what is being pointed out.


Use real stats next time. And cite them. Because this is terrible


You reckon there's a few comments here? Guilt is the culprit. Greed lays a trap and the guilty fox always sniffs at his own lair first.


Fines that have set amounts are anything but just to begin with if "justice" is really the goal. A $1000 speeding is nothing to the rich man. Ah but a poor man speeding late for his 2nd job, the fine DOES produce punishment now!, Maybe the straw that breaks the camel's back even! No equality in punishment! Even crimes with jail timeJ the rich man's lawyer will make a behind closed doors plea deal and convert prison into a large donation to the cities latest project, ... nice in some ways but a failure in justice. The same also with so many crimes, even murder! The poor might get 1st deg murder with death penalty but the rich guy? Not likely! If he is finally convicted at all after a decade of trial stuff, might well end up with a lesser murder charge conviction resulting in 15 year sentence of which maybe he is credited with 15 years with 10 already "served" (having after all been "held" under house arrest wearing a little ankle monitor) and the rest for such good behavior and public service (things created for him during his time of house arrest done online but actually by paid workers) so finally for the exact same crime one man loses his life while the other if punished at all, is maybe just inconvenienced a while, oor else does some easy time at expensive private white collar facilities complete with many many family time furloughs, work furloughs to run some corporation requiring 12 hour work days, maybe even family live in visitations etc. In short the easiest time imaginable by any convict today ... OR heck a really guy might just flea the country before even being arrested and just wait out justice until there are no living witnesses left to testify or else physical evidence needed to bring charges to start with just eventually are "lost" or destroyed in some "accident". Amazing the kinds of things that trouble shooters working for high priced private investigators that in turn work for legal research outfit working for lawyers working for the law team working under the big name high priced attorney of the accused. In the end no one knows how it all happened like it did but there is no evidence of wrong doing linked to the accused or his attorney, all the public knows is that he shows back up in town 10 months after the murder and is now "surprised and shocked to hear all this" but after a brief voluntary visit to police headquarters is no longer an official suspect due to a total lack of evidence linking him to the crime. Nope true across the board justice does not even begin to exist in this world ... until that is we die. Any soul that dies can expect the exact same justice totally equal for the rich and the poor. The punishment is to be forever no more. Not another breath, not another action of any kind, not a memory or a thought. The same eternal silence. And no complaints from those punished either


He makes a valid point, however, one must leave it to the peanut gallery to pick it apart instead of simply seeing the message behind it. Half of the criticizes had to google their own stats so they could complain. Myself and the rest of the intelligent world get your message. Agree or not, we get it. Spot on my friend. Spot on. And for anyone who is replying... I don't care.

The Truth

And if don't have the money you don't pay it. What's the penalty for that ?


man, what a downer... you could take a kid, rob your neighbor, then get mad at him and burn his house down, and STILL get fined less...


i was let off because of the situation, but i was charged with $33.5 million for about 4 gigs of piracy (various software, music, and movies) at age 15.


You selfish, immature little punks can argue all you you want but the arts and entertainment industry is entitled to remuneration for their work and talent. Stealing music/movies is stealing and you'll never change the fact that it should be illegal and punishable.

I don't believe the fines mentioned here. I think they're distorted on purpose in another vain attempt to make you thieves look like the victims instead of the criminals you actually are. Sorry kiddys but adults are in charge and you're not going to get your way no matter what stupid little tantrums you throw.


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