After checking Twitter a few moments ago, I was shocked, horrified and appalled at the news that a student from Chicago threatened suicide over the forceful, bullying tactics of major media corporations.
I didn't think my 200th post on ZDNet would result in me saying this.
I have a fairly controversial opinion when it comes to software piracy, and sharing music and other multimedia online. But considering hundreds of millions of people share and download music every day, the chances of being struck by one of these lawsuits is en par with winning the lottery or being killed in a nasty milk float accident.
The Recording Industry Association of America ("RIAA" hereon in) with the assistance of other major corporations, including EMI, Warner, Sony BMG, has reported to be bullying students and "innocent people" in a series of attacks in regards to music piracy. Whilst some may say sharing a music file with another person is like walking into a shop and stealing the CD, I would whole-heartedly disagree.
I don't know a huge amount about the legalities, nor do I understand US law or even the politics too much, so I'll give this the best go I can. Many of my links direct back here, so please do check out the sourced article.
Thomas Perrelli is the "main guy" who shut down Internet radio by helping to mastermind massive fees imposed on companies such as Pandora.com. Also we have Donald Verrilli, who was one of the main people involved in the attempts of Viacom suing YouTube.
These two men, Perrelli and Verrilli, don't have a very positive opinion in the online world.
Long story short, according to p2pnet:
"I eventually had a long telephone conversation with girl I mentioned earlier, the one who was threatening to kill herself, and she said she, too, would write something about her experiences. But she changed her mind after her parents agreed to bail her out.
She wouldn’t tell me the price, but she said she now hoped she’d be able to get back to her studies and on with her life."
There is then the story of Brittany Kruger, who could never be considered a pirate of any kind, shared some music with a few of her friends. This led to the RIAA instigating a lawsuit against her, and described as "being hung out to dry by the labels, with the RIAA fronting for them."
Her full story can be found a quarter way down the page in blue.
In both my honest, professional opinion, as both a journalist and a student, these vicious, thoughtless, bullying tactics need to stop. Yes I'm sure to some extent this post may not make sense, and you're probably looking for a point. There is my point, America, because students should not be victims of media giants who take advantage of the law.