According to the Copyright Law, any sound-recording company can get compensation in the amount from 750 dollars to 30.000 dollars for every illegally loaded track. In special cases judges can even raise this sum to 150.000 dollars per track if defendant’s actions are proved to be malicious! One can even risk his life, as you will see from this article!
1. We start our countdown from poor thing Siara Sauro. This teenager suffered from RIAA last year, which won 8000 dollars in the legal proceeding for the fact that poor young girl uploaded into the internet 10 tracks, which was a break of the Copyright Law. Siara tried to ensure the judges that she had not uploaded any of these songs, and the account, from which all the tracks had been uploaded, belonged to her father, who left the family many years ago.
2. Appeal court of the United States of America made a student pay 27.700 dollars for 37 tracks, which were protected by the Copyright Law. The court didn’t even try to take into consideration the fact, that she was very young and just could not understand that she had been doing something illegal while loading those songs. At first, she was fined for 7400 dollars ($200 for every song), but Appeal Court of New Orleans decided that she should pay $740 for every track that she had uploaded.
3. During year 2005 there used to be a very wide-spread story about a single mother Tanyi Andersen. Sound-recording companies accused her of spreading pirate versions of audio tracks. The MediaSentry agents, who had been hired by the RIAA, found out, that divorced mother had visited KaZaA network under a specific login and loaded “gangsta” rap. Anderson tried to prove that she had never dealt with the file sharing really hard, and even offered to check the hard disk of her computer. But RIAA ignored her offers and made her pay compensation.
4. Here is another shocking case. An action was brought to a 66 year old sculptor Sarah Ward from Massachusetts. She told the judges that she even did not know how to proceed the file sharing. As a result, Sarah was accused of spreading more than two thousand audio tracks among users of p2p network. However, councils for the defense managed to persuade the judges that Sarah and her husband used their computer only for communicating with their children. After that lawyers from RIAA brought their action back. But they keep the right to start this case again if they find it necessary. Sarah and her husband were about to pay more than 160.000 dollars.
5. Five Hollywood film studios are now trying to get compensation in the amount of 432.000 dollars from the Chinese web-site and Internet-café, which illegally offered to load “The Pirates of the Caribbean” and some other popular films. This website, which is called Jeboo.com, presents itself as an online cinema, stressing that it is the biggest archive of movies, which has more than 30.000 of films and soap operas. The case is going to take place in the court of Shanghais and is the next level of war between the United States of America and China.
6. On 31 of June 2009, 25 year old graduate Joel Tenenbaum was sentenced to pay a fine in the amount of 675.000 dollars for loading and spreading a set of musical compositions with the help of file sharing systems. Firstly, four sound-recording companies called him for paying 4.500.000 dollars ($150.000 for every track), but eventually, he paid 22.500 dollars per track.
7. Another student from Pennsylvania was also fined for 700.000 dollars for loading and spreading popular films and music videos among the majority of the students, who lived in a dormitory. He didn’t refuse the fact that he had broken the law, however it did not decreased the amount of payment for sound-recording studios.
8. 32 year old single mother Jamey Thomas, who lives in Minnesota has to pay 1.920.000 dollars ($80.000 for every song that she has loaded) to famous sound-recording companies, such as Sony BMG Music, Capitol records, Warner Brothers and other companies. It took 5 hours in order to announce the decision of the court.
9. One of the most popular cases regarding the Internet piracy during the last years was connected with the torrent-tracker “The Pirate Bay”. The administrators of the tracker were put into prison and were also made to pay a fine in the amount of 3.600.000 dollars.
10. But the most shocking thing took place in Afghanistan. A 23 year old man was sentenced to death penalty by the authorities of Afghanistan for loading and spreading among the students of the same year documents, where some traditions and customs of Islamic countries were criticized. His name was Sayed Pervez Kambaksh. Everyone who tried to help was warned by the local government, that one would be immediately arrested.