RIAA Propaganda Created/Distributed by Non-Profit

X-posted at LineOut: The Stranger’s Music Blog

Like the bastard offspring of a Chick pamphlet and an episode of Judging Amy, a comic book distributed by the non-profit National Center for State Courts is trying to scare kids away from file-sharing and vis-à-vis, ruining their lives. The NCLS purports itself to be an, “organization dedicated to improving the administration of justice by providing leadership and service to court systems in the United States.” Well, far be it from me stand against the service of improving the administration of justice, so here’s an excerpt from the comic:

Plot summary from the Wired blog

The piracy story has two plots. One is of the file sharer’s grandmother fighting eminent domain proceedings to keep her house while Megan the criminal file sharer deals with the charges against her.

The story is simple: Megan learns to download music from a friend. About 2,000 downloads and three months later, a police officer from the fictitious City of Arbor knocks on her door and hands her a criminal summons to appear in court.

All the while, her grandmother is trying to save her house from the city that wants to pave it over. When the grandmother gets home from a day in court (she eventually beats the city and keeps her house) the criminal Megan is crying. “Oh, Nana. What have I done? I’ve ruined everything,” she said. “I’ll lose my scholarship. I know I will.”

The two embrace. “Hush now. We will find a way to get through this. I promise,” the grandmother tells her granddaughter, whose parents were killed in a traffic accident 12 years before…

In the case of Megan Robbins, “Criminal Case Number 67589B,” a city prosecutor urges the maximum two-year sentence after Robbins pleads guilty. The city appoints her a public defender. (Criminal copyright infringement is when somebody sells pirated works and not sharing on a peer-to-peer network. And it’s the federal government, not local cities which prosecute the criminal cases.)

The local prosecutor, Terry Williams, tells the judge that the defendant “is charged with theft, at the state level” and adds that the girl faces “stiff penalties – up to two years in jail and $25,000 in fines.”

“Many consider downloading music without paying for it to be a victimless crime, but nothing could be further from the truth,” the prosecutor says.

The prosecution added that “Her conviction sends a message that illegally downloading music is a crime, and anyone involved will be held accountable.”

The criminal is handed a three-month suspended sentence and 200 hours of public service.

So be warned potential criminals and MP3 privateers! Fictional city prosecutors aren’t afraid to step right over the federal attorneys to enforce the law and protect musicians everywhere. Thank god they’re looking out for us, right?

Hat tip to Beaucoup Kevin for the original link.

P.S. Light on the original content/commentary this week because I’m prepping for a weeklong vacation. Got some drafts and thoughts about some stuff on the backburner that may get posted sometime during the break. But don’t hold your breath. Not that you would, but you know– just saying.

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