One of the things I always try to do is integrate topical events into current discussions. A couple years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court failed to hear a $675,000 appeal in a file sharing case (which is a form of cybercrime),against a former Boston University student. Coincidentally, the first discussion this week focuses on illegal download and IP (Intellectual Property) theft.
The Recording Industry of America (RIAA) has sued thousands of individuals for illegally downloading songs in violation of U.S. copyright laws, and courts have imposed civil penalties, often in excess of $5,000.
If you believe that a financial punishment of this nature fits the crime what’s your argument between the disparity in sentences? Are these kinds of severe financial penalties and repercussions serving as a deterrent to the crime? Why or why not? If you think the answer is no…what else should we be doing to curb this type of illegal, intellectual property theft? Why isn’t there more equity in the penalties imposed within the federal court system?

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