No Electronic Theft (NET) Act

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  • This is the piece of legislation that turned copyright infringment from a civil case into a criminal matter - a very different world in the judical system. In civil cases, both parties must provide evidence supporting their claims. The losing side is usualy sued for damages. In criminal cases, the prosecution is the only party required to supply evidence, but the loser could face imprisonment.

    Another big difference is the allocation of resources. If copyright infringment cases were still considered civil matters (as they should be) the responsibility for punishing infringers would lie in the hands of the copyright holders - not the FBI, police and taxpayers. Most of this essay is directed towards the issue of P2P file sharing, so doesn't it seem ironic that those very people prosecuting the file-sharers (the police) are paid not by the music industry, but by file-sharers themselves?

    During the height of online music and file sharing, an estimated XXX million people downloaded music off the internet. "And why not?", they cried. Not only did the movement seem unstoppable, ("HA! They have no idea who I am!") but to many it even seemed just. In 200X, xxx, xxx, xxx, and xxx record companies were fined for illegal collusion to deliberately inflate the price of compact discs. They were fined a measly xxx million and required to give away xxx million worth of CDs back to the public. Hardly a punishment either, mainstream news media barely took a glance, and the free discs amounted to little more than a marketing stunt. And CD prices? Much the same as they were in 200X.

    Still, no matter how you looked at the issue, it was undeniable the music industry's intellectual property was recieving massive infringment

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    Last Updated: 10/Jan/044